This is the subject of the talk was as follows. If the Bank of Ideas can find new premises the talk will still take place
BANK OF IDEAS ADDRESS
The Problems with Banking – The New Democratic Republican Party’s Radical Solution
Peter Kellow, Leader Democratic Republican Party
The establishment of a Republican Constitution, replacing the Monarch as Head of State with a Democratically Elected Head of State, is a key principle of the newly registered Democratic Republican Party. But equally Radical Monetary Reform is built into our Constitution as a fundamental objective.
The subject of my talk will be to introduce briefly the kind of Republic we advocate and then to explain our proposals for Monetary Reform. The key element in this is that the function of creating money will be removed from the private banks and returned to the government. I will explain how the constitutional arrangements of the Republic will make this practical and economically beneficial.
Also we believe that our democracy is fatally undermined by the close relationship between the government and the banks and multinationals. Politicians become beholden to the power of money and often cease to represent the electorate to whom they owe their position. I will also explain how we propose to create a proper Separation between the Democratic Process and Big Finance to address this problem.
THE NATION’S BALANCE SHEET SENT TO HELL BY BROWN AND NOW OSBORNE
This scheme explained in this MoneyWeek post whereby the Royal Mail pays the government £28 billion to take its creaking pension scheme off its hands makes you sit up and think that Gordon Brown must still be in office
Brown never stopped thinking up ways of making the government finances look a bit better year by year without any regard to the long term financial health of the nation - the 1997 pension fund raid, selling off the nation’s gold for a song, not to mention Private Finance Initiatives.
The present chancellor, George Osborne,, did not sit opposite the old fraud in the Commons when New Labour was in office without learning a thing or two
The Royal Mail deal is a shameless policy of defrauding future generations to try to prop up the coalition government’s instant popularity. The government is receiving £28 billion to improve THIS YEAR'S deficit figures. You might think this should be registered as a capital payment and so added to the government’s assets and used to pay the pensions.
But, no, this is not the case for the Royal Mail pensions it will have to pay out are UNFUNDED. That is, not a penny of the £28 billion will be used to fund the new pension obligations. Future tax payers, starting now, will have to pay out the bill from each year’s tax revenue. So something else will have to be cut – except there is one convenient “way out”.
Do the whole scheme again with another company pension scheme!
Watch this space, for once Cameron and Osborne have acquired a taste for this robbery of future generations they will be hooked. It will be future tax payers that will be burdened but they are not voting today. Many have not been born yet, but when they are they will arrive in the world with a massive debt even before the umbilical cord is cut.
Welcome, to 21st century debt slavery!
And by keeping the deficit lower, government bond prices can maintain their value, so pleasing the City folk who contributed so handsomely to the Conservative election campaign
Once again we are seeing the present democratic process betraying the people.
As the people are hoodwinked with financial trickery, British democracy is being sacrifice at the altar of Big Finance
George Osborne's grab of the Royal Mail's pensions pot is nothing short of scandalous, warns Bengt Saelensminde. Here, he explains what to do before the government comes after your pension.
REAL FACE OF LIBCON COALITION REVEALED AGAIN. WITH DODGY APPOINTMENTS. COULSON, LAWS, FOX NOW HARRISON
A4e boss Emma Harrison paid herself £8.6m last year. Nothing unusual for a top banker perhaps. But her company is funded by the government to find jobs for unemployed people. And it's being investigated for fraud
Leaked document says funding in affluent parts of Britain has been largely untouched
ELECTED MAYORS. ARE THEY A GOOD IDEA?
The Guardian swings behind the idea. Elected mayors do have the benefit of being highly conspicuous and so more answerable. Whether they will work will depend on getting the right balance of power between them and central government and the local councilors
In France, elected mayors work very well but they are not just elected as a single individual but with a whole team of people to run the city, town or village
The way the issue is being approached in Britain is the usual mishmash of differing solutions for different town and cities (villages are not being considered) and little or no thought given to how they will fit into the overall administrative structure extending from Whitehall down to wards and parishes
In any case such a unified approach would be impossible in Britain, as currently constituted, as devolution has created a hotchpotch of different arrangements and powers. And in any case all is in flux with the Scottish referendum on seccession/devo-max and the strategic authorities in England being abolished and replaced with locally targeted Enterprise Areas – not to mention the ill-considered, populist, localism agenda
To make matters worse, the decision, on whether to have mayors or not, is being made by local referendums which will yield differing results intensifying the hotchpotch
Democratic Republicanism is mindful of the following
• If local mayors are a good idea then they are good for everyone
• If parishes outside the cities with mayors do not have mayors then those living in the parishes will be under-represented
• Republican thinking always looks at the way the power of any institution relates to every other and puts in place the necessary checks and balances. Such sophistication is way outside the level of current government thinking on the question
TORIES ARE ANTI-BUSINESS,
ANTI-ENTREPRENEUR, ANTI-FREE MARKET
“…there are also aren't free markets because government won't provide the regulation to make sure all businesses comply with regulation or pay their taxes, as I've shown. So there's an unlevel playing field. That's a profoundly anti-business policy on the part of the Tories.”
Richard Murphy for Tax Research UK: Campaigners against business abuse believe in wealth creation, not corporate abuse of so-called free markets
SHOULD WE TEACH KIDS COMPUTER PROGRAMMING?
As ever, an interesting article from John Naughton at the Guardian.
Two readers’ comments:
“The value of programming to students is surely in the precision of thinking that it imposes; the logic of a solution to a problem planned out, coded, executed and debugged is a perfect way of promoting abstract thinking and constructing new knowledge. Students in my experience are also engaged by the creative aspect; making something of their own using a computer. Computer programming also helps develop arithmetical and algebraic skills.
I think that learning to use 'Office' applications' is also useful and potentially very valuable educationally and should not be thrown out, but the emphasis should be more on spreadsheets and databases where logical, precise, mathematical thinking is required. PowerPoint and Word have their place as adjuncts to learning, helping students to organise and present ideas with a clarity beyond pen and paper (which today's students are very reluctant to use!)”
“Computer science is worth learning in it's own right, whether you end up becoming a software engineer or not. I'd love to see Philosophy taught in schools on similar grounds, but of course that doesn't directly translate into jobs. It prepares you for life, it teaches you how to think and how to ask questions, but if Tescos don't want it on the tills then no-one is interested.
For me, programming is essentially applied logic and maths. All those dry formulae start meaning something when you start using them to do something pretty, or useful. What's odd is that you don't really need the Raspberry Pi to teach it at all, although if they release a suite of lessons to accompany it then that would be ace.