Saturday, 31 July 2010

Self-Help First

Simon  Heffer, writing in the Daily Telegraph, complains about the row over funding Trident and compares it to the amount of overseas aid we give to 'developing countries' - and complains rightly so in my humble opinion.

One only has to look at this map and questions arise. For example, why the hell we are supporting countries like India and China, God alone knows - two countries whose economy is doing rather well actually.

Whilst I have every sympathy for the starving in Africa and elsewhere, I would ask one simple question. If a family is faced with helping a relation who has fallen on hard times and donating to someone who already has a few bob - who do they help first? A no-brainer of a question really as they will obviously help their relation. (and please don't anyone mention that crap about helping both!)

It seems to me that the figure proposed - 7% of GDP - should be spent helping our own people and providing for their needs first.

A personal view - and if that upsets anyone, tough!


john in cheshire said...

I agree with you. But then I don't think we should be giving aid to anyone. Handouts do more harm than good. Enlightened self-interest is the only option; do something for me and i'll do something for you. In the meantime, all that money being given to foreigners could be put to better use in this country.

Witterings From Witney said...


Thanks - glad someone agrees with me!

Woodsy42 said...

If people were really in dire need I would want to help. But personally I doubt we are giving any real handouts to China and India. I suspect these payments are labelled as aid but probably go to 'fake charities'. Like those we have back here their task is in fact to create propoganda and influence the local population.
I have to say that I am hard put to decide if my suggestion makes the situation morally better or worse, but maybe more logical?

Witterings From Witney said...


You may well be right in your presumption. Whether the 'aid' goes to those that need it, or to what you suspect as 'fake charities' is neither here nor there. In respect of China and India their economies are in far better shape than ours - so why are we giving them aid?

Woodsy42 said...

But Mr W I'm suggesting that we are probably not actually giving them real 'aid'. We are more likely sending them propaganda dressed up as aid. Ie ideas and persuasion which happen to fit the needs of the Uk government.
So, for example,'aid' may take the form of free education for schoolkids about climate change, or propaganda about human rights, or animal rights or any other crap ideas that HM Government feel is important for everyone to conform to.
As I said, that may be worse but it's not 'aid' in the sense of giving them free stuff that they might want.

Witterings From Witney said...

Woodsy42, but it is still costing us money! Admin wages and actual cash!

Woodsy42 said...

We are going in circles.
Of course it costs us money, I'm not defending it - far from it!
I'm simply saying that the apparent peculiarity of giving 'aid' to richer countries may be explained if what the government calls 'aid' is in fact a euphemism for some other activity.
I'm not defending it just saying things may not be what they seem.