Recent Activities

Despite Lockdown and the continuing difficulties which we are all experiencing, it has been possible for me to continue working upon various projects. This is a brief summary of some of the them.

Anti Nukiller Power

I recently put together the latest issue of Countering Capenhurst.

This contains a lot of information about DRS [ Direct Rail Services ] which transports Highly Radioactive uses fuel rods and other nukiller waste.

What I now have is enough material and written pieces to produce a pamphlet on the issue, but it is never wise to edit ones own articles .

Thus I am looking for someone to work on it with me.

5 Cale Road

The 5 Caledonian Road Project website has just been launched.

The subtitle of being 60 years of books and activism.

This is a project which I was interviewed for. You can hear a little of this interview under Small Scale Demonstrations on the website.

The ongoing Spycops Public Inquiry

Aspects of being a CP [Core Participant] in the Undercover Policing [Spycops ] Public Inquiry are still taking up a lot of my time.

Of particular interest to me is a 1980 Special Branch report describing the development of the anti-nuclear movement in the UK

Sorting out my various collections

One of the side effects of such a long lockdown has been that I’ve had the chance to go through and properly sort out my various collections.

I’ve done the same with my various documents which are now ready to be put to an archive.

I would never of been able to do this if there were a lot of meetings and events to attend.

Soon

Soon it will be possible to start organising some more proactive campaigning.

That is something which I am looking forward to doing.

Changes

Changes In Our Thinking

As a individual I want to change the kind of world we live in, but first of all that requires a little rethinking from everyone about how this might be achieved.

For example: –

I think discipline is needed – Self Discipline.

While we need to move away from think in terms of consumerism, so that it becomes more about the quality of life.

Just as we need to stop thinking about profits, but think in terms of environmental gains.

While also stopping to refer to the military as defenders. That is because it is health workers who help defend us from ill health.

Changes In What They Should Do

It is so very easy to create a list all ecological and social problems which we need to address, and then produce an even longer one of what needs doing to solve them.

Yet even those who get to understand some of these problems land up creating even more of them.

This is well illustrated by the daily media coverage of politicians who talk about solving out ecological problems, while they continue dinning out on lamb and salmon.

These same politicians pontificate about global warming.

Yet they still continue to promote a technology which causes both global warming and many other forms of pollution.

e.g. Nukiller Power.

Or trade unionists who go on about protecting their members and creating jobs, while at the same time promoting the arms trade.

Never mind how they keep promoting the nukiller power industry, rather than promoting the building of wind farms which will create many more safer jobs.

Neither do we just need to focus our criticism upon the above, as so many individuals who get involved in campaigning take an almost nihilistic back to an illusionary better past in to a better future approach to campaigning.

An Educational Failure

Though in many ways what we have is a failure of the educational system which causes the above, and in particular a failure on basic education.

A society which has so many functionally illiterate, and scientifically illiterate individuals, will always have a problem with people understandings statistics, economics, demographic changes, or be able to criticise bad science.

To that list must be added a failure to teach linguistics and ethical education in our schools.

One only has to glance at the Brexitland press in order to illustrate just how things really are right now.

Looking Back – Looking Forward

Yet for all the criticisms about what is wrong about ill informed so called leaders, politicians, trade unionists, capitalists, and so forth,

we still are left with our own To Do list.

I’ll not repeat this list as I would just be repeating myself, and a To Do list is no use in isolation of an even longer how to achieve changes list.

I’ve always said that the most important job of radicals, be they anarchist pacifists or no, is to identity what needs to be done, initiate campaigns, and then move on when these become main stream concerns.

All of this is doable if we apply a little clear thinking.

Though there is a immense mess to clear up which is not going to be achieved without about what needs doing 10, 20, or 30 years in to the future

—- and yet —

It is possible to improve the education system right now,

but this can only be done by putting more effort in to creating much better Adult Education.

—- and yet —

There are some issues which will take many lifetimes of campaigning to solve.

 

Campaigning in to the Future

Happy I am.

