Please read my suggestions and give your opinion by taking the quick poll at the bottom of this blog post.
I have been thinking about the Occupy Edinburgh movement (and its global allies) and how we could become more effective. I think non-specific chants against the system, Tories, etc., appeal to the converted but are unlikely to convince others to join. As I understand it, the main thought underlying the global movement is that the world is run by and for corporate interests. We have here in the UK two of the nastiest of these: the RBS and the Murdoch empire (News Corporation’s UK newspaper wing, News International). I suggest we choose one of these and campaign for a boycott of an element of it. Here are the two possibilities in detail:
(1) RBS. Ask people to move their accounts from the RBS unless and until
- (a) it gives basic account holders free access to all cash machines;
- (b) it sets a maximum pay ratio within itself of 10:1
- and (c) it disinvests from the Canadian tar sands, one of the most environmentally destructive projects on the planet and one that is also destroying the way of life of the indigenous people (See what the Guardian says and what the Cooperative Bank says).
Remember, the UK public own this bank! It should be serving our long-term interests. Should the RBS accede to these demands we should encourage people to support it and boycott, say, Lloyds (until it does similar things…) You get the idea?
(2) Murdoch. I suggest we call for a simple boycott of The Sun newspaper, Murdoch’s flagship tabloid here in the UK, unless and until he
- (a) stops dodging tax (he is notorious for this, using elaborate systems of transfer pricing and offshore companies/accounts);
- (b) prints full details of his tax dodging manoeuvres in The Sun;
- (c) gives the global Occupy movement full editorial control of one issue of The Sun
- and (d) sets a maximum pay ratio of 10 (top pay) to 1 (pay of the lowest paid employee) in News Corporation ad News International.
What do you say? I think if we make simple and specific demands we are more likely to be taken seriously and convince others to join our cause.
At the risk of being accused of blatant book promotion, my novel, Saving the World makes similar suggestions and proposes an “International Hope-ist Movement”.
Now please take part in the poll below!