Radiohead's Thom Yorke on G8 Summit
BBC JUNE 18, 1999

In Cologne at the G8 summit on Saturday the eight world leaders will be surrounded by supporters of Jubilee 2000 - Drop the Debt campaign, who are trying to cancel third world debt to the West.

Thom Yorke, Perry Farrell, Bono and the Edge will be joined by over 70,000 people at the event. But Thom told Radio One he reckons if you hear from politicians after the summit that everything's been sorted out - don't believe a word !

"Politicians nod and say Ďyesí, but thatís whatís dangerous about this particular moment in time, because whatís predicted at the end of the G8 summit this weekend, after weíve handed in the petition, is theyíll announce that theyíve come up with a package which is basically what we asked for, which is actually not true at all - itís a complete fabrication", he says. "I donít really see how they have the balls to stand up in public and say theyíre doing what we asked for and saying that theyíre actually fulfilling the obligations towards these children that are dying every day, when itís basically just an accountancy trick".
And he adds: "If the West, at the end of the Cold War, was supposed to have won the battle between ideologies, if this is the result then it would have been better to have been Communist, really", he says.
"Millions of people will die - and they will die under our name. And thereís no way around it, you canít obscure that in economics, thatís just the pure given facts, and it would cost us roughly £12 each a year - which is less than you pay for your Sky dish".

So what can you actually do for that £12? Thom says you can log onto the Jubilee website and write to your MP:
"If you pick up any newspaper this weekend thereíll be an advert, because basically the Jubilee 2000 thing is an umbrella organisation and has the backing of most of the NGOís, most of the charities like Oxfam and Christian Aid, youíre not going to be able to miss it this weekend in the papers", he says.
"So while youíre sitting there watching Prince Edward getting married, why donít you think of something a little bit more on a higher plane?"

Rock music appears to be becoming the conscience of the world - with Rock Against Racism, the recent Tibetan concerts, which Thom was also involved in, Live Aid and now the Drop The Debt - so does Thom feel that, being in his position, heís obliged to get involved?:
"I feel compelled to do it because I want something positive to come out of the celebrity thing for me. I was finding it very difficult to sort of deal with the fact that I was a celebrity in a society that chooses to basically enslave the rest of the world in the name of blah, blah, blah - Iím a bit like that, really. And Jubilee 2000 is a way of using my position", he explains.
"If I die tomorrow in a car crash Iíll know Iíll have used it for something positive. To be honest this is a way for me to address issues outside of Radiohead that Iíve wanted to address for a long time, that Iíve always had a problem with".
And he adds: "When we go to this thing at the weekend thereís going to be more or less 70,000 people standing in a human chain, and the fact that you want to talk to me on Radio One about this is great. Thatís what Iím here for, really. If 10 people hear this and do something about it, then thatís fine".

And if you do want to do something about it then log onto the Jubilee 2000 website at: www. jubilee2000uk.org.