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Occupy London representative to speak at Ethical Capitalism? debate


At 7.30pm on Wednesday 7 December, representatives from Occupy London will be in attendance at an open debate, entitled ‘Ethical Capitalism?’, drawn together by Steve Chalke MBE founder of international charity Oasis.

Hosted just a stone’s throw from the heart of government at The Oasis Centre on Westminster Bridge Road, speakers include:

  • Dr. Luke Bretherton, a Reader in Theology & Politics at King’s College London
  • John Christensen of Tax Justice Network
  • Ken Costa, Former Vice-Chairman of UBS Investment Bank and Chairman of Lazard International
  • Clive Menzies, City Fund Manager
  • Tanya Paton, Occupy London’s Multifaith, Belief & None Working Group.

Steve Chalke, social activist and founder of Oasis, who will chair the debate, said, “This event will generate provocative and active discussion from a wide range of individuals representing a broad political and ethical spectrum. It is important society acts now to provide space for such honest and earnest dialogue in order to explore the pivotal questions emerging from the current situation.”

Doors will open at 7pm at the Oasis Centre at 75 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HS. To book your place click here.

Statement from Steve Chalke regarding questions received about Oasis and academies:

“Oasis is a not-for-profit charity. We do run a family of academy schools. These are state schools and are free to all. Our admissions criteria mean that we do not practice selection, but rather serve all the children from our surrounding communities irrespective of ability or faith.

“Oasis is committed to the academy programme because we believe in bringing quality education to young people living in communities where the predecessor schools had failed them or were in need of more support. All our academies are doing much better than they were before we became responsible for them. Standards have risen in them all.

“This includes the Salford Academy (mentioned in one of the tweets from Brixtonite) where we had to make adjustments to staffing levels because of a combination of inherited long-term overstaffing which has been exacerbated by recent government cuts. This difficult decision was made after careful consideration, but after a transparent process and through the necessity of ensuring that the Academy is financially viable for the future.”


5 Responses to “Occupy London representative to speak at Ethical Capitalism? debate”

  1. What is at stake is continuing social unrest, brought about by a continuing gap between rich and poor both in the uk, across europe and globally. Vis-a Vis riots in Uk and in other european countries and the knock on effect that a recession in demand global will have in China, India and other developing nations. This is surely a situation that no-one wants. It is a situation that is brought about by the values and measuring criteria of the current economic system as it measures success in terms of growth rather than encouraging production and consumption in a practical efficient and sustainable way. The current system encourages such anomylies as transporation of readily avaialable food stuff, such as apples from new zealand to the Uk as just one example. percentage pay rises are also in themselves a real mathematical factor in increasing this gap between rich and poor. especialliy when the richer memebers of this system are receiving 18% pay rises and the poorer just 1-2%. As more and more people become disposssed as a result of unequal terms of trade, changing climate, unfarmable land and recession what we need now are people who are unafraid to think of thinking outside the box and ready to challenge the way this system works. What I believe we woulld all like 5rich and poor is that we all want to live in a secure and co-operative society, which does not see large sections of the population feeling cornered, unvalued and driven into a position where they have nothing to loose and feel the need to resort to violence or theft. What we need to see is a ecomonic system that begins to understand that measuring success through growth is not sustainable in terms of energy use, raw materials, human rights and security. Obviously a change cannot be made overnight but I fully support the demands of the occupy movement to call as a starting point a greater transparency and a greater fairness and a willingness from those who manipulate the financial markets for profit to start to understand that the buttons they press are not just numbers each transaction affects an individual person somewhere and in some way.. If those people too want to understand and seek a way to achieve a just and stable society BIG questions and changes need to be on the table now.

    “We cannot cross a chasm in two leaps!”

