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He's the local campaigner trying to spark a international movement...Barbara Panvel profiles the far-sighted Colin Hines a man with a plan for a consumer revolution.

Decline in manufacturing, service jobs relocated abroad, loss of farmers and farming land, an unstable climate and aggressive and costly military action to crack down on the oil-producing Middle East . . .

We're living beyond our means: importing far more than we export, relying on the income from finance industries which could be wrecked in a matter of days by an international upheaval

And the poorest in other countries bear the brunt: in order to scoop the market and produce the cheapest car in the world, India's Tata company supported by government takes over farming land despite violently suppressed protests, and broken-spirited people are forced to leave their land and sleep on city pavements.

Demonstrators who have ‘forced their way on to the world stage calling for reform of the World Trade Organization and an end to globalisation' are at a loss when asked what reforms they would propose.

They should learn from ‘Mr Localisation'- Colin Hines - co-founder of Localise West Midlands [LWM], who advocates strengthening local economies. Earthscan published his latest book in which his proposals are set out in detail. They call for the World Trade Organisation to be replaced by a democratic World Localisation Organisation which would create rules to ensure that regional trade, technology transfer and international dealings are geared to build up maximum employment through increased sustainable, regional self-reliance.

Colin works at several levels: with LWM, at European Union level with MEP Caroline Lucas and further afield with the International Forum on Globalisation.

He, like well-travelled writer Jeremy Seabrook, sees “a real popular movement in the making . . .” which will “reunite consumers with producers; devolve the growing of food to the most local unit and retrieve clothing from the global manufacturers in their infernal sweatshops . . .“

The setting up of local renewable energy generation is still in its early stages but the local food movement is more advanced and its success is provoking opposition. As profits are reduced by the increasing market share of local food growers, of organic producers and of Fairtrade goods, an angry backlash is coming from those linked to affected companies, attempting to rubbish the buying of local, organic and fairly traded products.

Maximum employment through increased sustainable, regional self-reliance would be achieved far more quickly with the supportive international framework advocated by Colin Hines and his colleagues.

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