Monday, May 01, 2017

You can throw money at the problem, but you won't hit it

The issue for our time is not Left vs Right but managerial effectiveness and anti-corruption. Chew on these examples:

1. United Nations relief programmes - from Aidan Hartley in this week's Spectator:

...the aid mandarins … dubbed the ‘Lords of Poverty’ by Graham Hancock… What we should expect when giving to charity is a better performance… The UN agency World Food Programme flies food to seaports, or airdrops bags of grain instead of buying locally or trucking supplies by road.

… refugees did not have cholera back home in their villages — but they find it when they congregate in camps specially established by the UN … Water from boreholes is plentiful… instead, the UN transports water … in 50 trucks every day, dumping the supplies into small plastic tanks that cannot easily be disinfected with chlorine. The reason… is that local UN officials are making money from the water trucks, since they are in control of the lucrative contracts supplying the camps… entirely usual for UN officials... to expect bribes of tens of thousands of dollars in return for a contract.

… In recent years there has been a flurry of stories about impropriety among UN workers, including rampant theft and sexual abuse… UN workers who commit crimes such as fraud and paedophilia enjoy complete impunity thanks to a little-known international law called the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN.

2. Removing anti-personnel mines - or not; from AARSE (an armed services online forum):

Fraud and corruption happened, not with our guys but within the UN and national organisations. We might as well have spent all the money on a massive piss up, because there is **** all to show for it now...  Cambodia should have been largely cleared by now, but it isn't…

In Bosnia the World Bank lost a rumoured 7 million US dollars in demining and I stopped a massive cartel from operating there in 2000. These basket case countries are all the same. Fraudulent!

And the reason it happens is that the international pinko liberal policy is that the recipients of aid have to deal with it themselves, so time after ******* time millions of our taxpayers money gets shovelled into offshore bank accounts belonging to despots and scamsters and nothing ever gets done about it.

In 1999 I was the only person in Bosnia who raised the question of how did Mr. Pusic (head of the demining commission) go from wearing second hand Jesus boots and donated jeans and riding a motorbike to work, to wearing Armani suits and driving a new white Mercedes to work - in 9 months and on a salary of about 1000 use a month…

Some Baroness is at the moment giving DFID a going over and a shake up. Yeah right. I wish I was a manufacturer of white wash with a government contract! The whole Aid industry needs stripping out and re thinking and DFID needs shutting down dismantling and reassembling as a decent transparent department. Which will never happen because DFID is heavily connected with intelligence gathering.

3. Massive featherbedding at American universities (from Coyote Blog):

[One university President] … has 1667 staff and spends over a half billion… just on the office of the President! This is not in any way shape or form the total administrative size of the system - each university has its own administrative staff, for example. This is just her central office… It equates to every student in the system paying over $2500 a year just for the central headquarters staff that they will never see, this is before the first dollar is spent on their individual campus -- or God forbid -- on teaching or academics.

… Time and time again … we find examples where agencies that are supposed to be serving the public are in fact diverting much of their resources to maintain the staffing levels, salaries, and rich benefits and pensions of their employees.

4. "Private" railway companies that exploit public money (from Peter Hitchens' blog):

The most ridiculous is the way our trains – devastated by John Major's mad privatisation scheme – are falling into the hands of foreign state railways…

We might be hiring a foreign state railway to run a service [HS2] we don't even need, while Britain is full of sizeable towns with no railway station, which could be linked to the national system for a tiny part of the cost…

Privatised railways have never been real private companies. Their jaws are clamped firmly to the public teat, and when they fail they can just stroll away from the mess they have made.

…I long for the return of British Rail. Its undoubted arrogance and sloth were as nothing compared with its private successors, and its trains were faster and more comfortable. It looked after its track far better and – given the money – it would never have made the mess its successors are now making of electrifying the Great Western line…

In the 20 years to 2013, state subsidies to the rail sector roughly tripled in real terms, while fares continued to rise. This is a small slice of our national life of which I have direct daily experience. None of it works properly.


wiggiatlarge said...

I have said elsewhere awhile back that having seen the UN in action ? in Kenya during the Ethiopian relief exercise in the nineties, my overwhelming impression and that of those who witnessed it was one of total profligacy, vehicles aircraft and human resource not moving for weeks.
There was a sense that this was normal, the hotel we stayed in Nairobi for awhile was full of UN personnel who rarely left the place and spent most of the time drinking and whoring, not the sort of relief effort one would expect from the world funded agency.

Sackerson said...

Horrible. We need people who can get a grip.

James Higham said...

And the reason it happens is that the international pinko liberal policy is that the recipients of aid have to deal with it themselves, so time after ******* time millions of our taxpayers money gets shovelled into offshore bank accounts belonging to despots and scamsters and nothing ever gets done about it.


A K Haart said...

That was a depressing bank holiday read. Good post though.

We might expect public bodies to change their behaviour in response to scandals, but since the advent of PR they don't necessarily have to.