The Introduction to the Sheffield Dales is  in this column, lower down, amongst the images. Most of these images are  not given a name and a location, for various reasons. One of them is to respect the privacy of the owners or tenants of individual properties. There are separate sections, also in this column, on Sheffield wheat and barleySheffield hawthorn and autumn colours in the Sheffield Dales.

The Sheffield Dales: fields, ponds, woodland,  stone, cottages, industry

Above, the intense beauty of the Hind Wheel millpond, Rivelin Valley, Sheffield

Below, dam at Old Wheel Farm, Loxley Valley
In this valley, water powered medieval corn mills and the wheels used for manufacturing agricultural implements and cutlery. Later, there was heavier industry, including factories which made furnace bricks for steel works. In 1864, this area was devastated when a much bigger dam, the Dale Dyke Dam, collapsed. An estimated 3 million cubic metres of water swept down the Loxley Valley, through Loxley Village and on to Malin Bridge and Hillsborough, where the River Loxley flows into the River Don. The water flowed down the Don into the centre of Sheffield. More than 240 peple were killed.

 

Introduction

This is a frank, far from comprehensive look at the city of Sheffield (a large part of which lies within the Peak District National Park.) You either live here or you don't. If you don't, should you visit or come to stay, perhaps to work or to study? Or  should you stay away? Most people don't have the option of coming to Sheffield, of course, or no reason to come here. They have to stay away.

Sheffield has beauty, character, individuality, blandness, massive strengths and vey significant weaknesses and, of course, a great deal that's somewhere in between. Sheffield is a very different place from Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster and the rest of South Yorkshire. I've a strong interest in the whole county of South Yorkshire. The distinctive but varied attitudes to be found in the different parts of South Yorkshire, the distinctive accent and dialect (one form of which I speak myself) vanish in large parts of Sheffield. Then there are the counties bordering South Yorkshire. In my case, Derbyshire is not far away. I've a strong interest in Derbyshire as well, but there's no part of the country without interest for me.

 The significance of  'Sheffield Dales,' what I mean by 'Sheffield Dales,' can be explained, to begin with, by a mention of the Yorkshire Dales. Fields and buildings in the Yorkshire Dales are far better known than those in this area.

The landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is admired by very many people, and many people feel - as I do - that  the buildings have a rightness in this landscape, that they aren't in the least jarring, an intrusion in this landscape. There are many areas where it would be impossible to make the same claim, that the buildings are a fitting part of the landscape. Not all the buildings in the Yorkshire Dales are equally at home in the landscape. The buildings which fit into the landscape particularly well are examples of vernacular architecture. These particular buildings are generally made of stone, and often the roofs, like the walls, are stone, stone slates. The vernacular architecture of England is very varied in its styles, techniques and materials. The materials include building stones as different as Cotswold limestones and granite, Welsh and Cumbrian slate, roofing of tiles and thatch - and so much more, a wonderful achievement.

The characteristic vernacular architecture of the North Pennines is widely recognized and admired but the vernacular architecture of the South Pennines deserves wider recognition. Sheffield, much further south than the Yorkshire Dales, has buildings with strong linkages with those of the Yorkshire Dales but buildings which are distinctive. In such settlements as Bradfield and Dungworth, in the farmhouses and other farm buildings not part of any settlement, the buildings blend with the landscape and enhance the landscape and stand out from the landscape. The varying landscape of the 'Sheffield Dales' is different from much of the Yorkshire Dales, often well wooded, as in the area beyond Bradfield, towards the Derbyshire border. The trees, particularly the beech trees, are stunning in autumn.

This area, the area of the Loxley and Rivelin valleys and other valleys of Sheffield and the hills which emerge from the valleys, is an area which deserves to be given wider recognition not just for its natural beauty, the quality of the vernacular architecture but the industrial achievement to be found in it and the relics of industry. For the Rivelin Valley, an outstanding contribution to the appreciation of the valley is 'Walking the Rivelin: A pocket guide to the industrial heritage and natural history of the Rivelin Valley' (Arc Publishing.) I've walked along the Rivelin Valley countless times, often the full length of the Rivelin trail, almost, and then back to my starting point

 I intend to add to the images of vernacular buildings in this section. If it happens that the owner or occupier of a building shown on this page would prefer the building not to be shown, for any reason, I'll remove the image. An email to me requesting this to be done won't appear in the public domain. All emails to me remain private, unless the sender gives me permission to publish.

The Rivelin and the Loxley are rivers that can be reached very quickly from here, but I include in the 'Sheffield Dales' a large area - the other rivers of Sheffield, the hills above them, the land they drain, everything within the Sheffield City boundary, in fact. Only a part of the Sheffield Dales area could be called picturesque, pretty, beautiful, but I regard places which are plain, unattractive, ugly as well worth - I won't use the overused word 'celebrating' - but well worth including in the Yorkshire Dales if they have significance of one kind or another - or could have.

The River Don, of course, has vast significance. The River Don engine, now housed in the Kelham Island Industrial Museum, is shown above.

For me, the Sheffield Dales have versions. My version of the Sheffield Dales follows from my interests. It includes landscape and vernacular architecture. The landscape includes gardens, farms (sheep farms, dairy farms and arable farms), orchards, woods, wetlands, the rivers themselves, of course, the plant and animal life to be found in them, but also rocks. The rocky outcrops, such as Stanage Edge, are certainly an interest. It includes breweries, but I've no interest in dining out, in cafes and restaurants and coffee bars. I do have a strong interest in food and cooking.

An interest I still have, but an activity which I haven't been able to practise for a long time, for more than one reason, but the mildness of recent winters is one of them, is cross-country skiing and particularly downhill cross country skiing. I skied in the Derbyshire hills, particularly in the area near Edale, and in the hills just beyond Stannington. I've also skied at Chamonix in the Alps. (I took the train to Chamonix and when I arrived found a campsite and pitched my tent in the snow.) The experience of skiing at Chamonix was exhilarating, thrilling, since the slopes are obviously so much longer than anywhere in South Yorkshire or Derbyshire but the experience was  less moving, less important to me than the experience of skiing near Stannington, a suburb of the city, and seeing a mountain hare with its white winter fur, far less moving, far less important the experience of skiing on a frozen pond in the Rivelin Valley, after night had fallen. In 'The Prelude,' Wordsworth writes of skating on the frozen Esthwaite Water. ('Book First,' lines 425 - 463.) 'It was a time of rapture ... ' (line 430.) I felt privileged in the same way.

Year after year, for a very long time, I've been to see the autumn trees in the part of the 'Sheffield Dales' near here. The autumn foliage of the beech trees has given me much, much more than the experience of seeing the Grand Canyon, Arizona, a very long time ago. The foliage is more muted in some years, but visitors from outside Sheffield would surely find that it's worth their while to travel  to see the splendour of the beech trees in the Bradfield area, as well as other parts of the 'Sheffield Dales.' In autumn, the green of the beech trees becomes a brown which is anything but mute, a golden-orange-brown which is not mute but  magnificent

As for visits to the 'Sheffield Dales' and hypothetical tourism in the 'Sheffield Dales,' an increase in visits and tourism would be welcomed by many people and not welcomed at all by others. In this part of the Yorkshire Dales, many businesses would benefit but many people living in the area would regret any loss of quietness, tranquillity, the chance to enjoy solitude. Some parts of this area are already busy and sometimes crowded, but many parts are far from busy and far from crowded. Anyone tired of the Lake District congestion and the relative congestion of parts of the Derbyshire Peak District might well find the less crowded parts of the 'Sheffield Dales' to their liking.

If, to give just one example, if the hamlet of Storrs  ever became a magnet for visitors, crowded and congested at some times of year, then it would be completely understandable for residents of Storrs  to resent that. For this reason, it would be understandable if residents of Storrs, or most of the residents, opposed this project, if it ever came anywhere near fruition, and similarly for many other places. I've been visiting Storrs regularly - the vernacular architecture is a particular reason for visiting - and I too would regret the loss of quietness. I don't think Bradfield, a much busier place, has been ruined by its visitors, though. In quiet areas, some bustling and busy places are a welcome contrast. Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales is another, more sizeable example of such a place.

One significant advantage of the 'Sheffield Dales' for visitors, visitors from Sheffield and visitors from far away, is that, as with the Yorkshire Dales,  the landscape and the buildings can look just as good in poor weather as in good weather. They can be enjoyed in warm or hot weather, obviously, but  overcast conditions, even wet and windy conditions, can accentuate the appeal rather than lessen it. This is an advantage which Yorkshire has but which many other areas of the country don't have, or not to nearly the same extent. The Cotswolds come to mind.

My version leaves out many, many things that would be present in the other people's versions of the Sheffield Dales - if the Sheffield Dales, the  project, ever became an interest of people other than myself. This page is one page among many on the site, of course. There are opinions of mine on some pages which wouldn't be shared by people who share my enthusiasm for the places discussed in this section. There are many, many demands on my time. Ideally, the project would need to be taken on by other people, if they decided that it could be developed and promoted - but not promoted by bureaucratic methods, or the methods of the people whose interest in marketing is much greater than their interest in places of tranquillity, places which are significant, but not significant because they are viewed simply as significant marketing opportunities. I have great respect and admiration for the achievements of commerce and business, which are often massive achievements, but  I myself don't have the aptitude, the necessary skills, to have succeeded in any branch of commerce or business.

Sheffield has enormous variety, capable of satisfying many interests. Geographical and topographical variety  is well expressed in the Wikipedia article 'Geography of Sheffield.'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Sheffield

'Sheffield is the most geographically diverse city in England. Lying in the eastern foothills of the Pennines,  the city nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills and the confluence of five rivers: Don, Sheaf, Rivelin, Loxley and Porter.  As such, much of the city is built on hillsides, with views into the city centre or out to the countryside ...

