Tony Blair is my new hero

He pioneered cutting debt to African nations by $40-55 billion, and now he wants to encourage developed nations to boost international development aid by $50 billion a year.

Assuming the aid goes to good use like infrastructure building and disease/malnutrition prevention in countries that can be trusted to use it responsibly this is pretty nice.

How is this supposed to work? The Europeans give money to their former colonies but also send in auditors to make sure it goes to the right places? Is this not neocolonialism?

Who decides how They can spend Our Money? Us or Them?

I would compare the European disaster that is Africa with the American (imperfect) success story of Latin America. Trade works better than aid. If the Europeans just stopped paying too much to their farmers for stuff, Africans could grow it cheaper and make a profit.

As it is now, Tony wants Europeans to pay farmers too much and then pay guilt money to repair the damage of such a policy. He is simply throwing other people’s money at every problem he sees.

This would be the “(imperfect) success story” that supported Pinochet, Galtieri, Noriega and various other fascists in Latin America, would it?

Do any time in the Corps before ya went to get rich under the western-friendly tyrannical regime in Saudi Arabia, Paul?

Negative! These plans were proposed by Tony Blair’s arch-enemy in government, Chancellor Gordon Brown - the next Prime Minister.

Blair hates and fears Brown so much he even deliberately arranged a press conference to clash with one Brown had already scheduled on addressing poverty in Africa.

As with most of the economic decisions in Britain, Brown calls the shots in this regard and Blair dares not try to block him as it would accelerate his being thrown out as leader.

What are you talking about? When aid is given to North Korea they tend to spend it on statutes of the two Kims and on the military instead of on food, infrastructure or medicine. The goal is to find ways that the money is spent on infrastructure, healthcare and agriculture so they become self sufficient countries with adequate infrastructures.

I agree about the subsidies to EU and US farmers harming africa.

The vast majority of americans support humanitarian foreign aid.

Myth 4: Americans want to cut foreign aid.

This is what members of Congress and their staffers like to tell us. But a University of Maryland study reveals that a vast majority of Americans would support an increase in aid focused on reducing poverty. Eighty-three percent of Americans favor U.S. participation in a plan to reduce world hunger by half by 2015, and nearly all these people would be willing to pay more in taxes to make it happen.

I’m perfectly willing to pay an extra $20 a year in taxes for humanitarian aid. The percentage of Europeans who support humanitarian aid is probably even higher than 83%.

Oh, yeah, and it’s largely the French who want to maintain teh Common agricultural policy, which the UK has asked them to consider dropping.

Which model has worked better? Africa or Latin America? Who would you rather be, an African or a Latin American?

Great answer! So, taking the legacy of 19th century colonisation against 20th century support for Fascist states is comparable, is it?

How would you have liked living under Pinochet - as opposed to the House of Saud?

Seen any women beheaded for adultery lately?

For the record, I wouldn’t have wanted to live in Chile when the Caravan of Death was doing the rounds. Maybe, you consider that to be an imperfect success.

Studs, you are making a personal attack. That is a sign of a weak argument. This thread is not discussing Saudi Arabia and you ought not to try to take it off track just because you cannot win your point otherwise. If you wish to talk about Saudi Arabia, please start another thread.

So, I ask you again, would you rather be an African or a Latin American? Which scenario worked out better for the inhabitants?

Oh, but I have to get to the office, so please do not think I am ignoring you.

Neocolonialism? What are you talking about Paul? Many countries are getting their debts to the World Bank, and IMF written off in exchange for meeting “strict criteria.” They do not have to choose to meet these criteria, but certainly it would seem to be in their best interest to do so. The G8 countries are not trying to colonialise the African nations - they are helping by 1) reducing greatly the amount of debt repayment that has been burdoning many countries and 2) setting criteria for the use of this ‘extra’ money which should help the nations develop rather than simply throwing money recklessly at the countries which would be a waste of resources.

I agree that cutting subsidies to farmers in both the EU and the US would help much more and that, in general, trade is better than aid. But, you are coming across as saying that this debt relief package is a bad thing. More can and should be done, but this is most certainly a good first step, I think.

I’m not sure that’s what Tony wants, but I heartily agree with the rest of your statement.

I understand this is being done out of the best of intentions, but how can this not be neocolonialism? You give Them a billion euros. They want to build another stupid damn. You tell them no, you tell them they have to build an airport. You tell them they have to spend the money on products an services from Europe.

How is this not bossing the locals around? How is this not neocolonialism?

These policies have brought disaster to Africa. Now we are doing more of the same. Freakin’ wonderful.

