Warning: this piece contains rude words and triggers.
There’s a lot of stuff in the news about online porn: is it ok to like it? How can we stop child porn being spread around? Is it ok to like regular porn, where people who appear to consent appear to have consensual sex – or is that turning teens into wild-eyed sexual ferals who reach the age of 37 without ever having seen a pubic hair? Is it all really consensual? What about torture porn, and rape porn?
There are some problems with the stuff being said in the mainstream media. And if we’re all honest, there are some problems with porn. Big ones. Ones that get glossed over, and these days since porn is ok and is cool and everyone watches it, they’re getting glossed over by an awful lot more people.
Firstly, an issue of terminology: there is no such thing as “child porn”. If it’s pornographic and it involves a child, what you have is an “image of child abuse”. The people watching that stuff are knowingly watching a child be sexually abused. They are getting off on not just the youth of the person or people involved, but very precisely on the fact that they’re powerless, and very precisely on the fact that they’re forbidden territory, and very precisely on the fact that they’re unwilling. Let us agree to never, ever call that stuff “child porn” again. None of those people “made a porn film”. They were filmed being abused.
But the minute a third party watches that film or passes it on to someone, that IS child abuse.
I think we ARE all clear on this.
The second, and to me equally obvious problem with porn is with violent and rape porn: porn in which a woman/women or man/men you don’t know appear to be violently assaulted, raped, tortured and or terrorised, and where people specifically seek out this sort of film because watching that gets them off.
I have nothing against BDSM, role play, or making home movies with consenting and playful parties. But at the point where a piece of porn comes into the public domain and the people watching it cannot tell – and do not care enough to concern themselves – whether the person in the film is really being raped or not, Houston, we have a massive problem. It goes beyond your bedroom.
It goes to the whole of society, to rape culture, to power structures in our society, and to the people left crushed by them, of which, when we’re talking about how social power structures feed into sexuality, a disproportionate number are women. And yet somehow this has become labelled “kink”. It is viewed by some as the essential freedom of their sexuality, by many as playful and harmless, and by the fairly hep (sic) general modern online population as not necessarily something they want to watch, but definitely something they feel disempowered to complain about.
I’m going to be uncool and say it: WTF is wrong with the people seeking this stuff out? People getting off on abuse is people getting off on abuse, and we need to start calling it.
We live in a society where the rate of sexual assault and rape and domestic violence – the vast majority of which is perpetrated against women – is shameful. Look at this. 404,000 women are victims of sexual assault in the UK per year. An average of 85,000 victims of rape, per year. These are Ministry of Justice figures.
The link between sex and torture/rape/distress/assault is now so generally accepted, so normal, that we call images of weeping or tortured captives in war zones “war porn“. This link between sex and a power dynamic, pain, fear and torture, is fed into by horror films, which generally feature mostly-naked women running and sobbing, and some element of sexual assault or threat thereof. It is so prevalent, so acceptable now, that it often even appears on TV, in genres as previously plodding as police procedural dramas. The BBC’s recent “The Fall” intercut a scene of a murdered woman’s body being molested by her killer with a consensual sex scene, seamlessly linking the two, as if handling a dead girl’s naked body were a logical extension of sexual behaviour. Was that pornographic? Yes. It was. Whenever you see a woman dragged out of a river in a police drama, she is always young, attractive … sexy. Dead sexy. We’ve got a song at No1 in the charts right now that contains the words “do it like it hurts” and “big enough to tear your ass in two” (clue, Thicke: this MAY be why she said she isn’t interested, and why you’re now trying to get her “blasted” so you can rape her).
This sort of image might get you off, it may be your kink. But your orgasm is no way, under no circumstance, more important than someone else’s safety and humanity. Calling this “kink” is straightforward rape-apology (and women can be part of the patriarchy too). This is abuse.
And for anyone getting their gimp suit in a knot over what I’ve just said, think on this: if there was porn which LOOKED as if it was children getting raped, but wasn’t, who’d call that “kink”?
But if it’s an adult woman, that’s understandable?
Thirdly, there’s also the broad problem with not having any concrete way of telling whether the participants in “normal” porn are truly consenting. I know some are. I have absolutely no issue with consenting, non-abusive porn. It should be fun. But the fact is, most people watching most porn have no idea whether the participants are there because they love making porn (yay!) or whether they’re there because otherwise they can’t afford baby food / some dude’s going to beat them. There is no way to tell.
