The Corner

Succouring the Poor

I keep trying to resist the thought, but the thought keeps pushing its way back in: The Western world has sunk into madness. There are no solutions to anything. The talk of our politicians is the babbling of fools, but we keep electing them anyway. We are collectively insane. Britain leads the way, but we are not far behind.

Item: Britain sends half a billion dollars in foreign aid to India — a nation with a nuclear arsenal, a space program, and a thriving hi-tech sector. The Indians have said frankly and publicly that they do not want the aid.

India’s finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the booming country should “voluntarily” give up the £280 million a year it receives from Britain. He told the Indian parliament: “We do not require the aid. It is a peanut in our total development spending.”

This is very distressing to the British government, who are desperately trying to recover the situation — that is, to go on giving scads of their people’s money to a nation that does not want it.

DFID [Britain’s Department for International Development] claims that its programme saves 17,000 lives a year. International development minister Alan Duncan said last week that scrapping the aid programme “would mean that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people will die who otherwise could live.”

Item: As part of Britain’s current program of severe austerity in public spending (oh, I didn’t mention that?) the government wants to cap welfare benefits at $42,000 a year per household — equivalent, when allowing for taxes, to an earned income of $56,000 a year — a good middle-class wage in Britain.

This proposal was killed in Parliament’s upper house by a combination of leftist ideologues and (but I repeat myself) Anglican clergy.

Labour joined forces with Church of England bishops and Lib Dem rebels last night to try to wreck flagship plans for an annual limit on welfare handouts. Ministers reacted with fury as Church leaders suggested that capping benefits at a maximum of £26,000 a year was somehow un-Christian. The bishops helped inflict a dramatic defeat in the House of Lords, with one even invoking the Bible as he argued against the Government’s plans.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. We’re well on our way.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

Most Popular

Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Elections

An Election Too Important to Be Left to Voters

The Democrats believe that the 2020 election is too important to be left to the voters. It’s obvious that President Donald Trump withheld defense aid to Ukraine to pressure its president to commit to the investigations that he wanted, an improper use of his power that should rightly be the focus of ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More
Film & TV

A Feeble Fox News Attack at the Movies

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Oscar-winning talents to rip the lid off the scandal at NBC News, whose bosses still have suffered no repercussions for their part in the Harvey Weinstein matter and other sleazy deeds — but at least Hollywood has finally let us know how they feel about Fox News ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

It’s Not Because She’s a Woman

In early October, Elizabeth Warren hit her stride. Her stock in the Democratic primary had been climbing steadily since midsummer, and as Joe Biden continued to lag, the Massachusetts senator became the first presidential hopeful to overtake him as front-runner in the RealClearPolitics polling average. She’s ... Read More
Elections

More Bad News for Medicare for All

The hits keep coming for Medicare for All. Gallup’s annual health-care survey of adults found that Americans back a system based on private insurance rather than government provision by 54 percent to 42 percent. “This could create a challenge in a general election campaign for a Democratic presidential ... Read More
Elections

More Bad News for Medicare for All

The hits keep coming for Medicare for All. Gallup’s annual health-care survey of adults found that Americans back a system based on private insurance rather than government provision by 54 percent to 42 percent. “This could create a challenge in a general election campaign for a Democratic presidential ... Read More