Saturday 24th September 2016, 11.30am-3.30pm, at Magdalene Hall, St Mary’s Church, Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BN – nearest tube Euston.
1. Apologies and Introductions, appointment of chair for this meeting.
2. To receive preparatory papers, including notes of last year’s Annual Appraisal, the retiring chairman’s submission for the 2016 annual appraisal. These papers are available on http://www.ccmj.org/members/pages.php?id=8.
3. To receive a FINANCIAL REPORT from Acting Treasurer Peter Challen: “The CCMJ account closed 3/8/2016. I hold £349.46 in readiness for any new account opened. This includes Bob Alder’s donation. The only other donations in 2016 were from Wayne Sturgeon, Eriwen Harbottle, Colin Whitmill and an earlier one from Bob Ardler. The account had managed only a few hundred a year since the last high activity in sponsoring the 12 Quilligan meetings and that burst broke even”.
4. To receive and vote on nominations for the Committee of CCMJ and/or for specific officer posts: Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary.
5. Future activities for CCMJ: collaborative discussion in-the-round on with reference to its constitution – see latest version: http://www.ccmj.org/constitution.htm – and whether effecting change in the running of the organisation would require changes to the constitution:
Items submitted by Gian Andreone
5.1. Code of Conduct
5.2. Register of Interests
5.3. Appraisal of links to other organisations
5.4. Non politically aligned
The first four items deal with the issue of co-option (by errors of omission/commission) into agendas which are deterimental to a CCMJ that seeks to genuinely reform the monetary system.
5.5. Change of Name and/or Scope: Consideration should be given to a name change, which is particularly relevant if the scope of work is widened into system reform – to be presented by Simon.
5.6. Data Protection: Policy in line with the Data Protection Act 1998. The CCMJ members area includes personal data submitted by each member (which must remain optional). There needs to be a DPP as a consequence of this.
5.7. Paper submitted by Rev Canon Peter Challen: OVERVIEW of Michael Hudson’s book On_Biblical_Traditions_of_Old_and_New_Testments – see full text:
Minutes of the Christian Council for Monetary Justice Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 24th Sept 2016 from 11.30am to 3.30pm at Magdalen Centre, Parish of St Mary, Eversholt St, NW1 1BN
Present: Simon (chair), Asha, Ellena, Janos, John, Lilias, Schlacke, Kola, Efan, Etna, Mary (notes). Apologies: Peter Challen, Gian Andreone, Mike Black. We began with The Lord’s Prayer, led by John followed by a prayer led by Schlacka.
2. INTRODUCTORY DISCUSSION
2.1. Mary introduced the printed papers, being the updated Agenda, a copy of CCMJ’s constitution as agreed in 2007, preparatory and follow-up papers from the 2015 Annual Appraisal, and Peter Challen’s introductory paper for the Annual Appraisal due to be held on 4th May, which had been cancelled. She explained that the documents had been put in a password-protected “Members’ Area” of the website, due to their sensitive nature.
2.2. John said that CCMJ had held its last formal AGM in Autumn 2011, since when it has been using the format of an “Annual Appraisal”. Therefore no AGMs have been held to appoint officers, nor has there been a financial report, nor have subscriptions been collected. Meanwhile, Peter Challen has continued to host weekly outreach meetings called the London Global Open Table (LGOT), originally at the Global Cafe, now at the School of Economic Science, which are wide-ranging in their nature, and CCMJ itself has been in the background of things. This AGM has been publicised to all members and associates of CCMJ, and his hope was that we can find people to take the posts of Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.
2.3. Mary explained that the CCMJ mailing list we were using currently stands at 86, slightly expanded from the list that Peter Challen had inadvertently open-copied in April 2016. Peter uses the term “Associates” to include those on the list who are not subscribed members, and is only one of three mailing lists that he uses. Although Mary had set up mailman lists for the three areas of activity, CCMJ, LGOT and a new more political area, originally called the 2015Constitutionalists, now ICUK, Peter had declined to use them in favour of blind-copying.
2.4. In regard to the website, the Global Table had been hosted under the CCMJ domain, but from 1st July 2015 the website posting entitled “Matters in the Air,” which forms the basis of Peter’s weekly mail-outs, had consistently identified his three areas of concern as CCMJ, LGOT and ICUK. Due to the pressure of activity in the latter area, Mary had set up a separate website www.constitutionalists.uk, and following comments by members at the 2015 Annual Appraisal, she had copied over contents of the www.CCMJ.org website into a separate website www.GlobalTable.org.uk for “Matters in the Air”, in order to more accurately reflect the huge range of work being covered by Peter.
