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HomeNewsKaren Harradine: DFID indulges shady people in sunny places

Karen Harradine: DFID indulges shady people in sunny places


How clever of Theresa May to call for an early election. But how stupid of her to re-commit to ring fencing 0.7 per cent of state spending for the Department for International Development (DFID). In principle the idea of DFID is a good one. Our Judeo-Christian ethos and heritage teaches us that we must help the less fortunate, the vulnerable, the ill, the afflicted. But in practice, DFID is a diabolical mess which mainly serves greedy civil servants, monstrous dictators, corrupt consultants and wealthy international organisations.

The UK Government runs a major deficit. From April 2016 to February 2017 it was forced to borrow £47.8 billion as it had to spend more money on public services than it received from taxes and other incomeUncontrolled immigration and the 2008 recession have taken its toll on our public services. So why are the Tories insisting on funding the unpopular DFID when the Government is in debt and operating at a deficit? The £13 billion wasted by Dfid last year is criminal, especially when this is sorely needed to help struggling UK citizens.

The ridiculous policy originates from an increasingly Islamist dominated and corrupt United Nations (UN), egged on by a dictatorial European Union (EU). The European Commission astonishingly receives almost 30 per cent of DFID’s budget. DFID also gives almost 27 per cent of its budget to the World Bank, a UN-affiliated organisation. This money is channelled via the rather benign sounding International Development Association – which masks the identity of the true recipients of British taxpayers’ money.

The fourth player in this elite mob, partially propped up by DFID, is the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – which claims to be run by ‘experts’ yet neglected to predict the 2008 financial crisis, laughably keeps adjusting its negative economic forecast for Brexit Britain, and has a nasty habit of holding developing countries hostage to their ideology in exchange for money.  Yet our government has contributed £120 million to its inept projects.

The UN, EU, World Bank and IMF are well known for their flagrant spending and corruption.  Perhaps the apparatchiks who run DFID would like to explain why it wastes our money on projects and resources run by this bunch who are really just a combination of a cartel and a money laundering scheme.  But I doubt they will as DFID has its own way of spending money like a drunken investment banker on a  jolly to Dubai.  And it knows how to hide the paper trail extremely well.

In 2015 DFID invested £735 million in a financial body called the CDC Group. By 31 March 2016, DFID hoovered up another 450 million shares in CDC and now holds 100 per cent of the shares. CDC describes itself as an investment company, owned by the UK Government, and is connected to the EU and the World Bank. It invests in private business and boasts that it has created millions of new jobs in Africa and Asia, culminating in a $2.3 billion contribution to local taxes. All of this is rather admirable but as a Government department, DFID should not be acting like a bank and neither should British taxpayers’ money be channelled via a shadowy middle man organisation to augment the finances of foreign governments. There is something sneaky and immoral in shoring up foreign tax revenues at  the expense of British taxpayers and then hiding it.

CDC has no accountability to the taxpayer. Plus, DFID has no control over CDC’s implementation of vital day to day decisions when it comes to flinging British taxpayers’ money around the globe. The CEO of CDC, Diana Noble, is paid an annual salary of £250,000. Which is impressive  for someone who works for a government financial company. But as Noble was previously employed by another member of our global elite  – the Clinton Foundation – I guess she is a perfect fit for an organisation which acquires wealth through dubious means. With this amount of taxpayers’ money washing through this money laundering scheme, DFID might as well save some time and drop the money off in sacks at CDC’s office.

The fact that Noble and others employed by DFID are recruited from elitist international organisations entrenches the impression that it is run like an exclusive syndicate. A former non-executive member of DFID –  Rachel English – worked for the World Bank and the European Bank. Others are recruited from UK government quangos, like Anne Tutt, who is also a member of Defra and various NHS trusts.

DFID’s dubious practices also extends to staff remuneration. Mark Lowcock , DFID’s Permanent Secretary, is paid an annual salary of £165,000. Joy Hutcheon, the Director General, receives £125,000 and up to £15,000 p.a. of bonus payments. Why are civil servants being paid bonuses to do their jobs? Why is the Permanent Secretary paid more than Theresa May?

I guess it must be a pleasant experience to feel virtuous while greedily cleaving tax payers’ money with no accountability. No wonder DFID is so target driven and wastes money on Ethiopian girl bands and propping up odious dictators like Kim Jong-Un.

DFID also loses control over millions of pounds. In 2015 DFID spent £85.3 million on what it terms ‘unallocated/unspecified spending’. This is the excuse:

‘When DFID or other UK government departments provide core funding to multilateral organisations, it is not possible to directly track the funding to the country or sector where it is spent. However, to provide an indication of the destination and sector of UK aid, the overall percentages of ODA reported by the relevant multilateral organisations are used to impute a UK contribution.’

It also spent £215.7 million on ‘administrative costs of donors’. DFID is arrogantly and unapologetically hiding a paper trail of £301 million. I suspect that most of this missing funding has found its way to bribing or feting war lords and charity consultants with gourmet dinners, expensive cars and bottles of luxury whisky.

DFID attempts to portray itself as an essential aid in helping the vulnerable and needy. But the British public is not so easily not fooled. Those who do support DFID should be ashamed of themselves. For this despicable government department is nothing more than a shadowy operation with its own unaccountable and opaque agenda. British taxpayers are losing out in favour of enriching our global elite under the pretext of ‘helping’ the less fortunate.

Read part two of Karen’s profile of DFID on TCW tomorrow…

(Image: DFID)

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Karen Harradine
Karen Harradine
Karen is an anthropologist and freelance journalist. She writes on anti-Semitism, Israel and spirituality. She is @KarenH777on Twitter.

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