Sir David Attenborough has really done it this time.
Not content with backing the Optimum Population Trust which wants Britain’s population to be radically reduced, he now describes sending food to Ethiopia as barmy. So that’s our ‘enrichment’ of Britain gone and our warm cuddly feeling as we give in to chuggers who want to help Africa. Well help the parasites who skim charity money anyway.
Too many people, he says. If we don’t tackle the problem nature will. Flag up ‘the tragedy of the commons’,
With the cat among the Guardianista pigeons they were quick to spew the usual sort of sloganising. ‘Sinister’ Sir David went Cristina Odone late of the New Statesman. Get stuck in gel! What you really mean is ‘night and fog’ and all that.
There is a really serious point here going back in Britain to Speenhamland during the late 18th century when the magistrates decided to top up the incomes of the very poor with cash because of rising food prices. Now that’s fine to get over a temporary difficulty but then the old enemy is inclined to pop up – unintended consequences. If people get their incomes topped up to a certain level there is little incentive to improve their reward for working. You have a benefits trap and we know all about that here in Britain.
In Africa, the unintended consequences can be far worse. Sir David says that Ethiopia simply has too many people for its land. If you send lots of aid what will happen? The population will have more children and then you have a bigger problem down the road. It’s a cruel business what to do – a dilemma in fact.
Ms Odone and her squad think no further ahead than the next attack of conscience. You can’t argue with good intentions. They just have a nasty habit of building a road downwards if you are not very careful.