Record of Meetings held in the Palace of Westminster



Wednesday, January 14th 2004
Room G, Blackrod's Entrance, 6pm-9pm (free):
John Bunzl, Brian Wills, Francis Irving and Julian Todd: "Citizen's Diplomacy - a joint effort with the Simultaneous Policy Initiative:"

John Bunzl will describe what the International Simultaneous Policy Organisation ISPO is and does see: Brian Wills will explain the origin and progress of the S+ project, including the collaboration that has developed with Public Whip . Francis Irving will speak about this website and what information it offers enquiring citizens. Our organiser Sabine McNeill will 'embed' these activities in relation to the Forum's own campaigning work. And the Chairman will then open discussion for whatever creative exchanges arise.

There are a number of initiatives that use web and net technologies with a view to making politics on-line since the ballot box does not seem to be sufficient any more. has taken the official transcripts of the House of Commons since 1988 and turned them into a data base that is searchable by the votes of our MPs. Voting patterns give us an indication about our MPs just as their signatures of Early Day Motions

With a view to getting our concerns heard by the Treasury Select Committee, concerned citizens from the respective constituencies are now invited to 'adopt' its members for developing informed dialogues:
John McFall (Chairman), Labour, Dumbarton
Nigel Beard, Labour, Bexleyheath; Jim Cousins, Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne
Angela Eagle, Labour, Wallasey; Michael Fallon, Conservative, Sevenoaks,
Norman Lamb, Lib Dem, North Norfolk
John Mann, Labour, Bassetlaw; George Mudie, Labour, Leeds East
James Plaskitt, Labour, Warwick; David Rujjley, Conservative, Bury St Edmunds
Andrew Tyrie, Conservative, Chichester.
reminds us of debts on our doorstep caused by extortionate interest rates for cash loans. examines the debt problem with emphasis on Third World debts, illustrates the impact of the IMF on Jamaican farmers. How many more generations will need to pay interest for National Debts when the Government could increase its interest-free share in the money supply???

For more information see:



The secretary, Canon Peter Challen reports on the FSC meeting on January 14 that exceeded its considerable promise. We are in a significant phase when active alternatives are growing as protest wanes'. We considered four closely related issues in the development of 'citizen's diplomacy'. Where there is a * the contributors own more detailed paper could be sent to you on request:

1. International Simultaneous Policy Organisation [ISPO] - the "destructive competition" of nations pursuing our own interests must be countered by co-operation amongst citizens world-wide
2. ISPO Sustainability-Plus project - identifying voting patterns on Parliamentary Bills relevant to global justice
3. - a fast developing tool that you can use to examine your and other MPs voting patterns
4. The new EDM and its 18 signatures to date - example of information you can download yourself - before you write to your own MP !!!!
5. Note : On Radio - Resonance FM 104.4 and on Mondays at 6.30 Jane Taylor of Positive News is pioneering this programme. Would welcome comment

1. John Bunzl read his paper.
There is no short cut to reading that presentation.
ISPO attracts people to adopt a commitment to a future wave of new democracy, which does not threaten their current contribution to the system we have. If seeking to get people to pledge their votes a raft of policies is required, not a single issue. SP seeks to align self interest and general interest (an evolutionary process) in two ways:

a) an evolving Policy, and b) a Democratic Process. Already 1085 people in 17 countries have 'adopted' and local SP campaign groups are being established in each of those countries to generate interest and action.
By adopting SP, citizens world-wide pledge to vote in future elections for ANY political party or candidate - within reason - that also adopts SP. As more and more citizens act in this way, politicians will adopt it too if they wish to remain in office. Adopting SP involves no risk because simultaneous implementation removes every nation's fear of first-mover disadvantage. SP thus transcends party politics by providing a powerful tool for citizens to drive politicians and governments to deliver the measures our world so desperately needs. In so doing, SP enables a simultaneous move to co-operation as the assumption in economics and politics within which 'beneficial competition' remains, but 'detrimental competition' no longer sets the dominant conventions. It is as though the World is running on a PC with 'Competition' soft ware. SP aims to change the soft ware to 'Co-operation' - not to change the PC.

- The target in the SP strategy at this stage is the NGOs that need the SP tool.
- SP offers a carrot and stick to any politician who will commit him/her self to the vision that will be implemented as the new democratic voice, expressed as 'adoption', gains effect in election processes.
- There is no political risk in adoption - but failure to adopt is a grave risk.
- It is a new appeal to apathetic voters - especially as the signs ecological and social disaster mount.
- Adopting SP costs nothing and takes just a few minutes. Go to:

2. Brian Wills - as an SP supporter - gave an example of individual initiatives - and made these points. SP is global political leverage - "a new way to make politicians listen" - he spoke of 50,000 young people in EuropeanSF in Paris discussing dire domino effect of peaking oil production, SP represented the potential for this policy approach - we are in a significant phase when active alternatives grow as protest wanes - fear of ballot to be countered - turn a banner into political leverage - introduce a new sense of responsibility /transparency in politics - so he aims to monitor UK MP voting choices on Sustainabilty, Economic Justice and Accountable Governance and create 'Accountability Profiles' for each MP in collaboration with the Public Whip. This is a database that records cumulative plus and minus scores in a 'Sustainability-Plus Index', that can be used as acampaigning tool at the next generalelection - no short cut to requesting his paper "ISPO's Sustainability-Plus project". Contact Brian

