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Radiohead's Thom Yorke on G8 Summit

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 ‘yes’, but that’s what’s dangerous about this particular moment in time, because what’s predicted at the end of the G8 summit this weekend, after we’ve handed in the petition, is they’ll announce that they’ve come up with a package which is basically what we asked for, which is actually not true at all - it’s a complete fabrication", he says. "I don’t really see how they have the balls to stand up in public and say they’re doing what we asked for and saying that they’re actually fulfilling the obligations towards these children that are dying every day, when it’s 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 there’s no way around it, you can’t obscure that in economics, that’s 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 there’ll be an advert, because basically the Jubilee 2000 thing is an umbrella organisation and has the backing of most of the NGO’s, most of the charities like Oxfam and Christian Aid, you’re not going to be able to miss it this weekend in the papers", he says.
"So while you’re sitting there watching Prince Edward getting married, why don’t 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, he’s 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 - I’m 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 I’ll know I’ll have used it for something positive. To be honest this is a way for me to address issues outside of Radiohead that I’ve wanted to address for a long time, that I’ve always had a problem with".
And he adds: "When we go to this thing at the weekend there’s 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. That’s what I’m here for, really. If 10 people hear this and do something about it, then that’s fine".

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