2.5. Simon explained Peter’s views on organisations and institutional drag, that he sees the role of CCMJ as serving a “parish” of people involved in monetary reform, and that having an organisation around that causes problems, so he had coined the term “chaplaincy model”, and continues to send out his mailing, called Matters in the Air to all CCMJ and Global Table contacts. Simon felt that from what he understands of Peter’s views, keeping the name Christian Council for Monetary Justice for future activities run by a separate group would be problematic.
2.6. John referred to the constitution of CCMJ, which does not say it is part of the Church of England, exclusively: many members of CCMJ were and are from different Christian denominations. Its list also includes several lifetime members. He felt it was our duty to keep CCMJ going as long as there is no wish from the members to dissolve it, it’s urgent that a Christian voice is heard, and it’s time to get this activity back on the road.
2.7. Mary pointed out that Peter Challen has resigned in writing from his role as Chair of CCMJ, made it clear in advance that he would not attend this meeting. He was not using the name CCMJ on his website (now Global Table) nor his mailing, and although he recently missed one week, he had resumed mailing out Matters in the Air from his own gmail address, and had said he would continue to do this as long as he was able. He was thus not claiming ownership of the name CCMJ, and the fact that he had publicised this AGM in his latest edition of Matters in the Air was, in effect, an endorsement of the fact that this meeting is being held. Upon her request he had also submitted a financial report.
3. FINANCIAL REPORT
3.1. This includes Bob Alder’s donation. The only other donations in 2016 were from Wayne Sturgeon, Eriwen Harbottle, Colin Whitmill and an earlier one from Bob Ardler. The account had managed only a few hundred a year since the last high activity in sponsoring the 12 Quilligan meetings and that burst broke even”.
3.2. After some discussion, it was agreed that although Peter may have had acted unconstitutionally, he had co-operated in reporting his action. John proposed that we ask the new executive to retrieve the £349.46, set up a new bank account for any subsequent organisation, pay the webmaster’s unreimbursed expenses, consider at least partially reimbursing John’s expenses for hiring the hall for this meeting. However, this proposal could not be discussed prior to elections. Simon also had a proposal for a name change and therefore nominations for officer posts should be deferred.
3.3 The dispersal of the £349.46 was reserved for later in the meeting (see below).
4. PROPOSAL FOR NAME CHANGE
4.1. Schlacke suggested a name change for a new off-shoot group of CCMJ = CCMJ(b). Mary responded that it was not feasible to run a website with that name. For practical reasons she requested that any name change preserve the acronym CCMJ.
4.2. Lilias suggested that the fact that Peter sent out a notice of CCMJ and has contributed a financial report, indicates that he recognises that CCMJ still exists, because it has not been officially enclosed at an AGM, and Asha endorsed this. However, Simon said that several of the officers who resigned acknowledged that Peter was running CCMJ as a chaplaincy rather than an organisation, which had therefore in effect already folded.
4.3. Simon felt that although legally speaking we have a choice of insisting that we reconstitute the organisation under the name Christian Council for Monetary Justice, if we follow this path it will distress Peter. He therefore suggested that we create an organisation identifiably different, and suggested the name Co-faith Council for Monetary Justice, which preserves the acronym. He added that he had received a text from Peter indicating that he would favour a new name.
4.4. Janos wanted to support the idea of making a small concession in terms of the name change, but also felt that having officers is expensive in terms of time, and would not himself feel able to be involved as an officer in any new organisation.
4.5. Mary said she understood Peter’s idea of running CCMJ as a chaplaincy because this is the only way that he could have continued to manage it, given his massive workload and the lack of input of the other officers. Nobody else would be able to match this level of input, but anyone taking on a role should expect to share some of the workload. Gian had offered to take on the post of Treasurer, and she anticipated that once his current project was completed he would make himself available for the tasks involved, so if her involvement continued, we were only looking for two more officers.
4.6. Ellena echoed this view and did not want to upset Peter, she had been happy that there was a group called Christian Council of Monetary Justice, had appreciated the Wednesday meetings, and wanted to support continuation of the project, but her own energy was draining so she did not feel able to take up a post of responsibility. However she also liked the name “Co-faith” as it widened the possibilities of the project.
4.7. John suggested that “Matters in the Air – a Christian and Interfaith Conversation on Monetary Justice” could continue to be Peter’s activity from a Care Home (rather than attending meetings), with the compromise is that in 12 months’ time, we rename this activity as the Christian Council for Monetary and Economic Justice. CCMEJ – there’s a booklet that could be revamped, and proposed that we ask Peter if he would consider adding the above sub-text to his blog. In the meantime CCMJ continues with its constitution, and purpose as historically defined, which is tight enough to be a Christian activity in relation to money and banking, and also wide enough, and in the meantime we reinvigorate the constitutional practices.
