Thursday, October 21, 2010

Man does not live by Trident alone


What is it with these Tories?

Yes, His Grace is most definitely one; and, yes, he is as concerned as the next man (or woman) about aircraft carriers without aircraft, helicopters without rotors and guns without bullets.

But not to the extent that the world’s poorest should pay for it.

It is disappointing - and some may say not unsurprising - that a ConservativeHome survey reveals that 70 per cent of Conservative Party members oppose the cut in defence by 2.3bn (-8%) at a time when the Government is increasing overseas aid by £2.7bn (+37%). (Though how ConHome know that these are party members is unknown: it appears to be taken on trust).

One wonders if they bothered to consider that the defence budget in 2011 will be £35.7bn while that for overseas aid will be £9.4bn.

Or what proportion of total public expenditure (£702bn) these figures represent.

Or that the Government (ie we) will pay £43.3bn of gross government debt interest this fiscal year followed by £46.5bn in 2011.

And one also wonders if they bothered to consider for a moment that spending on overseas aid may actually mitigate the need for future military intervention through conflict prevention or help to deter the ‘export’ of terrorism or opium to these shores.

The prioritisation of aid over defence is not simply a question of political economics but of moral justice.

Charity does not begin at home: it is the plainest teaching of the New Testament that it begins with one’s neighbour (eg Lk 10:27-37).

And throughout the Old Testament, we are exhorted certainly to look after our own widows and orphans, but these are rarely divorced from the divine command to show compassion to the ‘alien’ or ‘stranger’ (ie foreigner), which the Jews considered a moral duty (eg Deut 10:18f cf Mt 25:44).

British national defence is not about myopic fortress introspection, but the vigilant guarding of those liberties and values which have been bequeathed over the centuries and for which many millions have laid down their lives. It is not about phallic potency and grandstanding, but of humility in the pursuit of the national interest and gratitude for great mercies. It is not about the protection of private property; it is about the preservation of a way of life.

And that way of life happens to value the ethic of private property as much as it consists of missionary philanthropy and humanitarian charity.

Yes, a lot of aid is siphoned off into the corrupt coffers of evil dictators to prop up their sub-Saharan sensual superfluity. But that is no fault of poor. It is for the rich to devise better systems of delivery to ensure that aid reaches those who are most in need, rather than simply give up. The promotion of what has become known as ‘social justice’ should be a primary moral imperative for any government. While His Grace prefers the phrase ‘Compassionate Conservatism’ (for these reasons), both are essentially concerned with putting the plight of the poor at the heart of the national debate and making a material response.

The freedom and fraternity which constitute our social fabric are fragile entities. But, insofar as these persist and are considered good, it is incumbent upon us to manifest them to those who have neither. Jesus did not only preach to the crowds, he fed them. He understood that you can’t talk about micro-credit to those with empty bellies.

Of course, the Government should strengthen the national economy, keep interest rates low, balance the budget and maintain equilibrium between the strength of sterling and unemployment.

But the British political context for all of these macro-economic interests is positively utopian compared to the world’s poorest nations.

If charity begins at home, our community and nation are deprived.

When we prioritise the world’s poorest and most destitute, justice may flow like a river.

The decision to increase the budget for International Development is a fundamentally Christian ethic.

It is about feeding the starving, healing the sick, housing the poor and educating the illiterate.

If any Conservative would rather hug a Harrier than help the destitute, he or she must be devoid of conscience.

George Osborne said: “Britons can hold their heads up high and say even in these difficult times, we will honour the promises made to some of the poorest people on our planet.”

The extra aid will halve the deaths from malaria, save the lives of 50,000 pregnant women and 250,000 babies.

We should be proud that George Osborne has made the UK the first country in the world to hit the United Nations target of donating 0.7 per cent of its national income to the world’s poor by 2013.

Righteousness exalts a nation.

45 Comments:

Anonymous tired and emotional said...

No, we should not be proud of our hitting the UN target, not unless we can be sure that our aid does not and not ill. Are you sure of that Your Grace. Furthermore, being a righteous nation depends not only on our righteousness but on our existence as a nation. Without proper defence and deterrent our nation would have ceased to exist at least once within the last 100 years, can you say the same about aid? Just because we are unable to see the existential threat to our lives, liberty and nation does not mean that it does not exist.

