We need your help to protect elephants from the ivory trade

This newspaper shall be raising money to help combat that trade, and promote conservation in Africa

Share

Last night, in the gilded surroundings of the Attlee Room in the House of Lords, we hosted a gathering in aid of our Christmas campaign, which this year runs in conjunction with a wonderful charity called Space for Giants, which does extraordinary work in protecting elephants threatened by the ivory trade.

I should say that I have a particular fondness for elephants, having spent a little time with them in India, the country of my birth. For Hindus – even lapsed ones – Ganesha, with an elephant head, is the god of knowledge. These deeply intelligent mammals have come under constant attack in Africa. In 2011, more African elephants were killed than in any other year.

This newspaper shall be raising money to help combat that trade, and promote conservation in Africa. So there’ll be plenty of fascinating campaign coverage next week.

Another story that might make our front page is the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on Thursday. Elsewhere in Fleet Street, headlines will reflect an emerging consensus about Britain’s economy – one that your newspaper won’t accept without a heavy dose of scepticism. That consensus suggests that Britain’s economy is recovering, and that the chances of a Tory victory at the next election rise in proportion with it. But here are four caveats.

First, while prices rise faster than wages, people get poorer. Second, the current optimism is driven partly by surging house prices in the South-east, which follow the cynical policy I call Help to Buy Votes. Third, despite all this apparent good news, Labour is still comfortably ahead in the polls. Finally, what is happening in Britain does little to address the historic economic changes affecting the middle classes caused by the rise of globalisation and new technology.

Things are rarely as they seem in politics. It’s our job to report them fairly, and analyse them for your benefit. This is a task that Patrick Cockburn excels at, and I want to end by giving him a public thanks.

This week, Patrick was named Foreign Commentator of the Year at the Editorial Intelligence Awards, in recognition of his outstanding work in the Middle East. No serious student of that region has failed to incur a debt to him, and nobody who has met Patrick has failed to be inspired by the fortitude and erudition he has brought to journalism over decades. His interview with Moqtada al-Sadr this week was a case in point.

We are very lucky to count him as one of our own. Have a great weekend.

Twitter: @amolrajan

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
...and after (EPA)  

Nepal earthquake: A shocking disaster in one of the most remarkable countries on earth

Anthony Costello
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions