SPECTRE OF CONTROL
relief comes with myriad "conditions": governments must spend
a certain proportion of their budget on public health, a certain
proportion on education, etc. The governments are to submit
themselves to the third-rate management consultants in the World
Bank, the IMF and every other intergovernmental quango imaginable.
I may be wrong, and I hope I am, but I see very few starving
children being fed in this process. And what price are they
paying for this? The governments of the West are now dictating
the economic policies to the poorest countries in the world.
Sound familiar? Its called empire.
of the wonderful things about left-liberals is that they find
it impossible to see themselves in a seriously bad light. Businessmen
voting for tax cuts are selfish, civil servants voting for pay
increases are "investing in public services." Similarly, I can
imagine one of the most frequent objections to this piece will
be: "but we can't be imperialists, we mean well." This trick
of insistent non-sequitor is a handy technique gleaned from
the establishment to which so many will soon belong. The Victorian
Empire was also a road paved with good intentions. Missionaries
like Doctor Livingston provided an advance guard to the British
in Africa as much as Cecil Rhodes did.
point about debt relief is that the dependence will never stop.
With foreign aid there is still the remote chance that the country
will grow gradually richer and less dependent, or, more plausibly,
become for some reason less interesting and so be forced onto
its own resources. With debt relief there is no chance of that.
Let us bring in our old friends the evil bankers. How are they
going to look at this? This will be seen as near enough a default.
OK, the banks did not make a loss, but it is a warning shot
Third World countries do not expect to pay off their debts.
So they will only lend at reasonable rates in return for a loan
guarantee from the industrialised world. The industrialised
world now has effective control over the financial nerve centre
of every Third World country. What is even better is that the
West will have destroyed the independent creditworthiness of
every poor country, while only paying off the debts of a few
ANY OTHER NAME
suppose the biggest grouse I have with the debt campaigners
is their dishonesty. They may believe that the only constraint
on the education and health of Third World children is debt,
although if that is the case why are they calling for "conditions"
on this debt relief? However, the consequences are not spelled
out. Of course, infantilisation of sub-Saharan Africa may not
be the primary purpose, but it is a perfectly foreseeable consequence
and anything reasonably foreseen is intended. Debt campaigners
will have to be honest that their campaign will lead to the
colonisation of large parts of the Third World. Public opinion
in both the First and Third World may judge it an acceptable
price to pay for progress, but they are going to be awfully
angry if they wake up and find that they were lied to.
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