It is interesting that the UK government promotes economic austerity while putting billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money into the pockets of dictators and corrupt regimes’ around the world.
Cameron has pledged to increase foreign aid to the United Nations at a time when the UK economy is in poor condition, this will mean a foreign aid contribution of £11 billion.
In a book published by the ‘Institute for the Study of Civil Society’ (CIVITAS) titled ‘Aiding and Abetting’, senior research fellow Jonathan Foreman criticises the motivation of the government in increasing foreign aid at a time when severe cuts are proposed in the UK economy.
The publication points to abundant examples where aid funds have been stolen by corrupt foreign governments and their officials, high and low, and where money contributed by the UK taxpayer has probably done more harm than good – and certainly failed to reach its intended beneficiaries.
At the same time the Aid Industry has evolved into a system of outdoor relief – or rather, fulfilling and lucrative employment — for the British upper middle classes, and their kleptocratic equivalents in Aided countries, a system that has many of the least attractive characteristics of Victorian imperialism and missionary activity.
More controversially, the book suggests that Coalition enthusiasm for spending on dubiously effective foreign aid that might otherwise be spent on vulnerable people at home, may reflect the class backgrounds of the Cabinet. Mr Foreman writes that:
“Such people are perhaps more likely to engage with poor Africans and South Asians on their holidays than they are to encounter needy or vulnerable people in their own country. And it is hard to escape the impression that it is for this reason (rather than pure snobbery) that the PM and his circle apparently find it harder to empathise with a ‘chav’ in a wheelchair – even if he lost his legs in Afghanistan – than they do with disadvantaged people in the third world.”
“More jobs will go, British servicemen will wait longer for their third-rate prosthetic limbs, the elderly will suffer, not because there is not enough money but because money is being thrown at projects and governments that we know will not use it effectively.
“It means that a set of policies trumpeted as manifesting generosity is in fact a cynical, ruthless and morally reprehensible con-job pushed by marketing gurus for whom their real-world effects in the underdeveloped world are largely irrelevant.”
It is blatantly obvious that the government are wasting money – a lot of money. Yet they seem to conveniently avoid the fact that they are the ones who are targeting people in the UK who they have no concept of, other than as figures on a balance sheet, while at the same time supporting dubious regimes through pumping money into countries where little of the aid gets to the people who need it.
You can read the full release on the CIVITAS website