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Foreign aid is not an optional extra. Abolish the DSA

Comment 3rd August 2010

DO NOT REPEAL any legislation that enables the donation of foreign aid. Our survival as the human race and as a planet depends on us – belatedly – finding a way to enable all the world's people to live decent lives. This means first and foremost establishing a world economic system based on FAIR trade (not  free) and it means prioritising development activity that is a) culturally, socially and environmentally sustainable and b) meets the needs that aid recipients themselves have identified. It means not tying aid to expensive and inappropriate contracts with British firms.

Above all, it means that UK at long last must stop supplying arms ideally to any country at all but certainly to countries devastated by civil war, ethnic oppression and human rights abuses. All of which we have commonly done.  The DSA is the principal agency of government promoting this inhuman trade.

And to all those bleating on on this site about immigration: this is the first plank in a strategy to stem the flow of asylum seekers and other migrants!  We can hardly complain about refugees from a civil war that we have helped perpetuate through the arms trade. Or indeed the continuing flow of people who unashamedly are fleeing dire poverty. Of course it would be better for everyone if they could stay in their home country. It's what most would wish to do. So let's establish a world economic system that promotes appropriate and sustainable development in the poorest parts of the world.

Why does this matter?

 In the interests of everyone on this planet, we have to equalise the distribution of wealth and resources and promote systems that are fair and sustainable.

To do that we have to be much more aware of what aid is for and how it is targeted and we need not to undermine aid efforts by the sale of arms.

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