Week beginning 8 June 1998.
The Other News is made up as a single document, so that you can scroll your way through it. firstname.lastname@example.org
It has become necessary to redesign the Other News Layout a little owing to the time it takes to organise, so now the list of subjects is just a list.
Because a subject is listed does not necessarily mean there is an article. It has been listed because there probably is an article that week, and because the list is a good prompt for writing purposes.
Biwater Consumers crystal Palace Ecology Education Freemasons Lawyers LETSSwing Miscellaneous Music Planning Politics Science and Invention Unions and work Woodworking Small ads Stop Press
Index of earlier issues.
Click here for Blackspot`s twenty articles on assorted subjects - mostly to do with transport, safety, engineering, etc
For conditions see end of document.
If you haven`t looked at the other News From England before, read this in case it may save you some time.
The Other News has grown somewhat over the past months, and Josephine is gradually building a subject index for us. When it is completed, you will be able to log straight into the current edition and then look for the subjects that interest you in the subject index - these will often be in earlier editions. We are hoping this will help you find articles in your particular area of interest more easily than at present.
The Other News consists of a selection of articles on whatever subjects find their way to the top of the pile on the week in which it is written. Whilst some of it is intended to be serious, quite a lot is just a bit of light reading (or heavy, if you are a certain type of person), and intended to keep you amused, and cause people to question some of the assumptions of life.
Most of the material here is written by the editor, but no single article necessarily reflects the views of the editor or anyone else who writes here. They only might.
And here are a couple more sites of interest in this field:
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Barefoot Boogie are at The International Students` House next to Great Portland St. Tube on the corner of Great Portland St. and Marylebone Road London UK on the following dates at 8.15 to 11.15 pm.
June 12, 19, 26, July 17, 24, 31, August 14, 21, September 11, 18, 25, October 2, 9 23, November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18. Alcohol- and smoke-free disco playing a wide range of music inc. classical! Biodanza says `vibrant Latin/African Rhythms; ambient, trance, classical and rock...... in London every Wednesday 7.30-9.30 No 7 Wakefield St WC1 (5 minutes Russell Square tube 9 pounds or 6 pounds, students half price, advance and block booking discounts` phone enquiries (0044 for UK from most other countries) 0181 295 1588`
Another - a bit vague - hand-written on a postcard: `Mary`s Wednesday Biodanza class continues at St Lukes Church Hillmartin Rd N7 - Caledonian Rd tube.
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Gabriele Gad and Hugh Harris not playing at the Bonnington cafe for two or three weeks, but there is still the 50`s Beatnik atmosphere, cheap vegetarian food, and sometimes a fire in the hearth.
Bonnington Square, London SE8 UK (Vauxhall BR and Underground stn nearby, plus buses).
This week the junk mail all got too much for me, and so the most obnoxious offender (normally some firm like BT who have been told by the useless `Mailing Preference Service` that I do not want junk mail and ignored my request, but this time some fool selling personalised number plates) got all the junk mail complete with free pens, cards, forms, internet cd`s, plastic `presents` and a good sample of the contents of my scrap paper box all in one envelope, addressed back to them and labelled `First class - urgent` with no stamp. The whole pack weighed something in the region of half a kilo, and was marked significantly `no stamp` where there should be a stamp, thus inviting a postage due charge.
And finally, in the pack the `front page` was a sheet congratulating them on being this week`s lucky winner, whilst in the middle was a note saying `please take me off your mailing list`, thus obliging them to work out who of the various persons whose names were on the scrap paper this referred to, because it is illegal to leave someone on your mailing list if they have asked you to remove them from it. I might even have got all persons in the pile taken off their mailing list, but not intentionally.
It should have used up quite a lot of their time, but probably had nearly zero effect on account of the thickness of people`s hides. All the same, it was satisfying to do.
If we all did it on a regular basis it would probably reduce junk mail to a bearable level - but we don`t.
Why don`t we?
