Three cheers for overseas aid

I am glad the UK spends money on ships and equipment that go to assist countries facing flood and tempest. I am in admiration of our medics and armed forces when they sometimes go to help treat and contain dangerous infectious diseases abroad. I am pleased the UK as one of the leading and richest countries of the world helps alleviate and tackle poverty in the developing nations.

The UK should set out what it can do and what it is good at, and should be generous where need arises and where we have the means to help. I want to see reform of our budgets and our activities in these areas so we achieve more with better value for taxpayers.

I went along with the Conservative leaderships’ support for hitting the 0.7% target of GDP, though I have misgivings about such targets. I do not think we should commit to spend a certain proportion of a fluctuating and usually growing number. We should decide on spending on a case by case basis and against our general budget background. We do not pledge to spend a fixed proportion of GDP on health or education or policing, but look at those budgets in the light of needs and costs. I trust the government will now repeal the 0.7% pledge in our law codes.

Labour will doubtless oppose such a change. They averaged under 0.4% of GDP on overseas aid in their period in government 1997-2010, despite pretending to support the international commitment to spend around twice as much as they managed. They never explained why during all those years they did not do what now they say we must do. Those who want to see more overseas aid spent might do better to lobby the EU and its member countries who spend together well below the 0.5% the UK is now indicating as a new temporary level.

Last year the UK again spent 0.7% or £15bn on overseas aid. £10bn of this was spent on projects and activities we chose along with the recipient country in so called bilateral aid. The balance of £5bn was spent by our giving the money to the EU and other multinational bodies to spend as they saw fit in so called multilateral aid. As we leave the EU it is a good time to bring our overseas aid spending back in house and decide on how we can best help those in need. We should also look at the full support we give, which goes wider than the items allowed under international conventions to be called Overseas Aid. Some of our Defence expenditure is aid, being used to help bring peace to strife torn countries and providing assets to tackle disasters.

I want us to identify the areas where we have most expertise and can do most to help. Maybe the UK should specialise in a few areas like the provision of clean water to each home, the provision of primary education to all girls as well as boys in poor countries and the roll out of programmes to tackle infectious diseases.

We should follow certain guidelines. The money should for preference be spent in the country we are trying to help, using as much local labour and skills as possible. Where we need advanced country inputs these should usually come from people and companies based in the UK. We should work on the principle that it is better to teach a hungry person to fish and farm for themselves rather than sending them food parcels. The aim is to get countries out of poverty, not into dependence. More trade is often of more help than more aid.

It will be great to see us achieve more by concentrating our efforts in areas where we have most to offer, harnessing public and private sectors together, and taking control with more programmes we run for the benefit of the poorer countries. .

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Charity for worthy and needy causes is good; I’m sure most if not all your readers give generously. BUT, if giving first required a trip to the bank to negotiate an overdraft for the amount to be given, how many would do so? This is the position of the UK under a Conservative government.

    • Bob Dixon
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Could not agree more.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Totally agree–Can’t say I ever see much along the lines of gratitude–This is the sort of thing we should have a referendum on. Who on Earth cares what the likes of privileged Cameron thinks?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Let’s just be honest about what most “overseas aid” is.

      It’s blood money, for the ravages that the British Empire inflicted on these countries and their peoples.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        What an odd idea.
        Are we responsible for the ex Belgium Congo?

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        And what about the advantages we ‘inflicted’ on them? Not a word about any good we have done.

        I agree that the British taxpayer should have a say about the money they are forced to pay for this.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      You’d only borrow to fund a business you had a great deal of confidence in (I hope). Do it as part of a business deal or don’t do it at all.

    • Norman
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Sadly, this is so. If we are rich now, it seems this is only in credit-worthiness. However, I applaud the good intent, and deplore mean-spiritedness. The principle of overseas aid is worthy of a nation such as ours, that has received so much, and given so much to the world. Certainly, we shall ‘have the poor with us always’. It seems, though, our current folly will make us poor also. I’m sure we are all grateful for those few in Parliament seeking to buck the trend.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      First real Tory move in years.
      Hugely popular amongst the taxpayer and so hated by the luvvies.
      Now get us out of the EU properly and I may consider giving you my vote.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      I do not.
      Charities have played a large part in bringing us to this pretty pass.
      And think…would any charity actually want to solve the problem that they use to justify their existence?

      • Man of Kent
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        Good point !

      • anon
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        It does seem some people in positions of influence might take advantage of situations like PPE and charity status.

        Perhaps the NAO should have a set % of the budget to oversee it.

    • turboterrier
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      +1 Exactly

      What I wonder is the percentage this country really gets back in reciprocal business?

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink



      Yes, it is easy to give other people’s hard-earned money away at no expense to oneself….and seek personal accolades in the process (guess who – Mr 0.7% GDP giveaway?)

      “Charity begins at home, and any surplus provided to those in real need”

    • Wrinkle
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      How is it that JR cannot tell us or find out how this aid is accounted for, how the money id found, how it’s spent, who is paid enormouse amounts of money inside the aid policy, if at all, or can really show all the aspects of aid.

      He doesn’t do so, so perhaps secrecy wraps around it all – JR, tell us what it is all about, if you can or dare!

      • hefner
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        What about you doing a bit of reading. You go to
        and you look for past reports called ‘Department for International Development, Annual Report and Accounts’.
        These reports are available each year, usually have between 150 and 200 pages, and those in relatively small fonts.

        I guess you might learn a few things from these readings about the questions you ask Sir John to find for you.

        Obviously it might be a bit more demanding than reading a DT, DE or Sun article.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          Would you give this advice to your alter ego, Bull?

          • hefner
            Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

            Obviously, it never hurts to learn a bit more about a topic before commenting on it. I am sure you do exactly that before writing any of your posts, don’t you?

        • Wrinkle
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          That’s good hefner – thanks. I would never have known this without your post. This is my point – this info should be well known to the populace by the media, one’s own MP so that we can be informed otherwise how would I know what to Google? I haven’t yet done so – I wonder if it shows the actual results of aid.

        • Wrinkle
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          hefner – the first dept. cannot be found.
          The second seems only to show the money spent to all the countries, nothing about results of course.

          Nothing to address the point of my post.

          Do you have any links showing actual results of aid?

          • hefner
            Posted November 28, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

            I agree it is often tough to get information on results of UK Aid as it is distributed to various charities (Practical Action, WaterAid, WSUP, …) or semi-‘governmental’ companies (Adam Smith International, …).
            A site often good at providing (some) information is

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Disaster relief is one thing but the regular giving of taxpayers’ money to corrupt regimes where it is unlikely to benefit those in need should be stopped.

    • Peter
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I am reading David Cameron’s autobiography during lockdown. He is really keen on the 0.7% figure.

      He talks about the value to Britain of what he calls ‘soft power’.

      I imagine aid recipients agree with the word ‘soft’ but probably see Britain more as a ‘soft touch’.

      I don’t think it is the business of government to ‘take money from poor people in rich countries and give it to rich people in poor countries’. Charities and NGOs are also stuffed with overpaid cronies. Political patronage rules. David Milliband and the laughably-named International Rescue is but one example.

      I do have more sympathy for those in countries blighted by natural disasters – earthquakes, floods etc than the feckless in countries where a little application goes a long way.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        But when there is an earthquake in NZ – no aid
        Fires in Oz – no aid
        So no aid for our kith and kin, to which we would each voluntarily contribute. Aid is like Spending JR, best left to people to ascertain what is commendable and what is affordable, it’s a Market solution.

        • Fred H
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          And a lot of the voters urged Government to make significant assistance. Suddenly it all went quiet.

        • glen cullen
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          They’ll never build a fire break or spend money themselves while the international community funds it

  2. SM
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I am completely in favour of international disaster relief.

    What I would like to see is verifiable proof that Foreign Aid, from whatever ‘rich’ country, has actually had a lasting and convincing positive effect on the beneficiaries.

    • Wil Pretty
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Giving presents is tricky. Only if you know what item the person needs will it will stand a chance of not being wasted.
      I would not consider sending a donation to that person’s council. I do not think they would percieve that to be of much benefit to themselves.
      China subsidises the postage of all packages sent from China to the UK.
      Using the UK aid to finance such a scheme for the UK would benefit both recipient and supplier.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink


    • Andy
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Why do you need to see proof? Because when you are presented with proof you will disbelieve it anyway. You no doubt accept the Daily Mail agenda that all our aid goes on Chinese space travel and Ethiopian pop groups. Actually, our aid is fully audited and is incredibly well spent. At least it was by DFID – which the pensioners have abolished. Against the advice of everyone who knows anything about aid.

      U.K. aid does all the things you demand it does. It goes on disaster relief. It helps feed those on famine. It treats those who face disease. It helps communities stand on their own two feet – by doing things like building schools, providing clearly water, teaching different farming techniques and so on. Most importantly it helps save the lives of some of the sickest children on Earth.

      But you choose not to believe the people who actually go there and run these projects and who see the difference they make. You choose to believe a Daily Mail journalist who has never even been to Africa and has barely ever left Surrey.

      • SM
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        I never read the Daily Mail, Andy, so I don’t know who your customary vituperation is referring to.

        Do you know that more than 52% of UK aid goes to unaccountable bureaucracies, many of them bits of the UN, noted for their incompetence? also to the World Bank, the Asian and African Development Banks? Do you know that some of the UN charitable agencies spend more on administrative costs than on disbursement of funds? Do you have even the slightest comprehension of the corruption in most African countries that ensures that little of our money ever gets spent on the truly needy?

        You choose to believe in a fairy-tale world because it makes you feel good, but it’s not one that has many links with reality.

      • Jasper
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Andy I would like to believe you on this occasion but why then do some countries still not have clean water for their citizens??

