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Brixton £?

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by qwertyjjj, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. qwertyjjj

    qwertyjjj Active Member

    That's fine for a cafe or bar but not much use to a veggie store owner who will mostly take cash payments?
     
  2. simonautomatic

    simonautomatic B£ magnate

    Actually its the veggie store owner or market trader that this can be particularly useful for. Accepting credit/debit cards is either unaffordable or impractical for many of these shops, yet accepting B£ pay-by-text is cheaper (no terminal to rent, no phone line needed), and all the trader needs is a basic pay-as-you-go phone that can receive text messages. This allows these retailers to access customers who may not be used to paying cash, or who may spend more if they can pay electronically.

    We do have both market traders and veg stall owners signed up to B£ pay-by-text, by the way.
     
  3. Brixton Pound? No thanks, Tesco's don't accept them which makes them useless. Also, can't use them outside of Brixton which isn't alot of help unless you're a hermit that is confined to Brixton high street. Let this "currency" die and just create a single BOROUGH-wide (not only Brixton) loyalty/discount card for small-medium enterprises.
     
  4. fortyplus

    fortyplus smug git

    The thing about the B£ is that it was set up (and still runs) on a shoestring - dependent on the work of a lot of well-meaning volunteers. And by being - radical - a "separate" currency, it gets lots more press than a pale imitation of nectar would.
    A loyalty card (which provides some usage data to participating traders) would need lots more infrastructure - (a terminal for each trader); - a plain discount card is a much harder sell.
    Be£, the pay-by-text sort, provides all the benefits of a card system (discount, plus usage data) for a fraction of the infrastructure investment.
     
  5. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member


    Local currencies inevitably have a diverse effect on trade outside the region. Why would I want to help a Brixton trader to the detriment of a Whitechapel trader, for example? Crude protectionism is specifically NOT the path people should head down in times of austerity. I've been boycotting the Brixton Pound since its inception and will continue to do so. Short-sighted, ill-thought-out, divisive nonsense.
     
  6. Just because the Brixton Pound has been set-up by some "well-meaning" volunteers, it doesn't make it a sound or good scheme. What is the benefit of having such an alternative currency if it can only be used in some businesses in one part of the borough? True a loyalty or discount card scheme might be expensive to set up but realistically how many of the borough's residents and workers are going to want to deal with a second currency that has restrictive use?
     
    Alo Licentia! likes this.
  7. simonautomatic

    simonautomatic B£ magnate

    It's a common misconception that complementary currencies are protectionist. The opposite is true, and there's no reason why independent businesses in Brixton wouldn't trade with those in Whitechapel, Brighton, Totnes or anywhere else. The purpose of the scheme is to give local, independent traders back the advantage, when mostly it's the national and global chains who hold all the trump cards. Brixton-based businesses will all typically source a high proportion of their supplies outside the area, however the stronger and more liquid the local economy is, the more that wealth will flow out to other trading areas.

    Its also important to note that word "complementary". Schemes like the B£ are designed to work alongside sterling, not to replace it, and to stimulate a change in spending habits and attitudes to money. The B£ also has a direct benefit to the community in which we live, as our reserves are now held at the credit union, giving them more working capital with which to provide affordable, ethical loans to people on low incomes.

    Finally just to focus on the customer. If you live locally, my guess is you don't want to cross London to do your weekly grocery shop or buy a cup of coffee. So you have a choice - you could go to the Acre Lane Tesco, and then have a coffee in Starbucks. As these are national/global brands, research shows that about 85% of your money immediately leaves the local area, ending up in shareholder's pockets, head office, and long supply chains. There is a negligible benefit to the local area ( a few poorly paid jobs and that's about it). However, if you spent your money in the market, and then holed up at Phoenix Cafe or Rosie's deli, because these businesses are locally owned, almost the reverse is true. About 80% of your money will end up recirculating locally, therefore increasing the economic benefit to the area. There's nothing protectionist about this - rather that areas which have some retained wealth tend to be happier, safer and more enjoyable to live in (Some recent US research even showed that such communities are healthier).

    Part of the value of the B£ scheme is as a tool to get people thinking about this - where you spend your money makes a difference, to your community, the place where you live. We think of money as neutral, but actually this isn't the case.

    I would encourage anyone who believes the B£ to be short-sighted, or "gimmicky" to engage with us at one of our many outreach or social events. We're always looking for constructive feedback about how we can improve the scheme and make it work better for our community.
     
  8. simonautomatic

    simonautomatic B£ magnate

  9. fortyplus

    fortyplus smug git

    No, it makes it a cheap scheme. It's only restricted to Brixton by virtue of its name. A Lambeth Loyalty Card is probably more restrictive, particularly near a borough border.
    The paper version was never going to revolutionise local business but it got lots of low-cost, positive global publicity for Brixton - making a change from stories about drugs, riots and crime. Pay-by-text has much more potential, and works much more like loyalty/discount scheme than a complementary currency.
     