The AA and tourist industry are quoted as opposing certain measures designed to allow people to see the parks at the same time as restricting the use of cars within them. The kind of reasons given are that tourism in these areas turns over 50 million pounds a year (less than one pound per head of Britain`s population) and has within it 26,000 jobs, including bed and breakfast - and does not go on to mention that most jobs in tourism are part-time or seasonal only.
Having been partially brought up within one of these national parks, I have seen the growth of this motor tourism from train-and-coach tourism, and the ever-growing damage it does.
Up to approximately 1955, if one walked sensibly on anybody`s farm they would not ignore you but greet you because strangers were a rare thing, whilst those who rode in the trains were picked up from the station by the local hire car, and those who came in coaches saw all the regular tourist spots but of course had no freedom to roam - you had to be more energetic to do that. Nevertheless it was possible for most people to roam owing to Youth Hostels and cheap bed and breakfast - often in farmhouses who did not court such trade but accepted it when it came along.
From about 1955 on we had Beeching wrecking the railways and the resulting gradual increase in the use of cars (some of them `unsafe at any price`, as Vance Packard had it) and so the councils found themselves jobs for the locals in building laybys and special parking places for cars, and all that went with that. The end result was far from satisfactory, in that it there was much damage born of ignorance and a small amount born of deliberate vandalism. Not least amongst the damage was people dumping their old mattresses and general rubbish wherever they could stop a car - and if they could get it over the fence into a field of cattle they would probably do that, breaking the gate as they did it.
The farmer, if he or she had the time or was dorced to by the danger to livestock, would clear the mess up, and not be paid for it. It was just another job added to all the others involved in running a farm.
We had a public footpath running across our land, and to make it as pleasant as possible for those who used it we had no fence either side of it, believing that those who appreciated the country sufficiently to want to stray would automatically treat it well. As the years went by and the amount of users increased, so the more rubbish was thrown in the river, stuck in walls, and the more time the gates and drystone walls were brought down, and the more sheep were chased about by their dogs. These days it is not unusual to find rustlers in there too - they couldn`t do that if they didn`t have a car or van to do it with.
About twenty years ago my mother came across a family carefully dismatnling and throwing in the river a walkway that had been made by some farmer anything up to 800 years ago. There was no explanation, because they ran away, but it is easy to surmise that it was just lack of sense and/or knowledge. Nobody in my family ever got together the energy to rebuild it, and even if they did it would just be a bit of modern stonework. If you wish to go that way now, you have to either wade in the river or climb a dangerously steep bank, and if you are driving sheep you have to hope they will go the right way - they sometimes do.
Rather than continue with my confusing (because I have a socialist conviction but a conservative response) indignation about tourists, I would like to point out ways that one is mislead by the industry`s statements.
First of all, the tourist industry is a very small part of what is done to make a living in National Parks. Most of what goes on is farming and forestry, so that whilst the damage is being done by tourists the cost of that damage is born by the farmers and foresters. It is quite possible that the farmers and foresters between them have to fork out at least the fifty million a year that the tourist industry takes - only those amongst the farmers who do bed and breakfast getting any direct profit from that aspect of the thing.
Where the cost of the damage is born by the local council, one can say that it helps to create jobs for local people, but one might also measure that against the amount of profit made by the council out of tourists (oh yes they do, but only in a very subtle way). If it were possible to judge, it would probably be a zero profit situation or a loss.
But of course the real issue is the damage that tourism does to the environment, regardless of the profit and loss of it. Sheer numbers are enough to do noticeable damage, and cars increase it multifold.
If we are to appreciate the countryside at it`s best, we actually need to reach it on foot. Regrettably we have not yet found a way of giving the disabled access to everywhere, but I would be happy to advocate it if it were possible without actually defeating the purpose of the access by the technology (It may please some to know that there are places I could not any longer reach on foot myself on account of disablement). If we continue to only go to the countryside if we can easily reach it by car, and lobby for better access, it won`t be worth being there when we get there.