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      agreed. However, funding projects where the recipient country spends on Space, Nuclear weapons, fast jets and does little to assist its poor should not be part of the Aid.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        So true – can’t understand why MPs can’t see it, unless its a bung here a bung there

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      So right Fred, however I also query why the billions that have been poured into Africa never have any effect. Its like pouring tar into a coal mine, never visable.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

        Ah. but it probably stays in Africa for nano-seconds before transfer offshore or to Switzerland.

  3. matthu
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government will now repeal the 0.7% pledge in our law codes.”

    I thought the idea was simply to adjust the percentage down? Marginally? This should be a matter of principle: does government enshrine into law the amount they will spend. If they do, then why not on education, on policing, on health? And if they do, then why do we elect MPs?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Why have a legally binding limit at all it should be set monthly depending on the circumstances pertaining. How can we know know that 0.5% will be right in a years time?

    • Andy
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Education gets given a budget. This budget does not change when the economy collapsed by 11%. The same with health, defence and so on.

      Uniquely international aid is set as a % precisely so spending goes down when times are tough. The aid budget is being cut anyway because the Tories have made such a mess of the economy.

      Mr Redwood’s party is just cutting it further because the posh public school educated pensioners don’t like foreigners. It really is no harder than that. They don’t like northerners either – but the northerners haven’t figured that out yet.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Spending is rising.

        As are votes for the Conservative Party from voters in the North

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      You seem far more concerned about this money than about the cost of home-grown crime in the UK, which is many times bigger.

      Furthermore the UK’s pro-rata crime rate is twice the European Union’s average, so if that could be got down to the same level, then that would save several times the amount spent on aid.

      But you’d rather deprive poor children in the ex-British Empire of education, it appears.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      My understanding is that this is the only government expenditure that is enshrined in law.

  4. DOM
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Foreign aid facilitates international politics and international trade. It is has no more purpose than that. It’s certainly not an expression of human compassion for those less fortunate. All is political in today’s Britain.

    It’s also very revealing that our esteemed blog host should remain silent on the duplicitous and cynical farce of the fisheries bill that gained royal assent this week.

    Anyone taking even a cursory glance at this piece of Parliamentary chicanery will be immediately struck by the bill’s fundamental purpose, a bill not to right a wrong but to facilitate a climbdown by a party, indeed two parties that no longer serve a useful purpose in either a moral or social sense.

    It’s now ever so easy to deceive the public who have greater worries to contend with at present like for example how they can confront the poison of authoritarian intervention from the Socialist political class of which the Tory party and all their MPs are by association with Labour

    I’d like to see a moment in politics that opens they eyes of the despised, targeted majority who then kick back and reject the Tory-Labour deception we have seen since 1990. Maybe new oppressive laws lobbied for by the race and religion lobby criminalising private conversations between adults could be that moment of realisation?

    Hopefully, soon before these two vehicles of deceit and contempt do more damage to this once precious island and our world

    Reply I have urged Parliament to take control of our fish and build a new domestic industry and published some of that.

    • Simeon
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      And why did you have to urge the government to do this? Because it has no intention of doing so! Something I’m sure you understand very well. A cynic might suggest that all your lobbying and speechifying, of which you keep us very well informed, is entirely self-serving, because you know it will make no difference to policy, but it will keep up the appearance that you are a champion of Brexit, or liberty, or whatever other ‘good cause’ is relevant at the time. Isn’t it actually the case that if you truly were a champion of these causes that, instead of remaining in the Tory Party and enabling the assault on these causes, you would have left that party allowing and enabling you to stand against those that are enemies of Brexit, liberty, and any other decent and good causes?

    • Nigl
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      As ever well off topic contributing zero to it just another chip on the shoulder personal rant.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The fisheries bill was nothing more than straightforward capitulation to the EU – MPs should be ashamed of themselves for supporting the bill …..if only the people knew and the media reported the facts

    • Hope
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      JR, in that case you miserably failed.

      The Fisheries Act allows EU countries to register their boats here and take their catch home by boat or road! It still has quotas, i.e. No change from current position but enables your dishonest govt to say it co trolls the quotas!

      Same deceit for your latest mass immigration policy. While at the UN Julian Braithwaite brags how the U.K. Is the second largest contributor for the UN Migration Pact. A former Blaire speech writer, the govt that went out of its way to encourage and get as many immigrants to the U.K. as possible! Conservative govts around the world will not touch it, like Australia or the US. But then we do not have a conservative govt do we.

      Giving away billions while Johnson and co ruining the industry, the economy and jobs by the millions- good plan! Glad you are in touch with the population!

      No cases in West Bay, yet placed in teir two! Follow the science my arse.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        +1 words again fail me

    • Wrinkle
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      ‘Reply I have urged Parliament to take control of our fish and build a new domestic industry and published some of that.’

      Oh, that’s good then, no worries!

  5. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I think that on an issue as serious as the Government’s policy on Climate Change the voters should be consulted and a referendum should be held, the proposal will fundamentally change our Energy supply and Boris Johnson is steamrollering this through Parliament, should not the voters have a say on this?

    We had a referendum on the EU, this was a Democratic vote although some people still seem unable to accept the result!

    I don’t remember the subject being mentioned at all in the run up to the last General Election, I certainly would have had serious concerns about it, Boris seems to have fallen headlong into the Carrie Symonds Honeytrap.

    Starting a business supplying horse drawn vehicles and candles would appear be a good move😳😳

    The voters must have a say!

    • Andy
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      People are too thick to be consulted on complicated issues. As Brexit showed.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        True – you should never be consulted. Voted for the abolition of the UK didn’t you? Subservience to the Germans, and you have no inkling of who they are.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Ah the left and its hatred of the voters writ large .

      • Fred H
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        what was complicated? Leave or Stay! What part of the tick only 1 box did you find so hard? I suppose your generation has got used to multi-choice questions that completely throw you?

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

        ‘People’, of course, would include you Andy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed nearly all the sensible physicists and engineers I know and read think it is at best a huge exaggeration and at worse blatant corruption that is hugely damaging on balance.

      CO2 is simply not a significant problem, there is no reason to suppose a climate Armageddon is round the corner, CO2 on balance probably does more good than harm anyways in greening the planned and increasing crop yields as does a slightly warmer planet. Historically we have a dearth of CO2 currently.

      Anyway, even if you go along with their deluded religion, the solutions they propose electric cars, hydrogen trains, wind, PV, cycling and the likes do not even work in making any significant difference to world CO2 output anyway. They just export jobs, freeze OAPs, destroy whole industries and export the CO2 production.

      It is as insane and hugely damaging doing far more harm than good, just like the current insane lockdown.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Climate policies, similar to the attitude to the EU, do not give voters a choice. All parties follow the same script so dissenting voices can not pick a side.

      So you are correct about or “People’s vote” on climate policies it is the only way we will get a say to stop the ever greater costs being foisted on us in the name of climate.

      Our MPs have even started to use the marketing phrase, emergency themselves.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        We would lose such a vote but the numbers voting against might just give our political parties pause for thought. They wrote off those wanting to leave the EU as “swivel eyed loons” before losing a vote to such loons.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Yesterday evening peak generation wind supplying 1.04%. Still we go ahead shutting coalfired power stations.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Ian, Madness on a truly horrendous scale.

      • Hope
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Another appointment to the govt. of Princess Nut nuts in the papers today.

        Last year princess Nut nuts and Johnson went on holiday to the Caribbean, not known who paid for it, when the NHS was overwhelmed. He did nothing. Well, he stole the phone of a journalist who showed him a picture on the floor of a overcrowded hospital to prevent him answering a question on it!

        Jenerick sent out to tell us about the rules and how we should follow them. The man who broke the law that he and his govt made!

      • anon
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Expected and forecast, alternative plant were made available coal in winter is used. We should look at retaining older power stations as reserve capacity as profitability of new new fossil fuel plant is risky. Foreign state ran nuclear being the excessively expensive and risky option.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Today at morning peak wind is supplying 1.04 % of demand.
        0.49 gigawatt.
        Won’t this be good when we all have electric cars.
        Idiots in charge of energy policy are the same as the ones that are bankrupting the country with lockdown.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

          Maybe Africa can send us some sunshine as Aid when we are destitute – ie for Christmas?

      • Sea_Warrior
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        I’m hoping for an early black-out. The sooner the government’s policy is shown up for the stupidity that it is, the better – and the cheaper it will be to repair the damage.
        P.S. Zero wind outside my house as I type this. I have the GCH on.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

          +1. We need a quick wake up call before they trash everything.

      • Mike Durrans
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        I second that question, it seems to me a problem of most politicians not having a scientific or engineering mind. They have not the intelligence to see the pitfalls.

        Like ! How many years until the saving of a Teslar battery exceeds the energy used in its manufacture, its certainly not “GREEN”

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Re Johnson.
      I would imagine this was the plan all along.
      Use Brexit as a vehicle to gain power.
      Unseat the gullible or complicit Brexit Party.
      And then embrace the globalist agenda.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        He’s casting around for anyone to run the country – anyone, Carrie, Cummings, the UN, the ‘scientists’, the EU is out of the frame – that has penetrated his Covidhead.
        He had no plan. He had no reason. He had no politics. He just wanted to be PM.

        • glen cullen
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

          We don’t have a President, we have a Prime Minister with 22 members of the Cabinet, 1922 committee, a Chairman of the Party and the ERG – he’s not alone

          They’re either with and support him or are against him….I don’t hear anyone in Parliament

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink


    • oldtimer
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      You are right. This policy is being imposed by ministerial decree at the demand of Symonds. There is a report out today stating that electric cars must travel over 50,000 miles before they make a contribution to reduced CO2. This is caused by the processes to make their batteries in the first place. As many if not most will be used in urban environments and lack range their journeys are likely to be short and the years required to exceed 50,000 miles many. It is yet more confirmation of useless virtue signalling in order to put thousands of hard working people on the unemployment scrap heap. Johnson must go.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink


      I believe most candles are now made from paraffin wax. That part of your business would be at risk.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink


    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Fully agree on a referendum on green polices especially since the Tory manifesto almost never mentioned it but is pursuing it with vigour

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        +1 and all those who vote in favour can turn their heating off and surrender their cars.

