I never usually watch such things, but I quite enjoyed watching the ITV Leaders’ Debate, and Question Time. One topic which came up in both was the perceived need to cut the foreign aid budget. It’s UKIP policy, and seems to have found a real resonance in the elderly population of Norfolk, where QT came from. Nuttall (OMG, I’m reaching that age when these people are my contemporaries – how does he feel he’s got the maturity to govern?) said that the £12.1 bn spent on foreign aid would be much better spent on, well, almost anything.
Except he’s wrong. Yes, of course there’s inefficiency, and even corruption, in foreign aid. But the principle of foreign aid is sound. Apart from Jonathan Bartley’s point that it’s a disgrace that the world’s fifth-largest economy can’t spare actually what is only a little of its income on some of the world’s poorer parts, there’s no logic to the cut-foreign-aid argument.
In fact, logic surely dictates the opposite: if we help other countries develop well (fairly and sustainably), then we will de facto discourage emigration from those countries and immigration to our own. Is this not obvious?