14 June 2011


A chap is deep into his over-draft, his credit cards all tapped out. His children all on the game to raise a few quid to pay the outrageous heating bills. While chatting with his neighbour one evening he notices that his house is also in a state of disrepair and his children are quite dirty.

Both men are skint. Yet the neighbour strangely has a Bentley parked on the lawn. Still, our good Samaritan pops over to the bank to ask the bank manager for another loan. "What's it for please?" enquires the suspicious bank manager. "It's for my neighbour, he's got no money and I think I need to help him, it's my duty as a good neighbour" explains our hero.

"How much do you want?" asks the incredulous banker. "About £10,000 should do it."

The bank manager quite rightly spits his tea out and begins laughing hysterically. The laughter soon abates after ten or fifteen minutes and eventually stops. Having composed himself the bank manager walks over to the door of his office, opens it and gestures for the man to leave saying, "Why don't you sod off you mad old cretin. And if you come here asking for another loan before you've given us the £300,000 you owe us I'll have you beaten with a stick. Why don't you ask your chum to sell that sodding Bentley?"

This of course never happened. Even the off-his-rocker mentalist would never try and take out a loan to give to a friend who was cash strapped but had a Bentley to sell when he himself was up to the eyeballs in unpaid bills.

Yet this is exactly what David Cameron is doing by dishing out billions to countries like India and Pakistan in foreign aid. Countries who have nuclear weapons and in India's case, a space programme. But this of course is vital if we're to be a developmental superpower.

And anyway, as we're borrowing about £26bn a month it's only about one half of one month's borrowing to achieve this laudable goal. I've always wanted us to be a developmental superpower. I'd rather we were an actual superpower, as we were about 150 years, but this is the next best thing.

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