Billionairess does battle with the phantom baby boom
Gerald Warner - 15 July 2012
DAVE did not spend all of last week brawling with back-benchers in Westminster corridors; he also found time to look in at the Family Planning Summit in London, co-hosted by his government and billionairess Melinda Gates, and say some encouraging words.
This jamboree attracted an array of African presidents and Asian and European politicians, along with major pharmaceutical companies.
The conference aimed to raise $4 billion to promote birth control in developing countries; in the event it netted $4.6bn. The Gates Foundation agreed to raise its contribution to $1bn over the next eight years and big-hearted Dave trumped that by pledging £1.4bn of British taxpayers’ money over the same period (Recession? What recession?). The conference was part of Melinda Gates’ “No Controversy” campaign to sanitise the image of family planning of its association with population control, compulsory sterilisation and abortion. In keeping with this anodyne approach, the UK government’s Department for International Development published a feel-good video featuring Mwanasha, a 21-year-old mother of two from Malawi, who expressed optimism about her future now that she will have access to contraception (remember those Soviet films of smiling Ukrainian peasants with more state-of-the-art tractors than they knew what to do with). The Department for International Development, however, did not show a video of Rekha Wasnik, the wife of a poor labourer in Madhya Pradesh, India, pregnant with twins, who bled to death after a crude sterilisation operation that was part of a programme funded to the tune of £166m by the UK government.
Tags: Gates Foundation