Did you know that the Department for International Development (DFID)
leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty? It claims ”Our work is building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for people in developing countries and in the UK too”.
Of course, you might be wondering which countries are “developing” and in need of our assistance, always bearing in mind we might have more need at home.
So what would you say if you heard about a request from China for £7.9million to include £6.6million to research how much salt Chinese people used when cooking at home? Or one from India to send texts to its citizens urging them to drink less? Or One from Chile for £300,000 to evaluate its sugar tax? Bangladeshi imams asked for and received £800,000 to preach against second hand tobacco smoke!
Even more amazing to read that more than £600,000 of Britain’s foreign aid money was used to fund a programme tackling ‘malnutrition’ in Indian children, much of which was spent tackling childhood obesity because of the World Health Organisation’s change in definition! I kid you not!
David Cameron, yes him, made it law when he was PM that Britain must spend 0.7 per cent, around £14billion, of its yearly income on foreign aid. But Senior Tory Philip Davies wants to divert the cash to public services at home instead “It is infuriating to see tax-payers’ hard-earned money wasted on pet projects abroad. The British government is generous in its foreign aid spending and the public are broadly supportive, but anti-obesity drives and stop smoking campaigns do not fit in with the common conception of aid spending, which includes feeding the hungry and tackling infectious diseases”.
Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said “Foreign aid money is supposed to help the poorest people in the world, not to feather the nest of wealthy academics. Foreign aid means disaster relief, vaccine drives, malaria nets and digging wells. It is about donating some of our “copious” wealth to people in less fortunate parts of the world who are destitute and starving. Or so you might think. My new research, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs, shows that the UK government has instead been blowing foreign aid on exporting nanny state regulations on food, sugary drinks and tobacco”.
Over the past two decades, life in wet and windy Britain has become even greyer, as puritans have used the hard fist of the government to make savoury snacks less salty, drinks less sugary, and alcohol and cigarettes less affordable. The UK government is one of the most fanatical lifestyle regulators in the EU, as judged by the European Policy Information Centre’s ‘Nanny State Index’.
As it happens there were British Armed Forces Veterans in Ormskirk today selling their Awareness News charity magazine
for which £2 of the £3 charge is remuneration for the Veterans selling them. A great read, including military jokes about our European neighbours. I couldn’t resist relating a couple. Here goes “Why did the French plant trees along the Champs Elysees in the late 30s? It was so the Germans could march in the shade”. And “One sound the Spanish armed forces hate is that of Gibralta Rock Music”. “European neighbours” is my preferred after-Brexit name for the EU!