And so the colonialism ends

“We do not require the aid,” he said, according to the official transcript of the session.

“It is a peanut in our total development exercises [expenditure].” He said the Indian government wanted to “voluntarily” give it up.

According to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirumpama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”.

But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi.

DFID has sent more than £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money to India in the last five years and is planning to spend a further £600 million on Indian aid by 2015.

“They said that British ministers had spent political capital justifying the aid to their electorate,” one source told The Sunday Telegraph.

“They said it would be highly embarrassing if the Centre [the government of India] then pulled the plug.”

About time we stopped telling the Indian Government what to do, don\’t you think?

And save a bit of cash of course….

21 comments on “And so the colonialism ends

  1. Out is insane to send £200m a year in aid to a country which can afford a Space Program and nuclear weapons.

    The Indians don’t want it, English taxpayers don’t want to send it, who does except for the Liberal Democrats?

  2. Spent … political … capital.

    OFFS. Anyone who believed them in the first place isn’t going to stop believing them now. Anybody who thought it was a stupid idea and that the Indian govt ought to sort its own spending priorities out isn’t going to be any more likely to disbelieve the next political lie.

  3. So our politicians want to spend a few hundred million of taxpayers’ money to avoid embarassment on their part? And there’s no room to trim the government budget without sacking nurses, apparently.

    Besides, since when did these politicians justify this expenditure? They waffled some woolly bollocks to a gaggle of Guardian readers then spent the money regardless. Some justification.

  4. I see no respectable case for Foreign Aid funded from taxation: let everyone make his own donation voluntarily.

  5. There is no case for foreign aid. Unless it is on the industrial scale that China spreads the moolah about. No questions asked, ship loads of Kalshnikovs, foreign bank accounts, etc, etc in return for blanket consent to rape the mineral wealth. Ethical aid is for wimps.

  6. What has happened to the usual supposition around here that politicians are self-serving bastards that don’t have the interests of their people at heart? It gets forgotten when you want to score a point against something you don’t like: foreign aid.

    honestly, this politician is saying “we don’t want your aid because it makes us look bad” and you lot appear to be taking this to mean “India” does not want our aid.

    If you are not interested in helping out poor people around the world, then fine, you are not interested in giving aid.

    If you are interested in helping the poor, then India contains the largest quantity of abject poverty in the world, which Indian politicians are conspicuously not doing enough about.

    If you don’t think DFID actually does help people, that’s a different argument. One that requires some empirical support.

    DFID could have told this guy: “well, we want to continue giving you aid because we think you politicians are a bunch of venal bastards and we don’t think these poor people are going to get helped unless we do it” – how do you think that response would have helped achieved said aim? Of course you lot by assumption have it that actually wanting to help poor people isn’t what motivates DFID.

  7. If you are interested in helping the poor, then India contains the largest quantity of abject poverty in the world, which Indian politicians are conspicuously not doing enough about.

    And throwing British taxpayers’ money at ‘DFID-approved’, therefore right-on, probably green, and possibly of social relevance in Notting Hill or Islington, projects is going to help the situation of the poor of India exactly how?

  8. Well, Luis Enrique does have an entirely valid point. On the other hand, it does presuppose Indian politicians are more venal & self serving than our own which does stretch the credulity to breaking point.
    It does remain, however. Requiring India to accept aid their politicians regard as unnecessary, on the basis our politicians are wiser than their politicians, sounds remarkably like colonialism. No doubt a circle to be squared in a Guardian comments column to onlookers amusement.

  9. “If you don’t think DFID actually does help people, that’s a different argument. One that requires some empirical support.”

    Should be the other way around, it should be the ones spending the cash that should provide the empirical support

  10. DFID has a strong reputation in aid circles for their evidence-based approach. I’d rather give DFID my £ to spend than most charities…

  11. So it’s OK for the UK to interfere in how other countries run themselves. In that case anyone who supports DFiD should also have no problems with the UN interfering with how we handle Gypsies. Turkey should be able to dictate to Germany how Turkish people are treated. The UK should give money to Zimbabwean whites so that they can fight against the state which is not looking after them, just the same as the Indian state is not looking after it’s poor.