'Sheffield has more trees per person than any city in Europe, outnumbering people 4 to 1. It has over 170 woodlands covering 28.27 km2 (6985 acres), 78 public parks covering 18.30 km2 (4522 acres) and 10 public gardens. Added to the 134.66 km2 (33,275 acres) of national park and 10.87 km2 (2686 acres) of water this means that 61% of the 362.38 km2 that the city encompasses is greenspace. 

'Sheffield also has more types of habitat  than any city in the UK. As well as urban, parkland and woodland it has agricultural and arable land, moors, meadows and freshwater based habitats. Large parts of the city are designated as Site of Special Scientific Interest including several urban areas.'

As I see it, the Sheffield Dales project also allows for extension, as well as a certain modesty, which isn't incompatible with justifiable pride. There should be no excessive claims.

I live in a border area. The Derbyshire border isn't far away, and the boundary of the Peak District National Park is even nearer. Some of the Peak District National Park is within the city boundaries. For a very long time, the landscape and villages of the Derbyshire Peak District have been very familiar, and I've visited them far more often than most places in Yorkshire. More recently, though, I've developed a stronger affinity with the  Yorkshire, the Yorkshire which lies beyond South Yorkshire.

But I have a strong interest in the regions of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. An appreciation of Sheffield's industrial might shouldn't exclude an interest in the industrial might of Newcastle-on-Tyne, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast and other areas.

Interest in the fascinating history of water power on the Rivelin can go with an interest in the fascinating history of water power in other places. Interest in the canals of Sheffield can go with an interest in the canals of other places. Sheffield has nothing to compare with the aqueduct which carries the canal over a river valley at Marple, Cheshire. The rivers of Sheffield are narrow, including the Don, and obviously the Don can't match the Severn for breadth or beauty. The Severn has industrial significance too over some of its length. Ironbridge is the best-known example, deservedly.

But the Sheffield Dales have so much to offer people with an interest in industrial history - I'm certainly one of them. There are important industrial history sites set in the countryside, such as the sites of the Rivelin Valley, and important urban sites in the Don Valley and other places. Many Sheffielders already know this but many people outside the area would do well to find out more about the attractions and the fascination of the area.

What I call the 'Sheffield Dales' is, of course, part of the Metropolitan County of South Yorkshire. There were losses and gains when the historic county of Yorkshire was divided - I'm referring to general advantages and disadvantages, not gains and losses of land. I think that the reorganization worked in the case of South Yorkshire. The changes aren't necessarily permanent. In the case of Cumbria, the administrative county of Cumbria will be abolished and replaced with two new unitary authorities. One is Westmorland and Furness, the other is Cumberland.

Below, a map of South Yorkshire, which I'm privileged to call my home county, even though I have some of the attitudes of a frontiersman, feeling a great affinity for what lies over the border as well as what lies within the border. In this case, the Derbyshire border is not far away. The villages and countryside over the border interest me a great deal, and I've often visited them - but there are no areas of the country which have no interest for me.

 

Below, the position of South Yorkshire in the map of the counties of England.

It would be possible to extend the 'Sheffield Dales' and form the 'South Yorkshire Dales,' the places drained by  the rivers of South Yorkshire. There would necessarily be expanses and smaller areas of industrial activity but industry is a strong interest of mine. Another strong interest is vernacular architecture. This will be obvious from the images of buildings on this page. The vernacular architecture of South Yorkshire is very interesting, far richer than many people would think. South Yorkshire does include some examples of architecture with a claim to national importance. This is the Baroque West Front of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Autumn colours in the Sheffield Dales









Above, aerial view of Bradfield







Sheffield wheat and barley













 The first three images: barley growing in the Loxley Valley, Sheffield, in the area I call the 'Sheffield Dales,' an area of valleys between low hills.

The fourth and fifth images: barley growing in a large field adjoining the road from Worrall to Bradfield in late July. The wheat is some way from full ripening in general: this is an upland field. The tree in the fifth image is a sycamore, to me an unprepossessing tree in general but valued by so many country people, past and present. Amongst its advantages, its resistance to wind, its value to wildlife, the value of its wood for some purposes - and, despite the size it grows to, the frequent allure of its clear-cut outline, as in this image.

The sixth and seventh images: barley grown and harvested in flatlands, far from Sheffield.

The eighth image, some of the machinery in the Worsbrough Mill, South Yorkshire. The mill is well worth a visit - in fact, various visits.

I appreciate the flatlands of South Yorkshire as well as the dales, which are mainly in Sheffield - and, of course, the valleys, hills, mountains and flatlands of other parts of the country, and other countries - the hills and mountains of Cumbria, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the flatlands of Lincolnshire and Essex, and all the other areas which have so much significance for me.

Often, things which are useful or indispensable aren't beautiful and things which are beautiful aren't useful or indispensable. In the case of wheat and barley growing, beauty and use are combined, and technology doesn't lessen in the least the beauty. Using modern technology, the only adequate technology if large populations are to be fed, at harvest time, fields of wheat and barley are combined - the wheat and barley are harvested using combine harvesters, astounding examples of human ingenuity and resourcefulness.

A Youtube video which has an intense and vivid depiction of a field of barley, a young woman in the midst of the barley, and which gives the words of an unforgettable and compelling song, about human emotions. The title of the video is Sting Fields of Gold Lyrics and the address is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM4nWq6mU9k&list=RDAM4nWq6mU9k&start_radio=1

Although brewers and beer drinkers are in absolutely no danger of overlooking the huge importance of barley in brewing (and wheat for brewing wheat beer), I think that the aesthetics of barley and barley fields and wheat and wheat fields are often overlooked.

For me, a field of ripe barley or wheat is one of the most magnificent sights of the countryside. There are farms very near here and farm after farm after that. Nearly all of them are sheep farms. The image at the beginning of this section shows an exception, a field of ripe barley I came across in the Loxley Valley, Sheffield. This valley and other areas were devastated during the Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 after the Dale Dyke Dam gave way. An estimated 3 million cubic metres  of water swept down the Loxley Valley and through Loxley Village. The flood continued south from the River Loxley to  the River Don,  towards central Sheffield. More than 240 people were killed.

Within the boundaries of South Yorkshire are many farms where wheat and barley are grown. Photographs of these fields will be regarded by many people as very plain, but to look at a field of ripe wheat or barley can be, if not the experience of a lifetime, one of those experiences which are absorbing and rewarding - but far more than that.

I favour the planting of wildflowers at the margins of wheat and barley flowers, but the wildflowers are an enhancement of something which is already magnificent. Obviously, the planting of wildflowers is just as much an intervention as the planting of wheat or barley.

I own a scythe, which I used when I first took on my allotments, I still have an interest in the rhythm of scything, the world of scything, but no interest in using a scythe now in my allotments. If modern machines are often intrusive, practicalities and realities are often even more intrusive. My allotments now are much more intensively used - this isn't intensive gardening, let alone intensive farming, but simply gardening which makes the best use of this scare resource, the land I have available. Individuals may choose to harvest barley or wheat in their small-scale growing but obviously, this is no way to grow cereal crops for baking or brewing.

Small scale growing of barley and wheat, the only kind of growing which is feasible when a scythe is used, is aesthetically limited, to me. A large field of barley or wheat is what I call an 'expanse,' something which has 'scale.' 'Scale' is offered by large, very large vistas, such as the sea, seen, perhaps, from a cliff in Devon or Cornwall or Pembrokeshire or Yorkshire. A pool can offer intense experiences, but not the intense experience of scale.

Some of the belt drives in a combine harvester:

These may not seem to have much in the way of aesthetic appeal, or any aesthetic appeal at all, apart from the aesthetic appeal offered by geometrical forms - which can be substantial, offered by so many  Renaissance buildings and many works of contemporary architecture. Intricacy can be the basis of aesthetic appeal, intricacy of machine parts as well as intricacy of a wood carving. The belt drives and pulleys here do offer something like effective contrast, the contrast between linear and rounded. But I wouldn't want to make any claims that this is remarkable in any way for its aesthetic appeal.

Once the barley and the wheat have been harvested, the field can't have quite the same impact, although the wonderful colouring remains for a long time. The wonderful colouring remains for longer in the form of straw bales. I've used straw bales extensively for many years.

Traditional thatch has a strong appeal. It has a strong appeal for me. But the colour of traditional thatch, rained on, exposed to the elements, is distant from the colour of the straw which was used.

Straw bales give a way of capturing the the golden barley or the golden wheat, of having it there in one of my two allotments. Unlike thatch the roofing material, the straw bales I use in my allotments are protected. The straw bales which form one of the walls of the greenhouse extension are protected by the overhanging roof. Other straw bales are stored under the curved polycarbonate roofs of some small structures near the pond. The fading of the barley is very slow and the straw bales can easily be replaced when their gold has gone.

There are images of the straw bales I've used in many places in the gardening and design sections of the site, for example on this page

www.linkagenet.com/phd/phdnew.htm

Sheffield hawthorn in May

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


 

 

 

 


 



 

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   The Sheffield Dales. The Sheffield universities. Sheffield City Council.





