How aid workers pay off their mortgages

Dalrymple explains that, with cash saved from his taxpayer-funded salary while employed on an aid-and-development project in the Gilbert Islands (formerly the King’s Mill Islands), he was able to purchase a whole house. And working on such a project in Africa, he found that it

enriched an inefficient British company and its personnel, and those officials whom it bribed, while the country remained poorer than ever, a tropical Merthyr Tydfil.

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 17.44.10Aid, Dalrymple argues, is

neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition of development. There is no country that has been lifted out of poverty by aid, which is international social security for corrupt governments. To lump poor countries together as if they were in the same category is false, a form of uninterested and morally frivolous condescension.

He describes Britain’s obsession with sending aid to India as

the hangover of a colonial superiority complex.

It is

a manifestation of the national administrative, mental and ethical torpor, as well as incompetence and corruption, that is leading us to economic and social disaster. It is time we stopped such aid, and not only to India.

Hindustan, he points out,

has a long, varied, glorious (and terrible) history of civilisation, with the sophistication necessary to absorb influences from abroad, including Western scientific ones. It is outrageous that we condescend to it with our paltry aid, just to pay the mortgages of aid workers.

Screen Shot 2013-05-04 at 17.11.24

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932)

Ronald Ross’s poem India (Madras, 1881) is cited:

Here from my lonely watch-tower of the East
An ancient race outworn I see —
With dread, my own dear distant Country, lest
The same fate fall on thee.

Lo, here the iron winter of curst caste
Has made men into things that creep;
The leprous beggars totter trembling past;
The baser sultans sleep.

Not for a thousand years has Freedom’s cry
The stillness of this horror cleaved,
But as of old the hopeless millions die,
That yet have never lived.

Man has no leisure but to snatch and eat,
Who should have been a god on earth;
The lean ones cry; the fat ones curse and beat,
And wealth but weakens worth.
 
O Heaven, shall man rebelling never take
From Fate what she denies, his bliss?
Cannot the mind that made the engine make
A nobler life than this?

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