James Governor's Monkchips

A belated thanks to Bill Gates

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Dear Mr. Gates,

I just wanted to thank you for your personal appearance at last week’s Live8 show in London.

You added some important business-side credibility to the event.

I was quite surprised when you were introduced on stage.

You did a great job.

I don’t believe in trickle down economics and I think the Invisible Hand leaves something to be desired.

Too many Americans don’t realize they were born into privilege. Evidently you do. Self-made, indeed.

I appreciate that many people have written off Live8 and its intentions. That’s their prerogative*. I would ask however that people actually look into its stated goals before writing the campaign off. Trade liberalization is an important plank of the Make Poverty History prospectus. The Commission for Africa is not some soft-hearted soft-headed document. It details the corrosive affects of corruption and the need for reform on the continent.

G8 is not about hand outs, which is one reason, I assume, that you became involved. Thanks again to you and your wife Melinda for your Live8 booster and all your charitable works.


Yours Truly,

James Governor



* Its no surprise the privileged should exercise this prerogative:

 pre·rog·a·tive   Audio pronunciation of "prerogative" ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (pr-rg-tv)

  1. An exclusive right or privilege held by a person or group, especially a hereditary or official right. See Synonyms at right.
  2. The exclusive right and power to command, decide, rule, or judge: the principal’s prerogative to suspend a student.
  3. A special quality that confers superiority.


** My favorite “naysay” on the subject came from Noel Gallagher of pub rock band Oasis. As he said recently:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but are they hoping that one of these guys from the G8 is on a quick 15 minute break at Gleneagles (in Scotland) and sees ANNIE LENNOX singing SWEET DREAMS and thinks, ‘F**k me, she might have a point there, you know?’

“KEANE doing SOMEWHERE ONLY WE KNOW and some Japanese businessman going, ‘Aw, look at him… we should really f**king drop that debt, you know.

“It’s not going to happen, is it?”

Good point Noel, but what if you are wrong? We live in a world dictated by media agendas. As your huge album sales amply demonstrate.



  1. James. First of all, I think it’s amazing that people that live in London aren’t letting this issue drop. Just for this, you’re proving Noel Gallagher wrong.
    Secondly, I don’t know if a concert will acomplish anything, I don’t think any isolated fact will but, anyone that still dobts that elected democracies have to listen when hundreds of thousands shout in one voice something, he musn’t live in the same world I (we) live in. Live 8 wasn’t about Annie Lennox or even Bill Gates (even if their contributions were huge like you said), it was about hundreds of thousand anonymous.
    Wasn’t it your partner that recentlly mentioned that an ethical action must be evaluated like everyone does that particular action?

  2. Er, James, you feeling okay? How’s about Bono and the boys put up a tab of how much they’ve donated.

  3. I think maybe you don’t realize the extent to which Live8 patronizes Africans. I’ve written some posts on the matter at Copia. I think that global trade liberalization is important, and I think that debt relief is just given that the West was throwing spanners in the works left and right at the same time they were magnanimously signing l0ans.

    But Africa does not need either of these to get out of its mess, and we’re not interested in the notion that we’re dependent on Western help, let alone some media priority that happens to survive the Western public’s attention deficit. I accept somethign like Live8 as a way for Westerners to help assuage their own guilt w.r.t. Africa, but I don’t appreciate the “save the whales” mentality. And there are also smaller slights, such as the snub to African artists and the nonexistence of African professionals throughout the Live8 proceedings.

    I’m sorry, but I still see it, as I put it on Copia, as Western rock stars thinking it’s OK to patronize an entire continent. And the fact that they’re genuinely well-intentioned only puts a small dent in the insult.

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