Things can change,
but it might take some time for radical social changes to
become really noticeable.
I was thinking about this the other day as I reflected upon just
how few people smoke these days.
One of the things that I have always noted about politics is
that a lot of what goes on is very much based in terms of
debating the struggles the past.
Now it might all be very fascinating to a debate what we ( I ) did
in the past, but you just can’t keep doing this and expect to
maintain a clear view upon just what the current issues or
political problems might be.
Having been involved within the peace movement for over 40
years I recognise this danger within myself, but the question is
just how do I get rid of the kind of historical baggage which
comes with a long history of activism?
One of the reasons that I gave my own archive to IISH in
Amsterdam, was so that it might free me from this kind of
looking back on the past,
and thus free myself up in order to get on with some new
By and large this seems to of worked for me,
but it would still be worth while if I could do a couple of oral
history recordings within the next year or so.
That way I wouldn’t be tempted to start playing the grand old
veteran in about 20 years time,
but still get to record what I’ve done in the past.
What I don’t want to do is write up my own autobiography.
Now I might like us to note various dates in my own history,
but I would not like to write them all up.
Writing up ones own history is very much like trying to proof
read ones own work:
It’s best left for someone else to do it for one.
So now I’m looking for someone to sit down for a few hours
with me in front of a microphone.
After that it will be time for me to really concentrate upon
I’ve seen too many activists surrounded by their old paper
documents, which can hold them to thinking about the past.
I’ve also noted just how nice it is to live in a place which is not
ones own political archive.
I know just which of these two lifestyles I want to enjoy in my
Just FYI :-
What sparked me to write this has been some of the recent
work I have been doing in terms of changes with some of the
projects in which I am currently involved,
but more on them at some other stage.