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Oh dear… ODA… – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited March 12 in General
imageOh dear… ODA… – politicalbetting.com

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  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 17,384
    First.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,123
    edited March 12
    Perhaps there should be more of a case made for lobbying other large economies to raise their aid budgets to meet even our reduced proportion of GDP levels? We have gone from very generous to generous. Plenty don't make generous yet. France for example is only 0.44%
  • mwadamsmwadams Posts: 428
    This is compounded by the popular view of the 1% NHS pay recommendation.

    They are building up a reputation that is rather like the large company that cancels the canteen newspapers in a "cost cutting" regime. Everyone knows it makes no practical difference, it is too small an area of spending. You could shave a whisker off something with more budget (like exec pay in that case) and it would have less cultural impact, to more fiscal benefit. So it just builds up resentment, even though it is a comparatively small thing in and of itself.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 3,094
    We shouldn't cut it, nor should we have legislated for 0.7%, but at 0.5% we are still in the top tier of aid/development givers.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362
    edited March 12
    Aid agencies warn of massive looming famine in Yemen. Johnson is going to look great defending the aid cut to that country when Geldof is organising another Live8.

    Luckily the PM has Sunak to throw under the bus before he has to throw himself.

    Or he can u-turn.

    Philip Collins has a piece on this in last weekend's NewStatesman.

  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,542
    We should cut it further if anything and redirect it all to the global vaccination programme.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703
    I commented on this yesterday, but forgot to drop in the link - Union connectivity review:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968214/DfT-Union-Connectivity-Review-Interim-Report-March-2021-accessible.pdf

    Upshot: no NI bridge or tunnel (not even mentioned) but a UK-wide intermodal transport network is, and an enhanced air bridge between Belfast and other regional UK airports is, plus an upgrade to Holyhead port.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 30,538
    Was the 0.7% not a Tory manifesto commitment ?
  • AnneJGPAnneJGP Posts: 2,811
    I'd be interested to know how our spending on the Covax programme compares to the reduction. If we've spent an equivalent sum that way, then maybe the case for a reduction isn't so bad. It would be best to do both, of course.

    Good morning, everyone.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 26,712
    Does this mean BJ has given himself a wedgie?
  • eekeek Posts: 12,249
    Nigelb said:

    Was the 0.7% not a Tory manifesto commitment ?

    but the only manifesto commitments that matter are the ones that directly impact voters.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 36,987
    edited March 12
    MaxPB said:

    We should cut it further if anything and redirect it all to the global vaccination programme.

    I must say that for this coming financial year the scale of surplus vaccines we are likely to be able to give away is such that I really don't see this 0.5 v 0.7% being an issue at all. And quite right too.

    @Richard_Tyndall is right to point out that aid is generally in our own self interest anyway but I doubt that there has been a clearer example in history of that than getting as much of the world vaccinated against this pernicious virus as possible. Large pools of the virus untreated are an open invitation to variants and sooner or later one of these is going to undo the current vaccines at least.
  • Northern_AlNorthern_Al Posts: 1,393

    Interesting article. I hadn't heard about the proposed cut and I think it is a very poor decision. In purely practical terms, in the long run foreign aid helps the first world donor countries just as much as it does the third world recipients. It is short sighted on a grand scale. Of course it is also morally indefensible.

    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    I agree. And it's excellent to see you supporting Labour Party policy on Saudi Arabia and Yemen:

    https://labour.org.uk/press/lisa-nandy-comments-on-us-decision-to-end-support-for-saudi-led-operations-in-yemen/
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 26,712
    edited March 12

    I commented on this yesterday, but forgot to drop in the link - Union connectivity review:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968214/DfT-Union-Connectivity-Review-Interim-Report-March-2021-accessible.pdf

    Upshot: no NI bridge or tunnel (not even mentioned) but a UK-wide intermodal transport network is, and an enhanced air bridge between Belfast and other regional UK airports is, plus an upgrade to Holyhead port.

    Forgive my ignorance but how much attention does the government have to give this review? Would they welcome it as an excuse to dump some of their wilder imaginings (eg a bridge/tunnel) or plow on regardless?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 30,538
    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    Was the 0.7% not a Tory manifesto commitment ?

    but the only manifesto commitments that matter are the ones that directly impact voters.
    It might well make it easier for Tory MPs to rebel.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 11,569
    MaxPB said:

    We should cut it further if anything and redirect it all to the global vaccination programme.

    Would it not be possible to roll vaccines into the foreign aid budget?
    Would seem a sensible, humane and practical way out.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 3,331
    If they fail to get the change to 0.5% passed into law I expect that they'd see being dragged through the courts over the issue as a plus - massive amounts of extra publicity for the decision to cut the aid budget.

    In the event that they are eventually forced to spend the 0.7% this would still result in a large cut in spending, as a result of the fall in GDP, so I think they can use the cut in the cash amount to stay on the right side of the voters they want to impress with this.

    Where it gets tricky is with later years. Assuming GDP rebounds strongly then any spending linked directly to GDP will see a strong rise - at precisely the point that further tax rises or spending cuts may be necessary to cut the deficit.

    So if they make the cut to 0.5% in law now, I'd expect an attempt to cut that further to at least keep a freeze in cash terms later as well.

    This is our politics now - the Tories using a wedge issue like being miserly towards the poorest in the world to distract voters from their epic bungling on Brexit and Covid.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 23,546

    Interesting article. I hadn't heard about the proposed cut and I think it is a very poor decision. In purely practical terms, in the long run foreign aid helps the first world donor countries just as much as it does the third world recipients. It is short sighted on a grand scale. Of course it is also morally indefensible.

