Posts Tagged 'DFID'

Cameron listens again. Democracy alive and well. Pigs fly past upstairs window.

Cameron: UK has a ‘moral obligation’ to help world’s poor – David Cameron has defended Britain’s £11bn foreign aid bill saying the UK Government has a “moral obligation” to help to the world’s poorest people.
- Telegraph

Ignored UK People: Cameron, as this country’s Prime Minister, and the rest of the moronic political class have a ‘moral obligation’ to help the UK’s poor – David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have no defence for their shared action and cravenly skirt around the fact the government is sending £11bn of our money overseas without our permission while vulnerable people on these shores go without heat, food and shelter despite having contributed something to this country.
- Random snippets from hardpressed Britain

This is an example of what ‘Bullshit’ Brucie Anderson would describe as people only having a vague idea as to who Cameron is or what he stands for.  On Planet Brucie, politics, apparently abhorring a vacuum, often fills it with a four-letter word – Eton.

So there we have it.  Proof from Mr Anderson – for his noble word is all we need – the reason so many of us cannot stand Cameron is because of his privileged upbringing and education.  Clearly is it nothing to do with the nakedly obvious fact he is an obnoxious, arrogant and ignorant moron who treats the people of this country with undisguised contempt; just so he can satisfy his gargantuan ego by posturing on the world stage as a man of virtue as he doles out our scarce cash to people whose kleptocratic governments prefer to spend their money on space programmes and arms procurement rather than health, education as assistance for their vulnerable.

In Britain the views and wishes of the people do not matter. The political class does what it wants. Like dogs returning to their vomit, millions of Britons keep going back to the polling stations to vote for more of the same in a variety of colours and flavours. And the establishment have the gall to call this ‘democracy’.

Labour announces new education strategy

Imagine my excitement when I caught sight of an announcement to the House of Commons yesterday that the government has a new education strategy.  It would certainly be something that is long overdue.

The last OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results released in December 2007 showed that British teenagers had plummeted down the international education league table following the decline in education standards under Labour.  The PISA 2009 results are due out in December 2010.  Could it be that Labour had finally woken up to the consequences of failing a generation of British children by dumbing down education in the classroom, and how that adversely affects our international competitiveness?

Alas, no.  Not content with undermining the prospects of our children by levelling standards downwards and holding back our brightest and best, it seems Labour wants to help other countries to increase their own competitiveness at the cost of British taxpayers.  As wee Dougie Alexander explained in yesterday’s written statement from the Department for International Development (DfID):

I have deposited in the Library today my Department’s new education strategy, entitled; “Learning For All: DFID’s Education Strategy 2010–2015”. The strategy has been placed in the Libraries of the Houses and an electronically accessible version is available on the DFID website at http://www.dfid.gov.uk/educationstrategy.

“Learning For All: DFID’s Education Strategy 2010–2015” outlines how DFID will contribute to helping the world’s children realise their full potential through access to a quality basic education for all.

If only this government would show as much interest in the development of our own youngsters as it does in the development of youngsters overseas.  The government should be getting this country’s house in order before grandstanding on the world stage about funding education in under developed countries.

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Labour evasion over international aid money to Unions

Last week following the release of a report by the International Policy Network Autonomous Mind blogged about how a significant sum of international aid money, that is supposed to be distributed to dedicated aid charities for use in poorer countries by the Department for International Development (DfID), was being channelled to the British Trades Union Congress (TUC) for use in the UK.

The matter was raised in the House of Commons yesterday by Conservative MP, Andrew Robathan, who asked DfID Minister Gareth Thomas ‘How much funding his Department has provided to the Trades Union Congress for international development purposes since 2003; and if he will make a statement,‘.  Thomas tried to bat away the question by giving one example of the use of the money, namely the TUC spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS in Ugandan workplaces.

It was a surprising answer given there are numerous charities that are far more qualified than a British trade union body in delivering HIV/AIDS education.  But Robathan came back with the real charge, that most of the money the TUC receives for international development work is ‘spent in the United Kingdom and is not accounted for in any way,‘.  Thomas’ answer deliberately avoided addressing that essential point and made a pathetic party political dig:

Like every other NGO to which we give funding, the TUC has to spend the money in accordance with the requirements of the International Development Act 2002, which, as I recall, had the support of all parties. I gently encourage the hon. Gentleman to look at the work of the TUC in supporting local trade unions in Iraq and Zimbabwe, for example. Although I recognise that he relishes the role of an unreconstructed member of the Conservative party, he might want to be careful about associating himself with a position that is more extreme than any taken by the last three Conservative Foreign Secretaries. Indeed, the last Conservative Government, from 1989 to 1997, paid the TUC to do work on international development.