21 October 2010 at 12:36  
Anonymous tired and emotional said...

"does good and not ill" sorry

21 October 2010 at 12:37  
Blogger Gnostic said...

As matter if interest, Your Grace, how much of this international aid reaches the people it is designed to help? What percentage is ringfenced to grease the palms of the tyrants and pariah governments causing or exacerbating the suffering thus allowing them to do more of the same in order to extort more money?

Helping the poor and starving is one thing. Helping despots is something else.

21 October 2010 at 12:44  
Blogger Gnostic said...

PS As far as national defence is concerned, the Coagulation should be bloody ashamed of themselves. We live in very uncertain times. Without a nation, there is no international aid.

21 October 2010 at 12:47  
OpenID scottspeig said...

The problem though Cranmer is that forced altruism has the wrong effect. Plus, I already put my money into charities for foreign aid.

Not just that, but the allocation of foreign aid is also wrong as either we give to countries that they could fix themselves by reallocating their own budgets, or we give to third world countries where a lot of the money is swallowed by corruption.

21 October 2010 at 12:51  
OpenID scottspeig said...

As a side note, I would rather take the money from the NHS than the foreign Aid.

21 October 2010 at 12:52  
Anonymous Indigo said...

I worked for years in organisations set up to research or alleviate the problems of Third World countries. Foreign aid is, as far as I know, usually routed to those who need it through NGOs (non-governmental organisations, eg mid-wife groups, collectives) in the recipient countries. Not through the government. And a little goes a very long way in the Third World

The other thing is that we are put on this earth to serve others, especially the most needy. Foreign aid can make the world a better place but it is up to the rest of us to ensure that it is audited, not squandered on "administration" and the beneficial effects are SUSTAINABLE AND spread as widely as possible.

It is also possible, of course, that one day we the UK may need the Third World countries more than they need us. In such a day, it might make all the difference to our good outcome that we helped them in the past, instead of leaving them to die of malaria, polio, dysentery, AIDS, malnutrition.

I read somewhere this week that the bonuses at Goldman Sachs this winter would pay for half the world's poor children to be educated. Maybe that is a fictitious equation but there is more than a grain of truth in it.

21 October 2010 at 13:12  
Anonymous Budgie said...

Cranmer said: "The prioritisation of aid over defence is not simply a question of political economics but of moral justice."

It is neither. Defence is a prerequisite of our nation's existence, and is not mere political economics, as others here have noted.

There is no moral justice in DfID's aid. As has been observed we tax the poor in the UK to give to the rich in third world countries. And the notion that DfID giving our tax money to various countries will make them less likely to attack us or our interests is too ludicrous to comment.

From Prof P T Bauer onwards it has been shown that "central planning, foreign aid, price controls, and protectionism perpetuate poverty" (Wikipedia).

DfID should be shut down because it is IMmoral. Instead what we should do is stop exploiting third world countries, and trade with them decently, as we would say the USA. One example that we condone is the EU exploitation of Atlantic seaboard African states' fishing rights for so called 'aid'.

I am sorry, Cranmer, I am amazed by your woolly, ignorant, BBC-oid thinking.

21 October 2010 at 13:20  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

As His Grace is by your quotation of the impeccably authoritative Wikipedia.

21 October 2010 at 13:30  
Blogger Weekend Yachtsman said...

With humblest apologies to Your Grace, I completely disagree.

We don't donate 0.7% of our income to "the world's poor" - we donate 0.7% of our income to people who purport to pass (some of) it on to the poor.

Between the despots (whose depredations you acknowledge, to be fair), and overheads and political manoeverings of the big charities (which you don't), I'd be astonished if even a quarter of the money actually reaches "the poor", and even that will have political strings attached, as grants and disbursements do in this country.

And as for sending "Aid" to India - which has a space programme, for heaven's sake - and Singapore - which has a higher GDP per head than we do ourselves - well it is simply madness: what kind of government reduces our country's defences in order to pay for India's space toys? A Tory one, I am sorry to say.

I know it's a cliche, but it remains my view that Overseas Aid is a way to transfer money from poor people in rich countries, to rich people in poor countries.

21 October 2010 at 14:01  
Blogger Kevin said...

Today- 21st October - is Trafalgar Day. Am surprised that the press haven't picked up on this fact following the defence review.

