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.

Getting Out Of The Place.

 

Dr Ian Fairlie has just produced one of the most thought provoking articles which I have read in a long while.

Evacuations after Severe Nuclear Accidents

In it he examines: –

– The experience of evacuations during the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

– Whether lengthy evacuations from large cities are feasible?

&

– Some emergency plans for evacuations in North America.

Having read it I started to think about just what might happen if a major accident were to occur again at Windscale, which is now know as Sellafield.

Evacuation Routes

One of the presumptions which the planners make in their thinking is that everything will be fine, or up and running on the day.

Could it be that they presume that there are no blocked or impassible roads across Cumbria, track work on the railways, or the kind of flooding which occurred in the lake district during 2015 ?

The only railway line out of the area runs along the West Cumbrian coast, which includes a station at Sellafield.

So any railway evacuation from the area will be to the south via Barrow to Lancaster, or to the north and Carlisle via Whitehaven.

These are also the route which are used to take nukiller waste flasks to Sellafield. So any evacuation should include just what to do about these flasks, as they are not designed for long term storage of irradiated fuel rods.

Moving the sick.

Any evacuation from the area will entail moving patients in Whitehaven up to Carlisle or further afield.

Does the NHS have the capacity to move all these patients in a hurry, and are there enough ambulances to transport them ?

Given all the publicity about how hospital corridors are been used for patients waiting beds to be freed up before they are admitted, then we might land up with a shortage of hospital corridors to put them in.

Then there are all of the individuals who will need to be evacuated from Care Homes or Hospices in the region.

I wonder just where they might be sent ?

I’m left wondering just how many evacuation plans take in to accounts any of the above?

Yes it’s all questions, questions, and more questions, but that’s the easy part.

Getting answers and finding the right solutions is going to take some time.

The Last Few Months

Working upon several issues at a time can sometimes feel like doing two or more degrees at any one time.

This is especially so when there are lots of highly technical scientific or legal documents which need to be read each week.

Thus there is never time to write up more than what is the most immediate emails, or just keep up to date with all of my correspondence.

Thus I though that it might me a good idea to mention some of my activities over the last couple of months.

It was the 60th anniversary of the Windscale on October 10th, and so I was at both Springfield and Sellafield to mark this event.

There will be another event at springfields to mark the 61st anniversary.

At the start of the month I co-run a Close Capenhurst Campaign stall at the Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair.

This month my article The Civil Nuclear Constabulary: Structure and Concerns was published on the War Resisters International Website.

I also look part a couple of events to mark Prisoners for Peace Day.

Currently I am looking at the scourge of all the A boards which clog up our city streets.

&

Working upon a number of aspects concerning spycops.

 

Costing The Radioactive Waste In Contrast To That Of Brexit

Short Term

I was once told by one of the highly armed members of the Met police Diplomatic Protection Squad that the trouble with politicians is that they only concern themselves with what happens up to the next election.

It’s amazing just what kind of conversations one can have while on a picket line.

There is something very similar which has been going in relationship to Brexit.

I’ll not go in to what effect it is happened due so far, but will note the following.

The UK economy is now in stagnation, with growing inflation, as real incomes keep declining.

– While public spending on health care, public transport, and education is still being slashed.

As to the whole Brexit process, it can be summed up in one word: –

Shambolic.

Yet all of this can still be reversed.

Long Term

What can’t be reversed is the amount of public money which will have to be spent over many hundred years in cleaning up the effects of having had a nukiller power industry.

Even the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority state that we are: –

‘Dealing with uncertainty.’

‘ The decommissioning mission is scheduled for completion in 2120, more than a century after the creation of the NDA.

The precision of any cost forecast over such long time scales is clearly open to question.

Calculating the total decommissioning bill is extremely difficult. In the short term, where there is greater certainty about the nature of the work to be completed, costs can be forecast with more accuracy.’

The most telling statement being that: –

‘In recognition of this uncertainty, the NDA publishes a range of estimates that could potentially be realistic. Based on the best data now available, different assumptions could produce figures somewhere between £97 billion and £222 billion.’

Now just contrast that with the much debated Brexit exit figures which are currently being thrown about.

Thus it should be noted.

The trouble with politicians is that most of them are fiscally illiterate, as they are unable to do look at any long term costings.

 

Sorting Out The Hex

I’m currently reading a lot about Capenhurst, and the issue of just what happens to depleted Uranium Hexafluoride.

There are a number of issues which follow on from this research, but it is going to take a while before any report on it is completed.

In the meanwhile there are a lot of questions which have been thrown up.

Such as: –    Just how will all of this Hex be decommission ?

One thing is very obvious to me.

URENCO has created a major problem due to the way in which Uranium is enriched, and that is in the form of a very large quantity of depleted Uranium Hexafluoride.

A Little Light Reading.

Never let it be said that what I tend to read is frivolous in nature.

Well that’s what happens when one engages in serious campaigning work.

Yet needs must, as it is alleged they say.

So here are a couple of reports which I’ve been reading of late.

Civil Nuclear Police Authority Annual Report & Accounts 2016/17

That’s the body which runs the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, which describes itself as an Armed Force.

The report was published on July 19th, and makes for some fascinating reading.

Aside from a lot of statistical, financial, and pension payments data – 

It lists the following Key Facts :-

– The CNC has over 1080 Authorised Firearms Officers.

– It operates in 10 nukiller sites within the UK,  but not Capenhurst, Chapelcross, Springfields, or Wylfa.