At long last we are all able to start moving on from Lockdown, with many individuals having had a second jab. Myself included.

With so such about to be fully opened again such as the essentials of an intellectual life – Libraries, Bookshops, music stores, and museums – It now feels like we can start to fully think again.

What Next for campaigning?

The big problem with a lot of campaigning is that it is reactive rather that proactive.

Do please keep this in mind as this year progresses, as there is a lot which needs to be focused upon right now.

Which issues Next ?

At this stage I could make a long list of actions which need to be done, but instead which I’ll just list the very few which are high priorities or which very few people are working on right now.

– Reversing the Brexit Disaster.

– Stopping the Nukiller Power Industry.

– Banning and dismantling all Nukiller Weapons.

– Pedestrianising our city Centres, while building a new tram and Canal system, as we campaign to block the use of all extreme energy person vehicles.

Sorting Out Our Organising Priorities.

Having spent the last year watching others talking about issues online, or just talking about issue to each other, can we realistically expect to pick up on our previous campaigns ?

That is a question which needs thinking about.

Aspects Of 500

Aspects of Information work and Usage

So here I am

Retired but still practising Library and Information work.

– Information Provider.

– Information worker..

– With aspects of my life to be found online

&

– An archive in Amsterdam

It’s a good combination to have.

Yet some of the same kind of activity has been done about me by the state.

Spycop[s]

The Infamous Special Demonstration Squad [ SDS ] was established during 1968.

It was established to infiltrate politically active groups and report their activities to the Metropolitan Police Special Branch, but it has now emerged that the information which these spycops gathered was being passed on to MI5.

I and many of the political campaigning groups I was involved in were the subject of SDS reports.

Greenpeace [ London ] which I have been involved with for many years was infiltrated by at least Three Spycops.

Trying to find out

So here I am

– Trying to find out just how extensive the state spycops built files on me

&

– A Core Participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.

Not that the inquiry is opening up that many of the files about myself, my friends, and the various campaigns which I was involved in.

What is known ?

So just what has the inquiry revealed about me which I didn’t know already ?

That I and my mates were spied upon?

I knew that already.

The true and cover names of the various spycops ?

Most of the ones we do know about are in the public domain, including the notorious Bob Lambert who went by the cover name of Bob Robinson while he was spying on me.

Open the files

The inquiry is slowly releasing some information about just who was spied upon to some core participants, but it is far from complete.

While we are still demanding a full list of all the spycop cover names, and those campaigning groups they spied upon.

In the meanwhile: – 

The documents I have received do include my individual Special branch file number, but not what is included in it.

500

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of what the inquiry has revealed, is that the SDS reports were passed on to MI5.

These files are rubber stamped with the number 500.

I am thinking to get a badge made with a drawing of a rubber stamp with the number 500 on it.

Practical Campaigning – Ethical Issues.

I’m Just so pleased that I was taught about ethics at school, even if I can only remember just some of the principals of it all.

Now what strikes me is that more people should of been taught them, as some of those principles apply to why we all need to have the vaccine.

The same kind of Ethical principals apply to the need to be Vegan.

It is all very well talking about personal choice, and the principal of Human Rights, but what about if these choices impact upon other people or life upon this planet?

I guess in many ways it is an aspect of just why we need to engage in joined-up-campaigning.

This is one of the aspects of life that I mentioned in my article A few thoughts about the One in Seven which has just been published within the latest issue of Information For Social Change [ ISC ].

Yet

One of the side effects of lockdown has been the chance to think about the kind of society it would be ideal to live in, even though most of us have had to deal with the practical issues which face us all.

It also has been many of us the chance to think What Next? & Where Do I Want To Go Next ?

Yet

The coming few months will be very busy with the end of lockdown.

The first thing is that Part two of Tranche One of the spycops public inquiry is taking place next month, and I am hoping to learn about the activities of the spycop[s] that I knew during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Though the inquiry is redacting so much information that it is very hard going to get anything which is really useful out of it.

