DfID Hypocrisy of SNP and Blair

Yesterday the usual suspects could be found railing against the news of a merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign Office. Ian Blackford in particular treated us to one of his typical never-ending faux-pompous outrage performances in the Commons, saying

“In a time when we should be standing with the world’s poorest, acting as a beacon of hope, the Prime Minister is playing politics… This is shameful and is not in our name Mr Speaker”

If Blackford had done his reading, however, he would know the Whitehall shakeup is being done explicitly in the name of the SNP. The party’s 2013 Guide to an Independent Scotland” details the party’s proposed Government structure post-independence, in which:

The Cabinet Secretary for International Relations will have responsibility for relations with the rest of the UK and Ireland, the EU, and the wider international community, and will be supported by a Minister for International Development.”

“Scotland’s international development programme will be delivered as part of an integrated approach to international relations.”

Precisely the structure and goals Boris wants to see from the new merged FCO-DfID department…

Blair also kicked back against the move, saying via his institute he is “utterly dismayed by the decision to abolish DFID. We created DFID in 1997 to play a strong, important role in projecting British soft power. It has done so to general global acclaim.” Again, his own words come back to haunt him. In his 2010 autobiography, Blair wrote that after creating DfID:

“It was not popular with the Foreign Office, who thereby lost control of the largest slice of their budget, and some of their objections gained my sympathy over time… it resembled an NGO inside government and this caused significant problems”

The changes will not end the 0.7% GDP target, and are designed to enhance UK aid abroad. Opposition for opposition’s sake is obvious and soon creates a boy-who-cried-wolf situation…

mdi-tag-outline Department for International Development Foreign Office
mdi-account-multiple-outline Ian Blackford Tony Blair
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