Enoch Powell remarks that ‘there is no electoral pull in “aid”‘; to most people “aid” is positively and increasingly unpopular’; hence, perhaps his opposition to it. But however politically opportune, his views have a certain consistency.
Aid in the post-colonial world is lseen in various ways as a replacement for gunboats – serving a different purpose in the view of liberal aid supporters, just as another weapon of foreign policy in the view of conservative aid supporters (including most Western governments) and of radical critics. In the past Powell, in in consistency, has been against both gunboats and aid: he has opposed Eden at Suez, Wilson and Heath east of it.
He appears to believe (wrongly) that what happens in the Third World is not relevant to Western interests; this littlest Englander of all implies that the people of the Third World can be safely left to stew in their own underdevelopment and corruption until they perceive that ‘the only truly beneficent gift we have to offer is the example of what made the West productive – capitalism and enterprise’.