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150427 Mike "Money Creation and Parliament"

Page history last edited by Peter Verity 4 years, 9 months ago

 

Date  27/04/2015 Chairs Mike
Time    Secretaries Peter
Location  Quaker Meeting House  Type of meeting Meet-up

Attendees

(add yourself if missing)

15 people present

 

Money Creation and Parliament

presenter: Mike Black

 

As we approach the General Election, Mike gave us a run-down on where the Positive Money campaign stands, and how much (or little) we have achieved through the democratic process. Mike's slides can be downloaded here 150427 Mike - Money Creation and Parliament.docx

 

After a short introduction to the Positive Money campaign, the talk was split into 4 main sections as follows. It  was illustrated by video clips, and gave opportunities for discussion throughout.

 

1 - what's the problem? A look at some of the failures of the democratic process, as a result of surrendering the sovereign power to create money to private corporations. Allocation failure, 'too big to fail' etc. Illustrated with the video "Banks vs democracy" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wBFpbVpq6Q

 

2 - do MPs understand?. In 2014 only 12% of MPs polled gave the correct answer when asked where money comes from. Thousands of Positive Money supporters lobbied their MPs, and a backbench debate on “Money creation and society” took place in November.

Illustrated with highlights from the Commons debate https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6a_0zJDsr8

 

No Sheffield MPs attended the debate

 

3 - do local MPs/candidates understand it? Very encouraging support from a few, some others show reasonable understanding but lack of support.

Only the Greens have monetary reform in their manifesto.

 

4 - looking forward: New Policy and Advocacy advisor David Clarke; Petition to next Prime Minister.

Illustrated with the video "Tell the next Prime Minister..." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfWUEOSW3iA

 

 

Discussion

Shadow banking - in the video on the Commons debate, the Government spokesperson suggested that the reforms would encourage the emergence of new, unregulated, shadow banks. This is a concern, and it will be the topic of our July talk.

 

The Bank of England says it has a remit to control inflation and it does this through interest rates. Is that true?

It's true that it has that remit, and it's true that it controls interest rates, but it has failed to meet its remit! It doesn't have the correct tools for the job.

 

Mervyn King has been quite sympathetic to the idea of reform (and there are anonymous people within the Bank of England who have assisted Positive Money). As far as is known there has been no contact with Mark Carney.

 

Paul Blomfield (Lab, Sheffield Central) says we should have a state-backed investment bank for small business lending, and an ambitious house building programme. Can't disagree with that but where is the money going to come from?!

 

Ed Miliband (Doncaster North) has had many contacts with one of our supporters, but he doesn't want to know! He must surely understand what the campaign is about - he's been told many times - but he doesn't want to get involved, it's probably too big for him to take on as leader. But maybe he could be persuaded to support a Parliamentary Commission? No matter how good our MPs are (Paul Blomfield was commended as an MP), they will only do what Ed Miliband tells them.

 

We need to keep the pressure on after the election. They will realise that they need the seigniorage, which could be tens of billions.

 

How do we fight against the lobbying power of the banks? There were good proposals in the 1930s for full reserve banking, but they were scuppered by bank lobbying.

 

Education is important. (The global crash will be included in economics A-level from Sept http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32480360 )

We need to keep up the public pressure on our MPs

We are getting good support from press/academics/commentators. Also, social media is becoming the new democracy, and the power of the press is declining.

Iceland and Greece are likely to bring about reform before the UK - Greece has a better democratic system than the UK

 

 

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