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2011 Attwood Award to James Robertson: ‘a modern thinker at the service of society’

October 25, 2011

 The ‘Occupy’ movement is dismissively and damagingly charged, by those with a vested interest in the status quo, with having no alternative. How many of them will know James Robertson’s ‘Sane Alternative’, written in the 1980s? It is even more relevant today as there is a far wider questioning of financial and economic structures – and should be presented to them. 

After an introduction by John Johansen-Berg and Angela Shaw’s words about Thomas Attwood, political and economic reformer and Birmingham’s first MP, an Attwood Award for long service to the cause of monetary reform was presented to James Robertson on Saturday October 15th 2011, by Thomas Southwell – a member of the Attwood family, seen in the previous post. The presentation took place at Barnes Close – below – during the annual gathering of the Bromsgrove group. Some readers will remember that James spoke at the first one in 1997 – and thereafter.



The most significant recognition of his work, however, took place at the Pio Manzù International Research Centre, which is a non-governmental organization of the United Nations and the UN’s Industrial Development  Organisation (UNIDO) an institute for the in-depth study of the main economic and scientific aspects of the relationship between man and his environment. UNIDO promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization and environmental sustainability 


The Citation for the Award ‘To the Creator of the Sane Alternative’ 

The Gold Medal of the Pio Manzu Centre, awarded by the International Scientific Committee of the Pio Manzu Centre to James Robertson.

 After working as an aide to Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on his “Wind of Change” African tour in 1960, and as a director of interbank research, James Robertson came to see that “decolonising” today’s overpowerful institutions must be part of the transition to a democratic, environmentally benign post-modern world.

Taking a clear-cut stance on issues involving moral choice, his books as an independent writer and lecturer – including “The Sane Alternative”, a landmark study for the “new economics” movement – have supported practicable measures to promote economic justice, such as monetary reform and a shift of taxation on to the use of land and other resources. He was a prominent founder of The Other Economic Summit (TOES) and the New Economics Foundation in the mid-1980s. 

The Pio Manzu Centre pays homage to this ‘reasonable revolutionary’ and singles him out as an outstanding example of a modern thinker at the service of society. 


Mikhail Gorbachev, President

Rimini, 19 October 2003


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