29th September 2016




With the UK political landscape becoming clearer after a tumultuous summer we met to exchange views on the way forward for some of the economic policies and ideas members have discussed over time. As usual, before the discussion each person spoke briefly about work with which they had been involved.


Andrew Lydon has been in demand by the media who have become used to calling on him in his capacity of governor of the Heart of England Foundation Trust. Though he no longer has this position they are keen to have his views on the proposed merger of the QE with HEFT (Good Hope Hospital, Solihull Hospital and Heartlands Hospital). One report quoting his views is here: http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/health/birmingham-hospital-merger-lead-downgraded-11845440


Alan Clawley is organising a SMALL HEATH HOUSING CO-OP DAY, at the Emerald Club, 214 Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham B9 5DH on 14 October 2016 (see his earlier essay: CO-OPS IN SMALL HEATH). His forthcoming book, A History of the Small Heath Housing Co-operatives, may be ordered in advance.


John Nightingale raised the subject of unsustainable debt in Ghana and Mozambique. In September Tim Jones, Jubilee Debt Campaign researcher, spoke about the drop in commodity prices causing these two countries to sink back into poverty and debt. He also announced that at a meeting in the BMI, 20 October 2016, 7-9pm, Joanna Gray, Professor of Financial Law and Regulation at the University of Birmingham, is to speak about the laws which govern the payment of tax, how it is possible for people, including lawyers, to get round them and what should be done to stop it. See http://birmingham.jubileedebt.org.uk/


Margaret Okole had attended the BMI meeting: Nukes of Hazard, about the dangers of transporting nuclear materials by road, on unlabelled vehicles and no longer notifying the police, fire and ambulance services. For more information about the convoys, including a video, see www.nukewatch.org.uk. WMCND had long kept watch on the rail transport of nuclear materials in the region – http://wmcnd.org.uk/campaign/nuclear-weapons-in-the-west-midlands. She also brought a leaflet with details of a November meeting commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Lucas Plan, which proposed a transition from military aerospace work to socially useful technologies.


Barbara Panvel expressed support for the developing Progressive Alliance for electoral reform and brought a note contributing to the discussion about new economic policies.


Christine Parkinson spoke about some problems in publishing her book “Three Generations Left?” outlining how so-called progress has combined with other factors, such as free trade, a market economy, population increase and the development of a super-rich owning most of the wealth of the planet, to bring about a situation in which our planet is at risk from destruction due to global warming and climate change.


David Gausson made many thoughtful contributions to the discussion.


Woody stimulated a great deal of discussion about his view of ‘managed politics’ and linked this with lowered voting rates and a people’s revolt in several European countries consistent with the latest news from Iceland. In UK people voting for Brexit often expressed the desire to ‘take back control. He forecasts disintegration of the Conservative Party.





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