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.

Rough Sleeping Through A Plastic Mess.

A two part problem.

One of the problems with working to change society for the better, is that many of the decision makers only ever read other peoples reports, but never get to see just what goes on at a street level.

Well that’s what happens when you get an elitist educated set of politicians who never walk anywhere on a very regular basis.

One of the rough sleepers I talked with the other day told me that some of the money he begs for has to go towards buying bottled water.

This is a result of no public drinking fountains, which were one of the many public facilities which we used to have in many towns during an earlier era.

Is it any wonder that so many people wonder why they are surrounded by plastic waste, which is in turn compounded by the lack of recycling facilities?

Thus we all spend a lot of public money getting our pavements cleaned, and end up with more plastic waste which gets in to our rivers and so in to the sea.

A two part solution.

It would be better if ALL plastic bottles had a depot it on them.

Then those who are rough sleepers could make a little money by collecting the ones which have been thrown away on the streets.

Done in the right way it could be part of a self organised income scheme which would clean up our environment.

So it would be a win win scheme, especially as it would be self financing.

What we do urgently need are more public drinking fountains,

It all seems so simple.

Access to clean drinking water is a basic Human Right.

It is not just another commodity to be bought or sold.

Bagging Up The Plastic Rubbish.

The plastic problem – Up and until now.

There has been a lot of very worrying news stories of late about plastics in the oceans,

and the problems caused by plastic particulates.

Yet the only solutions to this which ever seem to be mentioned are recycling plastic bottles,

phasing out the use of plastic cups or cutlery, or getting groups of volunteers to go clean up their local beaches.

There has also been a lot of protests about the use of plastic packaging.

This goes hand in glove with trying to persuade the supermarkets to stop selling fruit and vegetables in plastic bags, netting, or containers, by selling them as loose items.

That matches in with the campaign to stop a lot of food waste from occurring.

On the plus side I have noted that some cafes and bars have switched from plastic to biodegradable straws.

The plastic problem – What else we can do.

If we are going to solve problem of all the plastic in the sea, then we need to do much more about this as a society.

One solution will be to switch from plastic to biodegradable rubbish bags. That will mean pushing for them to be made available in all the supermarkets at an affordable price. It would also help if these were to become available via each of the rubbish collecting local authorities.

Cleaning up the plastic pollution is going to take a while to do, but we can do something by trying to cut down the amount of plastics which currently land up inside of plastic rubbish sacks.

They Say It Can’t Be Done.

Really ? ! ! ?

I keep reading about just how difficult it will be to develop an ecologically sound social society.

Yet I also keep reading how it can be done.

So here are a few example to show what has been done so far.

Recycling.

Recycling in Denmark via the use of a Deposit system law.

Plastic Recycling in Japan

Better public transport in our city centres.

Here is what is going to be achived in Cambridge.

While the periodical TRAMWAYS & URBAN TRANSIT shows just what is being achieved throughout the world.

The pedestrianisation of our city centres.

Here is what is planned for Oxford St.

While here is what has been achieved in one Danish City.

It can and must be done.

False Solutions Or Joined Up Campaigning ?

Most of the greatest issues which we face can not be dealt with in isolation.

That is why we need to rethink how we approach many of the most urgent issues which endanger us all, and that means we do need to engage in joined up campaigning.

Here are just a few examples of how this might be achieved.

Plastic Ship Building

If we were to live in a society in which people thought more about our rubbish, then not only would a lot of our ecological problems be over, but in doing so we could solve many of our economic problems too.

Ship building & Barrow

Of course the other side of this is just how we clean up the oceans of all the plastic which is floating in it, Getting that done will require many specialist sea craft to scoop it all up. There are a number of designs for such craft. All we have to do is build them.

The other aspect of this is that the collected plastics can be recycled & that will mean less oil being drilled.

While the ship building industry can switch over their production away from that of building war ships.

Many is the time we get to hear that something needs to be done in order to create jobs, but the kind of jobs on offer, or which might be on offer, create more problems than they will ever solve.

For example in the arms trade.

What is needed is a some creative thinking in order to stop this kind of thing occurring.

Past Examples

An earlier example of what might be done is The Lucas plan, which came up with Road Rail Vehicles.

Yet for many politicians the priority is not so much looking to save our future, but to save something of the glories of a false past.

This is especially so with regards WW1, and how it is being used to encourage militarism.

Yet in Germany there are a number of memorials to the Unknown deserter, but no such memorial exists within the UK.

Although there is a Conscientious Objectors Commemorative Stone in Tavistock Square.

Future Examples

Other examples of what can and should be done include: –

– Planting more trees & creating new forests.

– Moving towards a better public transport system, with the creation of many more tram and railway lines.

– Stopping nukiller power via the use of wind and solar power.

