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A currency-issuing regional government in the Midlands

February 17, 2014

In reply to a post on another website advocating regional government for the Midlands, Fleetwood’s Ken Palmerton responds to the last post: “Why not the Midlands indeed! Mercia, under Earl Leofric and his tax cutting wife Godiva, was a viable entity, why not now?”

A search revealed that the Midlands of England, Mercia, included much of south Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and northern Warwickshire and Tamworth was the capital of Mercia.

Currency created for Mercia

Offa was the king of prosperous Mercia from 757; coins bore his name and the name of the moneyer from whose mint the coins came. Some coins, issued under the authority of the Church, bore the names of the archbishop of Canterbury, Jaenberht, but after a dispute, Offa gave the coining rights to Eadberht, bishop of London.

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Ken remembers causing ‘a bit of a riot’ when he told people at a Green Party meeting in Plymouth that he was a Jerseyman and nonplussed at all their fuss. The island he hailed from had ALWAYS claimed its independence and the basis of that independence was their insistence upon creating and circulating their own currency.

Jersey’s first bank notes (for the value of £1) were issued in 1797 by wine merchant Hugh Godfray and Company. Other banks, churches and even parishes followed suit and began issuing notes as well.

states of jersey logoIts government website records that Jersey’s banks order paper money from the States of Jersey to meet the demand for cash from their customers.

jersey note2The money that the banks pay for the notes is invested by the States of Jersey and contributes to the overall running of the Island. There is about £70 million of Jersey notes in circulation, but this figure goes up at certain times of the year – for example at Christmas when islanders withdraw more cash from the banks.

What makes the islands different is that the States, the island’s Parliament, does not borrow, or rather has not done so historically – Ken adds that because the pressure the Islands have been under to “conform” to international practices has been intense.

 

Ken – and also Ben Dyson of Positive Money – points out that, nowadays, the creation and circulation of currency is ‘small change’; Ben adds that the governing entity should also issue electronic money and spend that directly into the economy.

 

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