John Robertson – The Futures Interview


Laura Anderson


?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?

JR: To be a happy animal and help other people & animals be happy too.

In some countries that means that there should be less children per family, less goats, less poverty. In turn that means there need to be more pensions and more girls’ schools: without those, it’s very hard for a mother to choose to have a small family and there will always be too many people for the jobs and the land that are available.

?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?

JR: I was importing parcels of Fairtrade shoes from Ethiopia. I saw a gay rights message board based in Africa, on which someone like a priest had written-in to ask peoples’ names so that they could be “taught a lesson”. I am gay. I thought “why am I promoting products from a country where so many people would kill me? Why not promote human rights in those countries instead of just trade?”. I’ve thought the same kind of thing when watching film of Libya and Syria on TV, and film about development in Mali where a breadline family can have 11 children. It’s not an original thought. I was watching Ian Hislop’s “When Bankers were Good” on TV and saw something about the 1911 Peoples’ Budget which brought compulsory national insurance and pensions to the UK.

?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?

JR: Buy products made in countries with pensions, human rights, and votes. Write “tariffs against despots” on a T shirt with a marker pen and wear it. One thing I’ve done is to promote Riotstopper T shirts, which are a bit like Addidas T shirts except half the price, made in Leicestershire, and not advertised.

?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?

JR: Tariffs against despots. A sliding scale of import tariffs against measured of human rights and pension rights in each country. I don’t know of any group or petition to support this idea, so I hope this page inspires someone else to set the system up.

?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future? 

JR: The Clash: Lost in the Supermarket

?!X: Can you share with us up to 5 weblinks that you find interesting and inspiring?

JR: Veganline.com vegan shoe-shop keeper

Follow John on Twitter @veganlinecom

Inspired to tell us The Future You Choose? You can here.