Monday, 10 October 2011
'We'll cut your aid if you persecute gays, Britain warns African nations'.
They're so excited they ran it for a second time today;
Foreign aid for countries with anti-gay rights records to be slashed, pledges Cameron
Intriguingly no other national newspaper has run anything on this*.
Cause the Mail has invented this "story".
Just like they did with their fiction about a "Pre-watershed TV Gay kiss ban".
I've spoken to the Department for International Development - and "there is no new initiative".
The department's spokesperson said - diplomatically - the Mail's story was "slightly exaggerated".
After Cameron's "gay marriage" speech last week the Mail contacted the DfID and asked if they had a policy on giving aid to countries with anti-gay laws.
Almost as if they were desperately trying to find any story about his newfound gay-mania.
They don't - not specifically, anyway.
David Cameron has not said or "pledged" anything.
And to imply gay rights have somehow been singled out is unbelievably mendacious.
The DfID released a general statement earlier this year;
"We only provide aid directly to governments when we are satisfied that they share our commitments to: reduce poverty; respect human rights and other international obligations; improve public financial management; promote good governance and transparency, and fight corruption."
But that's just a reiteration of a long-standing policy anyway.
In response the DfID put together a statement for the Mail mentioning three cases where there were concerns about countries' gay rights records (Ghana, Malawi, Uganda) amongst other things [Email me if you want a copy].
In typical Hall Of Mirrors fashion the Mail has now begun commenting on a story which - whilst not strictly untrue - they have concocted.
An editorial in yesterday's Mail On Sunday said;
"The Conservatives, still struggling to prove that they are no longer the nasty party, have saddled themselves with huge commitments to untrustworthy and spendthrift regimes.
"But now it emerges that officials are starting to reduce aid to governments that are hostile to their gay citizens.
"Given that such hostility is very common indeed in the Third World, this rule could provide an ingenious way out of several commitments we can no longer afford, and which are doing little good."
Well yes, but they're talking about a story that's not really true.
In today's Daily Mail their ghastly inhouse homophobe Melanie Phillips wades in
And with a loopiness that is breath-taking even by her own standards Phillips complains that gay rights have been singled out, over other human rights concerns.
But the DFiD didn't do this - the Mail did.
Melanie Phillips of all people should know that if you read something in the Daily Mail it's probably bollocks.
* Both Pink News and Pink Paper have run the story today - typically without bothering to check it. Your gay press at work. Brilliant!