Coffee House

Why Britain can’t use foreign aid money to help Somerset

8 February 2014

1:09 PM

8 February 2014

1:09 PM

Should Britain’s foreign aid budget be raided to help homes hit by the flood? There are plenty calls for this today, making the splash of the Daily Mail (below).Bf5jjfkCcAAAUo3.jpg-large A local MP, Ian Liddell-Grainger, says:-

“We send money all over the world now we need to give people down here the hope that they will get what they need. We should divert some of it down here. We don’t have to divert it forever, but we need it now.”

But this demand is based on a misunderstanding of how aid money is allocated. David Cameron’s commitment to double the aid budget until it is equivalent to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income has another caveat: that ‘aid’ will not be defined by him, but by the OECD. This makes it impossible for aid to be diverted from DFID’s budget to other Budgets  – even the reconstruction side of the military – as the bean-counters in Paris wouldn’t categorise it as ‘Overseas Development Assistance.’


The most un-British part of this target is that it only recognizes government aid. The target pays no attention to whether the country’s people donate generously themselves. Britain has, historically, been a strikingly generous and globally-minded country – we didn’t need the taxman’s help to hit this 0.7pc target. So Cameron’s policy was the precise opposite of his “Big Society” premise: it placed trust in governmet, and was blind to the efforts of people. The risk, of course, is that this erodes public donations to overseas charities as Brits think (with some justification) that this is what we pay our taxes for nowadays. So it’s quite possible that Cameron’s target ends up with Britain giving less in aid because private donations will drop off. So a Conservative PM will have, in effect, nationalized overseas aid giving and choked off an old an proud British tradition.

As Nigel Lawson says in a letter to the Spectator  this week, pouring cash into countries with corrupt regimes can not only fail to help, but cause active harm. That’s why I am so opposed to the aid target. Look at its history – it is an idea proposed by the United Nations in 1960, imposed it in 2014 – having failed to learn the many lessons of developmental economics in the decades in between. These lessons are brilliant summed up by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson, authors of Why Nations Fail, in a Spectator article last month.

In 2007 Cameron visited Rwanda – and was asked by one of the African reporters why he in his flood-struck constituency. Afrcian economists like Dambisa Moyo have asked if Western aid is more to do with moral grandstanding at home than helping Africa (which, she says, it has signally failed to do). The decision to double the aid budget while not being able to afford to dredge rivers in home doesn’t make sense to anyone – so the questions keep coming. But for as long as this aid target remains in place, there will be no sensible answers.

One final thing. In his Spectator interview, Cameron was raving about Why Nations Fail – a book which points out the damage done by aid targets. My hunch is that Cameron’s own views on overseas development run contrary to the 0.7 per cent target he was pressurised into signing all those years ago. But I’m not sure that he’ll do anything about it.

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Show comments
  • globalissues

    Foreign aid is very important for the economy, we gain strategic partners and our economy is also benefiting in a long run.

  • suganya

    can you help me plz…my study, my native ramanathapuram, plz can you help me money

  • antisuperstition#1

    Am I expected to believe the ten to twelve billion pounds in aid we give every year would make no difference to GB? Rubbish! The government are quick to call this amount a small sum when it suits them but a huge sum when that suits them.
    Newcombe is correct, aid makes the giver feel good but does no good in the long run for the so called third world. So millions of mostly youngsters survive to have children of their own, the result is in a couple of decades the number in want has multiplied at least six or seven times,therefore has the aid we give also to raise six or seven times? I resent giving what we do now but a possible sixty or seventy billion in aid by 2030 is obscene. Its about time they stood on their own feet, or not.
    Lets be radical and daring, lets have the courage to put Britain and the British people first.

  • Pete Chapman

    I have to admit, I was looking forward to reading this article. I gave up half way as the mistakes and literals make it unintelligent much of the time. I know you’re young Fraser, but learning the English language should be a must for a journalist surely.

  • Varan Sharma

    Hi everyone… I am doing a dissertation on the ethics of foreign aid and its impact on social cohesion within the UK. Please can you help me by filling out this simple questionnaire! I will really appreciate it! 🙂

  • Mat Tanner

    Im a fisherman, Ive seen the river severn, degrade over the years. since the nra went i looked on the environment agency website, to see where fishing licences money goes. and found out they made £24 million with GIA goverment grant of £9.4 m and 8 million of miscellaneous income and wasted it on wildlife, not people and homes and by the guidance of, guess, the EU

  • drydamol1


    How to Make Money from Nothing

    What if you could use your computer to key in any figure
    you wanted into other people’s accounts as a Loan to them and the demand that
    they pay back this Money – Created from Nothing with Interest on top .

