There is more than a twinge of schadenfreude in some circles over the revelations concerning illicit sexual activity by Oxfam staff across varying levels of seniority. Less of a virtue-signaller, the global charity is more of a virtue-beacon, and has of late become rather anti-capitalist, blaming free markets for global poverty, and ignoring facts such as the dramatic reduction in the number of people living on less than a dollar a day since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the more pronounced decrease since the fall of Lehman Brothers. Despite the banking crisis, the plight of the world’s poor is actually rapidly improving.
Oxfam also finds that there are proportionately more poor people in Europe than in the People’s Republic of China. This is because of the way it calculates poverty. While most people would say poverty is being on a low income, Oxfam defines it as assets minus liabilities, or wealth. So a graduate with a non-Mickey-Mouse degree leaving an English university and going into a well-paid job is apparently worse off than an illiterate peasant in the paddy fields of a communist dictatorship. According to Oxfam, the peasant is better off as he does not have the burden of thousands of pounds in student loans that the well-qualified graduate has to pay off. Who knew? As Toys ‘R’ Us is now discovering, it is actually not the balance sheet that matters so much as the turnover in a profit and loss account. Oxfam, apparently better-versed in accountancy, differs on this.
But preaching communism, the politics that no longer dares speak its name, is not the most recent cause of controversy, which is the propensity of its staff not to keep their trousers zipped when abroad, and to leverage their first-world advantages to satisfy their sexual desires with woman and teenage girls who by circumstance prostitute themselves. A manual more or less condoning this practice has been unearthed. However what was not condoned was the trade of aid for sex. According to the Daily Telegraph, it was known by charities ten years ago that children as young as six were involved in this practice. It is not yet clear if men working for Oxfam were involved.
But is Oxfam actually entirely to blame for this disgraceful behaviour by its staff? Not necessarily.
Oxfam operates in the Third World. The term ‘Third World’, when used as an adjective, is not positive. ‘Third-world medical services’ is not a ringing endorsement, but usually means a filthy, fly-ridden establishment with too many patients, not enough medicines, and a high mortality rate for conditions easily curable in the West. ‘Third-world standards’, when applied to politics, implies corrupt politicians, rigged ballots, political violence and embezzlement of state funds. Migration in the Third World is usually monodirectional, away from economic disasters, genocides and civil wars, and towards Western countries. Most, if not all, illegal immigrants to this country hail from the Third World. They vote with their feet for Western culture and capitalist economics. Oxfam, please take note.
Civil and social standards in the Third World are lower than here in the West. There are embedded cultures of corruption, racism, sexism, criminality, homophobia and violence, both familial and tribal. There are proportionately far more incidences of rape and sexual assault, and in some countries women are blamed for being raped. The perception of Third World standards of heterosexual morality has to be informed by the levels of diseases that can be caught only through unprotected and unrestrained promiscuity.
Most of this depravity is concealed from us by our news organisations and broadcasters. It is apparently difficult to make news about the persistent negative aspects of Third World cultures, and thus only the most egregious examples are reported, such as the use of a bus in South Delhi to kidnap and gang-rape to death a young woman. So the images we are left with are of proud people living virtuous and more spiritual lives despite all the poverty. Why crime rates and social problems on sink estates with high unemployment in the UK are so high, while people in Third World countries seem to be by comparison so law-abiding, is never explained, perhaps because this is not actually the case.
It is to these hearts of darkness of political, social and moral corruption that Oxfam sends its workers. They may be idealistic and naïve. It may not be too surprising if some workers are contaminated by the human corruption they find. No one seems to be factoring in the negative influence of the moral abysses of Third World culture. It is also possible, if not probable, that some men enter the aid business for the sexual opportunities it presents, especially with children. Given that convicted paedophiles such as Paul Gadd (formerly Gary Glitter) have been known to travel to the Third World and satisfied their perverse desires while there, this is not inconceivable.
As with Watergate, the scandal is not just the crime, it is the official cover-up. Oxfam had a decade or so to raise concern about the pools of depravity into which it immersed its workers. But that is to ignore the hard fact that the depravity was already there. For some reason it is seen as racist to try to deliver an improving morality at the same time as providing aid. It is time that a cloying moral relativism stops standing in the way of understanding the world as it really is. It is not just material aid that the Third World needs.