He has surpassed himself in his posting about foreign aid going to India, the country, we are told, that is developing so fast it will overtake the West any minute now together with China, Brazil and Russia (please stop guffawing at the back). As it happens, India's economy is developing very fast and many millions of people have been able to clamber out of the oppressive and very real poverty (not simply being unable to afford a third holiday in a year). That development is unlikely to be speeded up by foreign aid; to the contrary what foreign aid is likely to do is to make India's worst problem, all-pervasive corruption, even worse.
There is no point in my adding anything to his analysis but I want to open the subject up a bit. On the whole, I can usually understand the thought processes of people I disagree with. I often think that they are wacky but I can understand how they develop.
For example, I do actually understand why real supporters of European integration and of the concept of a single European state think (or, to be precise, used to think since there are precious few real supporters around). Given the fact that in the course of the twentieth century European countries committed virtual political suicide, the idea of a single state rising from the ashes may well have seemed like a good one. It wasn't as it happens but there is logic behind that idea.
There is even some logic behind the idea that one needs proper planning to make an economy work as an unplanned economy is likely to throw up some real surprises, some of them very unpleasant.
The problem with those two is that people might hang on to them in defiance of all historic experience. That is when these ideas become incomprehensible. Why, given the experience of the Soviet Union, would anyone think that planned economies are efficient?
There are, however, people whose thought processes (if one can call it that) are completely incomprehensible. I simply cannot fathom why they should think the way they do and come to the conclusions they do. It's not that they are wacky, they are, in my opinion, completely incomprehensible.
What exactly makes our politicians (for lawmakers they are not) think that giving aid to India is a good idea? What precise process of thinking (if I may call it that) leads them to the conclusion that shelling out money to bloodthirsty kleptocrats in Africa helps anybody to achieve anything? What is behind all that? Is it just ordinary mushy emotionalism? Is it a desire to prevent the developing world from actually doing any developing? Is it a sense of their own superiority? What is it?
Or take another idea (OK, I am using the word very loosely): the Big Society, hereinafter referred to as DC's BS. What on earth makes
Then there is that other cracking idea, the Big Society Bank, which, as far as anyone can understand will take money from all kinds of sources, like the lottery and what politicians call "dormant accounts" and, undoubtedly, something from the taxpayer to set up a state bank to hand out money to socially useful enterprises, particularly, one assumes, those that cannot raise money anywhere else, not being viable in business terms. Ahem, is that not what triggered the financial crisis over on the other side of the Pond? That was just a trial run. We are going to show those Yanks how to create a real financial crisis. But what exactly makes people think this is a good idea?
It's no good. There are certain kinds of mentality that I shall never fathom.