21 October 2010 at 14:10  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Your Grace,

I entirely agree with you. I would only raise this small point.

"If any Conservative would rather hug a Harrier than help the destitute, he or she must be devoid of conscience"

The harsh reality is that those two positions are not mutually exclusive.

A proper functioning military is also important for the destitute of the world. All though I accept you were not suggesting otherwise.

21 October 2010 at 14:16  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

British national defence … is about the preservation of a way of life.

Perhaps Your Grace could be more specific about which way of life we’re preserving. Does it include halal slaughter, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, electoral fraud, marriage to cousins, inferior status for women, honour crime, terrorism and polygamy?

21 October 2010 at 14:20  
Anonymous Tom Paine said...

Charity may exalt a nation, but money taken by force from taxpayers is not, and can never be, charity. Encourage your flock to give by all means, but not your government to take.

21 October 2010 at 14:40  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

The element that is missing from this debate is that Aid has always been used to advance British business interests overseas as much or even more than for ethical reasons. Also as others have said there have been some spectacular failures in giving it directly to the poor or for development, Iraq and Afghanistan being two examples and it is clear that NGO’s do a better distribution job than governments.

As for morality, of course we should help those less fortunate than ourselves but ironically the further to the right that you lean the less generous you become. Nowhere is this more evident than in the US where the Christian Right opposes virtually all humanitarian policies, most notably in health care reform.

I am a little suspicious that some “giving” is simply conscience salving. I doubt Cranmer would be happy welcoming many more third world migrants into the UK yet that too can be said to relieve suffering.

21 October 2010 at 15:16  
Anonymous Epictetus said...

Your Grace

I agree with your sentiments, but disagree completely with your conclusions and your implicit premise that DFID is worth the money, for three reasons:

1. Pakistan and other countries that spend on nuclear weapons programmes in breach of the Non Proliferation Treaty should not receive aid. If sanctions were good enough for Rhodesia, South Africa and now Iran and N Korea, then Pakistan and India can at least be encouraged to switch the spending on nuclear weapons to development.

2. Throwing money at the development problem does not work. Trade does. We should lower tariff barriers to the Third World. That would really help them. The current arrangement makes us smug, lazy and hypocrites, while keeping the majority in the Third World in poverty and their politicians' snouts in the trough.

3. DFID has taken over much that our Armed Forces used to do, and they are on the whole useless at it. Ask anyone who has worked with them in Afghanistan. Shot down DFID and hand its budget and functions back to the FCO, MOD and to transition payments for Britons who will lose jobs when tariffs are made fairer to the Third World.

"Epictetus"

21 October 2010 at 15:33  
Blogger Stephen Wigmore said...

I completely agree with Yours Grace.

We spend £400 billion on our own people's health, education and welfare in a country that is already one of the richest in the world.

I do not think spending £10 billion on people around the world who are truly poor and in need (rather than 'relative' poverty) is too much.

Or in other words, percentage of government spending spent on our own people 98.5%. percentage spent helping others 1.5%. Hardly extreme.

Of course this money must be well spent, like all public money, and spent only on truly needy countries. Countries like India and Pakistan, with space programs and nuclear arsenals should not receive a penny. But there are plenty of truly needy people and countries around the world for us to spend our meagre charity on.

21 October 2010 at 16:10  
Blogger Baron Metzengerstein said...

Hard to tell whether you're being sincere or sarcastic on this one, Your Grace.

While I haven't had time to read over all the comments, and I thus may be redundant in so saying... Let me say that I don't think foreign aid directly from public coffers was what Jesus meant for Christian charity to be; rather, instead of coercing money to give to a cause, it ought to come via voluntary donation. And while that may seem a minor point (after all, money is money no matter where it comes from or how it is delivered), I don't see how one can mean to do good by beginning from coercion and extortion, however good or "compassionate" the end result.

It also goes without saying that individual donations are usually more carefully given and somewhat less likely to fall into... counteractive hands, shall we say?

21 October 2010 at 16:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I do not think spending £10 billion on people around the world who are truly poor and in need (rather than 'relative' poverty) is too much."

If even 1p of my money is used to prop up a dictator or regime responsible for the suffering of it's people, it is too much.


