1:   Editorial: The Green Party has begun a revision of the entire ‘Economy’ section of its Manifesto for a Sustainable Society – the MfSS, its policy ‘bible’.

It is unfortunate that this follows its rejection this Spring of the motion on monetary reform, since this is key to so much of concern on this topic. However, it is intended to address the issues of debt and interest.

I thought it appropriate, therefore, to reprint, on pages 63 to 66, the lead article from the first ever issue, in the Summer of 1988, of the Canadian monthly magazine, C.O.M.E.R. COMMENTS, the forerunner of Economic Reform, by its then-editor, the late John Hotson.

This analyses in detail the dire effects of usury on the Canadian economy over the years 1950 to 1987. (Note that its ‘Figure 1’ is plotted on a logarithmic vertical scale; the true multipliers of the issues plotted over that time are noted down its right edge.)

The effects for other countries were/are, of course, similar if not identical, and in general the trend has continued, since the basic causes have not changed.

Its eight points against ‘high interest rates’ are by implication for zero interest rates, as mentioned at one point but not there elaborated; and its analysis remains in the context of the debt-money system, though it does make the point that "No wealthy country with excessive unemployment should ever borrow any money from foreigners. It should increase its own domestic money supply at low interest rates (or zero interest,…." A reformed, debt-free money system would, of course, eliminate interest charges on the supply of money altogether, and reduce debt levels almost to zero, and so the subject of usury would be of far less importance.

Those concerned about the causes of ‘economic/business cycles’ should find the further extract from this same issue, concerning ‘Hixson’s Helix’, on the back page interesting.

Convener’s Bit: The Green Party’s Green Economics Policy making process is being advanced by two events where we will be developing it and building on the excellent draft that Brian Heatley has done.

The first is July 1st 2006 which will be a one day working day run by the Green Economics Policy Working Group to develop policy in Reading, at the International Solidarity Centre. Further info: contact Miriam, as below.

The second will be on December 9th and 10th in Somerset, which will be a Green Party Economics Policy Working Group weekend mainly to develop the policy and to tidy up the drafts.

Addtionally, during the year there will a conference in London on Saturday 7th October at Caxton House Archway, called "Economics for Campaigning", run by the Green Economics Institute, which will be a lively conference with lots of speakers and will celebrate 10 years of green economics – the first one was held at Caxton House in 2005 – and there will be a party.

There will also be a conference run by the Institute on Green Economics Philsophy, in Lancaster on November 18th, which is also going to be lively with lots of interesting speakers already booked in.

The Green Economics Policy Working Group will also be at the Green Party’s Hove Conference in September, where we have already requested a fringe – the themes for that conference include amongst others social enterprise and education.

The Green Economics Journal, "International Journal of Green Economics" has been very well received – the latest compliment is from James Robertson and can be found on his website; we have lots of good wishes with it. If you would like a copy please email me. There are some free copies of the first issue provided by the publisher.

If you have any queries or suggestions please email me at [email protected]

Many thanks,

Miriam Kennet

Convenor, GreenEconomics mailing list

[email protected]