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Map 003Another 700 800 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean; there is a rising tide of genocide in the Middle East and parts of Africa; billions live in fear and grotesque poverty; the world is awash with greedy and corrupt governments; Russia is bruising for a new Cold War and the UK is still best friends with Saudi Arabia. Add to this the “domestic“ issues of immigration and EU membership and the spectre of global terrorism and you’d think that foreign policy would be up there with schools and hospitals and all the other really important stuff. Does anybody care about foreign policy? Or do the political parties think that the people of the UK (pace SNP, Plaid etc.) are too selfish or too stupid to be interested in the world beyond their national boundaries or, indeed, their front doors? Well, Labour mention it their manifesto (p.74ff) as do the Conservatives (p.76ff) and the Liberal Democrats (p.143ff), so go figure. Map 006Afterwork recognizes that many international problems can be prevented or mitigated through a well-thought out and well-funded approach to foreign policy. We will, therefore, reverse cutbacks in the Foreign Office and Diplomatic Service. The speed and unpredictability of recent events present a clear case for long-term investment in building relationships and expertise across the globe. Map 005Whilst we welcome the present government’s commitment to international development, we recognize the need to be hard headed about it. A policy of spending lots of money in order to meet a target simply won’t do – especially when it ends up in the pockets of consultants, is squandered by inefficient international organizations or siphoned off by corrupt officials. We will base aid on the best available evidence, institute a robust system of audit and closely monitor outcomes. Map 001We will not pretend that we are giving aid when we are really subsidising British industry. We will stop selling weapons to dictators. We will send ships, helicopters and whatever else is needed to help with the current emergency in the Mediterranean. We will work with other governments and international organisations to resolve the underlying causes.