So a number of third world countries will have their debts cancelled. There are lots of people in this country who are poor and in debt. Come on Chancellor Brown, charity begins at home so why not cancel their debts. Abolish poverty in the United Kingdom.
It is of course assumed that the majority of the debt-ridden poor in this country are feckless and in that situation through their own fault. So cancelling their debts would do no good. They would just run up further debts. That is perhaps true of some of these third world countries. Cancelling their debts will just enabled them to go out and borrow more to build more white elephants. The starving populations will be no better off. Mr Brown has said very little about how he proposes to see that the money is well spent.
I have a solution. Our civil service still has a reputation for probity and good governance. Mr Brown should set up a department in Whitehall to run these third world countries. Without fear or favour nor any whiff of corruption they would administer the money freed up by the cancellation of debt to the benefit of the local populations. And I have even thought of a name for this new department, the Colonial Office.