Archive for the ‘International aid’ category

Bleeding Britannia

February 6, 2012

 Recently Brazil overtook Britain to become the world’s sixth richest economy. Brazil’s increasing wealth is mainly down to a combination of rising resource prices and relatively good economic management. And Brazil isn’t the only developing country experiencing high economic growth, even African nations are experiencing significant economic growth on the back of cheap communications, rising resource prices and Asian investment.

Meanwhile once wealthy Britain faces low growth, rising unemployment, and a worsening balance of payments position.

Which raises the question, should it’s government still be sending billions of pounds in aid money to relatively resource-rich developing countries?

Once a upon a time Britain did have significant resources of its own – including good arable land, regular rainfall, abundant fisheries and sizeable amounts of oil and gas. But thanks to centuries of population growth, immigration and consumption of fossil fuels, this crowded little isle can no longer be regarded as resource rich country. And along with a declining resource base, comes increasing vulnerability to unfavorable economic changes in other parts of the world. For example, futher problems with Iran, could cut off essential gas imports from the Middle East, while a resurgence of nationalism in South America could be a disaster for British mining interests.

Given the UK’s vulnerable situation, it would seem unwise to contribute to any form of overseas aid beyond emergency help for natural disasters.

At present, David Cameron still seems to have neo-con delusions about spreading British influence through foreign aid, but how long is such generosity likely to last in a lousy economic climate?

In tough times charity begins at home.

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