Then comes all of the active campaigning which needs picking up on again, and the chance to meet other activists in order to work out what we can do next.

Some things which need doing are very obvious, but we will need to build up an activist base once more. As and when these activities will be posted on the Close Capenhurst Campaign website.

Whatever Next ?

Here is how we now seem to start Every Day.

And Today’s Crisis is …

Just reading the newspapers or listening to the radio news it seems to be that way.

Brexitland

We have now moved from the Shambolic world of politics, to an everyday story of a dystopian folk, or life under the Rabid Right Wing Tory Government.

The list of what is going or has gone wrong within the last year would take just too many hours to list.

All I will say is that the whole Brexit disaster can be summed up as a totally predictable mess.

Planetary Disaster

Next we have the ongoing radioactive and planetary mess which needs to be cleaned up, but again this is just too long to list.

Nukiller New Build, Radioactive or Chemical Waste dumps, the failure to tackle global warming, create a safe sustainable transport, etc, etc.

The list goes on and on and on and on.

Yet there are still too few activists working to reverse this unfolding disaster.

While there is still a shocking lack of attention paid to recycling, or stopping to produce those items which are very difficult to recycle.

Eating and Riding Our Way to Disaster

If we are what we eat, then we also live in an environment which is the product of our eating and travel habits.

It always amazes me just how many can not see that being vegan and campaigning for pedestrian rights is so tied up with creating an environmentally sustainable lifestyle, or how it matches up within the concept of Joined-up-campaigning.

If

If all of the above seems to be the product of some highly depressing thinking about what we face right now, then you are right to do so.

Yet

Yet there is still a lot which we can all do right now, while planning for some major changes and mass demonstrations once the present pandemic is over.

May Day

May Day is an ideal time to stand up against the Rabid Right Wing Tory Government.

May the 9th is Europe Day.

That is an ideal day to engage up campaigning against the Brexitland Disaster.

In between Time

This is now an ideal moment to read up upon all those various issues which we do need to get back to active campaigning upon later on in the year.

While looking at all those lifestyle changes which we need to make.

The present dire situation we are in is one of the worst we have ever experienced.

Yet very soon the cry will start : –

Today’s Solution is ––

The Other Agenda

Right Now

What applies to politics applies to life too.

That is, to take the Overview, but keep an eye on the details.

With so many of the campaigns I’m involved with that’s very much the case.

Yet there is also something else which goes with that.

The need for to have a very wide ranging general knowledge in order to deal with any subject one might be asked about.

This is very much the case with all of the anti Nukiller and spycops campaigning I’m doing right now. That’s the work which I’m having to very much focus upon right now.

Which brings on to just why we all want answers from the Undercover Policing [ Spycops ] Public Inquiry.

Bob Lambert

One of the most shocking aspects of the whole spycops issue which deserves a lot more attention, is how they manipulated the campaigning work of the various groups they infiltrated.

That’s exactly what spycop Bob Lambert did with Greenpeace [ London ].

He moved the emphasis of the group away from focusing upon anti militarist and anti Nukiller campaigning, to that of mainly working upon animal rights activists, and thus the whole Mucklibel set of trials.

The most important questions being how much was that a spycop policing policy, and how much damage has it done to our other ongoing campaigning ?

In Times Gone By And In Times Present

In Times Past

Much of the current social and political debate is about how society is changing for the worst, while others might argue how some things are much better now than in decades or centuries ago.

Yet nothing is said about how this really compares to the past.

Here are two examples how things have changed for the better over the last 100 to 150 years: –

The School leaving age

and

Life Expenctency

Henry Mayhew

I wonder just how many of the younger generation realise just what the reality of life was like in an earlier age as described by Henry Mayhew.

Or

How many of the younger generation would know about, of ever come upon a Tosher or Mud Lark did?

Now that might seem like ancient history many people, but some of the descriptions within the Road to Wigan Pier are still within the living memory of many of the older generation.