Paul, you have entered into this debate with absolutely no appreciation of the facts.

I think it is relevant that you are in Saudi, as any westerner living there is likely to be there as a profiteer from US foreign policy that.

That - and your apparent ignorance of the facts - suggests to me that you are somewhat insulated from the realities of the world you are attempting to comment on.

If you want to talk about winning arguments, try not posting about Tony Blair trying to maintain the EU’s common Agricultural Policty at a time when he is actively challenging that policy.

And anyone who wants to talk about the US’s intervention in Latin America as an “imperfect success” displays either ignorance of the reality or a crass insensitivity to the damage the US did in that part of the world.

You’ll find my answer below:




Honduras (Tegucigalpa)


(If you can’t work that out, I would not want to be poor in either part of the world. Being rich is fine in most places.

Well, I don’t know about him, but I’m happy to be an african. Just as long as the WB and IMF keep the hell away.

You also have the advantage that the US is less likely to support mayhem by funding African despots and/or terrorists.

Oh, and the US subsidy programme has also led to foof-dumping which are destroying markets in Latin America, notably maize in Mexico.

well, until the only oil left is in Nigeria, angola and moçambique… :frowning:

Studs thank for your comments about me. You do not know me, and yet you seem to know the reason I am here, what I am doing and whatnot. Do The Voices tell you these things?

Mexico is in an (imperfect) free trade union with the United States. The Americans sell cheap corn to the Mexican people. The Mexicans sell cheap cars to the Americans. Everyone (taken as a group) wins.

While it would please some people to keep the people of Africa and Mexico poor and on the farm, this is not a morally sound choice. Africa needs (and Latin America has) trade, not aid. Mister Blair is taking a solid step to ensuring Africa remains a basket case dependent upon the largesse of the former colonial masters. He proposes European interference with African internal affairs and offers addictive aid as the bait. Again.

The British proposal is simply more of the same, only this time with Europeans bossing the Africans around. Of course, it is for their own good, so that makes it OK.

The American model of trade has produced a (relatively) rich Latin America with car and aircraft industries, local government by local people and the preservation and furtherance of local culture. The European model of aid has produced a disaster of endless European mismanagement, captive markets, poverty, disease and cultural destruction.

No problem.

Eh, cite please!

Paul, you are making a personal attack on me. Please desist.

Read up on Nafta, have you?

Who brought up the subject of subsidised farming? Would you like a cite for food dumping on Mexico?

Of course, the cases of the Mexican maize producer with one and a half acres to farm, deprived of even subsistence level farming is precisely comparable to that of US automobile imports. How silly of me! Care for any cites?

Really? No kiddin’! Where are the maize farmers afected by US (subsidised - yeah, you remember) food dumping? Are they all making cars?

Hail to you! You believe in Fair Trade! Care to take that to the WTO, US and EU? (Yes, I’m European).

Care to explain that with (factual) reference to the factual information posted earlier within the thread?

Care to explain that with (factual) reference to the factual information posted earlier within the thread?

Care to explain that with (factual) reference to the factual information posted earlier within the thread?

Long, long time ago - I can still remember - Paul was talking 'bout winning arguments.

(Facts, facts, facts - cheeky, huh?)

Ah, so the US intervention you referred to, the “imperfect success” was purely based on your perception of the " American model of trade"! Aha!

And here I was thinking you had accused me of being incapable of winning an argument.

Tell us, Paul. How did the US bring such happiness and prosperity to Latin America? And what was your response to my answer to your question?

Also, if it would not seem to be a further “personal attack”, would you care to tell us: -

(a) what you are doing in Saudi (you are clearly not a profiteer from US foreign policy that tolerates friendly despots - an aid worker, perchance?)

(b) did you spend any time in the Corps?

© As an added extra, as I have been so co-operative with someone who thinks Tony Blair is engaged in trying to preserve the EU Common Agricultural Policy, and who is now trying to define US intevervention purely in terms of a (grossly inaccurate) trade model, would you care to offer an assessment of what the US has brough to Latin America? I, for one, promise not to guffaw - because it’s not at all funny.

Trade not Aid, I like it Paul. Any implications for the US?

Any implications for the World Bank?

Any implications for the IMF?

Any implications for the WTO?

Any implications for US foreign policy?

Interested in Kissinger’s comments on the economies of Africa (circa 1970s)?

Assuming I win the Powerball lottery, I can tell my boss to take his job and shove it.

The two are about equally realistic.

(BTW, I didn’t buy any Powerball lottery tickets.)