Bicnod for Mumsnet - LIVE AT THE G8!!! Come and keep me company...

(135 Posts)
Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 00:35:20

I'm here in Belfast for you lovely lot as one of the IF@G8 bloggers - original thread here

It all kicks off tomorrow so setting this up now like a good boy scout to be prepared.

Did I mention I'm getting a press pass?! shock

Still eeking.

Up in 5 hours so must go sleeeeeeep.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 17-Jun-13 01:00:44

How exciting, I was lurking on the thread when you were unequivocally chosen by Justine to be the MN delegate grin

Don't eek, you'll be fab.

Looking forward to your reports.

GibberTheMonkey Mon 17-Jun-13 01:13:08

Go warrior wink

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 06:00:54

Ha! @Bewitched - yy I have the backing of the whole of, erm, Justine wink

@Gibber - grin

Wow, that was really not enough sleep. You know when your head is buzzing with stuff so you can't drop off?

<props open eyelids>

Anyhoo - don't want this thread moved to sleep section so will move on...

Nothing to report yet still in PJs in hotel room except it's raining in Belfast...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 06:03:18

ARMAGH not Belfast <smacks head> raining in Armagh

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 06:44:36

Well that was, erm, frickin freezing bracing. No hot water in shower. Definitely awake now grin

I'll hopefully be meeting Frank and Mwajuma later, two young Tanzanian activists who spoke at the Nutrition for Growth Summit and at the BigIF London - see here

If you have any questions you'd like me to ask Frank or Mwajuma please add them here smile

And any questions for the other bloggers just ask as well.

Right - off to Enniskillen...

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Jun-13 07:54:39

GO BICNOD <pom poms>

Tee2072 Mon 17-Jun-13 08:04:47

Be glad you're in Armagh. Belfast is practically in lockdown as President Obama gets ready to speak at City Centre in about 2 hours. My poor husband is trying to get through to a different event on the other side of it.

Good luck today. I'll try to think of an intelligent question!

Salbertina Mon 17-Jun-13 08:14:06

Morning, Bicnod smile Hope that first Guinness helped you get some beauty sleep. Will try and think of an intelligent question also after my 2nd coffee although such great stuff on the other thread, not sure what to add! I am sure you will do a sterling job there. Go Bicnod!!

SacreBlue Mon 17-Jun-13 08:16:46

Aha! Posted earlier on the other thread blush hope you at least got a fry down you <copied that from my other post>

Tee I cancelled my work session <except for one lady I need to ring as soon as it's decent> but am heading in to town on shank's pony shortly to see all the fuss shop while no one else's is there

Good luck bic you'll be great smile

MrsWembley Mon 17-Jun-13 08:21:06

How exciting! I missed the original thread but am marking my place to read later.

Good luck (not that you'll need itwink).

SexAndDrugsAndSausageRolls Mon 17-Jun-13 08:44:30

If you're staying on the Armagh City Hotel, avoid the scones. They're minging.

The Guinness at Lough Erne is very good though so try and grab a pint if you get the opportunity.


Oh, and good luck!

liger Mon 17-Jun-13 09:02:07

Go Bicnod ! Find some coffee,you'll be fine!

Think of it like a slightly bonkers NCT nearly new sale - but with bighighfalluting issues on the tables instead. It's a bun fight, and lots of cliques and politics swimming around the main event.

I'll keep checking in

BIWI Mon 17-Jun-13 09:07:48

<joins in pom pom waving>

Am following you on Twitter too.

Good luck and ENJOY it!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:12:20

Woooooo - I've arrived grin

Currently sat in the Enniskillen media centre with a strong coffee and an apple wondering what happens next...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:24:10

Pics on twitter by the way - @SarahRobinson78

ChablisLover Mon 17-Jun-13 09:27:35

good luck and enjoy

Belfast as Tee says is in lockdown

have been at work since 7 cos of it all (and then he decided to go by helicopter and the motorway stays open!)