&

– It has a budget which is over £100 Million.

Here is the line in the report which I like the best: –

‘We are capable of carrying out our duties in a flexible and dynamic way, instilling in ourselves a clear sense of purpose.

If we use force we do so in a manner proportionate to the threat, recognising and upholding the principles enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.’

Thus the next time you are confronted by any armed member of the CNC – you can be assured that they will of read the convention, and will act with all of its provisions in mind – – – or so it is alleged to be that way.

So now you know.

Nukiller particles

This is the other really interesting report which every anti-nukiller -power activist should download and read.

Particles in the Environment   Annual Report for 2015/16 and Forward Programme

This is a report which has been published by sellafield Ltd.

It is the one in which they show the amount of radioactive particles which they have detected along the coast of Cumbria.

Though those are just what they have managed to find in their sampling.

 

Thinking About What Follows on.

Warnings.

One of my favourite ways of referring to both Politicians and managers is that they work it out as they go along.

Yet a little brush with reality, or the realisation that what they want to do will get them in to a lot of trouble, might well get them worrying about getting the sack, or loosing a lot of votes for doing so.

Though many a manager or politician are so shielded from the real world, or do not socialise outside of their own class or social milieu, that they no idea about the social, economic, or environmental damage which they might do.

That’s why a lot of political campaigning comes down to showing just what will happen if various policies are enacted.

Thus a lot of anti-nukiller power campaigning comes down to researching about, and warning individuals what might happen if such various whizzo projects comes in to being.

Such a project is the proposed new coal mine plan for Cumbria

That’s why I think that all such proposals should have a check list of environmental problems which come with them as a matter of form.

Much in the same way what packets of chalk should carry a warning that criminal damage charges may result if they are used on pavements or walls.

Giving out the warnings.

Yet all this research and protesting will not be enough without being able to finance all the travel which is involved in this campaigning work, and the protests which go with it.

Or are there enough people who can undertake all the leafleting which needs to be done in order to get the message out to people.

Which comes down to a problem which faces us all the time.

Unlike in Belgium, France, Germany, or the Netherlands,

we just don’t have the thousands, never mind the hundreds of people who will come out to demonstrate.

We tend to think that an event is very well attended if 12 to 20 people turn up to it.

Though the experience of solo leafleting, or maybe as a group of 2, 3, 4, 5, or six activists on a leafleting session or picket is very much the norm.

That’s why we need to develop more co-ordinated local protests or leafleting sessions about the nukiller waste trains which go through the UK.

As a part of this we have established Working Alliance.

Yet we still come down to one major problem, and that is the high cost of getting to so any of the many different nukiller plants which are scattered throughout Cumbria & the NW.

This July there will be another leafleting session at the DRS nukiller waste trains depot in Carlisle, while in October there will be a couple of events to mark 60 years since the Windscale fire in .

That’s aside from all the ongoing work which needs to be done in order to raise public awareness about Capenhurst, Drigg, & Springfields.

Thus this appeal.

If you think this work is worth while, but can not involve yourself it, then please do make a fiscal contribution to either the Close Capenhurst Campaign, or Radiation Free Lakeland.

The Unworkable Proposed Merger of MOD Plod, The CNC, and BTP

A Unique force.

There is one aspect about the Civil Nuclear Constabulary [ CNC ] which we should always state whenever we write or talk about them.

The CNC refer to themselves as an Armed Force.

They are financed by the nukiller power companies and have very close links with the MOD.

They no longer guard all nukiller instillations such as Capenhurst or Springfields.

They do not guard the nukiller waste trains which pass through our city centres, and neither does the British Transport police [ BTP ] .

Yet the CNC do have powers of arrest, with no public accountability about the way they operate.

An Unworkable Proposal

Yet again the bright idea of merging the CNC, MOD Plod , and the BTP to protect nuclear sites and transport links is being touted by the Tory party.

This is an idea which has been around for a long time, but was ruled out the last time it came up a few years back.

Just consider this:-

– 95% of the BTP funding comes from Britain’s privatised train companies.

– While part of the CNC is funded by the nukiller energy companies,

&

– MOD plod is a part of the MOD.

So just who would land up paying for such a combined force would make for some very interesting negotiations.

That’s aside from just what the various companies might have a say in how such a new body might be controlled.

or

If it might be liable to any form of public accountability.

Never mind their different types of ‘training and operational needs’.

Differences in pay and remuneration.

There are also variations between MOD plod, The CNC, the BTP which would cause a number of other problems should such merger go ahead.

All three of them have very different pay structures, terms of employment, and retirement schemes.

What is really needed

Thus I just can’t see how any such proposed merger might be workable.

Though there is an urgent need to initiate a public outcry about the way the CNC operates, and just how we might better safeguard all the nukiller waste sites way in to the future.

Billions

Remember that line about how Nukiller power generation would leave everyone with electricity bills which would be too cheap to meter ?

Well it’s not worked out that way.

– URENCO is now £2.1.billion in the red.

Last year they had a €8.5 million ($9.6 million) loss.

– Toshiba owned Westinghouse Electric have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

– The EDF share price continues to fall.

It had a net debt of €37.4bn at the end of last year.

&

– The amount paid out to clean up Britain decommission reactors continues to grow.

We might celebrate about how all these losses are going to impact upon new build, but we still do need to close down all the existing plants.

After that there is a major clean up with needs to done, and guess who is going to pay for it all?

We poor current & future tax payers.

So much for too cheap.

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.