Outside Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, the passers-by are bemused. That’s because they’re being harangued by a group of men and women dressed as Mrs Doyle from Father Ted: “Go on, go on, go on, go on, refresh the call for global justice,” they chant, in semi-convincing Irish accents.
The Mrs Doyles are surprisingly well informed about the overseas development budget: “Labour promised in 1974 that 0.7% of GDP would be ring-fenced for aid,” says one particularly hairy Mrs Doyle, “and 35 years later, we’re still waiting… Now will you have a cup of tea?”
Today is Teatime for Change, a lobby organised by a coalition of aid agencies: alongside CAFOD are Christian Aid, Action Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children and Tearfund. The idea is that members of the public can sit down with their MPs and talk to them about why overseas aid matters.