Very strange

Yesterday I received a thick envelope in the post. Upon opening it, I found it contained an invitation from the Co-operative Party to join them.

Looking up their website, I was attracted to their Broadband and mobile phone prices but noticed that our contract still goes till next year.

So I read that booklet, they included, which sounded good and knowing that my family in Germany always had a Co-operative in their village, which all the local farmers used for banking I was tempted to be impressed.

Then I read the membership procedure on their website. The Co-operative Party is strongly connected to Labour. Labour refused my membership application some years ago, just after I had a attended the local Jewish Synagoge for a multi-faith service and we are members of a swimming club in Stoke Newington.

Strangely enough, even now, here in Tower Hamlets, I cannot even become a Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for my local ward, when years ago I had been the Chair of the Neighbourhood Watch Assocation, working closely with local police in this borough.

How things change. Local law enforcement seems to be strongly affiliated with the local Labour Party.

A city can create their own currency

That of course would be an interesting proposition for Tower Hamlets to get City status and to start their own currency. Just as Bristol did, they invented the Bristol Pound. Business signs up to the currency and customers and traders have to spend their cash within the given area and of course businesses that are prepared to trade in the currency.

The system is not new, many towns in the USA already started to trade in their own currency.

People are fed up with the troubled market currencies and developing an own identity might help many over a crisis. Bristol does it with the help of their council and the Credit Union. I should say there is a good chance that Tower Hamlets would do a similar thing here.

But if the Bristol Pound is worth exactly the same as a British Pound, I wonder what the point of creating this new currency is.

Obviously people want to have the feeling of togetherness again, which is what a local currency can provide. There is no danger of money being exported to foreign shores for other investment, the money has to be spent in Bristol. That is the whole dilemma that any country these days is in, that there is no national border drawn around their money.

Britain re-discovers co-operatives

We all stick together is very much part of the British mentality and it is this mentality that helped to save a village shop. Here in London we see fruit co-ops spring up all over the place too.

It does take the whole community to help but it is of benefit.

I have always argued against blaming Tesco for its widespread operation because if the community cannot manage to keep its shop together than supermarket chains have a definite beneficial use.

There are many very profitable Co-operatives operating in Britain today and once the supply chain is sorted the rest if just a matter of communal discipline.

I definitely can see the benefit for the community also from the perspective of cutting crime because if the community is happy less crime is likely. Yet in large towns like London the infra-structure of the community is less permanent with many dwellers moving in and out of temporary locations and so a sustainable co-operative system with respect of food supplies are less likely to work also because there is so much other supplies available, but in a rural community with mainly permanent homes and less shopping alternatives because of remoteness, such co-operatives are very likely to succeed and very beneficial for people.


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