Drax Shareholders Revolt For All The Wrong Reason.

Drax has been in the news this week, such as in the FT.

It is all about how the company shareholders are in revolt about what the directors are getting paid.

A report in Utilityweek mentions this issue:

‘ Almost a fifth of shareholders at Drax rejected a motion to approve its remuneration report increasing executive pay during the company’s annual general meeting yesterday (17 April). ‘

Followed by an almost throw away line which states: –

‘A protest organised by Biofuelwatch was held outside the AGM and Drax’s power station in Yorkshire yesterday.’

 

It’s a pity that most activist publicity only mentioned the protest outside the plant, and not the one outside the agm.

Perhaps with more notice, it might be possible to organise a trip to chat to the company shareholders at next years agm.

Following On From All Fools Day

So here we are: –

Another day of the Mrs May and Her dysfunctional Tory MPs show coming up to distract all our attentions.

Yet there are many activists trying to get other issues noted, such as that of climate change.

The joke being that if any historian looks back to the newspapers of this period, then most of what they find to read about will be about Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, and the decline of the airline industry & UK retail outlets.

Meanwhile there are many other issues which we really should be focusing our minds upon.

Such as: –

The long term problem of what to do with nukiller waste, the abolition of NATO, how to build a sustainable transport system which includes both local electric delivery vehicles and trams, and how we can convert the countryside to one where farmers can make a living by growing crops as opposed to killing animals.

This is not just a period during which the bad news is being buried, but one during which there are thousands of bureaucratic JCBs scooping it all up in order to bury these problems in land-file.

Future generations are not going to be impressed when then they eventually get to read all of these files.

The Road From Wigan Pier

A Dystopian Novel ?

Let us start with a well known slogan: –

Crisis?  What Crisis?

That’s the cry from all the dysfunctional politicians who ruin all they touch in the most shambolic manner, and who have either no idea about or concern about a major set of crisis which face us all.

As a member of the METs Diplomatic Protection Squad once told me:- ‘Politicians are only able to see as far ahead as the next election’.

Only being concerned that way means none of them can think about or do any long term planning.

That would be OK,  if we just didn’t have to face up to so many immediate problems which will impact upon us many centuries in to the future.

Well we all know the issues: – Climate Change, Economic Decline, Toxic Waste Dumps to clear up, High Level Nukiller Waste, etc, etc.

While both falling standards of education, a growing number of people living in poverty, and too much party party time, deflects the ability of the many to focus of much more than the very immediate future.

The growing number of rough sleepers on our streets many not be noted by much of the mass media, while just what is shown on television produces pages and pages and pages of print each day.

Meanwhile all the politicians want to deal with is Brexit Brexit Brexit.

Yes the word is depressing, but there is nothing new about it all.

If I sound totally pessimistic about this, then I’m not, as there are the solutions which we can and must put in to place.

What we need is more people to take control of how we live our lives.

Just a few more activists would make a big BIG difference to what we might be able to achieve.

Thinking About Campaigning – A World View Reminder

From time to time it is well worth reminding myself and others of how I view the world.

Take the overview, but keep an eye on the details.

In practice this means I will put my political energy in to those projects which very few people have the time or energy to engage upon.

Or

In to those projects which take a lot of time to learn about.

I also believe that we can not indulge in thinking in terms of campaigning seasons, as the kind of crisis which we face need hours by days by weeks by months by years by decades of solid campaigning and social action.

The real problem is just how do we maintain such long term activities, while receiving very little or no support ?

This is very much a practical question which needs to be asked by anyone who is engaged in long term campaigning.

Yet Another Year.

It has just been announced that the hearings upon the first module of the Spycops Public Inquiry are being delayed from this to next year.

The thing which really saddens me is that by the time the inquiry nears its end it will be circa 2024, with the inquiry report coming out some time during 2026.

That’s taking in to account just this one year delay.

Yet there is still many 1,000s of pages of spycop reports unread by Mitting and the inquiry team, which the MET want redacted before we get to read them.

So more delays upon more delays will follow as they argue out how to do this on a document by document basis.

For my and older generations it will mean many activists will never learn just what happened to us.

