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Making a clean start

'None of us should underestimate the importance of this evening's meeting,' pronounced Susan George, respected author and campaigner, as she addressed our Clean Start event on Monday evening. She had recognized the value of the debate the event had started, which we hope will continue below.

 The evening had brought together some of the world’s most respected voices on global inequality and set them the task of working out how to build a fairer economy from the financial crisis enveloping us. With over 200 years spent campaigning for social justice between them, this was a group many people wanted to hear. We gave them 10 minutes each to give us their view on what must be done. If you didn’t make it along you’ll soon be able to watch their inspiring and insightful contributions on our website or, in the meantime, check out what some of them had to say in this month’s magazine.

The debate raised lots of questions for those of us who want to use this opportunity to create a better world. Should we look back to the white wrist-bands of 2005’s Make Poverty History campaign for a model of what to do? Or does the very fact it ultimately failed suggest a more radical, more political movement is needed? What sort of politics will lead us out of this mess to the fairer world we are struggling for? Political parties? Inspiring leaders? A non-hierarchical grassroots movement? Is the broad platform of ‘economic justice’ enough to rouse millions to action or must we have a single aim? Jubilee 2000 had a simple message of ‘drop the debt’, what single change would this campaign ask for? How does the even greater bio-crisis of climate change fit in?   

Many of these questions proved controversial. All need answering if we are to succeed. Monday evening’s event was just the beginning of a debate which we invite you to join below. How do you think we should use this opportunity?            

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