Basra

Blog

Photos from the Afghan Sandhurst at Qargha

Blog Comments Off on Photos from the Afghan Sandhurst at Qargha
Photos from the Afghan Sandhurst at Qargha

 

Hargeysa International Book Fair, Somaliland

Blog Comments Off on Hargeysa International Book Fair, Somaliland

I had the good fortune to visit the Somaliland Republic in August and attend the Hargeysa International Book Fair there. My photographs from the trip are available here on Facebook. My article on it for Chatham’s House new magazine The World Today is available on that publication’s site  or here on mine. I also did a post [Read more…]

Aid on Viewpoints (BBC)

Aid/NGOs/Philanthropy, Blog Comments Off on Aid on Viewpoints (BBC)

Thanks to all the UK government rhetoric about “leading the world on aid to Syrian refugees” following the House of Commons vote against military intervention, the general topic of foreign aid is once again on the news agenda. (Aid industry lobbyists of course see the Syrian crisis as an opportunity to argue for an even greater [Read more…]

The story that keeps on giving

Blog Comments Off on The story that keeps on giving

According to a story in yesterday’s Mail, the House of Commons International Development Committee — not a group that can be characterized as in any way “anti-aid” or even skeptical about aid policy, Britain’s Department for International Development  DfID is doing a woefully inadequate job of monitoring the 60% of UK foreign aid that is given [Read more…]

Learning Nothing From Experience

Aid/NGOs/Philanthropy, Blog Comments Off on Learning Nothing From Experience

The Legatum Institute think tank in London has has published a “report” by former Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell entitled “A Safer and More Prosperous World — Why Aid Really Matters in an age of Austerity“. It’s essentially a short marketing-style pamphlet celebrating British foreign aid in its current form. It takes no note of any of [Read more…]

Birrell on Aid

Blog Comments Off on Birrell on Aid

Ian Birrell has been on something of a tear with two important pieces on Foreign Aid in the Guardian. “Overseas Aid – An Indefensible Ring Fence” and “Red Nose Day: Media Short-changes the Poor with its Soft Soap Aid Coverage“.  The latter mainly refers to the BBC which continues to give the equivalent of free advertising [Read more…]

From Kuwait into Iraq: Ten Years Ago this week....

Blog Comments Off on From Kuwait into Iraq: Ten Years Ago this week….
From Kuwait into Iraq: Ten Years Ago this week....

On Facebook I have posted a couple of photo albums (here and here) from my time as an embedded reporter before and during the invasion of Iraq ten years this week. The first one begins at Camp Virginia where all of us in the Press Corps were taken from Kuwait City before being assigned to our [Read more…]

Sometimes They Do Listen

Blog Comments Off on Sometimes They Do Listen

I woke up this morning to hear that David Cameron has told reporters travelling with him in India that he is considering shifting money from Britain’s aid budget to defence, to pay for stability and peacekeeping operations, as suggested in Aiding and Abetting. As well as the BBC, the story has been picked up by Reuters, [Read more…]

"Head to Head" with the Aid Industry Marketing Machine

Blog Comments Off on “Head to Head” with the Aid Industry Marketing Machine

I did the BBC1 Sunday politics show today, anchored by Andrew Neil and went “head to head” with Justin Forsyth of Save the Children. (The programme is available on BBC Iplayer for seven days). They did the segment because the Prime Minister is going to India tomorrow, and I wish there had been time to talk [Read more…]

Exchange of letters on Aid with Andrew Mitchell in the Spectator

Blog Comments Off on Exchange of letters on Aid with Andrew Mitchell in the Spectator

Andrew Mitchell the former Minister for International Development was among those who responded to my and Justin Shaw’s articles on DfID and the Aid Industry on the Spectator letters page in the 12th Jan issue. The key paragraph was this one: The sceptics question the results. How about the 11 million children in school who wouldn’t [Read more…]