The following report by Alistair McConnachie appeared in the November 2005 issue of Prosperity.
The Ninth Annual Bromsgrove Conference of Money Reformers was held on Tuesday 18th to Thursday 20th October 2005 at our usual venue, Barnes Close, outside Bromsgrove, with over 40% of the 37 attendees being new faces, including Trevor and Maureen Crosbie from New Zealand.
Donald Martin welcomed the Conference on Tuesday evening and introduced Convenor James Gibb Stuart who spoke about the need to present Money Reform as Cross-Party. For example, with Labour supporters one could appeal to ideas of justice and equality. With Conservatives one could emphasise its influence on freer and fairer competition; with LibDems one can emphasise greater freedom for people and small businesses against the power of the banks; and for Greens, MR could lead to a less indebted society and reduce the need to produce and sell and therefore consume, in order to meet the interest and repayment costs of money created as debt.
This was followed by a viewing of James’ latest DVD presentation, "Getting the World Bank Out of Your Country", a 7-minute video of his speech to Carrington Street Mosque on the 31st December 2004, which was published in the January 2005 issue of Prosperity (copies £3 to address below). Malcolm Currie then gave a run down on the latest developments in "Eco-credit" in Japan — a voluntary trading scheme for energy conservation.
Wednesday began with Canon Peter Challen rounding up the year’s events in the field of Money Reform. He stated, "There are many starting points — only one core — the economy of the earth that works for everyone and protects the earth. We must respond with a psyche the size of the earth." It was necessary to, "Draw all to the common core with political will with urgency and attentive dialogue."
Brian Leslie, Editor of Sustainable Economics, the newsletter of the Green Economy Policy Working Group, spoke on Money Reform in the Green Party. He pointed out that MR was not a panacea, but it was a key, and that without MR, localisation of the economy was not sufficient.
Anne Belsey of the Money Reform Party www.moneyreformparty.org.uk described her campaigning activity. The aim was to remove money creation from private control. It was a single-issue platform with one policy underlying all, and a short unambiguous, unalterable constitution which avoided politicisation.
Steven Erlick, Author of Debt-free for Life. Prosperity for the Rest of Us, followed this with the presentation published on page 3 of this issue.
After lunch, Dr Frances Hutchinson, Economist at Bradford University, spoke on the successes, failures and lessons to be learned from William Aberhart’s Social Credit Party in 1935, when he was elected Premier of the Provincial Government of Alberta, with a backing of 57 out of 63 seats. However as Frances explained, "As a condition of receiving Federal financial support for the Province to meet demands for repayment of outstanding debt, Aberhart agreed to follow the recommendation of the Governor of the Bank of Canada and appoint Mr Robert Magor as financial and economic advisor to the government. It was all over, bar the shouting. Social Credit did not ‘fail’ in Alberta. It was never tried."
It was an object lesson in being able to distinguish the difference between technical advice which would deliver reform and technical advice which would render it impossible — a poignant account of a Policy lacking the Technique for Application!
This was followed by John Bunzl, Director of the Simultaneous Policy Organisation, and co-author of Monetary Reform: Making it Happen, who explained the relevance of SIMPOL to MR.
Dr Emma Dawnay, Senior Researcher at the New Economics Foundation, then introduced the work of NEF and highlighted points of connection with the MR movement.
The late afternoon was divided into two Workshops: WORKSHOP 1 was related to Political Action. Its Aim was to record the lessons learned from the previous speakers, to identify obstacles to our political action, to propose solutions to overcome these obstacles and to arrive at a set of written points which would provide a general guide of useful suggestions to help take the message forward politically.
WORKSHOP 2 was about questions on Money Reform — there are still some which arise, often concerning technical details, or stumbling blocks to comprehension. The Aim was to arrive at a set of written points which will provide a general list of frequently asked questions, answers, and suggestions — and which will identify areas where further research is needed — to help us take the message forward educationally.
Quite a considerable amount of information came out of these sessions, which will require to be detailed more fully in a subsequent issue of Prosperity.
After the evening meal, we heard from Arthur Edwards, joint editor of Talking Economics, on the Associative Perspective in economic life. The "associative" view stems from Rudolf Steiner’s work on the subject and "is based on the idea that economic life is the shared responsibility of every human being. The magazine, Talking Economics is about making this responsibility conscious and finding ways to give it effect."
This was followed by Chris Cook, an Enterprise Architect and founder of Partnerships Consulting LLP, who detailed the new model of finance called Asset-based Finance and Mutual Credit. He explained that Asset-based finance was "an investment in an asset-owning legal entity, which is fundamentally different from the familiar ‘deficit based’ finance, meaning credit or ‘time to pay’ which arises in the context of a transaction between buyer and seller with delayed payment; or a loan created by a ‘credit institution’ such as a bank or building society."
Thursday morning began with Money Reform activist Patricia Knox on the benefits which she had obtained by attending the Landmark Forum.
This was followed by a report from the Bromsgrove Conference organiser Alistair McConnachie on the AMI Conference in Chicago. See Prosperity, Oct 2005.
An Open Forum for feedback, chaired by Donald Martin, concluded the event.
THE TENTH ANNUAL BROMSGROVE CONFERENCE 2006 Next year, Bromsgrove has been moved, for the first time ever, to a weekend: Friday 3rd — Sunday 5th November.
It is hoped that this will enable even more new faces to attend. Please put that date in your diary today!