CALDERDALE LETS MAKES THE NEWS
I just noticed
that one of the exhibits Pauline's 1997 TOES Trip
Report had an article about LETS with important information I'd
missed. It was a newspaper article about Calderdale LETS and I don't
have the name of the paper or the date:
Paper: UK ??
PIONEER GROUP IN CALDERDALE
by Michael Peel
GREEN CAMPAIGNERS SET UP REJUVENATION TEAM
Staff have now been appointed for a national project in Halifax
which aims to find new ways to rejuvenate local economies.
The Forum for the Future, a charity funded by the country's
leading green campaigners, has set up its regional office at Dean
Clough Business Park at a cost of #220,000.
Working closely with Calderdale Council, the forum will study the
best ways of creating jobs and prosperity throughout the UK and
The council's Labour leader Coun. Pam Warhurst said it was
tremendous for Calderdale to be chosen as the base for the project
which would help bring the area widespread recognition and benefits.
Project officers Mr. Les Newby, of Leicester, and Ms. Helen
Hudson, of Rochdale, will begin their work next month.
According to the forum's executive director, Mr. Rupert Howes,
modern economic policy is failing to tackle the needs of areas like
Calderdale which have seen a dramatic decline in traditional
industries such as textiles and engineering.
"While service sector jobs have increased, West Yorkshire still
suffers from a persistent level of long-term unemployment, especially
among young people in inner cities," said Mr. Howes.
"conventional development policies cannot possibly reach all
these people and at the same time opportunities to create wealth and
jobs in the local economy continue to go begging.
"This project is designed to help build up local economies in a
sustainable and environmentally responsible way which employs the
people and resources that the global market has bypassed."
One of the reasons the forum has chosen to come to Calderdale has
been success of the pioneering Local Exchange Trading System LETS
which involves purchases being paid for by "favours" rather than
Recycling projects, credit unions, community transport and
agriculture schemes, and cooperative businesses are some of the other
ways to which more and more people are turning to create wealth.
"Inevitably, a lot of this is pretty hit and miss and many
schemes are very short=lived or seriously under performing," said Mr.
"It needs a coherent strategy for reinforcing all the voluntary
enthusiasm and community enterprise which underpins so much local
The officers at Dean Clough will collect and analyse national and
international information about good practice for economic development
and produce a final report at the end of three years.
"This will set out both a fully-fledged model and an operational
tool-kit for the sustainable reinvigoration of local economies."
Kirklees and Wakefield Councils, charitable trusts and businesses
are also backing the project which is headed by one of the country's
best known environmentalists, Mr. Jonathan Porritt.
JCT: If somebody
has the date and name of the newspaper, I'd
appreciate finding out.
GUINNESS SCREWS UP
I tried to have LETS mentioned in the 1998 Guinness Book of World
Records as my best bet. And they wrote back that they would. Then they
printed the same old 1997 story shy 3 elections of the real record.
It's 44, not 41. I guess it might be of note that they got that 1998
World Record wrong. Maybe they'll mention betting on LETS next year?
UPCOMING UK TRIP FOR TOES
Pauline and I
have booked our airline tickets arriving Heathrow
on Wednesday May 13 at 6:45am and leaving June 3 at 2:45pm. That
leaves us two free weeks after the conference to visit various points
of LETS interest.
As usual, to pay for all this, we'll be travelling on a credit
card which I'll then spend a month or two playing Poker in Atlantic
City paying off. Fortunately, since the cost of motels averages $100
Canadian or #40 per day, every evening spent with LETS friends is a
Pauline would like to barter her way across the UK. She has about
40 Hours or G#240 saved in her Ottawa LETS Greendollar account to
spend which will someday soon be transferable. I have Green credit
too. Back in 1993, the Toronto LETS needed $3000 for a laser printer
to put out its newsletter. I provided that cash in exchange for 3000
Greendollars in my Toronto account. But I never lived in Toronto. I
never spent any of them. And even if service charges have eaten away
some, there's still plenty of credit I've given to LETS that is due to
me. But I can broker any deal. If anyone from the UK wants to use
their Green in Toronto, I'll take UK Green and pay with Toronto Green.
We can write post-dated checks on our accounts until the day a public
Internet Bulletin Board exists where any LETS may register and post
intersystem trades and our checks go through.
Of course, whatever steps Pauline takes in finding out how one
could visit the UK on a LETS account will be explained in her Trip
Report. I would think a lot of LETSers might like to know if it's
possible to see the UK on LETS and how Travel by LETS could be applied
to their own nations. So, with so many UK LETS, how does a tourist
find out where accommodations are available from LETS UK?
If any upcoming LETS events could use a speaker with a thousand
and one funny stories, I'm available, preferably as a guest though we
never mind paying our own way. All we need is information about which
LETS have accommodations available.
Though I keyboard only in English, I would like to practice my
LETS delivery in French and I've put out feelers for possible speaking
engagements in France. We'll come at our expense to speak but prefer
if we can be put up.
It's neat going off on these missions never knowing what
resources will pop up to make a louder message. On our New Zealand
trip, I was going as a guest speaker to the New Zealand National
Greendollar conference. That grew into a talk to the Democratic Party
which led to more invitations and half a dozen radio and television
appearances. All talking LETS.
My first UK trip was nowhere as successful though I'd bet if we'd
met Sabine Kurjo-McNeill at the beginning rather than the end of the
trip, her get-up-and-go would have had a major impact. She got me
speaking engagements and informed the press in one blurr of activity.
Actually, Don Bethune was the same kind of catalyst in New Zealand.
So there are just over two weeks from May 18 to June 2 available
for anything of interest.
So we'll be off
on another LETS adventure trying to have LETS
steal the show at TOES98. Sad that the word LETS is not yet on the
TOES98 agenda but it will be once I'm booked.
Of course, my notoriety as a professional gambler and a Guinness
Record Loser and Power-Picketer may originally detract from the
message but I always post transcripts to let readers judge for
themselves what I say and do. So far, the notoriety gets the attention
but LETS gets in the reports.
When the G7 were in Ottawa back in the early 1980s, I remember
being past the police cordons as the lone picket before the Cenotaph
with my Abolish Interest Rates placard when the G7 leaders drove by.
Picketing is always a useful tactic and I did picket Buckingham Palace
and the Bank of England the last time I was there so I think I will
picket the G8 this year during my off-hours from the TOES conference.
Maybe I'll use "LETS accounts for all," this time on the back side of
my standard "Abolish Interest Rates" sign. Maybe Jubilee2000 will wrap
their human chain of debt around the Leaders and my signs will be
useful for both groups.
Though the Jubilee 2000 people trumpet a wonderful message,
forgiveness of debts, I don't want all debt forgiven. Only my debt due
to usury. So here I will be trying to talk a crowd bemoaning the same
banking system as me but demanding total debt forgiveness while I
argue that some debt is honorable and only dishonorable debt caused by
usury should be forgiven.
But they are now a powerful force around the world. If the
world's debtors can be persuaded to lower their sights from the quest
for forgiveness of all debts to forgiveness of only unrighteous debts,
they'll see that the best thing to do is step onto a LETS lifeboat
software where they only keep count of righteous debts while
discussing the unrighteous debt problems.
Imagine the Jubilee 2000 debt-forgiveness group in one hall and
the "not-these-righteous-debts" LETS group in the other. And the Debt
Jubileers include many church people so there's the chance LETS might
get on their databases is better all the time.
You'd think that with all the LETSers in the UK, LETS would have
made more of a show at TOES. I hope I get the chance to change that.
a comment to John Turmel