Housing

It’s not so long ago that a very high percentage of the population lived in bedsits or HMOs as they are now classed as being.

Remember the expression ‘A shilling for the gas’ ?

Or

How it was normal to sleep in the same room as a gas cooker before that become illegal.

Yes things have improved a lot over the years.

Yet they have not.

– We now have a lot more rough sleepers than in many decades.

– Adult education in terms of evening classes is now almost a thing of the past.

– While one in seven of UK adults are functionally illiterate to a greater or lesser extent.

In Times Now

Margaret Thatcher said that:- “there is no such thing as society”.

While many of her supporters said “Greed is Good!”.

To which there was a response which went:-

The family is dead! Long live the family !

All of which are totally wrong, but they are attitudes which still prevail to this day.

In times to come

Social Change or Social Revolution ?

If history and all the recent events have taught us anything, then we must care for both society and the individual.

That’s something which compliments the concept of: –

Think Global Act Local.

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.

Spycops – A Set of Continuing Emotional & Other Issues

Living in the past.

There is something I’ve observed many a time, and which I engage upon once in a while.

The old comrades getting together, and talking about our previous campaigns:

– What went wrong with them

– What went right with them

– Who was involved in them

and

 – All the funny things which happened while they were going on.

These discussions can be very enjoyable to participant in, but only once in a while.

There are just too many new projects / new campaigns which I want to spend my life engaged upon.

& yet

& yet

An exercise in secrecy.

As many of you will know I am a Core Participant [ CP ] in the Undercover Policing Inquiry.  At the end of January the following piece about the Undercover Policing Inquiry was published on the Campaign Against Police Surveillance website.  

UCPI FAQ: The Spycops Public Inquiry

What really gets me is that so much information is being withheld on what the spycops did to me and many other activists.

The inquiry is withholding as much information about the various spycops as it can get away with.

At the same time the inquiry has put a legal restriction order on revealing both the cover and real names of most of these spycops.

Then eventually when we will get our individual SDS files, a very high percentage of what is in them will be redacted.

Many more years.

A lot of my old friends & comrades are now dead.

Thus it is going to be very difficult to know the extent they were spied upon.

Then there are all those individuals who I worked with in various groups or organisations over the years, and which I’ve now lost contact with.

That’s something which happens to us all.

While I am still in regular contact with others who live a long way from me,

but am unable to see on a regular basis.

Shock.

Discovering about the activities of the SDS goes way beyond shocking.

This is no surprise when you consider the feelings of surprise, anger, betrayal, and emotional distress which comes with the discovery of becoming a spycop victim.

Thus in many ways the whole process leaves me feeling very isolated,

and with little energy spare for more high stress activities.

Come the year 2026

I’ll be around 76 by the time the inquiry report is published.

Is it any wonder the whole thing leaves me with a great feeling of sadness?

Though I also feel it to be a process of mourning without mourning.

Other Complications.

There is another aspect to this which also complicates this for me.

Working to stop the nukiller power issue does take a lot of my time,

and involves a lot of effort.

If I were to disengage from this work for a while it might give me a rest,

but with so few activists, and so much which needs to be done, this is not the time to ease off for a while.

Thus I am going to keep working on this issue.

What ever else, most of the inquiry hearings dealing with the aspects of the time frame which concerns me the most will be completed by some time next year,

and I should of received the redacted SDS files about my activities.

Until that is over I’m going to be very over-stretched indeed.

Living in the past.

I knew Bob Robinson as a supposed friend and comrade in the mid 1980s.

This summer it will be nine years since I learnt he was a spycop with the real name of Dr Robert Lambert.

That is why I am a CP in the spycops public inquiry.

I Don’t want to spend my twilight years trying to discover just what political and emotional damage Bob and the rest of the SDS did while undercover.

& Yet

& Yet

It is important to know just what the various spycops got up to. Not knowing is emotionally distressing to everyone who is a spycop victim.

For me it is very important to state all of the above, and keep working away on these various issues.

& Yet

& Yet

It does come with a high emotional cost.