Extracts From The Book – Poverty and Ecological Disaster. A Post Brexit Study

The following book extracts are taken from the most renowned academic study of the UK during the first half of the 21stnd century.

Poverty and ecological disaster.

A study of life in Britain during the post Brexit years .

Published by the CLO University press.

The Peak district School.

2052.

Chapter 1

The Brexit disaster.

‘ As predicted the state of the UK rapidly declined with the introduction of Brexit.

The dysfunctional desires of the rabid right wing Tory government were no more than a delusional set of nightmare policies.

After Brexit the UK continued its rapid economic decline.

In the poorest areas of the country begging for food on the street increased at an alarming rate. This was not helped by the fact that most of the population no longer had the income to be able to donate to all the food banks which had rapidly increased by the 2nd decade of the century.

The social and economic effects of the withdrawal of all the EU regional funding to some of the poorest areas of Europe was increasingly noticeable as the years went by.’

Chapter 16

Eduction and Illiteracy.

‘Unlike the rest the rest of Europe, British government public spending on education plummeted.

Thus by 2038 the official school leaving age dropped to 14. That was the same as it had been a century before.

The rate of public library closures continued.

Most alarming of all the rate of functional illiteracy in the country rose from 1 in 7, to 90 in 100 of the population.

Thus the rate of unemployment rose, as fewer and fewer of the population became qualified or skilled workers.’

‘The effects upon higher education became profound. This was especially so after the universities of Cambridge, London, and Oxford were forced to merge and become the CLO university.’

Chapter 22

The Toxic Legacy.

‘ One of the most alarming aspects of the period was that all the nukiller plants became engulfed by rising tides, as did many of the radioactive and toxic waste dumps. The government stated that dealing with this was a priority, but there was no money left in the exchequer to solve it.

Thus the UK government had to declare a national emergency, but it was just too late to solve all these problems.

Thousands died of starvation and exposure to all the radioactive and toxic waste.’

‘ Finally, in 2042 the country became such an ecological disaster area, that the UK government begged the EU to become a European dependency, as it was totally incapable of becoming a full EU member state.’

– – –

Postscript.

December 2019

All of the above could happen: –

If we don’t take Action Now !

AIR Again

How many 1,000s of words have I penned over the years?

I just don’t know, as I’ve never even counted all the letters, emails, and articles which I have written.

However: –

Just once in a while something I wrote becomes available again.

This has just happened.

Between 1990 & 1992 Librarians Within the Peace Movement published 10 issues of AIR [ Alternative Information Record ]. This was before LWPM merged in to ISC [ Information for Social Change].

They were produced with the printing technology that was available to us during that era: – typewriters & photocopiers.

All the copies of AIR are now to be found via the table of contents page of Information for Social Change website.

Here is a link to one of them.

Thinking About Self Education

I have never wanted to be an ‘expert’ or specialist in any shape or form.

All I’ve ever wanted to be is a good All Rounder.

Thus I have focused all of my self education activities.to that end.

That includes what I might read, or viewed in the many museums and art galleries which I visited over the years.

Such visits are also my idea of fun.

In my younger days I was lucky enough to pay ahort visis to such places at the British Museum, National Gallery, and National Portrait Gallery during my lunch breaks.
Plus spend my time browsing within both radical bookshops, and all the ones along the Charing Cross Road.

Spending much of my life working within libraries has also contributed towards my self education.

I also enjoy public talks on the few occasions when they occur.

Understand all of that and you will get a good idea about how my thinking goes.

Now that I’m retired I would of liked to spend some of my time in undertaking an adult education course. Though that has become much more difficult to do as many of these day courses have been cut, while I’m spending a lot of my time engaged in Campaigning activities.

Museums, Art Galleries, and Libraries are essential if we wish to create a very knowledgeable society.

Every cut to them is something which harms us all.

This needs to be said time & time & time again.

Books to Keep – Books to Ditch.

One of the reasons why I have not been writing that much of late is because I’ve been doing a major spring cleaning, buying new furniture and replacing a lot of my bookshelves.

As with all such projects it takes a while to get it all completed.

Three questions.

I’ve also been going through all of my books, resorting, and weeding out the ones which I can no longer use.

In order to simplify this process I asked myself three questions, and If I got the following answers, then out they went.

