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Andrew Mitchell: UK will withhold aid from African countries with poor gay rights

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  1. Once again, I am fine with this. But before people get their knickers in a twist, let’s make one fact very clear: Africa does not mean famine. While there is famine in Africa, we are not talking about those countries and we would not withhold help from people dying of hunger. Is there poverty? Yes. But Malawi, for example, has an annual tobacco export crop worth hundreds and hundreds of millions. And they are not so poor that they could not afford to jail two gay men for 14 years (sentence since overturned).

    1. Absolutely. I think this is the moral thing to do.

      Malawi, Uganda, Ghana, (and to some extent Kenya) for example have poverty but have significant trade (and other) incomes too. All have been repeatedly warned about concerns regarding their human rights records, so if there is no progress we need to act. That means stopping or redistributing aid.

      Emergency aid is separate. We have shown we will support nations in immediate humanitarian crisis even where we do not support the regime in power.

  2. Brenda Lana Smith R. af D. 16 Oct 2011, 11:44am

    Until they legislate full equality for LGBTQI folk… Britain should also cut off all support monetary and otherwise to its own homo- trans-phobic overseas territories, too…

    1. yet even in Britain we do not have full equality which surely undermines any credibility we would have demanding anyone legislates for something which we do not have ourselves.

      1. de Villiers 16 Oct 2011, 3:36pm

        Not really. Only in the artificial world of school debating.

      2. There’s a difference between not having full equality like in the UK, and possibly being murdered by the government, like in Uganda.

      3. Yes, Britain could be better equality wise …

        Yes, Britain is improving equality wise …

        Yes, LGBT are (largely) respected in the UK

        Britain already has much better LGBT rights than any of the countries mentioned, already has a culture where the majority of people accept LGBT people, seeks to improve its LGBT equality and has a right to have standards that it seeks others to comply with when distributing aid. If the UK did not expect LGBT standards in other countries to rise then I would regard that as a failure of the UK to increase equality globally. The UK should not just be interested in improving rights in the UK but worldwide

    2. @ Brenda –

      I believe Peter Tatchell has addressed the British Commonwealth on this issue, and many people I know have signed a petition to the Commonwealth demanding that LGBT rights be included in their next general meeting.

      It is an ongoing concern, and it’s good to hear you bring it up.

    3. It is not too late to add your name to Peter Tatchell’s petition to the Commonwealth.

      Please think about seriously, and sign this petition so as to give the Commonwealth some teeth.

      http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=naffnscab&v=001p_v0Yvtx7lzVdNubMnrrh7lEZVntbqzMtptqarvCzUSxtYlar3uP3lSciIG2eRtgXMYhct1qlEimiXqvH3xbD0sYqxmSgZkj6HA6KF3WdkA%3D

    4. Fellow honourable and noble citizens of Ghana, before I put forward my submission, I must be emphatic that I’m doing so without any prejudice. I fully respect the laws of our land. I also love all gays and lesbians as individuals – but not the act of homosexuality.

      What are talking about here – that Cameron is threatening to withhold UK aid to anti-gay nations. That is: nations that do not legalize homosexuality.

      I see this move by Cameron to be very hypocritical, insulting and an affront unto the territorial integrity and sovereignty of these nations in question – of which Ghana is part.

      The 1956 Sexual Offences Act of UK strictly bans prostitution.
      And under the UK sexual offences Act 2003, ” it is an offence to cause or incite prostitution or control it for personal gain.

      Doesn’t it sound ironical that “intimacy” between the opposite sex is being banned in the UK, while that between the same sex (homosexuality) is being endorsed under the same “context of societal perversion”?

  3. Craig Nelson 16 Oct 2011, 12:06pm

    I stand at somewhat of a midway point on this. I think developping human rights as part of an aid and social development programme is a good thing but this should be more about capacity building in relevant countries. I think that funding for the government might be cut if it seriously breaches human rights concerns, but aid for poverty relief and development shouldn’t be cut – possibly delivered away from the government.

    I think if it is portrayed as a ‘fine’ on a country can be perceived as a form of ‘aid-colonialism’ which can be counterproductive. Of course even with aid to government it can be important to develop administrative capacity in a country for it to be able to develop (collect taxes and provide health and education etc), so it’s quite a complex area. In terms of human rights there are limits as to what governments are permitted to do to their citizens so it’s partly a matter of developing a common understanding of human rights (that also includes the UK though).

  4. This is a great move. But we should also withhold aid to those countries that do not permit religious freedom. That would mean we would not be giving £600 million to Pakistan – a country with nuclear weapons, yet where christians are routinely imprisoned. Even Saudi Arabia has said that they will be begging for aid from the west in a matter of years. They too have a terrible record on the rights of non-muslims, and towards homosexuals.

    1. Absolutely, Joe

      It should be about all forms of equality. To be fair to DfID they have tried to not be prescriptive publically about individual diversity strands but recent media coverage means how they regards LGBT matters required a comment.

      That said, it would be good to see DfID commenting on how they are reinforcing a moral stance on all diversity strands

  5. Jason Brown 16 Oct 2011, 3:55pm

    Blackmail isn’t really a great way to get countries to accept us, also think of the LGBT people in those countries that are denied support as they will be suffering the most due to this.

    Surely increasing education on the subject matter is the logical thing to do.

  6. Spanner1960 16 Oct 2011, 5:54pm

    The sheer volume of money the West has poured into Africa is unfathomable.
    OK, so we have made some money in the past, and we have endevaoured to share it out; but now come the lean times. We cannot afford to look after our own people, we are swamped with others trying to reach our shores for a better life, and we are up to our necks in debt.

