Barrow BAE Town.

A report by Philip Gilligan

The shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness has a central role in the production of Britain’s so-called ‘nuclear deterrent’, producing the submarines which carry the nuclear missiles and nuclear warheads.

The previous class of Vanguard nuclear submarines were produced here and the new Dreadnought submarines designed to carry the new Trident D-5 missiles will also be built here. Barrow is the major town and administrative centre of the Westmorland and Furness unitary authority where I live and is very much dominated by BAE Systems. The dockyard and associated buildings physically dominate the centre of town, and BAE is by far the largest local employer and the first port-of-call for anyone seeking reasonably paid employment outside the public sector. The company has at least 10,000 direct employees in the town and plans to recruit 1000 new apprentices at the shipyard in 2024. This, in an authority which has 20 areas ranked by the Office of National Statistics as being amongst the 10% most deprived areas in England. BAE Systems publicises its sponsorship of community activities with young people, charitable organisations and activities that make a positive social or economic contribution to local communities.

Local politicians (Conservative and Labour) and many trade unions compete to show their support for Trident and submarine building, uniting in 2022 in The Keep Our Future Afloat Campaign (KOFAC) focused on ‘influencing defence procurement policy’ to ‘enable Barrow shipyard and its supplier base to sustain a core workload’. The group is led by the Unite and GMB trade unions, and includes both local councils and BAE Systems and its suppliers. Campaigning for nuclear disarmament and cancellation of the Trident programme in such a context is inevitably challenging.

There are Barrovians who recognise the absurdity of the so-called ‘nuclear deterrent’ and reject the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, and they express support whenever we hold a vigils or protests in the town, but many see opposition to the Trident nuclear weapons programme as tantamount to campaigning for economic disaster for the town.

It is, therefore, essential that our campaigning emphasises the necessity and possibilities for new and different economic investment in the town, for diversification and the redeployment of skills and workers in more socially useful and sustainable industries, and this, in turn, requires effective campaigning for policies which would produce the investment needed. A Government committed to nuclear disarmament and an effective national defence diversification agency would provide the essential foundation for such policies to become a meaningful reality.

Philip Gilligan is a long time member of CND and an activist in Lancaster CND.

Conservative Socialists

Conservative Socialists.

For many people being critical of socialist parties, and in particular of the trade unions, means one is accused on being a conservative, or worse still a Daily Mail reader.

This is not the case.

The Socialist parties Auto response.

Criticise any of the socialist parties or the trade unions and one will land up engaged in a series of pointless arguments.

That is despite the fact that one may be putting forward an Ecological, Pacifist, and Anarchist set of ideas.

Cuba

There is an auto response to anyone who is critical of the Cuban Dictatorship,and that is to accuse one of being a Daily Mail reader which has happened to me.That is despite the way in which the first act of the Cuban communists upon grabbing power was to jail every anarchist in the country. While there is conscription in the country, and no right to any legal form of conscientious objection.

What I dream about is the creation of a Campaign Against the Cuban Dictatorship.

How the Trade Unions are one of the greatest problems we have to deal with.

Unite

Unite the trade union union which should always be refereed to as the National Union of Plutonium Workers and Weapon Manufacturers.

That sums up the main problem we have with them.

The GMB

This in another trade union with members working in the Nukiller power industry.

For example: – at the URENCO plant at Capenhurst.

Unison

When I did belong to a trade union it was NALGO, that then turned in to Unison.

Yet in all that time there was no real attempt to tackle to low pay of library and information workers which is much lower than that of many otherworkers.In point of fact it blocked many of the grass-root campaigns to rectify this problem.

The railway Unions

The continuing series of strikes which the railway unions are engaged upon has had serious social and environmental consequences.

Not only has it prevented many of us getting to social and political events.

Many events have had to be cancelled or were much smaller as a result of it all.

Another effect has been that it has had a damaging effect upon our transportclean up campaigning, as some individuals continue to use extreme energy petrol and diesel personal vehicles.

The wrong kind of payment.

What is also perturbing is the way that many people continue to use cash for making payments.

That is despite the fact that bank notes contain animal fat.

