23 April 2015

What the Different UK Political Parties Really Think about DFID

14 days to go to the closest UK General Election in recent history and we have not heard much about DFID/UKAid/Overseas spending, except from UKIP which is not keen at all.

This lack of election fever debate is good in the short run and reflects a consensus that having a sizable international development budget is the right and smart thing to do.

But in the medium run it would be good to have a discussion of when and how the aid budget changes and evolves. An election is exactly the wrong time to do this because everything in the discourse becomes binary, simplistic and shrill.

However, we do need a debate on the long term future of UK Aid and I hope the new Government starts thinking and consulting about it.

In any case, a friend asked me if I was going to do a blog on the different parties' views on DFID--as I did back in 2010.  I told him I thought there was not enough grist for a decent blog.

But behind the harmony of the public positions, what are the UK political parties really thinking about DFID?

Here is my entirely non-serious attempt to read their minds (apologies to non UK readers for the in-jokes):

Conservatives: well, that was a real vote winner!

Greens: we'll double the 0.7% to 1.0%. Er, hold on..

Labour: blimey, I hope we're not supporting zero hours jobs overseas

Plaid Cymru (Welsh Nationalists): it already sounds like a Welsh town & Wales is international, right?

Scottish Nationalist Party: it supports strong national governments all over the world ;)

UK Independence Party: nuke it, nuke it, and then nuke it again

Liberal Democrats: what they said...

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