Bill Gates hosts BBC debate from Deptford Green music room

In an endorsement of Lewisham education sure to send local house prices soaring, Microsoft founder Bill Gates visited Deptford Green School today for a BBC World Service programme "World Have Your Say" which held a global debate with children from around the world. The debate focused heavily on health issues in the developing world, but also touched on the future of education.

Gates - whose philanthropic foundation is heavily focused on improving education and heatlh and who was presumably in town before heading to Davos - said that he envied Deptford Green's diversity. A boy from Uganda said he would rather go to school in Deptford Green than in his home country. Let's hope he has pushy parents.

You can listen to the podcast here. Thanks to Gema on the Deptford forum for the heads up.

[Full disclosure: Microsoft is a client of BC's employer].

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ha, loving the "house prices" hook.

Sue said...

Great, I bet Haberdashers' kids really feel like they got the short straw now when they only got Gove!

AC said...

Smoke and mirrors, do a google for
bill gates big pharma

Tim said...

AC, I find what you are implying disgusting. This is a man who has legitimately and legally made a fortune, and then decided to give it all away for the good of mankind. If you had a shred of intelligence you would realise that the most effective way of utilising that fortune is to invest it wisely, so it can compound and he can do the maximum good with it. Therefore he runs a well diversified portfolio, advised by his mate (and other good egg), Warren Buffett. This will obviously include pharmaceutical companies.
You make me angry.
PS, please tell me what good you have done with your life that matches up to what Bill Gates has done and is doing.

Tim said...

I might add that I despise it when people automatically look for a negative side to a good news story, and assume there are cynical reasons for a person's altruistic actions.

B&T said...

Go Tim!

Vesta Curry said...

Sorry to be a bitch, but ... I think Nick B. should consult a shrink about his asset price obsession ... given his well advertised profession I don't think destitution is knocking at the door exactly. Lie down here... that's it ... now, tell me, is it pure aspiration or is something lacking from the existential mix?

Osh said...

Errr... missed the joke much?

Vesta Curry said...

Yer ... but mine's a joke too ... just a bitchy one ... digging beneath the surface

Osh said...

But if you know it was a joke, your joke doesn't make any sense.

Vesta Curry said...

But some jokes aren't really jokes

Osh said...

Saying that shows you didn't really get the joke in the first place. No worries.

Maybe have a little look through the Haberdashers thread.

Anonymous said...

Vesta currys..... Remember them with a sense of nostalgia, everyone loves curry. Trouble is they were just a bit shit, a poor idea badly executed. Now overtaken by instant sauces and other better deas.

Only kidding!!.....or is there a deeper truth? The interweb will decide.

Vesta Curry said...

Drunken personal sniping (for which Nick I apologise) and poor jokes aside, there is some more serious point that I was probably trying to fumble my way towards. Although it is "off topic" really in this thread. (... and frankly a little crazy)

The point is, the property value thing weaves its way through this forum as much as it does many local blogs - it hangs around like a back note in the taste of otherwise tasty wine. To my mind it undermines the purity of people's interest in their neighbourhood - if this was genuinely your Home, why would asset inflation be of any interest. Paying off your debt would be the only real need.

Imagine a community where boring old property value simply wasn't a factor in peoples thinking - might lead to a much more interesting neighbourhood - rather than some preformed, straight-out-of-the-box "up-and-coming" area, full of predictable businesses full of smug, self-satisfied, middle-class clones. And feeling good about what precisely? Pricing out potentially more interesting folk from the area?

Released from their solipsistic belief in the use of asset inflation, the now happier Children of Thatcher would be free to see their neighbourhood and their home with more generous and perceptive eyes - seeing a better world more freshly minted each day.

Viva la revolución! (now where's the Alka Seltzer? ...)

Brockley Nick said...

@Vesta -

"Drunken personal sniping (for which Nick I apologise) and poor jokes aside,"

No worries, I have heard worse criticism and worse jokes.

"The point is, the property value thing weaves its way through this forum as much as it does many local blogs"

Yes it does and my (not particularly great) joke was a specific reference to that phenomenon. Not that this is unique to blogs or the internet - it's a regular theme of conversation and media debate.

I personally find it a little vulgar and a little boring and I try not to write too many articles through that lens (though this site's critics are wont to hear a property dog-whistle in almost every article).

Having said that, property prices are a very important and quite reasonable topic. Many people's personal finances are tied up in housing, not just because they want to realise a profit on their property investment, but because it affects the kind of street or home they can afford, impacts on how much they can borrow, etc, etc. For that reason, I disagree with this:

"To my mind it undermines the purity of people's interest in their neighbourhood - if this was genuinely your Home, why would asset inflation be of any interest. Paying off your debt would be the only real need."

I intend to stay in the area. I like it. I also probably want to buy a slightly bigger home as my family gets older. I might like to live on a less scruffy road too. So house prices matter to me, less because I want them to go up, than because I want them to be stable so I will one day be able to afford to stay here and provide my family with the kind of home I want for them.

People who've lived here all their lives might also want to downsize (either to stay locally with a bit of extra cash or to retire somewhere else). Why are their interests not legitimate?

I don't see that people's interest in where they live need be "pure". People have all sorts of motivations.

"Imagine a community where boring old property value simply wasn't a factor in peoples thinking - might lead to a much more interesting neighbourhood"

Neighbourhoods where people don't have any financial stake in where they live? Like sink estates, for example?

"Pricing out potentially more interesting folk from the area?"

A very good reason why the house price issue matters.

Vesta Curry said...

touché ;-)

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