June 26, 2005



But...but...they need money. If we don't send money then we're starving the children - and killing the old people - and contributing to the AIDS epidemic!!!


Is there any evidence that Nigerian rulers have squandered aid money, rather than their state's vast oil wealth? Or would would that be too complicated?

David Vance


Too true - just keep sending them the money so some liberal halfwits can then wonder if was squandered or not. There's one born every moment....


Good stuff David - mock others for simplfying the problem while at the same time refusing to examine it at anything more than a superficial level.


Would it have been better for Nigeria had Britain not granted it independence in 1960?

The Troll

Geldoffs other half Bono was on Meet The Depressed this morning with Tim Russert and he actually made the statement "that corruption was Africas #1 problem" and he praised the US for tieing a lot of our money for aid to countries that have a program of reform. He did then qualify these statements by saying that some countries must be shown mercy and we should give to the corrupt nations also but we should probably use independant NGOs on the ground.

I love the way these people want to spend our money. He called for a Billion dollars from the US to kill mosquitos and then said 4 Billion would also solve the water purification problem.

The Troll


It's gets better - I'm pretty sure that as an artiste Bono pays no income tax in the Banana Republic, so he's bravely coming out in favour of taxing everybody else to pay for this latest folly.

David Vance


You're right. Bono's earnings on work generated via "artistic output" is tax free. Meanwhile, it's EXTRA taxes for those of us on a less lofty plane. That makes St Bono an EVEN bigger hypocrite than St Bob.



I think it is right to raise searching questions over what happens to the fair sized aid budgets that western governments set aside for Africa - and the long term effects of locking African farmers out of the free market system.

It's important to note too that debt relief is often not popular with target countries themselves, because it has a detremental affect on their international credit rating for future development.

There is little doubt that aid at the moment is having little effect in addressing corruption - indeed as the ST story indications it may be providing more icing for the cake. Nor that too much mainstream liberal opinion is formulated with too little reference to what Africans themselves think.

However, unlike David et al, I'm not opposed to aid per se, particularly where it is tied to clear and specfic targets. A blanket approach to the various forms of human distress in Africa won't work. That includes blanket non-intervention.

One of the problems for the anti-aid lobby is that it gives the impression that somehow the problems will sort themselves out through exposure to the private market. In the meantime, Aids, malaria, measels, pneumonia and gastroenteritis are laying waste to generations of Africans.

When all is said and done, Africa still needs investment. If that only comes in the form of private investment with no attempt at public and regulatory reform, private business can get itself into all manner of nasty moral and ethical problems.

In the case of Aids alone some employers in South Africa calculate that they need to take on three people to one job to accommodate the seriously high mortality rates from the disease amongst their workers.

Surely opponents of blanket aid can come up with a more nuanced alternative than moralistic condemnation of their political opponents?


"One of the problems for the anti-aid lobby is that it gives the impression that somehow the problems will sort themselves out through exposure to the private market. In the meantime, Aids, malaria, measels, pneumonia and gastroenteritis are laying waste to generations of Africans."

Exactly. The privatisation and entrepeneurial ethos which some believe will "sort things out" inevitably will take time. Personally I think that adherence to thatn ideology that thinks that way squanders lives and moreover, doesn't really seem to care that it does.

The Troll

Music aid won't help but Regime change in most african countries would.

David Vance

Quite right Troll.

The probelm with our nuanced and sophisticated leftist friends is that they can understand everything but the problem. And the problem in Africa is that democracy and freedom have not been permitted to flourish post-Independence. Instead African tyrants take the aid, and use the blankets so generously provided by the West, for their own rotten purposes.

Throwing fuel on a fire is unlikely to dampen the flame but perhaps that is not sufficiently nuanced a thought? By the way, I never said I opposed Aid per se. I oppose Government given aid to tyrannies. There is a BIG difference. Time to make Tyranny history - The Troll is right.


Sorry if I misunderstood David, but it is not difficult to misinterpret. What would you suggest could address the problem of "democracy and freedom have not been permitted to flourish post-Independence"?

David Vance

Several reasons.

1. Post Independence, Africa was infested by sub marxist tyrants. Guilt ridden liberals turned a blind eye to them and threw Aid at them so they would feel good. Ring any bells?

2. Those African regimes that practise widespread human rights violations need to be dealt with by OTHER African countries. Mbeki is a good example of a total failure who is indulged by the West. Poor persecuted Zimbabweans are scared to flee across the border to SA so instead they fly across the world to the UK. Why? Don't tell me the rainbow nation sin't quite the paradise in earth some pretend. When Mbeki stays quiet about Mugabe's abuses we should condemn here and question the bona fides of his regime.

3. Africa can learn to stand on its own two feet without aid. If it needs help to overthrow tyrants - the West should be there. If it needs technical or scientific support the West should be there. If it needs free market access, the West should be there to help by ending the CAP and US barriers.

Africa needs our moral support when it seeks to establish democracy. It does not need pious popstars warbling on without an ounce of wit in their megalmaniac minds. LIVE8 is a farce and I reckon Geldof is the enemy of freedom in Africa. Now then....can you set that to a tune...?


I've not really followed that very well David. The only specific policy you mention is the one ending CAP and US trade barriers. The others look like they might be aid of some discription - specifically targeted. Which is precisely where I came in on this conversation. If so, what was it in my post you were disagreeing with?


Eek, comment spam! Look out David this is ugly stuff - best nipped in the bud early!


I was reading earlyer that Nigeria is in the top 3 corrupt nations in the world, if the money was misused I wouldn't be surprised...
Interesting read too



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