What we need are a set of strict rules and guidlines as to who qualifies for aid, so that we can avoid the propping up of dictators, or the funding of space shuttles, and really it should be taken out of the goverments hands.

21 October 2010 at 16:23  
Anonymous Epictetus said...

To: Stephen Wigmore

Would you rather that the UK (a) give GBP 10 bn from taxes or (b) gave the same amount by allowing goods and services to that value into our economy?

I'd be most interested to read your view on this. Thanks

21 October 2010 at 16:28  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I have heard it all before and my own instincts tell me that it is all bullshit.

Whatever reason/s that may exist for our governments to dole out this cash, I am certain in my own heart that it has little to do with Christian morality. The only plus point is that any pride for all of this does not have a cat in hells chance of entering the equation, so at least we can't claim to be genuinely proud.

Some good may come of it in some places, but my own instincts tell me that it does more harm than good in the overall big picture because it simply perpetuates the greed and immorality of the world.

So if you are feeling particularly smug and proud of your tax donations today, then you really do need to think again.

21 October 2010 at 17:12  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

As an after thought, it has occurred to me that something a Tory will find impossible to do is to distinguish between money and aid. And this is the root of it all.

21 October 2010 at 17:19  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

It's me again Your Grace. I thought I should at least put some effort into qualifying why I think it's all bullshit.

Dambisa Moyo is a lady who I hold admiration and respect for, and she has been trying to explain to the world for many years why DEAD AID does not/is not working.

DEAD AID - Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa.
Dambisa Moyo

In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse."

"In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer. Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which over reliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the “need” for more aid."

Dambisa Moyo - website

21 October 2010 at 17:41  
Anonymous Budgie said...

Cranmer said: "As His Grace is by your quotation of the impeccably authoritative Wikipedia."

Are you seriously contending that Prof Bauer did not hold the views contained in that one very brief quotation from Wiki?

If he did not, then please provide evidence. If he did then please avoid meaningless snide remarks.

Prof Bauer and myself are not the only ones who believe DfID type aid is immoral rather than moral, Jared Gaites gives another example above.

21 October 2010 at 18:33  
Anonymous Gerard Tibercross said...

Budgie has a point. If we devoted some of our defence budget to co-operative exercises with African nations, or in the case of Somalia failed nations, to protect their fishing grounds it would reduce both poverty and piracy.

For that we need aircraft carriers equipped with, er, er, helicopters.

Gerard Tibercross

21 October 2010 at 18:57  
Anonymous Michal said...

It seems to me the "it's not charity if it's from public coffers" is a rather convenient excuse for the rich (nations and individuals) to continue hoarding the money.

I, for one, am quite sure the hungry that will be fed couldn't care less, much like I am sure that western world in general is teeming with unnecessary wealth.

21 October 2010 at 19:25  
Blogger steve said...

Your Grace should remember charity begins at home.

Your blog post is another disappointment in a week of disappointment.

21 October 2010 at 20:14  
Anonymous Petronius the Pensive said...

I agree that 'Righteousness exalts a nation', however, the way I look at it, the nation is not 'the state' but rather the sum of the population. Two very different things.
Taxation is extorted from us under pain of imprisonment; it is not for the state to decide on our behalf how charitable they ought to be with our own money. Would His Grace feel edified if I were to demand, with grave and mortal threats, that he hand over to me the proceeds of his online donation fund, and, oh, by the way I promise I'll give some of it to charity? If that were to happen, would His Grace think to himself "I have been most charitable today", or "I have been robbed today"?

21 October 2010 at 20:46  
Anonymous Michal said...

Petronius, are you a starving Somali orphan with no prospect in life?

21 October 2010 at 21:13  
Anonymous Petronius the Pensive said...

May I also voice my concern at His Grace's (in my opinion, well-meaning but misguided) sentence,
"But not to the extent that the world’s poorest should pay for it".

This makes it sound as if the hard-pressed public have voluntarily donated their taxes to HM Revenue & Customs, with the exclusive desire and full expectation that their (ahem) donations will be spent on African aid, and now find to their dismay that their donations will be spent instead on national defence! Oh, the outrage!

Excuse me, but no, the poor do not "pay" as a result of taxes being spent on what they're supposed to be spent on in the first place. People in THIS country are already poor enough without the state extorting our income, and then adding insult to injury by saying "ooh look, haven't we been nice on your behalf, we've given your hard earned money to Robert Mugabe".