And this, in a nutshell, is my problem with porn. It really ought to be everyone’s problem with porn. It is about time we stopped being cool and had this conversation.
by Brett Scott
For too long people have viewed the financial system in the same way they view their computer – as an obscure black box that we interact with without understanding how it works.
You can throw things at the black box, and you can lament its consequences, and you can shout at it, but this doesn’t fundamentally alter anything.
Ad-hoc regulatory measures – such as the financial transactions tax – may be useful in the interim, but even if a government found methods to tame the financial sector’s excesses, we’re still left with a population that feels fundamentally alienated by the system, struggling to conceptualise any deep alternative.
For a deeper shift we need a reorientation of approach. In my new book, The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance, I’ve attempted to sketch out pillars for such an approach.
Firstly, people need to break down the notion that the financial system is something ‘out there’, controlled by technocratic elites that know more than they do, and somehow only contained via state action. If anything, the state has displayed massive levels of collusion with the financial status quo.
Secondly, people need to start actively exploring the system, in the same way a computer hacker might actively explore a computer. There is a curiosity deficit when it comes to finance, and that entirely suits the interests of the current financial regime. The more people believe that financial knowledge is complicated, or boring, the more power that regime has.
Thirdly, people need to recognise the creative potential that exists in financial instruments and institutions. There is nothing inevitable in the way, for example, shares are used, and that latent potential can be co-opted. Think about creating hedge funds of dissent, shareholder activism and divestment campaigns, and financial transparency initiatives.
Fourthly, people need to embrace their own ability to experiment in the field of financial innovation. On the Left, this requires breaking down any ideological opposition to the concept of entrepreneurialism.
Entrepreneurialism needn’t mean the Economics 101 style of rational economic profit maximisation. It can be driven by a rebellious impulse, an artistic impulse and an anarchic impulse.
Lastly, people need to start testing alternatives. Far too many activist groups talk about alternatives without ever trying them out. How about starting an inter-group mutual credit system? The campaign organisations of the future are not going to be NGOs funded by rich people. They’re going to be live experiments in alternative economics, getting messages across by demonstrating them.
This ‘beta-testing’ is the first step to inducing the network effects required to scale alternatives up. If you’d like to see a video of how this works, check this Youtube clip. The guy doesn’t try to convince people to dance, he just starts dancing himself, so get dancing!
Brett Scott is a campaigner and writer who works in alternative finance and financial activism. His new book – The Heretic’s Guide to Global Finance: Hacking the Future of Money – is published by Pluto Press and is available now. Non-traditional currencies accepted! Brett tweets as @suitpossum.
by Steve Rose
Clive Hunt explained to both the Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News that he lost out on a job because he told a recruitment consultant he would buy her a bacon sandwich. This was to celebrate his successful interview and sign the paperwork to begin work.
Mr Hunt maintains he was unaware about the nature of his remark until he received a phone call from Sharika Sacranie’s manager to explain this racist remark.
Later, as I was driving home, Ms Sacranie’s manager called me and wanted to know about the racist remark I had made. I said I had not made one and he said I had said that I would get her a bacon sandwich. But I only made the remark because she referred to breakfast.
The woman was of Asian appearance. I am not a racist, never have been. I wasn’t brought up that way.
A simple misunderstanding that might have been resolved with an apology. However, with these stories, the narrative is overwhelmingly one-sided.
Reed’s statement is certainly far more revealing:
Due to inappropriate comments made to members of our staff during the recruitment process before Mr Hunt started his new role we have unfortunately decided that we do not feel we can represent this client further.
A senior manager from the Reed team spoke to Mr Hunt via telephone following an inappropriate comment made to a member of staff before he was due to start in the role. During that conversation, Mr Hunt made further inappropriate comments.
At this point it became clear to the senior manager that Reed could no longer represent Mr Hunt. Reed is committed to supporting its staff, clients and candidates and this is not a decision we have taken lightly.
In Mr Hunt’s defence, he does mention:
When the manager called me, I was driving and I got increasingly exasperated as he kept telling me I should admit to my wrongdoing for referring to bacon sandwiches. In the end I told him to ‘sod off’ and put the phone down. They have blown this out of all proportion.
[Bolded for my emphasis]
There are some key points to draw from both statements:
1) Mr Hunt may have been offered the job but had not signed the paperwork [this was to happen the following morning]. The recruitment process was still technically ongoing.
