A good policy

The Telegraph

They could start by stripping foreign aid to India…but overall a sensible policy:

Millions of pounds should be stripped out of the foreign aid budget to help Britain defend the Falkland Islands, according the former First Sea Lord.

Lord West said the Armed Forces should be given a “better crack of the whip” in a shake-up of Whitehall spending amid fears the islands could not be defended from a fresh Argentine attack.

He suggested that the aid budget – set to rise to almost £11bn by 2014 – enabled countries such as India build their own aircraft carriers but the same investment was denied to the Royal Navy.

Speaking on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the conflict, he said it was “bonkers” that the Navy had just 19 frigates and destroyers remaining following defence cuts.

Small reductions in the aid budget – alongside cuts to the NHS and welfare spending – would help Britain restore its naval strength, he said.

The comments come as tensions continue to mount ahead of the anniversary of the Argentine invasion on April 2.

Last week, Argentina threatened to sue oil companies operating around the Falklands amid condemnation of Britain’s “illegal” exploitation of South Atlantic resources.

The British Government hit back, accusing Argentina of “intimidation” and pledging to “stick up” for the islanders’ rights.


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  • ConwayCaptain

    We should look at our o’seas aid.  Most of it is wasted.

    Why are we putting money into failed states like Somalia, Afghanistan who will keep killing each other for ever and a day as they have done for millenia.

  • Dr Wang

    British government’s aid (to India) must be hard to justify to their voters when India has the wherewithal to develop nuclear weapons.

  • Greg M

    I met CDR West many years ago, he is a top quality man and his comments have hit the nail on the head. We too need to start looking at our foreign aid, what are we getting in return from the countries we are “helping”.

    • ConwayCaptain

      He was CO of Ardent in the Falklands.  Last man off

  • parorchestia

    Foreign aid often does more harm than good by encouraging a dependency (and grievance) attitude and graft and corruption by officials.   I speak from experience.  We could spend the money more wisely, especially given we are no longer a first rank country.  

    • ConwayCaptain

      Sounds like Treaty of Waitangi pay outs

  • johnbronkhorst

    didn’t we just change our model for the justification for foriegn aid, to howls of derision for the lefties. Now our foriegn aid is supposed to be justified against it’s ability to help a country help itself. Instead of just handing out money….Correct me if I have misinterpreted this!

  • Peter Wilson

    Would I be right in suggesting Britain’s aid to India is a little different? Given it’s colonial past in India, like NZ and elsewhere, it has a lot to make up for.

    But I do agree the foreign aid budget should be looked at. I have no problem whereever the money goes, as long as it is doing some good. In other words: Accountability. The money should be tagged, monitored, and audited. We read too many stories about aid money being channelled into leader’s private accounts, while their people are starving.

    • johnbronkhorst

      personally I thing 60 years of aid, long after all those protagonists are dust, is way longer than a appology should last. India is a completely different country now!…Aid should stop, before Britain is the 3rd world country asking India for aid!

  • thor42

    While on the topic of foreign aid – the US could save billions by stopping its aid to Pakistan. Aid which a large proportion would be going to the anti-US ISI and the Taliban. 
    Obummer won’t do it, but hopefully a Republican president will.

    • politically unstable

       Giving Aid to pakistan is the only way they can controll how Pakistan manages its nuclear capability.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Does anybody think that the British Government is really interested in sticking up for the rights of a few islanders or is it just a sad excuse to exploit mineral and oil reserves. Seriously if it was in there interest to do so they would not hesitate to relocate the whole population, forcibly if necessary. Bugger the rights of the locals.

    • Chris

      So what? What is wrong with exploiting the mineral and oil reserves within your own territory? The argies haven’t got a finger of a claim to those Islands and they just want them for the same reason. Fact is that they could have shared the spoils if they had kept up with the joint exploration of the area with Britain for natural resources…but no…they pulled out and said “we are not interested”. Funny now that something has been found the argies want all of it. Yet maybe Britain wouldn’t be so desperate for oil reserves if they didn’t have a welfare system that dwarfs even the old British Empire.

  • johnbronkhorst

    And in your life time, you have what justification for that opinion?…Mr Blobby