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:31:20

Haven't seen anyone famous yet <disappointed>

SexAndDrugsAndSausageRolls Mon 17-Jun-13 09:31:55

I live between Stormont and the city centre. I desperately need to go to Ikea for meatballs so I hope he gets to the Waterfront soon East Belfast I can go about my critically important business.

OddSockMonster Mon 17-Jun-13 09:32:31

How exciting!

(off to read the original thread in the hope of posting something intelligent later, at least something more intelligent than asking if you can find out what Angela Merkel's favourite biscuit is).

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:40:23

@SexAndDrugs <takes notes on important ishoo> - will pass that on to Obama forthwith wink

@OddSockMonster - I could really do with a biscuit I only have an apple.

Just had to do a quick recording of why I'm here for the IFCampaign - not sure if it will be used on the website but will let you know if it goes up.

Had approximately three seconds to prepare myself so may well be talking nonsense...

OddSockMonster Mon 17-Jun-13 09:46:44

Wishing you bourbons across the internet biscuit

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:49:02

Oh god - video is up here

Please excuse bags under eyes and remember I had about two hours sleep blush

Ktay Mon 17-Jun-13 09:55:21

shock No hot water? I had such high hopes when I saw you outside an AA 4* establishment...

Good luck, I'm sure the day will fly by once you're in the thick of it. My poor DDs and visitors are going to be ignored while I keep checking for updates! Go and have a rifle through R4's Simon jack's briefcase for a cereal bar to keep your strength up in the meantime x

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 09:56:41

Just watched it back.

I look like a proper numpty with that nod at the end of my bit...

blush blush

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 17-Jun-13 09:57:08

My DH's family are originally from Kesh, near Enniskillen and they are very hmm at the shop front makeovers and fakeovers, have you seen them? That is all somewhat btw.

Tee2072 Mon 17-Jun-13 09:59:33

I think my son and I saw that helicopter while walking to school. Hard to know, could have just been any old helicopter here in S. Belfast.

Sacre Good luck!

Bicnod if you see my president, give him a kiss for me. We're likethat. Not Really.

Off to follow on Twitter...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 10:01:45

@OddSock <nom nom>

@Ktay - I know. Gutted. But at least there appears to be an unlimited supply of coffee and apples.

@RatherBe - we're going to wander into Enniskillen in a couple of hours to meet with Frank and Mwajuma - will keep an eye out for dodgy shop fronts.

Tee2072 Mon 17-Jun-13 10:02:06

Just watched your video, it was awesome!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 10:13:49

Listening to the Obama speech on BBC News - and hearing it on a two second delay via Sky News on the TV across the media centre. Very distracting.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 10:14:21

<breaking news>

Obama just said 'what's the craic' and got a massive round of applause grin

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 10:16:12

Oooo - just spotted Nick Robinson...

SacreBlue Mon 17-Jun-13 10:21:16

grin he's a one that buoy!

Great video, we all think we look/sound weird to ourselves - you looked and sounded grand to me & am sure everyone else.

Tee haven't been able to shift the boy yet (school closed/all night gaming event handily coinciding)

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 17-Jun-13 10:36:52

You looked and sounded great!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 10:41:02

@Sacre and @Bewitched - awww thanks smile

Apparently the IF Campaign flotilla with the G8 'big heads' will be passing by the media centre in about 20 minutes - will get some pics up on twitter.

shoofly Mon 17-Jun-13 11:02:48

Go Bicnod! Heres hoping the weather improves! Fermanagh gorgeous with a wee bit of sun!

shoofly Mon 17-Jun-13 11:03:06

Go Bicnod! Heres hoping the weather improves! Fermanagh gorgeous with a wee bit of sun!

meglet Mon 17-Jun-13 11:12:14

You look fine on the video, I always think it's weird putting a face to a MN name.

How long are you there for?

