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Aid to India?
I am gradually coming to the conclusion that the UK should stop giving overseas aid - money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries - at least without attaching such strings as will serve our interests. Unconditional aid is a no-no. Usually it goes to rich thugs - the "Wabenzi". At best it supports primitive people in primitive practices by cushioning them from the consequences of such practices. At worst it helps our enemies.
There is an exception to my new rule: we should give aid to victims of Islam and enemies of Islam. Rod Liddle in the Spectator (my emphasis):
There are plenty of objections to our largesse; the first and most immediately relevant is that India has the money to run a space programme and furthermore a space programme which is not predicated upon the efficacy of a giant catapult but is actually quite plausible and, you know, scientific. Therefore as a wealthy country it is undeserving of our money when we can’t afford a space programme ourselves. The Indian space shot costs about $1.25 billion per year; we, meanwhile, are giving them two or three hundred million quid per year to alleviate poverty. They should sort out their priorities, it is argued. Well, maybe, but my guess is that the Indians have a space programme which cuts the corners a bit on health and safety issues in a manner which we in the west can no longer do, i.e. Bacofoil spacesuits or something, and that for this reason alone we should be proud to support them.
It is also mentioned that there are far more billionaires in India than in the UK and that India itself gives quite a lot in foreign aid already to countries which it, in turn, thinks are absolutely useless, such as Afghanistan. And there is another point too, which is that India is a nuclear state. It spends its money on nuclear weapons and indeed a total of £23 billion on defence every year — so how can we justify a single penny of assistance?
This is a crucial point for me. India’s nuclear weapons are pointed at Pakistan. It is my considered opinion that you cannot have enough nuclear weapons pointed directly at Pakistan. If we had hypothecated taxes in this country I would ask that mine be devoted towards high-yield airburst nuclear weapons targeted upon Islamabad, even before we pay the wages of British nurses, teachers and those vital and talented people who work at Ofcom. At least, with India, someone is keeping a very close eye on the Pakistanis. Our foreign aid donation to India is but a fraction of what it costs the recipient country to keep the Pakistanis in check — but, as Tesco puts it, every little helps. Maybe we could just cut to the chase and directly sponsor the production of tritium or lithium deutoride, something which helps in the fusion process, so we know we will be getting a real bang for our buck.
Because who would you rather we gave our money to? Perhaps you think it should be spent on educating all those little black African children? We give somewhere in the region of a billion quid per year for ‘education in Africa’, covering 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. But as the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee made clear late last year, this has been an epic waste of money, subject to fraud on a mammoth scale, siphoned off by predatory companies and individuals.
But then so it is with almost every penny we give in overseas aid; it is either a bribe, in that we are donating the money in order to secure for ourselves favourable trade agreements, or an outright con — in that we donate to a coalition of warlords, thugs, despots and UN workers who will swallow the money up and ensure it never gets to the needy.