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Hurl Berl out of the G8

Published 17th June 2010 - 5 comments - 3299 views -

Berlusconi being 'hurled' out of G8

Ever shouted at your TV screen as a smiling leader stands in front of you justifying action that seems just wrong? Well have come up with a way to get rid of some of that frustration and sign a serious petition that will be presented to world leaders at the G8 in Canada. And it’s this, Italy should be thrown out of the G8

It’s based on the fact that there is a growing noise in civil society, among policy types and rumblings in fairly high-level political circles. The reasons for this is are twofold. Their economic performance and size of their economy doesn’t really mean they warrant a place at the table. Imagine the massive popping noise we’d hear as Berlusconi’s ego burst on hearing news that he needn’t bother turning up in Canada in June.

Spain now has a higher per capita national income than Italy and gives more in international aid as a percentage of GDP. Last year Italy’s aid spending plunged by 31% and stands at a paltry 0.2% of GDP - the ambition is for government’s of Europe to be at 0.56%. A good argument could be made for Spain taking over their seat - or just getting rid of that seat all together.

People are questioning what value the G8 has in a world with the G20 consisting of economic powerhouses China and India. I’d say that if the G8 remit doesn’t include looking at how the wealthiest nations can reduce global poverty, then there’s very little else to justify its existence. Italy’s inclusion in this global club give weight top the argument that it has no purpose other than allowing the leaders a photo opportunity on the world stage.

So, with that in mind, came up with ‘Hurl Berl’. Essentially you do an Olympic style hammer throw of Berlusconi, see how far you can launch him and then record your score. At the same time you sign the petition that will be presented to world leaders at the G8. It’s a petition but with a game attached. Serious mixed with fun!

So far over 100,000 people have played the game and taken the action. I really like this as it will engage more people and is more likely to spread across the internet. Throwing Berlusconi is a bit of harmless fun. There’s the petition for people who would usually sign up to these campaign anyway and then a bit of a game so they can spread it to their friends who would usually ignore these things. There’s a bit of info about why this matters to get you thinking about the role of the G8 and whether Italy should be involved.

I enjoyed launching Berlusconi through the air and I also think the petition raises a serious issue and asks an important question. People on this platform often want more people to care about development and take action about serious global issues. Is this type of activity the way to engage broader audiences?

What do people make of it?

Category: Politics | Tags: aid, berlusconi, g8,,


  • Clare Herbert on 17th June 2010:

    I’m a big fan of One and subscribe to their blog. I’ve tried to get involved but they are very USA-centric. Would be great to have chapeters in European Countries too.

  • Ian Sullivan on 17th June 2010:

    What do you like about One? They have a UK office, so am sure they must do some UK-centric activity…Have you taken this action?

  • Titus Bramble on 21st June 2010:

    Great game Ian. I like ONE’s advocacy, but hate Bono’s other aid platform- RED. Check out this piece from the FT with RED’s CEO. Now this is the kind of development us professionals aspire to!!

  • Ian Sullivan on 21st June 2010:

    Can’t believe that article - I only wear Armani!!!

    Talk about far removed from what you work in. I know that argument can be thrust at many of us but his comments are about as good a PR job as the BP CEO getting photographed on his yacht this weekend. And did you read the comment underneath - unbelievable…..I had to get my butler to open the vintage red - only way to calm myself down.

  • Sylwia Presley on 16th July 2010:

    I love the site:)

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