The government's development secretary reckons we will one day be as proud of pouring money down a plug hole in Africa as we are of the Queen and our Armed Forces. Oh no we won't you idiot. The idiot is Andrew Mitchell, Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield, not even a Lib Dem which maybe says it all about the modern Tory Party.
Years ago, back in the late seventies and early eighties, I had a great friend from Sierra Leone who was extremely angry when I talked about foreign aid and how much the UK gave. His view was that part of the reason he was unable to return to his home was because foreign aid helped to bolster tyrants such as his president in Sierra Leone. In a way he was talking tough love, and if you look at Africa government aid has achieved little.
That doesn't mean we should turn our backs on Africa, but I would much prefer to give money voluntarily, which I do on a regular basis, to organisations whose work I know is effective. You only have to look at government waste in this country to imagine what is wasted when millions are shipped out to third world countries on our behalf.
If you want an idea how pathetic this government is at the highest level, especially the Lib Dem part of the Coalition, I suggest you read this article from the Guardian. Then tell me you think sending millions and millions of our tax money abroad will one day make us as proud of throwing money away as we are of the Queen and our Armed Forces.