As farmers we could find our freedom to buy cattle, sheep and pigs restricted if not stopped. Fertiliser and important chemicals for our arable crops could be stopped, as DC which are in fact ‘vouchers’, are controlled.
Such control over our lives could very easily be introduced if Digital Cash were to be adopted by the Bank of England with the support of government and used for all transactions. Cash and its flexibility would be confined to the history books and replaced by vouchers.
The Bank of England has called on ministers to decide whether a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) should be “programmable”, ultimately giving the issuer control over how it is spent by the recipient.
Tom Mutton, a director at the Bank of England, said during a conference last week that programming could become a key feature of any future CBDC, in which the money would be programmed. You could introduce programmability – which allows a participant in a transaction to put a restriction on future use of our money.
He added, “There could be some socially beneficial outcomes from that, preventing activity which is seen to be socially harmful in some way. But at the same time, it could be a restriction on people’s freedoms.” I think we can agree with the latter.
This is clearly a crucial debate, which the public must be consulted on. There are those who believe a digital currency could make payments faster, cheaper, and safer, but the new technology including programming, effectively allows a party in a transaction, such as the state or an employer, to control how the money is spent by the recipient.
Sir John Cunliffe, a deputy Governor of the Bank of England, told Sky News: “You could think of smart contracts in which the money would be programmed to be released only if something happened.
He suggested that when giving children pocket money it could be programmed so that they couldn’t buy sweets. How popular would that be?
A Treasury spokesman said: “The Taskforce is coordinating the exploration of a potential CBDC but no decisions have been taken on whether to introduce it in the UK or its design."
I think we should be very worried. If CBDC is to be introduced, we must ensure 100% it does not have the capacity to be ‘programmable’. It smacks to me of state control, which may be acceptable in China, North Korea, or Russia but such control has no place in the United Kingdom, a democracy not yet a Police State.
Those of us who live and farm on the borders of high-density populations accept the consequences and welcome thousands of locals who enjoy the beauty of the well-kept countryside while walking their dogs and benefitting from the exercise. The majority are thoroughly decent people who appreciate the privilege but sadly some are vile and destructive.
To those who trespassed into a small private wood last week and wantonly smashed to pieces small but cherished iconic statues, some of which are memorials to people who have died, including a troubled young man who took his own life; may they be forgiven.
If there is justice in this world, those thugs who invaded this private haven of tranquillity will be visited in the deep of the night when at their most vulnerable, by the spirits of the departed whose memory they have abused and vandalised. They need to be reminded that their wicked behaviour has consequences.