Fresh from the weekend scandal of a Melbourne Greens party supporter denigrating the intellectully disabled as â€œretardsâ€ and Bob Brownâ€™s bungled campaign launch where he initially said he would support Julia Gillardâ€™s offshore processing of refugees then later decided he wouldnâ€™t comes news that the extreme-left party plans to continue its attack on the worldâ€™s most vulnerable by abolishing the World Bank, which is probably the worldâ€™s largest and most effective anti-poverty programme.
Their policy titled â€œGlobal economicsâ€ is available here.
The Bankâ€™s objectives arenâ€™t profits but to make loans and provides gifts/grants in support of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, promoting environmental sustainability, improving infrastructure and opposing corruption.
The extreme-left doesnâ€™t like the World Bank. It says itâ€™s not democratic because it doesnâ€™t blindly follow the disastrous anti-democratic United Nations General Assembly voting model that gives Nauru and Tuvalu the same say as India and the United States.
The Greens party mindlessly echo criticism of the World Bank from the uninspiring and corrupt leadership of many developing countries who are happy to pocket hand-outs from Western do-gooders but want no accountability or restrictions that might slow down their plans to plunder the money for the Swiss bank accounts or newest presidential palace. The World Bank has an incredibly difficult task to ensure its funds get to where theyâ€™re needed but it mostly does a good job.
The World Bank speaks inconvenient truths, this past week issuing a report that said the obvious about South Africa, that thereâ€™s too much crime, not enough competition law enforcement, dodgy electricity supply and too much corruption. These things are holding the country back, it says, no doubt much to the consternation of its leftist government.
So mostly the Greens party and the extreme-left doesnâ€™t like the World Bank on ideological grounds. It doesnâ€™t like the World Bankâ€™s focus on helping people help themselves rather than a constant reliance on hand-outs. It doesnâ€™t like the emphasis on aiding development and prosperity, with the environmental leftâ€™s agenda being to slow down development in those countries justified in many ways over the years, most recently by scare-mongering over climate change.
Just today this weekend, the World Bank announced it was giving $30 million to Ghana to help it build its oil industry so that Ghana help pay its way in the world.
Like every big institution, itâ€™s far from perfect.
But as is typically the case, the Greens party response is an extreme one, and one they share in common with the extreme-right which also seeks to destroy the World Bank and other international humanitarian operations.
The effect of the Greens policy would be to strip many tens of billions of dollars away from the worldâ€™s poorest countries. It would destabilise governments, cost countless jobs and end literally life-saving programmes.
Not to be outdone, they also decree all bi-lateral trade agreements bad regardless of the employment opportunities they might create here and in developing countries and also want the International Monetary Fund (which also makes tens of billions available to the worldâ€™s poorest countries) and the World Trade Organisation which has done much to reduce global poverty by opening up developed countriesâ€™ economies to imports from the developing world. Again there are complaints one can make about all of those, they are imperfect but to insist on radical reform that would put these agencies in the hands of corrupt dictators (what the Greens party mean by â€˜democratiseâ€™) or just abolishing these important international institutions shows the political immaturity and callous disregard for others demonstrated by the Greens party.
Itâ€™s an outrageous, irresponsible and ill-considered policy. If either of the major parties promoted it, theyâ€™d become a laughing stock. Instead with the Greens party vote surging, media scrutiny of their policies a rare treat and their party already declaring victory in the federal seat of Melbourne, the jokeâ€™s on us.