        • glen cullen
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

          hear hear

    • Christine
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Watch – Matt Ridley: Working Class Sacrifice At Altar Of Green on Reasoned last week. He’s one of the few who talks common sense on climate change. Why don’t we see a proper debate on the subject on the mainstream media? If Boris’s plan is feasible, which I doubt, let him defend it. It’s wrong that our country is being forces down this road without consent.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink


    • DavidJ
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      The Climate Change Scam is exactly that; started by the use of falsified data and untenable projections. Sadly too many swallowed the lies and allowed the situation that we now face. Of course as Everhopeful says it is a tool of the globalists who want to break us financially, restrict our freedom and eventually kill us off to meet their population reduction target.
      Will they volunteer to give up their own lives in pursuit of that policy? Of course not.

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Fully agree

  6. Mark B
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We are so rich we are forced to borrow money to give to other countries. And no one in Westminster sees a problem with that. Good help us !

    We have been giving money in one form or another to these so called developing countries for over half a century and they are still wanting more. Perhaps someone should ask if throwing money at it really is not the solution as it clearly does not work and just let these countries get on with it ? Sooner or later they will work it out.

    I do not remember ever being asked if I consent for my government to give borrowed money away. Certainly not when we are on the cusp of great economic hardship ourselves, that money can be better used at home.

    But is just someone else’s debt, so who cares ?

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Wise words which reflect the views and sentiment of the country – MPs just don’t get it…its not there money

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        They are like Corporatists. People who run a company but have none of their own many at stake. MPs think they owe their place to their Party machines and then the State.
        The BDI reverses that. Reestablishment the dependency of MPs on their Constituency.

    • Hope
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      To countries who choose to be nuclear powers, have space programmers and China who caiused a world wide catastrophe with an appalling human rights record and breaking international law treaty over Hong Kong!

      It makes me feel wonderful that my descendants not yet born or thought about will pay for JR’s lunacy proposal.

    • Dennis
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Mark B
      JR -no comment.

    • DavidJ
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      I worked in Africa in the 70s. Foreign aid typically spent in Zambia, airfreighting 6 top of the range Mercedes for government ministers.
      Buying busses from East Europe which were left hand drive.
      Scrapping a wood shaving boiler supplying a saw to cut pit props with a diesel driven one requiring expensive fuel and a Foreign technician to operate it and having a mountain of sawdust after a year.
      There are many more examples.

  7. Bob Dixon
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    If parts of the UK needs to catch up with the South East then we should use the 0.7% to do so.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Do not imaging the South East is that much better off. Wages may be slightly higher but if you pay double for your rent or on your mortgage you are often no better off.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        But you tax free asset (house) is worth more so no downsizing required when you leave the snake and cash it in.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          It is not tax free you have to earn the money to buy it and pay tax on it. Only the gain is tax free and many fine they pay 40% IHT on that. Plus you have stamp duty at up to 15% when you buy or move house.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 28, 2020 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

            Plus pay tax on the money to pay the mortgage interest, improvements, insurance, maintenance and the capital gain (tax free only for your main residence) is often just an inflation gain and not a real capital gain.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink


    • hefner
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      An interesting report: ‘UK Regional Productivity Differences: An Evidence Review’, Research Paper, Industrial Strategy Council, February 2020, 63pp would appear to indicate that even the 0.7% spent on ‘the North’ would not be enough for it to catch up with London and the South East. Figure 1, p.5 shows clearly why.
      The summary and conclusions (p.58-63) might give some hints …

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    It really comes down to spending sensibly and efficiently on sensible things that benefit people significantly and give value for money. Alas governments are usually hopeless at this, or usually they are not even trying to do this. Not their money nor they who benefit so what do they care? So we get lots of waste, incompetence, mad projects and corruption. Rather like most of the rest of government.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Jeremy Warner today:- “If we don’t reform the public sector now, we never will.
      Throwing ever greater quantities of money at an unreformed state is inefficient and unfair.”

      The wealth creating sector can no longer carry so many essentially parasitic workers. With the debt levels they now have plus all the endless red tape, taxes, admin and expensive energy that government strangles and suffocated them with.

      Above all the dire monopoly NHS that has performed appallingly and has killed tens of thousands. Germany has had about 1/4 of the Covid deaths. Not just Covid death the NHS are causing either as we can see clearly from the statistics now as so many normal procedures and screenings have been cancelled.

      The government have failed to consider the damage done by the lock down they no seem to want to racing into vaccinating millions without considering the positives and negatives of this fully.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      An excellent paper by Dr Mike Yeadon, Dr Clare Craig, Jonathan Engler and Christian McNeill a link on They are surely spot on. Please replace the dire Sage committee with these people and more of the Lord Sumption, Prof David Livermore, Prof Sunetra Guptra, Prof Carl Henegan types.

      PCR-based COVID testing has failed and is not a proper basis to lockdown the nation, let alone decide on tiers for restrictions. Briefing paper for MPs – 26th November 2020.

      But without Sir Kier Starmer’s support sanity cannot be restored.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        If 70 Tories vote against the Blonde’s ‘tiers plan’ and Labour supports it, they are dead in the North. I urge every Tory MP to rebel! You all now know lockdowns don’t work! You can’t enter lockdown in tier 1 and come out after a month in tier 3 and think the lockdown has been successful.
        Scrap the whole Blonde idea!

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I agree. Apart from lining the pockets of aid ‘volunteers’, I’ve always maintained that with so much corruption around, some of the money (not all I grant you) is given by poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.

  9. Simeon
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    No comment on the continuation of a national lockdown via regional measures, meaning no need to consult Parliament (not that this would make the damndest difference)? Presumably because it is such an obvious and predictable development.

    The truth is that this government is treating the people of this country with utter contempt. The truth is that you support this government. You are what you support, and so the inescapable truth is that you, Sir John, you are treating the people of this country with utter contempt. How heavy does this weigh on your conscience I wonder? Or has an adult life lived in UK politics ridded you of this awkward inconvenience?

    Please defend yourself. Tell me I’m wrong – without resorting to the claim that you are attempting to moderate policy from within, a demonstrable failure of a strategy with a dismal track record stretching back decades. If such a defense is the best you can muster then I can only conclude that you are claiming innocence on the grounds of insanity – which itself would be a transparently cynical ploy. Again, show me I’m wrong.


    I have provided a running critique of lockdown and made many suggestions on better ways of handling the virus. I voted against when we finally got a vote. I will write again about next weeks vote.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Not much JR (and the 80 or so on the sound wing) can do given Labour’s idiotic position and that Boris/Queen Carrie have fallen for the second lockdown lunacy “experts” (without even quantifying the damage done by this). Plus we have the appalling NHS, state monopoly, health care system about four times worse than the German one.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      You see..people, me included, are getting desperate.
      Why is nothing being done about about it all?
      It was a few weeks to flatten the curve…and now look!
      And now there are thousands of drs and scientists who agree with that! And they are being ignored.
      Ergo…it is all very fishy.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        It’s plain and simple madness. Where is the 1922?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.
      Indeed unlike many including my local MP, you made a proper critique and voted against rather than bow down to the party mantra.
      We have a few cases here in West Oxfordshire, around 87 I think. Most of these are believed to be students whose parents live here (and therefore so is theit “base”) but who are actually away in Manchester, Liverpool etc.

    • J Bush
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Reply to hosts reply.

      I am pleased to hear that at least some of the politicians are voting against this abuse of the peoples freedoms and rights.

      Sadly, I suspect my own constituent MP will adopt her usual ‘sheep’ position, wring her hands make platitudes and vote for it.

    • beresford
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The only coherent way forward is the Great Barrington Declaration. But there is a suggestion that the Government are creating mass unemployment so they get support for another tenet of the Great Reset, theft of all private property by the State in return for a universal basic income.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Simeon, John is not responsible for the decisions of his party. He can only do so much on his own. He does have support from others but more of these people need to be in the cabinet making the very important and final decisions on policy. I for one am grateful for even one small voice in the dark.

  10. Pominoz
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    There are numerous pensioners living in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and various other places around the globe (but not the EU, USA etc) who are desperately in need of overseas aid to rectify the injustice of a frozen state pension, towards which they have contributed on a par with UK (and favoured countries) resident pensioners. These unfortunates have suffered dreadful discrimination, in many cases, for decades.

    It it well past time that this gross injustice was rectified. Take half a billion £ from what is no longer being given to the EU and put matters right once and for all.

    P.S. Great speech which you transcribed yesterday. Sincere thanks

  11. Stred
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Tim Martin has published various articles about the lockdown disaster in the Weatherspoons magazine. The opening cartoon shows that almost all of the ministers have non scientific or vocational degrees from Oxford University. It is no surprise that these deluded metropolitan duffers devise top down arrogant and incompetent policies, such as a fixed amount of borrowing to fill the pockets of foreign despots and wrecking the economy by building windmills and scrapping cars or moonshot testing using the wrong sort of test.

    It would be a good idea to bar any Oxford graduates from government unless they have a successful record in other work prior to entering Parliament or the civil service.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      We need to bar everyone from the Commons unless they have a successful record of other work. No civil servant should ever be allowed to stand.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Thatcher went to Oxford.

  12. Andy
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    U.K. overseas aid does immense good. It is incredibly well spent and, ultimately, it ends up saving us money on other things.

    We must also be very clear. Children will die as a result of this decision by billionaire Rishi Sunak. A decision to break a promise he made..

    The Conservatives stood on a manifesto promise to commit to 0.7%. They are now breaking their promise to the most desperate people in the world.

    They will try to justify it in their own minds but when they vote for this cut they will be voting for poor children to die. Shame on every last one of them.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      By that logic having overseas aid at 0.7% and not say 0.9% or 9.0% of GDP has also been ‘killing children’. In fact why not have the whole budget given over to overseas aid wouldn’t that save the maximum number?

