Rail Atlas – An Activist Review

S.K.Baker

Rail Atlas    Great Britain & Ireland.

Crecy Publishing Ltd – Manchester

15th edition 2020     First published in 1977

152 Pages               ISBN 978 0 86093 681 7

There is something about maps which we all find fascinating, both as works of art, or as geographical representations.

Yet they are also very important reference works.

The Rail Atlas

Unlike most maps or rail passenger maps, this work includes the following: –

– Private lines and depots.

– Proposed railway lines.

– Heritage Railway lines.

&

– Ferry routes with the names of the shipping lines.

That includes both passenger and freight shipping lines.

It also includes an Electrification Map.

Across the Channel

The Rail and Ferry connections across the English Channel are very detailed.

This includes the following: –

– The Channel Tunnel lines at Ashford and to the north of Folkstone.

– The Various Ferry routes from Ramsgate and Dover.

&

– All the various lines around Calais.

Of Particular interest to Activists

MOD Lines

What many individuals do not realise is just how many MOD [military] railway lines and depots there are.

These include such places as : –

– Ludgershall [ Tidworth ]

– Longtown

&

– Glen Douglas

There are also the better know line in the Devonport dockyard near Plymouth.

Nukiller Waste

Anti nukiller power activists are concerned with the movement of highly radioactive used fuel rods transported by DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] along the main railway lines.

This includes the branch lines which go to the various reactor sites.

There is for example a short line in to Torness, a Goods & Nuclear Waste Terminal to the south of Thurso in North East Scotland, and the Ashford to Dungeness line.

DRS has depots at both Crewe and Carlisle.

Yet the most interesting and least well known line is from Sellafield to the ‘Low lever’ nukiller waste dump at Drigg in Cumbria.

While the Sellafield / Windscale plant has a number of sidings which are shown in the atlas.

Anyone

Anyone who is interested in knowing more about all the various rail lines which could be better used for the carrying of passengers, and goods, should have a copy of this atlas.

At £20 it is extremely good value for money.

The Brexitland Song.

To the tune of  Who Wants to be a Millionaire ?

—-

Who wants to live in Brexitland ?

  I Don’t !

Who wants to live in Brexitland ?

  We Don’t !

  WE Don’t !

Who wants to live in the EU ?

  We do !

  WE DO !

Who wants to live in a repressive state ?

  A repressive state, is something we hate!

Who wants to live in the EU ?

  E Do !

  WE DO !

  For that’s all E just want to do.

——-

Now keep singing this until Brexitland becomes a part of the EU once again.

Recent Activities

Despite Lockdown and the continuing difficulties which we are all experiencing, it has been possible for me to continue working upon various projects. This is a brief summary of some of the them.

Anti Nukiller Power

I recently put together the latest issue of Countering Capenhurst.

This contains a lot of information about DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] which transports Highly Radioactive uses fuel rods and other nukiller waste.

What I now have is enough material and written pieces to produce a pamphlet on the issue, but it is never wise to edit ones own articles .

Thus I am looking for someone to work on it with me.

5 Cale Road

The 5 Caledonian Road Project website has just been launched.

The subtitle of being 60 years of books and activism.

This is a project which I was interviewed for. You can hear a little of this interview under Small Scale Demonstrations on the website.

The ongoing Spycops Public Inquiry

Aspects of being a CP [Core Participant] in the Undercover Policing [Spycops ] Public Inquiry are still taking up a lot of my time.

Of particular interest to me is a 1980 Special Branch report describing the development of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK

Sorting out my various collections

One of the side effects of such a long lockdown has been that I’ve had the chance to go through and properly sort out my various collections.

I’ve done the same with my various documents which are now ready to be put to an archive.

I would never of been able to do this if there were a lot of meetings and events to attend.

Soon

Soon it will be possible to start organising some more proactive campaigning.

That is something which I am looking forward to doing.

Notes From Dystopian Brexitland

Notes From A Dystopian Planet.   

Notes From Dystopian Brexitland

Living or rather surviving within Brexitland is very much like living in the middle / muddle of a dystopian novel, which is also organised in a totally shambolic fashion.

In other words we are going through one of the most dangerously depressing periods of human history.

There is an ecological, political, economic, and social disaster all around one, but very few people within Brexitland are focused upon doing much about it all.

If that sounds like a really bad prognosis , then please don’t ask me to so in to it all on a really bad day for me.

Even when the Rabid Right Wing Tory ‘Government’ of Brexitland are found to of done something really bad, then all they have done is to set up a royal commission to discover what went wrong, and how the 11th commandment was broken.

That is the one which says: –   Thou Shall Not Get Caught.

Meanwhile.

The Arms Trade, global warming, air pollution, increases in Radioactive poisoning, political repression, falling standards of education , social inequalities, and so forth continue to increase.

