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HomeNewsNanny state to the world – how our money is squandered abroad

Nanny state to the world – how our money is squandered abroad


I FIND it shocking that Britain’s nurses have to queue at food banks because they are so badly rewarded. Our treatment of ex-service personnel is another national disgrace. They put their lives on the line for us but when they need us we go AWOL. I despair at the way northerners regularly see their houses destroyed by entirely predictable floods. Worse still, the Environment Agency lets it happen because it wants to make a political point about climate change.

Tragic though these crises are, there are other urgent priorities.

Chinese people might be putting too much salt on their food, for example. I’m sure you will agree that needs urgent intervention. Our government has already spent £7.9million on a study about this crisis, but we are really only scratching the surface. China is not exactly the biggest economy in the world, it’s only the second, so put your hand in your pocket and help.

Meanwhile, in India, there’s a growing suspicion that the locals might be drinking too much. Is this any of our business? Yes, as long as there’s free money to spend and a trip to India for the spender. Nobody with any semblance of humanity could look the other way when there is a crisis like this begging to be resolved by a trip abroad and a stay in a nice hotel.

Luckily, the good people of the Overseas Development Agency (ODA) were able to spring into action and £2.2million was spent trying to get to the bottom of India’s imaginary drink problem. One text messaging firm received £1.5million devising texts to remind drinkers to drink less. (Research has shown that reminding people about a guilty pleasure, such as drinking or smoking, only stimulates the pleasure centre of the brain, the nucleus accumbens, and encourages the recipient to drink more. Still, let’s not be pedantic.)

That’s not the end of it. The people of Colombia are worried about a possible sugar tax. Admittedly not as worried as they might be about being killed by the drug cartels. Still, when there are unspecified, nameless fears among people we don’t really know all that well, there is only ONE thing to do: commission a study. A crack team of civil servants was parachuted in and began investigating immediately. Amazingly, they conducted the study for just £348,108 – money well spent, I’m sure you will agree.

The good news doesn’t stop there. On behalf of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), health researcher Mark Tovey has compiled a report, The Nanny State on Tour, documenting all the fantastic innovations civil servants have made to transfer money from poor UK taxpayers to rich overseas embezzlers. 

What a time to be in the ODA! It’s never been easier to splurge taxpayers’ money on creative binges. Some of these schemes are so far ahead of their time that the recipients of this largesse never even knew they needed it. For example, five African nations received £5.3million to spend on tightening their own anti-tobacco laws! The fag-busting busybodies seem to have gone on tour, because they spent a further £599,065 on anti-smoking intervention in India.

‘I am incredibly grateful to be the recipient of these wise investments,’ said Dr Fortune m’Bezzla, of the 419 Institute.

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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