Stanley's blog

Criticism of Catherine Ashton not going to Haiti shows why a Commission not directly answerable to the electorate has its advantages. Most national politicians fly to disaster areas for domestic political reasons. The last thing Haiti wants is herds of VIPs using valuable airport space and requiring attention, but with nothing to offer solely because of their presence.

The EU Foreign Policy chief called an immediate meeting of the EU Council which agreed an aid package in excess of €400m. She stated that the UN has requested that she and other dignitaries do not visit the island, so as not to disrupt the emergency aid activities. Outgoing Development & Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, would be going. And yet, it seems that Ashton was criticized in France for not going.

There are enough problems in forging a common foreign and security policy without such irresponsible criticism.

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  1. Of course the absence of democracy has advantages – no-one ever pretended that it didn’t. That doesn’t make it right.

    If a real politician treats a natural disaster as a photo-op, then we despise him or her as a shallow, tasteless parasite, and add it to the charge-sheet for the next election. This process of cause and effect is a good thing.

    The EU is represented by a bureaucrat who has never even stood for election, and the idea that she has the rank or status of an elected leader is both criminal and bizarre. Her correct judgement about visiting Haiti, (and most elected leaders have been similarly restrained), scarcely affects this fact.

    A link to the French criticism of the ‘Baroness’ would be useful.

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