    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    I agree. And it's excellent to see you supporting Labour Party policy on Saudi Arabia and Yemen:

    https://labour.org.uk/press/lisa-nandy-comments-on-us-decision-to-end-support-for-saudi-led-operations-in-yemen/
    I would hope you would have learnt by now that I do not support any party but am happy to support good policies wherever they originate :)

    On this point Labour are absolutely right and it is a lesson other parties and politicians should have learnt far too many years ago.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,123
    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    The actions of the EU are not those of a goods exporting bloc. They are the actions of a nascent state, punishing a former partner who had the temerity to say "Nah mate, not for me...".

    Sorry EU exporters. You will just have to "suck it up".
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703
    It's unpopular because voters see it as virtue-signalling at their expense. They've noticed how hard some MPs will bleat about International Aid spending, but baulk at spending the same money on their own midlands and northern consistencies: it was no coincidence that it was cut by c.£4bn which was almost exactly how much went into the Towns Fund.

    I think the Government looked to repeal the 2015 Act, there would be a sizeable rebellion on it but I don't know how big. It would need to be 40+ Tory MPs for it to be defeated.

    The obvious immediate compromise is to agree extra "emergency" one-off aid funding for places like Yemen, on the basis the famine is a humanitarian crisis. The longer-term one is to make the target a rolling average over a 5 year period, which can fluctuate between 0.4-0.8% of GDP, that will at least reduce some of the annual waste, or to combine it with defence and foreign affairs spending and make it a 3% GDP international engagement target.
  • eekeek Posts: 12,249
    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 6,916
    eek said:

    Nigelb said:

    Was the 0.7% not a Tory manifesto commitment ?

    but the only manifesto commitments that matter are the ones that directly impact voters.
    2019 manifesto:
    We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on development, and do more to help countries receiving aid become self-sufficient.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    Of course at 0.5% we are higher than almost every other developed nation. What is the EU's equivalent figure? The USA's?

    Why are we carrying Yemen alone?

    The government should put in primary legislation that we will return to 0.7% Foreign Aid when the European Union and United States of America also reach 0.7% of Foreign Aid.
  • OmniumOmnium Posts: 5,419
    mwadams said:

    This is compounded by the popular view of the 1% NHS pay recommendation.

    They are building up a reputation that is rather like the large company that cancels the canteen newspapers in a "cost cutting" regime. Everyone knows it makes no practical difference, it is too small an area of spending. You could shave a whisker off something with more budget (like exec pay in that case) and it would have less cultural impact, to more fiscal benefit. So it just builds up resentment, even though it is a comparatively small thing in and of itself.

    NHS 1% increase is costing around GBP500m, the 0.2% rein-in of the aid budget is raising around GBP10b * 0.2/0.7 = GBP2.8b, so 5 or 6 times the amount concerned. (Think these numbers are roughly right, but they're just my guesses)

    It's an impossible balance to strike, but personally I think that we're better off being cautious and trying to keep the UK economy in as good shape as possible for a couple of years. If we can then soon we can go back to 0.7%. If the UK economy crashes then it could lead to many years of far less aid.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,542
    edited March 12
    eek said:

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
    Really very poor. It's a point that many, many people made. The biggest loser from trade barriers is the one who has the surplus and the EU has an absolutely gigantic goods surplus with the UK.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 20,725
    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.
  • AnneJGPAnneJGP Posts: 2,811

    Aid agencies warn of massive looming famine in Yemen. Johnson is going to look great defending the aid cut to that country when Geldof is organising another Live8.

    Luckily the PM has Sunak to throw under the bus before he has to throw himself.

    Or he can u-turn.

    Philip Collins has a piece on this in last weekend's NewStatesman.

    Geldof's efforts tapped into the generosity of individuals. Governments can possibly be excused for giving global anti-pandemic measures priority. It's hard for individuals to do anything towards those. Unless, of course, some other personality organises a vast effort to fund the necessary R&D.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    AnneJGP said:

    I'd be interested to know how our spending on the Covax programme compares to the reduction. If we've spent an equivalent sum that way, then maybe the case for a reduction isn't so bad. It would be best to do both, of course.

    Good morning, everyone.

    Covax should be included in the Foreign Aid budget, it is silly if it isn't.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 84,095
    edited March 12
    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 64,758

    Of course at 0.5% we are higher than almost every other developed nation. What is the EU's equivalent figure? The USA's?

    Why are we carrying Yemen alone?

    The government should put in primary legislation that we will return to 0.7% Foreign Aid when the European Union and United States of America also reach 0.7% of Foreign Aid.

    Other people not stepping up, if it is felt to be right, is no reason for us not to do so.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    edited March 12

    If they fail to get the change to 0.5% passed into law I expect that they'd see being dragged through the courts over the issue as a plus - massive amounts of extra publicity for the decision to cut the aid budget.

    In the event that they are eventually forced to spend the 0.7% this would still result in a large cut in spending, as a result of the fall in GDP, so I think they can use the cut in the cash amount to stay on the right side of the voters they want to impress with this.

    Where it gets tricky is with later years. Assuming GDP rebounds strongly then any spending linked directly to GDP will see a strong rise - at precisely the point that further tax rises or spending cuts may be necessary to cut the deficit.

    So if they make the cut to 0.5% in law now, I'd expect an attempt to cut that further to at least keep a freeze in cash terms later as well.

    This is our politics now - the Tories using a wedge issue like being miserly towards the poorest in the world to distract voters from their epic bungling on Brexit and Covid.

    How is the UK giving more in foreign aid than either the EU or the UK "miserly".

