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IF campaign: the elephant in the room

IF campaigner dressed as elephant to lobby George Osborne  22 May 2013 | By Sarah Croft

As a campaigner I have often found myself in unusual situations. However I think the strangest yet has been dressing up as an elephant at 8am to hand out leaflets to bemused people on their way to work.

When I was fumbling down the street, barely able to see through my elephant mask, and getting odd looks from passers-by I inevitably asked myself the question: is this really going to make a difference?

The stunt was part of the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign –and called on George Osborne to use the meeting of G7 finance ministers the following day to tackle tax dodging. 

Despite depriving developing countries of an estimated $160bn a year, the issue of tax dodging was not on the agenda - which made it the 'elephant in the room’.

The reality is that some of the world's largest companies and richest individuals are fiddling the books, while hardworking families strive to make a living and one in eight people go to bed hungry.

George Osborne on Twitter

Ahead of the meeting on May 10 and as a clear result of our actions, George Osborne publicly tweeted that he would put tax dodging on the agenda of the finance ministers’ meeting. So dressing up as an elephant clearly had made a difference after all...

George Osborne tweet - 'Elephant in the room'

Campaigning can change lives

This reminded me that campaigning does change things and that we should never underestimate the difference that we can make.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead summed this up when she said: 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has '

In less than four weeks' time David Cameron will host the G8 summit of world leaders in Northern Ireland.

This is a great opportunity for us to speak out and get world leaders to listen. David Cameron needs to hear the message loud and clear from the UK public that tax dodging and other causes of global hunger are unacceptable. 

Please join us at our Big IF events in June to demand that some of the most powerful politicians take action to tackle the root causes of global hunger.



Campaign with us

Take action now >Call on Vince Cable MP to ensure public registers are created, showing the real owners of phantom firms. Let's give tax dodgers nowhere to hide.

Make IF happen

IF we act together we can be the generation that gives everyone a life free from hunger. Join us: 

Come to Big IF Belfast
Saturday 15 June

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  About the author

Sarah Croft

Sarah Croft is a church campaigns assistant at Christian Aid.