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?

Living In The Past

Memory is a funny thing.

A lot of what can come to mind is triggered by looking at pictures from ones past, or in conversations with old friends and comrades.

The Number Game.

The average adult English speaker will know between 15,000 to 23,000 words.

Yet the more interesting question is

– How many people does the average person physically meet in a lifetime?

&

– Just how many of their names do we tend to remember ?

What complicates this is knowing so many people with the Same First names, or Surnames.

That’s never mind all the campaigning groups, organisations, NGOs, or public bodies one has had contact with over the years.

Then there are the names of films one has watched, titles of books one has read, and places which one has visited over the years.

So just remembering all of these names is something which comes down to almost being able to list them all as if by rote.

Memory not gone, but fewer day by day triggers to set it in motion.

As I keep growing older there is more of my past to recall, yet there is a catch to this which I have discovered of late.

There are not the same people around me to talk over the events of yesteryear.

That’s especially so given that I have had something like 20 jobs and lived in the same number of places over the years.

While many of the people I knew in my youth are dead, lost contact with, or have moved on to different locations around the world.

So knowing how to look up these names has becomes much more important to me with the passing year.

Mispronouncing the past.

Of course just to confuse any persons name by pronounce it in the wrong way can be something of a problem.

Thus the right name can be lost to one – at least in the very short term.

For example: – by saying ow when it sound of been ov,

or thinking that it starts with Ph while it should be Th.

So one does need to keep this in mind.

Reminiscing with ones old friends and comrades.

One of the joys of seeing old friends is to talk over what we did in the past.

The old comrades getting together, and talking about the previous campaigns they were involved with, is one of the best aspects of being a long term activist.

That is where the collective memory which comes in to play.

Between us we can remember more people and events than as isolated individuals.

Poor Dears.

One of the excuses being by the Met as to why some of the cover names of former spycops should not be publicly revealed by the ongoing public inquiry in to undercover policing, is that they very frail and have impaired memories.

Poor Dears!

They can not be expected to remember exactly what they did in the past!

It’s a wonderful excuse for maintaining a situation whereby they will not be held accountable for their actions.

Yet that is just an excuse.

There is still a need for those of us who were spied upon to know just who they were,and exactly what damage they did at the time.

Once we have those undercover names, then the real memory challenges will need to be done.

Without that there can be no social justice.

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.

 

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.

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.

Working on.

From time to time I stop and think that there has been so much to do of late, that most of my time has been spent in reading about, or working upon various issues. That includes a lot of networking, commenting various issues, and passing on information to others.

Thus there has been little time to pen anything new.

That’s always the problem with multi issue campaigning.

Well that’s the way it goes.

So to save some time I’ll just list a few of the issue I’ve been looking at, or working upon over the last few months.

The AP 1000 reactor.

Capenhurst.

The danger of Pavement parking.

Moorside.

The Pitchford Inquiry.

Prisoners for Peace.

Though that’s just a starter list.

At present I am in the middle of some work which relates to DRS & the transport of nuklller waste on the railways.

The good thing is that I should be able to pen a little more over the next month or so.

Generational Realities.

I get really tired of the argument about pensioners deserving better, as they were soldiers during World War Two.

Well for my generation of pensioners it was a case of working to stop wars. Be it in Vietnam, Biafra, & later on in the Falklands.

I am tired of those references by the young to rich pensioners, even though the state pension is so low that many pensioners have to survive on Housing benefit. 10% of all pensioners live below the poverty line.

I am tired of the young moaning about a later retirement age, even though they will be joining the work force many years after my generation did so.

I am tired on the many moans about student loans, when most of my and earlier generations were just not able to go to university. That was something which was well out of the reach of anyone who came from the working class.

Neither did we have the luxury of a gap year.

In contract almost all of the adult education courses have now been cut, and so our only option is self education. That’s something we have been engaged upon most of our lives.

I am tired of hearing moans about young people not being able to afford to buy a house to live in. Exactly the same applies to my generation. 

They also have to remember just how bad some of the housing conditions were during an earlier age.

Though the real scandal is that there are very few places being built to facilitate independent living for older citizens. That’s the real housing crisis which we now need to address.

This might seem like me moaning, but we all have very different issues to face.

 

I Refuse To Be Intimidated

I keep getting increasingly threatening letters from the television licensing mob, who have now ‘opened an investigation’ on my flat, and will be around to see me in the next few weeks.

Nowhere in the legislation does it state one has to contact them if [ like me] one does Not Own a television, or any equipment capable of receiving a live television signal.

Thus I will continue to ignore them.

Yet they continue to treat me and many others I know as Guilty Until Proven Innocent.

Such letters as they send are both libellous, and show no understanding of the law.

I refuse to be intimidated by them.

Worth Reading

Multi-multi tasking is something which happens with me all of the time.

Of late I’ve been putting some time in to working upon Pedestrian issues around Liverpool. 

Here’s why:  –    

Wide geographical variation in serious pedestrian injury rates

While I also continue to work to stop the nukiller power industry, and correct some of the misinformation which the industry keeps pushing out.  One good example of this being about new build.  That’s why I think the following statement by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities is well worth sharing.

Of course there is a much more which I could recommend you too read, but as ever I’ve a lot else to do right now.

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.