Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Decadent Brit Establishment

A symptom of decadence is refusal to accept reality. As an example, the Brit Establishment, ignoring 50 years evidence, wants to shovel money into the pockets of African dictators. Fortunately, ordinary Brits almost unanimously disagree.

First the "aid" proponents:

Mr Blair arrives in Washington next Monday for talks with Mr Bush that will cover the African aid proposals. Mr Brown has invested huge personal political capital in the scheme. Both he and Mr Blair are touting the plan, which would double development aid to African countries by £27.5 billion a year.

America was not consulted on the scheme. But, to assume its share of the burden, it would be expected to raise a total of $12 billion (£6.6 billion) a year at a time of severe budgetary cutbacks.

However, the President is not convinced.

In a humiliating slap down for one of the Chancellor's pet projects, Mr Bush voiced his administration's dislike of the idea in person for the first time.

"We've made our position pretty clear on that: that it doesn't fit into our budgetary process," he said after a meeting with South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki.

Which is entirely sensible, and fits with the smarter and more effective US policy which channels money to poor countries with worthy governments.

Oddly enough, the British people agree with Mr. Bush.

Vast majority think African aid is wasted, poll shows

A huge majority of Britons believes that pumping billions of pounds into Africa would be a waste of money, a verdict that is a major blow to Tony Blair's crusade to rescue the continent.

As the Prime Minister prepares to fly to Washington on Monday to try to secure American support for proposals to tackle poverty in the Third World, a poll for The Daily Telegraph shows that 83 per cent of people are not confident that money given by the West would be spent wisely.

It also shows that 79 per cent of voters believe that corruption and incompetence were to blame for Africa's problems.

The public lack of faith in Africa's ability to cure its own ills was also revealed when respondents were asked to identify three factors most to blame for the condition of the continent.

Corrupt and incompetent government was seen as the main problem, with 79 per cent citing it as a factor. More than half of respondents also cited the HIV/Aids epidemic and civil wars.

Blair's response to corruption is a typical piece of fantasy. He wants to use the authority of the splendidly un-corrupt UN to help him seize the assets of dictators who are daft enough to keep their ill-gotten gains in the UK, as opposed to, say, Switzerland.

According to Treasury sources, a new law, ratifying the UN convention against corruption, will be implemented under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in the autumn.

It will give the Government power to seize the assets of corrupt former politicians from overseas in a similar manner to the power that already exists when dealing with suspected terrorists and organised crime.

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.