15 November 1999.
Pressure of other work has made this week's edition rather brief. Sorry.
Index of earlier issues - click here.
(Those who like digging about will find that there are hundreds of articles on many subjects to be found on this site.)
I am working again on old issues of Other News (1993) and hope soon to put a few more of them on the site.
It is remarkable how much trouble I have had connecting to Pipex to upload The Other News on a Sunday since I started writing about the £2.4m financial suit and freemasons. I just can't understand..........
But perhaps you can.
A COUNTRY PARSON EMAILED me to ask my help with promoting his campaign, and I have to say I am rather taken with it. He has noticed something that I suspect the rest of us (most, anyway) will not notice until it is too late.
The main characteristic of the English countryside was - and still is to some extent - the fact that it was so very green. It was green because of there being sufficient rain, and there was sufficient rain because there were sufficient trees to make that happen. The big multi-nationals have been pressing and squeezing the farmers so hard that they have been going bankrupt and selling their farms. This would be no particular problem from the point of view of a green landscape, but for the fact that the farms will be bought by the big multinationals (the ones who caused the bankruptcies!), who will farm them to get the same products that they got from the original owners but cheaper still - and the ultimate way to get cheap crops is to cut down all the trees and hedgerows and have huge fields that are easy to maintain and sow because of their size.
It is unlikely there will be any thought about the long-term effects - or if there are they will probably only be token gestures that are followed through for long enough to appease the public - like Sainsbury's did when they bought a large piece of land locally to me. They got planning permission for a supermarket by telling the local people they would also provide open space, and then once the supermarket was well under way and they had provided the open space for a while, they decided they wished to build a DIY shop on it, presumably using the fact of the supermarket being already there as an argument for planning permission.
I've digressed. This issue is one of the destruction of the English countryside as we know it today, but it is also about the destruction in such a way that it becomes even more ecologically unsound than it already is. I print his email:
"I have (hopefully) included one of my web pages as part of the text of this e-mail. Basically I am trying to get ordinary people to think through the effect that the loss of family farms will have on the countryside. If the big agri-buisiness folk move in then prairie farming will take over. All that matters will be profit on their capital outlay. (as evidenced by the railways, water companies etc.) The lack of interest in a sustainable economy is dire!! Is there ANYONE out there who cares?
(text from web pages) RADICAL CHANGES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE ?
>From articles in the farming press:- w/e 16 / 10 / 99
Farmers have been warned that one in four farms could go to the wall without affecting either food output or the environment. Mr Sean Rickard and Professor John Marsh both warn that radical changes will be forced on the industry because of consumers and taxpayers perceptions, together with the new round of World Trade talks and E.U. expansion.
The report "Small and Family Farms - their role in the countryside and their future" states that small and family farms, accounting for some 66% of all U.K. holdings are under threat from production led subsidies and intensive farming practices. This report is put together by the Small and Family Farms Alliance and the Wildlife Trusts. It is supported by Friends of the Earth, the R.S.P.B. and the W.W.F.
I ask again, "What kind of farming and countryside do the British people want ?"
So-called consumer groups insist that we want food that is wholesome, which has a detailed provenance and at a low price. Supermarkets insist that their produce is excellent value for money and reserve the right to source their goods from anywhere in the world regardless of animal welfare and production techniques. Very few people are as yet linking cheap food production methods with the degredation of the environment and prairie farming. The truth is that we cannot have 'Chocolate Box Countryside with Prairie Prices'. The massive subsidies, which have had so much adverse publicity, have mainly gone to the larger arable farms. 80% of subsidies have gone to only 20% of farmers. This is because subsidies have been linked to production to deliberately lower the cost of food. Most of the farms which have received these payments in the past have been in the south and east of the country.The small farms in the west and north (where there is greatest bio-diversity) are the ones now in danger.
I believe that:-
1) The Government should instigate a nationwide discussion on the countryside, in which we all have an interest.
2) The 'Profit and Loss' account for farming should include such items as the environment and bio-diversity not just money.
3)We cannot afford to leave farming, with its tremendous influence on the countryside and the ecology of our land, to the economic 'experts' and multi - national companies.
Maybe if the Government will not initiate a debate, the church should! The Church Commissioners are one of the largest landowners in the country. Maybe the Church of England should think through its ethical policy on farming and land use. At least that would be a start!
Comments please to Terry Brighton, address / e mail on home page. email@example.com
P.S. A definition of an 'expert'. An 'ex' is a 'has been' and a 'spurt' is a 'drip under pressure'.
Web site at Click here for website. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org"
Sorry. This is all I can manage this week. Maybe I can update about midweek, perhaps with something more about freemasons and the £2.4m.
This website is about the destruction of countryside and agriculture. Worth a visit if you want to find out about how it is thought the British countryside will fair under the ongoing creep of the multinationals.
