Thursday, 18 June 2020
Britain's reputation takes another nosedive.
What is it with the Conservative Party? They are the ones forever boasting about our past and present greatness, that this or that is "the best in the world and the envy of the world" when it patently isn't, and some "world class" other is actually third class, if that. (eg our managing of the coronavirus pandemic)
The one thing we have which probably is the best in the world and the envy of the world is the BBC, yet the Conservatives are constantly sniping at it and threatening cuts in its funding. The wonderful World Service in particular is renowned as an impartial source of reliable news.
Yesterday the government announced that it is to "merge" the Department for International Development (DfID) with the Foreign Office. In other words the Foreign Office is to take it over and, instead of its primary function being the reduction world poverty, it will become primarily an instrument for promoting our foreign policy.
In the 23 years of its independent existence DfID has developed an enviable reputation for effectiveness.
Andrew Mitchell, a former Conservative DfID Secretary has commented:
"All the brilliant people who have given DfID its reputation around the world. . .will leave. We will at a stroke have collapsed the pre-eminent and most respected engine of international development in the world."
Both comments are probably a little bit over the top, but they point in the likely direction.
They certainly do not point in the direction of a genuinely Global Britain.