Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy

A notable omission from Localise West Midlands’ extensive range of articles about, or with references to localism, is a review of a book by Simon Jenkins: Big Bang Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy.

In this book he attributes the decline in British voter interest and participation to the over-centralisation of power in Whitehall, ‘one . . . → Read More: Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy

Crickhowell’s tax plan: an example of ‘people power’ raising awareness of injustice and HMRC’s failures

Crickhowell has an independent high street with very few of the trading names which now dominate look-alike urban and suburban commercial centres. The town made news earlier this year after offering shares to residents at £50 each to buy their Grade II listed Corn Exchange pub from Punch Taverns to avoid it being used . . . → Read More: Crickhowell’s tax plan: an example of ‘people power’ raising awareness of injustice and HMRC’s failures

Quantitative easing to fund climate change programmes?

Colin Hines, co-founder of Localise West Midlands and Richard Murphy, Professor of Practice in International Political Economy, City University, London, warn that the Paris Climate talks are facing an enormous funding problem to which there is only one viable solution.

In a new report published by Finance for the Future, entitled ‘Climate QE . . . → Read More: Quantitative easing to fund climate change programmes?

Time Banks summary

Assembled because of the 15th October, Public Timebanking event in Birmingham

The world’s first time bank is said to have been established in 1973 by a Japanese woman. The benefits that older time bank members derived included formation of new friendship networks to replace those lost by retirement and the chance to use old . . . → Read More: Time Banks summary

Local development as a strategic alternative in Fife

Once again many will question the dependence on a global market economy as headlines shout, “China’s ‘Black Monday’ sends markets reeling”. For months, in a range of publications, Mohamed El-Erian, who chairs President Obama’s Global Development Council, has been forecasting the risk of a ‘perfect storm’, adding that considering ‘its destructive potential, it warrants . . . → Read More: Local development as a strategic alternative in Fife

Is a quiet political revolution getting under way?

As the old order with its class and gender hierarchies gave way, George Monbiot points out that the void filled with junk could have been occupied by a better society, built on mutual support and connectedness, without the stifling stratification of the old order.

‘The feast to which we were invited is only for . . . → Read More: Is a quiet political revolution getting under way?

Could Brummie bonds fund house building?

City councillor John Clancy, who once worked in the venture capital market, explains in a Chamberlain Files article,  [accessed via the Brummie], that  ‘Brummie bonds’ can provide much needed investment and kick-start building by local councils and housing associations across Birmingham.

Some readers will remember that the Brummie Bonds concept was incorporated in the . . . → Read More: Could Brummie bonds fund house building?

Is the term ‘localism’ used by government to promote outcomes that contradict its original meaning?

A thoughtful appraisal of localism by Ekklesia’s staff writers was brought to our attention by James Robertson’s December newsletter. To read it in full click on this link.

A new research project, Localism Watch, examines the impact of the coalition government’s ‘localism’ initiatives, which they say have helped to privatise local services, weaken local . . . → Read More: Is the term ‘localism’ used by government to promote outcomes that contradict its original meaning?

A different economic model: 2 – a constant, stable,‘steady state’ economy

George Monbiot suggests that it is time for a government commission on post-growth economics which would invite contributions from those already investigating the possibility of moving towards a steady state economy: one that seeks distribution rather than blind expansion; that does not demand infinite growth on a finite planet.

Localise West Midlands is dedicated . . . → Read More: A different economic model: 2 – a constant, stable,‘steady state’ economy

Devolution: 1854

“We hate to have laws made for us at a distance. We wish people would allow us to right ourselves, instead of continually meddling, with their imperfect legislation.

“We stand up for self-government and oppose centralization”.

‘North and South’, Elizabeth Gaskell.

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