What Comes Next ?

Introduction From 85 Years Ago

This is the introduction to the H.G.Wells book.

What Are We to Do with Our Lives?

Published: Watts & Co    1935

‘ The world is undertaking immense changes. Never before have the conditions of life changed so swiftly and enormously as they have changed for mankind in the last fifty year.’

Though in environmental terms it is more like the last 15 month to 5 years.

While in many ways we are now going through a major set of changes which will impact upon us all over the next 50 day and thus in to the future.

What next ?

Over the last 15 days it has been the case of us all asking: –

What Next?

In many ways we have all been very surprised upon how things are changing.

Yet for all the observations we make about just what is happening to us all right now, many of the pundits predictions upon economic, political, social, and ecological issues, are still based upon what has happened in the past.

Never the less there are a number of key indicators which worth looking at:-

– Changes in Housing provision,

– The stock Market and Wider Economy

– Changes in Food Production and Provision.

– An ending to the use of Nukiller Power and Extreme Energy,

– Public and Private Transport.

&

– How we all socialise from now onwards.

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 !

You Get Just What You Pay For

Look To The Long Term.

I was once told by a member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad, that the problem with politicians is that they only look as far ahead as the next election.

To which I will add this truism: – They make it up as they go along.

The other truth about politicians, is that many of them are both fiscally and scientifically illiterate.

Short Term Thinking

Thus we have such very short term economic and ecological solutions being proposed by most politicians.

While very few of them ever think about the ongoing set of long term economic, and environmental problems which need dealing with – Right Now!

Their cry being that: – ‘We can’t afford it’.

To which I’d say that we just can’t afford not to spend this money. 

That is if we want to have a planet we can all live in over the decades to came..

Long Term Gains.

So here is what we all should do . . . .

Think about having high levels of short term expenditure, in order to make long term fiscal and environmental gains.

It Can Be Done.

It can be done if we look at the long term costs of environmental damage which comes by inaction.

There are a lot of the short term savings which can be made.

For example: –

By making an adjustment to the tax system which will favour environmentally sustaining activities, as opposed to aiding all the highly polluting companies which are supported by various tax breaks.

&

By stopping all the money wasted on the military, nukiller weapons / nukiller power

As with all else in life – You get Just what you pay for.

Practical Examples of Joined-Up-Campaigning – Health, Land, Waste, & Sea Ecology.

Much of good campaigning is like joined-up thinking, or rather playing a game of consequences in advance.

As I keep say:-  Take the overview, but keep an eye on the details.

A Healthcare ban which has resulted in dire consequences.

The change in the UK law which bans smoking indoors has been universally welcomed, but it has and is causing an environmental crisis.

This is because smoking is now done outdoors in the street, where instead of cigarettes stubbed out in ashtrays, they are thrown out on the ground. At which point they are blown along the street, landing up in the drains, road sides, rivers, and the sea.

Cigarette stubs contain a lot of toxic chemicals, and are Not biodegradable.

While children see many more people smoking outdoors or on the streets, which in turn normalises how they view this activity.

At the same time there are many more individuals vapping , that is using E cigarettes, which results in a growth in the number of people suffering from popcorn lung disease.

What is also forgotten is that these e cigarettes are not easy to recycle, and there are no facilities in most places to do so.

Thus we have a number of inter-related health and environmental problems which effect us all.

What might be done about these problems?

The obvious answer to me is much more health education, and measures to prevent people smoking, but it goes way beyond that.

What we should be doing is promoting health campaigns which show the environmental damage which smoking results in.

It is very much a case of health care workers and environmental activists together to solve these problems.

While on a local level this must mean Local Heath Trusts working in co-operation with the local waste authorities.

Yet all these problems will not be solved unless there is much more help extended to another group in society – Rough Sleepers.

My New Dystopian Novel

I’ve just started to pen a dystopian novel.

It starts like this: –

After a series of increasingly right wing governments, there was a Rabid Right Wing political coup, which placed in power a group of rich, delusional, incompetent, authoritarian, militaristic, socially and fiscally illiterate individuals.

Seventy five percent of these individuals had received a public school education.

A very high percentage of them were multi millionaires whose political agenda was to abolish all the taxes they paid, and hand over all government agencies to private companies.

At the same time they ignored the environmental crisis which was threatening to destroy the world, as they could see no personal profit to be made in fixing it.

Er – wait a second – this is no novel – but more a description of the Britain state, and state of affairs right now.

Landing Homes For The Future

Yesterday [ july 15th 2019 ] there was a feature in the Financial Times about the current state of Britain’s care homes.

There are now just 8% of them left in public ownership.  Thank you Mrs Thatcher !

While 4 of the largest ones are up for sale.

The problem is financial.

The FT stated: ‘ Care homes run up debts of £40,000 a bed’.

Is it any wonder that care homes are priced out of reach for most people.

Meanwhile the push to build new environmentally unaffordable homes in the suburbs grows, There are however a lot of cheap student flats being built.

Yet the real need to build affordable mixed age housing is the cities is just being ignored.

Ditto – The need to use waste land in the inner cities to grow small fruit orchards, create lots of small allotments, or build community greenhouses is just not on most peoples agendas.

It will all need to be worked on very soon, or else we really will be in a lot of trouble.

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.

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 One.

A Question for activists.

The question which I keep asking, is how do we keep going with little or no support?

There is no easy answer to this, as achieving social change is a long term slog.

Yet there are some ways of thinking, and acting , which do help to sustain ones activism.

1. Keep focussed on those issues which very few people are working on, and which you have some special concerns or knowledge about.

2. Keep remembering that social change will only come by a day by week by month by year by decade, by decades, by century commitment to making it happen.

3. There is no such thing as a protest season, so just think in terms of what needs doing right now.

4. Match up your political actions and life style.

There is a lot of good information to be found about boycotts, and ecological lifestyle issues in the Ethical Consumer magazine.

5. Be willing to work with people who do not share ones political views, but are concerned with some of the same single issues.

It might mean you get your radical views seen in action by people who are never going to come in contact with them any other way.

This is something which I keep doing as a part of my Liverpool Pedestrian campaigning.

6. Don’t fall for the ‘one last push’ / ‘we need more people to make an even larger march / demonstration’ way of thinking.

This only results in burn-out or disillusionment.

And Last of All.

Just go on those small scale pickets or demonstration where a few people will make a big difference.

As to meetings.

My rule of thumb is that they are only worth while going to if they are planning ones, or where you are going to increase your knowledge base.

Though sometimes it is worth while going to them in order to do some networking.