Most of you who
receive this are not listed on the econ-lets
newsgroup so I'd like to bring you up to date on LETS at TOES 98, May
16-17 in Birmingham UK. I am booking time for talk on LETS. Here's
some of what I've relayed to econ-lets about it.
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.
Then in a later post:
TURMEL: LETS: Int'l Accomodations Trading 19980420
*Date: Mon Apr 20 09:25:54 1998
*From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tariq Shabbeer)
*Subject: RE: TURMEL: LETS: TOES UK TRIP 19980419
*Greetings to all from Bradford and district, Yorkshire , England. I
*would like to know when and where the TOES Peoples Conference is in
*England in 1998. I will try to come 200 miles south to London. I have
*read about TOES conferences - I believe they introduced LETS to
*Britain back in 1984.
JCT: Check my recent posts labelled TOES in the
www.mailbase.ac.uk archives. One of them has conference information.
Glad you'll be able to come.
*As to regards inter trading between systems
- there are extremely
*strong arguments for and against
*From my point of view - I would really like to offer some hospitality
*here in Bradford to anyone inthe world who wants to come here and
*learn what we have, have not and are doing in getting LETS going in
*this part of the world.
*Someone wrote from California and John Turmel from Canada etc -
*people asking to visit for a a day or two. I would be happy to offer
*you accomodation, food and music from my own house and a very warm
*and extroverted community. To me this has always been a social
*responsibility and i would not ask for anything except the immediate
*expenses to do it.
*But I would also appreciate a payment of LETS units. But i am afraid
*I really don't know the answer on how someone from outside the
*Bradford LETS could do this at the moment. Perhaps they would have to
*join the local system or there could be an uderstanding between the
JCT: Pauline went
to bed last night praying for a good omen and I
picked up a new article on a Usenet newsgroup which I'm going to try
to use as an example.
*Subject: FREE ACCOMODATION IN LONDON!!
*Date: Sat Apr 18 19:10:24 1998
*I am a 24 year old Englishman who is very keen on travelling. You can
*get a lot of cheap flights these days but the real cost of trips
*comes from accomodation. I would be very interested to hear from
*anyone who likes travelling, would be interested in staying with me
*in London, and who might perhaps be able to put me up for a few days
*if I ever make it to wherever you live.
*I could offer one or two beds in a small flat in the centre of
*London, near Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road. I also live on a
*sheep farm about 60 miles north of London if anyone is interested in
*catching a glimpse of life in rural England.
*Send me a line if you're interested. Address above. Regards,
JCT: So I sent him a response which mentioned:
* I agree that the major deterrent is not the air fare but the
*accommodations I was really pleased to see your idea of bartering
*accommodations. It just so happens that my girlfriend pauline and I
*are going to the People's Summit at TOES 98 The Other Economic Summit
*and will be staying on in Britain or France for another two weeks,
*sometimes in London. In one of our such trips to New Zealand, Pauline
*spent time with some Maoris in the sheep shearing shed so meeting a
*few sheep again should delight her.
* Pauline and I belong to barter clubs called LETS Local
*Employment-Trading System. I believe you have half a thousand in the
*UK. I have built up a large credit with the Toronto LETS and my girl
*friend has a lot of credit at the Ottawa LETS. We were looking for
*LETSers in the UK to do just what you propose so there's no reason we
*can't swap accommodation IOUs with a non-member.
* So we'll give you IOUs for nights of accommodations which we will
*honor whenever you make it to Canada. Thanks to LETS, I think that I
*could easily assure you that within our two, if not more LETS systems,
*we could find someone even if we could not provide accommodations
* Where we go, others may follow. As we develop a chain of LETS
*barter accommodations in the UK through our travels, we could
*certainly do the same for Canada's 27 LETSystems and perhaps end up
*offering not only you but many others an even better choice of many
*Canadian accommodations. You should join your local LETS and offer
*accommodations on their list.
* Anyway, your offer seems heaven sent. We finance these trips with
*a credit card then I go play Poker in Atlantic City to pay it off. To
*organize bartered accommodations will so greatly reduce debtload that
*it will pay off to get it better organized. And I hope we find a way
*to use LETS to allow us both to visit even more countries in the same
*way. We are pioneering something new in international transactions.
*Wait till other LETSers in other countries get involved and watch
*travelling become more fun.
*Regards and I look forward to meeting you
JCT: So this fellow
is trying to set up his own private LETS by
earning accomodation IOUs for around the world with his flat in
London. Individual LETS members can do it too. We just have.
So, Tariq, we would like to visit Bradford LETS and I'll give you
Greendollar IOUs for every night of accomodations which you may then
use in Canada or trade to anyone at Bradford LETS who is coming to
Canada. If interLETS trading is eventually established, you can cash
the checks at that time. It's like holding onto post-dated checks
which you can cash if you come to the right LETS bank in Canada.
Remember, an international clearinghouse for LETS does not need a
central register, only a public posting area where any system which
will trade in Hours may post intersystem trades and each system keeps
their own records with their foreign accou nt transactions matching the
Are there any other LETSers out there, in the UK or France in
particular, who might like to join Pauline's International
Accomodations trading? Drop us a line and whether we visit or not, the
offer will stand be made available for travelers who follow. If you
belong to a LSystem in the UK or Canada, could you check to see if
accomodations are offered and if so, add it to our master list in
either country. But London and Bradford in the UK and Ottawa and
Toronto in Canada are great starts.
And for sure, we're going back to Calderdale where they seem to
be doing everything right. They use notes and government has an
account. I'm sure it will lead the way in growth and utility.
If you're a LETS enthusiast, I hope you consider attending if
Following is information sent to me about TOES.
If you would like to be removed from this list, please reply.
Hoping for any information soon,
a comment to John Turmel