While the Brexitland press continues to focus upon so called Celebs, the Royals, a very limited number of Big Business sporting events, and what is being shown upon television.

It summary it is both highly depressing and socially irresponsible.

Thus too the Economy.

Here is a very brief summary of some of the current problems within Brexitland

– More Shop Closures after Yet More Shop Closures.

– Unsafe Cladding upon many buildings.

– Employment Issues which are just too complex to sum up here.

– An increase in the number of Food Banks which many people have become very reliant upon. Yet food is now rotting on the fields as there not enough people to harvest it all.

– An nation which is obsessed with entertainment, Celebs, and the Royals, but seems totally unconcerned about falling educational standards.

Those of you who live within Brexitland will know this already,

While those of you that don’t would be totally shocked to experience it all.

Changes

Changes In Our Thinking

As a individual I want to change the kind of world we live in, but first of all that requires a little rethinking from everyone about how this might be achieved.

For example: –

I think discipline is needed – Self Discipline.

While we need to move away from think in terms of consumerism, so that it becomes more about the quality of life.

Just as we need to stop thinking about profits, but think in terms of environmental gains.

While also stopping to refer to the military as defenders. That is because it is health workers who help defend us from ill health.

Changes In What They Should Do

It is so very easy to create a list all ecological and social problems which we need to address, and then produce an even longer one of what needs doing to solve them.

Yet even those who get to understand some of these problems land up creating even more of them.

This is well illustrated by the daily media coverage of politicians who talk about solving out ecological problems, while they continue dinning out on lamb and salmon.

These same politicians pontificate about global warming.

Yet they still continue to promote a technology which causes both global warming and many other forms of pollution.

e.g. Nukiller Power.

Or trade unionists who go on about protecting their members and creating jobs, while at the same time promoting the arms trade.

Never mind how they keep promoting the nukiller power industry, rather than promoting the building of wind farms which will create many more safer jobs.

Neither do we just need to focus our criticism upon the above, as so many individuals who get involved in campaigning take an almost nihilistic back to an illusionary better past in to a better future approach to campaigning.

An Educational Failure

Though in many ways what we have is a failure of the educational system which causes the above, and in particular a failure on basic education.

A society which has so many functionally illiterate, and scientifically illiterate individuals, will always have a problem with people understandings statistics, economics, demographic changes, or be able to criticise bad science.

To that list must be added a failure to teach linguistics and ethical education in our schools.

One only has to glance at the Brexitland press in order to illustrate just how things really are right now.

Looking Back – Looking Forward

Yet for all the criticisms about what is wrong about ill informed so called leaders, politicians, trade unionists, capitalists, and so forth,

we still are left with our own To Do list.

I’ll not repeat this list as I would just be repeating myself, and a To Do list is no use in isolation of an even longer how to achieve changes list.

I’ve always said that the most important job of radicals, be they anarchist pacifists or no, is to identity what needs to be done, initiate campaigns, and then move on when these become main stream concerns.

All of this is doable if we apply a little clear thinking.

Though there is a immense mess to clear up which is not going to be achieved without about what needs doing 10, 20, or 30 years in to the future

—- and yet —

It is possible to improve the education system right now,

but this can only be done by putting more effort in to creating much better Adult Education.

—- and yet —

There are some issues which will take many lifetimes of campaigning to solve.

 

Think Before We Speak

Ideologically Unsound

There is a really strong correlation between what are real insults, and that which is ideologically unsound.

This is why we need to think before we swear at people.

Description not insult.

One of the problems with so called swear words is that most of them are either descriptions of body parts, bodily functions, or pleasurable activities.

Yet there are other ways of showing our contempt.

Problem wording

There are some words or expressions which convey the problems we have.

For example: –

– Management

– Brexit

– Organisational Restructuring

– Driver

– Spycop

&

– Investor

True insults.

While the following are descriptive words which may be used to show our true contempt.

– Butcher

– Militarist

– Manager

– Kapitalist

– Nationalist

&

– Authoritarian

Compliments

In contrast here are just some of the compliments which we should all be using more often.

– Anti Militarist

– Ecologist

– Vegan

– Activist

– Pedestrian

– Anarchist

&

– Pacifist

Last word

There are lots of other word examples which I could give, but I will just conclude this with another expression which might be added to all of the above.

Be Imaginative

 

Still Waiting For Answers

There are times when it is possible to engage upon active campaigning, and times when one needs to engage in more reflected activism.

These last few weeks have been very much this way as Part Two of Tranche one of the Undercover Policing Inquiry is taking place.

This public inquiry in to the activities of various spycops has so far cost something in the region of £40,000,000.

Yet I, like many of the victims of the SDS [ Special Demonstration Squad ], are still waiting to find out exactly how we we spied upon.

Part Three of Tranche One of the inquiry will now take place next year instead of this autumn, while Tranche Two will not start until 2023.

