Record of Meetings held in the Palace of Westminster



Wednesday, February 25th 2004 - 6pm until 9pm
- Room G - Blackrod's Entrance

The text for the evening is:

WINNING the SUPPORT of MPs - for the BENEFITS of the ELECTORATE with Peter Challen, James Gibb Stuart and Alistair McConnachie

Voters and Parliamentarians alike are not very familiar with the mechanisms of creating money and the power of controlling the money supply. The Government's share of the supply (cash and coin) has fallen from 20% to 3% since 1964. 97% of the money circulating is interest-bearing, created by banks as credit. No wonder that 5 of the top 10 companies on the FTSE 100 are banks. For what does it cost them to create the 'product' that they 'sell' ?

The Government's budget equals 40% of all the money in circulation. This budget includes interest on the National Debt, every year the interest is comparable to the annual cost of education, health or the military. While personal and corporate indebtedness is increasing and student fees are to finance higher education, it seems paramount to make voters and Maps more aware of the underlying causes.

This evening is the opportunity to spread the word via the network of groups and individuals who have been contributing to Forum meetings since their beginnings in 1998. The goal is to empower concerned voters to communicate with their MAP to at least sign the EDM if not also lobby the Treasury Select Committee. As speakers we have the most effective networks in our field:

Peter Challen, Chairman of the Christian Council of Monetary Justice, has written and emerald notes of the meetings and hosted weekly meetings of the 'Global Table' to deepen discussions and learning. Out of these impulses he has gathered a remarkable map of related issues and a data base of individuals and organisations.

James Gibb Stuart
published The Money Bomb in 1983, produced three other books and a video on monetary reform and convened the annual Bromsgrove Conference since 1997. says more about Government Debt as one of the causes of many of our financial dilemmas.

Alistair McConnachie publishes the monthly newsletter Prosperity UK and also organises the annual Bromsgrove conference which has focussed on monetary reform since 1997. Based in Scotland, his contacts are nationwide and international and his newsletter has been an excellent vehicle for outreach to many individuals and organisations who would otherwise never take the issues on board.

see also Paper by Lord Sudeley


Report of the Meeting

The Forum on February 25th focused on EDM 323 and the challenge to everyone receiving this report to act in ways appropriate to whatever windows of opportunity they could find to bring it to the notice of MPs, MEPs, journalists etc.
Here is the text of Early Day Motion 323

"that this house notes with concern the contrast between the enormous expansion of private credit and the growing debt burden this imposes on society; further notes that public credit, as measured by the proportion of publicly created money in circulation, has fallen from 20% of the money supply in 1964 to 3 % today; believes that using public credit and increasing the proportion of publicly created money should be used to cut the costs of, and to boost the quantity of, public investment and to allow the Chancellor to fulfil his golden rule without further borrowing; further believes that this can be done without any impact on inflation; and, therefore, urges the Treasury to commission an independent review of the benefits of using public credit and increasing the proportion of publicly created money".

This is how we presented the challenge: -
James Gibb Stuart opened. One of his key paragraphs read: "At this stage we have to ask ourselves why, with such a valuable source of debt-free public finance eroding to the point of extinction, the news has to leak out via such a relatively humble instrument as an Early Day Motion. Why not from H.M. Treasury? From the Governor of the Bank of England? Or from an embattled Chancellor, his budget forecasts savaged by war abroad and terrorist threats at home? Faced moreover with the prospect of either raising taxes or cancelling social programmes, why does he not choose to outface the bankers by tapping into a long-established source of public funding which has only been allowed to wither because the modern shopper spurns cash, and prefers to deal by cheque or credit card? His full paper will come to you soon as FSC2

Peter Challen gave evidence of the increase in co-operation between people who were previously working largely alone or in a group of long standing independence. He spoke of the considerable increase in activity within our expanding network, emphasising new indications of a willingness among people to co-operate with complementary thrusts and the range of specific pieces of detailed work being done, which if we note can give us courage to seek advice when we want to seize an opportunity to put the implications of EDM 323 to others. His paper indicating many of these will come as FSC3. You are invited to add your account of opportunities taken, or sought, to advance the cause.

Alistair McConnachie spoke of three tasks before us, in which the Scottish Monetary Reform Society is taking a strong lead: 1. Raising academic awareness 2. Developing a specific MR project 3. Establishing an Educational Charity. His paper will come as FSC3. Alistair's paper and that of James Gibb Stuart are also published in the 50th monthly addition of Prosperity, now on its way to subscribers.

Here are notes on the lively discussion that ensued.
Consider which comments help you in your own conversations, letters, etc

It is very difficult to get people who are benefiting from our present levels of prosperity to face the challenge/opportunity EDM 323 presents. That is why Peter used the startling recent headline "The pain we ignored in some parts of the world has turned into murderous rage". 9/11s large and small will follow if we do not play our part in accelerating change. Malaysia made their equivalent 9/11 without an act of terrorism - by defying the IMF and World Bank to utilise interest and debt free money to stabilise their economy. Look for individuals and sites where dialogue with Muslims is developing. [ "9/11 was not the moment, 9/11 was the consequence".