    For this is exactly how Private Banks make money from
    Nothing by just keying in figures into Customer Accounts .For when you take out
    a Loan from a Private Bank what you are really doing is giving the Bank
    Permission to create the very Money you Borrow from Nothing ,after which they
    claim it as theirs and Demand you to give it back to them at Interest .

    If loans that private banks use to ‘make money from
    nothing’ turn out to have been

    too risky, then governments spend Billions or even Trillions
    of pounds of Our Money to bail these banks out . The banks on the other hand,
    begin to Hoard their Money no longer lending to Individuals ,Small
    Businesses or even to each other ,but
    raising Bank Charges and Interest Rates and Refusing Morgages .Austerity –
    £332.4 Billion to bail out Banks since 2007 -£50.5 Billion Foreign Aid 2014 ?


    Banks do not use
    Depositors Money for Morgages – if you go the Bank for a Mortgage they make New
    Money for it- just print it – it is just figures on paper but when you default
    they end up with a Property Worth Something when in fact they bought it for
    Nothing and You End Up on the Street .

  • Jimmy R

    For those who want to know where the real causes of the disastrous flooding on the Somerset Levels, and indeed other places in Britain, check the following from the Environment Agency –
    You will find, if you check the links to the EU Directives, that the EA are implementing EU One Size Fits All directives, which include setting aside areas alongside rivers to be deliberately flooded during heavy rainfall.
    Using common sense, which those following EU Directives, especially in Britain rarely do, it becomes obvious that the rules are meant to apply to the large Continental river systems. dwarfing ours, which pass through many different countries before reaching the sea. The obvious reason behind the rules is to stop countries from preventing flooding in their own areas by shifting the problem further downstream for others to deal with, presumably to stop disputed arising between countries by such activities.
    Presumably that is why we had the nonsense a few days ago of the somebody attempting to turn the issue into a rural versus urban flooding problem.
    The EA have, presumably because of the EU ‘One size Fits All’ Directive, a single set of rules for the whole country meaning flat artificially drained areas like the Somerset Levels and the Norfolk Broads are subjected to the same rules as Mountainous places like the Lake District, the Welsh Mountains with their fast running streams and rivers.
    One thing is certain, the EA Quango should be disposed of immediately, because it causes more problems that it ever solves , and it’s activities passed to local control at whatever level makes most sense for each part of the country so local conditions become the primary cause behind activities.

  • Bonkim

    Foreign aid helps increase populations at locations where life is unsustainable. The earth is grossly overpopulated and resources depleting fast – the aim should be to reduce population, not help keep failed and failing societies linger on.

  • James Allen

    No mention on Speccie of Pickles’ stupid f**king comments about foreign aid helping to bring down flooding levels in future.

    Damn these leftie cowards. Are they not following events?:

    “In 1998-99 the American climate researcher Michael Mann and his
    co-workers published an estimate of global temperatures from the year
    1000 to 1980. Mann’s results appeared to show a spike in recent
    temperatures that was unprecedented in the last thousand years. His
    alarming report received widespread publicity and formed the centerpiece
    of the U.N.’s Third Assessment Report, in 2001. The graph appeared on
    the first page of the IPCC Executive Summary.

    Mann’s work was initially criticized because his graph didn’t show
    the well-known Medieval Warm Period, when temperatures were warmer than
    they are today, or the Little Ice Age, when they were colder than
    today. But real fireworks began when two Canadian researchers, McIntyre
    and McKitrick, attempted to replicate Mann’s study. They found grave
    errors in the work, which they detailed in 2003: calculation errors,
    data used twice, and a computer program that generated a hockey stick
    out of any data fed to it—even random data.

    Mann’s work has been dismissed as “phony” and “rubbish” by climate
    scientists around the world who subscribe to global warming. Some have
    asked why the UN accepted Mann’s report so uncritically. It is
    unsettling to learn Mann himself was in charge of the section of the
    report that included his work. This episode of climate science is far
    from the standards of independent verification.”


  • Jabez Foodbotham

    If foreign aid is to do any long-term good to them or us it should be solely directed into birth control projects.

  • Regislea

    At the risk of reducing the argument to the Thatcher “running a country is just like running a family budget” argument, here’s a conundrum.