      Keep up the fatuous righteousness it serves to keep the left out of power. Everyone sensible can see what nonsense it is.

      (Sunak is far from being a billionaire).

    • Edward2
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Still more than your beloved EU spends.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Says Andy from Mablethorpe. 😂😂 have you ever been in a plane?

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Just one thing. Rishi Sunak did not make the decision. David Cameron did, and he is worth a few million.

  13. Nigl
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Agree totally. Bi lateral must be the way forward, giving it to multi nationals is a just a means of shovelling it out taking away the need to find project ourselves but still virtue signalling we have spent it.

    Equally it must have measurable outcomes.

    We need the aid badged U.K., a feature of the EU is they trumpet their support to infrastructure, arts, restoration projects etc across Europe.

    There should be an annual report as companies do, sent to households and on line detailing Where the money is spent and performance against above mentioned outcomes. Currently although there is a website it all lacks transparency.

  14. Simeon
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Reply to reply

    It is only polite and fair to acknowledge the effort you made to reply. But what you say amounts to the claim I anticipated, and which I argued was inadequate – that you are attempting to moderate from within. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you vote against the government. But to be clear, firstly, voting against the government is a tacit admission that moderation has failed, and second, it makes no difference to what actually happens. So you achieve precisely nothing, whilst the government you continue to support carrys on.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      If enough MPs vote against the Government, the Government does NOT carry on. That’s the whole point. Each MP is only responsible for his own voting record.

    • dixie
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      @Simeon – So what is your solution?

      BTW saying “vote for UKIP” or “vote for Farage” is neither enough nor a solution.

  15. Dave Andrews
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Money taken from me whether I want to contribute or not. Why can’t the government trust me to employ Gift Aid for worthy causes? Then there’s all the money they collect to spend on those who don’t have a job, never had a job and have no intention of getting one either.
    The government’s not so compassionate if I refuse to pay up – then they send round their bovver boys.

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Our current aid spending is equivalent to £10 for every household in UK per week, £500 per year. It is too much. Polling says 66% support the cut overall, (and over 90% of Conservative voters) so I don’t know why some Conservative MPs are arguing about it at all – who do they think they are impressing ?. My plan would be to include a tick box on the PAYE forms so people can opt in or out to extra aid payments beyond a base level.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Tick box opt-in idea is excellent. And for ‘green energy’ too, and the NHS, BBC as well.

  17. formula57
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    So £15 billion can be squandered on all manner of bad causes and no doubt some good ones but pre-Marcus Rashford, we could not spend c.£0.5 billion seeing many of our own school children receive proper nourishment?

    Now Baroness Sugg is unemployed, perhaps she might re-train as a school dinner lady so she can see for herself where UK taxpayer funds are needed?

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      She might see where she is needed, but the Rashford bashers don’t want to sort the problem out.

  18. Iain gill
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    John, I am being held under house arrest, prevented from working, prevented from travelling, told to bow down and clap to the national religion the NHS.
    Please send help.
    The days of this ruling class of clueless public school idiots are coming to an end, there is going to be a revolution.
    Don’t be surprised.

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    We have home charities and overseas charities.

    Our electorate can choose to contribute via these vehicles. No need for the government to show how nice THEY are with OUR money (and money WE have to repay to the banks who are charging interest).

    Scrap foreign aid for all but disaster relief, those disasters should be defined to avoid mission creep.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:37 pm | Permalink


  20. Sea_Warrior
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    The words of your fellow MPs, spoken yesterday in defence of the foreign aid budget, show how hopelessly out of touch they are. It’s time that our foreign aid to other countries – many of whose inhabitants are too lazy to even dig latrines – was comprised solely of charitable donations. Borrowing-to-give shouldn’t be a feature of any rational government.

  21. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    If we are one of the ‘richest countries of the world’, Mr. Redwood, why do we borrow so much money. If someone is rich they don’t need to borrow money.

    My neighbour earns £400 a week. He spends £450 a week and £50 of his spending is given to a charity whose chief executive earns £200k a year. He borrows money to keep going. Is my neighbour rich?

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Your neighbour is a fool

    • Dennis
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink


      JR – no comment

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Indeed, it is better to teach a hungry person to fish and farm for themselves rather than sending them food parcels.

    Even better to teach them to fish and farm for themselves and then send us their extra food in return for the teaching.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      Why would they fish and farm when they know we do it for them? We are their servants. They know it.

  23. GilesB
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    More trade is often of more help than more aid.

    This is so important. Our trade with developing countries must emphasise support for entrepreneurs with opportunities to move up the value chain – not the exploitation of raw materials and cheap labour.

  24. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I’ve been bunging a few quid to Water Aid for 30 years or more. When is Africa going to have enough wells and pumps?

    • Sea_Warrior
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Me too. I stopped my donations as soon as Cameron decided to splurge on foreign aid.

    • SM
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      There are many places in S Africa that suffer from water shortage, but drought is not the sole reason, although it’s an important one.

      Proper provision and maintenance of wells, dams, pumps and pipes is vital, but pervasive corruption has rendered many authorities financially incapable of fulfilling their duties. Both illegal settlements and legal townships are overcrowded, sanitation is frequently almost non-existent and even were water butts physically possible (because of lack of space), they would risk being pointlessly damaged during the many protests that take place.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Water Aid is the last charity I would contribute to .
      Plenty of pictures dirty water in dirty holes but nothing about how to get clean water from a new borehole to the greatest number of people .
      This can only be done with the aid of grid electricity, but as this involves using local oil or gas or shock,horror, the ghastly coal we do not fund this sort of development.
      Carrie , Stanley , Rachel et al would simply not approve .

      Until our overseas development budget encourages local investment in grid electricity we merely provide peripheral help.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Mike, I always look at the salaries of the CEO’s before I give. The Salvation Army pay very moderate wages to their staff and the equilivent of their CEO only earns £15k with housing included in the package. Other staff receive around £12k with housing. This is very different from the other main charities. Water aid pay their CEO £128k and that was in 2016, Wellcome Trust £445k in 2017, Anchor Trust £420k in 2015 and the National Trust £179k in 2012. Obviously these salaries are alot more now. I only give to the Salvation Army now and I was surprised to see that even Children in Need pay their CEO £134k. As you say, Water Aid have been going for years and yet they are still no where near providing clean water to everyone. Better to go direct to where the money is needed and help locally to improve things for people. John, I am not against helping others but there are better ways to do it through trade etc especially when we are paying interest on money we have to borrow to contribute in the first place. All I seem to hear from the opposition is more, more, more money for this that and the other. Then they moan about our deficit. For goodness sake where do the think the money is coming from?

      • dixie
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        AGree, I used to volunteer for Age UK but stopped when I discovered the uncharitable salary the CEO was getting on top of his funded jollies abroad.

        I now limit my giving to Salvation Army, SSAFA and disaster relief specifically, eg the Australia Fire, and generally via Shelter Box.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Never! Stop the dd.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I’ve been donating over 40 years and to countries that burn our flag and would see us destroyed….and yet we keep giving and giving but it doesn’t or hasn’t made any difference (but made us poorer)

      • Fred H
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        May I suggest ORBIS instead, who fly in a custom plane with teams of eye operating specialists volunteering and training locals to acquire the skills. Potential blindness is such a distructive condition for families, education, working, supporting the generations.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

          Yes my neighbour FRCS a hand specialist ‘volunteers’ his services to the 3rd world, he’s never available for the British and his NHS salary is paid on the dot. I don’t call that volunteering!

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Water Aid admit spending up to 28% of donations on raising income.

    • Backofanenvelope
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      You have put your finger on the basic problem. We have poured billions of pounds into African countries. We should admit we have failed and get out.

    • Mike Durrans
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Mike, good question, simple answer! Never, as your money never pays for wells etc, it does fill executive pocket though.

      I called a cynic!!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Never. They haven’t heard of maintenance, they know when the pump breaks down they get a new one

      • glen cullen
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        And thats the problem, they get it for nothing and expect another for nothing

        • roger
          Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          Why is it we see only women and children fetching and carrying dirty water over long distances between source and home?
          Where are the men and why do these unemployed layabouts not pick up a shovel and modify the water sources?
          Why should I support the feckless?

  25. Richard1
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I heard a good idea advanced by Jacob Rees-Mogg. Put half the overseas aid budget into investments in recipient countries and make these investments the seed of a national wealth fund which could also then serve, inter alia, as a sinking fund to cover Covid debt. Investment in viable enterprises is far more useful to such countries than just handling out cash which fosters dependency.

    I’d add one proviso: make sure the investments are private sector led, not just made on the whim of some bureaucrat. Follow a lead investor. The Future Fund which the govt have established to fund early stage businesses in the U.K. in this crisis would be a good model.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Sorry perhaps this should be edited to say [named government minister]

  26. formula57
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    There really should be no cheers at all, never mind the extravagance of three for we know from the work of Professor Peter Bauer in the 1970’s that foreign aid does not usually benefit development so the developing countries will remain in that condition.

    But now the professional aid lobby has abandoned development and switched the objective to providing welfare, making results and accountability all the harder to monitor and the outcomes more futile save doubtless for sometimes granting temporary relief.

    And we have witnessed the truly immoral and repugnant behaviour of some professional aid workers who think food for sex is a worthy exchange. The British Government did not even pause its funding to those people.

    Still it is only £15 billion and the Treasury can get the Bank to print it.

  27. Nigl
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Ps I trust you will remind your virtue signalling colleagues who allegedly will be voting against the forthcoming cuts, that they are out of touch with a majority of the electorate.

  28. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Much of our overseas aid supports intelligence gathering in countries in the British sphere of inflluence, organised as NGO’s over which the target country has little or no control.

