The computer is somewhat better, but for how long who knows. But here is the news.
Last Saturday week I went to Kath and Steve's lovely party in Bankside, and asked a gentleman there in a Joy Division t-shirt what he does, like you do. His answer was along the lines of: I'm campaign co-ordinator for Stamp Out Poverty, which is lobbying for a tax on foreign currency transactions. He explained it all to my disfinancial brain, slowly and carefully... If Gordon Brown were to put a levy of one half of one hundredth of a percent (0.005%) on trade in sterling, this would generate £3 billion.
This money could then be ringfenced for overseas development. By "trade in sterling" is meant all those hyperspatial deals done between market speculators all over the world, generating untold riches for themselves. The tax is so small, relative to the volume, that they'll hardly notice it. I was stunned, and said so. It's such a brilliant idea. Glad you like it, he said. The name's David Hillman. Come to the press launch if you like. So I did. In a committee room over the road from Parliament, I sat and listened to these very brilliant men and one brilliant woman - Dame Shirley Williams - outline the aims of the campaign to raise a stamp duty on forex (see, I have the lingo now) deals. Please go to the website and read more. There's an easy-to-sign petition on there, too. If you support any of the NGOs like CAFOD, Make Poverty History, War On Want, Save The Children, Trade Justice Movement etc, you're already helping, as people from these orgs are on the case. If you feel you can help in any specific way with the campaign, you can contact David through the website. And finally, if you happen to have lots of money in any of the 20 tax "havens" around the world under British jurisdiction, look out. These very brilliant people have you in their sights. The redistribution of wealth is not an idea that's going to go away.
In other news, I was behind the bar at Southwark again on Friday. The show is on till Saturday and I urge you to go if you can. It's a Peter Gill play, Over Gardens Out. Readers of My London Life will certainly know of PG at least by repute, and won't be surprised to hear that the play is a gem. Nice review here.