  2. Oh well that’s alright then now Oasis have cleared the matter up for all of us (!)

  3. You’re all doing a great job, keep it up! – Do you agree with me, that whilst we’re in the midst of ‘practical changes’, that the following is quite critical for these ‘changes’ to have any real impact on the rest of us in society; http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14653, – and do you also agree, that these points should be known about and heard of, – and that ‘we’, should raise these objectives as parts of ‘our’ demands, – as the planet is screaming out for real change, not loose change, and why we need ‘real’ transparency and justice, – and the that the only sincere, true and genuinely honest way to help change this world of ours – into a better fairer place for everyone to live and survive, – is to sign the petition, and make sure this vital – need of change – is heard about and shared, though this will only be possible, if people are aware of the dangers of having members of secrets societies, – also being members of our government and its related bodies. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/14653

  4. A blog on the subject

    Capitalism has no moral dilemma
    An Occupy London delegation – not everyone at St Paul’s is happy with this – is due to debate prospects for an “ethical capitalism” tonight with city fund managers, religious leaders, former bankers, and tax reformers.

    Leaving aside for the moment the somewhat fantastical notion that capitalism could/should have an ethical dimension, the question is at least a million miles away from the real world.

    The global contraction is undermining belated attempts by leaders of the 17 eurozone countries to agree on a new treaty which would supersede national sovereignty. Pushed, prodded, warned and threatened by the credit rating agencies acting as the voice of capitalist finance, plans for further assaults on living standards are to be co-ordinated and enforced at supranational level. They call it “fiscal union”. Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel believes it will take years to achieve.

    China’s manufacturing output is contracting, undermining those who asserted that the country would drag the rest of the world economy out of recession, while Britain’s has nosedived; and Brazil’s economy has gone into decline.

    The democratically-elected governments of Greece and Italy have already been pushed aside by administrations by the bankers for the bankers. Alongside the feverish political activity, central banks in the eurozone are following the Bank of England, making their survival-of-the-fittest plans for when the first of the commercial banks fail.

    There is no precedence for the scale of this crisis. References to the 1930s abound but the so far slow-motion crash of 2011 is surely beyond comparison. Look to Ireland. The people there were amongst the first to feel the consequences of the ending of the long credit-fuelled boom as its property frenzy ended with the collapse of the Anglo-Irish bank in 2007/8.

    The measures taken to pay off the punitive cost of bail-out funds from the EU-ECB-IMF Troika, and bring about a “return to growth” have meant an astonishing economic contraction and a reduction in real incomes. Real national output has contracted by 12.5%, but that conceals a bigger slump in the day-to-day economy. Nominal gross national product (GNP) has fallen by 22%. Consumer demand is down a third. Unemployment at 14.3 per cent is misleadingly low – with no work to be had, many young people have emigrated – some to work on the tar sands of Alberta.

    It is already a deeper depression than the 1930s. Public sector pay has already been cut 14% on average (with a pension levy), rising to 30% for the top managers. Entry-level jobs for graduates at the big four accounting firms have dropped by a third to €21,000. Office rental costs in Dublin have halved, and house prices are down 53%.

    In common with the other 16 countries, membership of the eurozone meant that a currency devaluation to improve its export potential wasn’t possible. So Ireland was forced into an internal devaluation of the cost of labour, slashing wages, salaries, pensions and public sector spending.

    The second wave of the global crisis is now underway with a vengeance. As the economies of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal disintegrate, Ireland’s people will be in the firing line again. The Fine Gael/Labour coalition is already slashing deeper into living standards.

    As a concept, “ethical capitalism” is more about theology than political economy. The bottom line is necessarily the primary concern of an economic system based on profit which in turn demands continuous growth. This is how the Protestant ethic works out in practice in present-day society.

    In the end, a moral shift here or there can make no difference to dealing with a profound, historic and fundamental crisis of the system of production itself. The pressing debate to be held within the occupation and strike movements is on developing not-for-profit sustainable alternatives and how we get from A to B.

    Gerry Gold
    Economics editor
    7 December 2011

  5. Not what I was expecting but wonderful anyway! Congrats!


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