My reply to an article by Richard Darlington in Left Food Forward who writes about the recent news that aid to South Africa is being stopped in 2015.
UK NGOs, led by ActionAid, questioned whether DFID has a new strategy of “running away” from middle income countries as quick as they possibly can. If they do, it can only be to appease a domestic political constituency.ActionAid rightly explain the implication of this approach: now that most people living in poverty no longer live in poor countries, DIFD’s central ‘global poverty reduction’ mission would be fundamentally undermined.
Considering that DfID use tax payers money (yes, the money comes from tax payers not some magic money tree) to help poor people in other countries the top priority is that tax payers are happy with such an arrangement. If they are “running away” from giving out aid to “appease a domestic political constituency” then they are doing the right thing.
By the way, appeasement means giving concessions to an enemy. That highlights that the DfID (since you were part of it and therefore part of the culture of it) sees the tax payer as the enemy rather than their master. That just shows that the DfID is run by a small group of right on lefty intellectual thinkers who think that giving aid to another country and interfering with its internal governance is the best thing to do and telling the public that they know best. That smacks to me of colonialism than neo-colonialism.
Neo-colonialism (a bodged up lefty term to mean capitalism) is a way more democratic, efficient and proven way of bringing a country from third-world status to middle-income and beyond. Think of it in the manner of alleviating hunger. Do you give people food or do you give them seeds. Give them food, and they will be always asking for more food. Give them seeds, and they can grow their own food. The surplus which they can sell to get more seeds. They therefore become self-sufficient. Aid is like food, whilst trade is like seeds.
So in effect lefty emotional thought (or rather lack of thought) is holding countries back as they depend on aid to keep their subsistence farms going rather than allowing trade which would enable the countries to become self sufficient and grow. The DfID should be scrapped. And just to be fair, the FCO should be scrapped as well as they are just as useless.