Bodj and his Cabinet Ministers have made a real dogs dinner of handling the Coronapop crisis. A second wave is coming, but this time it is not just the virus back again, it’s a financial tidal wave. Rushi Havesomemoney has had no trouble giving our money away, now he has got to claw it all back. Where on earth is he going to get it from?
Time for some bold, radical solutions. Time for the Last Laugh Looney Party to think the unthinkable.
We will start with a small Government Department —- the DFiD—- the Department of International Development. Something which I have some doubts about. Evidently so does the Daily Mail, which has a big front page spread on it this week.
The DFiD spends 0.7% of GDP each year. Is that a lot or a little? How do you make a judgment? My prejudice is that it a heck of a lot because Governments always spend a lot.
In fact in 2019/20 their budget was £13.4 billion.
Here are some more of my other prejudices:-
- we still think we are a super-power saviour of the world, but we are not any more.
- politicians like trips abroad and playing benefactor with our money.
- we have a lot of problems at home, especially in the aftermath of Coronapop.
- nonetheless we should help with third world poverty.
The DFiD’s mission is to “eliminate world poverty”, which seems rather ambitious, and “ to promote sustainable development”, which could mean just about anything. No wonder they a struggling. In the last year they have got through five Secretary’s of State and now they are being merged with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
They need to focus on a few issues and make a big and lasting impact. Rather than throwing our money around like confetti. Countries with big economies should look after themselves.
LET’S START WITH SOME FACTS. From the 2019 /20 DFiD annual report. This should make everything clear, especially when one of their proudly stated aims is “transparency “. So all I have to do is read 179 pages about what they have been doing with £13.4 billion in the last twelve months :-
- The first clutch pages are introductory waffle, full of glowing testament to how well they are doing.
- Then we have colourful infographics, which are more confusing than helpful.
- Next we have 10 strategic goals and 6 additional cross-cutting goals. I hope your still with me. “Cross-cutting” sounds like an important word“. It certainly confuses things even more.
- I am already losing the will to live and I haven’t found out anything useful yet.
- I expect there will be an executive summary soon, because I doubt the general public, whose money they are spending, will have time to read all 179 page.
- Still on we go with the structure of Departments; tables and tables of figures; more words about wonderful deeds; by country, by region, by policy and by every conceivable sub-division.
- Then the real meat! How much paper they used; how much water they consumed; how much waste they created and how it was disposed of. Unbelievably valuable information. You could be forgiven for thinking they are trying to confuse us.
- It is page 156 before I find any relatively straightforward tables of expenditure by country and by policy. Even then you have no idea of exactly what the money has been spent on and what has been achieved.
- The DFiD has 3,500 staff all on high salaries and gold plated pensions. In stark contrast to the people they are supposed to be helping.
I give the report a ZERO for transparency, which is what I suspect they are trying to achieve. So far the LLLP has come up with no savings !
I searched around a few other websites and found that very few countries meet the United Nations target of contributing 0.7% of their GDP. The European average is about 0.3%. So how can we be so generous, now that Coronapop has us almost bankrupt ?
So here’s a Last Laugh Looney Party script for a Bodj BBC broadcast introducing a new proposal for the DDiF :-
We will immediately start a review of all DFiD projects using the electorate, not the politicians. Each DFiD project leader, and there are a lot of them, must produce “a one page justification” of why we should keep spending our money on their project. The general public will have one month to vote on which projects they wish to continue to pay for. After that project funding will cease on projects that received less than 50% support.
Budget savings will be used to support poverty in the UK and to pay down the Coronapop debt mountain.
I will try some other Government Department next and use the same approach with them.