21 October 2010 at 21:28  
Anonymous Michal said...

The case I'd like to make here, that while many denounce international charity from public coffers as "unchristian" because it "forces people to give." What about corporations, firms, companies - persons by law only?

All taxation is forced - but if that's the issue, why have taxation at all? Why should we pay for anyone's healthcare, anyone's education, why should we even pay for anyone's protection? Let's disband the army and the police department - the rich communities can just build gates communities and, well, it would be unchristian to force them to provide protection for anyone else.

But that doesn't sound very Christian.

It is said in the Bible: "Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me"

How can then Christians be completely cool about the terrors of starvation, malaria, and all of that, and insist that it should be up to everyone's individual decision to provide or not provide the wealth necessary to amend those? I can understand the argument against extra taxation of personal income. It would make sense. But how many here seriously believe that any company will choose Christian values over profit? If it's unchristian that the money be levied from personal income of the citizens, then surely it can be levied elsewhere.

21 October 2010 at 21:35  
Anonymous Petr. the Pens. said...

"why have taxation at all? Why should we pay for anyone's healthcare, anyone's education"

Indeed, I completely agree. I see the NHS and state education as two complete wastes of public money. They provide nothing that the private sector could not do far more efficiently (and indeed, has done so, in the past - do you think there were no such things as schools or hospitals before the Atlee government?).

"Christians be completely cool about..." - we're not cool about such things at all. Your mistake is in thinking that people will only donate if the state forces us to. Not at all. I've given around £1K this year to Haiti and Pakistan, and my earnings are about £25K per annum, salary and self-employed earnings combined. I've also waived my (self-empl) fees for several of my customers this year because I knew they were struggling and I simply didn't want to burden them. Charity is alive and well, but it should be a voluntary thing, not a state-coerced theft.

21 October 2010 at 21:56  
Anonymous Michal said...

I strongly respect that donation, and it certainly serves to your credit. I respect your argument against forcibly using personal income for charity. As I wrote earlier, there are however other sources of revenue than personal income - there's corporations, companies, which aren't governed by Christian or other morals, but which ruthlessly seek to increase their profits while acting by the rules of the market. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, that's just how it works, and it's how wealth is created more effectively.

The 0.7% of British national income spent on international charity isn't much, and I suspect that a good portion of British national income comes from value added to labour of people in third world countries, often people who work at wages such as $44 per year. So, surely it's not unreasonable to take a negligible portion of income from large companies, and so to say, give it back to the world?

21 October 2010 at 23:37  
Anonymous ST said...

While I agree with most of the comments here which argue the aid budget is often squandered, I believe that misses the point.

Whether the money is well spent or not, it is the principle which is important. While I am a good enough Conservative to know reality trumps principle, how the money is spent is a different argument.

Based on the arguments put forward by many here they presumably also oppose increased defence spending, given the shambles which is defence procurement.

22 October 2010 at 02:55  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace makes an instinctive christian post . I have seen the change in view saying that some are not so sure if we actually needed two aircraft carriers , citing that jobs in certain constituancies were needed .

I perhaps disagree on one point in that it is goverments and natural disaters that creat poverty , having lived long enough to see once lauded national leaders leaving countries in poverty and opression whilst they retire to the best hotels and luxury yatchs.

The poor are always blessed by good governance even in times of difficulty, malthus not being breeched .

Trident causes so much difficulty with the electorare because now a whole generation do not recall , how communism had its invisble barricade . Thank god we never used it or russia for that matter. So is it a relic ? or comfort we no longer need? . The previous threat of communism had some english speaking origins namely Marx himself , ultimately its insolvability over rode the arms race , and we settled for diplomacy , but it was madeningly close in the 60s and 80s .

The new countries with nuclear arms have a different form of idealogical madness , racial even , rather than idealogical, they treat it differently to the dread we all knew of Hiroshima , to them it is a larger tool for settling acrimonious disputes , rather than big political weaponry .
we are not targetted by 1000s of warheads and russia is not targeted by us , the heat has gone as the arguments have proven unsolveable .

So the imagined scenarios are not of mutally assured distruction anymore . However I make a distinction between defence and being a bully , Trident makes those countries who have in a sense not grown up , think twice about being rash .