    The extra spending on defence is welcome and will doubtless impress the new American administration. However, I wonder how much of the new money will merely go to bail out overspent equipment procurement programmes such as the disastrous slow-motion car crash that is Britain’s attempt to modernise its light to medium Armoured Fighting Vehicle fleet. Replacement is needed – the ancient and obsolete FV432 was introduced in the early 1960s – the Army is expected to struggle on with ~ 500 still in service.

    An expert witness at the recent Defence Select Committee inquiry into this fiasco suggested that £5.6 billion! had been expended since year 2000 – and not one new vehicle has been delivered to units to date. Not even a prototype. If this was Russia, those senior civil servants and retired senior military officers responsible (acting as highly paid consultants to the British military-industrial complex) would have ended their careers in the gulag.

    Never mind the proposed new “Type 32” frigate – of which nobody has heard – the RN clearly needs at least two additional Astute class submarines if it is able to adequately support the new Carrier strike groups as well as the ageing Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines.

    Ben Wallace has done well to secure the additional funding for the MoD. But unless he can reform the procurement process and achieve the value for the taxpayer’s money that you want, the additional funds will disappear into the bottomless pit that is the MoD’s gravy train.

  29. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Why does the government spend the taxpayers money on so called foreign aid at all.
    I can understand humanitarian disaster relief, but little else has proved helpful in the past.

    This so called foreign aid has been going on for very many decades now, and all it seems to have achieved is a request to spend more and more, with little or no sign of any improvement, other than to some tin pot dictators bank balance and their hangers on.

    How many “well” meaning projects are visited after completion, who does any follow up on an annual basis, to see is those projects are still up and running, who reports back on such as the perhaps worthy clean water projects you suggest.

    If no check up completed or allowed, then why pump in ever more money.

  30. Lester Cynic Beedell
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    More excellent articles in the Conservative Woman today!

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      + Indeed

  31. Everhopeful
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Foreign Aid is a childish competition played by our puppet leaders to please the globalists.
    The WEF actually rates the “generosity” of nations by the amount given.
    The US gives the most and the UK gives the third largest amount.
    BUT…Ha! Gotcha!
    If taken as a % of gross national income Sweden emerges as the most “generous” country.
    Ooo…and then the UK comes 7th..
    Boris had better give us all another kicking and squeeze a bit more tax out of us!
    Inflation. Taxation and Unemployment.
    Where will the money for this competition come from??

  32. James1
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Borrowing money to give it away is insanity. The best way to help people in poorer countries is to allow them to trade with us and not impose tariffs on them

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Should be illegal! Let’s get that in the Constitution in place if the OBR and other skirts behind which Chancellors think they can hide.

  33. Philip P.
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    It’s good that at least some Conservative politicians realise ‘we are facing the biggest crisis we’ve seen for many years’ (Sir Ian Duncan-Smith today). So whether overseas aid should be 0.7, 0.6 or 0.8% of GDP does not seem vital right now, Sir John. Countries including our own are facing far worse than ‘flood and tempest’.

    The actions of your party in government are devastating our economy and will not leave much of our GDP available for good causes anyway.

  34. Chris S
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    I agree 100% with the sentiments you express on Aid spending.

    Most important, we need, to coin a phrase, to take back control of the £5bn we have been handing over to the EU and certain charities where we have no say in what it is spent on. This was only done because it prooved physically impossible to spend £14bn a year wisely. I am certain we can make sure that whatever reduced level of aid spending we actually make can be better utilised on projects designed by us.

    We certainly need to widen our own definition of what counts as aid spending rather than employ the UN definition. I have posted here before that the aid budget should be used to buy, equip and operate military equipment used most of the time for humanitarian relief. This would include some transport aircraft, amphibious and RFA ships and manpower, especially in the field of logistics and medicine.

    When the MOD requires the designated equipment and personnel for military purposes, it could lease it back from the aid budget.

  35. Kenneth
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    One of the mistakes we have made in the past is to use funding as a bribe to get people overseas to behave in certain ways.

    It is arrogant to expect countries overseas with a different morality code to ours, a different set of priorities and a different power structure to do what is fashionable over here.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      So why do some of those who come to this Country, expect us to do what is fashionable over there.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Foreign aid is a political bribe – that’s the whole point of it….its not to help the poor people of that country

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Not only that but if you pay someone not to do something you often indeed very often just encourage them to do it more and demand a larger fee next time not to do it. Paying the Dane-geld does not work. Like paying for hostage releases or giving in to threat from religious groups.

      I see that a study of electric cars shows that they save no real CO2 at all after manufacturing etc. is considered. So why is the government forcing these severely limited, impractical and expensive cars onto people?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      They destroy cultures.

  36. Iain Moore
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Did you know why we had a 0.7% Aid target ? It was a figure dreamt up by the World Council of Churches in the 1950s , the economic theory on which it was based was deeply flawed , that is why we have been spending£15 billion on Aid last year, a 70 year old flawed economic theory , Oh and a perverted policy to detoxify the Tory party, which has got to be a gross misuse of tax payers funds.

    How is it that all these developing countries, who we have been pouring Aid into for at least half a century, are still developing countries? A hint perhaps to suggest Aid is a policy failure? Aid was a guilt trip perpetrated on us by the left which our gullible establishment lapped up, when in reality the poverty these countries were suffering was the result of them voting in left wing regimes at independence , like Ghana voting in Nkrumah who impoverished the country within 10 years with his ‘scientific socialism’, and you lot have got us paying for the left’s rotten economics.

  37. agricola
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    It will be interesting to see if our departure from the EU leads to more trade than aid for impoverished countries. The Commonwealth should become a free trade area. Overseas aid would become respectable and more acceptable were we to filter out the more ridiculous donations. I would like to see it confined to disaster aid, medical aid and water aid. I would like to see much more naming and shaming of countries where children are abandoned, enslaved in teenage marriages, etc. If charities can use such to appeal for donations they should also use it to shame the countries involved however PC inconvenient.

  38. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    If this insane government keeps up with their hysterical reaction to the virus, there won’t be any money for foreign aid. West Dorset is now in Tier 2. WHY? A county with a population of 772,000 – half of which is in the east of the county in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area. In rural West Dorset there is almost no virus. Why are we locked down?

    The government is beyond hopeless. People around here seem to be mainly Tory supporters. Amazing how many of them are saying they’ll never vote Tory again.

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      Like Mike, I live in the recently-formed Dorset Council, not to be confused with Dorset County Council. It is made up of all the rural parts of the county and therefore excludes the urban areas of Poole and Bournemouth which have several large colleges and Bournemouth University, all of which are largely responsible for the high number of cases in the adjoining Bournemouth, Christchurch,and Poole Council area.

      The facts are :

      BCP 148.7 cases per 100,000 (compared to 239.5 last week)
      Dorset 69.5 per 100,000 (compared to 111.0 last week)

      The effects of the virus in Dorset are also greatly reduced by our much, much lower population density than in the urban areas of BC&P council.

      Cornwall and the Isle of Wight, the only areas in England in Tier 1, are at 67 and 63 cases per 100,000, so both are higher than the Dorset Council area !

      I can see no logical reason why the sparsely-populated Dorset Council area should have been elevated into Tier 2, can you ?

  39. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Agreed – setting aside a percentage value for overseas aid(OA) is another irrationality that came from the Cameron government so badly influenced by Clegg.
    There have been too many reports of those responsible for the budget getting inventive when the deadline approaches and they have to spend the money on something, anything! — THIS has to stop.

    I still say we should look after our own first – because nobody is going to come and help us when the continuing effects of lock-down reduce us to paupers and the country is destitute.

    In many instances OA is a form of wealth transfer, with the intention of stripping those countries with some resources to make them as poor as the rest. More socialism!

    I’m all for helping people abroad in real need, but only if we are selective and can prove our donations have brought a relative benefit to those concerned…. Considering we have been charitable for so many decades, and the huge amount of money we have sent abroad, How is it that there is still poverty and famines?

  40. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Why is it a percentage of GDP and not a percentage of the tax take? Because if it was a percentage of the tax take, the money the government actually has to spend, the figure would be much higher.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      If it was expressed as a percentage of the total tax take, we spend 2% of government spending on foreign aid. I have never heard a journalist task a politician why the government sends 2% of our taxes abroad.

  41. ukretired123
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Charity starts at home.
    That is the most important common sense premise.
    With Brexit we should not have to show off giving 0.7% like Cameron or Blair to the EU.

  42. villaking
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Sir John, everyone agrees that overseas aid needs to be money spent wisely but by supporting a reduction of nearly a third at such a time as this is wrong on many levels. Comparing to past Labour governments or (yawn) the EU is irrelevant. Your party made a manifesto commitment and is now breaking it. 0.7% was also enshrined in law by your party, although as you point out, the law can be changed by parliament. Going back on promises has become a hallmark of Johnson’s government from lying to HM Queen about the reason for a 5 week (illegal) prorogation of parliament to contravening international law with the IMB, nothing Johnson says can be taken as true. This matters at a time of draconian restrictions on civil liberties and may also matter to you more in the context of EU discussions. You have already tweeted concern that Johnson didn’t walk away from EU negotiations on Oct 15th as promised. I expect that if the end of the transition period isn’t hard and brutal enough for you, you will argue that manifesto promises or commitments made by the PM have been broken. At which point, you will need to reflect on your support for this other broken promise.

  43. Richard416
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John, since the government neither owns nor controls GDP, would it not be better to base non-emergency foreign aid on budget surplus? No sane person would borrow money to give away in order to appear virtuous.

  44. beresford
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t we be using part of the Foreign Aid budget to pay all the money we are spending on illegal immigrants via the Channel taxi service, accommodation and spending money, and unlimited legal aid? Perversely research shows that the more conditions improve in their own countries the more likely people are to set out for Europe, having acquired the wherewithal to pay the smugglers.

