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01 Minutes from 17th October 2011

Page history last edited by Peter Verity 8 years, 11 months ago

 

Date 17/10/2011 Chairs Peter Verity
Time  19:00 - 21:00 Secretaries Dave Jefferies
Location  Quaker Meeting House  Type of meeting Meet-up

Attendees

(add yourself if missing)

21 people

 

Table of Contents

 



 

Introduction

presenter: Peter

 

The first meeting of Sheffield Positive Money meetup group was held on Oct 17th and attracted 21 people in total. There were 12 who had already registered with PM, and 8 others who had come along on invitation (plus one who didn’t leave any details).

 

After a brief introduction to the campaign, we watched the DVD “all about the money”, and then had a group discussion. Several people continued the discussion in the pub, and I include in this report some of the comments that were made in the pub.

 

Discussions

presenter: Dave

 

DVD and media

There was quite a lot of discussion about the DVD. Many people thought that it was much too long at 70 minutes, and asked if a shorter one could be prepared (say about 20 minutes)? We need to raise this with Positive Money, it is not something we can do.

 

Some asked how they could get hold of a copy of the DVD, and if it could be downloaded from the website?

Dave can download them but they will be too big for emailing so will have to look at another way of giving access. It should be possible to create a DVD of the videos to play on a computer which may help. We would need to check with PM if we can make free copies.

 

There was discussion on how we could get the message out.

If we had a more concise DVD, we could -

  • get ourselves invited to other campaigning groups, to show the DVD. We could possibly provide speakers instead of a DVD, although there may be a lack of confidence/competence; no-one volunteered to take this up.
  • send the DVD to our MPs.
  • invite our friends to “Positive Money parties” – like Tupperware parties!

 

Other ideas –

  • get ourselves on local radio phone-in programmes
  • get a petition up. An “e-petition” on the government web site, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/, with at least 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons. This would have to be done centrally, to avoid duplication.
  • we could also try to get 38 Degrees involved. http://38degrees.org.uk/

 

Contact with MPs 

There were mixed opinions as to how to get the message to MPs. Several people had written to their MP (including Nick Clegg), but all got luke-warm responses. Dave said that, if they get enough personalised letters, they will start to take notice, but others thought it was a waste of time. We could try inviting MPs to a meeting, but it was stated that their time in their constituency is limited. If there was a concise text version of the PM proposals, we could send it to our MPs. This might be better than a letter which only gives part of the argument.

 

Elizabeth said forget the MPs. We – the 99% - need to research the problem for ourselves, and really get to understand the issues. PM is just part of a bigger picture.

 

Ivor had written to his MP (David Blunkett) about the “One Good Cut” campaign. Mr Blunkett handled it well, forwarding the letter to George Osborne, and got a detailed response from the Treasury. However, the Treasury response denied that banks can create money. The response says

“… It is not the case that there is a loop hole for banks to create digital money … The Bank of England alone has control over the monetary base, which consists of currency (banknotes and coins) and reserves… Commercial banks keep only a fraction of their deposits in reserve, lending out the remainder, while maintaining the simultaneous obligation to redeem all deposits upon demand. Banks are responsible for extending credit to individuals and businesses … Banks have no authority to create or print money, digital or otherwise” (Justine Greening) 

Ivor would like to go back to David Blunkett challenging the Treasury statement, but does not feel able to put it into the right words. Can anyone help?

 

Alternative currencies and ethical banking 

Several people mentioned alternative currencies, including

It was suggested that, as we move our money to more ethical banks, we might consider donating to the Occupy Wall Street movement http://occupywallst.org/donate/

 

Conclusion

Ian asked a question about how money could be allocated in spite of variations in demand, if the MPC controlled money supply instead of interest rate. We were running out of time, so we were unable to discuss this question in depth. I will try to take it offline with Ian.

 

The group has created a contact address positivemoneysheffield@gmail.com that Dave and Peter will monitor. This is so that you can contact us. We also have an email group that will be used for keeping people informed about meetings and events. If anyone wants to join the group just send an email to positivemoneysheffield@gmail.com and we will add you to the group. You can also go to the group’s web site, http://groups.google.com/group/positivemoneysheffield, where you can create a Google account and join the group but this is not necessary if you just want to receive the email news.

 

The group agreed to meet again in 5 weeks, on Nov 21st. Several people offered to have a pre-meetup to agree the format and content of the next meeting.

 

PS. look at http://www.campaignstrategy.org/twelve_guidelines.php?pg=intro

PPS. flyer now available at http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/2011/10/hand-flyers-occupiers/

 

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