2012/07/20 EWG Meeting Minutes

Economics’s Docs 2012/07/20 EWG Meeting Minutes

Frank, Janos, Chris F-D, Arun, Tammy, Liz, Tim, Andy, Mark, Noreen, Clive

1. Minutes from the last meeting 16th July 2012 – approved
2. Frank – Runnymede project – bringing back Common Law and cellular resistance to the
neo-Liberal agenda – ideas for clever, innovative, devious direct action.
3. Tom Lines paper deferred ’til Monday
4. Website – EWG statement to go where? – Dave Dewhurst Banking Proposal Banking can go
on the EWG section. People encouraged to send stuff for publication on the main page.
Defer to decisions on EWG content until Monday EWG meeting.
5. Updates on GIRO, LBOI, Banking Paper and Putney debates – deferred to Monday.
6. Social Housing Policy – need to ascertain what’s in train; pending response from Vince
Cable meeting tonight
7. IFCT – continuing among various participants across occupy; no-one within EWG objects to
8. Economic conference – Andy has organised two conferences for Occupy; topical matter
beyond the EWG (broader economics). Commoning, Policy Research Group (complexity
economics paper). To put a nail in the coffin of the neo-liberal agenda. Andy: manned the
Information tent at St Pauls – organised academics talks at TCU – bait to attract people to
occupy. Using connections as a lecturer and writer – possible venues: Friends Meeting
House – donations pot for Quakers? LSE: Steve Keen debunked establishment views would
be good to put the occupy message across there. Possible themes: the role of women in the
current banking and monetary system – patriarchy and misogyny. Tim and Andy to take
away ideas for developing themes for a conference;
9. What is wrong with the NHS and what is right about it? History of NHS and how it’s
changed; emotive views v. factual aspects; potential for the quality of healthcare exploded
with technological progress. Is there a potential conflict with other working groups involved
in NHS? What’s going on now – A&E closures in West London – local impact;
pharmaceutical companies. Issues of the commons: research conducted with public funding
and then monetised for private gain; traditional remedies being patented for private gain.
Commons turn resources into a community trust – pharmacy research and production
transformed into the commons. Society decides what law to apply to situations;
Pharmaceuticals are a big part of the NHS discussion. Liz: privatisation agenda; what
happens when you outsource (Olympics security example); social enterprise investors –
rhetoric obscures privatisation by any other name. Chris: is some element of privatisation
beneficial? Liz: people use BUPA for minor ailments but rely on NHS when dying;
consultants seeing private patients; analogous to private schooling. Chris: effectiveness of
privatisation of certain services versus medical insurance; dangers of untested procedures.
Arun – where is this discussion going? Chris: Occupy has many gifts – populace know
they’re being screwed in many respects – NHS is a topic which invokes interest and anger. Is
of value to know what people think. Noreen – working in social services – agency and
private staff working in it; move around – lack of continuity; first loyalty is to their
employer; when hospitals investigated agency staff face divided loyalties; general
discussion; Janos – mustn’t forget that it is claimed we cannot afford a proper healthcare
system; efficiency is matter of management not ownership; more expensive than when
conceived but massively more productive capacity of society to afford it. Chris: potentially
an area for economic growth. Personal responsibility for healthcare; potential of side effects
drugs v life expectancy; eg. dangers of aspartame; there is an expectation to be healthy by
demand of employers. Mark – occupy should be working to stop NHS from being
privatised; protect it. Some further discussion on the opportunity to promote workers’
controlled environments -doctors etc. people put at the centre – nodes and well of the
connections. Tim – commoning is about relationships; doctors deciding as the arbiters as to
who gets what treatment; consumers are also producers of health – change the whole
concept of health – common resource; Large sense of economics; need to focus on where
you want to go. Chris – touch on organisation; someone died of dehydration – mid-
Staffordshire health trust problems of mismanagement and directives from above – similar
to problems elsewhere; CEO bought off from putting patients first; organisational practice
versus economic impact. This is not quite EWG focus; efficiency – what are you trying to
achieve; Noreen starting point: NHS is not unaffordable – some don’t want to pay for it
(priorities); Mark our task is to highlight economic arguments as to why it should be a
nationalised service rather than privatised. Occupy came about through being People feeling
screwed and our role is to fight against privatised NHS – country will unite around that.
Ideology of privatisation came into NHS a long time ago; Frank – from Shropshire (national
alliance of community action groups) constitution and resistance; reorganisation of local
government – structure of local services; demoralising top down upheaval; Switzerland has
efficient education, transport and health services without ministries; in the UK local
authorities have been rendered irrelevant by centralisation; move from centralised top down
to localised; 1688 William “How do you wish to governed?” Declaration of rights and
privileges have been progressively eroded; structure of government; holding hands in health
– objecting to take over of health; Noreen – naïve to believe that structures are the source of
the problems. Mark: not up to us come up with the solution and projecting it onto the world;
transform depoliticised to challenge the 1%. NHS is not divisive – who ever comes out and
articulates the problem will achieve overwhelming support; stick with something black and
white. Tim: Switzerland is cantonal/federal not necessarily applicable to UK; stay in the
hands of the state. Norren: occupy has two roles: using the NHS as a totemic issue to engage
people and education to delve more deeply into issues with the power of evidence behind;
need the basic detail to back it up Mark: big problems noone knows what to do – eg. taxi
driver on youtube saying is p*ssed off – a lot of hits. Saying we’re not having it; galvanising
people to say no; biggest part is “you can do this.” People feel about this “the NHS is ours”.
NHS is tied up with the economic paradigm – calculated what causes ill health, hierarchy,
pressures etc. NHS is a trigger of democratisation. NHS tactically good battleground and
going to cost lives; EWG should lay a blueprint how privatisation is enriching corporations
10. Open GA next Friday?– Olympics; what’s missing is a politicised public – designed to
empower the 99% to challenge the 1%. People know about what’s wrong but disillusioned.
Fundamental for occupy to come up with good ideas; manifesto for a movement initial
statement – what happened to it; why haven’t we grown into activists? Broad statement
active remonstrance? eg. US declaration of independence. Corporate colonial rule;
community in 1860 protecting commons for all;
11. shout out: Noreen, working group GA “usurping democracy” – spin watch lobbying – corp
watch – economic wg? Clive happy to talk about the subversion of democracy by

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