If you're a UK taxpayer, don't bother donating to the British Red Cross for the relief of Hurricane Irma. You're already giving. About £13bn a year of tax. Not all to the Red Cross of course - they get only a fraction of this. The bulk of it goes to teaching Ethiopian nomads how to play electric guitar, setting up pedicure shops in Sudan and sending top British hat-designers to Basutoland to show the natives how to fashion Crêpe De Chine and ostrich feathers into women's headgear. In other words, the bulk of this money is wasted on hopeless schemes that don't develop anything by one iota.
However, it's the use of this money to fund disaster relief that interests us. It seems the Foreign Secretary, the man tasked with organising aid and relief to Brit islands in the Hurricane path, doesn't have a budget worth talking about for this sort of thing. However, some 17% - some £2.2bn annually - of the IDF is earmarked for this very purpose. DFID - independent of the FCO since Blair, and its current SoS Priti Patel - is in charge of the purse strings.
Oh good, you may think, the government already has a pot to pay for tents, water, C130s, medical teams, hospital ships and the panoply of disaster relief. How reassuring. Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. You see, that £2.2bn mainly goes to UN organisations - organisations that undermine European efforts to control economic migration, that openly criticise our elected government, that work to subvert the efforts of our elected politicians. WFP, UNICEF, OCHA, UNHCR and WHO are not friends of the UK - yet UK taxpayers are funding their bloated and corrupt organisations.
And what about the costs to the poor bloody Navy, down to 17 warships and cut off at the knee by spending pressures? Who pays for the fuel oil, the maintenance, the supplies, the emergency aid they are distributing in the Caribbean? Well the Treasury will just tell them to find the costs from within their existing budgets. They always do.
It's high time to reform that humanitarian / emergency aid pot. It should take a bigger share of the ODF for a start. And instead of paying a cabal of corrupt UN agencies who are determined upon our destruction, why not fund our own Navy, Royal Engineers, RAF transport command, volunteer police officers and the like to respond fully and effectively, unconstrained by the swingeing cuts to their operational budgets?