Being Time Rich & Working Ahead To Stay Time Rich

Being and staying Time Rich.

Here is an observation which should be remembered about what happens to everyone who is retired.

First of all one has more time as a result of not going to work.

Yet if one is interested in what’s going on in the world, and engaged in making social change, the the following will hold true: –

‘ I just don’t know how there was time for me to go to work.’

I know this to be so, as it was a case of my switching from a page per week to a day per page diary.

Though here comes a tip to anyone who’s about to retire –

Go food shopping every day as you will be eating really fresh food, and can use the sale bargains on items you use all the time.

You will also get out of the house that way, and get the walking exercise which everyone needs to do.

The Wrong Answer.

The other advantage of retirement is that one can work on projects / plan / work on events way in advance.

Being time rich also means I am able to read a lot of newspapers, and reports which relate to the campaigning work I’m engaged upon.

So when I ask a specific question about some issue or other, then it’s because it really does need to be addressed.

That said, one will constantly hear the following from those who are still at work:- ‘ I’m too busy to do [ or answer ] that right now. ‘

That’s known as the Wrong Answer, as it slows down the work of those of us who are time rich.

This is especially so if it’s a case of asking for the same thing time and time and time again.

It also means that those who keep saying ‘ I’m too busy’ will never get the potential help they need, or ever see the various projects which they are involved in move forward at a faster speed.

Thinking Ahead – Planning Ahead.

The things one learns you get older, is that there are always last moment problems, or changes which need to be made at the very last moment.

Many of these come about because of changing circumstances, last moment emergencies, etc.

Yet a lot of them are the result of not being able to do any medium to long term planning, or thinking about alternative options way in advance of events.

Right now I’m look at and working up events some 3 months to 5 years in to the future.

For example: – What we can all do about marking 60 years since the Windscale fire this October.

So just keep all of this in mind, as it could well work to your advantage.

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.

If I Was A Poet

If I was a poet, then this is what I would write: –

I did try to tell you, to warn you, to tell you, but you were shopping at the time.

I did try to tell you, to warn you, to tell you, but you were partying at the time.

Now I keep trying to tell you,

to warn you, to tell you,

but fear it might be too late.

 

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 – – – – – – –

Activism & Information Work.

Activist and Information worker.

The best library & Information worker share many of the same skills as good political activist.

For in order to do a little you have to know a lot.

Activism & Information work.

I never wanted to become a specialist or expert on any subject.

All I ever wanted to do was be a good all rounder,

and have a good working knowledge about just what does on in the work.

It took me a while to do it, but now I know and can chat about almost everything except for Celebs, current pop stars, various aspects of sport and what was or will be shown on television.

That’s the joy of all that !

Study and conclusions.

So I read a lot about various issues, which are political, economic, scientific, sociological, geological, and always highly technical in nature.

You just can’t work on these issues without doing so. Continue reading Activism & Information Work.

Remodelling The Campaigning Model

I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.”Mikhail Bakunin

The Current Situation

One of the things I keep repeating is something which seems very obvious to may activists.

We have reached the tipping end of Climate Change, and there is very little we can do except to try to mitigate the most extreme aspects of that change.

The Pacific is dying.

&

We have a major long term problems with nukiller power & nukiller waste.

Yet the number of activists who are campaigning to stop these problems is extremely small.


Countering the campaigning myth.

One of the continual myths that abounds is that we can change things by organising big national demonstrations, lots of nonviolent direct action, and building a mass movement.

I’ve heard the same thing said many a time, and then watched people fall away with burnout, while stating that they need to ‘take a rest for a while’.

Thus campaigning goes in waves of activities, while the latest political crisis diverts a lot of individuals attention from these issues.

Yet the dangers posed by global warning, nukiller power, and radioactive waste grow by the hour.

Having regular rests might be good for the individual activists, but it’s not good for the those activists who keep going hour by day by month by year by decade on end. [ That comes with a financial and emotional cost which I’ll not go in to right now.]

For the long term activists it’s not just a question of keeping up with the issue, as the nukiller industry is multifaceted, but constantly working to share that knowledge.

Thus the best campaigners need have to a wide ranging knowledge of different subjects, be multi-skilled, and possess the ability to keep summing up that knowledge in different ways.

Just doing that while organising very small actions is the very most which most long term activists can hope to achieve.

This is particularly so as there are just not the numbers to sustain anything else.

Thus the line about ‘direct action is the only way’ becomes more of a chant than the reality.

Just keep in mind that:-

– Long term campaigning means we have to transcend both class and culture.

– Long term campaigning means constant self-education.

– Long term campaigning means just that.

– Long term campaigning means constantly campaigning for years on end without a break.

Constantly campaigning is the name of the game.


Just How do we do it?

The reality for most campaigning groups is that everything comes down to a few activists.

So:-

– How do we get away from only ever being able to organise regular pickets or leafleting sessions which just consist of 2,3, or 4 people ?

– How do we get away from meetings or public meetings at which we are only a small group of committed individuals ?

– How do we keep campaigning for years on end with little or no support?

&

Most importantly of all.

– How do we motivate people in to action ?

There are no easy answers to these questions.


A few workable options.

My thinking is that there is just not the money, people, or the resources around to think about any major national events.

Yet we can do the following:-

– Make sure to get to any pickets of demonstrations by other groups which are going on within the area or region one is living in.

– Hold more co-ordinated demonstrations or pickets on set dates.

e.g. During the next DRS open day will be held at their Carlisle depot on July 18th.

– Have more nukiller waste train leafleting sessions which are held at those times when regular commuters go through the effected stations.

That in turn could be used as a pre-requisite to setting up more local anti-nukiller groups.