2) Reed’s statement indicates he made inappropriate comments to members of staff. As evidenced by his phone conversation with management.
3) After the additional comments to a senior manager, it was decided Reed could not represent Mr Hunt (not before).
4) Angrily telling a senior manager to ‘sod off’ over the phone is highly unprofessional.
Stories like this do not require absolute accuracy because it serves to reinforce the false idea that political correctness has ‘gone mad’. It will spread over social media channels in furious clicks of indignation and confirmation bias.
There is a reason why Reed’s statement is buried at the bottom of the story.
by Steve Hynd
In Russia cancer patients are left to suffer and ultimately die in pain with inadequate access to basic pain control drugs such as morphine. When one doctor defied the state’s overly restrictive laws, she was arrested. It is time for the healthcare community to speak out.
Dr. Khorinyak allegedly wrote out two prescriptions for the pain relief medication tramadol. The prescriptions were for Victor Sechin, a terminally-ill cancer patient. In the eyes of the Russian state, the medical practitioner of more than 50 years broke the law.
In 2011, it is thought that the Russian Federal Drug Control Service discovered the prescriptions at the local pharmacy, and referred the case to the prosecutor and the court. Dr. Khorinyak was then charged under:
• Article 234 of the Criminal Code: Trafficking potent substances in large quantities by prior agreement with the intent to sell, an organized group
• Article 327 of the Criminal Code, Forgery of documents in order to facilitate the commission of another crime.
The editor of the international edition of ehospice, Kate Jackson, wrote in her defence, saying:
Dr Khorinyak performed her professional duty and acted with compassion towards a patient in pain. If it is outside of the laws of a country for a doctor to treat a patient to the best of their ability, then there is a need for a serious and urgent re-examination of those laws.
Indeed, Russia’s overly restrictive laws regulating access to morphine have been the focus of on-going criticism for a number of years.
In its 2012 annual report, Human Rights Watch commented on Russia’s health policy saying:
Although over 300,000 Russians die of cancer each year, with many facing severe pain, available palliative care services remained limited. As a result, hundreds of thousands of patients die in avoidable agony each year. In much of the country, the government does not make oral morphine available through the public healthcare system, or adequately train healthcare workers on modern pain treatment methods. Existing drug regulations are excessively restrictive and limit appropriate morphine use for pain relief.
In Russia though, 450,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year resulting in more than 2.5 million people suffering from the disease. Russia not only has a clear moral obligation to support these patients but also a legal human rights responsibility as well – one that it is currently neglecting.
With the noble exception of ehospice and a handful of other professionals, few have spoken out. The Russian government is standing by while thousands needlessly suffer. When one person does speak out, she is prosecuted as a criminal.
It is time for health care professionals from around the world to stand up for Dr. Khorinyak and speak out, not only against her prosecution but also against Russia’s wider neglect of patients in need of pain relief.
This Friday, Green Party members across the country will face an immense dilemma – the choice between supporting our own minority Green council or hundreds of workers going on strike for a week against proposed pay reductions.
Some of the workrs could lose up to £4000 a year. That’s a choice most Greens would a few years ago have never thought they’d face. In the midst of massive local authority cuts, the Greens are in office but seemingly not in power.
Many local parties and individuals – including the local Brighton & Hove Green Party, Caroline Lucas (who has pledged to join the picket lines), and university branches such as my own – have spoken out against the bin worker pay cuts.
It has thus-far been a shambolic dispute where a noble attempt to equalise pay between male and female staff has turned into idiotic comparisons to the winter of discontent, accusations of potential strike breaking, and outsourcing the pay proposal decision altogether in order for Greens to claim ‘it wasn’t our decision’. Yet the council leader, Jason Kitcat, seems determined not to budge.
Serious internal discussion about this sorry state of affairs has sadly been minimal at best, stifled at worst. The party is coming under attack over this from all other sections of the left, and Labour will exploit this to its fullest unless the Green group in Brighton change tack and handle the situation properly. If Greens don’t tackle the issue head on, other parties will do so.
Neither is it good enough to say, as some have, that since the Greens are a federal party ‘it’s up to Brighton’. Brighton Greens – both the local branch and our only MP – have spoken clearly on this issue. It’s now up to the rest of the party nationally to back them up in this. Brighton is, bar a sizeable number of honourable exceptions in the likes of Alex Phillips and others, a rogue council, refusing to cede to the wishes of its local party, its constituents, and (from what I gather) the rest of the party nationally.