 

 

 

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Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University: criticism, credit

See also the pages:

Cambridge University and Royal Holloway
Harvard University

A very impressive page which gives information about the six Sheffield University members of staff who have won a Nobel Prize, for achievement in  Physiology / Medicine and Chemistry. As the Home Page of the site makes clear, I take the view that in general, the achievements of universities far outweigh their faults.

https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/research/people/
nobel-laureates

SU: Sheffield University   SHU: Sheffield Hallam

Professor Umberto Albarella,  SU
Dr A Takriti,  SU
Professor Matthew Flinders,  SU
Some Sheffield University Signers
Sheffield University: architecture
Sheffield Hallam University: the Vision
Professor A. Macaskill, SU
Sheffield Hallam University: architecture

Umberto Albarella, Professor of Zooarchaeology, Sheffield University

Above, Professor Albarella of Sheffield Green Party making the clenched fist salute whilst taking the knee - not in this case in homage to 'Black Lives Matter,' probably. Homage to anarchist comrades? Homage to Sheffield Green Party? Solidarity with Sheffield Green Party comrades?  For naive and confused reasons not fully formed, reasons he can't be bothered with, since the show is what counts for him, not any form of reasoning? I'm sure he takes much more care in his academic work, which seems to be of high quality. It includes the study of animal bones.

For further comment on this rather peculiar personage, just read on. But don't let reading about him take up much of your time. I don't think he would be worth it. In my experience, there's no shortage of peculiar people who are members of the Green Party. Some of them are 'funny peculiar,' comical rather than disturbing,  but there's no shortage of fanatics. I'd say that councillor Alexi Dimond, mentioned in the column to the left and discussed in much more detail in my page on Israel, is a prime example. His fanaticism is tempered with cluelessness but I regard him as a very  harmful influence in Sheffield politics. My page on Israel includes, in the third column of the page,  material on genocide and civilian casualties in war. It should make clear the abysmal ignorance of the man.

A selection of Professor Albarella's writing, none of it in extended form - just slogan after slogan after slogan - none of it providing argument and evidence, none of his grotesque generalizations allowing exceptions, appears on his page

https://www.sotwe.com/UAlbarella?lang=tr

After 'We will ALWAYS support freedom of movement (freedom of movement includes freedom for ISIS supporters and terrorists to enter this country, does it?)  there's a picture of a white poppy and this, and 'STOP THE GENOCIDE), and a list: 'archaeologist, green-anarchist, pacifist ... ' and then this: 'national borders are a crime against humanity.' In his deluded state he might believe it's actually possible for the countries of the world to abolish their borders and allow freedom of movement but in practice, as a matter of strict fact, these things are no more possibly than allowing anyone who wants to become a student at Sheffield University to become a student at Sheffield University. Such considerations as gross overcrowding in lecture theatres and gross overcrowding in student accommodation are relevant.

This quotation from the (left of centre) publication 'New Statesman' gives a crushing verdict on his views on borders - not just completely open borders but no borders at all - and on his view of the Palestinians andof  Israel.

https://www.newstatesman.com/comment/2023/10/
hamas-attack-was-driven-brutal-ideology-munira-mirza

'The Hamas attack was driven by a brutal ideology

The atrocities committed against Israeli civilians have roots in the same fanaticism activists face in Iran.

'The videos Hamas posted on social media, showing them gloating about defiling women’s bodies and taking children hostage made clear this wave of violence was not a desperate “act of self-defence” or “breaking free from prison” as some sympathisers have tried to portray it. If anything, these horrors might make those who have been critical of Israel’s policing of its borders think again, now the world can see exactly what the Israelis have been trying to keep out. (Emphasis added by me.


'Palestinian militant groups have been lavishly funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran with sums in excess of $100m annually.

'Those who seek to excuse or “contextualise” the rapes, kidnappings, public humiliations and executions of Israelis by citing Palestinian suffering must answer this question: why do the paymasters of Hamas in Tehran habitually commit the same crimes against their own female population? Iranian women who offend against Islamist dogma are beaten, separated from their children, imprisoned and raped by brainwashed thugs, some of whom have been involved in training Hamas.'

A few basic facts which Professor Albarella could mention and discuss in one of his future addresses. The ones I've seen could easily have been churned out by a computer program supplied with a few basic slogans. They show no sign of intelligent awareness at all.

I would think that the Department of Archaelogy  encourages - requires - undergraduate and graduate students to have a respect for evidence, the responsible use of evidence, the avoidance of wild generalization, the use of responsible language, to be ready to have views challenged - but only, it seems, in the field of archaeology. Are these virtues to be disregarded when it comes to the wider world, the supremely important world which includes ethical choice, ethical dilemmas, the avoidance of war, the conduct of war?
 Professor Albarella has views on thise matters which are addressed in great detail in the pages of my site, including this one.

 I can't, of course. demand that he enters into debate, I can't demand that he should defend his views on Israel, on war, those wider issues, but I intend at least to record his responses and reactions (if any) and to record his answers to objections (if any.) Readers of the material can then make their own mind up about the results.

On the Sheffield Green Party page

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/sgp-officer-elections-job-descriptions-candidate-statements/umberto-albarella/

there's a picture of Professor Albarella making the clenched fist salute. The image at the top of this column is a smaller version, modified so as not to infringe copyright. The red block conceals his face. Some of the people shown on the Home Page of the site are blocked out - Professor Albarella is one of them.  A dictionary definition of 'blockhead' is 'stupid person.' He's stupid but much more than that - harmful, I'd contend.

The clenched fist salute represents some political ideologies, including communism and anarchism, and supposedly expresses strength and resistance.

Making a touch guy gesture is one thing, showing that he's tough is quite another. I think it's likely, overwhelmingly likely, that he'll prefer not to make a fuss over the criticisms here, that he'll complacently choose the path of least resistance, that his ideology isn't robust but fragile and weak. In the picture, he's posing. My view is that when he meets real  resistance to his idiotic views, he gives up, or simply shouts more slogans.

An academic in the field of archaeology who flagrantly disregards evidence or distorts evidence which concerns the wider matters montioned  (my view of things in the case of Professor Albarella) is someone who doesn't enhance the reputation of archaeology as a subject which prospective undergraduates can choose or a subject which deserves to be part of the curriculum of Sheffield University. 

Sheffield University intends to remove archaeology from the curriculum. He uses the slogan 'cultural vandalism.' There are arguments against archaeology as part of this university's curriculum. Any arguments for archaeology aren't helped in the least by the hideous ignorance of this man.

I take into account the fact that the academics in the Department of Archaeology will have very varied views, including views very unlike the  ones held by Professor Albarella.

Dr A. Takriti, historian, censor, slogan-shouter

 

Film of Shimon Peres speaking at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford University. At 4:00 Abdel Razzaq Takriti begins to shout slogans and is removed.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbT2Z4dh-KA

This noisy and chaotic episode, described below, dates from his time at Wadham College, Oxford, when he was a doctoral student. 

 

Dr Abdel Takriti  is now a lecturer in International History at the University of Sheffield. Although elimination of all bias in the teaching of history is obviously impossible, the avoidance of gross ideological bias and outright propaganda in the teaching of history isn't an impossible objective. If Wikipedia can make strenuous efforts to be fair-minded, no less should be expected of a department of history in a British university. He  teaches, or did teach, a module  'Palestine and the Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Whether his teaching of the topic is partisan, or propagandist I've no way of knowing. I'm receptive to any evidence.

  One principle he was certainly  attacking, a principle under relentless attack now, not least in so many universities, and a principle which it's essential to defend, is the enlightenment principle of freedom of speech, expressed memorably in the credo 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.' (often attributed to Voltaire, but in fact the words of Evelyn Beatrice Hall, in her  book 'The Friends of Voltaire' of 1906. She summarized Voltaire's attitude towards Helvétius, not the words of Voltaire.)

 

A report on Dr Takriti, in action. I find it very disturbing. It was published by the pro-Palestinian site 'Electronic Intifada' (20 November, 2008.)

  'Text messages came from student protestors who had managed to get inside the lecture hall. They let the their  fellow demonstrators outside know that their chanting could be heard inside over the voice of Israeli President Shimon Peres. There was clapping and stamping of feet and placards banged on the railings to make as much noise as possible, along with the constant “Free, free Palestine” which did not stop for a moment of the hour-long lecture.

Silent women in black, shouting students, small babies in prams, university lecturers and a local elected official were just some of the crowd gathered to voice their protest against an Oxford college’s decision to honor Peres on Tuesday, 18 November as he gave the inaugural lecture in a series to be named after him. Some handed out leaflets and many were carrying signs, one of which read “Globalization of Apartheid,” a pun on the title of the lecture, “Globalization of Peace.”

'After the Master of Balliol College, Dr. Andrew Graham, refused to cancel the series  the Oxford University Student Palestine Society in conjunction with the city’s branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) called for the people of Oxford to protest outside the hall as students interrupted the lecture inside.

'Halfway through the lecture, Abdel Razzaq Takriti, a Palestinian graduate student at Oxford’s Wadham College, Oxford was ejected from the hall. “Shimon Peres was making a particularly offensive remark claiming that ‘you [Palestinians] could have had a state if it wasn’t for your own mistakes’ and that Israelis fought for their state,” he told this writer, who was also participating in the protest. He then stated “We don’t need your permission to exist” and got support from other students for it. Takriti explained: “So I stood up and walked towards [Peres], saying, ‘how dare you say this at a time when you are besieging 1.5 million people in Gaza? 1.5 million people are starving to death! Shimon Peres, you’re a war criminal. You are responsible for the massacre of hundreds of people in Qana [southern Lebanon]. You’re responsible for an apartheid state. Shame on you.’ so I was dragged out.” '

Some comments, with background information. First of all, Shimon Peres was a 'dove' not a 'hawk,' or at least became a dove early in his career - but Israeli 'hawks,' like the 'doves,' deserve to be listened to without any attempts to shout the speaker down if they come to speak at a British university.

 

Some extracts from 'Israel: A History,' by Martin Gilbert on Shimon Peres. The estimate of other historians may be different, possibly very different, but Abdel Takriti's description is a travesty. Perhaps he would like to give a much fuller, carefully considered estimate of Shimon Peres, with evidence. If he still regards him as a war criminal, what does he think about the use of rockets by Hamas against Israeli civilians: a war crime or not?