Are they related to my key interest? No.

Will I ever get around to reading them again? No.

Can I get hold of them should I ever want them again? Yes.

Some of them I’m giving to fellow activists who can use then.

Some I’m giving to a specialist library.

While the rest of them I’m donating to my local radical bookshop as a way of supporting the work it does.

If I was still living in London they would of gone to Housmans bookshop.

Sorted.

Having almost completed this whole process I’m now better able to find all of the references which are needed for my campaigning work, and for anything else which I might use in my writings over the coming years.

I’ve been putting all of my books together by subject and Authors, & my CDs by type, composer, band, or singer.

The same kind of thing has been done with my DVDs.

Though in some cases I’ve put both books by specific Authors together with the DVD films of their works.

e.g. Those of J.R.R. Tolkien, H.G.Wells and Jules Verne.

A Great Advantage.

So now to take advantage of it all – – – – – – –

Going Underground Or Just Going Missing ?

A couple of years ago I put together a few notes for an article
about people who have to go and live underground,
or just go missing.

The idea of this article was to examine just how people might live
this way within an increasingly networked society.

In my notes I referred to Bob Robinson as B,
although I now know that his real name is Bob Lambert.

I never got much further than penning these few notes.

It is highly unlikely that I will ever complete this piece,
but you might find these notes of some interest.

– – – – – – – – – – – –  — — – — – — – — —

The Networked Society.

What ever happened to B?

We can all tell stories about people we spent some time with in ones younger years, but with whom we have lost contact.

B was someone that I knew as a political activist over a
quarter of a century ago. Over time I moved on and lost
contact with him.

Continue reading Going Underground Or Just Going Missing ?

Reykjavík City Library

One of my highlights of last year was to be given a tour around
the Reykjavík City Library, which is housed in a converted
warehouse in the city centre.

The  same building also houses the Reykjavík Photo Museum,
and Reykjavik Municipal Archives.

Just how the library was founded and grew is an interesting history in itself.

Opened in 1919 it was in part funded by the sale of fishing vessels
owned by the City to France in 1917.

Right from the start the  library lent out cases of books to ships.

A Cultural Centre.

What I really like about the library is that it is used both cultural
and information centre.

During the summer the library hosts literary walking tours
around the centre of  Reykjavík.

While the ‘Let’s read the papers!’ provides guidance for those who
want to read the Icelandic news papers and understand what’s
going on in Iceland.

There is also a small cinema area within the library.  At the time
of my visit it was screening early German films.

The library works with Artóteki,
which  rents and sells arts works of art  by Icelandic artists.

Library Matters.

Here is a summary of just how the library operates.

– In all there are 85 library staff in city, with 35 of them based in
the main library.

– All accessioning and book preparation work is done in house.

– The library uses a Danish version of the Dewey Classification
system.

– The library works in co-operation with other libraries within Iceland.

– It is member of Nordic Camps – The Network of Nordic Public Libraries.

&

– There is a very good stock of both Manga and none Icelandic
books which are available for loan.

Interestingly enough the highest number of  immigrants in
Iceland come from Poland.

If your ever in Reykjavík,  then you should make sure to pop in to
the library.

I should also like to thank Einar Ólafsson for showing me around
the library.

On Record keeping & Getting Older.

Some times I thinks about people that I once knew.

It’s just like keeping a  scrapbook that’s full of obituaries,
or having a notebook full of information about missing people.

You may have them in your possession,
but fewer & fewer people you know will of meet the individuals
who are listed in them.

During this year this observation has really come home to me.

First of all I got a confirmation about someone I used to know
having died a few years back.

Then over the last month or so I have been trying to contact
someone who I last saw over a quarter of a century go.

I still can not trace her,
& I’ve tryed ever route which I know.

Over the 60 years that I have been alive we’ve moved on from
Paper & Card records, to Microfilm & Micrcofiche, and then to
electronic dates bases.

Yet just as we have moved on from mainframe to PC to laptop to
netbook, w e have & are constantly changing the software which
holds these records.

I just wish that some of the people who work on computer
software would keep in mind the old saying:-
If it ain’t bust then don’t fix it.

Yet with all of these moves of records have come losses of
information,
& the increasing presumption that ‘it’s all on the computer.’

Not so.

