Words.

I’ve been thinking about the use of various words of late.

One of the reasons for doing so is because I spent a couple of days during this month at a language school to the South of Madrid:

I was talking to some of the students about Cockney Rhyming slang,
and aspects of the everyday use of the various languages which one hears within London.

Now I discover that the British Local Government Association
has produced a list of:
200 words and phrases
that all public sector bodies should avoid when talking to people about the work they do and the services they provide.

Here is an example of just what is to be found within this list:

– Baseline – starting point

– Customer – people/person

– Outsourced – privatised

– Rationalisation – cut

– Revenue Streams – money.

– Slippage – delay.

– Thinking outside of the box – Why use at all?

It’s refreshing to read that at long last there is an attempt to curtail the use of so many of these detested corporate terms.

Libraries on the Madrid Metro.

One of the most interesting things I discovered upon my recent visit to Madrid is Bibliometro.

Bibliometro is a project in which Library kiosks are to be found within 12 of the Madrid metro stations.

There are not many books which are held within these library kiosks, but you can order and return library books at these outlets while on your way to or return from work.

By all accounts this is a project which was first developed within Chile.

It is an interesting project which might be well worth developing within many other parts of the world.

A Word to Librarians Upon Stock Revision – Jobs.

Walk into any public library of late and you might of noticed
just which books are coming off the shelves the fastest rate.

These are:
-career guides,
– books upon how to write a good curriculum vitae,
&
– Upon just how one would work for oneself.

These are the new best sellers.

What I am also noticing is that there are a lot more people
asking about vacancies within libraries, or for newspapers
and periodicals in which jobs are advertised.

All this is just a reflection of just how high the level of
unemployment has become.

Many of the new unemployed are not inarticulate,
but highly skilled, and highly educated individuals.

Yet almost all of the help which is available to the
unemployed still makes the presumption that they all have low
skill level, or that all they need is a little retraining in order
to find some employment.

Continue reading A Word to Librarians Upon Stock Revision – Jobs.

A Title by the Spine.

It’s not just ‘dumbing down’ or lack of knowledge which
sometimes causes books to be misfiled within our libraries.

I recently came upon a cd album of the pop band Japan,
‘The Best of Japan’, which was shelved under World music.

These of us who work in the library world know about many
novels which have the name of a character as the title work,
and that have been found on the shelves under the surname of
the title, rather than under that of the author.

I have even a book filed under the publisher name:
the publishes name was on the book spine in a much larger type
face than that of the author.

These things can and do just happen from time to time.

What concerns me more is the way in which library books now
come from the suppliers already catalogued,
and with the class number already placed upon the spine.

Continue reading A Title by the Spine.

New Year – New Fashions

When I used to work in C & W May ( theatrical Costumiers ),
there was a guy who worked in the place who would explain
that the look of the costumes which people wear is not always
just a question of what is in fashion at the time.

As he put the point, it was never a question of:
‘Right lads! It’s 1930! All change in to these new costumes!’

Just look at come of the photos of Laurence Housman which
were taken during that decade, and you will see him wearing a
wing collar: Something that was very fashionable within an
earlier era.

As with clothing – The same with politics.

Some of us are still banging on about issues which were highly
fashionable to campaign upon a few decades back.

Though unlike clothing fashions – some political fashions do
not date in terms of what is are immediate problems which need
to be addressed.

I was reminded of all this the other day as I noted a job being
advertised for a new Director of Corporate Services at the
UK.
Civil Nuclear Police Authority.

i.e. The Nukiller Police.

Continue reading New Year – New Fashions

A Few Words to the Wise.

My uncle once told me something which I think we should all
keep in mind right now:

‘The value of any object is the replacement cost.’

This week I read that some 12 airlines have folded during the
last year.

While the funniest headline I read was:
Bankers apologise for being Bankers.

If you know Cockney Rhyming slang,
then you will know that it is not a complement to call anyone a
banker.

