‘Change usually happens very slowly, even once all the serious people have decided there’s a problem. That’s because, in a country as big as the United States, public opinion moves in slow currents. Since change by definition requires going up against powerful established interests, it can take decades for those currents to erode the foundations of our special-interest fortresses.’
Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org
This observation holds true for any and all campaigns that take on vested interests, now more globally entrenched and influential than ever. Despite the mixed messages that come to us through polling (USA public more in favour of military spend cuts than EU publics) we simply cannot allow the global rate of military spending to grow and grow – we must challenge the vested interests that impact on so many of the big issues already in the spotlight and which contribute to so much human pain and misery, so many wasted tax pounds, dollars, euros to name but three. The 5% Formula is designed as a pragmatic, realisable and proportionate one; a mechanism to act as a military spend dampener – even, possibly, over time, a means to reduce arms spending tensions.
There will be allies in this – in some governments, even in some parts of various militaries.
“Naturally the common people don’t want war. But after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II
PART TWO: The Campaign – Why, What, How