  45. None of the above
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    We give money to India, who spend large sums on a space programme, why?
    We give money to Parkistan whose Judiciary support the kidnapping and forced marriage of under age girls, why?
    We provide training in foreign administrations only to find that the departmental Head’s only qualification is being a relative or friend of the country’s leader, why? Or that following the completion of training that the entire team has been replaced due to a change of government. These are all examples of wasted Taxpayers money.
    The only expenditure I would support is relief for natural disasters, epidemics and acute famine.

  46. majorfrustration
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Whilst I am reasonably sure that some of the Aid budget is used with effect I feel that the majority is no more than political ego tripping/ grandstanding. What makes it worse is that its £15b that we have to borrow – and to give £5b to the EU is plain stupid. No account is ever given to the amount of money raised by the voters by way of personal donations to overseas causes. 0.7% is just a tick box way of providing overseas aid.

  47. Peter Parsons
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    It was a manifesto commitment to maintain the 0.7% (which, this year, will be a dimished sum anyway). If the 2% on defense can be maintained in the current situation, so can this pledge.

    (I fully support not simply giving money, but spending it on projects which enhance and improve the lives of people.)

    • Edward2
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Still more than your beloved EU spends

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink


        Both the EU budget and the aid budget are, in the overall context of public spending, noise. Even when combined they still add up to much less in cash terms than the defense budget commitment.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

          Yes a defence budget that a lot of Europe depend upon (many not contributing their fair share or some like Ireland not contributing at all!) so we don’t end up another Syria or Afghanistan forever at war, dependent on aid, children murdered in their beds.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

          You can yawn if you like but what I said is true.

  48. glen cullen
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Rule one – Never issue foreign/emergency aid if we have to barrow funds

    Rules two – Countries have to apply and justify aid

    Rule three – Aid supplied in the form of people expertise and knowledge transfer (not money nor physical resources)

    Rule four – Trade before aid

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2020 at 3:32 am | Permalink

      Very much agreed.

  49. James Bertram
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    ‘Last year the UK again spent 0.7% or £15bn on overseas aid. £10bn of this was spent on projects and activities we chose along with the recipient country in so called bilateral aid. The balance of £5bn was spent by our giving the money to the EU and other multinational bodies to spend as they saw fit in so called multilateral aid.’

    Yes, agree we should control our spending in full, not giving it to the EU/others to spend. Too, much of our expenditure is mis-spent and mis-directed. And there is considerable scope for improvement, and doing things differently – for reform.

    However, there is the inescapable fact that we have reduced our overall spending by one third, by £5 billion. This is morally wrong.

    Yes, in most cases ‘We should decide on spending on a case by case basis and against our general budget background …look(ing) at those budgets in the light of needs and costs.’ However Overseas Aid is different.

    Insane Lockdown policies have pushed millions of people in the Third World into starvation, unemployment and destitution. These people are the most vulnerable in the world, many living on less than a $1 a day. Just when they face their biggest crisis for decades, when their need is the greatest, we, the 5th wealthiest nation, let them down and reduce their funding by a third.

    You should be ashamed to support such a proposition.

  50. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    If you are looking for ‘those in need’ you don’t need to look outside our borders. We need to be net recipients of Aid, having suffered an extraordinary event i.e the Johnson Government!

  51. Qubus
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    0.7 or 0.5%, but
    at least it should be agreed that this money does not all have to be spent in the current year. Why not allow unspent money to be carried forward to the next year. This would eliminate the unseemly rush to spend silly amounts of money at the end of each year. If I am to believe the press, our officials are sometimes almost begging countries to accept money so that they can hit the target of 0.7%. In any case, why should we spend money on assisting rice growth in China?
    Incidentally, I am appalled that school teachers should be given a pay-rise during this period of financial stringency. My grandchildren received virtually no remote tuition during the lockdown periods. And then, first day back at school was a so-called inset-day! And GPs, who have been almost invisible during this period, are to get 2.8% rise. My wife had a hospital blood-test to check on a serious medical condition in the middle of November and she now has an appointment to have a phone-call consultation from her GP in the middle of January. You couldn’t make it up.
    We must have the worst public sevices in Europe

  52. Billy Elliott
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Yes I fully agree with you what it comes to this teach a man to fish and farm.
    However quite often there are reports that money spend to aid people in difficult situations goes to wrong pocket.
    Do we have some sort of a follow up system to guarantee that the funds we send are used to what they are ment to?

  53. bigneil(newercomp)
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The only thing I have seen Foreign Aid do is increase the population of countries that receive it, then they want more and more money. Now people from those same countries are flooding here – -to cost us yet more. Who gave us Foreign Aid when we were building this country up?

    When a govt leaves it’s own ex-servicemen to sleep rough, while actively ferrying in people who we know nothing about, then give them a better standard of living than a lot of our own population – for doing absolutely NOTHING – there is something VERY wrong – and VERY VERY clear.

  54. The Prangwizard
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Let’s not get excited if we support the reduction. Change will be at a glacial speed. Although this government locks us up and destroys the economy at jet speed here at home there will be massive back pedalling when pressure is applied by foreign interests.

    Will there be any change in the topping up in equal measure of global charities when individuals make donations? Is there any control on where and what they spend it on? I expect there will be no change – far to difficult to face up to that.

  55. a-tracy
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    “The UK will double its investment to help developing countries turn the tide against climate change and species loss…The announcement to double the UK’s international climate finance (ICF) spend was made by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson today at the UN General Assembly in New York. ICF refers to UK aid support given to poorer countries to deal with the causes of climate change. This announcement means the UK will up its ICF support to at least £11.6 billion over the next five years, between 2021/22 to 2025/26 23/09/19”

    Was this on top of the Foreign Aid commitment? How many other similar top ups have we made to other Foreign spending?

    How much do the UK public contribute in total annual foreign aid from the Charity sector on top of the Government contribution, can’t Boris put links in to all these charities and what they each do so that all the people like Andrew Mitchell can donate a lot more of his personal wealth to each charity. Everyone that thinks this cut is a bad thing is able to contribute more themselves just give everyone each charity in a list, how much they raise each year and where they spend it.

  56. matthu
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    talkRadio this morning asked Sir Ian Duncan-Smith why the government is lying to us about the effectiveness of Covid testing and the necessity for further lockdowns.

    There was no attempt to deny what is so self-evident.

    The SAGE advisory process is a flawed one. Their sole purpose is to manage Covid and they therefore ignore the outcomes that impact the rest of the economy, jobs, health.

    You cannot manage a country by looking the wrong way through a telescope.

  57. a-tracy
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink


    “The UK has reached its target of spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid for five
    consecutive years. This represented a £14 billion commitment in 2017. Continuing to
    meet this would, on the latest growth forecasts, require annual spending to rise by a
    further £1 billion by 2022. ODA spending has risen from 0.8% of total government
    expenditure in 2000 to 1.1% in 2010 and 1.7% in 2017.”

    “In 2016, the UK was the fifth-largest economy in the world but the largest
    contributor of core aid funds to multilateral institutions in absolute terms. Over
    60% of this aid went to just four organisations, with the EU the largest recipient overall.”

    This whilst we are told by Marcus Rashford our own children are being starved and parents can’t afford to feed them. Whilst Shelter are saying 56% more than half of teachers have worked with homeless children in the UK 18 Nov 2020.

    June 2020 almost 100,000 homeless households were living in temporary accommodation in England a 7% rise in three months! The bill for the UK homeless population soared to £1.2bn spent by local councils! 22 Oct 2020

    And one just for Andy the hate peddler against the aged in the UK. “16 per cent of pensioners are in relative income poverty and 6 per cent of those aged 65+ are in material deprivation. Mar 2019 – Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said: “We are deeply concerned that 2 million older people are now living below the poverty line.” and from the Guardian “British basic pensions are particularly low, 16% of average earnings, and require a long contribution period.“A comparative analysis of poverty rates in old age reveals that Beveridge basic security is not always capable of effectively reducing poverty despite the explicit purpose of doing so. Since the 1980s the UK went from having the lowest to one of the highest rates of poverty among elderly people in western Europe”

  58. MikeP
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Sir John I agree that we should prioritise and focus on the areas where we can best help poorer countries. I donate regularly to a charity that works in exactly one of the fields you mention; they build schools for orphaned girls in Kenya and, knowing the people who set up the organisation, I’m confident in the evidence they provide that the funds are being well spent. In sharp contrast, we see so little of the results of our “Overseas Aid”, leading most people I suspect to believe that it falls into the hands of despot regimes, hence why clean water, sanitation, starvation and lack of industrial development are never-ending challenges while some ne’er-do-wells get rich at our expense.

  59. ian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    First of all, there will have to be a vote in parliament on the aid budget and the chances of winning that are slim then you have the vote on the tries system and chances of winning that vote is nil.
    You have to remember that John is only one vote in parliament and he plays the good cop to gain more votes for the party at election time I think he would rather retirer than leave his party.
    Before two years is out you will most likely see a private members bill brought before parliament about a new law in the EU which gander support in the house and will most likely be passed into UK law, that is how parliament works my friends.

  60. Iago
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I am not glad. The government is already sufficiently signalling on our behalf our literally suicidal virtue by importing each year 700,000 plus people from Africa and the Middle East. Indeed, why bother with foreign aid, when the government is bringing these peoples to what was once our country?

  61. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    There is obviously a point to foreign aid and it is not necessarily the amount of taxpayers money that is given away but to whom.

    Does the UK taxpayer need to aid China, but they do.

    Then there is the question not so much the destination of taxpayer money but who’s pockets does it fill.

    It does seem like most things in the UK out of control. Governments keep treating the taxpayer as their Surfs to furnish their own personal esteem.

    The money this Government has begged borrowed etc is now so vast it is beyond most peoples comprehension so much so they don’t see it is they the taxpayer that has to pay it back. Although at this rate it is their children’s, children

  62. BW
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the savings could be given to local councils so they don’t have to dip their hands deeper into the residents pockets without a second thought as to the effects on their incomes over the last 12 months……. No. I didn’t think so. Robbery through council tax is all the rage. Try reducing the hideously high pay packets of councillors. No. Didn’t think that would work either. I know ….. let’s fleece the house holder again, that will do the trick.