I can see that many dont see its relevence and yet not having it leaves you in a lesser position , which given our diminions and shared heritage is not really possible . I rather like being English if it performs that job and is not used , it is valuable.

22 October 2010 at 03:36  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Charity certainly does begin at home,it is the safe area to evolve any kind of morality,which can then be expanded to the wider world,however,indulging and preserving potential enemies,particularly in the horn of africa,so these poor mites can grow to be kolashnicov weilding savages is completely insane.How long have we carried africa?In the fifties africans came for an education,in order to improve thier own countries,and alieviate their peoples want,in the seventies they gave thier own people the finger and did not bother to return,as they were doing very nicely here exploiting our welfare system,and now most africans sit in thier own filth,looking pathetic, waiting for the next film crew to arrive and the handouts to begin,it would be much more charitable to abandon them completely and let them stand on thier own two feet,sink or swim,it is far too easy these days to not bother preparing your own pie,but rather travel and cut yourself a piece of someone elses,a rather large piece as the indigenous people of this country have found to thier life threatening cost.Was it not said in some economic theory,that in order to be of any benefit to those in need,instead of making one coat ,i must make two,for if we impoverish ourselves whilst salving our consciences,eventually we will all be in need and no use to any-one?Is daves cheque in the post,thought not,just us plebs then?

22 October 2010 at 08:19  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

What the blazes is going on?

‘Yes, His Grace is most definitely one; and, yes, he is as concerned as the next man (or woman) about aircraft carriers without aircraft, helicopters without rotors and guns without bullets.

‘But not to the extent that the world’s poorest should pay for it.’

Since when hath the poor of the world paid for our country’s defence?

‘It is disappointing - and some may say not unsurprising - that a ConservativeHome survey reveals that 70 per cent of Conservative Party members oppose the cut in defence by 2.3bn (-8%) at a time when the Government is increasing overseas aid by £2.7bn (+37%).’

‘And one also wonders if they bothered to consider for a moment that spending on overseas aid may actually mitigate the need for future military intervention through conflict prevention or help to deter the ‘export’ of terrorism or opium to these shores.’

How will a dozen loaves of bread to feed millions ‘… mitigate the need for future military intervention through conflict prevention or help to deter the ‘export’ of terrorism or opium to these shores’’ ?

‘The prioritisation of aid over defence is not simply a question of political economics but of moral justice.’

Och! Now we really are getting close to the truth; so that’s why the Chinese are all over Africa building bridges, roads, reservoirs; in exchange for oil, gas and metals.

Jean-Paul Getty was right: the meek might inherit the earth but they sure won’t get the mineral rights.

‘Charity does not begin at home…’ I beg your pardon? It is written ‘Thy shall love thy neighour as thyself’. If you cannot love yourself in the first place then how can you love your neighbour? Charity begins at home.

‘Yes, a lot of aid is siphoned off into the corrupt coffers of evil dictators to prop up their sub-Saharan sensual superfluity. But that is no fault of poor. It is for the rich to devise better systems of delivery to ensure that aid reaches those who are most in need,…’

From a Judaeo-Christian point of view it is the duty of the ‘rich’ to ‘devise better systems of delivery to ensure that aid reaches those who are most in need…’

It is true that, for example, the Cadbury brothers (Quakers) did so. But experince teaches that the rich are reluctant to release wealth. For to do so may mean reliquishing power. Many of the rich love their money. It is the love of money (not money itself) that produces evil.

22 October 2010 at 09:50  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘… it is incumbent upon us to manifest them to those who have neither…’ through taxation? If that be so (which it is) how then will you cure the love of money which is at the root of all evil?

‘If charity begins at home, our community and nation are deprived.’ How?

‘The decision to increase the budget for International Development is a fundamentally Christian ethic.’ I take it that the interest payments as part of the aid relief package is also pleasing to the Lord our God?

‘We should be proud that George Osborne has made the UK the first country in the world to hit the United Nations target of donating 0.7 per cent of its national income to the world’s poor by 2013.’ Why should we be proud? Why not give a tenth of our national income? That would humble us. But of course it won’t because if we do not give from our hearts we face imprisonment.

