It’s very easy to feel despairing about all the things that are wrong in our society, and conclude that there’s nothing we can do because nobody will listen.

But when it’s well-organised, ‘people power’ can bring influence to bear, although it will never be anything other than a hard and rocky road with steps backwards as well as forwards. Nevertheless, I would rather we tried and failed than that we didn’t try at all – what was that about ‘all that is needed for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing’?

You may or may not remember that recently I flagged up the Christian Aid campaign, working with multi-national businesses and governments, to end tax haven secrecy and therefore contribute to alleviating world poverty. They’ve taken their – our – concerns to the G20 summit and – some progress has been made


Here are the results of that meeting:

“A step towards one of our key calls for greater tax transparency has been made: the G20 members agreeed to sign a convention that will allow the exchange of tax information between them. They will also consider making information available automatically on a voluntary basis.

This means we are now much closer to our calls for Automatic Information Exchange, which will help combat tax secrecy.

The G20 listed 11 tax havens that have failed to deliver on tax transparency. French President Sarkozy said the worst offenders ‘will be excluded from the international community’.

David Cameron called for principles to govern matters such as tax transparency in the global economy.

All of this is really positive news and much more than we hoped for just a few months ago. As campaigners you should take great credit for what has been achieved. Not only have we kept tax havens on the agenda, but we have helped ensure moves have begun to be taken to help tackle tax haven secrecy.”

The report goes on to detail the steps that still need to be made. Β I like its sober, practical and persistent tone.

Never let it be said that we can’t make a difference! Β 

If you’re interested you can read the full report here



33 thoughts on “PETITIONS DO HELP

  1. I sign petitions, BUT, only after checking what they are for, and if I can really feel I want to support them. Some petitions are frivolous, some are dangerous and are worded to obfuscate.

    One of the biggest petitions that allow for obfuscation on a grand scale is an election, both local and general. I sign for them, with much consideration. Democracy has its limitations. That is one price we pay for petitioning for democracy. It is a huge philosophical argument and not one I shall delve further into here.


      1. That’s about the sum of it, overarching democracy superior to all else, I think. Not having experienced living in any of the other styles of structure, I am not in a good position to compare from the inside out. Like the majority, I can only assess what is heard and produced by media from the outside.


      2. It was one of those occasions where we were all in a long line, ‘greeting’, so we didn’t have time for a proper discussion. We agreed that it wasn’t working in Nigeria – too much corruption. Possibly a more effective system would be based on elected local chiefs working communally, like they used to in some places. But there will always be corruption, I’m afraid.


      3. I don’t want to get into long discussions here about styles of corruption, other than to say, some styles lend themselves better to democracies!


      4. I was listening today,to a short philosophical discussion on the use of vocabulary. I think this interchange illustrates the philosophical nature of the use of language.


      5. In my view, they not only overlap, they may also, according to philosophy, have no meaning….which means, as far as I understand it that what we say has no meaning. All very confusing.


      6. Indeed … in which case, there is no need to communicate, because all we say is only meaningless, and nobody else is going to understand …

        … think I’ll stick with the non-philosophers on this one!


  2. I totally agree, the weight of public opinion does matter. Signing petitions has become so much easier with the internet. I’m glad you can report a positive outcome. I also signed the 38 Degrees petition about changes to the NHS and the Lords are giving it more thinking time.


      1. There are always ways and means for acitivists….I recall the devastating effects of widespread…well organised boycotts……:roll:
        NB Peaceful Non-Co-operation…? Gandhi?


  3. I belong to a group called AVAAZ and regularly sign their petitions and went on a ‘flashmob’ demo once. You are absolutely right – it is so important to do something even just like signing a petition. It is so great when you have signed a petition and then get to see a result, :yes:

    As I get older I am more resolved to take action on issues because I am realising as I didn’t when younger, that we are all contributing to the world we live in even if by being inactive and allowing evil to stride on ahead as you say. Sins of omission etc etc :yes:

    Good to hear positive news!


      1. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you remember me saying that because that is just what I was thinking to myself… and we cannot dare to overlook that – it is too important on so many levels :yes:


  4. I have been following this, and agree with you that it’s so much better to try than to do nothing. I think a lot more people are signing petitions today….much more than just a few years ago, when the credit seemed to be flowing like a rushing river!


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