The Words of the Challen Family
Robin Marsh and Moeen Yaseen
Global Vision 2000 and the Universal Peace Federation jointly organized, on July 13th, an emergency seminar in a parliamentary Committee room to examine the underlying causes of the financial and economic crisis and the need for a fundamental paradigm shift to restore stability, prosperity, justice and peace.
The seminar shed light on the terrifying nature of the death spiral of the global debt based financial and economic system and the ruinous path towards servitude and serfdom. There were parliamentary, interfaith, monetary and fiscal reform perspectives shared and brought to bear on terms of alternative radical holistic solutions offering suffering humanity hope and salvation. This event took place when Parliament is at it’s lowest ebb and it’s image has been tarnished.
The event affirmed grassroots coalitions facing the urgent need for civic society to champion the values of public service and the common good and claim Westminster as the people’s shared political space.
Speakers gave clear evidence of the ‘grand canyon’ between officials who imagine green shoots of recovery and the common experiences in our communities.
The financial crisis has revealed an economic crisis now manifesting as a full blown political crisis. Participants agreed that the future is viewed with fear rather than hope and the hatred of the stranger stalks the land. We are now seeing the rise of political extremism which threatens the peace and unity of the country. We deplored the way mainstream media and political elite are taking remedial action but failing abjectly to address the underlying forces. There is a need to review and redesign a fairer, just and sustainable global economic system that empowers the world’s poorest billion to emerge from desperate poverty and facilitate global peace; helping both wealthy and poor to lead full and healthy lives.
In offering different proposals for change this seminar moved us all in the direction of a socially and ethically based mind-set, a new paradigm and the nature of the system that could implement it.
The seminar addressed the following issues:
Are we witnessing an ‘L shaped’ Great Depression rather than a ‘V shaped recession’? Do we need regulation, reform or revolution? How can monetary, fiscal and economic justice advocates connect with the people and political system? How can people power and national sovereignty be secured against the global financial oligarchy? How can the UK deliver on it’s commitments on MDG? What does the City of London need to do to be the leader in global finance? Is Islamic finance a Trojan horse or Panacea? What type of paradigm shift is required?
How do we overcome the difficult first task, that of receiving a hearing from public leaders in order to enter an inclusive dialogue. There is a need for a radical shift in awareness, through a clear, short message, that will give people confidence to say, “No. This is wrong, we will no longer accept it. That was the key point of the day; short, crisp pamphlets. Not heavy books.”
Speakers in order:-
Co-convener Robin Marsh Secretary General, Universal Peace Federation UK -- welcomed us with a plea to bear in mind the intensity and ubiquity of suffering around the globe.
Co-convener Moeen Yaseen Managing Director Global Vision 2000 -- emphasized the challenge before us as outlined with such clarity in the press release summarized above.
Canon Peter Challen: Chairman, Christian Council for Monetary Justice, -- singled out key words EXPLOITATION and EXPONENTIAL GROWTH as lying behind our now evident mistakes; reminding us that they fed the process by which we had made commodities of LAND, PEOPLE AND MONEY, embedding the ill effects of doing so in centuries of legal protection for vested interests. All traditions of good faith cried out against this grave distortion of natural law. Speakers to follow will clarify means by which we must de-commoditise these three fundamental subjects
Lord King, as host for the seminar, reminded us of the detail of our distorted economies, nationally and globally, and pressed us to attend to the proposals to be offered to meet the challenge we face.
Lord Ahmed wished the seminar well and underlined the urgency of our getting the message of monetary and fiscal reform across to Parliamentarians.
Kelvin Hopkins MP, spelled out the almost total loss of a vision of inclusive justice and the cost of not restoring a moral base to political economy.
Anne Belsey: Monetary Reform Party, took us to the grass roots task of communication, illustrating, from her own diligence in the work of the Money Reform Party, the fundamental issue of talking in our communities, with a clear, succinct message, of the need and the process for money reform, as a basic contribution to generating the critical mass we must build to seek effective change.
Daud Pidcock: Global Vision 2000 -- brandishing ‘The Crash of 2008’ a revisiting today of a study of ‘people versus the banks’ by Swann, he spoke as a scholar long probing the history of the abuse of money [‘lethal tender’!] as a driver of the disintegration of society, presented evidence we cannot ignore of the need and difficulty of restoring state transparent responsibility for the money supply. ‘We’ve endured iron, stone and the lash, but the hardest to endure is debt’ We must restore the effect of the Jubilee practiced for 2 1/2 thousand years 2500 BC in Babylonia; explode the myth of the Bank of England being a nationalized bank; expand the M0 supply for community ends.
David Triggs, Coalition for Economic Justice and Executive chair, Henry George Foundation, informed us eloquently and passionately of the need for genuine capture and distribution of the accumulated value of land springing from our co-operative activities over time. He stressed the need to rediscover the natural law that governs the prospects of all life on earth as the basis for our paradigm shift of ordinate significance and to translate this into the economic means of collecting the community’s value for the community, combating the erosion of justice by grossly distorted property rights. Fight against nature and it will punish you. Work in harmony and it will reward. Water runs down hill!. Such a fact cannot be fought or legislated against; it just is. Economics, the production and distribution of wealth for all is intimately part of nature and thrives only by its rules.
Dr. Adrian Wrigley, Systemic Fiscal Reform Group, emphasized the systemic nature of economic disorder and the systemic response we need to make. He contrasted the countries where revenue was based in the collection and fair distribution of community value with those that taxed people’s productiveness, the former producing more just and stable societies. The old paradigm of ‘absolute resource ownership’ must give way to the new mindset that could be triggered by a’ debt for tax’ swap. Land must be restored to the factors of economic productiveness and the great monopolies [land, water, intellectual property etc.] ended. He explored the history of economic society through the ages and found we had known the solution for millennia. Tax and regulation are smokescreens. What matters is the funding source, that of the largest monopolies, land and money. Avoid this melancholy proof and expect inevitable meltdown. Scholars back to Confucius are unanimous on free access to nature’s gifts unless that access causes harm or exclusion through exploitation or exponential extraction, in which case the victim must be compensated. Civilization flourishes under these conditions. The paradigm under which presently we suffer took over at the beginning of the 20th century when nature was cut out of the analysis. We don’t need a new paradigm, we need to re-instate the old one. Leaders need to read history and start thinking deeply and stop rebutting the well informed public. Free market capitalism is the best approach but of the Eastern not Western variety!
Dr. Nafeez Ahmed: Director, Institute for Policy Research and Development, Provided further scholarly evidence of the fundamental change of perception required if we are to replace exploitative structures with those creating inclusive justice. New structures founded on only productiveness, not speculation; on the ending of wage slavery, and the interest free funding sustainable growth must be designed.
Ian Parker-Joseph: Leader, Libertarian Party, (click for full text) explored the creative tension to be found between a global consciousness of our interdependence and the nurture in freedom of the rich diversity of local communities. He recommended the interplay of 1] £Sterling -- debt free money for societal infrastructure-2] £Sovereign as 100% backed trading currency, and 3] Free banking in competition.
Report by Reverend Canon Peter Challen