Oxfam once asked a couple of dozen advertising bigwigs to come to a meeting.
They said they wanted to share a problem with us.
The problem was The Third World Debt crisis.
Unicef estimate that The Third World Debt is directly responsible for the deaths of 5 million little children, under age 5, a year.
Oxfam said they couldn’t get involved themselves because they were a chairity.
And this wasn’t a charitable issue it was a political one.
The problem wasn’t about raising money, the problem was getting banks to agree to write off loans that should never have been made.
I was so touched by the issue I decided to get involved.
The first stage in any problem is always research.
So, as banks were the problem, I started there.
I went to see the Chairman of one of the UK’s biggest banks.
I asked him if he’d consider cancelling his bank’s share of the debt.
He said, “Financially we could do it. We have the money set aside, £3 billion. But legally I can’t.”
I asked why not.
He said, “I’d be open to charges of negligence as far as protecting shareholder’s interests.”
I asked why.
He said, “I may agree with you that it’s a worthy cause, but I’m not allowed by law to make that decision.
I may think the Donkey Sanctuary is a worthy cause, but I can’t give shareholder’s profits to whatever cause takes my fancy.”
And at that point I stopped discussing it.
I’m not capable of having a reasonable debate with anyone who equates the Donkey Sanctuary with millions of children’s lives.
I start to get angry, and that’s not helpful
So I went to see Edward Heath.
He was an ex Prime Minister, and had sat on a committee of international statesmen to debate what could be done about the Third World Debt Crisis.
I think he felt discussing it with me was a bit beneath him.
I asked him if I could count on his help for our campaign.
He said no.
I asked him if we could at least use his name.
He said no.
I asked him if we could just keep him updated on what we were doing.
He said no.
So I got the message and left.
Then I went to see Ken Livingstone.
This was before Ken was Mayor of London, he was just an MP.
I asked him the same questions I’d asked Edward Heath.
Ken said yes to everything Heath had said no to.
He said, “Look, don’t even ask. The Third World Debt Crisis is dreadful and iniquitous.
Greedy bank speculators are profiting from the deaths of millions of children.
Use my name in any way you think will help.
Call me for anything you need for the campaign.
And the more trouble we get in the better, it can only help publicise this genocide.”
So there you have it: the difference.
The banker reacted logically:
I’d love to help but the law forbids it.
Edward Heath reacted logically:
I’ve already discussed this with more important people than you.
Ken Livingstone reacted emotionally:
I’ll help, it doesn’t matter what’s reasonable, and sensible, children are dying.
See, logic and reason are what created the Third World Debt Crisis in the first place.
Logic and reason are what stops anyone doing anything about it.
Logic and reason are tools for maintaining the status quo.
Logic and reason will keep you stuck.
Emotion and passion aren’t logical or reasonable.
That’s why emotion and passion are the engines of change.
Emotion and passion roll right over logic and reason.
If you want to change anything it’s worth remembering that.