Issue 105

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 13 of 59

Brett Scott: Cashless society is a euphemism for saying the bank payment society. It's a society where you move money around essentially through bank accounts. So one of the immediate players that drives it are the banks them- selves who stand to gain from a move to cashless society. You always have to use the banking infrastructure. But then there's all the companies that work around the banks like the payments companies, like Visa and Master- card, who facilitate the movement of money between bank ac- counts. Then there's the financial technology (FinTech) industry more generally who often build more services on top of it, so you can imagine these layers of the digital economic system and all of them have agendas in pushing for cashless society, because cash represents a form of payment that they don't make any fees from. Governments are also pushing for it because you can monitor what goes on between bank ac- counts more easily than you can monitor cash transactions so it's a bunch of government agendas around being able to have greater levels of surveillance in society. Those are the main players push- ing for it right now. What the technology industry often will do is speak about a future they would like to see and present it as completely inevitable and obvious that it would happen. So a lot of the tech futurism is really the desire of technology companies projected out as being obvious things that will happen. So when people are saying we are obviously moving towards a cash- less society, we're inevitably going to do this, it's largely the market- ing departments of the financial technology companies that are trying to create this sense of this is what you want. This is why companies like Visa for example will be running all these adverts all the time in London saying 'cash free and proud,' they're trying to engineer this feeling that there's something wrong with cash. Cash is a public utility. Anybody can use it. There's no requirement to be interacting with a private company in order to be using cash. Whereas private companies have to advertise and make them- selves desirable which is why they are on this kind of offensive against cash. But yes the finan- cial technology companies more generally have a lot of agendas in trying to tell us that there's this inevitable automation and digiti- sation of finance. Catch the full interview with Brett Scott at 10 ISSUE 105 / 2017 REAL MEDIA As we increasingly move to cashless and contactless payments, we ask financial journalist and activist Brett Scott about who will benefit from a move to a cashless society, and why we might want to hold on to our paper money for a little while longer... WHO IS DRIVING CASHLESS SOCIETY? AIR POLLUTION & THE UK Mat Hope: Part of the difficulty when you're talking about the direct impacts of air pollution, is you don't tend to have air pollution written on the death certificate. Air pollution affects many other types of diseases, and we're starting to get a much better understanding of that. But without that data, without that extra analysis to take that extra step, to understand the causes and effects of air pollution, we're still slightly in the dark about how big a problem it is. The fact that London consistently breaks its air pollution records in a really short number of days in a year shows that the city and politicians and the people in charge clearly do not take air pollution seriously enough as an issue. The other thing about air pollution, of course, is it absolutely affects everyone. The air we breathe moves; it moves all over the place so that means you're not just going to breathe it in London if It comes from London, you're not just going to breathe it in Scarborough if it comes from Scarborough. So it's important that there is a nationwide response to this and there's a nationwide understanding of what's going on. An estimated 50,000 people will die in the UK from air pollution by 2019 – we spoke to investigative journalist Mat Hope from DeSmog about why the issue needs to be taken more seriously.

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