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 11:28:40

Just watched the IFCampaign flotilla of viking long boats travel very slowly up Lough Erne - complete with massive wobbly G8 leaders' heads grin - pics on twitter.

They waved at me and I felt very 'portant.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 11:30:05

In other news, Jack (other blogger) and I just got very lost in the back corridors of the Killyhevlin Hotel trying to find our way from the Lough to the media centre blush

I have literally no sense of direction.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 11:31:26

@shoofly - thanks smile me too - I just got rained on and my hair is going frizzy <sobs>

@meglet - I'm here til late afternoon tomorrow - I have to scoot to the airport straight after the big press conference...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 11:31:47

*not actually scoot - I'll be in a taxi I hope

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 12:26:24

Just finished writing an article for the Huffington Post shock

I feel another eek coming on.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 12:29:14

Off to meet up with Frank and Mwajuma now smile

YoniMatopoeia Mon 17-Jun-13 12:51:51

You do know what happens to people who go on these gigs for MN doncha?

You end up working at MN towers. wink

You will be fab.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 17-Jun-13 12:52:26

You do know what happens to people who go on these gigs for MN doncha?

You end up working at MN towers. wink

You will be fab.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 13:57:06

@Yoni Haha grin

Met up with the brilliant Frank and Mwajuma in Enniskillen town. More on them when I get back to the media centre.

Currently stuck in a standstill traffic jam trying to get back to Lough Erne. Helicopters overhead. Leaders must be passing through...

MmeLindor Mon 17-Jun-13 13:58:45

Marking place

liger Mon 17-Jun-13 14:31:13

Hey Bicnod, I hope your energy is keeping up with pace have you found the biscuit supply yet?

Take a look at this article,

It links together many of the targets of the IF campaign and puts them in a positive context - showing what change can look like. It also links to the issues Salbertina and I mentioned on the previous thread

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 14:54:27

Back in Lough Erne now. Phew. About to listen back to the interviews with Frank and Mwajuma - more on that shortly.

Not at the official leaders arrival as only two bloggers tickets available - Rosebell and Jack are there - I get first dibs tomorrow tries not to sulk

On the plus side, just had lunch at the same table as Jon Snow <awe>

He said yes to doing a MN webchat - didn't I do well <proud>

I have his number in my phone shock

@liger - thanks very much - will have a look at that article now.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 15:16:34

The leaders are in - none of them are wearing ties <shock>

Waiting for live broadcast from inside the media centre.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 15:35:18

Currently watching David Cameron announcing an EU/US trade deal with Barack Obama and European Council and Commission Presidents.

Waiting for the live broadcast of the official G8 leaders arrival.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 15:40:09

Oooooo - watching a live feed of the leaders walking OUT of the building... presumably so they can then turn around and formally arrive hmm

Oops, it's been cut off - I'm not sure that was supposed to broadcast!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:10:46

Quite glad I'm NOT at the formal arrivals - they're running late <shock>

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:20:30

So anyhoo - I met up with the wonderful Frank and Mwajuma earlier for a chat.

A bit more about them...

Mwajuma is 17. She was brought up by her grandmother in Tanzania after her father died when she was one.

She says:

'I want [the G8] to stop hunger because many children die of hunger, 3 million per year'

'We have the power to stop it'

'I have hopes and dreams and some day hope I'll be a mother too - I couldn't face to see my children suffering.'

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:22:04

Ooooo <breaking news> the official arrivals of the leaders have started... WEIRD. They have already HAD a press conference and now David Cameron is pretending he hasn't met them already, shaking their hands and (literally) leading them up the garden path!!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:23:20

This is sooooooo weird. Honestly - bonkers.