    I am fortunate to be better off than my extended family, i.e. my wife’s relatives. If I give them money, it’s money that I am borrowing from my – and my wife and children’s – future.

    On what basis can I justify that?

  • George N Gray

    Now the people of flooded Britain might realize exactly what the British Government does to British Pensioners residing in Commonwealth Countries who have paid all their dues for their full upgraded Basic Pension but never receive it. Our Pension values are frozen as soon we reach age 65, I’m 76 and paid all my dues over 49 years. I reside in South Africa, a Commonwealth Country, by never get our annual pension increases because the British Government appears to prefer to ignore it’s own Citizens, and to assist Foreign Countries many of which are corrupt etc and not in need of AID. The British Citizen should always come first with the British Government.

  • colliemum

    There’s always a reason for doing nothing – if one’s in government.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Obviously Smith should resign,
    because “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his (public)
    life for his friends (in the EU)”.
    A local scapegoat is needed to keep attention
    focused away from the EU and its involvement in this disaster, and Smith is an
    ideal candidate who well deserves that fate anyway.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Cameron [and his wife] want to look cool in Ladbroke Grove, hence the stupid plan to atone for Empire by pissing away taxpayers money in hot countries.

  • artemis in france

    It’s all halo-polishing, Fraser. Where there’s a will there’s always a way. Enough said.

  • Wessex Man

    Lets get Bob and Bono to organise a Concert and Wogan to devote a day of drivel on the BBC or prehaps not let’s just tell them all to get stuffed and use all the Aid budget here in the Uk for five years.

    Government by soundbite since the early days of Blair has left us with fatcat Politicians, Civil Servants and Quangos that don’t work!

    Vote UKip!

  • JoeThorpe1963

    If we did what Germany does & call loans to needy nations as aid (because they are at preferential rates) suddenly a lot of cash could be diverted to our own needy. At worst Ireland is in desperate need of help fighting floods in the South East & instead of sending hundreds of millions to India which has both Nuclear & Space programs why cant we send it where it would be appreciated & to a country that does most of its trade with us?

  • Mynydd

    The answer is simple, send aid worth £1,000,000,000 to India, then India can then send £1,000,000,001 of emergency aid to Somerset.

  • Conway

    Why have we let the OECD define ‘aid’? Aren’t we capable of doing it ourselves any more?

  • David Webb

    What a cretinous article! People are not asking for Somerset to be the focus of overseas aid spending, but – obviously – or obvious to everyone except Clown Fraser – for a reduction in the overseas aid budget, to free up money to spend on anti-flood works. There shouldn’t be a target for overseas aid of 0.7% of GDP – the target should be 0% – by leaving the EU, we could offer trade, not aid, to Africa et al, thus helping their economies to grow instead of, as at present, simply stuffing the Swiss bank accounts of African leaders with supposed aid money.

    • Shoe On Head

      “what a cretinous article…”

      did you wear a blazer aged 13 as casual?

      sounds like it.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    So all of a sudden money is the excuse for four weeks of inaction?
    “The tragedy is that nothing happened for so long” — Prince Charles 05/02/2014

  • saffrin

    Could be a vote winner for UKIP. Nigel Farage wouldn’t take any truck from Brussels let alone blow £Billions every year on Foreign Aid when we need the money at home for our own uses.
    Cameron is as big a disaster as Labour.

    • Kitty MLB

      The West Country is slowly sinking, homes are being wrecked,
      the countryside ruined as well peoples businesses .
      Yet you can think its ok to use this for political advantage.

      • Wessex Man

        saffrin makes a very good point, because Farage thinks of the UK first and says so is not going to ofend the people who have had their homes and Businesses wrecked by half witted people like Smith at The Environmental Agency, the Agency which actually spent 1.7% of it’s total budget on maintaining waterways last year!

        • Kitty MLB

          Well I think the Environmental Agency should be scrapped,
          just a pointless Leftie waste of time, and I agree with what you say about Smith.
          I do actually like Nigel Farage and defend UKIP when they
          are under attack, and I think we should be spending far less
          on Foreign Aid, and should be helping our own country more.
          I suppose Nigel is the modern day St George,
          with his EU slaying dragon, carrying the sword of truth
          and the patriotic shield of England, how foolish of me to forget! 🙂

      • saffrin

        You’re an odd one. Who do you think is responsible if not our hopeless politicians & Europe’s unelected technocrats?

