One step forward, two steps back. At the Spring Conference of the Green Party a motion I proposed, to strengthen the Party’s policy on monetary reform (see SustEc 10/1, or http://www.sustecweb.co.uk/past/sustec10-1/page2.html) was amended out of recognition, with the result that the existing policy was deleted, with no replacement.
The result was that, though the motion was officially ‘passed, as amended’ (see SustEc 10/3, or http://www.sustecweb.co.uk/past/sustec10-1/page2.html) it left us worse off than if it had been defeated.
This Spring, therefore, I brought to Conference a motion to reinstate the two clauses deleted. This motion was timed-out, so was brought back to the Autumn Conference this September; but this time it was narrowly defeated (46 to 48).
These are the two clauses lost:
EC66 1 Under the current banking system, money is created predominantly as interest-bearing debt by commercial banks and the financial institutions. This will gradually be replaced by one in which money is created interest-free for the benefit of the community. The place of the commercial banks in financing enterprise will gradually be taken by mediating, non-profit local community banks providing low-cost finance, both at district and regional levels (EC512).
EC662 Phased restrictions on the powers of commercial banks and other institutions to create money by credit can be introduced by such means as reserve asset ratio requirements, special deposits, personal credit controls, together with more directive guidance to banks and building societies to limit lending.
To further delay the Party’s adoption of this reform, the opponents of it submitted a motion to prevent defeated policy from being brought back for two years, in place of the previous one year. This was passed. Let’s hope the ‘economy’ can survive that long! In proposing the motion, my message was:
The world is drowning in debt. In this country, average household debt has grown by 50% since 1997 — up from £24,500 to £37,500.
The IMF, World Bank and Globalisation are under increasing attack, but the usurious debt-money system behind all this remains beyond public scrutiny, despite the growth, out of desperation, of alternative currencies and barter systems.
Our current usurious debt-money system is the prime cause of destructive economic growth, inflation, wars over markets and resources, the widening gap between the rich and poor, and the recent collapse of the economies of Mexico, Russia, Japan, Latin America, the ‘Asian Tigers’ — as also of the Third World debt crisis. It threatens the imminent collapse of the World economy.
It is a topic which since the last World War has been carefully kept out of public discussion. At the time of the nationalisation of the Bank of England in 1946, about half of our money supply was still in the form of notes and coins, spent into circulation by our government. We could then afford the post-war rebuilding of the country, free National Health including prescriptions, dentistry and glasses, expanding free education through university, more generous pensions — and levels of debt were tiny.
Now, with only 3% of our money spent into circulation, and 97% created by banks and lent into circulation, with interest charged on the loans, despite the huge increases in mechanisation and automation which should have led to greater leisure, we are so overburdened with debt that the world is fast falling apart.
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