Online Archive  
Issue 5 - May 1972
No developments
It is a well-known fact how 'bad' the development situation is in the north-east and what efforts the various governments have made to relieve it. A recent statistical memorandum from the North East Development Council gives quite a clear picture of how this works. The priorities given to different kinds of new construction are interesting.

Housing, environmental services and education in the north all receive considerably less of the total (local) public expenditure on development than they do in the rest of the country. In fact, there are only five sectors that receive a greater percentage of the total budget here than in the rest of Great Britain.

Local government and sundry public services are judged to be marginally more important here than in the rest of the country. Government assistance to trade and industry is 1.3% of the north's total, as compared with 0.9% for GB.

Perhaps the two most surprising statistics are for power and road lighting. In the north, power receives 13.3% of the total expenditure on new development, as compared with 8.7% for the rest of GB. And roads and public lighting have a magnificent development level of 28.0% of the total for the north, as compared with 18.3% for GB.

An examination of the full table may give some idea of what it really means to be a development area in terms of priorities for development: it may at least take away some illusions that whoever is in fact controlling where the money goes may care about the people and understand the true personal and community needs in the north.

Public investment in new construction (percentage of the total in the area)
Environmental services
Child Care
Health and welfare
Fire, police, prisons
Local government services
Roads and public lighting
Transport and communication
Fuel and power
Government assistance to trade and industry
Other public services

Good opportunity
There is to be a special House of Lords committee meeting to investigate cases of discrimination against women or men in Britain nowadays. Everyone should be able to think of at least one case. Women can't fail to. You can submit evidence until 15 June by writing to J A Vallance-White, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW.

New mag
Since ISM, Internal Students' Magazine of Bede College, has been castrated by the JCR Executive of the college (acting under pressure from the Durham Schoolmasters Association, K G Collier the principal of the college, and the Board of Governors of Bede) it has become obvious that student teachers in Durham need a completely independent magazine which will allow them to air their views, make their complaints and generally communicate anything they need to communicate.

A number of people have already shown interest in starting such a magazine and a meeting to discuss the project has been held. We need further support if you're at all interested (and remember that the magazine will be what you make it), please contact us. We have access to a lot of information and news about alternative education, different ways of approaching education. We are in a position to organise against undemocratic and unjust treatment of individuals; don't leave things up to the NUT or the NUS (certainly don't trust the NAS!). Get together - make it a magazine about music, jokes, art, fun ... whatever you want?

Contact Alan or Alan: 5 Albert Street, Western Hill, or enquire at MG office.

A few weeks ago, someone fairly high up in the echelons of the Social Security hierarchy in the Durham offices in Milburngate House came out with the memorable sentence - "We aren't concerned with reality". So much for the bastion of the welfare state.

Stockton Help
Teesside now has premises for the Information and Help Service which you will find at 20 Lawrence Street, Stockton on Tees, tel 66667. At the moment, the centre is not operating 24 hours, but in the near future it is hoped that this will be the case. One way in which Help hope to finance themselves is by organising folk concerts on Teesside. You can aid Help by either playing for them or by putting them in touch with artists / groups who would be willing to do a night for expenses. As well as the centre giving info it also needs to receive info and they would be glad of any that you can provide for them. If you want this centre to survive then don't just read this and forget it. The success of this is entirely up to you.

The Americans have just started using a new type of anti-personnel bomb - that's a bomb that is designed to kill people - in Vietnam. The bomb explodes with plastic pellets, which penetrate the victims' bodies at 1300ft per second - hot enough to vapourise the flesh - and which can fracture a bone without actually touching it. Dr Harvey of a London hospital said: "This is a new development. The pellets used to be metal, but now they are using plastic it is impossible to locate the pellets by the use of normal x-rays. They can be found with ultrasonic vibrations, but the N Vietnamese do not have such equipment."

On Sunday 6 April 60 US planes bombed Hanoi, dropping these bombs on eight residential districts.
(from the Guardian 27.4.72)

Load of rubbish
Following on from our 'Dump' article in MG4 - the Northumbrian River Authority has rejected the application from Effluent Disposal Ltd to tip over 2,000 different types of chemical waste down Silksworth pit. This was despite support for the scheme from the NCB.

The company will now appeal to the Minister of the Environment, Mr Peter Walker, who has the power to reverse the decision of the River Authority. Let's hope he doesn't use that power.

Majorca or bust
Durham County spends more money than any other county on sending councillors abroad to conferences. Lucky we live in such a rich county!

Pork sandwiches
Many policemen at Coventry are boycotting their canteen because of a rise in prices which they think is too much. They are now bringing their own sandwiches to eat in the canteen, buying cups of tea and coffee which they say are reasonably cheap.

One constable said: "Some of us are getting meals in cafes outside because they are cheaper. But most of us are bringing our own.

"A pint of milk here costs 10p when our own milkmen sell it for 5p. A rasher of bacon is 13p and eggs are 3½p each. Cheese on toast has gone up from 5p to 8½p. We think it's far too much."

A senior police spokesman said even with the increases, the prices were still reasonable.

The increases had been made because the Home Office had said police canteens must be run at a profit.

Do you realise that while we read a daily account of escalations of the 'troubles in Ireland', the rest of the world reads about the 'British civil war'?

Child minders
On Wednesday 5 April the National Association of School Masters had their annual conference at Southport. Main concern was with the 'problem' of discipline, violence and drugs. A motion was passed that there should be special schools for 'problem' children. Said Mr Robert Little of New Milton, Hants: "We have to accept that some children are problems and we are not helping by allowing them to stay in the present system." Maybe that statement would make more sense if it were rephrased: "Some systems are problems and we aren't helping by allowing children to remain in them."

On the buses
Sunderland Corporation buses have a notice saying "No smoking before 7pm".

Seeing red
Reaction from the bastion of the establishment left - the incorrigible International Socialists - is mounting against the slanderous attacks aimed at them by us hypies at MG. Every edition, they complain, has had specific attacks against their august body, especially last edition's attack at them supplying the Special Branch with names by filing anyone they can lure into their meetings, and 'Marx Groucho Style' in MG2.

Latest comments from them: "I wouldn't mind if you were attacking the Tories but you're attacking the revolutionary forces", and "What about anarchy Harpo style. You know Harpo was the dumb one."