We believe that the war in Iraq was illegal. We believe that the government of the time knew this and we abhor the Conservatives for meekly allowing us to be dragged into the debacle by the Americans. We do not believe we have any business in Afghanistan where we seem to be propping up yet another illegitimate and corrupt government. We do not believe that it is anything to do with terrorism and indeed is more likely to increase it than decrease it.
Above all we believe that our current foreign policy is totally hypocritical If we are going to turn a blind eye to Israel developing nuclear weapons we have no right to get shirty if Iran is going to do the same thing. If we are going to start pressing for women’s rights in Iraq then we should do it in Saudi Arabia. If we are going to subscribe to human rights then it should long ago have prosecuted the instigators of Guantanamo bay. You can’t have it both ways.
On the subject of foreign aid, we are not inherently against giving to poorer nations but we do not see why we are paying lord knows how many million a year to Pakistan and India when both governments are happy to spend billions on their own space projects. At least we know where some of this money is going though. The aid that is given to Africa tends to end up in the back pockets of warlords and dictators and nowhere near the people it is supposed to help. We would propose that all foreign aid be given through registered charities, cutting out the backhanders and middle men that all want a cut. The charities should be obliged to account for the money and not spend more than, say, 5% of their budget on administration so we would know that the cash was going where it was most needed.
There are obviously examples where foreign aid is given ‘in kind’ or on the proviso that a British company does the building work or whatever. We have no problem with this and if we can help others at the same time as helping ourselves then everyone wins. It is when we start adding to the horrendous debt that we already have by handing over money that never reaches its intended destination or encourages foreign governments to ignore their own people and let someone else look after them that we feel the whole situation needs seriously reviewing.