The leaders have to walk individually up a long path towards the PM to shake his hand and be officially welcomed...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:23:50

And I have to say the Golf Club buildings are bloody ugly <irrelevant>

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:24:19

They all look very self-conscious - this is hilarious grin

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:28:48

David Cameron is running up and down the path meeting and greeting the leaders - he's going to be very tired at the end of all this poor lad.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:30:17

He's getting a bit puffed out now I think - just about to meet Putin...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:32:06

Ooooo - here comes Obama - think he's the last one...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:33:01

Poor David looks relieved that's over

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:33:15


RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Jun-13 16:36:25

It turns out Bicnod is not only extremely well-informed, she's also a ninja at collaring her fellow lunch guests for webchats. Would y'all like us to follow up her sterling work in getting Jon Snow to agree to one?

Salbertina Mon 17-Jun-13 16:41:53

Oh definitely! Well done, Bicnod, another coup! Sounds like it's going very well.

liger Mon 17-Jun-13 16:42:34

Oh yes, love Jon Snow! And he's steeped in this stuff so he would be a good follow up maybe ?9

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 16:46:10

Do I get to come and watch the live webchat?! <cheeky> <hopeful>

Yep - defo John Snow webchat. Good call Bicnod

Did Putin turn up stripped to the waist sporting a David Dickinson tan and riding a fiery steed, as he does in some of his PR shots?

Tee2072 Mon 17-Jun-13 17:02:28

Well done Bicnod! Yes, do have him on, HQ!!

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 19:08:36

Just did an interview with people from Number 10 about why I'm here.

Totally fluffed it blush so hopefully they'll be able to piece something vaguely coherent together confused

Will post link once video is up.

Winding down here - everyone thinks most of the action will be tomorrow...

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 19:11:35

It's been a looooong day...

Off for dinner - and maybe a wee pint at Blakes as recommended on the other thread grin

Will check in later.

SacreBlue Mon 17-Jun-13 19:30:45

WHOOP! Big well done, what a collar! I'd love JS on a MN chat smile

Enjoy your pint smile I think you are doing a sterling job missis you totally deserve it

<huff post - so jel>

Hassled Mon 17-Jun-13 20:33:07

Bicnod - you are doing sterling work - the Huffington Post shock. Enoy that dinner - sounds like you've earned it.

MmeLindor Mon 17-Jun-13 21:34:00

oooh, aren't you doing well. You have Jon Snow's number in your phone! I am impressed.

taczilla Mon 17-Jun-13 22:03:25

Yes to Pat Blakes and round the corner Francos restaurant will be heaving. I am chuckling at friends on Facebook out walking and perving at all the men in uniform..times have changed. Hope you rest well and good luck tomorrow.

Bicnod Mon 17-Jun-13 23:18:17

Off to bed - truly knackered. Looking forward to some more G8 action tomorrow.

By the way, Greggs sausage rolls now come guilt free: Richard Murphy tells me Greggs came top of the Fair Tax Mark ratings recently - meaning they have an excellent corporate transparency record. Who knew?! grin

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 06:58:49

Morning grin from one extreme to the other... got practically scalded in the shower this morning!

Just eating breakfast and then heading over to Lough Erne.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 07:00:23

Apparently the OECD released a report on information exchange overnight admitting that there are vast amounts of money offshore.

Let's see what the G8 agree today about sharing information on squirreled away money with developing countries. ..

Salbertina Tue 18-Jun-13 08:01:14

Morning Bicnod- have you seen this?

BIWI Tue 18-Jun-13 08:57:42

Morning, Bicnod. Who are you going to collar today? grin

Salbertina Tue 18-Jun-13 09:12:31

Also this is interesting - did you get the (African not British!) Mail & Guardian in Ethiopia? An interesting, African perspective:

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 09:18:04

I'm here smile

Briefing with Paul Collier - advisor to Cameron - at 9.30am.

Thanks for articles @Salbertina - will have a squiz at them when I get back.

Coffee here is DIRE by the way.

Salbertina Tue 18-Jun-13 09:29:12

Got some fab Malawian stuff (get me) Fancy a virtual brew? And hope the apples are more palatable wink

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Jun-13 10:14:39

Oooh Paul Collier! Let us know what he says

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 10:17:12

Dire coffee in NI? Say it isn't so! (Trust me, it's instant made in a huge vat with a random amount of powder to water ratio. Try to find a cafe!)

