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 the recent critiques of development or humanitarian aid and of course makes no mention of the scandals that have afflicted DfID. To call it complacent would be understatement: it gives no hint that its author is even aware of the difficulties and paradoxes of aid delivery in the real world. Legatum asked me a response to the paper and it is here. I was unable to attend the meeting where Mitchell presented it, otherwise I would have liked to challenge his disingenuousness and dishonesty face to face.