The use of these notes also means the continued use of securithug vans swanning around our city streets, pavement parking, and causing yet more pollution.

The very same people who use cash also refuse to use self checkouts in the shops, and thus the need for any people to continue doing totally needless work.

Dealing with them all.

Dealing with conservative socialists is one of the most frustration tasks we all have to deal with.

Not doing so will prevent us from achieving any real social change.

Countries With No CO Laws

Conscientious objection is a fundemental human right and one which should be campaigned for.

Yet in many countries throughout the world there is either: –

No known legal provision for military personnel who have conscientious objection to further service in the armed forces.

Or

There is no known legal provision for conscientious objection.

N.B.


This list does not include those countries which do not have or had conscription, and so there is no information about just what might happen should this happen.

This list is taken from the following: –

World survey of conscription and conscientious objection to military service

https://wri-irg.org/en/co/rtba/index.html

Afghanistan

Algeria

Angola

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

  • No legal provision for conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Azerbaijan

Bahamas

Belize

Benin

Bhutan

Botswana

Bulgaria

  • does not recognise the right to conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Burkina FasoBurma (Myanmar)

Burundi

Cambodia

Cape Verde

Central African Republic

China

Comores

Congo Brazzaville

Costa Rica

Cuba

Djibouti

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Egypt

El Salvador

United Arab Emirates

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Gabon

Gambia

Grenada

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Honduras

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland

  • As there has never been conscription in Ireland, there are no laws for
    conscientious objection in case conscription should be introduced.

Ivory Coast

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

  • There is no clear right to become a CO,
  • See:-
  • https://wriirg.org/en/programmes/world_survey/country_report/en/Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Lebanon

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malawi

Malaysia

Mali

Malta

  • There are no legal provisions for conscientious objection for professional soldiers.

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mexico

Mongolia

Morocco

Mozambique

  • It is not known whether the new 1997 conscription law includes a provision for conscientious objection. According to Amnesty International, the proposed
    law included such provision.

Namibia

Nepal

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria

Oman

Pakistan

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Peru

Philippines

Qatar

Rwanda

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Somalia

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Swaziland

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania

Thailand

Togo

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Uganda

Uruguay

Venezuela

Vietnam

Western Sahara

Yemen

                 

https://wri-irg.org/en/co/rtba/index.html


Atoms and Ashes – Book Review

Plokhy, Serhii

Atoms and Ashes: From Bikini Atoll to Fukushima

Penguin Books – Paperback – 2023

ISBN 978-0141997179

This very readable book covers some of worst nukiller disasters which have taken place so far. That includes the windscale fire, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Kyshtym in Russia, and the fallout of the 1954 atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

The author details just how they were all caused by negligence, bad designs, or the effects of nature such as the Fukushima Tsunami. Yet all of them have been subject to governmental or company cover-ups.

What is not covered in this book is the radioactive pollution from Uranium mining such as the Rum Jungle disaster in Australia, which is a major cause of climate change, or the ongoing problem of nukiller waste storage.

The last chapter of the book covers the military attacks which have taken place at various reactors.
For example: –

  • The Osiak nukiller facility in Iraq.
  • The Iranian Bushehr plant.
  • The Israeli Dimona reactor.

Or more recently the Russian attacks upon both the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia reactors.

As the author points out there is no international law to stop such attacks if they are classified as military facilities.

The last sentence in the book is well worth quoting: –
We can hardly afford to build new reactors before we find a way to protect existing ones.’

That is something which we all need to keep stating.

Sorting Your Books

How to sort books

Your Unique needs

From time to time people move and move again, which results in their books, DVDs, and CDS no longer being in any sort of order. Thus they become very difficult to find.

Unlike in libraries we all have collections which reflect our own interests and needs.

So how we sort out what is on our bookshelves should be unique to us all.

Thus sorting them into order should be a unique task.

At various times during my life I have helped various friends to sort out their book shelves, which is something which I find really enjoyable to do, but which is impossible to do all the time.

What’s needed.

So here is a brief guide to some aspects of what a book shelf sort involves.

First, get a good set of bookshelves. The best ones nowadays probably come from IKEA. Muji used to sell some really good light weight self assembly ones, but sad to say they are no longer available.