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 10:33:58

Oooo - that was interesting. Cameron's advisers cut the Q&A time off as they had to get back for lunch (?!)

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 10:37:35

Paul Collier started by saying that we're coming to the most important part of the G8 - the part that has the potential to impact on people in developing countries. Agreed.

There was a lot of talk about Cameron's commitment to making information on company ownership more readily available. Apparently he wants to hold a consultation on whether to make the beneficial ownership register public. hmm If the register ISN'T public then how will it help developing county governments pick up tax dodging companies?

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 10:43:21

Michael Anderson (another of the PM's advisors) said greater transparency in developing countries would be good for global business. NO mention of how this will impact on communities in developing countries.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 10:44:03

Right - off to briefing on tax and transparency. Back soon.

SacreBlue Tue 18-Jun-13 11:08:47

I hope he means all countries and not just the 'developing' ones.

Btw it's Ireland, tea's the thing not coffee ;)

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 11:23:40

@Salbertina - the apples are great smile

@SacreBlue - I presume (hope!) that's what he meant but to be honest it wasn't that clear!

Richard Murphy asked the advisors when change will be seen on the ground - unsurprisingly the response to that was lukewarm - no timeframe given.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 11:25:33

Ooooo - my Huffington post article is up! shock

Linky here

liger Tue 18-Jun-13 11:49:38

Ooo Bicnod, spot on with the huffington article - very well done.

So sorry to hear coffee is dire. (Kenya AA all the way for me Salbertina )

Has there been any mention of EU agricultural subsidies, pouring money into European (male) landowners pockets and skewing the market against the African small scale farmers ( mostly female).

Any journo's there? Is the DailyFail there? Can you ask them why they keep bashing the fact that we give 0.7% in Aid? ( I know why but really, the should be ashamed if themselves)

Go Bicnod!!

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 12:08:30

Really well done in Huff Post!

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:09:13

Just back from an interesting tax and transparency briefing with Gavin Hayman from Global Witness and Adrian Lovett from One

Gavin talked about how anonymous 'shell' companies' actions can have a huge negative impact on developing countries.

One example he gave was how the Democratic Republic of Congo, just before recent elections, sold off five of its best copper and cobalt mines. They were sold to anonymous companies registered in the British Virgin Islands for up to 1/20th of their estimated market value. The BVI companies then re-sold the rights to the mines for a huge profit.

The suggestion being that corrupt DRC leaders were lining their pockets before they lost power in the upcoming election.

The losses to the DRC from this particular deal are estimated to be $1.3 billion - twice the DRC health and education budget.

Gavin quoted Paul Collier as saying that shell companies are 'getaway cars for global corruption.'

So how does this link back to the IF Campaign?

Well, the IF Campaign are calling on tax havens like the BVI to commit to putting beneficial ownership information (i.e. who is the actual human being who controls/benefits from a company) in the public domain.

Having this information freely available would make it much easier for citizens, journalists and civil society to hold companies (and their owners) to account for their actions; and much harder for corrupt individuals to hide behind phantom companies.

Now I'm no expert on transparency, but it makes sense to me that making this sort of information more widely available can only be a good thing.

The question is, will the G8 lead by example and commit to a move towards PUBLIC registers of beneficial ownership?

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:15:22

x-posts liger and Tee - awww thanks smile

I find it quite hilarious that something I've written has been published somewhere!

No mention of EU agricultural subsidies in any of the briefings I've been in so far.

Will look out for DailyFail journos - haven't seen any so far but they must be here. Have they bashed the 0.7% aid target recently? I can't bring myself to read the DailyFail - it makes me too stabby.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:21:22

More on the tax and transparency briefing...

<ignores collective moan of boredom>

Gavin went on to say that previous analyses carried out by the UK and EU have shown that it would be overwhelmingly in the public benefit to make the registers public.