Meanwhile the politicians worry about how to inject more
cash in to the economy,
& how to increase the willingness of banks to lend money.

Now wasn’t it the over lending of money that caused the
present economic crisis in the first place,
or did I miss something else along the way? Continue reading A Few Words to the Wise.

Nonviolent Resistance to the Falkland War.

The overriding mood in Britain the during spring of 1982 was
that of Jingoism, nationalism, & militarism.

The Falkland Islands had been invaded by the Argentina
military,
& Britain was at War.

In between the Jingoism, nationalism, & militarism: –
There were a few of us who were engaged in
Anti Falkland War Activities.

Over the few months of the war there were a lot of small
scale demonstrations,
and three national marches against the war.

Upon one of these demonstrations I was photographed in the
company of my comrades from Greenpeace ( London ).
This photo appeared on the front page of the Morning Star –
Monday May 10th 1982.

During the period between may day 1982 & the ‘victory parade’
on oct 12 of that year:
Some circa 118 people were arrested for Anti-Falkland war
activities.

Most of these arrests were for small scale,
or symbolic actions against the war.

Some £515 was raised in donations to cover their fines &
other legal costs.

These figures come from bulletin no 6 of the anti-Falklands
war support network (March 1983 ), in which I was involved.

This support network was founded on may 24th 1982,
and held its last meeting on February 28th 1983.

The Peace Pledge Union ( P.P.U. ) was engaged in activities
against the war,
as was London Peace Action,
&
Greenpeace ( London ).

Peace News published various news stories and back ground
articles upon the situation during the time of the war.

Since then very little has been published about this small
grass root opposition to the Falkland War.

The archives of the anti-Falklands war support network are
now held by the P.P.U.

A statement marking the 25th anniversary of the war was
published in Information for Social Change 2007.

What I would like to happen is an oral history project upon
the resistance to the Falkland War.

Would anyone be interested in undertaking such a project?

The Imperial War Museum.

I’ve just been back on a visit to The Imperial War Museum.

I was in the company of some young War Resisters from
German, Chile, and South Korea.

Although there is a lot within the museum upon the various
wars which Britain has been involved within during the 20th
century:
One can also find a lot of material upon conscription and
conscientious objection.

For me it was a visit to the museum in my teens which kick
started my thinking which resulted in my becoming a pacifist.

Every Pacifist should try and visit the museum.

Don’t knock it.

Some Notes Upon Pacifist Activities in Bulgaria During the 1920s & 1930s.

On July 3rd 1924 a young man was beaten up in the Bulgarian
village of Bujinci-Vasil. His ‘crime’ was that of refusing to be
conscripted.

This was in contravention of the provisions of the peace
treaty which came in to effect at the end of world war one.

The reporter upon this incident had no idea upon what had
subsequently happened to the young man.

Thus we have the 1st of a number of reports upon the pacifist
movement in Bulgaria which were published in the various
newsletters of War Resisters International ( WRI ).

In September 1924 it was reported that a group of Bulgarian
Tolstoyans had formed a new section of WRI.

At the same time it was reported that their situation had
become much more difficult. Continue reading Some Notes Upon Pacifist Activities in Bulgaria During the 1920s & 1930s.

Another Forgotten Piece of ‘our glorious History’.

People celebrate the abolition of slavery within Europe and
North America,
but forget that ‘bonded labour’ ( another form of slavery ),
is still in place within many parts of the world.

Britain gave up the slave trade over 150 years ago,
but it was still involved in supporting slavery for a long time
after that.

I was reminded of this fact while reading the obituary of
Colonel David Smiley,
which was published in The Times on January 14th.

During a long military career Smiley worked with the Sultan
of Omans Armed Forces during the late 1950s.

It might also be noted that British SAS forces were active in
Oman against various insurgencies during the 1960s.

Now here is the interesting point:
Slavery was only officially abolished in Oman during the
early 1970s.

There was not a word about slavery in Oman which appeared
within the Times Smiley obituary.

It would of been a very different kind of obituary if this fact
had been noted.