So far the public inquiry has cost circa thirteen and a half million pounds, and rising.

Yet despite all this money being spent: – still know very little about the SDS and all of the other spycops.

Think Again – A Draft Text For Anti-Militarist Activists.

Thinking about Joining the Army?

Think Again.

You might think that joining the army will mean you learn a skill which might may make you more employable.

Think Again.

You may only learn to kill innocent individuals in an unjust war.

Think Again.

You may think the army will give you a secure future.

Think Again.

Just look at the number of ex soldiers who are rough sleepers on the streets of this city.

Think Again.

You may think that it may be easy to leave the army with very few problems in doing so.

Think Again.

Even if you complete the full term of an army contract, then you will still be eligible to be called up as a part of the Army Reserve.

Think Again.

You may be told that by joining the Army Reserve you can change you mind at any time.

Think Again.

Anyone who is called up as an Army Reservist in time war and refuses to do so will be court marshalled as a deserter.

The maximum sentence for this is Life In Prison.

So Think Again.

Is the Army really something you really want to join?

Now just add your campaigning address, print out, and distribute outside of your local Army Recruiting Office.

Shambolic, or The Mess We Are All In Now. Part Two.

Here is today’s summary on the Shambolic way in which the whole Brexit deal is being handled, and other aspects of the way the UK government deals with attempting to run the nation.

The unelected PM Theresa May been making statements about how a second referendum would do “irreparable damage” to democracy, and { get this } weaken our faith in politicians.

Er – well – If she got out more in to the real world, then she might know how most of the population feel about this already, and how it goes way beyond contempt.

Yet here is the thing: –

Many of the government services and large parts of the UK infrastructure are outsources to companies which are either broke, or aim to improve what services they provide to the status of shambolic

Just take the example of Carilion which went tails up earlier in the year, or Capita which is working on army recruitment in such a way that it saves may of us from going out to do as much anti-recruiting work as in the past.

Meanwhile none of the politicians are doing any work to stop the largest crisis we have: –

The way in which our environment is in a state of collapse.

Yet the headlines are all about how we are not shopping in the way the capitalists think we should, and thus how many of the retailers face ruin.

Is it any wonder that many of us think that this is just not the time to party, but get down to working upon solving the mess we are all in.

The Mess We Are All In Now

For those of you who have not been able to follow the news about Brexit over the last couple of weeks: – here is a summary of it all.

A large group of delusional and dysfunctional individuals, who are otherwise known as members of the house of commons, are having an argument about just what kind of dysfunctional society we should all live in. Although there bottom line comes down to how they might hold on to power, or keep boosting up their egos.

Meanwhile they ignore the declining economy which is resulting in there being more rough sleepers on the streets, poor housing, growing debts, a declining NHS, growing pollution, and the 2000 and 5 other more urgent problems which most of the population are worried about.

That’s aside from the fact that they seem unable to focus upon the need for proper recycling facilities, or creating a sounder ecological society.

Meanwhile there is zilch being done to stop the UKs greatest exports – High levels of plastic waste & radioactive waste getting in to the sea.

I don’t think I’ve missed anything here, except for a few details, such as how these self serving members of the house of commons are more worried about a general election taking place, or how they might replace the unelected prime minister Mrs May, than in anything else.

At one level it is farcical, but none of these social and ecological problems can be solved until we take control back from all these dysfunctional and delusional politicians.

As to what might happen next – Either the disastrous farce continues, or some real world thinking starts to take place.

We can only hope – – – .

Long Term Rules For Activists – Part Six

A Few Considerations.

First Consideration.

One of the aspects of any political analysis, social, or world view, which always needs to be considered, is just how it may match up with what goes on in the real world.

Things change over the decades, our individual situations change, and that it something we always need to be aware about.

Second Consideration.

Many of the campaigning manuals make sets of assumptions about how activists are able to see each other on a very regular basis, or have very close friends, a partner, or family members living in the immediate area. All of whom can give them support if things go wrong.

That’s nice in theory, but excludes a lot of would be activists whose homes are spread over a very wide geographical area.

Meeting Up.

It also takes no account of the fact that many campaigning groups come together for a short while before the individuals in it move on to other towns, cities, villages, or countries.

