Saturday, June 04, 2005

Vast majority think African aid is wasted, poll shows

Our "betters" will affect shock, but I am sure the opinion poll reported here correctly reports what most of us think. Furthermore, I am sure that we are right and they are wrong.

Despite Britain's high position in the GDP league table, high living costs (notably housing costs) mean that many middle- and even high-income households are "cash poor". Our savings rate is deplorably low and we face an enormous pensions "crunch" when the present working generation tries to retire.

Yet, for "photo-ops" with Bono and the infuriating Bob Geldof, our political leaders propose giving further billions of our taxes to Africa's thieving dictators. Just as before, our money will allow them to buy the arms, soldiers and policemen to keep their people in subjection; dying of starvation, AIDS and lack of basic medicine. Whether we approve or not, this is what will happen. The money that could relieve our wants in our old age will be given to murderous thugs so that semi-educated celebrities can feel good about themselves. In what sense, exactly, is that "democracy?"

At the same time the tariff barriers around the "first world" mean that Africans cannot work their way out of poverty. The real "racists" are those who think of Africans as helpless children who cannot solve their own problems. If we stopped arming their oppressors, they would cut their throats and build new nations. That instead we continue to aid their oppressors, while affecting Socialistic brotherly concern just makes me sick.

Yet is it so surprising? The "Socialists" of the old Soviet bloc spoke endlessly of brotherhood, while ruthlessly oppressing and exploiting. Their ideology was not something they truly believed; it was simply the justification for their power. Only mugs thought any of it was real. In Russia, a few such mugs still parade under the hammer and sickle on May Day.

Why should comrades Blair and Brown be expected to behave any differently? Are any of us mug enough to think they really believe what they say? On the contrary, we KNOW that they say whatever "focus groups" tell them will sound good.

When I see Brown, Blair, Geldof and Bono give up their worldly goods to live and work with the poor of Africa, rather then cynically use them as a backdrop for hypocritical self-promotion, I will have to take them seriously. Until then, I shall continue to regard them as more sophisticated versions of their tyrant friends in Africa.

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