Disappointingly, the Green Party Executive (GPEX) and leader Natalie Bennett have appeared quiet on the issue.
Worthy though bringing in a Living Wage, leading the ‘no evictions’ fight over the bedroom tax, and attempting to equalise pay between male and female workers is, a Green council should never cut the pay of some of the least well off. That should be a given, particularly after enshrining social justice into the party’s Core Values last conference. As a party which has the strongest record on workers’ rights in terms of policy, strike busting should never have even been rumoured, let alone a potential possibility.
There are some hopeful signs however. Leading figures in Brighton & Hove Greens have at last made public statements about the strike action, though still seemingly refusing to back down over the pay proposals. The GMB has agreed to re-enter negotiations. And the candidate for the Hanover & Elm Grove by-election, David Gibson, is a solid trade unionist who opposes the measures to equalise pay down instead of up.
There needs to be a serious discussion about the possibility of setting ‘needs budgets’, and if not, discussing whether we should be in office at all if we are forced to act as a mere smoke-screen for Tory-Lib Dem cuts.
At what point does the party start to consider that to stay in office and continue to implement cuts would be to breach fundamental principles? As the Green Party conference in Brighton approaches, it’s time to get backtracking on the proposed pay cuts, and time to start talking.
Josiah Mortimer is a Green Party activist and student based in York.
by Jonathan J Lindsell
Trigger warnings: rape, sexual assault, child abuse.
“Man fucks woman; subject verb object.”
That’s how Catharine MacKinnon, American feminist legal professor, characterised Western gender relations and savaged pornography. Women are objectified statues, men are aggressive actors.
But if you look at the media’s treatment of gender-related crimes in the past few months, you’ll see something different:
“Victim was assaulted; Object verb.”
That’s how sexual crimes are reported. ‘X children were abused’, ‘Y women are raped in India each day’. Discussion overwhelmingly uses the passive voice and focuses on the victim to the perpetrator’s exclusion, unless the aggressor is notable – an ethnic minority, a celebrity, a religious figure. Otherwise rape and abuse are described as if they ‘just happen’ like freak weather events.
This absolves the public from considering whether Diane Abbot’s ‘crisis’ is a genuine problem in their immediate community – rape is either a misfortune that happens to unwary women, or a vile crime committed by people so different from the reader that their motivations are wholly alien.
Society has a standard narrative for how rape ‘just happens’ – usually a young, attractive girl, alone at night, wearing inappropriate clothing, who indulged in excess, attacked by a stranger. Passive reporting feeds this trope by focusing on victims and minimising the rapist’s role. He just ‘happened’ to be tempted when all necessary factors were in place.
The narrative is dangerous. In the eyes of the public and of juries, it discredits stories which don’t fit. Abused male or trans*people are ignored. Likewise accusations from women who are unattractive, sensible, or lived with their assailant face ridicule. The myth thrives despite SlutWalk’s efforts to dispel the idea that women’s clothing or actions constitute ‘asking for rape’ and UK government statistics showing that 90% of serious sexual assault victims know their attacker.
Whereas most sex-crime coverage investigates what personal failures caused a horrific ‘accident’ to happen to the (culpable) female victim, there’s a flip-side. When the perpetrator is different, comfortably distant from the largely white male middle-class world of today’s writers, then it’s fine to pick them apart.
This is especially evident in recent stories: Dehli bus rape, Oxford abuse ring, Catholic Church scandals and Operation Yewtree. In each case, the perpetrators are either foreign, non-Christian, or live highly atypically. Priests are celibate and secretive; celebrities extremely extrovert.
This was highlighted in Joseph Parker’s piece, It’s time to face up to the problem of sexual abuse in the white community. Parker was satirising the media, I’m not. By deploying the passive tense in ‘normal’ sex crimes and demonising minorities in sensational cases, we blind ourselves to that fact that, statistically, we almost certainly know such people ourselves.
Supporting victims is important, but so is acknowledging and exploring how violent misogynist attitudes flare in all communities, and run deeper than we’d admit. Rape culture exists, and until we start to think about the rapists, it will continue. That’s unacceptable.
Jonathan Lindsell is a freelance writer who has written for Bluffers online, Trinity College Oxford’ Broadsheet and the Leamington Courier. As a research fellow at Civitas thinktank he also writes a weekly blog there.
A bunch of humus-eating, London-dwelling, middle-class, Masters-holding Guardian-readers. That’s the stereotype of Green members anyway. How true is it though? The answer is – not entirely.