    We've gone not gone from "OK" to "miserly". We've gone from "extremely generous" to "very generous" instead.

    Pressuring the rest of the west to catch up with us at 0.5% would raise far more cash than us putting in 0.7% would.

    Even look at Covax. Aren't we proportionately giving twice as much to Covax as the EU are? Plus ca change
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 3,331
    It's basically shitposting as government policy.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 14,708
    edited March 12

    Aid agencies warn of massive looming famine in Yemen. Johnson is going to look great defending the aid cut to that country when Geldof is organising another Live8.

    Luckily the PM has Sunak to throw under the bus before he has to throw himself.

    Or he can u-turn.

    Philip Collins has a piece on this in last weekend's NewStatesman.

    If you actually look at some of the shite that DFID spends money on, you'd be aware that there's plenty for Yemen in the reduced figure. I suspect that the cuts there are either (shamefully) aimed at pleasing the House of Saud, or (still pretty shamefully) a departmental decision aimed at making cuts to its budget look bad - like the NHS closing maternity wards when its budget is cut rather than firing administrators.

    Apart from anything else, when figures were more transparent (you can't see where the money goes these days afaik) a large chunk of it just went straight to the EU. Assuming that no longer happens, that could feed everyone in Yemen very easily.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    kle4 said:

    Of course at 0.5% we are higher than almost every other developed nation. What is the EU's equivalent figure? The USA's?

    Why are we carrying Yemen alone?

    The government should put in primary legislation that we will return to 0.7% Foreign Aid when the European Union and United States of America also reach 0.7% of Foreign Aid.

    Other people not stepping up, if it is felt to be right, is no reason for us not to do so.
    Yes it is actually. With Covax we made our aid a "matching" scheme to get others to step up to the plate. By doing that we multiplied our own aid by bringing others into the pot with us, thus magnifying our investment and allowing far better results.

    Since we chose to do aid unilaterally others have reacted with a "bugger that, we have things at home to deal with, let the Brits deal with that" approach - which is why we are providing such a disproportionate amount of aid to Yemen. Because we've not carried anyone along with us. We've ensured we have no "soft power" to do so.

    If we make our aid "matching" like we did with Covax and bring others with us then that is a soft power we can actually wield that brings better results for those who need aid and better return on our expenditure.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 1,452

    I commented on this yesterday, but forgot to drop in the link - Union connectivity review:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968214/DfT-Union-Connectivity-Review-Interim-Report-March-2021-accessible.pdf

    Upshot: no NI bridge or tunnel (not even mentioned) but a UK-wide intermodal transport network is, and an enhanced air bridge between Belfast and other regional UK airports is, plus an upgrade to Holyhead port.

    That's going to be a separate report we can expect later:

    "I have also been asked specifically about a fixed link between Northern Ireland and the British mainland. To do this I have asked two experts, Professor Douglas Oakervee, CBE, and Professor Gordon Masterton, OBE, to lead a discrete piece of work, using engineering consultants, to assess the feasibility of such a link, and an outline cost and timescale for the link and the associated works needed."
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 6,643



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 37,076
    MaxPB said:

    eek said:

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
    Really very poor. It's a point that many, many people made. The biggest loser from trade barriers is the one who has the surplus and the EU has an absolutely gigantic goods surplus with the UK.
    The figures in the Guardian are a fall in exports of £5.6bn and a fall in imports of £6.6bn.
  • NorthofStokeNorthofStoke Posts: 831
    A nifty wheeze would be to siphon funds from aid budget into the NHS to cover the costs of poor un-insured foreign visitors and refugees.
  • Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 14,708
    FPT for @MarqueeMark

    rcs1000 said:

    Nigelb said:

    The biggest thing forcing the development of battery storage, though, is the rapidly falling cost of solar. It is becoming incredibly cheap compared with other forms of generation, and in places with the best sunshine, the marginal cost of electricity at noon is tending towards zero.
    That’s massively distorting very large energy markets, and the only solution is storage.
    https://twitter.com/Quicktake/status/1370169450901737474

    And is pretty much all imported from China.

    The UK has put £9 billion into wind and solar subsidies. It has caused £14 billion in imports into the UK. Supported so many jobs.

    In northern Europe and China.
    If you import $100 of solar panels today, it may prevent the import of $500 of oil and gas over the next decade.
    Or have a UK-based tidal industry that has $15 of imports and may prevent that same $500 of oil and gas.

    The efforts gone to in blocking UK tidal energy are a national scandal. It's still not too late to remedy that, whilstever people are talking about building new nuclear capacity here. Sizewell, for example. No way the economics of that stacks up against the Cardiff lagoon.

    But let's have a task force charged with discovering it. Charged with at least TRYING to make the case. Rather than starting out with the utterly wrong-headed "It can't be done - it MUSTN'T be done!"
    May I offer a tiny critique of your 'sell' (as I assume very similar representations have been made to ministers)? I am not a lobbyist, but I am a marketer, and these comments are made from a 'marketing to a specific audience' standpoint.

    The taskforce is a great model, as I think we discussed. However, I am puzzled as to why the taskforce is needed to discover benefits, as it seems from everything that has been said, that the benefits are already clear. The taskforce should be tasked with actually making Britain a tidal superpower. It cannot really fulfill an investigative role, as that would be expected to be impartial.

    There's a slight tone of exasperation (understandable) which I am sure is not present in your official communications, but I think your angle should be - this is inevitable. It will be your Government or an opposing one, we believe it should be yours.

    Again, I am sure this won't happen in your official comms, but it's probably unwise to rubbish nuclear, especially existing plans. Very complex commitments have no doubt been entered into on that score, so you'd just be rubbing salt into a wound. If possible, I'd try to find some ways that tidal will actually complement nuclear. And overall I'd adopt a positive tone about the wisdom of a varied portfolio of power sources.

