Thursday 18 January 2024


Photo by Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

This week some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential decision-makers are meeting in the Swiss Alps resort of Davos. 

This is for the annual World Economic Forum meeting, an exclusive Glastonbury festival for the rich and powerful.

Over 100 billionaires are registered to attend the event, alongside more than 2,500 other attendees, including heads of states, senior politicians and business leaders.

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, and his opposite number, Shadow Chancellor Rachael Reeves will be in attendance.

Given Hunt and Reeves’ trip to Davos, our friends at the JustMoney Movement are asking people to sign on to their open letter to them, calling for fairer taxes to tackle inequality.  You can sign the open letter here.

Stark inequality

The Davos meeting brings into sharp focus the astronomic inequality of wealth in the world. This week Oxfam released a report that shows the five richest men have doubled their fortunes in the last 4 years, while almost 5 billion people are getting poorer.

With such eye-watering collective wealth on show in Davos, it shines a light on just how much money could be raised for public spending if progressive taxes on wealth were introduced. 

Our Head of Advocacy and Policy, Rachael, spoke with Carole Walker on TimesRadio earlier this week. Check out the clip from the interview, and share it here.
Taking a stand

We’re not the only ones making the case for fairer taxes. Our friends at Patriotic Millionaires UK are putting their collective influence to work to make the case for higher taxes on wealth. 

In fact, they’ve organised a letter signed by more than 260 millionaires and billionaires imploring politicians to be brave and implement a tax on extreme wealth. A poll of high net-worth individuals in G20 countries found that nearly three quarters of millionaires support higher taxes on wealth.

Actor Brian Cox, the star of TV show Succession, is supporting the letter and said: “We are living in a second Gilded Age, billionaires are wielding their extreme wealth to accumulate political power and influence, simultaneously undermining democracy and the global economy. It’s long past time to act.”

While extreme wealth is on display in Davos, we are pushing ahead with our plans for the year to keep banging the drum for fair taxes to invest in Britain.

Monday 15 January 2024


What does it mean to be a 'Christian mystic'? This term is used by Hugh McGregor Ross in his book George Fox - A Christian Mystic, first published in 1991, the tercentenary of Fox's death. Ross's title page offers testimony from George Fox's step-sons and step-daughters, probably dated 1691, in which they say that their step-father was "deep in the divine mysteries of the kingdom of God". That would seem to qualify for being a Christian mystic. Ross offers a more formal definition which explains that a mystic is one who has had the experience that the divine Ultimate and the essence of the individual self are fundamentally one and the same. There are, however, obvious problems in finding the words to describe an ineffable experience. 

A painting of George Fox - this image has become iconic but it may not be an image of Fox, nor even of the period.

Hugh Ross (1917-2014) was a Quaker who could claim that he was a step-son of George Fox in the eighth generation. Ross also became one of the leading computer scientists of his generation yet found the time to study a range of historical documents relating to George Fox. He concluded that Fox had experienced a profound spiritual awakening in 1647, the climax of several years of mental struggle to find the truth. He also speculated that leaders in the Quaker movement which developed from this seminal event redacted the accounts of George Fox's great awakening to save him and themselves from the charges of blasphemy that soon began to hover over Fox and other Quakers.      

Hugh McGregor Ross, 88 years of age when the photo was taken in January 2006, with a copy of the 1987 Draft Proposal for ISO/IEC 10646

George Fox was born in 1624 and died in 1691, living through a century of revolution in which the world was turned upside down for so many. When he was eighteen years old the country was plunged into civil war; when he was twenty-five the king, Charles, was executed on the orders of Cromwell and the military leadership that now governed the country. The hierarchy of power in which the monarch declared he ruled as Head of State and Church by divine right, through the will of God Almighty, was now swept away. Some men and women, freed from the old order and established certainties, began to