‘Money makes the world go around… ‘  a line from an old song…  But this week I have been thinking that money really does seem to make the world go around as I look at events such as the World Economic Forum in Davos. The net worth of all the people gathered there runs into the billions and the European Trade Union Congress estimate that in four days at Davos many European CEOS earn two years’ worth of an average workers income. Furthermore, on the eve of the WEF Oxfam published its findings that 82% of the wealth created in the past year went to just 1% of the global population. Our globe continues to face scandalous inequalities that the people gathered in Davos are not effectively addressing – because many of those talking about inequality may be benefitting from inequality. A real approach to inequality requires those who are disadvantaged also being present – as real partners and not simply in a tokenistic way. I have not seen much coverage of the role of people experiencing poverty, food bank users, the homeless, the undocumented, Roma people or others who experience poverty on the Davos agenda. It is only when there is true dialogue that is respectful and recognises the need to find solutions and compromises that may involve giving away personal and institutional power and wealth that we will see the inequality gap reduce.

Across Eurodiaconia our members listen to the voices of the victims of injustice and inequality on a day to day basis.  We see both the personal and community price that is paid as a result of inequality.  We see people who are punished for their poverty while others earn millions and evade taxes. We see social services reduced in financing because of austerity and fiscal consolidation, and we see the expansion of a rhetoric that demands that many people are a burden on the state because of their social needs. Money might make the world go around but it certainly does not go around the world. It is held in the hands of the superrich and taken away from the most vulnerable in our societies. As Eurodiaconia, as we start this new year, we want to strengthen the fight and claim for social justice and fairness  – come join us.

Have a good weekend,