  63. ian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Voters are not smartest people by any stretch of thee imagination.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      and Andy wants all 67m to vote.

  64. ian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Sammy from the DUP is having a go today about Brexit BJ most probably doesn’t even know who he is.

  65. ian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    BJ dares the EU to watch the UK prosper mightily with no deal, that is politician speak to find a way to make you pooper.

  66. Lorna Ainsworth
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article .It is very obvious that Aid money is being badly targeted .A great pity that there are so many Conservative MPs who are rebelling without thought against their own Govt again .
    Instead they should be holding sensible discussions along the lines you have laid out .Can we start with China .The worlds greatest polluter who needs UK money to develop alternative energy sources !

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      The Conservative MPs need to do the jobs we, the British public, pay them for – but we didn’t pick them the party did so they purposely pick people whose first priority isn’t to their own electorate, half of them never lived in the area they represent full time. They don’t look at ways for the UK to generate wealth in all regions, in all classes, to be able to pay our bills without needing tax credits and hand outs. They’re more interesting in virtue signalling or creating their own personal wealth. They shouldn’t need SPADs they should have sufficient back bench talent of economists, entrepreneurs, team leaders, we pay them anyway to become a talking shop on how to spend money on their pet projects rather than create it.

  67. lojolondon
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Foreign Aid is the transfer of money from POOR people in RICH countries, to RICH people in POOR countries.

    It is bad for the poor people in Britain, and it is very bad for the countries where people are “being helped”. It is bad for democracy in poor continents.

    The budget should be ZERO for regular, continuous payments, to any country, where payments are made season in and season out, especially to wealthy countries, where Britain is often seen as trying to pervert their own laws and way of doing things.

    But – where there is a flood, an earthquake, a hurricane, etc. our aid should be very fast and very generous, one time payment to ensure a solid, auditable outcome.

  68. ian@Barkham
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Of Topic from MsM

    The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier will propose that between 15pc and 18pc of the fish quota caught in UK waters by EU fleets will be restored to the UK – Meaning the EU get to say what the UK can catch in its own territorial waters.

    Else where The UK must give into the EU demands on fishing and level playing field. – Meaning the EU must continue to rule on internal UK affairs an the UK must leave fishing quotas to the EU.

    From my point of view, we are not an independent Country when rulers from foreign powers get to make our internal rules and laws. They of course would not accept that the other way around

  69. ian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    EU to allow the UK to have 15 per cent of its fish back, that’s big of them.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      BRINO it is

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      that would be the undersized they normally throw back, or the ones that they don’t have catching quota for!

  70. Newmania
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    It has never been clearer that the world is interconnected but I would advise the tremendously impressive Kier Starmer not be drawn into a this territory .No Liberal minded or Internationally aware voter is likely to vote for the Alf Garnett Party if it came with chips and sauce anyway .The case of Aid has to be built up form the ground .
    For years this budget has not been supported and that reality must be faced
    We need global growth just as we need we need global health and education but the case has to be better made.
    So I would, say to Kier Starmer , stay out of it , we are entering a time of change and it will not be a good one for the small minded and old.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Is he impressive? He’s certainly a lot more credible than Corbyn. But have you heard a single policy or idea or even a memorable utterance out of him?

      He may win I would agree – but only if the Tories screw up, relatively to the eurozone.

      • graham1946
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        He is certainly better than Corbyn, but still has the same old useless crew behind him.

  71. Mark J
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    It is a start. However, I want to see this Government cut the ridiculous amounts of wasteful expenditure going on, before demanding yet more tax monies from us.

    Why is it right that we should be forced to stump up extra to pay for massive ‘bungs’ to businessmen abroad, for securing PPE supplies? Surely that is why we pay for a “civil service”, to sort out such problems?

    I’d also would have liked to of seen better checks before freely handing out OUR money in Furlough payments and Universal Credit. It is now being said that both schemes are now suffering with massive amounts of fraud – is anyone really surprised?

    So before demanding even more money from us, sort out the wasteful expenditure first and try to claw back most of that money from people and businesses who were not entitled.

    Many of us are only prepared to pay more if the money already collected is
    spent wisely and genuinely not enough to keep the country going. I for one am not prepared to keep endlessly stumping up more under the current decades long circle of spend and waste.

  72. Andy
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Switzerland is a lovely country. I like it a lot – and I have spent a lot of time there over the years. Because Switzerland is in Schengen going there has always been easy. Once you are in the EU you can just pop over the border. Easy. Expect, of course, if you are driving a lorry – because Switzerland is not in the customs union there are always delays for lorries at the border. We’ll learn all about this after January when we get to use the Farage Garages for all of our Europe bound exports. And those going to Northern Ireland.

    Anyway, for my entire adult life I have always just be able to up sticks and move to Switzerland if I want. I’ve never actually done so but it is always a right I have had. No more. The Pensioners have taken that right away. Switzerland is no longer going to welcome Britons who just want to go. They are limiting numbers to 3500. So many missed opportunities to young people.

    I have exercised my right to free movement before. Spending a number of years in France and some time in Italy too. I had hoped to retire to the continent. Now I can’t. Because Mr Redwood and his chums stole that right from us.

    • No Longer Anonymous
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Good. We need you here. And ALL your money.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 12:21 am | Permalink

      Of course you can. Just meet the residency criteria. How do you think 100s of thousands of Americans are living all over Europe, including in France Switzerland and Italy?

      You’re wrong about Switzerland, you’ve never had the right to go and live there without getting the right residence permit, which would require you to demonstrate – to a much higher standard than is now required in the U.K. – that you’d never be burden on the Swiss taxpayer.

  73. Original Chris
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Our foreign aid commitment as currently proscribed is a scam, and now that we are supposedly free of the EU, we should revamp it completely, taking it out of the hands of the globalists, who have an agenda that is contrary to the whole concept of the UK being a free and sovereign nation, and an agenda that is associated with fomenting global unrest in order to further their goals of one world government.

  74. michael mcgrath
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Let’s spend the 0.5% on Oxford/Astra vaccines and help both the poorest but also British business

  75. M Brandreth- Jones
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    We have taught them to fish for a long time now and someone keeps stealing their fish ,so these places need a guardianship until they become strong enough to sustain themselves.

  76. beresford
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    OK JR, which of you Tory rebels is prepared to nail Boris down in the forthcoming debate over these ‘substantial meals’? Surely something so vague cannot be made law by Parliament. Does the meal have to be heated or prepared on the premises? Is the publican expected to force the customer to eat the meal? How many units of alcohol does a meal entitle the customer to purchase? According to Jenrick a pasty is a ‘substantial meal’ if accompanied with a side serving of chips. So are we OK if the publican leaves a cheap unheated pasty still in its Tesco wrapper and a bag of crisps on the table, and can I consume my beer and leave these items untouched to be re-served to the next customer?

  77. Gramp
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Off topic Sir John
    A very interesting couple of days to look at
    Where will the electricity come from to power everything when similar conditions prevail in the future? The current green policy is so obviously not thought through.
    It would make people think if we have to have some power cuts soon, which is I understand a possibility. That’s without households relying on electricity even more to heat their homes albeit with air source heat pumps (they take considerably more electricity than gas or oil) and of course to charge their cars.

  78. glen cullen
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Boris missed his deadline of the 15th Oct, remember that was the last actionable date to satisfy all legal aspects of the WA deal…that was a lie

    Today the BBC, Sky and other news agencies are suggesting differing new deadline dates but all next week

    Does anybody know the new official deadline date for a EU deal ?

    • steve
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink


      “Does anybody know the new official deadline date for a EU deal ?”

      There is no deadline, but for Boris it’s mission accomplished when he can sell out our maritime sovereignty to the ungrateful French.

      Yes, Oct 15th was a lie. Right now Barnier is on his way to London again for ‘talks’

      Oct 15th….PAH ! Bullshit……Johnson must think we’re stupid.

      • Fred H
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        you misunderstand – Oct 15th 2021, err might have been 2022 – -I’m not really sure.

  79. MB
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Three cheers for another stupid lockdown and closing pubs.

  80. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I was Team Leader on a couple of overseas projects – feasibility studies – financed by overseas aid, not UK aid but aid from international institutions, in 2010 and 2011. The effect of the 0.7% rule was that experts – engineers, planners, economists, environmentalists, financial experts, procurement experts etc – were in demand and you had to slot them in when they were available, not at the ideal time.

    Many of these experts were in the pre-retirement age group, 55 to 65, and were working for salaries well in excess of what they could earn in UK. Some spent some of their money in the overseas country, others sent most home. The whole market, therefore, is not nearly as altruistic as is commonly supposed.

    There was a time when overseas aid was channeled through national governments and spent on construction projects but there was a degree of corruption, and often those governments wouldn’t or couldn’t spend money on maintaining what had been built for them. Not a few roads built with foreign aid have had to be totally reconstructed 20 years later, having received zero maintenance.

    It ought to be possible to reform foreign aid so as to build projects that the recipients want but it’s not easy. Corruption and neglect must be eliminated.

  81. Original Richard
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    “We should work on the principle that it is better to teach a hungry person to fish and farm for themselves rather than sending them food parcels. The aim is to get countries out of poverty, not into dependence.”

    Absolutely correct.

    But both tax-payer funded government aid and aid from charities has is most cases made the situation considerably worse by simply fuelling exponential population growth in countries who do not have either the resources or willingness or institutions or culture necessary to lift themselves out of poverty.

  82. glen cullen
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    An interesting new subject heading just appeared on the British Army Rumour Forum which sums up how every Tory voter feels

    ‘’ If I wanted loonies in government, I’d have voted Labour’’

    So even the private soldier knows things have gone a bit silly

    • Fred H
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I think thousands of soldiers joined up, and accept getting bullied and shouted at while crawling through shit on the training grounds, just so they can wear a smart uniform while standing around a test centre wondering if anybody will actually turn up.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2020 at 3:12 am | Permalink

      The Tory Party has suffered a fatal case of entryism from Right Wing (Centre / Centre Left) Liberals. You could put Nick Clegg (remember him) in charge and no one would notice the difference.

