Minutes of Democafe meeting, Saturday 1st August 2015 held from 2pm to 4pm at The Forge, Delancey Street, Camden NW1 7NL
Present: Eddie (chair), Sara, Carol, James, Janos, Mary (notes), and we welcomed Omar attending for the 2nd time. Apologies: Michael, Denise.
Minutes of the last meeting: Sat 18th July 2015
We noted an interesting Webinar coming up, organised by Francis Sealey:
We shared reminiscences of meetings in the House of Lords, run by Francis Sealey and others, e.g. Sabine McNeil’s Forum for Stable Currencies, which foresaw the economic collapse, and how most MPs in general were unaware of important issues.
Compass Online: Statement on the Labour Leadership:
http://www.compassonline.org.uk/statement-on-the-labour-leadership. It was noted that Jeremy Corbyn now has 162 nominations. Members felt that JC is appealing to the younger generation, who were disengaged, and pointed out the excesses that the government is carrying out since the election, in the absence of proper opposition party – Eddie recalled hearing that JC was active in setting up Gillespie Park http://www.finsburypark.life/things-to-do-in-finsbury-park/gillespie-park.html
Due to concern about politics making a significant change Janos wanted to ask if Jeremy Corbyn is for proportional representation?
2015Constitutionalists: It was noted that Michael is working on a Compendium & Glossary of terms: http://www.2015constitutionalists.uk/resources/compendium
Outreach: we talked about the mini-fracas over Janos’s experimental use of Eventbrite, which is a form of outreach, and Mary explained that this is why she had now set up firstname.lastname@example.org as a mailman list, so that it would be moderated, to avoid such accidents. There was disagreement, about whether a regular meeting which had been advertised to the whole list should be cancelled because several regulars had apologised.
We went on to discuss how else to propagate DemoCafe, by contacting other like-minded organisations, in the hope that they will reciprocate, e.g. CCMJ, Compass, and once we were confident, Camden New Journal – perhaps once we have a date for the housing event. Meanwhile it was noted that we have included CCMJ, Compass and Globalnet21 on our Friendly Links page: www.democafe.uk/links/
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We talked about practical arrangements for the event, the idea of a property/house sale, to be held in the Autumn term (date and venue to be set ASAP), including the use of Locks currency, which would involve another local organisation, Camden LETS, and venues, e.g. various halls, pubs: James would check his local community hall in Covent Garden, big window open to public. Blustons (on Kentish Town High Street) required insurance, but the idea of their special shop-front is still good.
Carol will check pop-up shops around Camden High Street, Eddie would try and pursue Blustons, hoping to speak direct to the owner – this would draw attention to the property itself – it was understood that we might have to pay for insurance. If this wasn’t possible, Mary wondered whether Rochester Square would be appropriate – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/creative-sustainable-community-hub#/story – need to visit and check how up to date this is.
With regard to the idea of the two-sectors in housing, council housing was less affordable due to George Osborne’s change of rules that people earning over £40k would have to pay the market rent. Rent now accounts for 55% of a person’s earnings. James pointed out that more and more people are being sucked into the system through mortgages, which contributes to the debt-based economy. The key to the problem may be rent control. Mary felt that a way forward from the two-sector dichotomy is co-operative/co-housing, and this could be achieved at different levels of scale. James mentioned including his brother as a key speaker, and it was agreed that having speakers would make the event attractive.
Eddie reintroduced his question from two weeks ago: What proportion of UK jobs are connected to the existing housing market?, e.g. estate agents, surveyors, solicitors, builders, so the housing market is a key factor of the economy, probably larger than manufacturing, and suggested that in two weeks 15th August we devote a Democafe session to this question – James will invite his brother that day day. We could all present our findings around the question and discuss. *So a bit of homework*.
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Sat 8th August: Eddie mentioned that he has a presentation/ exhibition of prints next weekend – Friday 7th through to Saturday 9th based around dumbness: blöd = silly & dumm = dumb – http://g511ery.co.uk/pages/coming-soon and proposed that next Saturday 8th August we move the venue of Democafe to: G511ERY at 511 Seven Sisters Road, London N15 6EP – map link.
It was agreed to do this and an added suggestion was to open part of the meeting up to the subject of Dumbing Down (still to be agreed)