Localisation/swadeshi: a programme for long-term survival

Posted Posted in Biodiversity, Co-operatives, Economics, Environment, Food, Globalisation, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Procurement, Transition

  Swadeshi has been described by Satish Kumar, founder and Director of Schumacher College in Devon as a programme for long term survival. It is the principle of preferring the neighbouring to the remote. It relates to need-based lives, ruling out unlimited consumption. It is not autarky; but a needs-based global alternative. Economic swadeshi was shaped by Gandhi, who advocated the production […]

Corbyn focusses on decentralisation: localising energy and transport

Posted Posted in Co-operatives, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Economy, Employee ownership, Energy, Environment, Government, Green New Deal, Housing, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Low carbon, Mutuals, People power, Planning, Politics, Transition, Transport, Urban

Jeremy Corbyn has launched an environmental manifesto that outlines plans for the UK to achieve 65% of energy from renewable sources by 2030 – without fracking. Corbyn proposes to put cities, councils, devolved governments and communities at the heart of an efficient, decentralised energy system by promoting a shift to electric and hydrogen buses and cars; a network of low-emission zones and […]

Economic inequality is all our responsibility

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Economics

It’s sad to hear that Equality West Midlands is going to become inactive for the foreseeable future. But I hope this decision becomes the catalyst for a greater profile for income inequality in the rest of our work. The group has only ceased its activities because its members are keen, committed activists in other groups and just ran out of […]

Does Birmingham Love the Brum Pound?

Posted Posted in Economics, Local economies, People power

News from the Birmingham Pound, thanks to a little group of dedicated people – and you can perhaps help us… We’ve been joined by two brilliant new members with real live time to commit to the project: Ridhi Kalaria and Matthew Rowe. Ridhi, founder of Ort Cafe, ran our event for Small Business Saturday which saw 90-odd percent of attendees support […]

Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Books and articles, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Education, Employment, Government, Health, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Localism, People power, Planning, Politics, Regional economies, Tax, Transition

A notable omission from Localise West Midlands’ extensive range of articles about, or with references to localism, is a review of a book by Simon Jenkins: Big Bang Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy. In this book he attributes the decline in British voter interest and participation to the over-centralisation of power in Whitehall, ‘one of the most centralised governments in […]

Update: International Alliance for Localisation

Posted Posted in Books and articles, Economics, Environment, Globalisation, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Procurement, Trade, Transition

Early in December this blog reported that Local Futures has gathered a cross-cultural, North-South network of thinkers, activists and NGOs – the International Alliance for Localization (IAL). It already has members from over 30 countries and Localise West Midlands is one of the member organisations. In the wake of the Paris climate talks, Local Futures has released a 16 page […]

Crickhowell’s tax plan: an example of ‘people power’ raising awareness of injustice and HMRC’s failures

Posted Posted in Economics, Finance, Government, Local economies, People power, Politics, Protest

Crickhowell has an independent high street with very few of the trading names which now dominate look-alike urban and suburban commercial centres. The town made news earlier this year after offering shares to residents at £50 each to buy their Grade II listed Corn Exchange pub from Punch Taverns to avoid it being used as a convenience store by one of […]

Financial tools supporting the local economy: the world’s first crowd-funded fee free payment app

Posted Posted in Devolution, Economics, Economy, Finance, Localisation, Microfinance, Planning, Procurement, Regional economies, Trade

“There seems be a real appetite among consumers to buy from independent retailers and support community shopping” Those who have been expressing interest in Localise West Midlands’s involvement with a future Birmingham Pound will also read the Birmingham Press account of Birmingham’s Droplet – a mobile app born in Birmingham promising a ‘customer loyalty revolution’. The Press reports: “Droplet, the […]

Local development as a strategic alternative in Fife

Posted Posted in Devolution, Economics, Economy, Energy, Environment, Export-led growth, Food, Globalisation, Government, Health, Import substitution, Local economies, Localisation, Low carbon, Planning, Politics, Procurement, Regional economies, Retail, Sustainability, Transition, Transition Network

Once again many will question the dependence on a global market economy as headlines shout, “China’s ‘Black Monday’ sends markets reeling”. For months, in a range of publications, Mohamed El-Erian, who chairs President Obama’s Global Development Council, has been forecasting the risk of a ‘perfect storm’, adding that considering ‘its destructive potential, it warrants serious attention by policymakers’, though China […]