    As some additional points (sure you have these covered, but still).

    There is surely a big 'strengthening the Union' angle here that should be hammered home. This is a big current preoccupation.

    Is there a Glasgow climate conference angle? That's a big thing, and ideally, an announcement would take place beforehand.



  • BromBrom Posts: 3,572
    Be interested to see what the December figures were, and of course Covid is the biggest factor but surprised that proportionately these figures are worse for the EU than the UK.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 7,277
    Just listened to Farming Today, and it does seem that English Waters use a higher level of quality for "A" and "B" type waters. ie moving the English "A" to align with an EU "A" will deal with at least part of the problem.

    The programme reports that this is not the case for Scottish Waters ie they are presumably aligned with EU standards.

    Sounds curious, but I would expect FT to have that right.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000sz9y at 4:50.
  • Northern_AlNorthern_Al Posts: 1,393
    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    I agree with your first four words. If I had a clue what the rest meant, I'd probably agree with that too....
  • kamskikamski Posts: 1,944

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    As you can't be bothered to look it up and even wonder if it is "anyone at all", Wikipedia says at 0.5% the UK would be lower than
    Qatar
    Turkey
    Luxembourg
    Norway
    Sweden
    Denmark
    Germany
    Netherlands
    India
    UAE

    So, still pretty good but slipping 4 places down the table.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 19,781
    So how many other countries spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid ?

    Still it allows the likes of those mentioned above that this country is 'saving the world'.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 32,492

    I commented on this yesterday, but forgot to drop in the link - Union connectivity review:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968214/DfT-Union-Connectivity-Review-Interim-Report-March-2021-accessible.pdf

    Upshot: no NI bridge or tunnel (not even mentioned) but a UK-wide intermodal transport network is, and an enhanced air bridge between Belfast and other regional UK airports is, plus an upgrade to Holyhead port.

    More road and rail upgrades in England that mysteriously benefit Scotland. I have no need for any more toilet paper, they can keep their lies. Laugh at upgrading Holyhead when nobody uses it now due to Brexit, makes a lot of sense.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 41,703
    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    Ok, but we can test the grandstanding here with the counter-argument: if cutting from 0.7% to 0.5% costs "hundreds of thousands" of lives then it stands to reason that having it at 0.7% rather than 1% also costs "hundreds of thousands" of lives, and we should spend more.

    So, if you're concerned about saving lives above all else then you should be arguing for an increase on the basis that the current level of spending is a tragedy. Otherwise you are innately conceding an affordability argument that you don't really want to engage in.

    I don't see much of that so I'm forced to conclude it's just grandstanding.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,542

    MaxPB said:

    eek said:

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
    Really very poor. It's a point that many, many people made. The biggest loser from trade barriers is the one who has the surplus and the EU has an absolutely gigantic goods surplus with the UK.
    The figures in the Guardian are a fall in exports of £5.6bn and a fall in imports of £6.6bn.
    Yes, the headline figures hide a completely different story. The EU has contrived to create a negative sum trade deal for both the UK and themselves with pedantry at the border and putting up export controls on their own goods to a major client.

    Given how our exports to the EU are geared towards impossible to stop services, I'm really finding it difficult to see how the EU putting up a bunch of goods NTBs will work out for them.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 19,781
    Data now available for new cases from the two types of test:

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=nation&areaName=England

    The big increase in LF tests seems to have added about 500 new cases per day.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994

    MaxPB said:

    eek said:

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
    Really very poor. It's a point that many, many people made. The biggest loser from trade barriers is the one who has the surplus and the EU has an absolutely gigantic goods surplus with the UK.
    The figures in the Guardian are a fall in exports of £5.6bn and a fall in imports of £6.6bn.
    It's not all about the balance of payments (though writing that gives me a pleasant retro buzz - in the 1960s it was all political people talked about!). If you and your hitherto fairly agreeable neighbour decide to stop speaking to each other, and up to now he's been talking a bit more than you, then arguably he's missing out more than you. But the fundamental point is that you're both missing out. Declining trade ulltimately means less consumer choice and higher prices.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 32,492
    moonshine said:

    I commented on this yesterday, but forgot to drop in the link - Union connectivity review:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/968214/DfT-Union-Connectivity-Review-Interim-Report-March-2021-accessible.pdf

    Upshot: no NI bridge or tunnel (not even mentioned) but a UK-wide intermodal transport network is, and an enhanced air bridge between Belfast and other regional UK airports is, plus an upgrade to Holyhead port.

    That's going to be a separate report we can expect later:

    "I have also been asked specifically about a fixed link between Northern Ireland and the British mainland. To do this I have asked two experts, Professor Douglas Oakervee, CBE, and Professor Gordon Masterton, OBE, to lead a discrete piece of work, using engineering consultants, to assess the feasibility of such a link, and an outline cost and timescale for the link and the associated works needed."
    Mumbo jumbo just promise them jam tomorrow bollox from lying toerags.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 11,569
    edited March 12
    Deleted. Link not working.
    Sky doctor guilty of doping.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,123

    FPT for @MarqueeMark

    rcs1000 said:

    Nigelb said:

    The biggest thing forcing the development of battery storage, though, is the rapidly falling cost of solar. It is becoming incredibly cheap compared with other forms of generation, and in places with the best sunshine, the marginal cost of electricity at noon is tending towards zero.
    That’s massively distorting very large energy markets, and the only solution is storage.
    https://twitter.com/Quicktake/status/1370169450901737474

    And is pretty much all imported from China.

