Addressing the All Party Group on Overseas Development today. In weekly succession they have had Gareth Thomas (Labour Minister), Andrew Mitchell (Tory) and obviously saving the best til last – me – today! The title of this series is ‘What next for International Development? Political Perspectives.’
Despite the Labour Deputy Leader hustings on International Development being scheduled at the same time – the room was comfortably filled. Speaking on a subject where everyone in the room is an expert is far more testing than speaking to the public!
I spoke for about 40 minutes and then took 50 minutes of questions. It was very enjoyable and you can read my speech on my website. But for an abridged version – I said the Government has no consistency about where it is going between its different arms; that corruption eats up huge amounts of the money, hindering the good work that we try to do with development and aid – and that tackling corruption would now be seen as a bit rich given our current squalid failure to see through investigations into BAE and the Al Yamamah arms deal with the Saudis. But all of this is dwarfed by the complete failure of the Department for International Development to make the coming cataclysm of climate change central to its development funding programs. Enjoy!
UPDATE: Jonathan Fryer has an account of the meeting over on his blog. Shame about the photo though!