Spear's ran three successful campaigns in 2012 for causes we believe are important not just to our readers but to the country as a whole: encouraging charitable giving; protecting our countryside; and urging equal treatment for our Paralympic heroes
Spear's ran three successful campaigns in 2012 for causes we believe are important not just to our readers but to the country as a whole: encouraging charitable giving; protecting our countryside; and urging equal treatment for our Paralympic heroes.
The 1 Per Cent Campaign
The 1 Per Cent Campaign, run by Josh Spero and Mark Nayler, was aimed at encouraging our readers to give their time, money and expertise to charity, because, as we wrote, 'Spear’s readers have all the resources to be able to engage in meaningful, sustainable philanthropy.'
We chose to support a handful of charities which tackle British social problems in innovative and effective ways, from Soldier On!, which gets wounded ex-servicemen into work, to Impetus Trust's venture philanthropy. Our readers responded generously, especially with entrepreneurs offering time for such charities as the Durand Academy.
We received support from Charities minister Nick Hurd, who said everyone should give 1 per cent away every year; from former Philanthropy Ambassador Dame Stephanie Shirley; and Michael Green, co-author of Philanthrocapitalism. After a period when the 1 Per Cent was maligned as vicious and uncaring, our campaign showed that there were plenty in the 1 Per Cent who were philanthropic.
Read more about the 1 Per Cent Campaign here
Stamps for Paralympians Campaign
Our Stamps for Paralympians Campaign emerged when, before the London 2012 Olympics, the Royal Mail refused to produce a commemorative stamp for each gold-medal-winning Paralympian, like it was doing for their Olympic counterparts.
When I emailed the CEO of Royal Mail about this, her response was feeble: 'In determining the number of stamps, we have had to factor in the very large number of gold medals we anticipate ParalympicsGB will win. If they match or exceed their achievements in Beijing it could be 50 or more.' So they were going to be too successful?
But after a Twitter campaign, a piece on the New Statesman website, support from the postal workers' union and pressure from MPs, the Royal Mail said they would do the right and fair thing and produce stamps for each gold-medal-winner. It wasn't a gold on the track or in the pool, but it was a Paralympic victory we could all be proud of.
Read more about the Stamps for Paralympians Campaign
Save Britain's Historic Landscape Campaign
William Cash drew the Save Britain's Historic Landscape Campaign, which had covered issues from opposing on-shore windfarms and the tearing up of the countryside with HS2 to proper listing of historic buildings, to a successful close this year.
A Scottish landowner wrote for us about the menace wind turbines posed to beautiful countryside north of the border, while William opposed sweeping planning reforms which would endanger historic houses. William also held an event at the Tory party conference and sent a letter signed by a hundred notable people to David Cameron about protecting our heritage.
Spear's was on the right side and eventually prevailed: the planning reforms were changed, the government changed its support for on-shore wind farms and William's own historic house was upgraded to a Grade 1 listing.