UK Independent Party (UKIP) MEP, Godfrey Bloom is at the centre of a racism row after referring to countries in Africa as “Bongo Bongo land” in a speech he held in July relating to foreign aid sent abroad. Yet a close examination of Bloom’s comments reveals either his utter naivety or ignorance regarding the role Britain plays when it comes to international aid or a sinister racist publicity stunt to get UKIP in the media limelight.
UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom has caused offence after he was filmed during a speech in July saying, “How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month, when we’re in this sort of debt, to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me.” (Sky News: ‘Bongo Bongo Land’: MEP Apologises For Jibe: August 7, 2013)
Bloom told Sky News that he did not believe his comment was racist but apologised for any offence it may have caused. He claims to be representing the views of “…ordinary people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club.”
Whilst Bloom’s comments has in no doubt attracted media attention to UKIP once again, the sensible question to ask is whether Bloom actually understands how British Aid works? Any self-respecting British patriot who spouts on about being proud to be British and being proud of British culture should have a basic understanding of what their government does. If they do not then it is only right to question their intentions, and in Bloom’s case it does appear that he is courting controversy to attract media attention.
International Aid as a means to control the developing world
Back in March 2010 I wrote the article The Deadly Aid Industry where I provided solid arguments that Western foreign aid was used as a means by rich countries to control the poor countries.
War correspondent Linda Polman described tha AID industry as businesses “dressed up as Mother Teresa” and blamed them for prolonging wars. She spoke about rich aid organisations competing for contracts in war zones and humanitarian disasters and described how aid staff live lavish lifestyles on huge salaries and live in areas with posh restaurants, squash courts, golf and tennis facilities.
Michael Maren, an ex-aid worker, in his book ‘The Road to Hell: The Ravaging Effects of Foreign Aid and International Charity, published by the Free Press in 1997, described aid as big business and said, “Hungry people were potential clients to be preyed upon.” (p.9)
Graham Hancock in his book ‘Lords of Poverty, The Power, Prestige, and Corruption of the International Aid Business‘, published by Macmillan in 1989, described how charities have become agencies of corporate companies to promote goods and services overseas.
Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo, who has a doctorate in economics from Oxford, masters from Harvard, and worked for a number of years for the World Bank in Washington DC, said that the West has pumped around £35 trillion in Africa over the last 50 years and the results have been devastating for Africans in general. She said that aid often destroyed local industry and farmers livelihoods in African countries where people prefer to line up for free food rather than pay their local producers.
So why does Western AID seem to hinder rather than assist developing countries where they can stand on their own two feet economically? Well the answer to that question was provided to us by American President John F. Kennedy in 1961 who said, “Foreign aid is a method by which the United States maintains a position of influence and control around the world…” (Hancock p.71) Seven years later President Nixon made it quite clear what international aid meant. He said, “Let us remember that the main purpose of aid is not to help other nations but to help ourselves.” (Hancock: Page 71)
These two powerful comments from leaders of the Western world sums up why £35 trillion has been pumped into Africa over the last 50 years as Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo states, and yet we still scenes on television of starving Africans, a lack of clean water and a general state of decline. International aid it can be argued quite effectively was never meant to aid poor countries, but rather to aid Western economies.
In my article Western corporate vultures swoop in to profit from Haiti the terrible earthquake in Haiti which devastated millions is a prime example of how international aid organisations profit from disaster, hunger and famine.
Which brings me back to my main point regarding Godfrey Bloom’s comment. Bloom was educated at St Olave’s Grammar School, a highly selective boys’ secondary school in Orpington, Greater London. He has worked as a financial economist and worked as a director of an investment company. This is no pub racist, he is a well-educated man; therefore to suggest that he does not grasp the role of international aid and actually believes that it somehow benefits poorer countries more than it Britain would mean that he does not know the country he claims to love.
It makes more sense to conclude that Bloom used a deliberate racist comment to attract attention to himself and UKIP, and it worked.
The debate will rage in the media about the remark Bloom made, and no doubt there will be a wider debate about international aid, but off the media agenda will be how international aid has benefitted British companies and the British economy. This is the more dangerous racism than a childish ‘bongo’ remark which we would expect from a primary school pupil taking part in playground taunts.
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