One of the attractions of a Labour Conference for the politically-interested is the range of ‘fringe’ events available on a variety of topics. Some are best avoided – Progress and Labour First events will suit only those set on dragging the party back to a dead, arid right-disguised-as-centre. Others are lively, engaging and informative – and events take place both ‘behind the cordon’ and outside the official Conference venue.
The SKWAWKBOX would like to bring one ‘outside the cordon’ event that has been set up to inform and educate on the vital topic of real economics – Economics for a Progressive Agenda (EPA).
For too long the Tories have got away with nonsensical and irrelevant comparisons of national economies to household finances as a means of fooling people into accepting austerity that not only doesn’t help but actively damages and hampers economic recovery. Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell have insisted, rightly, that austerity is a political choice that the Tories and their media support have been trying to disguise.
You can help expose and end the lie.
EPA has been arranged by gifted amateur Prue Plumridge, who runs an economics group on Facebook, supported by a number of professional economists. Prue, who is crowdfunding to cover the costs of the event and still needs donations, told the SKWAWKBOX:
The first thing to say is that I am not a trained economist so if you’d told me a couple of years ago that I’d be organising a fringe event at the Labour Conference on economics I would have laughed heartily!
After five years of punishing Tory austerity and witnessing its consequences on the economy and people’s lives I wanted to investigate the economic rationale for it and whether it had any basis in truth. This in turn led to the discovery that contrary to popular belief our money system did not operate like our own household budgets thus challenging my own narrow understanding.
Over time and with support from a range of heterodox economists I have been able to build up a more accurate picture of the way our money system works in practice and am grateful to economists such as Professor Bill Mitchell [who is keynote speaker at the event], Dr Steven Hail, Ellis Winningham and Dr Stephanie Kelton to name but a few who have helped me refine my understanding.
The reputation of economics as an arcane subject which has no relevance to our lives has for me been blown out of the water. It has every relevance and reframing public (and politicians’) understanding of economics is vital to match Labour’s progressive political agenda.
It all boils down to asking the question about what sort of society we want to live in. Hopefully the event will be a step in the right direction and the opportunity to start a conversation.
Tory politicians are economic simpletons, as anyone watching a Twitter interchange between one and, say, Ann Pettifor will learn in moments. So the Tories will definitely not welcome increased economic literacy among the UK population.
Which is a great reason to attend Prue’s EPA event, if you still need persuading.
Details of the event, which anyone can attend, are:
2pm 25th September 2017 at:
The Brighthelm Centre,
Enquiries: 0756 4277 492
If anyone is unable to make it to the live event, a video will be published on Facebook afterward. See you there.
Prue is still a significant way short of her target to cover the cost of the event. If you’d like to support her and are able to, please click here to visit the crowdfunding page.
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