99 11 04

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House of Lords, Thursday, November 4th, 1999

Apologies - 12 apologies received

Present : Sabine McNeill [Co-ordinator];
Donald Martin [Chairman]; Lord Caithness (Adviser);
John Tomlinson [Speaker]; Mrs Tomlinson; Lawrence Bloom (Adviser ); Canon Peter Challen [Minute Secretary];
Dr. John Courtneidge; Sylvia; Keith Whincup [SAFE];
Maurice and Sarah Blackburn: Julita Karol;  Jackie Bloom; Hugh Harris [LETS]; Shard Duhart ; David Schoibl; Nathaniel Rohde for Tim Lawson-Cruttenden [Lawyer] ; Josephine Negro
(S'wark LETS); Emma Tomlinson; Mrs Weintrob;
Rakesh Mathur ( Brixton LETS); Basca Doina ; Jonas
Abel: Stephen Filbey; Damian Mearns; Peter Dul;
Tony Pritchard; Judith;   (28)

As the TV above our meeting recorded the names of those speaking in the HofL  Select Committee on the Bank of
England, it became a constant reminder of our purpose  during this Parliamentary year to expand the remit of that Committee  and to fashion a 'Banking 2000 - Miscellaneous Provisions Bill'.
And to do so in our agreed  context, recited at each gathering.

After the Chairman drew out the range of interests in the assembly, Sabine distributedthe new green brochure of the Forum's stance,reiterated the purpose of the series offered
by the Forum, and then introduced John Tomlinson.

He said that to make practical progress we must draw a line  - no retro-active changes, but a new economic system from the
passing of the law. The long evening of presentation of
exceptional clarity by John Tomlinson and intense discussion added these aspects to the 'Miscellaneous provisions'.

1. To end fractional reserve banking and return
to 100% collateral
2. To make debt recovery unenforceable
3. To get rid of taxation for debt
4. To put Equity on a level field with debt
5. To convert Mortgages into share ownership
schemes
6. To prevent private houses being re-possessed
7. To outlaw loans made payable on demand
8. To help economic democracy supersede
political democracy
9. To maximise responsibility of people and
communities - subsidiarity.

John started with an exceptionally clear and erudite functional history of money. We live under a system of 'mandatory
exchange' - we are conditioned to give in order to get, and this aggravates greed. John outlined with pithy illustration the emergenceof this situation. Important to recognise that we
have legalised the fundamental fraudulence in the present system; so that it is unwise to make emotional attacks on reasonably good men who have lived the Nuremburg principle of obedience to a managed system.  Thus the need for
a well elaborated new start.

It is crazy that banks don't pay fees, royalties or seignorage, but create for us and use for themselves.  Great harm accrues to borrowers and the size of the unit of measure of value.  Most comparisons in use are therefore invalid and make a nonsense of economics as science, and it is even questionable as an art. The more 'successful' banks are, the more indebted we are and our children.  He exploded myths about inflation and asked that
we  look at the money supply not the deluding figures. 
Look at net new loans - devaluing currency daily. 

Excess has to go into shares, bonds or property, and in fact yo-yo between, destabilising sound productivity. The number
of people in economic control decreases and the cream of surplus is skimmed off into the vast obscene disparities we now observe, evoking social unrest and burdens of exponential debt. 

We must convert debt to equity, building assets for future generations; and bankers will be accountable. Bankers could
still be brokers, storing and distributing money, perhaps with equivalent of a 'stamp'  to effect demurrage - a charge on non-use of money.  An Equity based system would bring about a just break-up of the finance capitalism that has engulfed us.

Much more detail was given than here recorded, but the discussion led vigorously to the points summed up early in these notes.

This included rehearsing details of LETS, Time Credits, Barter etc. { 'Bartercard does professionally, what LETS do as 'amateurs'. } Obligations are called 'commitments to community',  not to individuals.

There was valuable exchange about the tensions among and for good people who expected to be responsible, but failed to ask
the larger questions beyond the institutional conceits of the mandatory exchange system in which we are trapped;
and a boldness in claiming the spiritual perspectives and sensitivity to genuine sustainability in all our practices was
considered.

With the parallel debate in the House of Lords continuing we were reminded that Lord Peston is seeking to widen the remit of
the Select committee .... our deliberations may yet find a welcome in that place.  Sabine makes sure that communication
takes place between the appropriate Lords in that respect.

A fine educative evening that prospers our cause.  Note the next meeting at the head of these notes.  If you haven't a programme of the series,  let me know and it will be forwarded to you.

Other regular London meetings continuing the
debate are open to you  and to others YOU invite:-
- The Global Cafe every Wednesday 11-1
- The Clink Debtors prison meeting on
Thursday 11th 6-8  - ask me for details of an unusual
venue on Nov 11th and on Dec. 9