3. THE PUBLIC WHIP: Francis Irving and Julian Todd, self-employed computer analysts, have developed an astonishing web site as described below . MPs are our employees and so transparency is important. The web tool monitors all Divisions - highlights rebellions and the rebels - tables exactly how each MP voted - notes abstentions- gives text of Motions - it provides the only publicly visible record of the use of power - shows attendance rates ( though not so important - means of encouraging critique and supportive criticism - but it takes 50 Bills to make a meaningful map - public whip sheet potential - notes written replies - has an improving search facility e.g. search for 'Central Banks' - lists questions any MP asks e g search ..Austin Mitchell; - each Party is showing interest but we must encourage the public to use it in constructive criticism - it is a technology to bring more power back to people -
1. Made by two in spare time !!!! It is Public and flexible in use
2. Please tell us of possible uses by e-mail
3. The chart below describes this most versatile and valuable tool.

Counting votes on your behalf
› Last year we were frustrated that we didn't know what our MPs were doing in parliament.
› Although the information is all in Hansard, it was distributed across too many pages to see.
Public Whip now
› Counts the votes in parliament of MPs
› First time this has been done
› Completely free for anyone to use at
› Written over six months in spare time (10000 lines of code)
› Is open source tool built on open source software
› Voting records have always been compiled by party whips by hand
› Whips use the information to control their MPs
› Could this be used by the public to get their concerns heard?
Gaps in the system
› Attendance to vote is not same as attendance to debate
› We have to guess at party whip by using majority party vote
› Whips could be recorded in Hansard, as they are visible
› Why is this information not published?
Future directions
› Recently added Parliamentary Written Answers database
› Need co-operative filtering and sifting tools to help people pick out good info from the hot air
› Corporations do not have a monopoly on useful software, although they do have a monopoly on contracts. Get programmers to do work directly, and everyone owns the work.
› To make it better, we need to hear from people using it. What do you think?
Francis Irving and Julian Todd, 2004-01-13


Some points follow :- We are moving towards a daily referendum - with a tool that also brings past into present - Internet now has recorded parliamentary Bills etc. from 1988. + subsequent instruments and legal - as some groups are bringing conventional economists and alternative economists together on "global public goods", so this tool can make transparent the movement in a changing paradigm as reflected in our representatives' voting - join SP and 'Arrive with understanding of one ingredient of change and leave with several others' - strength of all .... of united diversity. - we must 'educate, educate, educate', and here are wonderful tools for that - note the caution that Public Whip might create a negative back lash - Positive reflection to Keynes v beggar my neighbour - Bancor - we have more work to do on how to get agreement on what is to be implemented - the temptation is to say I am not an economist - but the fact is we are all jobbing economists and this toll will help us improve our positively critical part in the new democracy - Do for the world what Europe has done for itself on Arms ...gradually no customers for arms as co-operation becomes the norm in fair trading. - must work on the Global Institutions WB, WTO, BIS : with the tools of PublicWhip and SP, hierarchy gives way to network; tho' it is important to recognise that there is a Manager in the system ... Citizen Managers via ISPO.
Does the SP paradigm lead to inefficiency - co-operative governance - is SP monolithic ? Yes ...democracy is in a sense a monolithic way of achieving. - SP only applies to the shared global issues ... we need global policies to activate local initiatives. - Could SP replace Brussels ? ... yes... the EURO arises from the competitive drive - could the Publicwhip tool Develop Virtual MPs to represent Green ISPO etc.... with which to check MPs' stances in relation to e.g. Green Peace research. If you wish to know more don't forget to ask me for copies of John Bunzl's and Brian Wills' papers and/or to visit the web sites and

4. Here is a printout on the new EDM which we are supporting - use it in relation to contacting your own MP.
Printable Early Day Motion 323
Search______EDMs_______Members_____Help______________________________Current Session
Printable EDM
EDM 323
Mr Austin Mitchell 18 signatures
John Austin - Mr Harry Barnes - Mr Harold Best - Mr Martin Caton - Mr David Chaytor - Mr Tony Colman - Mrs Ann Cryer - Mr David Drew - Mr Kelvin Hopkins - Lynne Jones - Mr Elfyn Llwyd - John McDonnell - Mr Kevin McNamara - Mr Alan Meale - Alan Simpson - David Taylor - Jon Trickett
That this House notes with concern the contrast between the enormous expansion of private credit and the growing debt burden that this imposes on society; further notes that public credit, as measured by the proportion of publicly created money in circulation, has fallen from 20 per cent, of the money supply in 1964 to three per cent, today; believes that using public credit and increasing the proportion of publicly created money should be used to cut the costs of, and to boost the quantity of, public investment and to allow the Chancellor to fulfil his golden rule without further borrowing; further believes that this can be done without any impact on inflation; and, therefore, urges the Treasury to commission an independent review of the benefits of using the public credit and increasing the proportion of publicly created money.