The results of the Green Party Equality and Diversity membership survey are in, and some of the results are fascinating. 1100 members took the survey, a decent proportion of the party (especially for a voluntary questionnaire) and around the sample size of most polling.
Bearing in mind that non-compulsory surveys, especially online ones, generally over-represent wealthier people – those with more spare time on their hands and generally the most politically engaged – the findings are surprising.
Nearly a quarter – 23.4% – of Green Party members earn less than £10,000 a year. This category was by far the plurality – i.e. the largest group. Over 17% live on between £10-15k a year, another 12% between £15-20k and 10% between £20-25k – still below the average income nationally. In total, this means well over 60% of Greens earn below the median income of £26,500.
Since the median income, by definition, means there are around 50% on either side earning more or less, for 60% to be earning less than this in the party means Greens are actually over-representative of people from lower-income background.
Only 9% slotted into the top-rate of tax band of more than £45k a year, probably explaining why we’re so skint all the time. So the stereotype of the Greens as middle-class hippies seems just that: a stereotype.
Yet class is a messy concept, of course, and income isn’t always the best indicator. Occupation, background, housing type, education, culture – all are factors in many definitions of class. Sadly the survey didn’t look into all of these, but the figures for education are less surprising than income.
The proportion of members with a university degree is 57%, far above the national figure of 26%. Within the 57% figure (since you could tick more than one box), 37% of all respondents had a Masters, PhD or other ‘higher’ degree. A pretty huge figure. Given the stats earlier about income, it seems the Greens are becoming a party of the precariat – educated but poor, especially given a higher proportion of members compared to the general public who are private renters (20%) and living with family or friends (nearly 8%).
On the whole, this seems to be borne out by how members described themselves in class terms. 56% responded as ‘lower middle class’, and just under a quarter (23%) identified as ‘working class’ of some form or another.
Shout it loud – the Greens are becoming the true party of the working-class. Even if most of us are humus-eating Guardian readers.
by Holly Dustin
A report by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner last week found that children, especially boys, are viewing violent pornography and that this is influencing their behaviour.
This is highly disturbing and comes swiftly after our own report, Deeds or Words? which found that the government is failing in its promise to prevent abuse of women and girls.
So why isn’t this a political priority?
The background to these reports is a growing body of evidence to show that young women and girls are targeted for certain types of abuse by men and boys, some of which is linked to new technology.
Recent research on ‘sexting’ by the NSPCC, which found it to be often coercive and linked to abusive behaviour, was tragically highlighted by the case of 13 year old Chevonea Kendall-Bryan who fell to her death pleading with a boy to delete indecent images of her. Our own polling in 2010 found that one in three girls in the UK said they had been ‘groped’ or experienced other unwanted sexual touching at school.
An Ofsted report found that poor quality Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in over a third of schools was leaving children vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and sexual exploitation.
We were delighted when Yvette Cooper MP Labour would make SRE compulsory in order to teach young people about sexual consent, and respectful and equal relationships. But SRE is one part of a much broader package of work that is urgently needed if we genuinely want to prevent abuse before it begins.
So, as Labour’s manifesto work progresses, we want to see concrete commitments to:
1) Run a long-term public campaigns to change abusive attitudes and behaviours (similar to the ongoing drink-driving campaigns which have changed attitudes to seat-belts and drink driving over a number of decades)
2) Make SRE compulsory as part of a ‘whole-school approach’ to tackling violence against women and girls which would include ongoing teacher training so that teachers are equipped and confident to identify and respond to the signs of abuse
3) Tackling misogynistic messages through the media and social media that condone abuse. Hats off to the fantastic campaign targeting rape and domestic violence pages on Facebook. The Children’s Commissioner’s report has highlighted children’s access to violent pornography and the disturbing murders Tia Sharp and April Jones cases reportedly include pornographic images, including images of rape and incest. We are supporting a campaign by Croydon Rape Crisis to make possession of simulated images of rape porn illegal.
4) Funding women’s groups to run innovative prevention projects in the community, and to ensure that all women and girls experiencing abuse, either now or in the past, have access to specialist women’s support services.
We are calling on our political leaders, both men and women, to be aspirational and to say that violence against women and girls is not inevitable, and they will take action to prevent it. A world that is safe and equal for women and girls is possible, and we now need to make the promise a reality.