– Encourage activists from other local groups to come visit & find out more about our own nukiller plants.

This is something which will both widen our knowledge base, and help to build support for each other.

For example: –

It would be very useful for more activists to go see all of those plants which will be effected by rising sea levels, such as Sizewell, Dungeness, & Heysham.

Or

Capenhurst & all those places through which Uranium Hex is transported.

&

– Getting away from thinking about supporting those these groups which have paid fund-raisers.

The real need is to pay for the leaflets which are handed out by activists, and getting people to these protests on a regular basis.

That means making a few small regular donations to cover paper, ink, and train fares.

All of this might not seem like such,

but it is a very basis need if we are ever going to sustain any long term anti-nukiller campaigning.


Re-penning the campaigning manuals.

As a last observation.

Many of these issues are just not covered in most campaigning manuals.

The presumption being that each campaign has an easily defined time scale.

Yet this does not apply to nukiller power, as we need to look at the many year which they will be around, and the long term impact they will make.

Even if we stop new build and close down all the nukiller plants in one go, then there will still be the decommissioning and radioactive waste issue which will need to be addressed.

There is real need for campaigning manuals to examine just how we might support long term campaigning, and thus how best to work in mixed aged groups.

The Political Kipper Season

The Political Kipper Season has now arrived for the British Press.

Yes it’s Election time.

So don’t expect to read much more than what various politicians are trading as insults, one to the other, for the next four weeks.

Yet what’s the point in voting when
We Have No Say in Many of the Decisions Which Effect Our Lives?

So here are six reasons why I don’t vote, have never voted, and will never vote in any government or local government election: –

The unelected House of Lords.

– The City of London Corperation, or last rotten borough.

This is where any company which operates in the city can get to vote, and vote again.

– The unelected and overpriced monarchy.

– The Greater London Council which was aboblished in 1986.

To misquote the old saying:-
When voting changed the system, then the System was Aboblished.

– The various unaccountable multinations,
such as the banks, and mining companies.

&

– How we now have no say as to just where nukiller waste will be dumped.

To quote Pierre-Joseph Proudhon: –

‘To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right, nor the knowledge, nor the virtue.

… To be governed is to be at every operation, at every transaction, noted, registered, enrolled, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under the pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be placed under contribution, trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolized, extorted, squeezed, mystified, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, despised, harassed, tracked, abused, clubbed, disarmed, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and, to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, outraged, dishonoured.

That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.’

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.

NIMBYism v NIMBYism.

A wonderful example of Machiavellian thinking !

If the various proposals which abound about Nukiller New Build or just where Nukiller Waste might be stored illustrate anything, then it is how we need to think about these issues within an overall context.

Take for example the various proposals as to where radioactive waste from decommissioned nukiller submarines might be stored.

This displays a wonderful example of Machiavellian thinking at the MOD.

In each of the areas where they propose to dump this waste local groups cry out ‘Not Here’, and will be happy if goes to one of the other places which is on the list.

It all comes down to a form of NIMBYism v NIMBYism.

Victory! Victory!

Thus when the final decision is made – lots of local community groups will shout ‘Victory! Victory!’

That’s when the MOD will slip something else past us all.

It a tactic which the Nukiller power industry has been using for many a year.

While locals around the Capenhurst area worry about the submarine waste problem, URENCO can continue to use and transport Uranium Hexaflouride,

Yet very few people will do anything about this existing danger.

The same kind of thinking seems to be displayed by some of the local groups around Burfield, which is a nukiller weapons factory.

Ditto With New Build.

While lots of campaigning is being used to stop a new nukiller plant at Hinkley, there is less work being done to stop the working life of existing nukiller plants being extended.

In many cases this is up to another decade beyond what they were designed to do.

What strikes me is the need to make sure that we keep campaigning on new build as a part of all the other aspects of the nukiller industry.

e.g. Showing how uranium enrichment at Capenhurst is a direct cause of all the high level nukiller waste which goes through Chester & how it will effect the ongoing problems at Sellafield.

Ditto – How it relates to what’s happening and is proposed to happen at Wylfa.

What worries me is that by just focusing on Hinkley and New Build, we might well miss some of the other proposals which the nukiller industry is coming up with.

As I keep saying – Take the overview, but keep an eye on the details.

If we are going to stop all of these proposals then we need to think about a lot more joined up campaigning.

In this case it means local campaigning groups supporting all the other local campaigning groups.

Only then will it be possible for us to take on the nukiller industry and hope to win.

Just Like { Not } In The Movies

Just Harmless – Just.

One of the best things about disaster movies is that you know it’s all fiction, and that’s why it’s safe to enjoy them.

This is even so when you know that what they show could well happen.

For example: –

Flood.

The Towering Inferno.

The China Syndrome
.

Sinking of Japan

The Day After Tomorrow

&

Unstoppable

Just Possible.

On course there are still disaster out their waiting to happen.

What if Richard Mongomery were to roll free ?

Now that would really make for a really powerful disaster movie, but what’s really needed is for some kind of way in which to stop such a disaster happening in the first place

Just Happened.

Here is another idea for a another near disaster movie.

The Atlantic Cartier fire in Hamburg harbour.

With the German fire fighters as the heroes.

While ACT and  Bibby management would be cast as the villains.

Not that such a movie would get started, as the lawyers for both Bibby & ACT would prevent such a film from ever come in to production.

As the fire happened in Germany there has been no Hollywood interest in it.

Yet if this had happened in New York then it might well be another matter.

Just What Might Happen Next.

Every nukiller power plant,  and every movement of nukiller materials represents a potential disaster.

Now I don’t want to see anything about them in disaster movie.

What I want to see is these plants closed down in order to prevent any more nukiller disasters.