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How long is my Street?

March 21, 2011
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I woke up to news that we (that is the military of our country in association with other countires) have bombed Libya. At immense cost. And for uncertain ends…

The political class is still arguing whether the action will “inevitably” draw us in to regime change and/or long term peace keeping.

Why have we seen fit to intervene in Libya, but not in Bharian or Yemen?

I don’t have the figures for what it costs to fly a jet from an RAF base in the UK to Libya, realise that there are civilians on the ground, and fly it home. But – leaving aside the questions of whether they should have known that there were likely to be civilians there before they commenced the raid – it will undoubtedly be much more than the £5 to £50 that I was asked to contribute to save the world by Comic Relief. Indeed the military action is very likely to cost considerably more than Comic Reliefs £82M.

What is going on here? If we have these vast sums of money to spend as a country on intervening in Libya, (and don’t misunderstand me – I am opposed to allowing any dictator from oppressing his people!) why can we not give significantly more to support development and aid internationally, or why do we have to see the severe and painful cuts to the social and community services that local government and charities provide to people who are desperate straights in our own land?

For me, as a simple taxpayer, I can’t understand why there is not some simple criteria that allows us to support those in the most need in the most effective way. If charities such as Comic Relief can devise such systems why do we see such confusion from our political leaders?

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