    The UK has put £9 billion into wind and solar subsidies. It has caused £14 billion in imports into the UK. Supported so many jobs.

    In northern Europe and China.
    If you import $100 of solar panels today, it may prevent the import of $500 of oil and gas over the next decade.
    Or have a UK-based tidal industry that has $15 of imports and may prevent that same $500 of oil and gas.

    The efforts gone to in blocking UK tidal energy are a national scandal. It's still not too late to remedy that, whilstever people are talking about building new nuclear capacity here. Sizewell, for example. No way the economics of that stacks up against the Cardiff lagoon.

    But let's have a task force charged with discovering it. Charged with at least TRYING to make the case. Rather than starting out with the utterly wrong-headed "It can't be done - it MUSTN'T be done!"
    May I offer a tiny critique of your 'sell' (as I assume very similar representations have been made to ministers)? I am not a lobbyist, but I am a marketer, and these comments are made from a 'marketing to a specific audience' standpoint.

    The taskforce is a great model, as I think we discussed. However, I am puzzled as to why the taskforce is needed to discover benefits, as it seems from everything that has been said, that the benefits are already clear. The taskforce should be tasked with actually making Britain a tidal superpower. It cannot really fulfill an investigative role, as that would be expected to be impartial.

    There's a slight tone of exasperation (understandable) which I am sure is not present in your official communications, but I think your angle should be - this is inevitable. It will be your Government or an opposing one, we believe it should be yours.

    Again, I am sure this won't happen in your official comms, but it's probably unwise to rubbish nuclear, especially existing plans. Very complex commitments have no doubt been entered into on that score, so you'd just be rubbing salt into a wound. If possible, I'd try to find some ways that tidal will actually complement nuclear. And overall I'd adopt a positive tone about the wisdom of a varied portfolio of power sources.

    As some additional points (sure you have these covered, but still).

    There is surely a big 'strengthening the Union' angle here that should be hammered home. This is a big current preoccupation.

    Is there a Glasgow climate conference angle? That's a big thing, and ideally, an announcement would take place beforehand.



    Thanks for this. It's the economics that rubbish nuclear, not me.

    The strengthening of the Union argument only works in so far as there are jobs in the supply chain. The locations where the tidal range is big enough to support tidal lagoon projects are in England and Wales. Wales could be a net exporter of electricity. Not sure if that gives a head of steam to nationalists though! Their tides are certainly not the wasting asset of North Sea oil in Scotland, where paying to abandon all that platform and pipeline infrastructure risks hanging like an albatross round the neck of an indy Scotland.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994

    Aid agencies warn of massive looming famine in Yemen. Johnson is going to look great defending the aid cut to that country when Geldof is organising another Live8.

    Luckily the PM has Sunak to throw under the bus before he has to throw himself.

    Or he can u-turn.

    Philip Collins has a piece on this in last weekend's NewStatesman.

    If you actually look at some of the shite that DFID spends money on, you'd be aware that there's plenty for Yemen in the reduced figure. I suspect that the cuts there are either (shamefully) aimed at pleasing the House of Saud, or (still pretty shamefully) a departmental decision aimed at making cuts to its budget look bad - like the NHS closing maternity wards when its budget is cut rather than firing administrators.

    Apart from anything else, when figures were more transparent (you can't see where the money goes these days afaik) a large chunk of it just went straight to the EU. Assuming that no longer happens, that could feed everyone in Yemen very easily.
    To be clear, the money didn't go to benefit the EU, it went to the joint budget for overseas aid. So it's a real cut. It is certainly true that not being in the EU means we can control 100% of where we send the money. What do we do? We cut the amount sent to people literally starving in Yemen. The right to decide doesn't mean we make good decisions...
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 37,076
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    eek said:

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    If these are the percentage changes

    EU exports: - 38%
    EU imports: - 16%

    and that is a 38% drop in exports to the EU then how bad were our balance of trade figures with the EU?
    Really very poor. It's a point that many, many people made. The biggest loser from trade barriers is the one who has the surplus and the EU has an absolutely gigantic goods surplus with the UK.
    The figures in the Guardian are a fall in exports of £5.6bn and a fall in imports of £6.6bn.
    Yes, the headline figures hide a completely different story. The EU has contrived to create a negative sum trade deal for both the UK and themselves with pedantry at the border and putting up export controls on their own goods to a major client.

    Given how our exports to the EU are geared towards impossible to stop services, I'm really finding it difficult to see how the EU putting up a bunch of goods NTBs will work out for them.
    The EU's share of our goods trade is now the lowest it has been for decades.

    image
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    kamski said:

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    As you can't be bothered to look it up and even wonder if it is "anyone at all", Wikipedia says at 0.5% the UK would be lower than
    Qatar
    Turkey
    Luxembourg
    Norway
    Sweden
    Denmark
    Germany
    Netherlands
    India
    UAE

    So, still pretty good but slipping 4 places down the table.
    Is that how much they've committed to going forwards? Or how much they were doing in 2019 before the pandemic hit and making people check their priorities? 🤔

    But at least you can acknowledge it is "pretty good" and not pretending it is "miserly".
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 4,939

    A nifty wheeze would be to siphon funds from aid budget into the NHS to cover the costs of poor un-insured foreign visitors and refugees.

    It would look great on the side of a bus... "We send £15bn a year overseas. Let's spend it on our NHS instead"
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,676

    If they fail to get the change to 0.5% passed into law I expect that they'd see being dragged through the courts over the issue as a plus - massive amounts of extra publicity for the decision to cut the aid budget.

