Sunday, 26 October 2014

UK Overseas Aid for.....France?

‘The growing unease over Britain’s continued commitment to overseas aid targets, regardless of the massive ongoing budget deficit, intensified today as news broke of the latest projects underwritten by UK taxpayers. Reports that British cash had been lavished on water standpipes in Toulouse, newly developed vaccines in Lyons, tattoo removal clinics in Cannes and emergency food drops in the Paris banlieues, over and above the irrigation projects bringing new hope to the impoverished French farming community, were badly received, with consternation in the Commons and demonstrations in Whitehall.

Beleaguered Secretary of State Justine Greening, defying calls for her resignation, asserted that there was little difference between the latest donations and those that had gone very recently to emerging superpowers and space programme pioneers India and China. “Charity does not begin at home. Britain is not an island. We all need to dig deep to support the victims of unforeseeable natural disasters. They were stupid enough to elect Francois Hollande in the first place…hang on, I think that should have been edited out.” Austin Mitchell’s interruption of Miss Greening’s statement with “Entente cordiale my arse” earned him expulsion from the Chamber.

Backbencher disquiet was not calmed when it emerged that the distribution of British aid had fallen to the sole discretion of a shadowy non-government organisation known only by the letters EU, its reputation notorious for the administrative expenses regularly offset from funds flowing into its coffers, and for the lifestyle enjoyed by its hierarchy…’
Yes, it’s only satire. But when we read about the EU’s peremptory demand for the UK to pay £1.7 billion into its coffers, in consequence of the British economy having performed better than expected, and the news in parallel that France is set to benefit to the tune of £790 million worth of rebates in the course of the UK surcharge being redistributed, isn’t there an echo of the old saying that today’s satire is tomorrow’s reality?

And tomorrow may be sooner than you think, Mr Cameron. What will you do about it? There’s still time for you to be a nonconformist. But not much.

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