And as for `off road vehicles`...."*##@""##!@!!!
Nothing this week.
I had a journal covering a year of adult education classes to serialise, but the disk crashed my computer when I tried to run it, so in due course I`ll try again.
Nothing this week.
To see earlier articles about freemasons look in the last twelve or thirteen issues. To find them just click below:
To see stuff about Biwater, go to http://wwwlabournet.org.uk/biwater/index.html
Nothing this week.
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People keep asking Steve Barbe what the words are for Sangria Samba. They are intrigued by the reference to `The New Millenium Dome` and wonder how he gets it into a song essentially about poverty.
I will be asking him to write them out for me during the week with the intention of printing them here.
Click here for sheet music.
If you are in a LETS somewhere and would like LETSSwing to play to you, please contact email@example.com.
LETSSwing and others here also do gigs for world currencies - a variety of types of music.
No article this week. Click here for sheet music.
This situation has existed for many hundreds of years.
Only the details have changed during those hundreds of years. A goodish proportion of people living in rented accomodation now own a car, a television, maybe a computer, a cd player, a cooker, fridge and washing machine, but fundamentally they are where they would have been in the middle ages - dependant upon the goodwill of their landlord, the law, and/or the local council just to be able to subsist.
This is not at all a good thing, but it is how we do things.
Various ways have been tried of getting round this problem - most notable amongst them being the Russian Revolution, which certainly had behind it idealism, and did attempt to give the land to all the people, but has after 80 years or so fizzled out, and Russia has by all accounts now become a country largely run by it`s mafia, with as much deprivation as it had in 1900, and even, it is alleged, slavery - much the same as it was under the czars.
The popularity of what they called `communism` was not helped by the genocide that went along with it in Russia, but the west was presented with odd glimpses of something that made it look like it was working, until one day the Russian government was somehow brought to the conclusion that `communism` didn`t work, and they started courting the west. We know the rest of that story.
`Communism`, it would appear, turns out to be much the same thing in China, but real communism might be another thing. The only thing is we have no way of trying it because humans seem unable to do things that way. Someone always wants to be in control, and someone always seems to want a bit of genocide, more of the cake...etc.
This week, I visited a place that had been started at the turn of the century in a fit of idealism by a collection of young socialists. They had bought land, and divided it amongst eighty or so people, each person being allowed to do whatever they would with their half acre, and declared themselves a community. Each then built themselves a place to live and grew food, or whatever, and they held regular meetings to decide communal matters.
The stunning thing about it is that it is still going - although regrettably the principal of ownership of land is still there, because you have to buy your way into the communally owned plot of land. In fact, the problem may be exaggerated, because it is impossiible to get a mortgage to buy your holding and you therefore have to be able to pay cash.
I was told that this colony did not court publicity, so I will not tell you who they are, but I will investigate further and report again.
Nothing this week.
Nothing this week.
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If anybody has any questions on this subject, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and it might inspire us to do something.
(no new ads)
I want some stuff for getting data off Amstrad PCW`s onto ordinary PC`s. email@example.com
Cheap laptop for writing the Other News when away from base. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(Will take LETS currencies): Industrial quality roofrack about 7 feet X 3.5 feet, made to measure for ford Sierra estate. I used it for woodwork contracting. It is the best I`ve ever seen. Contact email@example.com
Same again, about 48" by 96", but lesser quality, for Ford Granada estate or Volvo 7 series - free owing to poor condition - but it works. firstname.lastname@example.org
LETSSwing (the London all-LETS-members band) need a percussionist. Suit someone who thinks of playing and writing music as a creative, co-operative, gentle activity, who likes out-of-date pop and jazz, and who doesn`t like making a noise. We play so quiet you could have it in your livingroom without bothering the neighbours most of the time, and are looking at the possibilities for involvement in `the community` (playing in hospitals and so on). Contact email@example.com
What, no stop press?
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