An interesting episode at the end of the world and the beginning of the next one
At the start of last week I was having one of my periodic bouts of anger and rage. The sort of thing we don’t like to admit to but I am sure plenty of you reading this know what I am talking about. You try to hold it in and pretend you are some sort of super cool nice person but you are not. I was feeling this particular bout towards rich people. The spasm involved variations on “why the fuck don’t they just give us the fucking money”. This may sound strange to romantic idealists who don’t get their hands dirty with the actual changing of the world, but those, like myself, on the frontline of getting stuff done know the world rotates around money (and yes other things of course but money is critical). In Just Stop Oil I am one of the people responsible for sorting this. And it often feels like getting blood out of stone. I know to “break through” we need £1.4 million. Note not 1.5 – I like to be precise! We have a good chunk of it but that is simply not going to cut it. I know. I have been doing this job for a while now. And we are running out of time.
It’s fucking driving me mad. We need the money.
Then on Tuesday I’m having a nice chat this guy Dale Vince. I think it’s fair to say he’s one of the most straightforward rich people I know. I am going through a few options with him. And he’s all fine them. If only everyone was like him. Out of the blue he says he’s on the frontpage of Daily Mail for financially supporting both the Labour Party and Just Stop Oil. A dangerous combination if ever there was one! I congratulate him – appearing on the front page of the Daily Mail is a necessary rite of passage for any self respecting radical.
Later I suddenly get the idea maybe we can do a turnaround thing here. Use the Daily Mail against itself. Instead of diving for cover (the mind-blowingly cowardly NGO routine on tabloid attacks) we do the opposite. Come out fighting and up the odds. Dale goes public and offers to double any donation to Just Stop Oil for 48 hours. I speak to my extremely on the ball colleague Indigo (a good few of you will know she is a force to be reckoned with) and she goes – we have to move fast – strike while the irons hot. The organisation is good at moving fast – the teams pivot and within a few hours the texts are written, the mass emails sent out, and the channels and press releases are on the go.
Within twenty four hours it’s big news – it’s in the papers. We have raised £200,000 and it’s not stopping. Meanwhile we are informed by shady sources – it’s all clock and daggers stuff – that the Labour Party is considering dropping its flagship new policy of no new oil and gas (adopted no doubt due to our campaign – even though Mr Starmer wants people like me in prison for longer – your position has been kindly noted Kier thanks). This apparently is due to the tabloid attack on their association with us. We suspect this is just “a move” – everything is just a move in such circles (truth is a foreign land to these people) – the subtext to us being: shut up and disappear. The dogma of Left/progressive defeatists is that we must all line up behind the sacred Labour Party, lick their arses, the pray to God they will not betray us again (they will). Later it transpires they are going to keep “the policy” – their nice technocratic word for deciding on the life or death of millions of poor people.
Meanwhile we are working on the next move. I contact the director Adam Mckay of “Don’t look up” and “The big short” fame (isn’t that the best film ever). He’s another one of the half dozen most cool rich people in the western world – there are only about 6 of them, believe me. I suggest he takes up the baton at 10am Friday when Dale’s offer stops. And that he triples it – donate £100 and Adam will donate £200. A £1000 donation turns into £3000. Take that Daily Mail – do your worst! Yep – life is short – he’s up for it. We work through the night to get the details sorted.
We have now made almost a million quid in a week. Which is handy because it’s the end of the world and more importantly there’s the next world to build. And this is how it’s going to happen. One minute you will be spitting with rage, drowning in despair and then heaven breaks loose and the world changes in a week. Really that’s how it’s gonna happen. That’s how it always happens.
There are really only two rules:
Keep going – never stop
When you make a decision – triple it!