Radio National has a one-hour talk-back program at Noon "Australia Talks Back" and last week they were talking about the possibility of cuts to the government's aid budget.
Everyone was very reasonable. The arguments were complex and full of aid jargon.
I got mad. I remembered Pamela Bone's article the previous week in the Melbourne Age.
She visited a World Vision project sponsored by Australian government money. The kids were eating high-energy biscuits from a box labelled "Gift of the Government of Australia."
If there are cuts to aid, will there soon be no more biscuits for these kids?
It is easy to talk about concepts like "aid" and "money". We can discuss the difference between "relief" and "development". We can debate the theology of "mission" and "evangelism".
At World Vision, we are very good at it.
But it's not enough.
People are what really matter. And an "aid cut" can mean people suffer. Real suffering. Actual pain. Life and death stuff.
It's a measure of the cynical ineffectiveness of much that passes for international governance that so much real hurt and pain can be hidden behind vapid talk and intellectual bumph.
Let's call a spade a spade. Some aid cuts will mean children die. It's as simple and as awful as that.