    • BoiledCabbage

      Somebody, somehow, has to stop the rot that is British governance, and afflicts many aspects of life. Something radical is needed after 20+ years of drift.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    I’m impressed by the rapidity with which you Speccie kids spring into action these days, lad. The moment something pops against your mate Dave, you Cameroonian apologists are on it. Kudos, lad.

    “It’s not Dave’s fault, he has to do what others tell him to do.”

    A real hands-on fellow, your guy Dave, eh lad? Take charge, the buck stops here, chin up and all that.






    • Kitty MLB

      Who the devil thought building on flood plains was a good
      idea ? or in high risk areas. I have always wondered.
      I feel perhaps a little sorry for Caliban our Prime Minister.
      The economy, EU exploding, Floods, & The Lib Dems-
      Is he the man to deal with all this.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …judging from the aerial photographs, there doesn’t appear to be much building on the flood plain, as most of the building appears to be up on high ground. It’s the lower elevation agricultural lands that are affected.

        • Kitty MLB

          Water is such a danger, yet people do not think
          about that often enough.
          Not sure if you know a place could Dunwich in Suffolk,
          knew it whilst in Cambridgeshire- more that half the
          village has disappeared under the sea over the decades-
          its very eerie!

  • Two Bob

    Of course it cant use foreign aid to help somerset farmers. The solution is to reduce foreign aid. Then use the money saved to help somerset farmers…..

    • Kitty MLB

      Yes Indeed- Somerset is in a wretched state, people are also having
      to leave their homes-
      Yet there is an issue now with farmers having fields
      that are very large, which contributes to flooding.
      fields in bygone years used to be much more smaller,
      and were managed more productively .

      • Wessex Man

        where do you think your food comes from?

        • Alyson Cruise

          Well, 40% of it comes from other countries.

      • Doggie Roussel

        I can see no logic or conclusion in what you are saying.

  • careering_off

    “Afrcian economists like Dambisa Moyo have asked
    if Western aid is more to do with moral grandstanding at home than
    helping Africa (which, she says, it has signally failed to do).”

    She’s doubtless right, but it’s also about sustaining an aid industry in the West, the purest kind of public sector industry in which success is measured by inputs rather than outcomes, and criticism can be dismissed as morally offensive.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Environmental Policy is an EU (in)Competence.

    DEFRA gets its Orders from Brussels. The Environment Agency gets its Orders from DEFRA.

    EU Policy is to blame for the extreme flooding. Dr Richard North explains here, with the relevant links:

    Shame the hacks in the MSM can’t (or more likely won’t) do research like this.

    • Jambo25

      The Dutch, Belgians and others live under EU regulations as well as the UK. Large scale river dredging and other flood prevention work goes on day after day.
      The real problem is the aversion to spending money on infrastructure outside of the London area. In fact an aversion to spending money on the infrastructure at all. Under both Labour and Tory governments flood prevention spending has fallen or, at best, remained static. That was made abundantly clear by a financial/statistical expert on ‘Daily Politics’ last week.
      A very good example of how infrastructure spending has not been nearly enough lies with the rail line through Dawlish. The problems here were foreseen 80 years ago and plans for an inland relief line in place by 1936/37. Work started in the Summer of 1939 but was postponed due to the war. Post 1945 the plans were never revisited and the old, inadequate line left for nearly 70 years. In the meantime the plans for HS2 are being pushed through. HS2 will, of course, be a major help for long distance London commuters and help the London economy.

  • foxoles

    Something else Cameron merrily gave away, then – not just the money, but the ability to decide where it’s spent.

    ‘… the 0.7 per cent target he was pressurised into signing’? By whom? What is he, a jelly-fish? How is it so difficult for someone with aspirations to run the country to say one word, ‘No’?

    The man’s a menace.

  • MirthaTidville

    Once again it proves how shallow Cameron`s thinking is..

  • IanVisits

    The obvious political solution is to declare Somerset a foreign country for the duration of the crisis.

    • Two Bob

      Well compared to London it virtually is…..

      • Shoe On Head

        londoners want london to become a city-state.

        • Pip

          The Islamic State of Londonstan more like.

          • Shoe On Head

            who lit the fuse on your tampon?

    • In2minds

      IanVisits has a good point, mind you perhaps there is corruption in Somerset.

      Lawson says – “pouring cash into countries with corrupt regimes can not only fail to help, but cause active harm –

      Well according to figures from Richard North at EUReferendum a quote for
      dredging in Somerset from one source was £6250 per mile, while the
      Environmental Agency thinks it is £800,000. So an increase of 128
      times, that seems pretty corrupt to me.