Martin Gilbert writes,

'Turning to Shimon Peres, Leah Rabin urged him 'to lead the people of Israel to peace', and to do so 'in the spirit of Kitzhak [Rabin]' who had spoken in these terms:

'I want this government to exhaust every opening, every possibility, to promote and achieve a comprehensive peace. Even with Syria, it will be possible to make peace.'

'Shimon Peres continued with the peace process. The Oslo Accords had been his creation: he now had the full authority as Prime Minister to pursue their timetable.'

' ... on February 25 [1996] a suicide bomber, entering a bus in Jerusalem, killed twenty-five people, most of them Israeli soldiers. A Muslim Arab, Wael Kawasmeh, who was waiting for a bus, was also killed. That same day a suicide bomber in Ashkelon blew himself up at a bus stop. One Israeli was killed, twenty-year old Hofit Ayash, who had recently chosen a wedding gown for her marriage in four months' time.

'Arafat's adviser, Ahmed Tibi, condemned the bus bombs. 'The circle of violence must be broken and stopped,' he said. 'There is no place for revenge attacks.' But on March 13, thirteen more Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber in the heart of Jerusalem on the same bus route, No. 18, as the previous bomb. One of those killed, nineteen-year-old Chaim Amedi, had unintentionally missed the bus that had been destroyed in the last attack. Another of those killed, thirty-eight-year-old George Yonan, was a Christian Arab who had been deaf from birth.

'On the following day a suicide bomber struck in Tel Aviv, in a crowded shopping street in the centre of the city, killing eighteen. These were enormous explosions that ripped the buses apart, mutilating many of the dead beyond recognition. The mood inside Israel was of near despair. It seemed impossible that the peace process could go on while such terrorist killings, on a far larger scale than before, went on.

'Immediately after the March 3 bus bomb, Peres had warned Arafat that the future of the peace process 'hangs in the balance' unless the Palestinian Authority took immediate action against Hamas. Israel could not be the only party to the agreements to keep its commitments. 'It cannot be unilateral.' ...

'The continuation of the Oslo Accords was under great strain. The Government of Israel, first under Rabin and then under Peres, repeatedly declared that it would not allow terror to derail the peace process, and negotiations with the Palestinians continued on the many issues relating to Palestinian autonomy and Israeli withdrawal ...

'Peres, the architect of Oslo, was himself under enormous public pressure to react  to the killings. But he declined to suspend the timetable of the Oslo Accords. Instead, in agreement with the Palestinians, he postponed the redeployment on Hebron, and called an election. In doing so, and thus inviting the Israeli public to express its opinion through the ballot box, he hoped to win and endorsement for continuing the peace negotiations. These included negotiations with Syria, to which Peres, like Rabin before him, was prepared to return most, and even all, of the Golan Heights in return for a full peace between the two countries.'
...

'The election was held on May 29 ... Labour emerged with the largest number of seats in the Knesset: 34 seats as against Likud's 32. But in the separate vote for Prime Minister the former leader of the opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu, won, by the narrowest of margins ...
...

'Following his defeat in the 1996 election, Shimon Peres [described as a 'war criminal' by the demonstrators in Oxford who tried to stop him speaking, including the would-be censor Abdel Takriti] had refused to give up his vision. 'We shall continue to dream together,' he wrote, 'of a Middle East of light and hope.' In pursuit of that dream, he continued to advance the cause of economic cross-border activities, and to 'tutor' his successor, Benjamin Netanyahu, in what could be achieved for the region through mutually acceptable agreements with all its neighbours.'

In a speech in the Knesset on October 7, Shimon Peres said,

'I want to say what real peace is in my experience. True peace is the way of agony. I remember what my comrades and I have gone through over the past year, seeing that man, the great military leader and the courageous statesman Yitzhak Rabin murdered before my eyes.' [He was assassinated by a Jew, not a Palestinian.]
...

'And afterwards I saw - I, a man who pursues peace - the terrorist attack in Jerusalem. I know what it is to leave one's office and be told that a bus has exploded. You also showed it on television. Thank you. I went there and I saw the blood and the flesh and the murder and the killing, and I saw the people screaming at me: 'You are guilty'.'

Professor Matthew Flinders Department of Politics

Extracts from my page Academics against Armaments.

'Professor Flinders on the Sheffield University Department of Politics.

'What makes Sheffield a special Department of Politics? Well, there are lots of things and I would just reduce them down to one thing. [This isn't strictly true or true in a much looser sense - there's more than one thing.] I think it's got a really good culture or vibe, it's a very inclusive, dynamic, engaging and optimistic department to be part of whether you're an undergraduate or postgraduate, member of staff, member of support staff, a member of alumni, there's a lot going on and it's very exciting and it's just a fun place to be. So there you go -  I go with the vibe and I think we've got a pretty good one.'

'This is a set of empty claims, a generic piece with no individuality at all. Innumerable other departments of politics and international relations could make the same claims but if they have any sense, wouldn't. Leave out the first sentence here, omit the mention of undergraduates, postgraduates and alumni and this piece could be used for a different purpose, to attract new staff to companies and organizations with no connection with education. By making a few changes, using some capital letters for emphasis, a different font, perhaps, and some exclamation marks, it could be used by a department which is part of a fizzy drinks company:

'What makes Fizz-U-like a SPECIAL company?

'Well, there are LOTS of things and I'd reduce them down to one thing - it's got a really good culture or VIBE, it's a very inclusive, dynamic, engaging and optimistic department to be part of, whether you're a skilled bottle-filling machine operator, a member of our warehouse team or a manager, there's a lot going on and it's VERY exciting and it's just a FUN place to be!!!

'So there you go - I go with the vibe and I think we've got a pretty good one!

'The expectation of a 'fun' time in the department may well be far from the reality. The reality does include, of course, the pressures of assessment, the pressure of examinations but more importantly, the study of Politics, like the study of Military History, but not to the same extent, can never be viewed in a purely hedonistic way. Some of the subject is necessarily far from comforting, does nothing to confirm over-optimistic views of people and societies.'

Sheffield University Signers

On my page Academics against Armaments  I criticize academics who signed a naive letter. More academics from Sheffield University signed the letter than from any other university, apart from King's College, London. These were the Sheffield University Signers:

The signatories to the profoundly disturbing - more exactly, shallowly disturbing 'Academics Against the Arms Fair: An Open Letter,' published September 18, 2017, that is, well before the Russian aggression against Ukraine,  these Sheffield University academics. By signing this naive letter, these academics haven't enhanced the reputation of Sheffield University in the least, as a place where there's some appreciation at least of realities to do with defence.

The academics:

Adam Ferhani
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/people/academic-staff/adam-ferhani

Jonna Nyman
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/people/academic-staff/jonna-nyman.

Owen Parker
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/people/academic-staff/owen-parker


Melanie Richter-Mont
petit (a member of Sheffield University at the time of signing, now at Sussex University.)
https://profiles.sussex.ac.uk/p349663-melanie-richter-montpetit

Jonathan Silver
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/urban-institute/who-we-are/jonathan-silver

Liam Stanley
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/people/academic-staff/liam-stanley

Joanna Tidy
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/politics/people/academic-staff/joanna-tidy 

Sheffield University modern architecture

This is 'The Diamond,' the Sheffield University building which houses engineering specialities. My own MP, Paul Blomfield, claimed that the building would be  'the jewel in the crown not only for the University itself, but also for the city.'  It's detractors, and I'm one of many, think otherwise. I've reason to think that Paul Blomfield is mistaken about many things and reason to think that Paul Blomfield is mistaken about this building.

From a page on 'the ugliest University buildings in the UK

 
https://studenthut.com/articles/ugliest-university-buildings-uk

Any Sheffield students laughing at Hallam's inclusion [for the Sheffield Hallam University Student Union building] can stop now. This red brick uni boasts one of the country's strangest modern buildings in The Diamond. The £81m monster hosts Sheffield's engineering department and was nominated for the 2016 Carbuncle cup, the prestigious prize for the worst new building in the country.

The Diamond wasn't thought as bad as the building which did win the award for worst new building in the country in 2016. 'Twelve Architects,' the architects who designed the Diamond, came away with nothing on this occasion. They weren't 'award-winning' architects.

The page

https://www.dezeen.com/2016/09/01/carbuncle-cup-2016-worst-building-uk-architecture/

has more on the matter. The reference to 'carbuncle' in the name of the award refers to a comment made by Charles, then Prince of Wales, an opponent of some modernist styles, who described the proposed extension of the National Gallery in London as 'a monstrous carbuncle of a much-loved and elegant friend.' His phrasing was surely faulty, but I won't explain why I think this here.

I think that the corner view shown in the image above isn't the best side of the building - any view of the building reveals its flaws, I think - but this corner view is significant. It gave an opportunity for a bold use of chevrons, an opportunity which could have led to an outstanding example of modern architecture.

Chevron, a dictionary definition: 'chevron  a figure, pattern, or object having the shape of a V or an inverted V,  worn on the sleeve by noncommissioned officers including police officers, as an indication of rank, service etc.
A towering, soaring succession of chevrons at the corner - only a few, not so many as to appear cluttered - would have given a focal point, would have formed a welcome contrast with the facades of the building, which aren't completely unsuccessful -  the projecting diamond shapes, made of anodised aluminium, give three dimensional interest to the building, or would do, if the diamond shapes hadn't been chosen incompetently.

As it is, only traces of a bold arrangement of chevrons are visible. The chevrons are broken up, partly submerged by an incoherent mass of detail smeared over the corner.

