The spotlight on Alan Duncan MP, the new Minister of State for DFID

Ok while I’m still building up this site, here’s something interesting. Alan Duncan is currently the new Minister of State for the UK’s Department for International Development, taking over from Gareth Thomas. Despite the UK having a Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition, DFID, unlike the FCO and the MOD (the other foreign affairs related ministries), has no Lib Dem Minister appointed (as of 2013 it has).

The focus here is of course on Duncan, who in my view, is a highly unlikely candidate for DFID’s second in command. It is not to dismiss the fact that he shadowed the role in the parliamentary session 2004-2005. However it’s mainly because of his economic-political leanings–he’s libertarian which added with the Thatcherite leanings of Andrew Mitchell would turn DFID’s agenda towards the neo-liberal spectrum (more than it already is). The second point was that during the UK MP’s expenses scandal, Duncan claimed that MP’s were living on “rations”. Not exactly the type of politician commanding a huge budget that’s going to be spent on non-UK residents.

Let the past be the past. Moreover, we can also “pick on” his colleague, Stephen O’Brien who’s never touched DFID until now. Even so, I certainly wonder why David Cameron (or Cameron’s advisers) didn’t retain Geoffrey Clifton-Brown or Mark Lancaster (or was it because they declined)? Until the next UK General Election or if the coalition splits, we’ll have to contend with Alan Duncan. Let’s hope Andrew Mitchell doesn’t suddenly resign.

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