The word on the street <flicks hand> is that not all of the G8 countries will publish an action plan on beneficial ownership today.

To this we say booooo.

Apparently Obama backed legislation on beneficial ownership in 2008 when he was Senator, but whether he will show his commitment today remains to be seen.

liger Tue 18-Jun-13 12:26:01

It's in the Daily Fail today! Under the title 'Britains foreign Aid madness'. I can't quite bring myself to link but yes its a regular bit of bile they churn out.

The Fail makes me very stabby, but its helpful for me to realise that the world is not just filled with the Guardian reading, globally travelled, understanding human beings who are concerned for the welfare of those who may have less than themselves, bubble that I live my life in. Some people really think such narrow minded thoughts - and the conservatives are in power.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:27:29

Adrian Lovett said that it is absolutely vital that developing countries are included right from the start in any information sharing deals.

I think this is such an important point. If developing countries aren't included then how can they hold tax dodging multinational companies to account? And how can their citizens hold corrupt individuals whose actions impact on them to account?

Gavin went on to say that although the lack of public registers/tax dodging has the most devastating HUMAN impact in Africa, it also has a HUGE impact in China and India, resulting in massive sums of money flowing out of these countries. So the hope is that this issue will be picked up by the G20 when they meet.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:28:11

liger - thanks, will check it out <voms slightly>

Off for lunch before we leave for the big press conference.


liger Tue 18-Jun-13 12:33:33

I just googled Daily mail 0.7 Aid and got lots of the vitriol coming up. Just DON'T READ THE COMMENTS, your heart may melt in the despair and bleakness at the state of humanity.

Hope you get to sit next to Michelle and the girls at lunch today !

liger Tue 18-Jun-13 12:35:39

By the way why has this thread lost its sticky on Active Convo's? ? We need more traffic !

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:41:28

<breaking news> grin

The UK action plan is out and DC has committed to set up a central registry of information on companies' beneficial ownership, maintained by Companies House, and to consult on whether information in the registry should be publicly accessible.

The feeling here is that this is an OK outcome: great that the registry will be set up, but not so great that it won't just automatically be available in the public domain.

Waiting to hear what the other G8 countries are planning to do...

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 12:50:36

@liger - just did the same <bangs head on desk>

Lunch at desk today as leaving at 1.15pm for the big press conference at 3.30pm. Why we have to leave 2 1/4 hours before the thing actually starts is a mystery.

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 12:55:32

Security? Maybe?

This transparency thing sounds very promising, but isn't distribution of food a major issue as well? Does IF have ideas on that?

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:00:36

Phew - don't have to leave until 2pm now.

Have my ticket for the press conference so will definitely be going <excited>

Will put my hand up to ask a question but apparently it's pretty unlikely I'll get picked [stamps feet]

@Tee - Do you mean the unequal distribution of food across the world?

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:24:32

Might be a bit of a communications black hole when I head off to the press conference, will keep updating/tweeting if I can, but you can keep up to speed on everything that's going on here on the IF@G8 live blog

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:24:53

Very very excited about seeing the leaders in the flesh <faints>

SacreBlue Tue 18-Jun-13 13:27:01

Corrupt govts make the selling off of land and redirection aka stealing of aid money and food very difficult to stamp out. At least with transparency of who is dealing with them and colluding in their corruption you would hope that some international pressure would be brought to bear.

I am wondering if they are planning to have actionable sanctions against companies who refuse, or are using ghost hq's in tax haven countries to avoid paying tax in the country or countries they are actually dealing in/with.

Jersey is apparently the leading exporter of......bananas. Which is itself rather bananas.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:27:05

Will take a pic of leaders and tweet it if I'm allowed - are you allowed to take photos in press conferences? Presumably you are?!

Especially of Obama.

I might well have a teensy Obama crush blush

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Tue 18-Jun-13 13:30:44

Brilliant Huffington Post article.

