So the UK is increasing its foreign assistance budget by 37% at the same time that it’s attempting to slash the national deficit by cutting domestic social services. For me this reveals quite clearly the extent to which foreign aid is a foreign policy tool…in case anyone ever thought differently. Are we really to believe that a Tory government is motivated by humanitarian interests? Sorry to be cynical, but I don’t think so. That’s why India, China and Russia were big recipients of aid: it’s about politics, people. And, of course, it’s about the UK’s position on the world stage: its military power might be dwindling, but this government still wants to have a hand in developing-world business. Let’s not forget this was the great colonial empire, after all.