4.8. Mary rejoined that Peter was already carrying on producing his blog as “Matters in the Air”, it was currently hosted on the Global Table rather than the CCMJ website, and that Peter was unlikely to accept any editorial suggestions. Meanwhile another group of volunteers was hosting the meeting at SES.
4.9. Lilias said the idea of calling it “Christian” was to be a watchdog on Christian organisations, and to be in a position to talk to the Church of England, e.g. Ann Pettifor had held a meeting in which John Rowan had participated in which he spoke about the responsibility of the church in these matters. She feels that CCMJ still has a duty of care. CCMJ was always a “Robin Hood” type of organisation, and calling it Christian was important. Another acronym would be the Multi-faith Council for Monetary Justice, which would talk to other organisations, it would be an off-shoot of CCMJ, but Mary responded that this acronym was unfeasible.
4.10. John recounted the history that he had found CCMJ in 1995, when he wrote a letter to the Quakers, and Mike Coldam referred him to Peter Challen in CCMJ. He joined in with the Wednesday meetings at the Global Cafe in Golden Square. A group from there established the Campaign for Interest-free Money, which was a secular organisation. John’s proposal is that in the coming year, if CCMJ continues for a coming year, we can discover if there is an inter-faith activity compatible with what we are talking about, as a CCMJ outreach activity in co-operation with other faiths. He endorsed Lilias’s view, but we might search for existing interfaith activities which are campaign for monetary justice and re-engage with them rather than and not re-inventing the wheel. We can even put an advert in The Friend, and try and pick up new members that way.
4.11. Kola said we should be aware that Peter is moving out of London and is distracted by an overriding concern for his wife.
4.12. Schlacke recalled the James Quilligan meetings, which were held in House of Commons and Portcullis House, and that James was a personal friend of Peter’s wife, Ruth. James Quilligan is the heart of the American Enterprise Institute, AEI, which models economic activities according to news that they get from any group globally and that they have immense computer facilities. Because one aspect of the CCMJ’s work has been sovereignty of money creation, and historically CCMJ has also modelled interest-free, so this was a very important connection, mentioned in Peter’s financial report. Mary added that this exploration of “The Commons”, was Peter’s last major project before becoming involved with the Constitutionalists.
5. FUTURE OF CCMJ
5.1. After a late lunch-break, Simon stated that time was pressing and that we could not make progress towards any election or future planning until we resolved the matter of an organisational change for CCMJ. It had been agreed that whilst CCMJ does legally still exist, the former chair disputes this, so it would be putting us in conflict with him if we appoint officers. Simon is thus proposing that the CCMJ remains as an entity, which is essentially a network, and out of it comes a new group, called Co-Faith Council for Monetary Justice, an initiative of CCMJ.
5.2. Mary reiterated that Peter had resigned as chair, and was already involved in his own off-shoot activities, is using a separate website for Global Table and Matters in the Air, so was no longer using the name CCMJ, and had in effect “left the building”.
5.3. John stated that if there is no subscription vehicle, the CCMJ activity cannot continue. He suggested that the refreshed organisation could adopt the name Co-faith Council for Monetary Justice, as there is no known organisation doing this work. It does need an executive to run it, and the prime new activity in the next 12 months the main activity would be to “put some legs” on the Co-faith Council for Monetary Justice. As a third proposal, therefore, he suggested that we fold CCMJ as a formal organisation.
5.4 Mary informed the meeting that both www.ccmj.org and www.ccmj.org.uk were available.
5.5 Simon, as chair, pointed out that we have a diminishing number of members in the room, and that we must proceed to a decision. The following proposals were agreed by consensus: • that we dissolve CCMJ as a subscription organisation, ratifying what Peter has in effect already done, and • begin a new project called Co-faith Council for Monetary Justice.
5.6. John added the following, also agreed by consensus: • that Peter should no longer refer to himself as representing CCMJ • that Peter be asked to reimburse John the £100 for the room hire cost for this meeting, and to contribute the remaining £249.46 towards Mary’s domain and hosting costs plus travel expenses of £15 for Simon’s fares from Chichester – but these fare costs were then reimbursed by a donation from Janos • Those who had recently made donations would be told how their subscriptions have been dispersed • that Mary would be asked to archive the existing CCMJ material online, and provide hosting for the new Co-faith Council for Monetary Justice.
5.7. Simon was asked to contact Peter regarding the dispersal of the £349.46.
6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
6.1. Time had run out to consider Gian’s items re Code of Conduct, Register of Interests, Appraisal of links to other organisations, Non political alignment, and Data Protection Policy, and these could be considered by the future Co-fath CMJ as it developed its future organisational structures.
SM/mf as at 2/10/2016