The facades too are ruined by an incoherent mass of detail, an excessive number of small diamonds. By some remarkable oversight, this time to do with materials not the organization of shapes, the exterior glass cladding resembles nothing so much as plastic, and not plastic of the best quality.

This is another carbuncle in the crown of Sheffield University Modern Architecture, the Students' Union building.

This looks like the aftermath of an earthquake - admittedly, an earthquake with only a modest ranking on the Richter scale. On any aesthetic ranking, it rates very, very low.

The colour clash, the refusal of brown to integrate with the dominant colour of the building, is one obvious flaw, as I see it. In the case of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the tilt is due to soft ground which could not properly support the weight of the structure. Since then, the tilt worsened but remedial work between 1993 and 2001 reduced it.

The tilt all too obvious in two of the components in the Students' Union Building isn't due to soft ground or a Sheffield earthquake but was a deliberate act of the architect or architects, deliberate instability with no aesthetic advantages.  It's surely a defective design. Would remedial work improve the aesthetics? It would, but is out of the question.

Does Sheffield University have a School of Architecture? It does. Do the academics who teach and do research there have a grasp of aesthetics as well as the practical bits of this demanding field? I hope they do.

Below: Jessop West, here showing its best face, I think, or rather face, with a building that has a significant history but not an illustrious history, the old  Henderson's Relish factory. I never had the least interest in the product.   Here, at least it provides contrast.

The slim rectangles are interconnected quite successfully, I think, but the colours of the plastic materials draw attention to themselves and it's impossible to find the colours in any way pleasing, anything but arbitrary. Surely the architects realized that this was a mess in the making? Evidently they didn't. I've no knowledge of the thought processes and feelings of architects, particularly when the building is finished and they can see the finished result. Do they ever feel embarrassment, shame, even?

A face view gives a very different impression from this corner view - a view of off-putting blandness combined with pale-but-putrid colour. Who decides to go ahead with such schemes? Did the School of Architecture have any say?

But the building above is a delight to the eyes compared with this nearby monstrosity, a feeble,  strangulated, unredeemable plastic pile of clashing colours. The architect was Sauerbruch Hutton, now based in Berlin. Couldn't Sheffield University have used a local architect? Surely a first year Sheffield University architecture student could have done just as good a job - at least for the externals? I'm quite prepared to believe that the interior is markedly superior to the exterior. It could hardly be worse.

The modern buildings of Sheffield University are largely dross but  this is a much more successful building, the Information Commons, with its distinctive, expanses of copper sheeting.

The contrasts of form between the four taller structures on the left and the lower, much broader structure on the right, are very successful. The contrast between the regularity of the openings in the four taller structures and the pleasing variation of size and placement of the openings in the structure to the right seems to me very successful. Those enthralling expanses of light green give a satisfying unity to the whole.

Above, construction of yet more student accommodation. Universities have become bloated. Universities employ far too many people - but not in such faculties as science, engineering, law and medicine who in a rational world should be almost unemployable, at least in the university system. I write from long immersion in the dull, deadening, lifeless writings emanating from so many of these places. Plagiarism is not just discouraged but subject to sanctions where students are concerned, rightly so, but these academics are big, big copiers, adding nothing to the half-baked theories and theoreticians so many of them follow - and so many students lap it up, knowing nothing better. So many students are perfectly happy to be assessed by these academic automatons. Vast numbers of students require accommodation - and it had better be stylish accommodation, to meet the needs of many of their number. All this is with the recognition that this is the part, not the whole.

More on architecture and the university:

https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/insult-to-injury-as-sheffield-university-cans-exploitative-design-contest


30 March, 2012 

Procurement reform campaigners have blasted the University of Sheffield for abandoning its £25 million ‘Pearl’ music centre contest and wasting up to £1 million of bidders’ resources


From a Sheffield University statement on the matter:

We recognise that this is disappointing for those architecture firms that have submitted bids. However, we will keep interested architecture firms informed about future opportunities with the university.’

In response, Project Compass director Russell Curtis said: ‘This tender process raised some serious concerns from the outset, with interested architects expected to prepare sketch proposals for free for a building seemingly without a brief. The late cancellation of the project just adds insult to injury. If the best that the university can guarantee is that they “endeavour to only advertise opportunities where there is a strong likelihood of proceeding” then they really should take a long, hard look at how they go about it.’

‘Such a laissez-faire approach really does demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of how much time and effort goes into responding to these things. The university claimed they had around 150 expressions of interest, which could well have resulted in over a million pounds’ worth of wasted work.’

Commenting on the lack of a detailed brief, Curtis said: ‘Questions raised during the tender process do nothing to dispel the impression of an inept and exploitative exercise. There’s no sign of even a rudimentary feasibility study to establish the suitability of the site for a project of this scale, nor to set out a basic accommodation schedule on which to base the concept proposals.

‘We sincerely hope that Sheffield University undertakes fundamental reform of its practices before embarking upon the procurement of any future projects.’

One bidder – who preferred to remain anonymous – commented: ‘It’s quite symptomatic of what is going on at the moment with clients who do not have any sense of the burden of wasted time and cost they place on the architectural profession when they have either not organised the project or the selection process adequately or are not realistic about their aspirations. It seems to me no other profession has to go through the hurdles architects are being asked to jump over at the moment when the competition is very intense.’

The bidder continued: ‘A large number of frameworks produce no work and, even when an architect gets on one, they have to go through a selection process again. For even small projects, submissions are either very extensive and unnecessary or compounded by 15-plus architects being approached for the work. I don’t think contractors accept being on a list any bigger than four or five, so why do architects have to be put through this?

‘In reality the site they picked would have been very difficult to make work for the concert hall they wanted, so I think this may have contributed to why they are not going ahead with it.’

Sheffield Hallam University: the Vision

From the Sheffield Hallam University page
https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us

Our vision is to be the world's leading applied university; showing what a university genuinely focused on transforming lives can achieve.

This is a remarkable claim, not just an inflated claim but one which shows a complete failure to recognize realities. A massive number of other universities could make the same visionary claim, with just as much - or just as little - chance of becoming 'the world's leading applied university.' Sheffield Hallam University has made an elementary, ridiculous mistake.  Putting words together to make a claim is  one thing - almost effortless. It belongs to a  world very different from the world of effort, disappointment, chance, the concrete world we live in, which can be an incomparably harsher place.

Universities are large, complex organizations. Like much smaller, simpler organizations, the degree of success which would be needed to attain the unattainable objective of being the world's best would have to be success which is very wide ranging. In the real world, even very successful institutions of any size typically have areas of weakness, outstanding achievement in some areas together with  less impressive achievement in others. And how is success to be measured? In largely subjective terms? Surely not. In terms of number of research publications, taking no account of quality, or taking quality into account? Quality is surely relevant. Considerations like this are only the starting point. The objections multiply as soon as thought is given to the potential difficulties.

There are no difficulties in arriving at this conclusion, though, no need to consider many, many pieces of evidence before arriving at this conclusion: Sheffield Hallam University will never be considered the world's best applied university. No applied university will ever be considered the world's best. It would not even be possible for an applied university to have one department considered the world's best, such as mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is a vast and complex discipline and even if there were to be general agreement that one university was the best in one or a number of fields, it's unlikely that it would be the best in most fields or all fields.

The claim that 'Sheffield Hallam University transforms lives' - in the wording of the actual claim, 'showing what a university genuinely focused on transforming lives can achieve' is just as stupid. 'Transforming lives' is a very big claim, much more so than any claim to 'improve' lives. But 'transforming lives' sounds much more impressive than 'improving lives,' until the claim is subjected to fair-minded examination. When that is done, the ridiculousness of the claim is apparent, surely.

Again, the claim is almost effortless, just a matter of arranging a few words. The achievement is a completely different matter. There are universities with a conservative evangelical or Roman Catholic or other Christian basis which make the same claims - the claim to transform lives. Again and again, the same dismal realities intrude. They have achieved nothing of the sort. Again and again, they have sent out into the world lacklustre, backward dogmatists, on the evidence I have. Sheffield Hallam University is immeasurably superior to such universities, but it would be better to avoid completely their kind of self-publicity.

Professor A. Macaskill

This  material on Professor Macaskill of Sheffield Hallam University is also published on my page South Yorkshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Police and Crime Panel, the Independent Ethics Panel: documenting.  Professor Macaskill is Chair of the Independent Ethics Panel.

 I only comment on one publication of Professor Macaskill and the comment is very brief - but my provisional judgement is that, on the evidence of this piece at least, Professor Macaskill isn't a writer who goes beyond platitudes - academic platitudes and platitudes of the more general kind. I'd have to examine much more of her writing to see if this tentative judgement is confirmed.

https://shura.shu.ac.uk/127/1/

MACASKILL, A. (2005). Defining forgiveness: Christian clergy and general population perspectives. Journal of personality, 73 (5), 1237-1267.

The present research contributes to the search for conceptual clarity by exploring the definitions and parameters of forgiveness employed by Anglican and Roman Catholic clergy in England and then comparing these to data collected from a general population sample. Clergy provide moral and spiritual leadership within their communities and deal with issues of both Divine and human forgiveness on a regular basis, so a logical starting point is to explore the conceptions of forgiveness that they themselves hold.

'Definitions and parameters' is a pretentious phrase which is surely inserted for show, or the result of the process of 'reflex thought.' 'Reflex muscle action is familiar enough, the process initiated by a stimulus. No conscious processes are involved. Reflex action which produces such phrases bypasses thought almost as completely.

A much more prominent example of 'reflex action' from the article. Some thought was needed to come up with the phrase, but not very much:

 'Clergy provide moral and spiritual leadership within their communities and deal with issues of both Divine and human forgiveness on a regular basis ... '
Routine semi-mathematical equipment suitable for the manipulation of statistical data is visible on the page but what is lacking is any relevant concrete evidence.   These are pious phrases. To have included concrete evidence would have been to mix genres, to insert material which would almost certainly not have been to the liking of the editor or editors and the readership.