  10. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    I'm sorry but this is just naive. Local currencies are protectionist by nature. Financial gains from extra trade with locals are intrinsically more than offset by a loss of trade with 'outsiders', otherwise economic sanctions would help the targeted country. Palestinians, Libyans, Cubans et al know all about the advantages of “buying local”. Whichever way you spin local currencies, they're no more than a diluted form of fascism.
     
    RaverDrew, Alo Licentia! and fjydj like this.
  11. simonautomatic

    simonautomatic B£ magnate

    We aim to change local spending habits - not to stop or limit people trading/shopping outside Brixton. I think the multiples could handle a 5-10% loss in trade without breaking sweat. And that difference would make a huge difference to communities on a local level.
     
  12. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    I'm all for putting the boot into the multiples - especially Tesco - but it's absurd to believe local currencies can achieve that aim.
     
    RaverDrew and Alo Licentia! like this.
  13. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter marquistador

    :facepalm:

    The whole point is to avoid multinational/corporates like Tesco - don't you get that? Why would you shop in Tesco when you've got one of the best selections of food **anywhere** on your doorstep?
     
  14. So employees of the Council (or other organisations) in theory will soon have two options:
    1) Receive their salary in Pound Sterling which is recognised nationally and can even be exchange internationally
    2) Receive their salary in Mickey Mouse currency (a.k.a Brixton Pound) which can ONLY be used in some businesses in basically one part of the borough..

    Hmmmm...I wonder what the popular option will be...
     
  15. Simply because I can, if I want to spend my money in big, evil multinational then that is my right. If I want to also spend some of my money in local "mom & pop" business even if their goods or services are more expensive it won't be because of the Brixton Pound. Now shoot me down for daring to say that I will shop in businesses owned by multinationals.
     
    Alo Licentia! likes this.
  16. Brixton Hatter

    Brixton Hatter marquistador

    The Brixton Pound is obviously not for you then.
     
  17. Roadkill

    Roadkill a clown's heart

    The big firms have all the advantages over small concerns: local currency schemes are a way of redressing the balance a little bit, and they're proven to work. It's up to you whether you use them or not, but don't whine about them because they don't 100% suit your shopping habits.
     
  18. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    Nobody is disputing that the multis are too powerful. I refuse to use Tesco, for example, but don't need a local currency to agitate me towards that.
     
    RaverDrew likes this.
  19. Roadkill

    Roadkill a clown's heart

    Pardon me if I fail to take seriously the views of someone so lacking a sense of proportion that s/he can describe something as innocuous as a local currency scheme as 'no more than a diluted form of fascism.'
     
  20. Monkeygrinder's Organ

    Monkeygrinder's Organ Domination Snert

    It's pretty damn dilute isn't it.

    'The Brixton £ - Homeopathic Fascism.'
     
    salem, mrs quoad and simonautomatic like this.
  21. Roadkill

    Roadkill a clown's heart

    Herbalism uber alles!
     
    nipsla likes this.
  22. simonautomatic

    simonautomatic B£ magnate

  23. fortyplus

    fortyplus smug git

    And which is convertible back into Sterling at any time.

    Council employees will have the option to have some - not all - of their salary paid direct into a Be£ account. Why should they do that? Because they'll get the 10% bonus added. And because they're then making an attempt to spend that much of their income supporting local businesses. Of course, they could just choose to shop at those shops, but having the money in a Be£ account will probably be a better motivator than just good intentions.
     
  24. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    That's a real killer, you not taking my views seriously.
     
    RaverDrew likes this.
  25. editor

    editor Got a fever +the only prescription is more cowbell

    I'll have a pint of whatever you're on please, squire.
     
  26. Roadkill

    Roadkill a clown's heart

    No-one is.
     
  27. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    I'm totally sober thanks. The link between local currencies and protectionism is indisputable. Mussolini, Hitler and Franco etc embraced protectionism as a pillar of their political beliefs, hoping to encourage a highly regulated economy dedicated to benefiting local people. The BNP strongly advocated local currencies as part of their 2010 manifesto. I know it's absurd to compare the Brixton £ to fascism on this scale but I specifically accused it of being a 'diluted' form of fascism. It exists to aid a small group of people to the detriment of a larger group.
     
  28. fortyplus

    fortyplus smug git

    Whatever the merits of your case - that the B£ exists to aid a small group to the detriment of a larger group - (and I do not think there are any) - you have not helped it one iota by making the comparison with fascism, dilute or not. Online, it is always a dumb debating strategy. No one will take you seriously, as has been shown on this thread already.
     
  29. editor

    editor Got a fever +the only prescription is more cowbell

    So, in your mind, anyone supporting or using the Brixton Pound must be a supporter of fascism in some form, even if only a 'diluted' form, yes?

    You don't think you might be getting a little carried away with yourself here?
     
  30. wurlycurly

    wurlycurly diss member

    No, people who use the Brixton pound aren't supporters of fascism. Protectionism is a diluted form of fascism, the Brixton pound is a form of protectionism. Hope that clears things up
     
    RaverDrew likes this.

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