When I was a kid in the 1950s, that horrible polio thing was rife in the UK. Thanks to Salk’s little lump of sugar, polio is no more here.
But, according to world philanthropist Bill Gates, who kick started Microsoft, speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning, there were no cases of polio in India last year – but there are still cases in Pakistan and Nigeria, he averred.
He claimed that it won’t be too long until polio, like smallpox, is eradicated which has got to be a good thing. OK, so the goddess of smallpox – Shitala, She Who Must be Obeyed, has been relegated to a minor goddess that now presides over chickenpox, but so what to that?
Gates said that it was only right and proper that rich people should pay more in taxes than poor people, and that while GM perhaps had its drawbacks, if you were starving in a third world country it was better to have something to eat than nothing to ear.
A well known Republican, Gates was asked whether enough rich people had signed up to his scheme of philanthropy. So far, he has 69 billionaires that have signed up. He said that those who had not yet signed up didn’t realise what fun could be had by being a philanthropist and being generous.
He didn’t say whether he would be voting for Obama this year, but we suspect he will pursue the Republican cause, although it’s still not entirely clear which joker will emerge from the pack of cards currently being shuffled in the Land of the Fee.