The repeated fact is it does not matter how much money you give to the Third World it is not going to solve poverty. If you want to alleviate poverty why doesn’t Osborne tell the European Union to eliminate the high tarriffs that suppress the selling of goods from the the Third World in the EU?

The poor do not want your charity, your handouts, your hand-me-downs; they want a level playing field so that they may increase in wealth; challenge their governments; draft constitutions and live as free men before God and man.

It is often said by so called ‘black intellectuals’: ‘They came here and took our land and in exchange they gave us the Bible.’

‘They’ may have given you the Bible but what did you, the Third world, do with God’s etrenal Word?

Put it on the shelf? Use it as a door-stop? Did you burn it?

What did the English do with it in the 13th century (Magna Carta); in the 17th century (the elimination of tyranny)? What did the Americans do with it in the 18th century?

What did Martin Luther-King Jr do with it: ‘Free at last, free at last; thank God almighty we are free at last.’

And when one day God opens the eyes of the Third World to His Word and the philosopher John Locke and they desire to fight in order to establish democracy: what will our government do? Throw loaves and fishes at them so that they in turn will throw loaves and fishes at their dictators?

Nay! We shall plead with our government to supply them with artillery, tanks and helicopter gunships.

Remember the sige of La Rochelle (1627-1628)!

Indeed! Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth God!

22 October 2010 at 09:51  
Anonymous OrigJapanese said...

To be honest, this news didn't really surprise me that much..

22 October 2010 at 10:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

Thank you for a very sensible view on this issue.

Doing good always rebounds to ones favour, eventually.

Yes, we need some better ways to ensure the money goes to the poor with less stealing by corrupt politicians/rulers, that doesn't mean we shouldn't give.

I would prefer if people gave rather than politicians on our behalf. I suspect politicians will try to twist the aid to enforce their own agendas and get feted when they visit poor countries.

But every little helps.

Chris

22 October 2010 at 10:24  
Blogger Stephen Wigmore said...

"Would you rather that the UK (a) give GBP 10 bn from taxes or (b) gave the same amount by allowing goods and services to that value into our economy?

I'd be most interested to read your view on this. Thanks"

Dear Epictetus,
To answer a slightly different question, I would much rather we engage in trade worth £10 billion of profit to that country than we give them the money in aid.

The dignity of helping a man stand on his own two feet through through honest trade is much better than receiving handouts.

I also think that it is best that we do both. Because there are desperate needs now that cannot wait for trade and infrastructure: famine, war, disease. We should be giving with one hand and helping our brothers and sisters across the world build their own economies through trade with the other. Especially by campaigning to get the EU to drop its appalling agricultural and trade policies.

22 October 2010 at 11:00  
Anonymous Budgie said...

It is not just the problem of the amount of money siphoned off by corrupt officials in third world countries (after all, EU money sloshed around Europe is siphoned off by corruption too) but the damage done to the indigenous population and their economy.

What would be moral is to trade properly with these people. What we do instead is: trap them into patented sterile seed systems (suicides in India); pinch the locals fish with industrial fishing for the promise of 'aid' (Africa); dump surplus food thereby bankrupting local farmers; and so on. Micro loans are a successful positive example that works with the local people, rather than displacing their efforts.

Of course, if disaster strikes, such as an earthquake, floods etc, then immediate and temporary state aid from the UK makes practical sense. Delivered, funnily enough, by those derided and cut back armed services.

But for ongoing poverty, oh no, rather than do the difficult things, the respectful things, the constructive things, the non-controlling things, we prefer to smugly and self righteously promote state aid via DfID. Such false conceit makes me sick.

22 October 2010 at 12:36  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Hang on, weren't you bemoaning the fact the other day that the overseas aid budget hadn't dropped?

22 October 2010 at 16:40  
Anonymous Budgie said...

Tony B said: "Hang on, weren't you bemoaning the fact the other day that the overseas aid budget hadn't dropped?"

I am not sure if you are referring to Cranmer there, or to me. If me, then I apologise for not making myself clearer.

My view is that DfID itself and its entire budget should be scrapped.

Some of the money thus saved should go to the FCO and the military so they can better respond to sudden disasters like earthquakes.

Long term alleviation of poverty is best achieved by trading with these third world countries fairly.

24 October 2010 at 01:14  
Anonymous tony B said...

I was referring to his Cardinalship.

24 October 2010 at 07:57  

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