This website is one to do with monetary reform. If you are interested in economics it is worth a look. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~bamr1
This is a site concerned with one of the most unpopular planning decisions ever made in Greater London, the Crystal Palace Complex. It is so stunningly awful that only a handful of people who do not live near it appear to approve, whilst the rest are not entirely uninclined to mention such things as payola, freemasons....you name it! The site belongs to the London Borough of Bromley, but the aggro generated by it and the destruction of amenity caused by it will be almost entirely suffered by residents of adjoining boroughs and not the people of Bromley themselves.
This is a recycling site based in London, and offering materials to anybody. The organisation is a charity seeking to link suppliers of surplus materials with users. Especially good for the more ingenious designers amongst us.
The email of the people who run the above site is email@example.com. They are called Creative Supplies. Look them up for more info.
Here's an interesting education site - particularly for those who have young children and are not quite sure what to do to avoid the worst of what`s on offer in the mainstream of education.They are called www.edrev.org.
early Othernews - 1992, 93, 94.
There were a few essays that went out with the early Other News as a freestanding item. You can read these by clicking below.
The Soup Designer`s Handbook.
London Journey - a trip from Docklands through Beckenham and back to Docklands.
(Friday Woodworkers are suffering a temporary break due to some of the episodes not having been fully edited at the time of writing. It may take some timne to fix this problem.
(These articles were written in 1988, and were my first attempt at writing. Some people when shown these fell about laughing, some smiled faintly - and some yawned. I thought I was going to write a technical book, but it soon became apparent that I was much more interested in the people than the technology - and that is the main reason there are no drawings - although it might be rather good to do a couple of caricatures sometime.)
Index of Friday Woodorker articles (and a means of access).
We are still redesigning The Other News From England. Noticed the change so far?
There is at least one new article this week, and articles on many subjects in earlier issues (which can be seen by clicking below).
Index of earlier issues.
A READER COMPLAINED that it was not possible to go back more than 6 articles in Gabriele`s area. Regrettably this is because there is no index, and I have not the time to organise one yet. However, for those determined enough to find the early ones, they should be accessible by going to an early Other News and clicking through from it. This will not be fast, but I think will do the job. They started about November 1997 I think.
(I wish someone would make a contribution before I am forced to put in some of my own stuff here).
So new, in fact, that there is nothing there. I want to open a section of this site to be used as a kind of green reference. Ordinary folks usually know what to do in order to be green, but there are times when (a) they don`t know the technology, or (b)they are short of ideas, or (c) they would like to see what some other people think.
So the purpose of this area will be for people to describe to others how they made their own electricity, or saved a great deal of domestic water being wasted, or captured the methane gas from their cesspit, designed their solar bicycle with regenerative braking and portable overnight windcharger, caused plants to grow in a desert, made a solar water pump, etc.
A site for forward-looking people, in fact.
It may be very difficult to edit, but I would like a few articles and tips that are concise, easily understood and ecologically useful. Authors will be named if they so wish. These will be left on the site, and gradually as the number of articles builds up hopefully somebody will construct an index. I won`t volunteer myself, as I have yet to make a subject index for the whole Other News site.
One week carried an article that might be of interest to anybody thinking of taking out an Abbey National mortgage - or those who already have one.
Interestingly, one of the London papers described them as being "among the greediest".
There will soon be a new twist to this story, but I am not sure what it will be until it happens. They are trying to make it as difficult as possible instead of as easy as possible to resolve the present dispute.
(see several weeks back).
This Lexmark business gets worse. I refilled the black cartridge with an ordinary cartridge refilling outfit and it won`t print despite telling me that the cartridge is full and that it is printing.
In an earlier issue I told you about my feelings regarding Tempo retailers and the Lexmark 3200 printer I bought from them. I have now found out another thing about it.
The Lexmark 3200 printer I got from Tempo must surely be the most uneconomical printer I could possibly have bought. The black cartridge only does about 250 pages of ordinary type - for £28! That makes each sheet cost 11.2 pence plus the cost of the paper and probably another 11.2 pence more if any colour is used! - ABOUT 22.4 PENCE A SHEET! Nearly a pound for every four sheets!
I wouldn`t recommend you to buy it - but also look at my earlier article for an idea of Tempo`s service.
A person to help make up a subject index for the growing numbers of articles on The Other News From England. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
8- or more-track tape recorder. email email@example.com
Also want good working VW or Volvo 7 series 2.4litre turbodiesel engine. This is the type that goes in an LT van or a Volvo 740TD. email firstname.lastname@example.org
£2,000,000 at 0% interest would quite good too, although I would probably waste quite a lot of it employing musicians to do the great work.
All material on this site is copyright. Contact me if you want to use it. I am quite flexible. Educational non-profit use is free - but ask for permission and print an acknowledgement. If you can`t think what to print, put:
From The Other News From England. http://www.othernews.co.uk