Editorial:

Happy New Year! – The omens do not look good.

This issue offers much to consider in the attempt to make sense of recent events and anticipate future developments.

As I write, the news is coming in of the riots in Argentina sparked by its economic crisis due to its linking of the peso to the US dollar and acceptance of IMF loan-linked policies.

Yet another glaring illustration of the disastrous results of the global debt-money system I have been urging the Green Party to examine seriously.

This has been a hard struggle, but at our coming Spring Conference, I have submitted a motion as below. The vital issue of the national money supply being created to be spent into circulation by government for the benefit of society, instead of being created as interest-bearing debts to private banks, has been reduced to bare principle, to concentrate debate on it as this, without the complication of detail on implementation. Policy Committee has agreed that all attending Conference will be given an A4 sheet, with my explanation of its relevance and importance on one side, and a case against it on the other. They will be urged to study the issue before voting – late though this may be!

Motion for Spring Conference, 2001

In the MfSS, delete EC662 and EC663, and replace with:

EC662 Today, nearly all money is created by the banking system in the form of interest-bearing loans. This gives enormous power to the commercial banks and enables them to make large profits. The creation of money via interest-bearing debt also creates a pressure for the world economy to grow, and for those within it to work more hours and earn more money to repay the debts.

EC663 The right to create money, and to accrue the benefits of seigniorage--the value of the money creat

ed, less its cost of manufacture--will be returned to the people. A Currency Commission will be created as a new department within the Bank of England, and will be given the sole legal right to create, or cancel, the national currency.

Amendment 1: delete paras. EC662 and EC663 and renumber.  Insert new sentence at start of EC664: 'A Currency Commission will be created as a new department within the Bank of England.'

EC664 The Currency Commission will be required to maintain the money supply, as a circulating medium of exchange, sufficient to meet the needs of society, and at the level needed to avoid undue inflation or deflation, or for beneficial expansion or contraction of the economy.  It will be publicly accountable, open to scrutiny, and ultimately answerable to parliament.

EC665 The Currency Commission will also monitor and, where judged necessary, take steps to regulate the exchange of Sterling with other currencies, or make market interventions to ensure that stable and sustainable economic conditions are maintained.

EC666 In pursuit of our policies to support the growth of local economies, a network of local Community Banks will be established. These will be democratically accountable non-profit-making trusts, which will be able to provide low-cost finance both at district and regional levels. Any operating surplus arising from these Community Banks will be reinvested in their local communities. Community Banks will be empowered to lend money deposited by members or to create their own local currencies.

EC667 In order to bring about a more socially equitable society, it is important that poorer citizens have access to affordable credit, which can give them an opportunity to increase their basic living standards. Alongside Community Banks, measures to help facilitate this will include the promotion and support of Credit Unions and Microcredit schemes in which small groups of people cooperate to provide guaranteed small loans to each other.

Contributors please observe: Please send contributions for publication to me either by e-mail to: editor @sus-tec.freeserve.co.uk; on 3 1/2” PC/Mac disc; or as clear typescript.

Again, graphics—cartoons, illustrations, relevant pictures, graphs —would help the eye, even if not the understanding! Please contribute!

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Disclaimer: Views expressed in this publication are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent current Green Party policy.

Group convenor: Miriam Kennett, [email protected] Tel.01189 845194

Post all comments and contributions for publication to the editor: Brian Leslie 12 Queens Road Tunbridge Wells Kent TN4 9LU Phone: 01892 522776 E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: www.sus-tec.freeserve.co.uk

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