Monday, 22 December 2008

And then a hero comes along...

As it's Christmas I am on a mission to find heart-warming, it's-a-wonderful-life stories, starting with this one from today's Guardian, about a man who has invented spectacles which don't need an optician to adjust them. He now plans to distribute a billion pairs, at a dollar apiece, to people in the developing world, which will boost literacy, boost employment... He tells the story of a tailor in Ghana whose eyesight had deteriorated so by the age of 35 that he was forced to retire; with these glasses, he can now work again. (And please note, dear readers - who funded this pilot? Yes, the British Government).

Of course, a billion dollars isn't that easy to find. But it occurs to me - if we had a scheme whereby everyone in the developed world paid an (optional) extra dollar whenever they went to the opticians, which went into the '2020' fund - it would help, wouldn't it?

Anyway, Josh Silver is his name, he's a hero, give him a knighthood. (And Blogger, don't you dare be cynical about this. Don't. You. Dare.)

22 comments:

Old Holborn said...

"And please note, dear readers - who funded this pilot? Yes, the British Government).

For Gods sake Kerry, when will you understand that the government has not ONE penny of it's own money. It's OUR money. The British TAXPAYER funded it.

DaveA said...

"Sitting by myself in Cargo bar in Hoxton. Everyone else has gone outside for a smoke except Dan who has disappeared."

As someone new to Twitter, is that your good self who has written this? If not my apologies.

DaveA said...

Tis the season to aknowledge altruism and in 2008 I am struggling.

However Ms McCarthy, may I wish you my best. It is a brave MP who allows such trenchant criticism to be published against themselves and their party. I also aknowledge being a forum in the public domain that any frank admission would be on the news desk of all the dailies and TV companies before you can see "Kerry McCarthy gaffe."

My criticism is that any awkward questions/points you completely ignore.

So for your fortitude and indefectibility I will descend into shameless brown nosing, sychophantism, fawning, obsquiousness etc.

Thank you for a stimulating blog in 2008, it is a daily read for me.

I am sure I will be smoking in a pub .........when there is 1" snow in hell. :)

I hate Vista said...

What a lovely Christmas story inline with the teachings of Our Saviour.
I am sure that you wouldn't want party political bias at this time of year so why not change it to being funded by taxpayers rather than the government

Kerry said...

I suggest you take it up with the Guardian. I quote: "During an early field trial, funded by the British government, in Ghana". You miserable sods.

Kerry said...

Dear Dave A, Yes it was me. I wasn't alone for long, and my friends expressed no displeasure at all at being 'forced' to go out into the rather nice patio area for a smoke. And yes, some of my friends do smoke. But only when they're drinking, or making music, for some reason.

Remember Remember said...

Of course it would have been much simpler if you had just gone to the balcony but let's not let logic get in the way of totalitarianism, Komrade.

As for the glasses, have you wondered how the chap can make really complex ones for a dollar? How much do your health sevice contractor chums leech from our taxes for each pair?

Kerry said...

What balcony would that be? You miserable sod.

bofl said...

hoxton?

why were you there?

it is a shithole.......
like bristol maybe?

Kerry said...

See I actually thought it was rather nice. Almost too nice in that it felt like being on a film set of a 'trendy, arty area' rather than really being out on the streets of London. But then I'm originally from Luton. Doesn't take much to please us.

bofl said...

ps...........

yep.it is a great idea...i have no problem helping others less fortunate.......

however as part of my job i went to many meetings in London with the chairmen and directors of many international companies.i do believe that they are shafting the uk and everyone else with their prices............

do something about that!
it will save us money and help others........

Kerry said...

I think the 'economic downturn' might see to that.

bofl said...

is manzi's pie and mash shop still in hoxton?

the last time i went there it was like stalingrad 1942.

bofl said...

you must mean the recession?
soon to be depression?

being a cynic i would doubt that the top dogs will give up much of their ill gotten gains.

I went to a meeting of a pharma co.....
a very suave ivy league educated md told us about his product.......

which was being marketed in the u.s europe and japan.

after a while i said to him ' i like your product -but surely it would be beneficial to tropical/third world countries?

he agreed .......

'but there is no money in it'!

'however we do make charitable contributions'!
'next question'..........
++++++++

needleess to say we did not invest....

Kerry said...

Market forces, dear boy. And it's a global recession so they can't really pick and choose their markets. Which means the customer is king. Or at least less likely to shell out for over-priced tat.

donpaskini said...

Now I know what the party game is which the fun loving people from the Libertarian Party will be playing this Christmas.

Someone reads out a story from the news, and then everyone else whinges about how it is an example of how UNFAIR it is that they have THEIR MONEY STOLEN in tax.

It's their families I feel sorry for.

DaveA said...

May God blind me if I am wrong (gawd blimey) 'oxton is a blinding night ou'. Bin down there loads of times, the Real Greek and 'eaters on the patios. And for me the 55 or 48 bus 'ome, sorted.

Hoxton, joking apart is a good spot to have a night out. Nice mix of people from non mincing gays to screaming hetero-sexuals. Also the cab station round there gets you home first if you are wearing a suit. Give the girlie bar Browns a miss.

Dick the Prick said...

Fortunately they've got all of their money in British off shore tax havens (11 at last count - more than any other government - great stat eh?) which Obama has already started preparing legislation for. Even though Gordon's had 11 years to do err... nowt.

Methinks a tranch of about turns will appear in March before the Parousia arrives.

thebristolblogger said...

No one's mentioned Hendrix yet.

Anything he covered (with the possible exception of The Troggs) is better than the original - All Along the Watchtower, Gloria, Star Spangled Banner, Sunshine of Your Love, Hey Joe etc, etc.

The Bristol Blogger said...

I've just posted that last comment on the wrong thread haven't I?

Kerry said...

Yes.

La Bete said...

I much prefer the optional donation funding model to the 'pay up or we'll send the boys round' one.

Great bit of innovation by Josh Silver though.