Economics/Class Relations

Bristol launches local currency

As Britain loses faith in its banks and feels shockwaves from the euro crisis, one city is trying to keep local wealth in local pockets with the launch of its own currency.

Hot-air balloons begin to rise during the early morning mass assent which saw over 60 balloons launched at the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta at the Ashton Court estate on August 12, 2011 in Bristol, England

Businesses can pay local taxes in Bristol pounds and the council has offered its 17,000 staff the option of receiving part of their pay in the currency Photo: Getty Images

The Bristol pound – usable only with member businesses in the city in southwest England – is to launch in September, and organisers are deluged with local firms wanting to sign up.

“The perception of banking and money is that it’s a very ruthless system: people are out for what they can get,” co-founder Ciaran Mundy told AFP.

“This is about saying yes to something new. It’s tapping into a different set of values about money.”

The scheme has “captured people’s imaginations”, he added, in a recession-hit year when British banks have been beset by scandals and ministers talked openly of a possible euro collapse.

Hundreds of businesses have joined, from the acclaimed Arnolfini arts centre to the Chandos deli chain, and the launch had to be postponed from May to September 19 because of the level of interest.

Read more.

3 replies »

  1. The Lawful bank is BS. They have done nothing. Meanwhile more communities than just Bristol have set up local currencies; Stroud, Totnes, Brixton and Lewes I know of have already got currency in circulation. Totnes in particular has a complete and well advanced localisation program. The success of which might be judged by the reaction to the recent attempt of Starbuck’s to move into the town provoking demos and petitions. Credit Unions are also expanding rapidly all over the country.

    Transition Towns is where it’s at, the absurd legalistic arguments of the BCG had achieved nothing except to get their leader banged up, which would rather disprove his long standing claim not to legally exist.

  2. The Lawful Bank is so much of an irrelevance as to warrant an urgent press release from the Financial Services Authority (a State protector of the plutocratic system centred in the City of London):

    I wholly applaud the initiatives of local currencies but they are not a credible threat the financial system.

    The “the absurd legalistic arguments” alluded to above are detailed in the Magna Carta of 1215 and the Bill of Rights of 1689 –both of which are still in place in the British polity.

    There is a clear and undeniable difference between “lawful” and “legal” for those willing to do the most cursory search on the web.

    The arrest an imprisonment of the leader of the BCG, Roger Hayes, was wholly in lawful. The British State created nothing more than a martyr, and there will be severe repercussions for this unlawful incarceration. The State has scored a massive own goal.

    The reality of this situation is brought to bear by the institutionally-corrupt State and judiciary as well as the ill-informed policy [sic] officers that no longer uphold common law but instead execute the policy and whim of the government of the day.

    In light of this reality, the claim that the incarceration of Roger Hayes somehow “disprove[s] his long standing claim not to legally exist” is simply laughable. It disproves nothing; it proves Roger Hayes is correct and the State is now having to invoke the role of the Stasi in order to circumvent him and his water-tight defence.

Leave a Reply