Why saving lives is a hole lot better

Where it's needed: Philanthropist Bill Gates
Where it's needed: Philanthropist Bill Gates
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IT’S disgusting, isn’t it, that Britain has this week agreed to spend money saving the lives of children who aren’t even British?

More than £800 million we’re donating to some God-foresaken part of the globe where, frankly, I wouldn’t even consider going on holiday.

More than £800 million. About a tenner a tax-paying head. On toddlers who - I don’t think this can be stressed enough - aren’t. Even. British.


As if this country doesn’t do enough for these kids by having Comic Relief every year.

As if lobbing the occasional rusty 20p into an Oxfam bucket on Fargate after some natural disaster doesn’t satisfy them.

It’s always more. More. More.

Give an inch and they take a mile and now the government has agreed to let the little sods take £814 million worth of them.

And there’s David Cameron getting on the tellybox and telling us this is a good thing because it will save 1.4 million lives. It will vaccinate four million of the world’s most vulnerable tots and, because it is being funnelled through philanthropist Bill Gates, it will all go exactly where it’s needed most rather than being siphoned into the pockets of dictators.

And then he expects us to think it’s a good idea? When, all the time, our libraries are having their hours reduced and our bin collections are still fortnightly?

He expects us to support him? He does?

Ah...well...maybe, just maybe - and Lord knows I never thought I’d hear my self saying this - maybe Cameron’s got this one bang on.

Because doesn’t it take a special kind of fool to be outraged that your country wants to lead the way in saving the lives of the world’s children?

Doesn’t it take a real sort of moron, when told that a tenner of his taxpayers cash is going towards a profound, global bid to eradicate the world’s most insidious diseases, to respond by complaining that his library or leisure centre now only opens until 5pm instead of 6pm?

What, I screamed at the TV as I saw one such braying bozo on the BBC, do you need a library or leisure centre for? You’re fat and you’re obviously stupid.

Because how can anyone seriously begrudge what is actually a relatively small amount - compare it with what was spent bailing out the banks - to save a life every two seconds? And, if we’re talking practical realpolitik considerations, an amount which experts say will probably go some way to reducing potential terrorist recruits too?

How could anyone - stand up please Tory MP Philip Davies - argue the money would be better spent on fixing pot holes? I mean, for sure they’re annoying, especially in this city. But really? Children perishing versus a bit of a rough journey to work? Have a word with yourself, Phil.

And, yeah, I know those kids aren’t British but if you squint when the poor little blighters are on the 10 o’clock news, they almost look like they might be, you know...people. Human beings.

And then you might almost think, actually, isn’t it a global travesty that these youngsters are still dying from diseases that are so easily preventable in the 21st century?

And possibly you might then think perhaps financing an endeavour to wipeout such diseases, even in a time of economic hardship, is one of those things about Britain that make you proud to be from these fair isles.