There are still many questions which need to be addressed about just how I and many others we spied upon.

It is taking to lot of effort to get any answers to these questions.

You might well ask why this was done.

It was done because we were campaigning to create a better world.

Box 500

The SDS was a unit of the Metropolitan Police Special Branch.

The spying reports produced by the SDS were rubber stamped Box 500, which was code for them being passed on to MI5.

It is now clear that many of the reports were seen by senior government ministers, or used in the summary intelligence they received.

As the inquiry proceeds we will no doubt learn more about what happened to those of us who are spycop victims, but we still need to know who all the spycops were.

Campaigning in to the Future

Happy I am.

At long last we are all able to start moving on from Lockdown, with many individuals having had a second jab. Myself included.

With so such about to be fully opened again such as the essentials of an intellectual life – Libraries, Bookshops, music stores, and museums – It now feels like we can start to fully think again.

What Next for campaigning?

The big problem with a lot of campaigning is that it is reactive rather that proactive.

Do please keep this in mind as this year progresses, as there is a lot which needs to be focused upon right now.

Which issues Next ?

At this stage I could make a long list of actions which need to be done, but instead which I’ll just list the very few which are high priorities or which very few people are working on right now.

– Reversing the Brexit Disaster.

– Stopping the Nukiller Power Industry.

– Banning and dismantling all Nukiller Weapons.

– Pedestrianising our city Centres, while building a new tram and Canal system, as we campaign to block the use of all extreme energy person vehicles.

Sorting Out Our Organising Priorities.

Having spent the last year watching others talking about issues online, or just talking about issue to each other, can we realistically expect to pick up on our previous campaigns ?

That is a question which needs thinking about.

Aspects Of 500

Aspects of Information work and Usage

So here I am

Retired but still practising Library and Information work.

– Information Provider.

– Information worker..

– With aspects of my life to be found online

&

– An archive in Amsterdam

It’s a good combination to have.

Yet some of the same kind of activity has been done about me by the state.

Spycop[s]

The Infamous Special Demonstration Squad [ SDS ] was established during 1968.

It was established to infiltrate politically active groups and report their activities to the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, but it has now emerged that the information which these spycops gathered was being passed on to MI5.

I and many of the political campaigning groups I was involved in were the subject of SDS reports.

Greenpeace [ London ] which I have been involved with for many years was infiltrated by at least Three Spycops.

Trying to find out

So here I am

– Trying to find out just how extensive the state spycops built files on me

&

– A Core Participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Not that the inquiry is opening up that many of the files about myself, my friends, and the various campaigns which I was involved in.

What is known ?

So just what has the inquiry revealed about me which I didn’t know already ?

That I and my mates were spied upon?

I knew that already.

The true and cover names of the various spycops ?

Most of the ones we do know about are in the public domain, including the notorious Bob Lambert who went by the cover name of Bob Robinson while he was spying on me.

Open the files

The inquiry is slowly releasing some information about just who was spied upon to some core participants, but it is far from complete.

While we are still demanding a full list of all the spycop cover names, and those campaigning groups they spied upon.

In the meanwhile: – 

The documents I have received do include my individual Special branch file number, but not what is included in it.

500

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of what the inquiry has revealed, is that the SDS reports were passed on to MI5.

These files are rubber stamped with the number 500.

I am thinking to get a badge made with a drawing of a rubber stamp with the number 500 on it.

Practical Campaigning – Ethical Issues.

I’m Just so pleased that I was taught about ethics at school, even if I can only remember just some of the principals of it all.

Now what strikes me is that more people should of been taught them, as some of those principles apply to why we all need to have the vaccine.

The same kind of Ethical principals apply to the need to be Vegan.

It is all very well talking about personal choice, and the principal of Human Rights, but what about if these choices impact upon other people or life upon this planet?

I guess in many ways it is an aspect of just why we need to engage in joined-up-campaigning.

This is one of the aspects of life that I mentioned in my article A few thoughts about the One in Seven which has just been published within the latest issue of Information For Social Change [ ISC ].

Yet

One of the side effects of lockdown has been the chance to think about the kind of society it would be ideal to live in, even though most of us have had to deal with the practical issues which face us all.

It also has been many of us the chance to think What Next? & Where Do I Want To Go Next ?

Yet

The coming few months will be very busy with the end of lockdown.

The first thing is that Part two of Tranche One of the spycops public inquiry is taking place next month, and I am hoping to learn about the activities of the spycop[s] that I knew during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though the inquiry is redacting so much information that it is very hard going to get anything which is really useful out of it.

Then comes all of the active campaigning which needs picking up on again, and the chance to meet other activists in order to work out what we can do next.

Some things which need doing are very obvious, but we will need to build up an activist base once more. As and when these activities will be posted on the Close Capenhurst Campaign website.