The UK just keeps on giving.

#3
Makes a change from them burning our flag and the ones of the americans however if this keeps up the local flag makers may be forced into a recesion
 
#4
Whether you like it or not, the main aim of overseas aid is to buy political and trade favours. Of course, some of the money does go to specific projects in some countries, but the basic fact is that no one can guarantee exactly where it will end up. Our government just hopes that we will eventually get back from these countries more than we put in.

The most controversial country without doubt is India who will receive an extra 2-3%. This is a country which is not only now has the ability to put things into space, but actually has its own international aid programme. And the corruption level there among politicians is lamentably high (most southern Asian countries have this problem). Pakistan is similar; we recently led the world in donating to help those affected by the Indus floods, but this is a country who has put little investment in shoring up the banks of this river, but lots into developing its own nuclear weapons. Ditto for corruption amongst politicians.

Personally I can't understand why we put money into Somalia which has no recognisable government, and Burma which is an extremely secretive and repressive regime. At least we are not giving anything to North Korea!
 
#6
India is a real problem. Yes they have a space program but they also seem to have most of the world's supply of poor people and malnourished children so it seems a bit harsh to turn your back on them just because their government are all bent.

A sorted out Somalia would be in everyone's best interest but there is no way it is ever going to happen without someone else paying for it.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
I can never understand why the majority of the aid given is not in the form of trade credits redeemable in the UK only. That way we've given aid to poor countries, the money is spent in the UK - helping UK manufacturing - and the possibility of fraud is lessened.

Or is this far too much common sense?

Wordsmith
 
#8
India is a real problem. Yes they have a space program but they also seem to have most of the world's supply of poor people and malnourished children so it seems a bit harsh to turn your back on them just because their government are all bent.

A sorted out Somalia would be in everyone's best interest but there is no way it is ever going to happen without someone else paying for it.
Errr, but when we're struggling to manage our own finances as a nation why the hell should we be doing the Indian Government's job for them? If they can afford their own nuclear and space programmes they sure as hell can afford to do their own welfare system.
 
#9
India is a real problem. Yes they have a space program but they also seem to have most of the world's supply of poor people and malnourished children so it seems a bit harsh to turn your back on them just because their government are all bent.

A sorted out Somalia would be in everyone's best interest but there is no way it is ever going to happen without someone else paying for it.
Sorry, but I'm getting zero readings on the Give-A-Fcuk-O-Meter.

Darwinism in action, I'm afraid.
 
#10
If you give too much money to a government, they start 'mooching' on you. Any aid that goes to these under-developed countries, is usually taken away by corrupt parts of the government there and you'd rarely see all of the money being used, to help those in poor conditions who actually need the money. Instead it makes the rich become richer. Why don't we have a say in where the money goes? Isn't it our money, that we pay for, by tax?
 
#11
If you give too much money to a government, they start 'mooching' on you. Any aid that goes to these under-developed countries, is usually taken away by corrupt parts of the government there and you'd rarely see all of the money being used, to help those in poor conditions who actually need the money. Instead it makes the rich become richer. Why don't we have a say in where the money goes? Isn't it our money, that we pay for, by tax?
That's more or less right - all governments seem to think problems can be resolved by throwing money at them. There's no way we could dictate how/where this money could be used and, inevitably, those in charge in most countries given such money would find a way to syphon it off. The only effective answer I can think of is not to give money, but to donate services and skills - send our people to them to teach them how to do things, or perform specific jobs and then leave them to it. That would certainly make it more accountable for us. But that'll never happen because, as I said before, the main aim is to buy favour with ruling bodies. (But it does make you wonder who will actually receive the money in Somalia, and what we could possibly expect in return.)
 
#12
Sorry, but I'm getting zero readings on the Give-A-Fcuk-O-Meter.

Darwinism in action, I'm afraid.
Darwinism is in action certainly, that's why the Somali pirates are doing so well preying on the West's shipping.

Funny, I didn't expect their actions to produce such a low reading on your GAFO meter.
 
#13
Errr, but when we're struggling to manage our own finances as a nation why the hell should we be doing the Indian Government's job for them?
Because:-

a) The aid system in it's present form has nothing to do with need. Like Jamie Oliver paying thousands for a a pair of Beckham's old footie boots at a televised, charity auction, the aim is not to fund good causes but to allow all concerned to feel superior. Just think of how Gordon's save the world fantasies were stoked when India's flag became only the fourth one to be planted on the moon. I bet he didn't need any Viagra that night.

b) It only represents about 1% of government expenditure and, by maintaining it, the Tories avoided handing Labour an open goal before last year's election.

If they can afford their own nuclear and space programmes they sure as hell can afford to do their own welfare system.
Probably not. The scale of poverty in India is overwhelming. Half of Indian children suffer from malnutrition and it's an oft quoted fact that there are more impoverished people in India than there are in the whole of Africa.

The Indian government is attempting to squeeze a couple of hundred years of industrial revolution and economic development into a couple of generations. To help achieve this, they've slashed taxation to zero in over 200 special economic zones. They abandon the rural poor to their fate while the urban rich live lives of luxury and privilege.

In UK terms, they've probably reached the late Victorian/early Edwardian stage of economic development - a poverty gap to rival the grand canyon. People starve to death on the streets while one of their many billionaires has just built the world's most expensive house. Half a billion dollars worth that would make Gadaffi's stylist weep with envy and all overlooking the slums in Mumbai. Classy.

I know an Indian bloke in his mid twenties. He has a bachelor's degree in business studies and a graduate entry position in a consulting firm. In the army, he'd be a lieutenant or junior captain. He's never bothered to learn to drive because he has a full time chauffeur. His wife doesn't cook, because they employ a chef to do that. He has more live in domestic staff than live in family members in his house. It's like Upstairs Downstairs with curry.

India is playing with fire. The communist party is already elected to govern large swathes of the country. I can see their government going the same way as a certain colonel who has been passed over for promotion for the last 40-odd years.
 
#14
Darwinism is in action certainly, that's why the Somali pirates are doing so well preying on the West's shipping.

Funny, I didn't expect their actions to produce such a low reading on your GAFO meter.
Actually, I was responding specifically to your, "Won't someone please think of the children!" plea for India/Africa. I was'nt aware we actually gave money to Somalia, with the exception of ransom payments, of course. And the Somalis themselves are living(unfortunately)proof that genocide is'nt always a bad thing...
 
#16
International Aid is a method of transferring money from poor people in the West, to rich people in the Third World.
Amen! A pity we don't get the opportunity to question the destination of our taxes.
 
#17
Good thing about this aid is you just get to see where the UK tax payer money is going to. Lived in Nigeria for a few years, if anyone has the chance travel upto Kano from the south and you'll come across a rusty old sign that states the school was built and paid for by the HM Government. Tumble weed and cows wandering through the shanty shack spring to mind. Well it only cost £550k to put the sign up and 6 sheets of corrugated metal to make the school?

Proven fact that international aid to corrupt 3rd world countries has never changed that country and they contiually rely on the cash so that the crooks in the country can steal their own wealth. Nigeria loses $10m per day in oil bunkering that goes to senior politicians and military, but, since they make 10 times that, why do they need UK aid money. I know, it keeps the tree huggers from DFiD in a job and the affluent standard of living that they have in the countries they are accredited to.
 
#19
I can 'sort of' understand giving money to dig wells, feed people and other 'good works', but I CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHY WE HAVE TO GIVE THE POXY EUROPEAN SOVIET UNION BILLIONS AND BILLIONS!
 

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