Last year, all the banks left Glastonbury High Street. Lloyds Bank, HSBC, Barclays, all abandoned the town. (‘Boo … or hooray!’ depending on your perspective.) A campaign by local residents and the Town Council, ‘The Last Bank Standing,’ did not convince the banks to stay, but it did attract the attention of Nationwide Building Society.
Personally, I think the local Credit Union is the best way to make money work for a community. However, Nationwide building society does not invest in war, nuclear, oil or gas, which is a bonus, and it makes them more ethical than the bag 6 Banks, and rather than investing in corporations, they invest in the community.
Divest from the big six and switch! That is something I can get behind.
Even better, Nationwide are supporting poetry with a ‘National Voices’ Campaign. Hopefully, I will perform today’s poem – ‘People are not a Commodity’ in the Market Square on 27th April. Come down if you can, between midday and 4pm, some of the poets from the advert campaign will be there too. After the poetry takeaway event in Glastonbury, I will post the poem here.
Here it is …
People are Not a Commodity
Altogether, we are building society,
finding new ways to strengthen our community.
Common unity, with no rank or authority;
and while it seems like everybody
is competing in a competitive economy,
people are not a commodity.
Here, we are building bridges,
embracing so many faiths and religions.
and with all these different traditions,
we can’t afford to invest in divisions.
So it’s time to think about divesting,
and switching to something real,
something that we can believe in.
We are advocating unity in diversity,
but while we are celebrating this,
who is caring for the family,
who’s there for the young and the elderly?
Community despises isolation,
it comes alive with our participation.
Like birds of a feather,
it works when we all work together.
So let’s take part, let’s take the time
to meet one another, eye to eye
take a moment to share a smile,
and call on your mates once in a while.
We all need a place to belong,
a place where we don’t feel alone,
everyone wants a welcome home,
so let’s cheer one another on.
That’s how a community remains strong.