What did he just say?
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, speaking of the £24bn increase in defence budget announcement today, told Sky News: “Part of Britain’s overseas assistance is defence and security.”
Mr Wallace insisted the Government was not “abandoning the battlefield of international aid”, but stated the “decisions on the numbers” will be revealed by the Chancellor next week.
“Do I support more money for defence? Yes I do, that’s why I put in for a bid. Did I get it? Where it comes from is a matter for the Chancellor,” … adding that foreign aid and military spending are not “mutually exclusive”.
As we wrote in June, thanks to merger of DfID with the Foreign Office, international development is now just a metaphorical heartbeat away from the MOD. It didn’t take this Johnson government long to lay bare their plans to both further compromise the integrity of overseas UK aid as well as siphon it off to subsidise the MOD.
As UK PLC sets sail from the EU into its new Brexit unchartered waters, it is shamelessly politicising international development further to its dated view of ‘Global Britain’, whilst laying the ground for funds to be redirected from aid to the MOD. We are reminded of Anthony Mighella’s ‘drop the debt‘ video, made for Christian Aid in 1998 on the scandal of the debt crisis forced upon developing nations by the banks.
Why the comparison? Because just as the banks ripped off developing countries with unpayable debt and made profit at the expense of the poorest, is the defence sector about to set off down the same path, courtesy of this shift in UK foreign and defence policy?