The truth and nothing but the truth
Have we all read Irish journo Kevin Myers' teeth-grinding articles on aid to Africa (HTP DTH)? If not, you really should, and you can do so here, here, and here.
In summary - and treading a non-PC path few dare to venture along - Myers argues that Western aid to Africa is condemning that tragic continent to a demographic disaster. Highlighting the case of Ethiopia, where he was a reporter during the great 1980s "Feed the World" famine, he says:
"By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million: The equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.
So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country? How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity. But that is not good enough.
For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed. It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is inspiring Bill Gates' programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating. If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts. Oh good: then what?
I know. Let them all come here. Yes, that's an idea."
It's the Heart of Darkness, made infinitely worse by hundreds of billions of guilt money poured in by Western governments. It's truly sick.
Now, as you'd expect, the PC Gestapo have demanded Myer's immediate arrest:
"Denise Charlton, of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, has urged An Garda Siochana to investigate me under a special law, by which I could be tried and imprisoned for two years without even the benefit of a jury."
But whatever the Thought Police may do, the cat's out of the bag. The courageous Myers has clearly connected. He reckons 90% of his feedback has been supportive, including the feedback he's had from Africa itself (cf my own experience on the World Service phone-in).
I've just taken a look at the UN's population stats for Africa. They are very scary. In the twenty years since the Feed the World concert the population of Africa has very nearly doubled to around 1 billion people:
The UN reckons the rate of growth will now slow down, so 2 billion won't be reached until 2050. But there's absolutely no sign of a slow down so far, and not for the first time, the UN is whistling in the wind.
So just to recap: $1 trillion of Western aid has failed to give Africa its promised self-sustaining economic growth (see this blog); and if Myers is right, the money we spend on humanitarian relief has sown the seeds for a disaster of Malthusian proportions.
Just like with welfare spending here in the UK, it seems the £5bn pa we spend on "international development" really is consigning its recipients to hell on earth.
As I may have mentioned before, Mrs T and I actually met while raising money for Oxfam. So to be honest, I'm reeling. But we clearly need to demand a halt to this entirely man-made disaster.
PS Another gut-wrenching point in Myers' articles is his shame at having covered up the truth about Ethiopia when he was there in the 80s. He now writes:
"I am not innocent in all this. The people of Ireland remained in ignorance of the reality of Africa because of cowardly journalists like me. When I went to Ethiopia just over 20 years ago, I saw many things I never reported -- such as the menacing effect of gangs of young men with Kalashnikovs everywhere, while women did all the work.
In the very middle of starvation and death, men spent their time drinking the local hooch in the boonabate shebeens. Alongside the boonabates were shanty-brothels, to which drinkers would casually repair, to briefly relieve themselves in the scarred orifice of some wretched prostitute (whom God preserve and protect). I saw all this and did not report it, nor the anger of the Irish aid workers at the sexual incontinence and fecklessness of Ethiopian men. Why? Because I wanted to write much-acclaimed, tear-jerkingly purple prose about wide-eyed, fly-infested children -- not cold, unpopular and even "racist" accusations about African male culpability."
What chance Michael Buerk now makes a similar confession?