    In the event that they are eventually forced to spend the 0.7% this would still result in a large cut in spending, as a result of the fall in GDP, so I think they can use the cut in the cash amount to stay on the right side of the voters they want to impress with this.

    Where it gets tricky is with later years. Assuming GDP rebounds strongly then any spending linked directly to GDP will see a strong rise - at precisely the point that further tax rises or spending cuts may be necessary to cut the deficit.

    So if they make the cut to 0.5% in law now, I'd expect an attempt to cut that further to at least keep a freeze in cash terms later as well.

    This is our politics now - the Tories using a wedge issue like being miserly towards the poorest in the world to distract voters from their epic bungling on Brexit and Covid.

    How is the UK giving more in foreign aid than either the EU or the UK "miserly".

    We've gone not gone from "OK" to "miserly". We've gone from "extremely generous" to "very generous" instead.

    Pressuring the rest of the west to catch up with us at 0.5% would raise far more cash than us putting in 0.7% would.

    Even look at Covax. Aren't we proportionately giving twice as much to Covax as the EU are? Plus ca change
    Covax - 750 million, IIRC
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 19,781

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    Ok, but we can test the grandstanding here with the counter-argument: if cutting from 0.7% to 0.5% costs "hundreds of thousands" of lives then it stands to reason that having it at 0.7% rather than 1% also costs "hundreds of thousands" of lives, and we should spend more.

    So, if you're concerned about saving lives above all else then you should be arguing for an increase on the basis that the current level of spending is a tragedy. Otherwise you are innately conceding an affordability argument that you don't really want to engage in.

    I don't see much of that so I'm forced to conclude it's just grandstanding.
    Grandstanding from Andrew 'Britain will be an aid superpower' Mitchell ?

    :wink:
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    Here's the list. UK was up to now pretty good, but is opting to fall back below Germany.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_aid_country_donors
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,676

    Data now available for new cases from the two types of test:

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=nation&areaName=England

    The big increase in LF tests seems to have added about 500 new cases per day.

    Yes.... another way of looking at it -

    image

    the back-to-schools tests have create a small bump....
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994

    Interesting article. I hadn't heard about the proposed cut and I think it is a very poor decision. In purely practical terms, in the long run foreign aid helps the first world donor countries just as much as it does the third world recipients. It is short sighted on a grand scale. Of course it is also morally indefensible.

    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    I agree. And it's excellent to see you supporting Labour Party policy on Saudi Arabia and Yemen:

    https://labour.org.uk/press/lisa-nandy-comments-on-us-decision-to-end-support-for-saudi-led-operations-in-yemen/
    I would hope you would have learnt by now that I do not support any party but am happy to support good policies wherever they originate :)

    On this point Labour are absolutely right and it is a lesson other parties and politicians should have learnt far too many years ago.
    Yes, one of the nice things about your posts is that one doesn't know for sure what they'll say before reading it, unlike many of us! The point about the the arsonist fireman is absolutely right, and it's probably even worse to assist the killers than to reduce aid to the victims.
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 2,449
    HYUFD said:

    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud

    I'm also not sure that SKS would necessarily vote against such cuts. He surely knows this policy will be popular amongst "Red Wall" voters so coming out strongly in opposition risks having Labour portrayed (again) as caring more about foreigners than those in the UK.

    Also, if you look at the Tory MPs who are saying it should be kept are ones in middle class / wealthy seats, mainly in the South.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    Here's the list. UK was up to now pretty good, but is opting to fall back below Germany.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_aid_country_donors
    So we will remain pretty good?

    And that's assuming Germany don't have their own priorities post-pandemic? They've donated less to Covax than we have haven't they from memory?

    What have you got against the UK matching other countries to bring their amounts up?
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 26,712
    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    Give it a year or so and this government will be categorising arms sales as foreign aid.
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 2,449

    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    Give it a year or so and this government will be categorising arms sales as foreign aid.
    What a great idea.
  • kamskikamski Posts: 1,944

    kamski said:

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    As you can't be bothered to look it up and even wonder if it is "anyone at all", Wikipedia says at 0.5% the UK would be lower than
    Qatar
    Turkey
    Luxembourg
    Norway
    Sweden
    Denmark
    Germany
    Netherlands
    India
    UAE

    So, still pretty good but slipping 4 places down the table.
    Is that how much they've committed to going forwards? Or how much they were doing in 2019 before the pandemic hit and making people check their priorities? 🤔

    But at least you can acknowledge it is "pretty good" and not pretending it is "miserly".
    Why would I say it is "miserly"?

    As for your shoehorn in of Von der Leyen - ridiculous. Just shows how obsessed you are.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946

    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    Give it a year or so and this government will be categorising arms sales as foreign aid.
    Do you understand how credits and debits work in accounting?

    Since arms sales is money coming in to the UK, rather than money going out, how is putting that into the aid budget going to help?

    Unless we're giving the arms away rather than selling it. Which we'd only do as a form of aid I guess, but I don't recall us doing that.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    Perversely, losing the vote might not be a bad thing.

    If he loses it, that will mostly be due to Opposition votes. Yes, there will have been a rebellion and that's a bad look, but it means the issue stays live. Then it can be put in a manifesto and MPs told "back it or lose the whip".

    Suspect this will play well in the Red Wall areas. And with older people.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 23,546

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    Here's the list. UK was up to now pretty good, but is opting to fall back below Germany.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_development_aid_country_donors
    Not that it makes a material difference to the rankings or the points at hand but the US figure is substantially wrong. In 2019/20 the US figure was just a shade under $40 billion rather than the $34 billion listed. It does make me wonder about the other countries figures as well.
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 26,712
    edited March 12
    MrEd said:

    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    Give it a year or so and this government will be categorising arms sales as foreign aid.
    What a great idea.
    ‘We foreign aided those goddam Yemenis back to the stone age’
  • AlistairMAlistairM Posts: 232

    Data now available for new cases from the two types of test:

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=nation&areaName=England

    The big increase in LF tests seems to have added about 500 new cases per day.

