A lot of ink has been spilt on the subject of the credit crunch. Last night, 2000 Londoners showed that actions speak louder than words. The London Citizens assembly, on ‘Taking responsibility in the economic crisis’ won commitments from politicians and business leaders.
Boris Johnson reaffirmed his backing for a London Living Wage – now paid to all the Greater London Authority staff and contractors – and an earned amnesty for undocumented migrants.
Executives at Barclays, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Linklaters and KPMG, some of whom were initially deeply reluctant to pay a Living Wage , were recognised as Living Wage Employers. They said the wage made business sense, as well as moral sense. Ironically, only the Corporation of London is pleading poverty and refusing to pay £7.60 rate – though, after powerful testimony from an employee on a lower rate of pay, Cllr Mark Boleat promised this was under review.
Treasury spokesmen for the Tories, Labour and LibDems all promised to work with London Citizens on their five-point plan, which makes a controversial call for a cap on interest rates drawing on Scriptural teaching against ‘usury’. Already the Conservatives have agreed to a cap on storecard rates, and they will work with London Citizens to identify other financial products where regulation could apply.
Jellicoe Community members have been at the heart of this assembly, and will be blogging on their work, and their impressions of last night’s event, in the days ahead.