So thorough preparation, using the experience of others, looking for good educative material, noting suggestions on the front page of Sabine's website, realising that the little windows are as important as the big windows of opportunity, if we are to build a critical mass with which to launch genuine change - note the dialogue between James Robertson and John Bunzl in their recent book to see how national opportunities are enhanced by a movement to challenge the international constraints - all these, and more, are things we can each do to raise the tempo of our campaigning -

It was noted that The Money Programme reported 40% of household income services debt - we must get the dangers and implications of this trend over to many. We need to develop myths that people can grasp to make the breakthrough required - living systems - the co-operative advantage - stable currencies - interest is not necessary - etc. You think of and put in to us the key images that help you communicate.

Glen Segell said EDM 323 raises big questions about the role of government;
"Would you not agree that monetary reform is actually questioning the role of the state where government will not implement any reform that would necessitate its own demise. This falls under the headings: 1) Imperial Overstretch domestically (the state is spending more than it earns thereby placing itself in debt which was the demise of the Empire and is now happening internally) 2) This has resulted in a government call for PFI/PPP to finance ventures that it cannot afford to finance eg Education and Health 3) Consequently the population is questioning where their taxes go and why they should pay them eg historically the Thatcher Poll Tax, and today pensioners on council tax. Further it has been shown that 142000 people have refused to pay the London Congestion charge. 4) Consequently it is possible to open a window of opportunity simply by "not doing" e.g. do not pay taxes, do not venture into PFI/PPP, do not save in pounds and hence monetary reform will result through natural forces to find sustainable solutions that work and are acceptable without placing burdens on citizens. I pointed out the example of South American debt in the 1970s where their debt was so great they controlled their creditors. Maybe if we 1) did not buy houses but only rented i.e. no collateral 2) did not save but rather spent everything and more by credit cards then 3) the world population would have banks at their knees negotiating for repayment on our terms. I state "we will repay our credit card debts, but without interest". Similarly governments would not be able to borrow on the national savings hence monetary reform and new roles for the state.

The ILO's Commission on Globalisation published the day before we met - articles and letters in the Press provide a topical Window of Opportunity. Every £1 of Govt spend allows £8 to be created as interest bearing debt [J Robertson]. If all are so heavily in debt that £1 would not enable govt. to borrow. Take EDM 323 seriously to avert this approaching impasse.
£22bn pa or 5% of Govt spend is on interest payments - use this figure. Focus on 323 and look at the introduction through topical issues.

Note that there are examples of skilled people relating to specific contemporary issues such as - Housing accessibility - sustainability - Student debt etc. Show how EDM 323 applies to such matters. Familiarise yourself with work on co-ownership housing instead of paying interest on a mortgage, specifically Islamicly sound, and an alternative investment vehicle that could be presented to people instead of interest-bearing accounts or risky ones like the stock exchange. Some say let bad government run and it will collapse, but the artificial good in it keeps it alive much longer than needs be and aggravates the negative effects. Thus the urgency for diligent education now, wherever we can start it.

The Shadow Chancellor Oliver Letwin MP proposes a long-term analysis into saving (FOR the future) and borrowing (FROM the future) - there is an issue here the Conservatives are raising - follow that up - and note what Chris Cook and various groups (in Scotland in particular) are doing to tackle this matter.
If Governmentt can produce a Pound note and spend it why not also a Treasury note? Trade Union investment is massive [£100bn or more!] - we'll try to get powerful points made here articulated in a way we can all understand - then each of us can think what our Union contacts could achieve. Occupational, occupational pensions, Small Savers, commercial activity all affect investment - where are the windows of your opportunity in that matrix of financial commitment? Voice of the Unions

The ESF (Economic Social Forum) is likely to take place in London on 14-16th October 2004. Ken Livingstone is providing some support to the organising process - programme working group needs your input! see and

Banks are noticing Government's concern for interest restraint. Never be trapped into saying "I'm not an economist". Claim to be a concerned 'jobbing economists' who wants the professionals to be transparent and clear about the advantages and pitfalls of contemporary received wisdom. Reports of the enormous profits of the Banks provide a window. may be even a slogan - "CUT UP YOUR CREDIT CARDS".

Islamic leaders in Glasgow support monetary reform..... Some will be at Bromsgrove next year. Note also the significant work that Rodney Shakespeare is pursuing with Islamic academics. Note and act in relation to World Debt Day 16th May. Please describe your windows of opportunity so that others may learn. Make comments. Don't wait to be asked - write up the comments in your contribution. Note Sabine's web page - What is Economics?

Windows are not opportunities to attack - they are opportunities for informative dialogue - affirm people before you raise your questions and constructive criticism - do not make judgements. The very Day after our meeting Age Concern offers us a window of opportunity in its February notice to all people over 60 about levels of income and Pension Tax Credit. Relate EDM 323 to the pensions dilemma.

FINAL REFLECTION on all playing our part - We must believe that the individual survival of every human now depends strictly on his/her ability to exchange views with other humans in learning to continuously update their joint knowledge about the way the vying civilizing/ dehumanizing adventures have been evolving, largely without our full cognisance.
And a thought from the ending of 'THE MATRIX' .... Zion, New Jerusalem , hidden deep inside the earth, a multi-racial stew of humanity plotting to regain their rightful heritage ... the Earth itself. Waiting ... waiting ... for the one who has been prophesied ... the one who will turn the Matrix upon itself and destroy the machines' electronic, mass-feed propaganda tyranny. Are you the one ?

Canon Peter Challen