Food campaign news
The Real George Osborne: New comedy series starring Rufus Jones launches exclusively online
- Chancellor George Osborne parodied by the World Development Movement and writers Hoot Comedy
- Comedy series calls on George Osborne to ‘do the right thing’ and back regulation of food speculation by banks
- Speculation is driving high food prices worldwide. High food costs have pushed the food bill for the average UK household up by £188 in the past year, and are forcing millions of people in developing countries into poverty and hunger
UK Chancellor George Osborne is being re-imagined in a brand new internet comedy series starring Rufus Jones (Holy Flying Circus) which premiers today (22 November) at www.therealgeorgeosborne.com. The Real George Osborne follows George and his long-suffering advisor, Vicki, as he tries to raise his political profile in a bid to become the next Prime Minister.
Filmed in 14 parts and airing between now and Christmas, The Real George Osborne sees George undertake a number of ill-advised PR stunts in order to compete with Boris Johnson as ‘the most recognised Tory’ and unseat David Cameron. Our bumbling Chancellor takes street-dance lessons, enlists a full-time reality TV crew and struggles with fad diets to try to improve his image.
The series stars Rufus Jones, who recently received rave reviews for his part in Holy Flying Circus, the fantastical re-imagining of the time around the release of Month Python’s Life of Brian.
The Real George Osborne has been commissioned by anti-poverty campaigners, the World Development Movement, ahead of a vote on regulation of food speculation by banks in the European Union next year. The campaign group wants Chancellor George Osborne to ‘do the right thing’ and back effective regulation of food speculation, which is driving food prices beyond the reach of the world’s poorest people, and has added nearly £200 onto UK households’ food bills in the past year.
World Development Movement director Deborah Doane explains:
Investment banks are pouring billions of pounds of speculative money into food markets, sending prices spiralling out of control. In developing countries steep price hikes are pushing millions of people into poverty and in the UK, this has added £188 to the average household’s annual food bill in the past year. Chancellor George Osborne has the opportunity to ‘do the right thing’ supporting the vote for regulation. Volatile prices only benefit a few very wealthy bankers, but wreak havoc on everyone else. This is a clear case where the Chancellor should side with the 99 per cent.”
We know there’s a danger George might try to side with the banks and block the vote, so we’re asking the UK public to get behind us and keep the pressure up. We hope people will love our light-hearted version of behind-the-scenes in the Chancellor’s office, and support us by calling on George to back the vote.”
People can support the campaign by sending an email to George Osborne with a single click from www.therealgeorgeosborne.com.
Follow The Real George Osborne on Twitter@MrGeorgeOsborne or #RealGeorgeOsborne.
The first episode premiers online today and the series will air four times weekly in the lead up to Christmas.
For more information please contact:
World Development Movement
(+44) (0)20 7820 4913; (+44) (0)7711 875 345
Notes to editors
What is food speculation?
Banks, hedge funds and pension funds are betting on food prices in financial markets. Financial deregulation since the 1990s has enabled speculators to dominate food futures markets, changing them beyond recognition and causing drastic price swings in staple foods such as wheat, maize and soy.
Why regulate it now?
With global food prices reaching record levels in 2011, the issue of excessive speculation on food is now firmly on the political agenda in Europe. Proposals for regulation were published by the European Commission last month and will be debated and discussed in the European Parliament and Council of Ministers over the coming months. However the financial industry, with the help of George Osborne and the UK Treasury, is lobbying hard against effective regulatory measures.
In the US, regulation of food speculation was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. Effective implementation is likely to be dependent upon the EU introducing similar regulation to ensure that Europe does not become a haven for under-regulated food speculation.
About the World Development Movement
The World Development Movement is a UK-based anti-poverty campaigning organisation. We have a worldwide reputation for tackling hard-hitting, controversial issues.
About Hoot Comedy
Created in 2009 by Perrier Award winner James Rawlings, BAFTA nominated screenwriter Ben Bond and RTS nominated producer Ben Thompson, Hoot are multi-award winning comedy writers and producers.
Hoot’s expertise in narrative and comedy performance has put us in demand all over the world and our creative director is currently the lead writer on ‘Skins’ for Channel 4. Among our credits we’ve created original comedy for: BBC3, CBBC, Paramount, Philips, Coke, Electrolux, Sony Playstation and Virgin Atlantic. Our hugely successful rom-com for Philips ‘NIGEL & VICTORIA’ received over 7 million views on Youtube.
 WDM Broken Markets report, September 2011: http://www.wdm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Broken-markets.pdf