  83. libertarian
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Hi infidels

    Thought I’d just pop back to say

    I told you so

    2 years ago I posted on this site that the Conservative government was trying to eradicate small and medium sized business

    I was laughed at or ignored

    Well they are succeeding now, 1.4 million businesses set to close and they haven’t finished with you yet .

    Wakey wakey

    • Edward2
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      Great to hear from you again.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Did you forecast Covid also?

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2020 at 3:09 am | Permalink

        Probably not, but Bill did !

    • hefner
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh hello, welcome back, I missed you.

      So in what you consider the cull of SMEs, only the Conservative Government is the culprit, nothing to do with the EU? or this little boring thing, how is it called? yes, Covid-19?

      I see your talent for deep thinking analysis of UK events has been improved by these months of relative silence.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        You are so negative hef.
        And cynical.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I wasn’t laughing. I have missed your contributions to the blog always an interesting read.

      Don’t you think the reset is more about stopping people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds rising, too many upstarts getting in the way that never went to the right schools of through, aren’t members of the right clubs and wouldn’t be welcome even if he snuck in.

      They don’t mind the odd coffee shop but they don’t want you to grow a chain even though they pretend they’re all for social mobility.

      Now they’ve had a taste for how far they can push they are going to push the envelope for another six months to see what they can get away with and the casualties are the lower social economic class as always. They don’t want equality, there is no equality within the regions. They don’t want to change anything and they need to reset the strivers.

  84. John Hatfield
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Poor countries are usually overpopulated with too many people for the land and environment to support. The answer is to have fewer babies. How sterilisation may be achieved I have no answer.

    • beresford
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      We could tell them that they’re being vaccinated because of a pandemic that leaves 99.5% of people unaffected.

  85. Claus
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Well they are succeeding now, 1.4 million businesses set to close and they haven’t finished with you yet .

    Build Back Better

  86. Will in Hampshire
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    What’s clear is that Parliament should repeal Mr Cameron’s silly law. Mr Johnson has an 80 seat majority so has no excuse for not doing so. I have a lot of sympathy for those arguing that it’s hard to justify foreign aid when the funding for it is being borrowed. I haven’t yet found an economic analysis that suggests that the long-term benefits of providing the aid exceed the long-term costs of borrowing to provide it. Until the advocates of foreign aid can provide concrete justifications for its efficacy we should eschew it.

  87. Will in Hampshire
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ll add that nothing in my prior post prevents anyone from making their own charitable donations to causes about which they feel moved to provide support.

  88. steve
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:25 pm | Permalink


    I commend you for your honourable stance on overseas aid.

    Unfortunately I don’t share your sentiment on this subject.

    We often go to the aid of countries that are nothing to do with us, and are not former colonies or allies. In fact, these countries so afflicted of natural disaster are often either former French or Spanish colonies, and one that was an Italian colony.

    Surely the onus is on the former colonial powers to help.

    No doubt you would counter argue on humanitarian grounds, but what would many of these countries do for us if we fell victim to some major catastrophe ? Zilch, I suspect.

    Frankly I’m not surprised the UK is seen as a soft touch.

    Charity begins at home Sir Redwood, and I think that under the current circumstances our money should stay at home, we have enough of our own problems to sort out right now.

  89. Sharon
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 8:35 pm | Permalink


    Lockdown Sceptics is publishing a brilliant new briefing document for MPs that explains very clearly (with oodles of illuminating graphs) how the fatally flawed PCR test, which was never designed to be used on an industrial scale, has given the false appearance of a deadly autumn epidemic when in fact the underlying signals, such as GP respiratory consultations, hospital admissions and overall deaths, are normal.

    It is authored by Dr Mike Yeadon, Dr Clare Craig, Jonathan Engler and Christian McNeill, and comes with all their expertise and experience as they set out in clear terms the issues and the evidence.

    I have just read it carefully and I think it is very informative and MPs would really benefit from it.


    • James Bertram
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Agree, totally.
      Thanks for posting this, Sharon.

  90. XY
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    We have over recent years and for some time given aid money to China and India.

    India has a space programme, so there is no justification for providing them with aid. The concept of fungibility of money says that we are effectively financing their space effort.

    When you see what actually happens with aid and charitable giving you would never do it again. I have personally seen the ships dock in African ports and when the aid/charitable goods are unloaded, they are taken away by the authorities and sold to the poor. Yes, you read that right: SOLD.

    They don’t even try to hide it, corruption is so endemic it is simply accepted as normal. In some cultures, when one gains power, one is expected to use it for one’s own benefit. There is no good trying to fight that, it’s how they are.

    Until we understand this we are wasting our time and feathering the nests of the corrupt.

    What I think we SHOULD do is to invest by competing with the Chinese debt traps. We can jointly build a port with an African government, then jointly own, maintain and administer it.

    That way they benefit from having us as a partner, learn from our experience and some of our culture rubs off. We build up a sovereign wealth fund similar to how Norway spent its oil revenues and is now one of the richest countries n the world, per capita. Heck, they can almost afford socialism!

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      What an excellent idea !

      I have been worried for a long time over the gradual takeover of African infrastructure by the Chinese. They are now in control of a majority of the mines producing the minerals needed to manufacture batteries for electric cars and rare earth materials needed for other electronic products .

      As for Aid distribution, giving aid money or goods to African governments and allowing them to distribute them is inviting corruption,

      Hell, we might as well as cut out the middle man and buy a batch of black Mercedes Limousines every year at a decent discount and ship them out instead !

    • ukretired123
      Posted November 29, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      What we think of kindness is regarded by many recipient govts in the so-called Third World as weakness and their right to it sadly.

  91. glen cullen
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve noticed throughout 2020 that 99% of posts on this forum have been against this government but I also suspect that 99% on here are also Tory voters – something is fundamentally wrong

    In the first year of government with a healthy majority it feels like new labour

    • Fred H
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Could be Boris, or is that Carrie, plus a spineless Cabinet ably assisted by the Civil Servants army and media.

  92. ChrisS
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The breathtaking arrogance of Barnier beggars belief.

    To actually suggest that the EU will be willing to gift us back 15-20% of the fish caught in our own waters in return for signing up to EU control over our industrial strategy is a complete non-starter.

    Send him home again on Saturday morning, Boris.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Boris will gladly accept the gift from the EU……he’ll accept anything to get a deal

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2020 at 3:03 am | Permalink


  93. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    My region (which has been totally obedient regards lock down/masks) has a low infection rate yet has gone in to tier 2 which is the death knell for many businesses and ‘wet’ pubs.

    The blonde oaf says “It’s too complex to divide the nation up … blah blah” in other words he can’t be bothered.

    The Tory Party is finished.

    Hopefully soon.

  94. No Longer Anonymous
    Posted November 27, 2020 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    This is how the BBC cut the PM’s response to objections that he’d placed my compliant and low infection region into Tier 2 (devastation for our vital tourist, leisure and pub industry.)

    “It’s too complicated to break the country up…”

    This is an utter PR disaster for your party, Sir John.

    So he couldn’t be bothered, in other words. Punish everyone.

    What has been the bloody point in social distancing and wearing these soggy, god-awful masks for the past months ???

    • graham1946
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Its pretty obvious the lockdown was a waste of time if you end up afterwards on a higher tier than before. This will stay like this ’till spring, by which time the country will be dead and the globalists will hoover up big time. Possibly the aim all along? They are floundering, totally clueless and need to dispense with the services of Whitty and co.

    • glen cullen
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Remember we’re just the plebs

  95. 666
    Posted November 28, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Klaus Schwab
    Travel/Tourism employs 120million, & supports over 320million jobs, 1 in 10 jobs worldwide. Over the past 7 years this sector created 1 in 5 new jobs.

    We at WEF are destroying these livelihoods to save 0.03% of you from dying from flu.

    Vaccines are part of our control plan.

  96. a prophecy
    Posted November 28, 2020 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    “Human population growth is probably the single most serious long-term threat to survival. We’re in for a major disaster if it isn’t curbed… We have no option. If it isn’t controlled voluntarily, it will be controlled involuntarily by an increase in disease, starvation and war.” ― Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

    • DOM
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Says the man whose had how many children? I’ve lost count. He needs to remain silent and let Malthusian pressures take their course

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      It is being curbed and very effectively.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Experts have been saying that for centuries.
      And their predictions of doom have always failed.

      • a prophecy
        Posted November 28, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Experts have been saying that for centuries.
        And their predictions of doom have always failed.

        That is what Trump said in his speech at the WEF, why do you think he made this point at that venue?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 28, 2020 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

          I dont know why don’t you tell us all.

          Check out top expert Paul Erlich and his doom filled prophecies which many still believe in.

  97. Jasper
    Posted November 28, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Transparency is key for me. I would like to see exactly where the money is spent and to whom it is sent. I also question why a country in the 21st century cannot provide clean water to its citizens- why does the WHO never question this?? Why do other countries never question this??

  98. Nick P
    Posted November 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    No government has the moral right to take money from me and give it to someone else. If there is a need for charity, it will be discovered privately, and it will be funded by private giving. This nonsense of the State acting as charitable giver is one of many examples of the State out of control. Our focus should be on reducing the size of the State to the bare minimum, i.e. well below 10% of GDP. Yes, 10%, as it was prior to C20

  99. ferdi
    Posted November 28, 2020 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    The Government should itemise the 0.7% aid and seek approval. I am certain no more than 0.5% of GDP would receive any approval. Don’t forget it is our money not the Government’s.

    • Fred H
      Posted November 28, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      really ? – -like the £5bn ‘Foreign Aid’ given to the EU/UN totally unchecked.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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