Monday, 19 December 2016

866 average British households funded the 5.2m in "aid" paid to develop an Ethiopian "Spice Girls" group

Read it and weep (Daily Telegraph) :
An all-female pop group dubbed Ethiopia’s Spice Girls has received another £5.2 million in British foreign aid despite previous criticism of the funding.
Yegna received the taxpayer money through a contract to develop their 'branded media platform', which includes a radio drama and music.
The revelation comes despite outcry in 2013 when it was revealed the group had been given £4 million via Girl Hub, a UK-funded project...
The Department for International Development (DFID) has given £5.2 million towards building Yegna’s brand through Girl Hub, now re-branded as Girl Effect. It was part of a £16 million package given to the project.
Let's stick with the £5.2m figure. It's not a lot... the context of the £236,000,000,000 the UK government expects to rake in from income and capital taxes in 2017. But when I worked at the BBC I found it useful to look at any proposed expenditure in terms of how many annual licence-fees it represented, rather than in terms of our department's overall budget, or the BBC's whopping overall annual income. I suspect government ministers and civil servants - and broadcast executives - rarely look at spending from this ground-level perspective. But they really should, because it changes one's cavalier attitudes to splurging other people's money on stupid, pointless, wasteful, virtue-signalling projects.

Take the £5.2 squandered on building an Ethiopian girl group "brand". The average British household income is around £40,000, which should result in a tax payment of roughly £6,000. (We'll ignore the fact that many of these households are working in the public sector, and that their wages are therefore already being met out of other people's taxes.) That means the money being pissed away on some daft project to encourage women to assert themselves in a society dominated by African males (good luck with that) accounts for all of the annual income tax paid by 866 British households.

Again, 866 households is nothing, given that 31 million Britons pay tax. But imagine being informed that your household was one of those whose total tax payment for the year was being electronically transferred to Ethiopia so some Africans could make pop music? I'd be utterly furious.

I'm sure that the people who dispense our money would consider this to be an example of idiotic reductionism - in fact, the ramblings of an economic simpleton. But just remember that they're the same types who snottily dismissed Mrs. Thatcher's way of looking at financial issues as "housewife economics" - and I seem to remember that she transformed this country from a pathetic, impoverished laughing-stock into an economic powerhouse, partly by never forgetting that she and her government were spending other people's money.

Why 866 British families should spend a year working on behalf of a handful of Ethiopians is utterly beyond this particular simpleton.


  1. There are many dumb and robotic female ministers in the current Tory administration [Sisters, before you have an attack of the vapours, I am not saying that all female politicians are dumb and robotic - but Amber Rudd, Elizabeth Truss, Justine Greening et al are not exactly first division politicians. I listened to the new Culture and Whatever Minister -one Karen Bradley, an accountant by profession - talking complete bollocks about the expansion of rural superfast broadband on the "Today" programme this morning. Much deployment of the Bambi Defence with Humphrys]

    I have always been an admirer of Priti Patel. Apart from being hugely attractive [is one still allowed to admire female beauty openly?] she seems eminently sensible and spontaneously practical and hopefully will squeeze the life out of this wasteful and nonsensical department.

    1. I am also an admirer of Priti Patel's. I hope she feels the same way the rest of us do to learn that her senior civil servants are the best paid in Whitehall! Just...WHY???

      The Rise of the Robots began in the mid-'90s with New Labour, and has reached it's zenith (at least, one hopes so) with T. May's Conservative government. They manage to be both scary and spectacularly boring... but at least goggle-eyed fembot Nicky Morgan (who looks like a rejected android from the C4 series, Humans) has been defenestrated, which is a comfort.