Jersey - Bananas? Oh dear!

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:30:47

x-post Sacre - yes - interesting question about sanctions.

Just asked Richard Murphy (tax dude) about this and he said that unfortunately there is no hint of this in the action plans at the moment.

He called the action plan a toothless tiger...

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:32:20

Sacre - missed that about bananas - that is indeed completely bananas. Craziness.

Bewitched - thank you! smile

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 13:52:19

Right - packing up to head over to press conference.


Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 14:28:14

I meant that even if food aid gets to the countries that need it, there has been a problem of it getting to the actual people rather than being sold on the black market and the money filling the pockets of the governments.

liger Tue 18-Jun-13 15:13:45

Tee , the main issue with Food Aid is that donor aid is tied with conditionalities. Food Aid in the form of Grain from the US for example is bought from US farmers and shipped to countries with a food crisis even if there is a surplus available in other countries in the region. It supports the US farming industry and there would be uproar in the US if the practice was ceased.

Compared to that the inappropriate diversion of Food Aid in the crisis affected country is minimal and can be avoided by appropriate targeting of Aid. So for example families will chose to sell some of their grain to buy sugar or oil. If sugar and oil are included in the initial distribution there is less sold at market.

Spidermama Tue 18-Jun-13 15:26:56

G8 Summit costs... 6 miles of perimeter fence and barbed wire £3 million....

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:26:54

Cost to international relations if a loon dissident republican loon managed to get anywhere near the G8 leaders (which was not outside the realm of possibility without the £3m of razor wire etc) - priceless.

If you don't live in NI, you will never understand how important that fence and wire were...

ChablisLover Tue 18-Jun-13 17:02:23

Agreed Tee

It only takes one lunatic to break throughand the reputation of our little bit of the world in tatters.

I too anticipated dissident troubled not normal g8 protestors.

The authorities had to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. And that costs. If they didn't and something happened, complaints would ring loud.

On radio this morning a lady attributed the lack of protest to a change in the protestors attitude

I attribute it to the fact the psni are armed and can used water cannon and plastic bullets in riot situations.

I know that normalises to those on the mainland this type of policing. But I grew up with it and it is at times still required

Sad but true

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 17:09:45

There were protesters, and there were arrests, but none of them got anywhere near the actual summit.

And that's what matters.

And I agree that the dissidents are loons, not stupid. And, like most cowards, march with masks on.

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 19:37:13

At Belfast City airport waiting for flight home. Place crawling with journos and flight delayed <sigh>

Will post later with final thoughts etc.

Generally speaking the feeling is the G8 response on tax and transparency was weak but a step in the right direction.

What do you all think?

By the way I tried very hard to get the PM's attention at press conference for question: second row, right in his line of vision, bright stripy jumper, hand first up every time. .. But to no avail. He studiously ignored me. sad

Bicnod Tue 18-Jun-13 19:38:26

Phone battery dying. Will check in when make it home. ETA 1am...

liger Tue 18-Jun-13 19:54:38

What would have asked if he'd picked you?

Well done Bicnod - you've done brilliantly, your boys should be v proud of you ! Bet you can't wait to see them.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Jun-13 20:01:34

Just want to say WELL DONE and thank you to Bicnod for doing us proud. Looking forward to reading your thoughts when you've had time to 'gather' [Kate Winslet emoticon]

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Tue 18-Jun-13 20:20:13

My feeling is that results from G8 are always weak. One could be forgiven for being under the impression that motions are being gone through rather than anyone actually being on fire to change anything.

You've been fabulous Bicnod and really risen to the challenge of being "outside your comfort zone".

Sorry about the frustrations, particularly having flight delayed.

flowers and wine for you, and well done, you've been impressive smile

BIWI Tue 18-Jun-13 20:23:16

Safe journey!

