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130325 Meetup 25th Mar

Page history last edited by Peter Verity 7 years, 6 months ago


Date  25/03/2013 Chairs  
Time  19:00 - 21:00 Secretaries Peter
Location  Victoria Hall Central Methodist Type of meeting Meet-up


(add yourself if missing)

10 people - Robert, Steve, Mike A, Sue, Gerry, Oliver, Richard B, Ash, Lucy, Peter


Table of Contents



Campaign update

presenter: Peter


Recent events:


People’s Forum on Debt (March 2nd). See report Past events

About 25 attended the break-out session on banking. 11 new names on mailing list


Talk “Fixing our Broken Economy” (March 14th)

This was advertised mainly as a follow-up to the People’s Forum.

About 25 people present, 5 new names on mailing list,


A planned talk to the Central Constituency Labour Party (with MP Paul Blomfield) had to be cancelled due to snow. It is hoped this can be rescheduled.


It was noted that certain questions keep cropping up from the audience

  • quantitative easing/BoE/reserve ratios (misinformation)
  • the money economy vs the real economy
  • it’s too complicated/not the real issue

We need to strengthen our message by addressing relevant issues in our talks – austerity and small businesses are two touch-points.



The book “Modernising Money” is now available in Sheffield Central Lending Library.

Thanks to Mike JB for this initiative – he will also try Chesterfield [could anyone try Rotherham?!]


500 more booklets (Fixing our Broken Economy) have been printed. Thanks to Adele for sponsoring this.


Summer Fairs

Stalls booked for Peace in the Park (June 8th) and Green Fair (July 13th)



Questions for Ben Dyson (for event on April 15th)


Questions have been collected from emails and from the forum.

The group discussed and voted on which questions are the most important to be answered.

Peter will re-arrange them in priority order, and under the following headings

  • personal impacts of the reforms
  • impact on small businesses
  • critique of the proposed solution
  • banking
  • political


[to be posted on wiki after final check by Ben]


Sue to chair the event. Suggested format 20mins campaign update, 40mins prepared questions, 20mins unprepared questions, 10mins wind-up.


The audience will be mainly people who have already had some exposure to PM, but it was suggested we have a follow-up meeting for any newcomers.

[can this be incorporated into the next planned meetup April 24th which currently has no fixed agenda?]



Campaign Objectives for the Sheffield group

This was a continuation of the discussion started in January [Minutes from 28th Jan 2013]



We need to widen our grass roots connections, and empower other groups by explaining the relation between money and debt.


It was noted that a meetup group has started in Leeds, we may be able to provide mutual support.


There followed a debate on whether businesses would still be reliant on debt post-reform, and what would happen if no-one was willing to lend.

This is adequately covered in a question to Ben.


We then had a lengthy discussion on debt, with two opposing views expressed

  • debt is inherently bad. It is used as a means of oppression.
  • debt can be good, eg. businesses often need to buy in labour and materials, but only get paid on final delivery.

It was suggested that we need to differentiate between “tactical” debt and “structural” debt.

[note – there is a useful analysis on “the demand for credit” in Modernising Money, section 3.1]


We also need to differentiate between

  • interest with no risk. This is ‘usury’, which has little justification and has historically been condemned.
  • interest in return for risk. This meets one of PMs objectives – to “realign risk and reward” - and is a key factor in peer-to-peer lending and modern Islamic banking. 

It is noted that bank accounts currently seem to offer interest with no risk – is the public prepared to give that up?


There was also discussion on whether the PM campaign is too narrow in focus.

Reform seems a long way off, and we lose sympathy if we appear to reject other solutions (eg. Bitcoin). We should be presenting a “strong idea standing among other solutions”. How far can we pursue these other solutions while still being Positive Money? (added to questions for Ben)

[note - there is a debate on Bitcoin started on the forum, follow link here].



There were two strands agreed for action in the near future 

  • How would monetary reform affect small businesses?
    • Oliver offered to set up “pilot” discussions with eg. Mike A, Alan and Richard B, all of whom have experience in small businesses, to get their perspective. Also possibly market traders.
    • This would probably be in the form of a workshop or dialogue rather than a talk.


  • Continue to widen our connections with other groups. eg the Unite community union and/or Fir Vale food bank.
    • There is a disconnect between the immediacy of personal debt, and long-term banking reform. We don’t know if there is a bridge between them, it needs more thought on points of contact.
    • We need more speakers to take this on – not necessarily a Powerpoint type presentation, could be something more informal eg. open forum, story-telling, re-showing of 97% film etc.
    • Robert/Ash/Steve to follow this up



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