    Yes.... another way of looking at it -

    image

    the back-to-schools tests have create a small bump....
    Given how many extra tests have been performed my only surprise is how small a bump it is. They are clearly tracking the LFD positives through to PCR tests as only confirming them when done as a PCR. Looking at the recent history about a third will be unconfirmed. Is that because the PCR confirmation has not been performed or has come back negative?



    To my mind the numbers are still falling and I would expect next week the trend will pick up again.

  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    edited March 12
    kamski said:

    kamski said:

    kinabalu said:

    Bit sad that aid for the world's poorest has been identified as a wedge issue in the war on woke but I think the author is right - it has. 0.7% was a manifesto commitment and it's utter bullshit that we now can't afford it because of the pandemic. The reason for the cut is pure politics and of the most poisonous type. They think Red Wall voters - as in generic term for working class Leavers who used to vote Labour - will see this and go, "Yeah, too right. Charity begins at home innit. Good on yer, Boris." I hope they're wrong. I hope this reductive patronizing pandering view of their voter base comes back and bites them in their fat cynical arses. So there.

    If it can be afforded then perhaps you can say which other countries are providing it? Is Macron? Von der Leyen? Biden? Anybody at all?

    Indeed who else is even matching us at 0.5%? Do you know? Do you even care?
    As you can't be bothered to look it up and even wonder if it is "anyone at all", Wikipedia says at 0.5% the UK would be lower than
    Qatar
    Turkey
    Luxembourg
    Norway
    Sweden
    Denmark
    Germany
    Netherlands
    India
    UAE

    So, still pretty good but slipping 4 places down the table.
    Is that how much they've committed to going forwards? Or how much they were doing in 2019 before the pandemic hit and making people check their priorities? 🤔

    But at least you can acknowledge it is "pretty good" and not pretending it is "miserly".
    Why would I say it is "miserly"?

    As for your shoehorn in of Von der Leyen - ridiculous. Just shows how obsessed you are.
    You didn't say it is "miserly" which is why I said at least you didn't. @LostPassword did use that word.

    Why is mentioning von der Leyen ridiculous? She could be leading to ensure that the EU as a whole meets 0.7% of GNI couldn't she, why is it ridiculous to bring it up? She's always banging on about "Team Europe" contributions to Covax etc, she could be seeking to get "Team Europe" up to 0.7% foreign aid - that you think it is "ridiculous" the EU could match the UK in generosity just goes to show how little respect you have for Europe.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,123
    Scott_xP said:
    "Shockwaves"? Only if you are very easily shocked.....
  • Richard_NabaviRichard_Nabavi Posts: 28,426
    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    Brilliant! I'm sure all those shellfish producers whose businesses are being totally wrecked will be delighted to hear that.

    Although, if you really want to compete with the Twitter trade experts, you might need to up your game a bit, and think about services...
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 32,492
    Scott_xP said:
    How can anybody be surprised, it was rather obvious.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 40,123
    Dura_Ace said:



    But one point that does need making about Yemen is that Britain providing aid to the country is like an arsonist fireman. As long as we continue to sell arms to and support the Saudi regime, they will continue to inflict horrors on Yemen whilst expecting Western countries to come in and provide relief. We set the fires - or at least provide the wood, matches and petrol to do so - and then act as the fireman trying to put them out. If we really wanted to do some permanent good in the region we would stop supporting Saudi Arabia and stop selling arms into the Middle East.

    It's fucking bonkers really. Like operating a joint Typhoon squadron with the QEAF (tories have no problem with Qatari flegs on RAF a/c) while using Typhoons to drop £800k Storm Shadows on ISIS Hi-Luxes in Syria and Iraq that Qatar paid for.
    You would rather hope that the Storm Shadows are taking out the occupiers of those Hi-Luxes, rather than the vehicles themselves. Or there are some Toyota dealerships looking nervously to the skies.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 7,277

    Aid agencies warn of massive looming famine in Yemen. Johnson is going to look great defending the aid cut to that country when Geldof is organising another Live8.

    Luckily the PM has Sunak to throw under the bus before he has to throw himself.

    Or he can u-turn.

    Philip Collins has a piece on this in last weekend's NewStatesman.

    If you actually look at some of the shite that DFID spends money on, you'd be aware that there's plenty for Yemen in the reduced figure. I suspect that the cuts there are either (shamefully) aimed at pleasing the House of Saud, or (still pretty shamefully) a departmental decision aimed at making cuts to its budget look bad - like the NHS closing maternity wards when its budget is cut rather than firing administrators.

    Apart from anything else, when figures were more transparent (you can't see where the money goes these days afaik) a large chunk of it just went straight to the EU. Assuming that no longer happens, that could feed everyone in Yemen very easily.
    To be clear, the money didn't go to benefit the EU, it went to the joint budget for overseas aid. So it's a real cut. It is certainly true that not being in the EU means we can control 100% of where we send the money. What do we do? We cut the amount sent to people literally starving in Yemen. The right to decide doesn't mean we make good decisions...
    Didn't Clare Short have an argument with the EU about the balance between joint / bilateral aid?

    I can't remember the outcome.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,676
    AlistairM said:

    Data now available for new cases from the two types of test:

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=nation&areaName=England

    The big increase in LF tests seems to have added about 500 new cases per day.