Holly Dustin is at End Violence Against Women Coaltion
by John Kennedy
Ever since I first worked as a care assistant in the mid-1980s, care homes have been in some kind of crisis or turmoil. The issues are the same now as they were 30 years ago. The pressures, though, are growing more and more acute as our society ages.
I am now responsible for the management of a range of services including care homes and housing-based support and I want to find out what we can do about it. That is why, supported by JRF, I am embarking on an inquiry into risk and relationships in care homes.
What is it that needs to change? The half a million people currently living in care homes is likely to rise significantly in the near future. These people are our parents, our siblings, our friends and one day ourselves! Chronic concerns about quality of care, funding, pay, regulation continue to persist, in spite of numerous commissions, inquiries, regulators and Government interventions.
I want to get under the skin of care homes in the UK and discover what people really think, what has to change, what is good and why.
Over the next 12 months, I’ll be visiting care homes and talking to people with real experience; residents, relatives, friends, care staff, managers, cleaners, volunteers.
I’ll also be posing a series of questions to expose the real issues, get an honest debate going, and expose the contradictions and misconceptions that exist in the relationship between care homes, residents, staff and the general public.
So please let me know what you think, by:
What do we already know?
- The quality and equality of good relationships is key – respect for individuals’ personalities, sense of humour; trust me as I trust you?
- People working in care homes often feel overwhelmed, anxious, self-doubting, guilty and under attack.
- The public perceives care homes as unwanted, expensive, unkind, indifferent and miserable places.
Care homes just don’t seem to work for us. Or do they?
A recent MORI survey found a surprisingly high level of satisfaction amongst care home residents. Are care homes that awful? Are our expectations too high or too low? What is the reality?
What makes a good care home and what gets in the way? Is there something about our attitude to risk? Do the ‘rules and regulations’, designed to protect and ensure quality, do so or do they actually get in the way? Are they the right ‘rules and regulations’?
What do I want to do?
I want to get out there and visit people and places known for excellent relationships – to understand how this has been achieved. I also want to visit and speak to people in places that are not succeeding. I want to hear why. What is in the way?
I want to encourage people with experience and knowledge to talk about what they think is really the problem. I am sure there is plenty of ‘unspoken’ truth just waiting to be heard. I also want to speak to people with no experience of care homes. What do they think, what is their perception?
This is personal, because if I am fortunate enough to live to a good age I want to be cared for in a nice place by valued and compassionate people – people who treat me kindly and have the time to care.
So please join me on this journey and let’s see if we can make a better future.
John Kennedy is Director of Care Services at JRHT
It’s fair to say George Osborne has never been the Financial Transaction Tax’s biggest fan. As 11 European countries agreed a 0.01%-0.1% tax on shares, bonds and derivatives that will raise an estimated £30bn each year, he made clear that Britain was folding its arms, stamping its foot and refusing to join in.
It’s one thing to dismiss billions in additional revenue, side with your friends in the City and plump instead for the harshest programme of austerity since WWII.
But, clearly feeling his priorities were still not perverse enough, the Chancellor then launched a legal challenge against the European’s proposal, arguing it would be bad for his friends in the City.
George Osborne protested that European’s choosing to tax their financial institutions and their financial products may impact on other countries. Except that is precisely how our own stamp duty on shares works. Of the £3bn this FTT raises the UK Exchequer each year, around 40% of revenue comes from overseas.
In the face of such hypocrisy the Robin Hood Tax campaign launched a petition calling on Osborne to drop the legal challenge.
Over 15,000 people emailed the Treasury, who blocked the emails. We’ll be taking the petition by hand to the Treasury to ensure they get the message.
There have been almost daily attacks against the Financial Transaction Tax in the right of centre press as well, backed up by a slew of ‘reports’ commissioned by the financial sector. We’re taking this as a good sign.
One of the only concrete proposals to emerge post-crisis to ensure ordinary people do not pay for the economic mess is on the verge of becoming reality.
The shame is that Osborne’s opposition means the UK public will miss out on the benefits. Wild-eyed proclamations of the financial sector aside, this proposal is moderate. FTTs already exist not only in the UK, but around the world. Collectively they raise around £25bn a year. They have been implemented by governments of all political hues and in key financial centres such as Hong Kong, South Africa and Brazil.
As the government goes into overdrive to weaken the proposal, so it’s now more than ever they need reminding – the interests of the financial sector do not equate to the interests of society as a whole.
Simon works for the Robin Hood Tax Campaign
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