There’s something Monty Python-esque about the way Bill Nighy portrays a typical banker trying desperately to claim that the Robin Hood Tax won’t work because it is too complicated. But the truth is that the idea of  a small tax on the wealthy financiers is possible because it is so simple – a no-brainer, in fact.

The campaign’s excellent website explains that there are various forms of taxes proposed but the one the organisers are publicising the most is a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions like stocks, bonds, foreign currency and derivatives which. it is estimated , could raise £250 billion a year globally.

Half of the  money would be used to fight poverty in the UK ; 25% would be used to fight poverty in developing countries and 25% to fight climate change at home and abroad.

It is heartening to see that there are so many good brains and passionate individuals behind the campaign – the real challenge will come if and when it comes to putting any money raised to good use.

The story of the millions squandered by greedy managers of Madonna’s Malawi charity shows that the question here is not always about having the cash but having people in charge with the honesty and principles to put it to the best use.

This is no reason NOT to support Robin Hood – just a reminder that we also need plenty of merry men and women to see the thing through.

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