What makes it really difficult in tracing people is that they
might have common names,
or be know just by their nickname(s),
or changed their surname,
and now be living on the side of the world.

While the phone book, and  other directories, give just an initial
& surname on the basis that you will already know just where
they live.

Ever wondered just why the police are always so keen to know
peoples date of birth?

If more directories included this piece of information then it
would be so much easier to trace ones old friends.

In the meanwhile I’m left looking for other peoples scrapbook
which will supplement my own.

Referencing the Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum ( IWM ) has changed a lot since I first
visited it some time around 1963.

I still have a very strong impression of just what the museum
was like at the time,
and the displays upon the horrors of World War One.

I’ve been back to the IWM several times over the years since
then.

I Recently went on a librarians visit to the new
Explore History Centre within the IWM.

The Explore centre replaces what used to be the Museum
Library, and is a good starting place for anyone who wishes to
learn more about the various aspects of the various wars
which Britain has been involved in since the turn of the 19th
century.

Not only can one access the books and papers which are held
within the museum,
but it’s audio visual materials too.

This is also the starting point from which one may undertake
some research in to ones family history,
but find out about how wars have been waged during the 20th
century.

The idea behind the Explore Centre is that what is held within
the Museum should be easily available to everyone.

Both World War One & Two were ‘peoples wars’,
and the collection is a reflection of this very fact.

Thus the Museum has a vast collection of books, documents,
and other items upon the subject of Conscientious Objection,
together with many sound recording made by COs.

e.g.
by Harold Bing.

Amongst the items I was shown the last letter of Edith Cavell,
whos statue Women In Black hold their vigils,
&
a collection of letters from people who were on the Lusitania
when it was torpedoed in 1915.

The IWM has a holding of over 5 miles of books,
50,000 badges,
and the largest collection of paintings within the UK.

So you should be able to find something of interst for
everyone.

Pensions or Here’s The Deal….

For a lot of people on low salaries there is but one
compensation to be had,
and that is a reasonable pension,
or at least one which does not mean living in dire poverty
after retirement.

One of the consequences of low pay is never being able to
own ones own property,
and so having to pay rent until the day one dies.

Work in libraries and you will both earn far less that an
average salary,
and never be able to own the place you live in.

Now both the UK government,
and many financial bodies are claiming that all public sector
workers are receiving pensions which are
‘Too generous’.

Not a word do they say about how state pensions are so low
that they are below the poverty line.

Not a word about increasing the level of public worker
pensions to that which is enjoyed by finance workers.

Not a word about giving ‘key worker’ status to all low paid
library workers.

Not a word upon the need to increase the level of state
pensions.

The self contradictions which result from all of the above
facts needs to be faced up to.

The choice is obvious in terms of preventing poverty in
retirement.

Either: –

– Pay library workers more in order that we may be able to
both purchase their own properties,
and save enough for their old age.

or

– Keep the present public sector pensions at the same levels.

Failure to do so will mean that yet more people will not be
able to undertake working in public libraries,
and we will all suffer as a result!

Dumbing Down Equates to Less Information for the Well Informed.

At school I was taught how to read an ordinance survey map.

The maps I was bought up on showed all the railway lines,
and shipping routes.

We would refer to the Great North Road,
or where a road started or ended.

Road maps were not a mess of meaningless numbers,
but were descriptive of the places marked upon them.

It was also a time in which weather maps showed millibar lines
upon then.

If I looked at the contour numbers upon a map I see just how
steep the landscape might be.

If I looked at the millibar numbers then I can judge just what the
weather might be doing.

My how things have changed!

We have satellite navigation for those who can not read
ordinance survey maps,
&
Weather maps which remind me of children’s picture books.

I keep reading about the dumbing down of education in terms
of grammar, spelling, and numeracy,
but that’s only a part of the problem.

This kind of dumbing down would also seem to extend to the
fact that people are being given statistical information in a
very simplistic form.

Now I do understand that some people are unable to read a lot
of information from any form of statistical data,
and that they might not be able to understand a complex
weather map.

Yet that is no reason for dumbing down the information which
is presented to us in the media.

Is it any wonder that the newspaper industry is in decline,
when all they can do is present news stories in such a very
simplistic form?

Call me an intellectual snob if you will,
but I want to read information that is information,
and not a very simplistic version of the truth.