Report from Ian Marder:
On Monday 17th October, between twenty and thirty people met in Sheffield for one of the increasingly regular Positive Money regional conferences. The crowd was diverse, with both older and younger faces, and it included those who had hardly come across the campaign before, or been involved in anything of this nature.
To me, what was most striking was the urgency with which people seemed to view these reforms. I am in total agreement with this premise – substantive change has been delayed and propagandised against for far too long, and credit events have come and gone without any real attempt to ensure that the regulatory framework is fit for purpose in the long-term. With every day we wait, the pernicious nature of the financial services sector means that its collapse will be more and more painful when it does inevitably come.
After a brief introduction from our hosts, we watched Ben discuss these issues on the official Positive Money DVD. As you may know, this DVD sets out very clearly Positive Money’s position on banking reform, outlining both the issues we face and some possible solutions. Discussions included the organisation of a further Sheffield event, as well as the creation of a regional email list. Further to this, the discussion was centred around gaining local and national publicity for the movement, and possible cooperation with credit unions, media and other organisations.
At the end, I tried to raise some technical issues with the legislation. Unfortunately, we had run out of time by this point, and my point ended up being rushed and poorly explained. I am thus very much looking forward to the next meeting so that I can raise further questions I had about the practicalities of targeting money supply against targeting interest rates, inter alia.
Additional information from the report from Peter Verity:
There was quite a lot of discussion about the DVD. Many people thought that it was much too long at 70 minutes, and asked if a shorter one could be prepared (say about 20 minutes)?
There was discussion on how we could get the message out.
If we had a more concise DVD, we could:
- get ourselves invited to other campaigning groups, to show the DVD. We could possibly provide speakers instead of a DVD, although there may be a lack of confidence/competence; no-one volunteered to take this up.
- send the DVD to our MPs.
- invite our friends to “Positive Money parties” – like Tupperware parties!
- get ourselves on local radio phone-in programmes
- get a petition up. An “e-petition” on the government web site, http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/, with at least 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in the House of Commons. This would have to be done centrally, to avoid duplication.
- we could also try to get 38 Degrees involved. http://38degrees.org.uk/
The group has created a contact address firstname.lastname@example.org that Dave and Peter will monitor. This is so that you can contact us. We also have an email group that will be used for keeping people informed about meetings and events. If anyone wants to join the group just send an email to email@example.com and we will add you to the group. You can also go to the group’s web site, http://groups.google.com/group/positivemoneysheffield, where you can create a Google account and join the group but this is not necessary if you just want to receive the email news.
The group agreed to meet again in 5 weeks, on Nov 21st. Several people offered to have a pre-meetup to agree the format and content of the next meeting.