If there was no truth in the charge Gareth Thomas would have denied it vehemently and with no small amount of indignation.  The fact he did not demonstrates that taxpayers’ money allocated to international development work carried out by charities in the developing world, is being siphoned off to sweeten Labour’s paymasters and fund political education and training in the UK, as the International Policy Network has claimed.

This is a disgraceful and unacceptable abuse of public money for party political interests.  This kind of casual corruption has to be rooted out and those responsible held to account.  I wonder how long it will take before an MP tries to defend this misuse of international development money, our money, by claiming such use was within the rules?  And politicians wonder why they are held in such low regard by the public.

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Trade Unions soak up international aid money

It is embarrassing that this story almost went past Autonomous Mind Towers without being noticed.  Yet again we have another example of public funds being misused for self serving political ends by the Labour government.  Once again it is the Department for International Development (DFID) which is being free and easy with our hard earned cash (hat tip: ConservativeHome).

Earlier this week it was confirmed in Parliament that a DFID civil servant has been seconded to Tony Blair for his work as Quartet Representative in the Middle East.  But at the same time the International Policy Network (IPN) was explaining that:

Following on from our previous investigation [Sept 2009] of how “foreign aid” is being used for advocacy work by NGOs inside the UK, IPN has discovered that trades unions are benefiting from millions of money aimed at “international development”.

From 2003 to 2006, the Trades Union Congress [TUC] has rececived £3.6 million from the UK Department for International Development (DfID). But much of this money has been spent on projects benefiting the domestic UK labour movement. We’re just not sure how this benefits the poorest people around the world.

Download the IPN report ‘A Closer Union’

Perhaps this is another generous ‘thank you’ from Labour to the trade unions who are keeping the party alive financially.  After all, during the period in question, 2003-06, trade unions donated £39,086,216.09 (yes, £39m) in cash to Labour both directly and through constituency Labour party groups.

In return, Labour has channelled around £10m of our money back to the trade unions for the ‘trade union mondernisation fund‘.  This meant the unions did not have to use their own money for training and development, enabling them to maintain huge political donations to Labour.  And now we see a further £3.6m of our money being given to the trade unions to help train people how to be better advocates of the trade union movement and the Labour party.  Labour is only one short step away from actually paying the subs for union members!

Strangely enough, the DFID web page ‘Where the money goes‘ makes no mention at all of these Partnership Programme Arrangement (PPA) payments to the TUC for use in the UK.  PPAs are made through a mechanism that is supposed to channel money to dedicated aid charities operating in poorer countries, such as Oxfam.

Clearly the payments to the TUC are neither international aid nor benefiting people in desperate need.  They are a corrupt abuse of public funds for political gain by a corrupt and morally bankrupt government.  This is just another example of ‘public spending’ that can be cut without affecting front line services.

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What is Tony Blair doing in the Middle East?

Within hours of stepping down as Prime Minister in 2007 and as part of his (failed) strategy to become President of the European Council, Tony Blair assumed an international statesman’s role in the Middle East as ‘Quartet Representative‘ on behalf of the United Nations, US, Russian Federation and European Union.

Setting aside the irony of Blair working for peace given his eagerness to send British troops into action throughout his premiership, his job working with the Palestinians as an envoy was to:

  • mobilise international assistance to the Palestinians, working closely with donors and existing coordination bodies
  • help to identify, and secure appropriate international support in addressing the institutional governance needs of the Palestinian state, focusing as a matter of urgency on the rule of law
  • develop plans to promote Palestinian economic development, including private sector partnerships, building on previously agreed frameworks, especially concerning access and movement
  • and liaise with other countries as appropriate in support of the agreed Quartet objectives

Given Tony Blair’s job description and given that the UK is a substantial donor of international aid to the Palestinian authority, it might be a surprise to learn that in those two and a half years as Quartet Representative, Blair has not held a single meeting with any of his former government colleagues working at the Department for International Development (DFID).  This is despite the department having seconded one of our civil servants, paid for by the British taxpayer, to Blair’s ‘Office of the Quartet Representative’ in Jerusalem.

So what is Blair actually doing in the Middle East?  The answer seems to be, not very much.  While Blair seems to be demonstrating masterful inaction when it comes to the Palestinians, he does however seem rather more active in matters of personal comfort.  It’s so nice to know that having torn apart the social fabric of this country and helped run up the largest debt we have seen since the second world war, we taxpayers are still picking up the tab to satisfy his planet sized ego while getting nothing of value in return.

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