Salbertina Tue 18-Jun-13 20:41:37

Very well done indeed, Bicnod! You've done yourself proud, you've done MN proud...and you nabbed the wonderful Mr Snow! I shall stop now grin

shoofly Tue 18-Jun-13 20:47:47

thanks safe journey home and well done.

scarecrow22 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:12:42

I have been lurking and followed whole thread. Thank you so much Bicnod - and the other informed posters. Your Huff Post article gave me goosebumps it was so good. Have been finally dragged out of my newborn bubble and engaged with big world again - and in the best way. Safe home, and I also really look forward to hearing your round up. I'd also be interested in links to other blogs or articles you think have particularly well.

Tee2072 Tue 18-Jun-13 21:24:01

Really well done Bicnod! Safe trip home.

MmeLindor Tue 18-Jun-13 21:26:11

Well done, Bicnod. Been following here and on Twitter, and it looks like an action packed couple of days. You must be exhausted.

MiniTheMinx Tue 18-Jun-13 22:33:50

Helloooo, late to the thread, well done Bicnod, have a safe journey home.

can't believe you have bagged a chat with Jon Snow

Just thought I would link this if anyone is interested.

and this

Would like to say more about this
"The losses to the DRC from this particular deal are estimated to be $1.3 billion - twice the DRC health and education budget"

especially at a time when western states are totting up huge debts and cutting social programmes. All is not as it seems when politicians speak. When investment comes from private sources, it is always with the express intention of making greater surpluses. One of the ways in which some of these countries are kept poor is actually because of this investment. To say that tax avoidance creates poverty in Uganda but ignore the fact that the impoverishment of both the UK state and its people stems from the same neo-liberal economic model, proves our leaders are either thick or they deliberately obscure the truth and they think we are thick!

When aid comes from western countries it is always with the express purpose of shoring up the capitalist system, for it will fail without A)creating new markets to sup up all that lovely surplus made through cheap labour and tax avoidance, B)ensuring that every last thing is privatised to make profit and ensure all public money whether tax or aid is shovelled back into the coffers of the corporations. Ask yourself why everything here is slowly being cut or privatised???

If you read both of those reports, esp the section on economics and the second report, para Recovery of stolen assets, its as clear today as it was in 1917 that imperialist corporations with the assistance of the western states and the banks, are carving up the world for profit.

You deserve a wine for all your hard work.

Bicnod Wed 19-Jun-13 01:18:29

One shuttle bus, one taxi, one plane, one coach, another taxi and I'm finally hooooooome grin

@Mini - thank you for your posts, they've definitely given me food for thought (see what I did there?) - will read articles tomorrow when brain is less fluffy.

@liger - if he'd picked me I would have said (I know, because I wrote it down <tragic>):

I'm here for Mumsnet, and on behalf of mothers everywhere, to say it is unacceptable that over 3 million of our children die from malnutrition each year. You know in your heart that you could do more to stop this from happening. So my question to you is - what MORE can you do to support women in developing countries to feed their children, and WHEN will you do it?

Thanks for all the well dones - it really truly was an honour to represent you lot.

@scarecrow - your post has me chuffed to bits grin

Soooo. Final thoughts are that the G8 did not deliver everything that the IF Campaign hoped it would, but it was definitely a step forward.

Tax dodging in particular won't be swept under the carpet anymore - the public are onto it and it's only a matter of time before public pressure forces more gvt action.

The official IF response to the G8 declaration is here

I really need to go to bed now but just before I do:

Highs: meeting the other amazing IF@G8 bloggers; getting an article in the Huff shock; meeting Jon Snow and him agreeing to a MN webchat; lego police vans; Guinness (yum); the Cameron press conference (even thought he didn't pick me); and spending two whole days MNing guilt free grin

Lows: freezing shower; scalding shower; coffee at Killyhevlin hotel. That's it - the rest was BRILLIANT.

Thank you so much for sending me - I loved every second. Now I need to go and sniff my children's heads and go to sleep.


BIWI Wed 19-Jun-13 08:42:44

Brilliant. Well done! flowers

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