29 Nov 2014

Money Creation and Society - the invisible debate

I've been a bit quiet for a week or two. The reason is that I'm the director of the Brain and Cognition Research Center in Toulouse (or CerCo), and we just had our 5 year international review this week. That effectively kept me busy! (By the way, it went very well - I think).

But in the meantime, things really have been moving. Thanks in part to the efforts of people like Positive Money in the UK, there was a backbench debate on Money Creation and Society in the House of Commons on the 20th of November. It's probably the first time that anyone has discussed the true nature of our monetary system in Parliament since the 1844 Bank Charter Act.
The debate started at 11.23am, and went on for over 2 hours. OK, it didn't exactly draw huge crowds. I can see less than 20 people in the picture above, and coverage in the press was almost totally absent.

There were a couple of short articles in the Radio Times and  Daily Telegraph before the debate. A letter was published in the Yorkshire Post and the debate was mentioned on a few blogs such as the OpenDemocracy website.

Since the debate took place, there really has been virtually nothing at all. A search on Google News for everything since the 20th November revealed just one short piece in a thing called "CityAM" on the 21st. Nothing at all in the Guardian. There was just a one line item on BBC News. There was however a good report in Deutsch Welle called "Debate over monetary system grows" that came out yesterday. And a few days ago, the Guardian had a piece by Simon Jenkins called "We should cash-bomb the people - not the banks" - although he didn't mention the debate in Parliament the week before. So maybe things may move a bit.

So, how do we explain the total lack of interest in the debate? Am I completely deluded in thinking that the way money is created out of thin air by commercial banks who then charge interest for lending their "money" merits a little bit of discussion?

Would it be totally ridiculous to make that suggestion that the virtually total lack of any coverage about this historic debate might say more about the ability of the banking system to control journalists and the media than the intrinsic lack of interest in the question?

But I will remain optimistic. You can now sit back and watch over 2 hours of democratic debate in the mother of parliaments. If you can't spare two hours, Positive Money have posted a 1 hour edited version. And if you really are short of time, try the 12 minute version.

I've also posted the entire transcript of the debate from Hansard in two parts - Part 1, and Part 2.

No excuse now for being ignorant.

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