      • Wessex Man

        Can you give the link to those figures, if that were the case I would hazard a guess that the Pleasure Canal in Wiltshire, run by donation and using a Dredger constantly would be spending in the region of £16,000,000,000 every year!

        Or maybe those figures are just plucked from thin air?

        • In2minds

          I got the numbers from –

          There is also an EA based website –

          I also have some experience of dredging work on the upper reaches of the Thames.

        • Jimmy R

          Wessex Man, it is in the Environment Agencies own interest to exaggerate the cost of dredging out of all proportion to reality, it helps them justify their excuses for not carrying it out by claiming the cost would be so much it would stop them building massive reserves for poor little birdies and other such irrelevances. You will also probably find that when something on the scale of the Somerset Levels is dredged whatever is removed will have to be treated as industrial and possibly contaminated waste and has to be removed by the thousands of lorry loads for disposal elsewhere, at great cost, rather than simply deposited on the sides of the drainage channels.
          I’ve not checked on the accuracy of the figures quoted but I can see why the Environment Agency would exaggerate the costs of dredging in order to explain away their reason for not having carried it out.

    • kyalami

      Will we need to hold a referendum first?

  • Hello

    “Afrcian economists like Dambisa Moyo have asked if Western aid is more to do with moral grandstanding at home than helping Africa”

    I’m not sure how it can be considered moral grandstanding when you’re running a current account deficit. It’s not the current generation paying for this “grandstanding”, we’re borrowing from the rest of the world to give aid to the rest of the world and we’re securing that borrowing against future UK output. Is that moral? Now, if we were running a current account surplus then maybe we could say it was moral, but we’re not.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Could it be that is just about generating a sufficiently dense smokescreen to conceal the role of the EU in this?
    Keep discussing everything and anything apart from the involvement of the EU; we shouldn’t have these quanqos, the man running this one was a Labour politician, he was and is useless (and gay to boot); it was under the Labour government that the dredging was stopped; it may or may not have made a difference if the dredging had been continued; it has rained an awful lot; yes, that is down to global warming or no, it is nothing to do with global warming; Prince Charles believes in global warming and has been there, but the man in charge hasn’t been there; now he has been there, and he got an earful from the locals; the latest, why are we sending money abroad as aid when we need it here, oh no we can’t; but whatever you do ON NO ACCOUNT MENTION THE EU eh, Fraser?

    • Colonel Mustard

      Actually I would disagree that much has been made of the fact that Smith and his predecessor (the pumping station bomber) are Labour. The BBC seems to have successfully avoided mentioning that at all, as have – fantastically – the government mouthpieces.

      Where I agree is the failure to analyse the causes as a holistic, cumulative output of the new European socialist state which of course involves Labour’s fifth column as an integral tool of its work here. In that sense the unelected and apparently unaccountable behaviour of Lord “I Won’t Resign” Smith of Finsbury and New Labour is perfectly consistent with the behaviour of the unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats of the EU. Two cheeks of the same oppressive backside sitting on Britain – if you will.

      • Denis_Cooper

        If Fraser could pin the blame entirely on Labour while also bringing in the EU then he might do so, but that would be difficult when the party he favours was responsible for opening the door for Brussels to poke its nose into such matters in first place.

        By which I mean the Maastricht Treaty, which as far as I can see was when it was agreed that the EU (as it became) would have “a policy in the sphere of the environment”, rather than the original Treaty of Rome that made no reference to the environment.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Oh, I think the issues around dredging are much more recent than the headline generalities you cite and are related to the disposal of the dredged material. I suspect the decision was taken to simply avoid the complex risk analysis necessary by not dredging at all.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Well, that says:

            “The European Dredging Contractors established the European Dredging Association (EuDA) in 1994 as a trade
            association for contacts with European institutions; this includes influencing and tracking EU law that might impact the dredging sector.”

            The Maastricht Treaty was signed in February 1992 and came into force in November 1993, so it is not entirely unreasonable to suppose that the dredgers felt the need to get themselves organised in response to the extension of EU powers on the environment under that treaty.

            • Mynydd

              The lack of dredging can only mean one thing, The European Dredging Contractors have not made a donation to the Conservative Party. If they had then every river would have been dredged in the last three years. Money no problem.