Clergy don't provide moral and spiritual l(M and S) leadership within their communities. They only provide a form of M and S leadership within their churches, and not everyone in their churches will have respect for them or pay any attention to their pious phrases.

Recommended to Professor Macaskill -
Factsheet: Abuse and the Church of England

on my page

https://www.linkagenet.com/themes/police-crime-independent-ethics-panels.htm

She received a copy of the Factsheet, with other material, so if she's read it, she will have a better understanding of the massive - insuperable - difficulties of automatically assuming that people she assumes are 'moral and spiritual leaders' are anything of the kind.

Her unargued assumption that there is such a thing as 'Divine forgiveness' (the capital letter in 'Divine' is provided by the Professor) is surely an aberration in a journal not published by some Conservative Evangelical or Roman Catholic publishing outfit.

All this has implications, not so much  for the progress of my complaint against the Police and Crime Commissioner - The Independent Ethics Panel will not be holding the Police and Crime Commissioner to account, that is not their role - but for the role of the Independent Ethics Panel. The only further comment I will make for the time being is that the title, the 'Independent Ethics Panel' is yet another instance of the distinction outlined above, the distinction between claim and reality. To give a name to the panel which includes the word 'independent' doesn't guarantee in the least a panel which is genuinely independent. I'll be including  evidence that the panel has nothing like the independence needed to do its work adequately.

Sheffield Hallam University: modern architecture

The Sheffield Hallam University Students' Union building shown above is far more impressive - and it's clad in Sheffield steel. Its history isn't so impressive. It was originally built to house the Centre for Popular Music and the centre failed. There's a very good article on the building. I don't care for the name of the site where the article appears but the article is a very good piece of work:

https://www.creativetourist.com/venue/hallam-union/

A disadvantage of the  building, perhaps, is that it's plain.  Plainness is a recurring problem with modernist buildings but isn't to be solved by copying the decorative details of the architecture of the past. Its radial symmetry is compensation.

Another disadvantage, to me at least, is that the feature on the roof looks like a spout and the bulk of the structure looks like a very large stainless steel device for boiling water. If it suggested something from the chemical industry it wouldn't be so much of a disadvantage but to me, it has domestic associations, as if it were something in a giant's kitchen. Perhaps all this is fanciful, but associations can be hard to ignore. I still like the building very much. For people in the area, for people who use it, this is, I would think, a building that people can get fond of. It's big, but not on an inhuman scale: a calm and gentle giant, not in the least an alienating building.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Sheffield City Council: Sheffield Green Party

This section of the page will mainly be devoted to criticism of Sheffield Green Party. My page Green objections: why the Green Party doesn't deserve support  is about Green Party environmental policies and their flaws. In this section, I'll comment on practical politics in Sheffield and give further evidence for my view that the Green Party isn't mistaken about everything, misguided in all it does, but that its flaws are serious ones. After this section, there is supplementary material on the National Green Party  and Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Sheffield Green Party and Israel

Above, Sheffield Green Party Councillor Alexi Dimond leading a chant at a protest outside Sheffield Town Hall:

(The report published on the Green Party site has the spelling  'Nethanyahu' and 'with charge you with ...' instead of 'we charge you with genocide:')

The text / video material published by Sheffield Green Party on the party's Website supports his contemptible, ludicrous, moronic, behaviour. No Sheffield councillor should sink this low, or any party represented on Sheffield City council.

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/10/20/green-councillor-condemns-uk-complicity-in-israeli-war-crimes/   

At 6:28 in this Party video, he asks for the chant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?sv=LU5zJsBhWJA&t=334s&ab_channel

See also, below,   profile of councillor Dimond  and  the profiles of other  Sheffield Green Party councillors  as well as material, in the column to the right. on  the Nazi Einsatzgruppen, which killed c. 2 million people, and the Einsatzgruppen Trial,  where 'genocide' was used for the first time in law.

My future action as regards these issues will not be to make repeated appeals to Sheffield Councillors but to bring the material to more and more people and organizations, for the time being, mainly  Green Party people and organizations. Already, I've contacted a wide range of people and organizations outside Sheffield, mainly ones connected with the Green Party. Below, there's a section on Brighton and Hove Green Party and Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP as well as profiles of almost all the Sheffield Green Party councillors and a new section on Sheffield Green Party members, including Professor Umberto Allarella.

I intend to use the images above to publicize the issues, and to publicize them not just in Sheffield  - but the emphasis will continue to be on argument and evidence, with images in a supplementary role. I've contacted councillor Dimond and councillor Johnson, the speaker of Sheffield Green Party, to draw the images to their attention. I've asked them to contact me if they consider that my use of the images infringes copyright. If they do, the images will be removed but I'll take legal advice. I do have a basic knowledge of copyright law.  If the legal advice I receive supports my case, the images will be restored to their place on this page. If Sheffield Green Party is in the mood to take legal action at this stage - go ahead.

All the images used have been cropped. The images above are part-images. I've concealed the faces of the people shown by means of the red blocks. This is a further modification of the image which may well decrease the chances of a successful legal challenge to my use of the images - if, that is, Sheffield Green Party  ever began a legal challenge. I very much doubt it. The Home Page of this site includes some images which make use of blocks to conceal faces. It now occurs to me that in the case of councillor Dimond - I'm not making any claims about any other people with blocked faces in the images - a standard dictionary definition of 'blockhead' applies: 'blockhead: stupid person.'

I'm bringing these issues to do with the images above to the attention of Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign. At 6:00 in the video, he urges his listeners to donate to Sheffield PSC, where 'PSC' is 'Palestine Solidarity Campaign.' I'd strongly urge people not to donate to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign under any circumstances. I view the organization as an organization of slogan-shouters, a weak and feeble organization - like Sheffield Green Party, unwilling to answer objections to their views, unable to defend their position against reasoned argument and evidence.

On this page, in this column, there's a document - not too long - which gives wide-ranging argument and evidence:

Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Green Party policy and 'action:' misguided, naive, useless

 Any chance of an answer?  Perhaps that might be too much like hard work. Slogan-shouting is so much easier.

My view is that people shouldn't donate to the Green Party under any circumstances either. There are many, many environmental organizations which don't come with  toxic ideological baggage, unlike the Green Party.  For further information on green issues, see my page Green Party and Green Orthodoxy which I intend to revise and extend.

The anti-Jewish pro-Palestinian mob which stormed the airport in Dagestan, Russia is a warning. A BBC report:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-67267339

Terrorist attacks in which terrorists mentioned Gaza as motivation in carrying out an attack would increase public revulsion for these methods.  Meanwhile, clueless people like Councillor Dimond should be firmly opposed. Can he defend himself against opposition to his views? He hasn't  tried to so far.

About Green Party calls for a ceasefire. Would it have been a good move or a sign of stupidity to call for a ceasefire every time the Nazis attacked and invaded a country - Czechoslovakia, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Greece and others?  The only effective way of dealing with the Nazi threat was to resist it by military action. As shown in the column to the right, allied military action was very costly in civilian lives. Allied military action to liberate France from the Nazis cost the lives of 60,000 French civilians.  This action couldn't possibly be described as 'genocide,' except by ideologists and people easily fooled.

The Green Party has been calling for a ceasefire -  for action  which has absolutely no chance of being implemented in present circumstances. Some people even call for a ceasefire NOW! What, this minute?

Israel takes the firm view that a ceasefire would amount to a surrender to Hamas and a surrender to terrorism.

Quotation from the Sheffield Green Party Web page cited above, reporting the 'speech' of councillor Dimond and published 20 October 2023:

'Yesterday, the Al Ahli hospital was bombed in the single most egregious act of barbarism so far in Israel's genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza ... Now our media is scrambling to cast doubt on who is responsible, a willing accomplice in covering up for war crimes ... '

Many mainstream news sources made the tentative claim that Israel was responsible for the blast and  have had to retract their clam.

The majority of independent researchers conclude that the damage caused is not consistent with an Israeli air strike but is consistent with a malfunctioning rocket fired from Gaza and landing in Gaza, an event that has happened on a very large number of occasions.

His failure  to take account of  evidence as it has  emerged, his automatic accusation that Israel was responsible - these and other failures of councillor Dimond are very widespread in the Green Party.

 Amongst the available evidence: the crater is small, about 1 m long, 75cm across and 30-40cm deep. The damage to the courtyard where the explosion occurred and the nearby hospital buildings is superficial rather than major. The number of deaths claimed was inflated, perhaps grossly inflated. The consensus of opinion is that the damage was caused by a malfunctioning rocket fired from Gaza by Hamas. A significant proportion of rockets fired to attack Israel have malfunctioned and have fallen on Gaza - perhaps as much as a tenth of  rockets.

From the Website of the Counter Extremism Project, November 1, 2023:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox
/FMfcgzGwHVMBGVtBqLSltKpNtJzTzkMQ

'Yemen's Houthis have waded into the Israel-Hamas war raging more than 1,000 miles from their seat of power in Sanaa, declaring on Tuesday they had fired drones and missiles at Israel in attacks that highlight the regional risks of the conflict. Part of an "Axis of Resistance" backed by Iran, the Houthis have rallied behind the Palestinians since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 ... '

Other material in  this column

Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Green Party policy and 'action:' misguided, naive, useless

Email sent to all Sheffield Councillors, with title: 'Sheffield Green Party's very disturbing reaction to the recent events in Israel.' The article of the previous section was included

Profiles of Sheffield Green Party Councillors: Introduction

List of Sheffield Green Party Councillors, with links to profiles

Angela Argenzio (profile)
Alexi Dimond (profile)
Marieanne Elliot
Maleiki Haybe
Brian Holmshaw (profile)
Douglas Johnson (profile)
Christine Gilligan Kubo (profile)
Bernard Little (profile)
Toby Mallinson (profile)
Ruth Mersereau (profile)
Henry Nottage (profile)
Martin Phipps (profile)
Maroof Raouf (profile)
Paul Turpin (profile)

Other Sheffield Green Partygoers
[more profiles will be added]

Professor Umberto Albarella, Zooarchaeologist, Sheffield University

National Section: Green Party people

Brighton and Hove Green Party: Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP

Content of email sent to all Sheffield Councillors (and others). Article in section above included as an attachment.

