Thursday, October 08, 2009

Bono appears at Tory conference

After years of ingratiating himself with the Blair/Brown regime, Bono decides if the electorate likes the Tories "I will follow". In the hope that with David Cameron two hearts beat as one on aid, he wants to save people living in cities where the streets have no name. You see talking about helping Africa, spending other people's money to help Africa is even better than the real thing to him. Bono believes sometimes you can't make it on your own, so he needs the support of the incoming government to continue his campaign (yes I know, enough of the song "humour").

Sadly he undoubtedly will get vertigo if he actually learns about the problems of Africa, how much it is to do with poor governance, a lack of individual right protection and property rights, how much the protectionism of the EU on agriculture impoverishes, and how the solution to Africa's problems is to look at other continents that are far more prosperous and see that it's about capitalism, it's about government that protects rights and is impartial.

So Bono asking that the UK government spend 0.7% of national GDP on aid, is not just morally dubious, it simply wont work. It is good money after bad. Aid has made Africa addicted to other people's money, addicted to the notion that its problems can be solved if only other people wiped debt and paid it more money. It's simply wrong.

Bono has good intentions, I don't doubt that, but he needs to understand that the causes of Africa's relative poverty are multifaceted, and perhaps the biggest external limit on Africa is trade policy. If he embraced free and open trade he'd be embracing trading out of poverty. However, beyond that Africa needs good small government, it needs a culture of respecting individual rights and rejecting mysticism, tribalism and socialism. It needs the rest of the world to stop providing any form of comfort and support to the gangsters who run too much of that continent.

1 comment:

bez said...

Bono, is a great example of everything that's wrong with "celebrities for causes", and which is virtually the same problem as "politicians as leaders". The end result is that people get to run things and interfere with matters that they don't have the first clue about.