              • gerontius

                “The lack of dredging can only mean one thing, The European Dredging
                Contractors have not made a donation to the Conservative Party”

                Yeah Myndd, That must be the reason.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Utterly dishonest rubbish from a labour troll. Ignore.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Clearly you need to read it more carefully. There are three ‘Directives’ that together are factors in this issue:-

              The Water Framework Directive of 2000.

              The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) dates from 1975 but was substantially amended to include dredging ‘waste’ in 1991.

              And most significantly the The Habitats Directive which dates from 1992 and which influenced decisions about the dredging of the levels.

              Smith himself asserted in January that the dredging had not taken place for 20 years – e.g. circa 1994 but the EA was only established in 1996. The 1998 Bye Report in to the Easter floods does not mention the Somerset levels or dredging but does recommend this at 1.6 (7):-

              “The Agency should consider whether enhancing the nature conservation value of watercourses without compensating flood defence action is increasing upstream urban flood risks.”


              Also relevant:-


              • Wessex Man

                er, what about the constant use of Dredgers in Holland clearly used every day?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  For which the Dutch pay a great deal of money.

                • Jambo25

                  And the Dutch generally don’t have to live with turds floating through their living rooms because of it. It costs money but it brings benefits.

                • Wessex Man

                  Does that great deal of money equal the great deal of money that we waste in overseass aid to China, India, Argentina and Brazil? Do the Dutch get value for money from Farmers who are able to get on with the job of Farming?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Holland spends about half a billion pounds yearly on flood defences. Two-thirds of the country i at risk from flooding. I don’t know how much of the UK is prone to flooding but rather less than two-thirds. To spend at the Dutch rate we would have to spend three billion pounds a year. Which seems to me quite a lot.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Fergus, The Husband and I lived in Holland for a
                  You cannot get away from Water, they literally build
                  houses on water- quite charming!
                  They have a complex draining system, pumping stations
                  which are inside the many windmills which protect farmland, dykes and dams.
                  They have far greater issues with water then we do.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I should also like to butt in if I may
                  and say we also waste an awful lot of Aid in
                  Europe itself, such as roads in Greece, and offices in Spain,
                  not just further afield.
                  Also, as I have mentioned below to someone, The Dutch have more of
                  an issue with flooding then we do, and deal with it far more efficiently , and also the windmills in fields are not just
                  there to look pretty, they are pumping stations.

              • Denis_Cooper

                I think we may be talking somewhat at cross-purposes here.

                My point is that Fraser and the other Spectator journalists would really prefer not to mention the EU dimension at all, as has become quite evident, but they would be more inclined to do so if they could pin the blame squarely on Labour, for example:

                “The EU policies and laws which have contributed to this disaster sprang from the Nice Treaty agreed by Labour”

                But as the EU policies and laws which have contributed to this disaster actually sprang from treaties agreed by the Tories they cannot do that and so they would prefer to avoid the subject altogether.

                On the other hand Christopher Booker does not avoid the subject today:


                “But what has been emerging in recent days is another hugely important factor in bringing this disaster about: the extent to which the agency’s policy has been shaped and driven by the European Union. My co-author Dr Richard North, an expert researcher who writes the EU Referendum blog, has been combing through dozens of official documents to unravel just how it was that the agency came to adopt a strategy deliberately designed to allow flooding not just in Somerset but elsewhere in the country, all in the name of putting the interests of “biodiversity”, “sustainability” and wildlife habitats above those of farming and people.”

    • greggf

      Whatever the dénouement may be, the repercussions of the policy mish-mash eagerly enacted by Chris “mostly-shifty” Smith make the “loony-left”, in place almost everywhere it seems, appear less dangerous than we may have supposed….!

  • wobble

    Bloody criminal !

  • Andy

    I just don’t see the logic in borrowing £100 billion a year merely to squander £11 billion on Foreign Aid.

    • Newcombe

      Aid satisfies our ego. We also “give” aid in order that the recipient dictator/government of the hopeless country can then vote with us at the UN and so that they can place an order for military hardware and other weapons of mass mutilation and murder with us.

      So in a way, our aid to them sh!ts back to us.

    • Pip

      More blinkered Pro Tory nonsense from Fraser, he ought to be ashamed.

    • BoiledCabbage

      Makes Camoron look cool and my word does he like to look cool, man.

  • ButcombeMan
    • colliemum

      Thanks for the link – charity begins at home, so let’s show the Westminster troughers that we know how to help – even if it’s only a small amount.

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