Thursday, August 26, 2010

What an excellent idea!

Are we looking for savings in public expenditure? Do we want to make that deficit smaller? Of course, we do and some of our friends from overseas have come up with a great idea. Not a new idea, mind you, as they would be the first to acknowledge but a great one: stop international aid. It will save a great deal of money, not least by abolishing the burgeoning bureaucracy of DFID, cut back NGOs and, best of all, let the recipients of that aid actually develop economically and politically.

These ideas, often voiced on this blog and on EUReferendum (too often for me to link) were expressed pithily in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph. Signed by a number of important writers and free-marketeers from different African countries (including my good friend Franklin Cudjoe of Imani in Ghana) it pleads with the people of Britain and, as a side-issue, with the Cleggeron Coalition whose Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, has been mouthing embarrassing platitudes while insisting that international aid must be ring-fenced in the supposed spending cuts.
As Africans, we urge the generous-spirited British to reconsider an aid programme they can ill afford, and which we do not want or need. A real offer from the British people to help our development would consist of the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, which keeps African agricultural exports out of the European marketplace.
Naturally, I have no issue with that paragraph or the rest of the letter. But, sadly, one needs to point out to the signatories that the Common Agricultural Policy is not Britain's to abolish. In fact, we have very little say in it though we do participate in that invidious set-up. Likewise, we have very little say in the various protectionist measures passed in the European Union. That policy is not ours either though we all too often applaud it, to our shame.

1 comment:

  1. The coaltion is not cutting spending overall. Spending will continue to increase and therefore the deficit will increase.

    The real question about the cuts is-why is a Conservative government increasing the deficit?

    Oh silly me, this is not a Conservative government. It isn't the Conservative Party either.