To Mark Steel

The most common response to this complaint is the current terms can\’t go on, because Easyjet and Ryanair pay their staff much less. And it\’s not fair if some people are being treated horribly, so the answer is to treat everyone horribly and then no one feels bad. Maybe charities should work like this. Oxfam could go to Mozambique and say, \”So you\’re living on a bowl of rice a day are you? Well in Somalia they\’re living on half a bowl of rice a day, so we\’re taking half your rice away you greedy pigs.\”

Um, sadly, yes, that\’s pretty much what Oxfam do do.

You\’re on £15 k a year are you? Struggling to put baked beans on the table for the kids?

Excellent, so the government should tax you to send money and food to Somalia where they don\’t even have any baked beans.

And, as reports yesterday showed, that food and money ends up in the hands of the militias and various jihadist groups.

As Peter Bauer said all those years ago: foreign aid is the process of taking money from poor people in rich countries to give it to rich people in poor countries.

2 thoughts on “To Mark Steel”

  1. There is some hope. At the start the NHS provided drugs free. Within a short time the cost became unsustainable, so a prescription charge was introduced. That was under Attlee- and I seem to recall Bevan resigned over it.
    Since HMG is rather stretched at the moment, there must be some hope that sense will prevail.
    Of course not until after the election- they’re all afraid of frightening the voters.

  2. what? some proportion of aid is stolen by rebel armies and/or the rich in poor countries. You have no business writing “that food and money ends up …” unless you know that proprtion is approximately 1, which you do not.

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