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.


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