    Yes.... another way of looking at it -

    image

    the back-to-schools tests have create a small bump....
    Given how many extra tests have been performed my only surprise is how small a bump it is. They are clearly tracking the LFD positives through to PCR tests as only confirming them when done as a PCR. Looking at the recent history about a third will be unconfirmed. Is that because the PCR confirmation has not been performed or has come back negative?



    To my mind the numbers are still falling and I would expect next week the trend will pick up again.

    The LF tests are known to have a higher false positive rate - hence backing them with a PCR.

    About a third sounds right
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,542

    MaxPB said:

    Fwiw on trade - our trade deficit with the EU narrowed in January. They lost more export value than we did, and that's with the UK not fully implementing customs checks.

    I'm not sure that a goods exporting bloc of countries imposing tougher trade terms on a goods importing nation will work out to the benefit of the first party. Then again, I only do this professionally for a living, those Twitter people have their blue ticks.

    Brilliant! I'm sure all those shellfish producers whose businesses are being totally wrecked will be delighted to hear that.

    Although, if you really want to compete with the Twitter trade experts, you might need to up your game a bit, and think about services...
    However you cut it EU exports to the UK are down by £6.6bn and UK exports to the UK exports to the EU are down by £5.5bn, it's what many of us suggested would happen.

    So you can bang on about minor issues here and there but one day soon you'll have to admit the sky hasn't fallen in, the world has kept turning and ultimately the EU isn't as all powerful as you'd like everyone to believe.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994



    So we will remain pretty good?

    And that's assuming Germany don't have their own priorities post-pandemic? They've donated less to Covax than we have haven't they from memory?

    What have you got against the UK matching other countries to bring their amounts up?

    Sure, we are moving from "pretty good" to "just above average". It's bad but could be worse. We're also reprioritising and flirting with classifying some defence expenditure as foreign aid. And we're assisting in Yemen in making the problem worse.

    Nothing against offering what we do give as matched funding, though.

    On Germany, I follow the German press, and haven't seen anything about that - I don't think it's an issue for the main parties there, as the CDU is more moderate and less populist than the British Conservatives.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    Cyclists, cheating?

    Next you'll be telling me F1 teams deliberately try to alter the rules to their own advantage.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 23,546
    One interesting, and I think valuable, way to look at these numbers is in terms of spend per capita. Currently the UK spends $284 per person per year on Foreign aid. This puts us in 7th place on this measure behind Norway ($812), Sweden ($701), Luxembourg ($609), Denmark ($447), Switzerland ($441) and the Netherlands ($328).

    Cutting to 0.5% of GDP would drop our contribution to around $202 per person per year which will also put us behind Finland ($234) and Germany ($215)

    Personally looking at that list of countries I would very much suggest that is a club we would like to emulate.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,994
    mwadams said:

    This is compounded by the popular view of the 1% NHS pay recommendation.

    They are building up a reputation that is rather like the large company that cancels the canteen newspapers in a "cost cutting" regime. Everyone knows it makes no practical difference, it is too small an area of spending. You could shave a whisker off something with more budget (like exec pay in that case) and it would have less cultural impact, to more fiscal benefit. So it just builds up resentment, even though it is a comparatively small thing in and of itself.

    Yes, it's a good parallel. FWIW, my phone canvassing is largely picking up apathy at the moment, but the feeble nurse pay raise is being mentioned spontaneously quite often.
  • BurgessianBurgessian Posts: 811
    So wife can go for an evening stroll but husband has to stay at home. Seriously?
  • kjhkjh Posts: 3,100
    HYUFD said:

    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud

    HYUFD said:

    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud

    Doing the right thing is more important.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362
    So in the Wales they plan to reopen the pubs but stop men going out after 6pm?

    Have I understood this right?

  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 53,946
    kjh said:

    HYUFD said:

    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud

    HYUFD said:

    92% of Conservative voters back overseas aid cuts.

    At a time when savings need to be made cutting back overseas aid spending closer to the G7 average is an easy saving to be made and the government would look weak if it abandoned that now

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2020/11/25/two-thirds-britons-support-cutting-foreign-aid-bud

    Doing the right thing is more important.
    Indeed.

    Saving the UK economy and getting other countries to match our spending in aid is the right thing. 👍

    Spending for the sake of spending is not.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,542

    So in the Wales they plan to reopen the pubs but stop men going out after 6pm?

    Have I understood this right?

    The idea is completely ridiculous.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 55,439
    Mr. Burgessian, it's utterly nuts.

    But, people are happy to see men as perpetrators, even though they're far more likely to be the victims of violent crime than women.

    Luckily, rapists and murderers are well-known for their fear of law breaking so they'll definitely not defy a curfew. Especially if the streets are half-empty and most of the people out are women.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 23,546
    edited March 12

    So wife can go for an evening stroll but husband has to stay at home. Seriously?
    At least the Green Peer this morning on Sky had the sense to say that she wasn't actually serious about her suggestion and it was in response to comments in the Lords yesterday that women could best protect themselves by staying at home. She said she made the remark to highlight how one sided the whole argument was and to stimulate proper debate.

    Actually suggesting it might be done is shear lunacy and I suspect would be opposed by just as many women as men.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 3,331

    So wife can go for an evening stroll but husband has to stay at home. Seriously?
    Perhaps you could let the husband out as long as they are chaperoned by their wife?
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,362

    So wife can go for an evening stroll but husband has to stay at home. Seriously?
    We've had some wild overreactions during covid but this is a new low.

    Can we at least wait until the facts surrounding this sad case are established before coming up with wild policy proposals?

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