Naughty HSBC Rejects Santa’s Present

 

 

HSBC Reject Santa's present of Coal

 HSBC Finance Climate Change

Being part of WDM Manchester’s action on 21 December was a fascinating experience for me.  I dressed up as Father Christmas [which I had never done before], and marched along with the group through St Ann’s Square to HSBC bank, and went to go in.  I was stopped at the door, and simply asked if I could see the manager because I had something for him, and immediately the doors were shut in my face.

I thought the manager would soon appear and sort out the difficulty, but nothing more happened.  I stood waiting to go in, with a gathering crowd of others wanting to go in and use the bank, and looked through the glass doors to see those who were in the bank already also queuing to get out.

No reasons were given for this stalemate, and so we might have remained for a long time, except that the local community police, concerned at the gathering crowd, were allowed in, and then came out to tell me that the bank was not going to let me in – no reasons given – so I ought to move out of the way.

The bank was prepared to stay shut for half an hour on a busy pre-Christmas Saturday rather than risk talking to a diminuative Santa Claus!  It smacks of a guilty conscience to me, they must have known they were on Santa’s ‘naughty’ list, and did not deserve their present.

Ann Hiller

Manchester WDM

Campaign Link: www.wdm.org.uk/carbon-capital

Reflections on the Chester Development Forum (Not WDM!) Food Matters conference

– Exploring the issues and responses to food insecurity in the developing world, Sat. 16th. Nov. 2013.

Over 100 were present and they took virtually all the good WDM materials made available, leaving just a couple of cards!

The main speaker Patrick Mulvany – Senior Policy advisor for Practical Action – was excellent, but two of the International NGOs leading workshops (OXFAM and ACTION AID) really added little to the aims of the conference and some of us thought they must radically change their approach if they were to positively support small holder farmers. I got the impression some of the NGO staff themselves have (private) concerns at the direction they are taking!

In contrast CAFOD was pretty good as it had a policy of listening and working in real long term partnerships with smallholder farmers that supported the concept of food sovereignty, which Patrick Mulvany was rightly promoting as the only sustainable way forward. At the plenary sessions some of the assembled folk seemed to fail to understand that the main problem was here – in the way we want cheap, poor quality food, from wherever, which we often waste. They were a little put out by the suggestion that they should work for change here and not concentrate on there and it is they/us that have to change not them.

Luckily the main speaker totally supported this view, just more politely, by emphasising how the smallholder farmers around the world were getting organised and fighting for their own food sovereignty away from big Corporate and Government control! He pointed out a growing amount of our aid money was supporting Corporatism to force/encourage small holder farmers to allow industrialisation of food production for our benefit and not theirs in the end.

On the current situation with most International NGO’s he suggested we must all read John Hillary – “Putting Politics back in” just published: http://progressivedevelopmentforum.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/putting-the-politics-back-in/

The main conclusion for me (supported I gather by an evaluation about to be published) was the IF campaign has only promoted Cameron and virtually nothing else of any use as far as smallholder farmers were concerned. People had been conned and I was pleased WDM had kept out of the IF campaign. It was typical of the conning of such good people who mean well by, for example, continuing to support more aid without seeing how it is currently often being adversely utilised. Many people were left thinking this even if emotionally they found it difficult to accept.

MEP’s Controlling the Gambling Bankers?

 

Thursday 5th July 2012
MEP

 

With all the dust being thrown up around banks deceptions and tax dodging it is easy to lose sight of fundamentals that don’t get so much chatter in the media.  Some things go on for months and tackling the casino speculation by hedge funds and banks such as Barclays Capital is a case in point.

Revision of the EU-wide Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) has been going on for some time and will need all the parties to pass it.  These poles are the European Commission which has drafted proposed changes, the Economic and Monetary affairs Committee (ECON) which revises the proposals, MEPs in the European Parliament that vote on these proposals and the Council of (Finance) Ministers- in the UK’s case this meaning George Osborne.

Arlene McCarthy, a NW MEP, is vice chair of ECON and so it is important to make sure she understands the strength of opinion in the constituency and country as a whole.   She had earlier been lobbied by WDM’s Bolton and Merseyside groups.  (We had tackled Stockport based LD MEP Chris Davies.)

WDM raised over 2000 signatures on an e-petition which was only available for signatures briefly.  We had raised over 80 signatures, mostly from locals, at Gatley Festival Funday the previous Sunday.  People were concerned about unlimited speculation and were clear that they agreed with WDMs “asks”:

  • Trading to take place in public exchanges
  • There should be regular and standardised reporting on positions- i.e. how much a trader holds or controls
  • There should be clear and fixed limits to the percentage of the market beyond which a trader could not go- so protecting the system from cornering leading to prices being forced up or markets flooded to depress prices.

Speculators have been pushing against this last point, wanting monitoring and after the event controls to be introduced.  Arlene McCarthy said this was no change from the current situation and told us that the Socialist group the Labour MEPs are part of was unhappy at being pushed to wave through 2000 amendments without sufficient time to evaluate them and negotiate compromises.

She also said that the Christian Democrats in the EP had appeared to appreciate the moral dimension of position limits but had changed to preferring position management, perhaps as a result of industrial lobbying.  Dealing with this European dimension needs European lobbying with French MEPs being lobbied as one of them is the co-ordinator who is the whip for the Liberals.  Confrontational interruptions of committee meetings and demonstrations against Olle Schmidt had probably had a negative effect and given him a cover from engagement with campaigners.

It was a useful meeting, a chance to listen to and speak to a key politician who doesn’t have to ace the daily petty lobbying that besets Westminster MEPs.  We’ll keep in touch with her-why don’t you?

Welcome to The Manchester South Blog

A Real Green Economy Not a Trojan Horse for Bankers

Rio + 20

Didsbury 15th June 2012

John Leech MP (Lib Dem) supports WDM (South Manchester) and Friends of the Earth in their call for a true sustainable solution for the earth from the Rio +20 conference, not one that soley benefits big business and the bankers.

See the briefing: http://www.wdm.org.uk/sites/default/files/rio+20-green-economy-briefing.pdf

World Development Movement and Friends of the Earth

 

OJhmn Leech MP WDM and Friends of the Earth

 

 

South Manchester and Macclesfield Groups Lobby Chris Davis MEP

With the approaching changes in Europe on Proposals to change how commodity markets are regulated,

a few of us from the South Manchester and Macclesfield went for a word with one of our local MEPs (Liberal Democrat)

on WDMs view on postion limits and clarity on the regulation of OTC hidden  dodgy deals.

Vincent at WDM Moving Planet Drop 24th September 2011

A Flash protest by WDM Manchester (South), 350.org and Manchester Cycling Campaign

to highlight the threats from  climate change in the developing world.

 

 

Welcome to the new WDM Manchester website!

The World Development Movement (WDM) campaigns for:

• Economic justice

• People before profit

• A sustainable world.

We aim to change the actions, policies and institutions of governments, corporations and wealthy minorities, which are preventing an end to poverty and injustice. WDM works alongside people in the developing world, who are standing up to injustice.

The Manchester group is one part of a global movement to end poverty and injustice. To get involved, come along to a meeting to find out more.