You might also consider buying some open box files for your pamphlets or maps.

Sorting by type

First of all put all you reference, non-fiction, and fiction books together.

Books by the same author should go together, then – in fiction – they should be in alphabetical order of authors.

Non-fiction should be sorted by subject.

e.g.

All art books by the same artists and same composers grouped together.

While cookbooks should be on a separate bookshelf near the kitchen.

I also mix some of my Books and DVDS based on the works of the same authors together.

Thus the books and film versions of the Time Machine and War of the Worlds by H.G.Wells are placed next to each other.

The same goes for films of various detective stories. Do it that way and you will no longer have to play Sherlock Holmes to find them all.

I also sort my CDs via the composers or performers in alphabetical order, be it 1950s or 1960s, world music by country, pop music, jazz, or classical works.

Then add various dictionaries and phrase books together by languages.

After which all maps and guidebooks can be sorted by town, country, or region.

Plus all Ordinance survey maps.

Historical maps can either be kept together, with the town maps and guidebooks, or with your history books.

How this is done very much depends
upon your interests and how you use these works.

False Inflationary Markers

I’ve just been looking at the list of items which make up the Brexitland inflation statistics.None of it makes any sense to me, and I certainly do not find it useful.

First of all it is based on a carnivore and not a vegan diet.

E.g. it includes dairy items such as cows milk, but not oat milk. Etc.

Then it does not include the high increase of private landlord rents.It also presumes that everyone uses extreme energy petrol and diesel personal vehicles.

Not so !

Thus there is a real need for a ecologically sound and vegan based inflation statistical table to be produced.

Collective Memories

One of the most important and noticeable aspects of getting older, comes via loosing various friends via ill heath or because they are deceased. Thus we loose the collective memories which goes with it.

‘ Remember the name of such and such ?’ we go, even if one just needs this one name to kick start a lot of other memories.

That is why I keep my old address books, maps, and other ref works. That goes with going to museams and art galleries as much as is possible.Searching on line helps too.

Yet some collective memories just disappear as one gets older, and others die.

I keep going back to memories of people who I used to know over half a century ago, and realise that if these people are alive then they will be in their 80s, 90s, or even older.

For example: Horace king who I used to work with, would be circa 120 or 125 odd if still alive.

Yet there is another aspect of this which does need remembering, and that is just how our geographical and political landscapes have changed over the years.That is important in terms of understanding the effects of climate change and river floodings.

Meanwhile I will look to my archive and making sure to pass on much memories as I have.It all comes down to making my own liturgy of the dead.

The Whitehaven Tunnel Test

For over a year pollution from this tunnel has been getting into the harbour at Whitehaven.

It’s part of the route used by DRS when Nukiller waste is taken to Sellaffield

Now this ….

Detailed tests into mystery of discoloured water in Whitehaven harbour and tunnel commence

It is interesting to note how the word Historic is used in the text, but just how recently they have started to look at it for these tests.

It also illustrates just how difficult things would be if this line might become electrified.

The text refers to it being Ochre, which is a colour, but zilch about the metallic or chemical composition of it all.

Clearly we need to be told much more about just what is going on with it all.

Rigid Thinking

I have never understood the concept of Marxist dialectical thinking.

It always reminds me of a form of very rigid Christian theology, debates concerning the Talmud, or the 57 varieties of what the true meanings of the Koran might be.

That is why I do like this line by Emma Goldman in her work – The crushing of the Russian revolution.

Published in 1922.

‘The Bolsheviks are the Jesuit order of the Marxist church.’

The 2023 Nukiller Greenwash award

Today is the anniversary of the Windscale fire, and the annual Nukiller Greenwash award is announced.

To mark the 66th anniversary of the Windscale Fire -the worst nuclear accident in the UK (October 10th 1957) the Close Capenhurst Campaign and Lakes Against Nuclear Dump present the George Monbiot Nukiller Greenwash Award to Labour Leader Keir Starmer and Labour’s Workington and Whitehaven candidate Josh MacAlister

https://www.lakesagainstnucleardump.com/post/marking-the-66th-anniversary-of-the-windscale-fire-the-george-monbiot-award-goes-to