The prime minister has urged the G8 to take action on food prices and to stem the upward pressure from biofuels. In a letter to the Japanese PM he says:
"There is a growing consensus that we need urgently to examine the impact on food prices of different kinds and production methods of biofuels, and ensure that their use is responsible and sustainable."
In the face of further criticism from aid officials and with the World Bank now adding its voice to the chorus of warnings, it's become clear that food price inflation is being driven mainly by biofuels production. The problem for Mr Brown is that he is can't actually address the root causes of the problem directly. Biofuels usage in the UK is mandated by the EU and Brussels is digging its heels in and refusing to change its policy. This being the case, Brown is powerless to act and is forced to hide behind the fig leaf of an international aid package. The futility of this kind of gesture becomes clear with even a moment's consideration of the number of people who are affected by price rises. There is no way that an package with any prospect of being realised could make any difference to the millions affected.
Once again, the EU has shown that it puts "the project" ahead of any other considerations, including humanitarian ones. Why we should remain a member of a body which treats poor people with such contempt is something that Europhiles will have to explain.