Discussion with various partners (and prospective partners), voluntary organisations, social enterprises, representatives from the main political parties, financiers and opinion formers have been positive, as we start to build a coalition of support for our proposals. There has been a great deal of healthy debate, challenge and thinking - exactly what we need! What seems to be coming through loud and clear is that our ideas do seem to resonate with people about the need for the banking sector to change.
The support of a Cabinet Minister can be a great fillip but there are also risks of being associated with a particular individual. This was highlighted when Hazel Blears resigned from the Cabinet, with her political reputation taking a battering in the process. However, from the outset we've known that success lies in generating support from across the political and social spectrum. We cannot afford for banking reform to become a party political issue - we must attempt to build consensus on a new type of economics and banking regulation that places greater value on the social impact of economics.
This means the Treasury must be within our sights if we are to achieve the aim of community reinvestment legislation in the UK. A forthcoming White Paper on banking regulatory reform provides a focus for our immediate efforts as this is likely to be introduced this side of a General Election. Lord Myners is leading on the White Paper's development at the Treasury and we hope he will pick up on the public mood...though ‘zeitgeist' is not usually a feature of Her Majesty's Treasury criteria for decision making. ho hum....