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Issue 8 - November 1972
Your Turn Next
When you were a kid did you used to play on open land, a field near your home, the local park. A place where there was still water where you could catch sticklebacks and collect frog spawn; and there were slopes, where in winter time you would take a sledge and race through the white landscape. Then did you leave your childhood home and years later return to find that the field is to be walled off and flooded to provide a yachting marina for greedy, selfish over-rich property owners. Still that's the way of the world isn't it and you can't do anything about it.

And although it's terrible that the number of unemployed is going up you can't do anything about that either. Maybe you are one of the 19 out of 20 people in the north-east who still has a job and maybe you'll still be one of the lucky 15 out of 20 people who it is estimated will have jobs in 10 years' time (that's presuming you want a job in the miserable warehouses, factories, offices, building sites and transport depots of the 1970s). But let's not worry because Utopia's just round the corner isn't it? All work will be automated and we'll hold hands in the dole queue as we wait for the next cheque. Suckers, there ain't no Utopia coming, just a wasteland of social decay at the rate we're going. Remember the politician's motto: "never give a sucker an even break".

If you're interested in science then it's been proved that the world hasn't got the raw materials to allow nations to indulge in 'growth economy' for any longer. No, there won't be any wonderful synthetic materials invented because the production of such materials requires raw materials in the first place, and how the hell are you going to get rid of the waste?

When are we going to stop the pollution, stop building motorways and high-rise flats, stop covering more and more land with concrete, erecting factories which pour out filth, building dams and destroying whole areas of wildlife etc etc?

So a project is being started called Project NE 2073 which is sponsored by the Ecologist magazine in conjunction with Tyneside Environmental Concern and Clean Air for Teesside. They want to set up committees to discuss local economic and environmental problems, to try and find ways for the north-east to exist as a community on its own, without relying on exports and imports, using local resources which can be put into the land so that it can bear fruit again. Well fine, it's nice to know they're concerned. But how about some bloody action! How about the scientists getting emotional for once. They want local people to participate; well you'll get the sort of people who like committee meetings but it's not likely you'll get the people who are involved in genuine alternative action: setting up free schools, community workshops, communes, food co-operatives, adventure playgrounds; blocking off streets, demonstrating against motorways, growing their own food, etc etc. But that's too much isn't it, there's no need to get excited. The situation's bad but we can still go back to our centrally heated home and watch the TV, roll a joint and read the colour supplement.

PS: If anybody would like to infiltrate Project NE 2073 fill in the following slip and send it to Robert Allen, 27 Queens Road, Surrey

I would like to join my local NE 2073 Committee.