    All foreign aid is wasted because it goes through so many channels before it reaches the end. Giving it direct to DFiD might be slightly better than giving to charities, but the charities are still involved at the end of the chain. And if it’s not the charities taking their cut, it’ll be the fixers and movers taking their cuts too. And then there is the straightforward corruption.

    The only foreign aid should be disaster relief but even that doesn’t usually work. Just look at Haiti.

  12. Luis Enrique said: “If you are interested in helping the poor, then India contains the largest quantity of abject poverty in the world, which Indian politicians are conspicuously not doing enough about.”

    Why should they? There is a steady stream of aid money!

    Two governments interfering in the process of wealthier people helping poorer people doesn’t strike me as the best way to achieve it.

  13. It’s a slush fund to promote trade. Surely that’s obvious? Nowadays it has to be detached and deniable, but it’s to help secure ‘goodwill’ towards British companies bidding for Indian contracts, *wink*, *wink*.

  14. Come on. This guy is Indian and so probably shares the same honour culture the rest of the former Muslim world does. He knows he wants the money but his pride means he has to say he doesn’t. Just as the Libyan rebels loudly denied they needed Western military help. Until they got their butts kicked.

    Not that we should be giving them a penny of course. Nor is aid really about trade. I tend to think it is a job creation scheme for all those Jacintas and Ruperts too stupid even for the newspapers and the BBC.

  15. “If you are interested in helping the poor, then India contains the largest quantity of abject poverty in the world”

    That’s a complete non sequitur of a sentence. The two clauses bear no relation to each other. The conditional clause may well be correct, and the subordinate clause may well be, but their relation to one another is exactly the same as in the following: “if you like kittens, then the Treaty of Antwerp was signed in 1609.”

  16. MyBurningEars – “DFID has a strong reputation in aid circles for their evidence-based approach. I’d rather give DFID my £ to spend than most charities…”

    God knows what the rest are like then:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1324322/Foreign-aid-millions-wasted-taxis-doing-office.html

    “Last year, the department spent more than £255,000 on taxi fares in Britain – a total that has almost trebled in recent years.

    Ministers also spent £19million on external private sector consultants last year – and a total of £65million in the last three years, a study of Parliamentary answers reveals.

    Since 2002, DfID has spent £29million on office refurbishments, including £11million to overhaul its UK headquarters in London.

    And £98,000 was spent last year on a project to design a new logo for UKaid, used to brand British-backed development projects in the Third World.

    In 2009-10, stationery costs hit £52,000 and £90,000 was spent on newspapers, bringing the total over the last six years to £664,000.

    And the official figures released by the department also reveal the favourable terms and conditions DfID staff enjoy.

    The cost of performance-related pay has more than doubled from £4.1million to £10million over the last six years. Some 19 members of staff were handed bonuses of more than £30,000 last year. ”

    Any organisation that can spend 195,000 pounds promoting diversity needs to be shut down.

  17. I find it very interesting that neither party addresses the issue of whether the money actually makes some poor ryot’s life a little better. From what I see the whole attitude towards foreign aid is that its job is to make ministers feel good.

    Well, from my perspective if they want that warm fuzzy feeling that one apparently gets from dropping a coin in the charity tin, they can do it with their own phuquing money. They get enough, after all.

  18. David Gilles

    yes, sloppy writing I omitted some thing like ““If you are interested in helping the poor, then you should be interested in giving aid to India because, India contains the largest quantity of abject poverty in the world”

    I’d have thought the gist was obvious enough

  19. So Much for Subtlety: “This guy is Indian and so probably shares the same honour culture the rest of the former Muslim world does.”

    Hindu =/= Muslim

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