Dear Councillor, [Name of councillor inserted]

I've included an attachment [the content provided in the section above] which gives a wide-ranging defence of Israel, including military realities, killing of civilians, comments on Palestinian civic society, and much more, but here, I'll mention some issues not mentioned in the attachment, such as the Israeli flag which flew over the town hall. But I'll begin with an issue, one among many which show, I think, that Sheffield Green Party (and the national Green Party) is uninformed, biased and naive - and to a grotesque extent.  This is criticism of the Green Party by someone who has been very active in environmental matters for a long period of time and still is. I'll give some evidence for that later. I'm sending a copy of this email to all Sheffield councillors.  

The work of a council is necessarily very wide ranging. Members of the public interested in a single issue may well overlook the fact that a council has to have a strong sense 
of its overall responsibilities, has to have the bigger picture in mind and in many cases can't give to one issue the care and consideration which the 'specialist' single issue supporter would like. The Green Party isn't concerned with a single issue, of course, but in practice, they neglect issues which should interest them. To give one example, the Sheffield steel industry. The Green Party is liable to think of steel producers as no more than contributors to pollution, with no recognition of the fact that without metal-working, human life would be at subsistence level, in fact reach starvation level again and again. The Sheffield steel industry, past and present, should be cause for intense pride, the achievement of working people with a very wide range of skills, enormous strengths. 

This is a Guardian video, originally a video produced by the animal welfare organization 'Animals Australia.' It shows 'abuse of Australian cattle exported to Gaza' and it's horrific.

Many, many people in Sheffield have a strong interest in animal welfare. I'm one of them. The Green Party produced a manifesto, 'Putting an end to animal cruelty and exploitation.'
The title is typical Green Party disregard for realities. If they think about it, it would be impossible to put an end to all animal cruelty and exploitation. Far more limited objectives are in order. Can Green Party campaigners  put a stop to gross cruelty to cattle in Gaza? How do the members of Sheffield Green Party react to the video? Does it have any relevance to their support for Gaza? I've been a vegetarian for a very, very long time but never a vegan. I think there are strong objections to veganism, such as the lack of vitamin B12 in plant products, but still, I favour catering for vegans when possible. Do members of Sheffield Green Party know that the Israeli Defence Forces give vouchers for vegan food and that members of the IDF don't have to wear leather boots if they prefer to avoid animal products, and are supplied with synthetic boots. I think that the IDF is probably unique amongst the military forces of the world in catering for people with these preferences. Are they aware that dissection of animals doesn't take place in Israeli schools and is optional in Israeli universities? Israeli society is far in advance of the majority of the countries of the world in its active support for animal welfare. Any chance of a comment from any members of Sheffield Green Party?

Do Sheffield Green Party members know whether homosexuality is legal or illegal in (1) Gaza (2) the Palestinian West Bank (3) Israel (4) Iran, the backer of Hamas? The answers: (1) Illegal in Gaza
and punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. (2) Legal (3) Legal. Openly gay men and women serve in the Israel Defence Force. Gay pride events take place in Israel. The Tel Aviv 
Gay Pride events are amongst the biggest in the world. (4) In Iran, homosexuality is subject to the death penalty, like many other offences, including adultery. In 2022, 51 people were sentenced to be stoned to death for adultery in Iran. Does this bother you at all, members of the Green Party? Which of your number make excuses for Hamas? Which of you make excuses for Iran, backer of Hamas? Are you willing to make public your views?

Sheffield Council deserves great credit for having the Israeli flag flying over the Town Hall - with obvious exceptions, such as certain members of the Green Party. I think of these members as naive, ridiculous, with some hideously distorted views, well-meaning people, perhaps, but far from harmless. The invasion of Ukraine has concentrated many minds, but not the minds of Green Party members, it seems. The Ukrainian armed forces have strongly resisted Russian aggression, of course.  A country with a Green Party government would make minimal provision for defence. The country would be easy prey for any totalitarian state (or powerful terrorist group), in which case there would be absolutely no chance of implementing Green Party policies. It's inconceivable that a country with Green Party leadership could ever have resisted Nazi aggression or played a part in liberating countries which had fallen under Nazi control. What do Green Party members think would happen if the police force were regarded as unimportant and denied adequate funding? Do Green Party members think it's safe to treat defence against external aggression as unimportant? 

I have a Website www.linkagenet.com which has an extensive page giving arguments and evidence in defence of Israel, www.linkagenet.com/themes/israel.htm The material in the attachment is just an extract from the page. (I don't expect people to look at pages of the Website so wherever possible, I provide the material in the email I send, or an attachment to the email.) The site has pages on animal welfare, human rights, applied ethics and many other issues, including 'green' issues ('green,' but not from the perspective of the Green Party.) The Home Page of the site includes many, many images and quite a number of these are about 'green' issues, such as conservation of resources, in particular water conservation and water collecting, composting, encouragement of wildlife and wild flowers, and much more. I've implemented innovatory methods on the land I rent and I've a patent pending in the United States for an innovation in environmental conservation on a large scale, in farms, including vineyards. I've implemented similar innovations on a (large) garden scale. 

The site does have very high Google rankings for a wide range of search terms. Some current rankings:

ethical depth 2 / 147,000,000
gardens farms composting water collecting 1 / 29,400,000
An animal welfare issue:
bullfighting arguments action against 4 / 495,000 (The site has a very extensive anti-bullfighting page.)

The likes of Douglas Johnson and Alexi Dimond and other Green Party Councillors (and anyone else, of course) are free to criticize my views, present arguments and evidence of their own, if they so wish - and obviously, I'm free to make critical comments on their arguments and evidence. I've long experience of activism for various causes and contributed to a re-evaluation of campaigning methods in a national organization:  I take the view that some campaigning methods can be useless, self-defeating. 

Have Green Party Councillors got the courage of their convictions? Are they capable of defending their views or not?

I've included enough material in t
his email, including the attachment, to make a case, without the need to look at the Website. If you do look at it, be aware that many of the pages make use of 'Large Page Design.' These pages are wide as well as long. They need to be viewed on a screen which is larger than the screen of a phone.

Best Wishes,
Paul Hurt
Sheffield

Profiles of Sheffield Green Party Councillors: Introduction

Above, Sheffield Town Hall. A building and what goes on inside the building. are two very different things: superb architecture and good architecture are no guarantee that what goes on inside is worth much. Gothic cathedrals have been, and still are, the setting for superstition and harmful rubbish. Ugly buildings can be the setting for words and acts which are rare and wonderful. As for Sheffield Town Hall, here too, the architecture has no linkage with what goes on inside. The building is imposing. To call it beautiful would be mistaken, I think. What goes on inside - the deliberations and decisions of the councillors - is very, very varied. I couldn't begin to describe the mixture over the years -  the deeply impressive and the less impressive.

I intend to add profiles of many or most of the Green Party councillors listed in the next section. Some of the published profiles may well  be removed if and when the person is no longer a Green Party Councillor in Sheffield, as a result of defeat in a future election or, hypothetically, if the person resigns. 

Newly elected Green Party councillors in Sheffield will be listed below and profiles added in many or most  cases, allowing enough time for the new councillor to establish some sort of record as a councillor.

After sending the email quoted above, I received replies from councillors, including Sheffield Green Party councillors. I don't supply numbers or quote their replies. My policy on emails is outlined in the page About this site

Emails sent to me are treated as confidential - they won't be released into the public domain and won't be published on this site, except with the permission of the sender of the email.. The sender of the email is free, of course, to make public the comment or criticism. I'll publish the criticism of my views on this site if  the sender of the email requests it, although this would obviously require publication of the email.

Comments, including critical comments, are always welcome.

What I've written on any page of the site can be challenged - preferably with arguments and evidence.  I don't mind criticism in the least - preferably well-informed criticism. Criticism of me or this Website, whether private or public, doesn't disturb me.

Anyone who is the subject of a profile on a page of the site is welcome to submit comment, with or without a request to revise or withdraw the profile.  I never agree to demands to remove profiles or remove any other material on the site.

List of Sheffield Green Party Councillors, with profiles

Angela Argenzio

The party she belongs to is a party which contains rabid rabble-rousers such as councillor Dimond and councillor Raouf. An extract from the profile of Councillor Raouf:

What is happening in Palestine is far worse than what is taking place in Ukraine, yet I don’t see you crying tears for Palestine.

The people he was criticizing were Sheffield Councillors. Coun Raouf was critical of a rally where councillors of all parties held Ukrainian flags.

I can only assume that councillor Raouf can't be bothered to keep up to date with the extreme realities of the conflict in Ukraine. As for his illusions about the Palestinian territories, I can't recommend that he take a look at information in the rest of the page because I'm sure he can't be bothered to take a look. The comparison he makes in this brief statement is beneath contempt. I intend making use of this opinion of his in future publicizing of the issues.