Something which I’ve realised over this last decade, is that if I tried to meet up with everyone I’ve campaigned with over the years, then it would mean going on a 6 month world tour.

I jest not.

So – – –

So we all need to spend time refining &/or questioning our world view.

While always spending a lot more time talking with, and getting to better know, all those activists we work with.

This especially goes for those individuals who do not have a good support network around them, or who are fresh to many of our radical ideas.

Long Term – Short Term

Many of the major issues we face seem to take a long while to solve, but here’s the key question: –

Will they take a few years, or a few decades to solve?

Some issues come down to changing peoples attitudes, such as racism, gay rights, sex discrimination, or ageism.

While some campaigning centres around stopping specific wars.

All of which is achievable.

What will take much longer is countering just what has and is being done to our environment.

Be it burning fossil fuels, allowing plastics to land up in the middle of our oceans, or pollute the earth with radioactive waste, there is going to be no quick fix.

All we can do is work to stop these problems growing, and then put our finances in to various measures to clean up all of this mess.

So What To Do, or What Options Do We Have ?

The follow up question is:-

Just how many of us are capable of very long term thinking?

The answer is Not Many.

That’s why we find so many people who are able to think in terms of campaigning for achievable immediate objectives, but are not able to do this in conjunction with working to achieve longer term aims.

This might be summed up with a mind set which goes:-

It feels ever so, ever so, ever so – ever so in to the future.

Thus we are for ever mounting short term campaigns after short term campaigns, which are not conducive to any sort long term or longer term thinking, as opposed to building campaigns that have a decades or centuries long vision.

It really does make it very difficult to do any long term planning if we have to constantly keep focusing upon short term campaigns and short term campaign fund raising.

Thus in any campaign we need to work upon both our short term and long term aims.

For example: –

In the short term stopping specific arms exports.

While in the long term illuminating all the causes of war.

Ecological effects

Much of the major ecological damage to the global has been done over the last couple of hundred years, but we have as a species been able to reverse some of it.

For example by banning the use of those gases which damaged the ozone layer, and by Species reintroduction projects.

While we are currently campaigning to curtail the use of the plastics which are killing so many creatures in our oceans.

Such projects take decades to get results and a lot of dedicated hard work to make them happen.

While in many coastal areas community groups are going out to the shore line to clear them of plastics.

Radioactivity makes for a set of long term issues.

What we can’t clean up or easily reverse are the effects of radioactive matter in our environment, which will effect us for hundreds of centuries.

Thus the urgent need to stop more being produced in the first place, which will then have to be followed my many decades of campaigning to make sure this waste does no more harm by getting in to the environment.

That the kind of campaigning which is both very urgently needed to be done, and which will need continually worked upon for many centuries to come.

Rethinking the time scales

There are no campaigning handbooks which I have ever seen which take in to account just how many generations of activists will be needed to campaign about these same ecological problems.

When the nukiller power industry developed in the 1940s and 50s nobody thought about the long term effects of what they were doing.

They just developed the reactors and dumped the waste where they could. That’s why we have so such of what is refereed to by the industry as ‘legacy waste’.

There are no short term fixes to many of our various social, political, and ecological problems.

That’s why we need to think about actions which look towards long term solutions, as opposed to a lots of short term protests.

Long Term Rules For Activists – Part 5 – Stats

Yesterday morning I leafleted the Smarter Travel conference and exhibition with other Liverpool Pedestrians outside the new conference centre by the River Mersey. We handed out a 2 sided A4 leaflet headed Actions Not Words. The rest of this leaflet was made up of four sets of statistical graphs which shows how Merseyside has the highest number of Pedestrians, Child Pedestrians, Cyclists, and Child Cyclists killed or seriously injured in any metropolitan area in the UK.

We keep been told that we should not so much make the case for radical change, but give people the figures to prove it needs doing.

So that’s what we did.

Being statistical information which was relevant to the subject of the conference had more impact, and it was clearly being read in a way which a body of text would not of been.

I’ve never handed out a leaflet which just gives statistical info before now, but it clearly works in getting over our point of view, and might be added to any future campaigning manuals.