Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gordon does Something Right (Tobin Tax) ; give positive reinforcement

Image : hat tip to Banksy

Gordon is saying the right thing for once.
He is calling for a Tobin Tax on financial dealings, the proceeds to go to help poorer countries and to fund future bank bailouts.

Telegraph: Predictable opposition coming from the expected quarters. Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary, said: "That's not something that we're prepared to support." Canada's finance minister, Jim Flaherty, said: "It is not something we would be interested in in Canada. We are not in the business of raising taxes, we are in the business of lowering taxes in Canada. It is not an idea we would look at." Dominique Strauss-Khan, head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), also poured cold water on the plan. “I don’t believe it will be a transaction tax because transactions are very difficult to measure and so it’s very easy to avoid a transaction tax".

On Monday there will be a queue of financiers waiting for their turn at the microphone to condemn the proposal as a threat that will pull down the entire fabric of society, with gullible interviewers drinking in every word, and asking no tough questions about the finance markets and the impact of poverty on human beings.

The Green Party is among the many peoples' organizations to call for the Tobin Tax.
Sarkozy is on our side.

I have put a petition up the No. 10 website:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to persist with his praiseworthy plan to persuade the G20 to place a Tobin Tax on financial transactions, designed to aid poorer countries and increase financial stability.

Submitted by Richard Lawson – Deadline to sign up by: 8 December 2009

Category: Economics and finance

More details:

The PM has put forward the idea of a Tobin Tax at the G20 meeting in November. This is a tax on financial transactions, which will be hypothecated to poor countries, to which the PM has not unreasonably added a clause to put some to meeting the cost of the next bank bailout. The US and Canada have already talked sown the idea, but many poorer countries and nearly all NGOs will welcome it, and we encourage our PM to persist against all odds.

Please sign the petition, and even more, please, send it on to your contacts.

We should give bouquets as well as brickbats, to encourage Gordon to stick with it.

Every decision is multifactorial, and there is that of good in everyone. Gordon while Chancellor listened to Jubilee 2000, and took it on board. Maybe part of him has Finally Got It, and maybe also he realises that this is part of the electorate that he should be courting. Which is cool.

I am not saying he has seen the Light, but I am saying that, like good parents, we should reward good behaviour, as well as criticising the bad behaviour. We do the criticism 24/7, so he takes no notice of criticism.

Our praise and support will be so unusual that he will take notice. So this is one important petition. He is going to get a lot of flak for this from the US, Canada, ? Australia, and a lot of stick from the corporate media here, and from the Tories; so an impressive big petition of support for the Tobin Tax would be very influential.

[Update: the petition has just gone up, 9 days after I submitted it. Presumably they were so unused to getting support and praise that they thought it was some kind of Trojan Horse].

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