…from the quill of Antisthenes
In 1961 US President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech promised: “to those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – ”. It would appear that the fifty years period was quite sufficient since, for example, Somalia’s population nearly quadrupled during that time. India, which used to absorb the largest portion of the First World charity for years, (US$55 billion between 1951 and 1992) is today able to set up its own aid agency, which intends to distribute US$11 billion in the next five years to the more deserving countries.
Undoubtedly, a great success and obviously the times they are a-changin’. Now it is China, Russia, India and Brazil which are winning the markets, and influence politicians, in the ever developing countries. Unfortunately, nobody in the Australian Agency for International Developments (AusAID) noticed, and if he did, did not dare to tell our Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd. Comrade Kevin wants to be something big, like capo di tutti capi, or at least a capon in the Mafia called the United Nations. For that he needs votes of the incorruptible and of the many other leaders of many countries. So, Australian foreign aid is going up from $4.5 billion p.a. to $4.8 billion p.a., out of which, in case you are wondering, only $25 million would be paid to India’s elites. Naturally, out of that figure $6 million goes towards something called “climate change”, so it would not be wasted. Which brings me to the heart-warming fact that this year AusAID is investigating only 175 cases of fraud. [Steve Lewis – Australia’s foreign aid program hit by massive fraud, The Courier-Mail 24-03-2011] If you are still wondering, India has more than $318 billion in foreign reserves. Under the Labor Party management Australia’s reserves are down to $42 billion. Indian Space Research Organisation’s budget in 2010-11 was $1.47 billion. It seems that the poverty in India, the relic of its colonialist past, is indeed in the past.
And some are saying I can’t write anything optimistic.