Monday, March 30, 2009

Put People First, and Stop the War(s)

Put People First, who organised Saturday's March in London have an excellent platform of objectives for the G20 demonstrations in London.

Here's what they say:
(I have added, off the top of my head, stuff in italics)

[Make a] historic break with the failed policies of the past, and the start of a new system that seeks to make the economy work for people and the planet.

We call on the government to prioritise the essential changes listed below, as the first step towards building this new system. These recommendations provide an integrated package to help world leaders chart a path out of recession.

Creating a fair, functioning global economy means rapidly addressing climate change. Building a low carbon economy requires massive public investment in decent green jobs and public services. A new green deal cannot be financed without significant tax reforms.

Democratic, transparent and accountable financial institutions are necessary to deliver the changes required. The first step will be a transparent and accountable process for reforming the international financial system. This will require the consultation of all governments, parliaments, trade unions and civil society, with the United Nations (UN) playing a key role.

We call on the UK government and other countries to seize this opportunity to start building an economy that puts people and the planet first. The policies set out in this paper offer the essential building blocks for undertaking this transformation.

Ensure democratic governance of the economy
1. Compel tax havens to abide by strict international rules.
2. Insist on fundamental governance reform of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
3. Make all financial institutions, financial products and multinationals transparent and publicly accountable.

a1. Register all derivatives, examine them for fraud, and seek to bring the responsibility for the debts they contain as far as legally possible back to the executives who acquired them.
a2. Move to a position where the power to create new money is shared more or less equally between people and banks.

Decent jobs and public services for all

4. Ensure a massive investment in a green new deal to build a green economy based on decent work and fair pay.
5. Invest in and strengthen public provision of essential services.
6. Work to ensure sufficient emergency funding to all countries that need it, without damaging conditionalities attached.
a3. Change the benefit rules to allow people to take their benefit with them when they are added to the workforce of public or private enterprises that enhance the green economy

Justice: End global poverty and inequality

7. Deliver 0.7% of national income as aid by 2013, deliver aid more effectively and push for the cancellation of all illegitimate and unpayable developing country debts.
8. Ensure that poorer states are allowed to take responsibility for managing their economies, including controlling cross-border capital flows.
9. Stop pushing developing countries to liberalise and deregulate their economies, and do not attempt to rush through a completion of the Doha trade round, a deal that developing countries have rejected several times.
a4. Bring in a Tobin Tax
a5. Assist all developing economies to maximise their use of solar power.

a6 Run pilot schemes of reforestation of the world's deserts.

Climate: Build a Green Economy

10. In addition to the Green New Deal (recommendation 4), introduce the robust regulatory requirements and financial incentives needed to deliver a green economy.
11. Push for a deal at Copenhagen to agree substantial, verifiable cuts in greenhouse gases, which will limit temperature increases to well below 2°C.
12. Commit to substantial new resource transfer from North to South, additional to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), to support adaptation and sustainable development in poor countries.

The full policy platform is here, endorsed by an impressive array of 58 NGOs. No Green Party there, I hope because they did not want to "be political" or some such. There were no political parties at all on the list, so that must have been the reason. The Green New Deal group were there, and the NEF.

There is a massive deficit in the document and the statement above: Where is the demand to stop militarism? A search for "war", "militarism", "arms" and "military" all came up with nothing in the body of the text. Still, Stop the War on Wednesday will make up for that. But we need to get all the strands together.

One thing we can all do on Wednesday is to all carry our mobile phones and point them at the police-persons, in defiance of the law that we are not allowed to photograph them (although they are allowed to film us. We can also bring our old cameras, and point them at the police. They cannot arrest us all, and if they find that most of the cameras don't work anyway they will find they have been wasting their time. Though I suppose they would then be able to arrest us for wasting police time. Amazing that they have not arrested the organisers already for doing that.

Also we need to call for Electoral and Parliamentary Reform

I hope the police behave themselves.
And the anarchists.
Beware the anarchists. It is a known scientific fact* that one out of five anarchists is an M15 agent.

Where are the Green Party contingent going to assemble?

See you there.

*I made that up, and it it probably just an exaggeration.

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