    The trouble with being generous is people come to expect it. Sorry, but we are skint and the coffers are dry.This time you have to go paddle your own canoes.
    Charity begins at home.

    1. do you know the true cost of the food eaten and the goods in the shops – if a minimal existence wage to all supply chain workers was paid then aid may be less needed – i suggest to google

      An ethical guide to your home: from mobile phones to sofas

  7. I wish we lived in a perfect world were we could help everyone, and everyone would help others. But, we don’t. I’m glad they’re not giving my tax to countries that want to kill me.

  8. Surely, monies would not be accepted from gay donators? Are the bigots able to subtract that from the bill? Consciences are clear, morals are obliged and another child may starve?

  9. Gay Daily Mail Reader 17 Oct 2011, 5:05am

    Not just African countries but other countries with appalling gay rights records, especially Jamaica which is not only a Commonwealth country but one of 16 countries of which our Queen is head of state. We should be demanding that Commonwealth countries decriminalize homosexuality, like Mozambique which was a Portuguese colony and not a British one.

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 5:03pm

        Signed too, thank you for giving the address.

  10. God Bless this man for not giving money to people who hate and harm gays, now if only all countries and businesses and churches and everybody did this. Stop paying for hate and it will end at least be slowed down.

    1. Maybe it’s a belief in God that has caused these problems in the first place and that only respect for human rights will settle them.

  11. I think that the British Government has made the right decision on this subject.

    1. Just imagine that West Africans will want to force Britain to accept polygamy as a way of life as its been practiced in Lagos and Accra

      1. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 5:00pm

        You just don’t get it do you?

        If your so immature as to disrespect human life then please step aside and allow more progressive people to do it.

        Why don’t you stop whinging and be supportive of a better humanity…. oh that doesn’t suit does it.

    2. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 5:03pm

      Agreed Robbie!!!

  12. That’ll be an awful lot of countries without aid!
    Add in quite a few in the West Indies, Far East and East Europe and you should have a pretty little pile of saving.

    1. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 5:02pm

      No it doesn’t. It means money will find its why to the people who need help not the corrupt governments who steal it for their own wealth. Thats the only reason they object to it.

  13. The British governments’ use of “aid” money to bully African countries has nothing to do with gay people – our rights are used as an excuse.

    If you believe gay rights dictate international policies, then you might as well believe that the British government just gave Goldman Sachs £10m because they are a gay friendly bank.

    1. Whether it is the whole story doesn’t matter that much imho. The fact is that the PM has made the announcement in a keynote speech, and puts violently homophobic countries on notice that their actions have consequences. Politicians in Uganda have been saying that gay people don’t have human rights because they are not human. They need to understand that this is not acceptable to other countries.

      President Obama has just sent 100 soldiers by way of military aid to Uganda, to tackle the terrorist Lord’s Resistance Army. Maybe that is all part of the bargain.

  14. “Taking money away from Governments does not mean you do not support that country. You find other mechanisms for trying to help the poorest with food, education and health care as well as building up business structures.”

    Anyone else think this is probably what they should be doing anyway, given the number of corrupt Governments that are black holes for foreign aid? Surely it makes more sense to help the needy get education and work anyway? o.0

  15. Jock S. Trap 5 Nov 2011, 4:58pm

    Good, so glad to finally hear this. With our money we have every right to demand better human rights for all esp the LGBT communities in these countries.

  16. Spanner1960 16 Oct 2011, 5:50pm

    Fck off Keith

  17. Commander Thor 16 Oct 2011, 7:55pm

    Dear Chocolate Starfish,

    You are on the wrong forum. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/ is the gay news website. You should head over to http://www.brownnews.co.uk/ website, where you can find the latest news about the progress in obtaining rights for the scat community. We wish you good luck in your brown coloured movement.

    Representative of The Gay Community

  18. What’s a staight guy with a scat fetish doing on a gay news website? Or should the question be, what is a closeted gay man who hates himself so much that he is homophobic, who doesn’t have a scat fetish doing on a gay news website leaving troll comments. And why would someone want to make up that they have a scat fetish? Total weirdo.

  19. If its the str8 ‘scat’ community you identify with then go join them and seek their support……this news page is for members of the LGBTQ Community.

  20. Commander Thor 16 Oct 2011, 7:54pm

    Dear Chocolate Starfish,

    You are on the wrong forum. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/ is the gay news website. You should head over to http://www.brownnews.co.uk/ website, where you can find the latest news about the progress in obtaining rights for the scat community. We wish you good luck in your brown coloured movement.

    Representative of The Gay Community.

  21. Commander Thor 16 Oct 2011, 7:55pm

    Dear Chocolate Starfish,

    You are on the wrong forum. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/ is the gay news website. You should head over to http://www.brownnews.co.uk/ website, where you can find the latest news about the progress in obtaining rights for the scat community. We wish you good luck in your brown coloured movement.

    Representative of The Gay Community..

  22. Nobody is innocent. Apparently we are all born with original sin. Some man in dress should sprinkle water on us to make us worthy of life. Tosser.

  23. They’re not doing a very good job.

  24. Frankly Keith, it’s you that seems to bring up all things fecal on these threads, not us.
    And in such intimate detail too, it’s almost like you’ve tried all these things.

  25. Dr Robin Guthrie 17 Oct 2011, 12:13pm

    Always knew you were well acquainted with sh!t Keith.

    You make me sick. Sub-Human freak.

  26. “Almost”, Flapjack? I think this person[?]‘s relentless obsession has now removed any doubt in the matter.

  27. At least PN have taken action again

    I always knew keith talked cr@p

  28. You’re telling me, before Keith appeared I thought scat was a type of freeform jazz. Sure it won’t be long till his next dirty protest.

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