Four Tales From The Money Tree

Tales From the Money Tree – Part 1.

Liverpool City Council is now spenting £11M to deal with Rough Sleepers. While the UK governmant looks at ways to help just one company which has a £1Billion set of debts.

Tales From the Money Tree – Part 2.

While the price of Bit Coins continues to take up space in the financial Press, it should be remembered how these virtual objects are made: – By creating more carbon emissions & thus contributing towards more global warming.

Tales From the Money Tree – Part 3.

At the same time there is a financial Crisis in the NHS, there are billions being spent on nukiller weapons and nukiller power.

Tales From the Money Tree – Part 4.

At the same time it is planned to spend £3.5 Billion [ plus ] on work to repair parliament, a ‘ Plastic bottle deposit return scheme could save England’s councils £35m a year’

Is it any wonder that many of us believe that most politicians suffer from Financial literacy?

Short Term – Long Term

We are now living through that what is an interesting and highly frightening political period.

Just two words sum up many of the problems we are up against:- Brexit and Thrump.

Yet we do need to look at what else is happening in the world, and start thinking beyond the next decade.

Here are just a few of these long term issues summed up in five headlines:-

‘Extraordinary’ levels of pollutants found in 10km deep Mariana trench.

What The New Fukushima Unit 2 Inspection May Indicate.

U.K. nuclear safety regulations place too low a value on human life.

7 million premature deaths annually linked to air pollution.

Analysis of “Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate”.

What worries me is how a lot of people concentrate upon very short term issues, and think about political action[s] in a very seasonal way.

While what is really needed is some long term day by week by month by year by decades long hard slog campaigning, and some major life style changes.

Renting Just Like SMRs

Rent to Buy

Mention housing to anyone who lives in Britain, and you will get to hear a very worrying list of anecdotal stories.

All of which show that everything to do with buying, selling, and renting housing is a legal or financial mess.

Not only a mess, but a very controversial one at that.

Take for example: –

Rent to Buy, which is refereed to as Buy to Rent, and gives no housing security to tenants If the landlord defaults on their mortgage.

Then there are landlords who complain about bad tenants,and tenants who complain about bad landlords. Both of which [ may ] have some very good reasons for doing so.

As I say – It’s a mess.

Now enter the Developers

Of course much of this mess comes down to how housing is regarded as a way in which to make a quick profit, rather than a source of long term housing, or long term income.

It all comes down to making a profit by any means, rather than looking at what might be achieved in the long term.

That’s why there are so many houses being built, or which have been built, in the middle of high risk flood plains.

Then comes all of the flooding which will result from Rising tides.

As with Housing the same with the Nukiller industry.

Many of the existing reactors are by the coast, and will be effected by rising tides within the next 20 to 30 years.

Yet the nukiller industry keep playing down this danger, as with everything else they do.

A modular exercise.

The current fashion is for the nukiller industry to talk about how all our problems will be solved by the construction of Small Modular Reactors.

Yet these Small Modular Reactors are like those flats which are being sold by developers way before the foundation work is done.

They are sold on the illustrations of what these flats might look like, but no one has any idea of the quality of the materials used, or just what the standard of construction work might be.

Then when they all go wrong, those who buy them as an investment will cry out that ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

Meanwhile – The tenants get to suffer within these badly constructed slums of the future, and pay for the privilege of doing so.

While we the tax payers will be expected to pay for the long term clean up costs.

Sounds familiar ?

Energy Co-Operatives For Street Lighting.

I’ve mentioned the idea of powering street lighting by the use of solar and vertical wind turbines before now. There are many different designs to choose from.

What I didn’t mention is just how this might be achieved.

How it might be done.

What I’d also like to encourage are energy workers co-operatives which could operate in our city centres.

The idea being that they would install and run street lighting on behalf of all the local authorities.

This would save us all a lot in terms of local council taxes, provide much needed jobs, and generate wealth via the feed in tariff.

Best of all there would be no power loss over the electricity grid.

Aside from a little imagination all that would be needed is a little start up money, which could be set aside from the amount of money which local authorities currently spend on street lighting, and the political will to do.

It would be really good to know if anyone is interested in developing this idea.

Fly Ash

This is an important news story which we all need to consider.

Concrete shortage looms for major projects.

This all comes down to the fact that there is much less Fly Ash being produced in the UK.

Fly ash is used to ensure the setting of concrete and plaster. It provides concrete with more protection from wet conditions and chemical attack.

There is now much less of the raw material uses to make fly ash. This is due to the declining use of coal by power plants. Thus there might be increasing exports of Fly ash from places like India.

The bottom line being that there will be fewer economic reasons to close the coal power plants in the countries where this material comes from. This in turn is bad news in terms of stopping climate change.

That’s why it is important to develop an alternative to this material.