Apologies - 9 apologies received
Present : Lord Ahmed [Host]; Sabine McNeill [Co-ordinator]; Donald Martin
[Chairman]; Canon Peter Challen & David Schoibl; [Minute Secretaries];
Sylvia; Keith Whincup [SAFE]; Julita Karol; Lawrence Bloom [Adviser];
Shard Duhart ; Damian Mearns; Robert Tait; Nigel Roberts; Peter
Travers; Robert Arnold [BAMR]; Glen Segell [FT]; Patricia Kalmanovitch; AR
Dambha; Ken Palmerton; Naomi Calligaro [British Association of Club of Rome];
David Pidcock [British Islamic Party]; May Goodare; Margaret Legum; Veronika
Kallo; David Kallo; Chris Bell; Alexander Manias; Natasha Messinezi; Monika Tarr;
Magdolna Tarr; Edit Bednarik; Medhat Singab; Abdallah Homouda; Ed Rosenthal [HGF];
Paul Kermanscahchi; Anthony Chevasse; and several whose names were not recorded.
The structure of this meeting was changed as Eddie Wetherill and his
replacement, Dick Sargent, were unable to attend. So the opportunity was taken
to discuss strategy and organisational matters.
2. Comments on the notes. None received. Peter Challen asks for more feedback on
3. Drafting of a Banking Bill
Sabine reported that a meeting between Lord Caithness. Lord Ahmed and the lawyer
is going to take part soon. Progress will be reported at the next meeting.
Sabine reported that it is too late for an amendment of the Financial
Services and Markets Bill in the Commons, but that amendments would still be
possible in the HoL. A discussion about the flaws of the current version of the
FSMB made clear why and how it should be amended.
The Financial Services Authority is not authorised to consider individual
cases and monitor day-to-day banking practice. The banks are self-regulated at
the moment, which means that courts have no leverage to order the banks to
reveal documents (such as showing under what conditions a loan was given in the
first place). Banks can claim obscurity. Self-regulation seems to be a euphemism
for "above the law".
Concerning self-regulation, Keith [SAFE] mentioned that the Bank Ombudsman only
settles 2% of all cases referred to him. This is to be verified in
correspondence between Keith and the Ombudsman; and reported in the next
5. Briefing material
Tony is in Brazil, so no video record this time. Major clarification was
required when video and film is allowed in either the House of Commons or the
House of Lords. Sabine was encouraged by ITN to make it an issue.
6. The Monday Club publication on "usury" will be published in
February and should be available at the next meeting.
The bulk-mail-shot to all MPīs and Lords has now gone out under covering
letters by Austin Mitchell MP and Lord Ahmed. The press release has gone out to
the Financial Times, Working Lunch, and Business Breakfast so far. Thanks to
Mary Fee, David Schoibl and Shard Duhard who assisted Sabine invaluably.
How we should best attract the mediaīs attention was discussed. Should we try
to communicate a "well documented scandal" - or - is a scandal of any
help to draw attention to the "institutionalised fraud" with which we
7. Steering Committee
The Steering Committee will include "heavy weights" who would be
listened to by the media. Still in formation.
The British Association for Monetary Reform [BAMR] is presenting through 12
active units its educational work in form of booklets to contemporary issues
(such as the Euro) to reach the "man on the streets". The proposed
solution by the BAMR to spend money into existence instead of lending it into
existence triggers off a debate. Do we really give 100% purchase power to the
government? - is one of the questions raised.
Peter distributed a statement by the 'Bromsgrove Group' on the same theme,
inviting responses; the group represents some dozen agencies with monetary
reform emphases who are seeking a basic expression upon which each can then add
their specific insight and approach.
Peter reported the wide range of responses to the 'Battle of Seattle'
and the attempts by networks like the anti MAI Coalition, WDM,
the Anti-Globalization Network, and the UK Trading Network,
to prepare politically feasible proposals for fundamental restructuring
of the global economic system. They were aware of the key points of
influence prior to the US Presidential elections, which have put a
temporary brake on major WTO decisions.
9. International News
The exhibition "DEBT" in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is on till
The Supreme Court in Pakistan has taken up the earlier challenge of the Sharia
Court and ruled that Islamic banking has to be introduced. This will challenge
the Military leaders who have appointed IMF Officers to advise on economic
Sabine reported on e-mails she received:
1. Equador "dollarises" its economy at immense cost to the poor.
2. A study on the relationship between climate - equity and debts has been
published by the Global Commons Institute in London
3. National policy is increasingly threatened or forced to change by
international institutions and agreements (such as WTO and MAI)
Discussion continued on many important issues which focussed on the
understanding that in a competitive and contractual system careers depend on NOT
raising reality issues - we suffer from 'too much information and not enough
understanding'. Since there is now a vast range of analysis, it is important
that we have a sense of urgency about marshalling the strong and available
positive proposals, accepting that they will all have to be adapted during
The next meeting on February 9th will be in Room 8 ( sponsored by Austin
David Schoibl and Peter