Saturday, February 11, 2012

How Charming! They’re Even Wearing Shoes for Us!

Western civilization is afflicted with a horrible condition. It is one that debilitates the mind, poisoning international relations, enfeebling whole nations to anguish, wasted tears, hands chapped from self-flagellating wringing. Daniel Hannan can tell you all about it.
Congratulations to Rahul Bedi for putting into words what we all half-suspected: India neither needs nor wants UK aid. Such grants are outdated and patronising, he says, and encourage corruption. Indeed, Indians have 'become so contemptuous of Britain’s contribution that they accept it merely to avoid causing the Coalition embarrassment'. Ouch! Indians are a courteous people and Mr Bedi is perhaps too discreet to play his trump card: India's economic prospects are healthier than Britain's.
I call it the bedwetting of the morally vain. The nations at risk of this affliction are the donors, not the recipients, who seem uniquely unaware that the recipients suspect that the erstwhile missionaries of better-ness want to be called “B’wana”, and make them wear native garb for them, but parrot back stories about their good old days in Uni together.
Still, it's worth standing back and considering the big picture. We are borrowing money we don't have to send it to a country less indebted than our own. That country doesn't want it, but accepts it as a favour to us. The money encourages corruption without reducing poverty. Our relations are damaged in consequence.