In the profile of Green Party councillor Toby Mallinson below, I mention the fact that I was a member of Amnesty International for a long time and so was Toby Mallinson. Angela Argenzio was a member for a long time too and may still be a member, for all I know. Amnesty has changed very much since I was a member and my view of Amnesty has changed very much since then. I now regard it as a discredited organization in certain areas. This is someone I  knew  quite well.

Angela Argenzio is a naive, a very naive councillor who finds some difficulty in defending her naive views, I would think. There's nothing distinctive about this - all the Green Party councillors are just the same. I'm willing to be proved wrong in this respect, of course.

 If she finds nothing wrong, or hardly anything wrong, with the accusations  repeated ad nauseam on Green Party publications - this is a representative example

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/10/14/greens-support-the-justice-for-palestinians-demonstration/

- then she's complicit in the Green Party charade, to use for once a word quite often favoured by the Green Party, 'complicit.' The piece just cited uses it: 'They are complicit in these war crimes and must be held accountable.' 'They' refers to the 'Leadership of the Conservatives and the Labour Party.'  And how exactly does the Green Party intend to hold them accountable? This is just another example of Green Party playing at politics - posturing, pretend-politics.

The more I consider the evidence, the more reason I find to criticize in the stance of Angela Argentio. Angela Argenzio is after all a member of the Sheffield Green Party which published this inflammatory piece on a page of its Website

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/10/20/
green-councillor-condemns-uk-complicity-in-israeli-war-crimes/

'Green Councillor condemns UK complicity in Israeli war crimes.'

An extract:

'Alexi Dimond spoke at the rally to Stop Genocide in Gaza at Sheffield Town Hall.

'Yesterday, the Al Ahli hospital was bombed in the single most egregious act of barbarism so far in Israel’s genocidal campaign against Palestinians in Gaza ... Now our media is scrambling to cast doubt on who is responsible, a willing accomplice in covering up for war crimes ...'

Unfortunately for Alex Dimond and Sheffield Green Party, the balance of evidence shows that the damage to the hospital was caused by a malfunctioning rocket fired from Gaza against Israel. The evidence includes the small size of the crater, the lack of shrapnel evidence to show Israeli involvement, the relatively superficial damage to the hospital buildings. The number of deaths claimed was inflated by Hamas, shamelessly so.

My profile of councillor Mersereau is about her decision not to vote for sections of a motion to do with antisemitism. Councillor Argenzio made the same decision. I wonder why?

If anyone joins the Green Party for the quiet life, if anyone gets elected as a Green Party councillor for the quiet life - promoting cycling, recycling, walking, organic growing, composting and the rest - they may find that they're mistaken. It's far more likely  that they will condone by ignoring the massive faults of the Green Party. A mass of discarded, fly-tipped rubbish is no more unpleasant than the screaming, screeching toxic beliefs of people like Alexi Dimond - and so many others - in the Green Party. This isn't to minimize the unpleasantness of discarded, fly-tipped rubbish. On this site, I recount my efforts to get an enormous amount of discarded, fly-tipped rubbish removed.

Alexi Dimond

Councillor Dimond's use of the word 'genocide' in the speech he gave outside Sheffield Town Hall amounted to gross misuse of the word. In the column to the right, in the section Some images, with comment there are images showing killings carried out by Nazi Einsatzgruppen, followed by this extract, which mentions the first use of the word 'genocide' in a legal context: the Einsatzgruppen Trial. The Green Party should be ashamed of giving publicity to the speech on its Website. The extract:

The Einsatzgruppen  were SS mobile death squads, operating behind the front line in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. From 1941 to 1945, they murdered around 2 million people; 1.3 million Jews,  up to 250,000 Romani,  and around 500,000 so-called "Partisans," people with disabilties, political commissars, Slavs,   homosexuals and others. The 24 defendants in this trial were all commanders of these Einsatzgruppen units and faced charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity ... The trial marked the first use of the term "genocide" in legal context. 

Other Green Party rabble-rousers - as well as many more genteel Green Party councillors and supporters misuse the word 'genocide' too, as well as the term 'war crimes.' The section Democracies and warfare: harsh realities, the killing of civilians  includes discussion of the issues.

A record of the speech delivered by Alexi Dimond to the people of Sheffield - or some of them - outside Sheffield Town Hall.

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/10/20/green-councillor-condemns-uk-complicity-in-israeli-war-crimhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKm79_PzTOY&ab_channel=SheffieldGreenParty

My criticism of the article and the speech is not here but in the profile of Christine Gilligan Kubo  - for the reason that I consider Alexi Dimond a fanatic and Christine Gilligan Kubo is a 'moderate' and I take the view that moderates in the Green Party should be doing far more to prevent fanatics from damaging the party even more. I also take the view that there are misguided moderates in the Sheffield Green Party and the National Green Party, and more than just a few.

I use the tactic recommended by Comrade Dimond - but not as a result of reading about it in the grotesque Green Party article.  I've used it for a long time. I ask specific questions and publicize the Green Party responses. Since they never give responses, all I can do is publicize their failure. There's more about this man's oratory in other profiles.

I can be sure that Alexi Dimond and Toby Mallinson have their own distinctive personalities but their comments on the flying of the Israeli flag over Sheffield Town Hall are indistinguishable in their ignorance. From the same article in 'The Star' newspaper mentioned, with a link, in the profile of Toby Mallinson:

Yesterday, Green councillor Alexi Dimond posted a picture of the Israel flag on X (formerly Twitter) with the comment: “Sheffield Council is flying the flag of an apartheid regime conducting a genocidal campaign against a captive civilian population ... The Council is supporting war crimes.'

A computer could do as well. Input - words and phrases such as 'apartheid,' 'genocidal,' 'war crimes,' used without any knowledge of its legitimate uses.

As with Toby Mallinson, I don't show the stupidity of Alexi Dimond's  views in the profile but by the argument and evidence provided at length in the rest of the page.

The two of them are basically slogan-shouters: Apartheid! Genocide! Genocidal! And the rest. He shows not the least understanding of the terrible implications of the word 'genocide.' I can be sure that he lacks the historical knowledge of genocide, against Jews and others, and that he lacks the military knowledge and ethical background to know what he's talking about when he throws out the words 'war crimes.'

I'm completely ready to have a debate with Alexi Dimond about genocide, apartheid, war crimes and other accusations he may come up with, on this site or any site he would like. I doubt very much if  the Green Party will make available a platform for a debate of this kind but I leave the decision to him. Of course, he's not ready to debate the issues and it isn't likely that he'll change soon. He prefers to address his ridiculous oratory to an audience of the converted with a sprinkling of bemused or bewildered passers by.


Marieanne Elliot

 

Maleiki Haybe

 

Brian Holmshaw

I take the view that Green Party Policy Pronouncements sound good - to Green Party activists and other supporters - but again and again collapse in the face of political and economic realities. The policy pronouncements haven't been thought through. An example: the page 'Public Administration and Government.' This emanates from the Green Party at national level, not from Sheffield Green Party.

To isolate just one strand of the argument presented, the model of concerned citizens given access to all the information they need to make informed decisions and given the power to make actual decisions. In practice, if the Green Power Party decides that it doesn't like the decisions and doesn't agree with the majority opinion of the local people, then it will disregard the decisions or do everything in its power to frustrate implementation.

I take this view: Nobody tells me what to think. In practice, the Green Party tells people what to think again and again, but the attempted control is heavily disguised, sometimes by verbiage, sometimes by a complete failure to explain and provide argument and evidence.

'Trans rights' matter a great deal to Green Party councillors, far less so to ordinary citizens. In fact, a large number of ordinary citizens would reject an order of priorities in which trans rights have a very high rating, would reject the notion that trans rights are very, very important, amongst the most important political priorities. 

Councillor Holmshaw believes that trans rights are matters of very high priority. It's doubtful if the majority of the people in the Ward he represents take the same view. He was one of the councillors who refused to accept Alison Teal as a Green Party parliamentary election candidate - one of the councillors who in effect denounced Alison Teal.

Another issue - offering sanctuary, offering migrants incentives to come to Sheffield. If the idea sounds noble and good, the realities are messy, intensely difficult and involve some very problematic decisions. To implement the policy in many cases will involve neglecting other issues. The electorate needs an honest appraisal, an honest account of the advantages and the disadvantages, but won't be receiving one if councillor Holmshaw has his way.

A direct question for councillor Holmshaw. Would he support the settling of a large number of refugees from Gaza in Sheffield? If so, could he give a rough idea of the numbers? 100? 500? 1,000? 5,000? 20,000? What would be the consequences for the housing stock of Sheffield? At each level of permitted settlement of migration, would it be realistic or unrealistic to attempt to take in these approximate numbers?

I'll quote now some statistics which have been very widely reported. I don't comment on them myself. I simply give the statistics. I'm sure that councillor holmshaw would interpret the statistics in a way which absolves the people convicted of crime of responsibility for the crime, perhaps by the claim that these people have been the subject of 'racism' or that the Danish police have been acting unfairly. In general, without reference to this particular issue, for every problematic issue there's a Green Party hypothesis which preserves the Green Party claim to a high degree of political and ethical purity. The Green Party is an exception to the realities of failure and bad decision making - the Green Party is the Party that can do no wrong (except for minor oversights.) Academic research on the relationship between immigration and crime has led to very varied conclusions. The evidence is mixed, with positive and negative correlations claimed.

Before I give the statistics, some personal information which is relevant.  I was an active member of the human rights organization Amnesty International for twenty years.

In 1992, Denmark gave 321 rejected Palestinian asylum seekers extraordinary residence permits. These permits were given directly by parliament by a special law. These people have been tracked since that time. Data from the 2019 follow-up:

    • 270 of the 321 who were given asylum were still residing in Denmark.
      Of the 321, 204 (64%) had received a serious fine or jail time for crime and 71 of them had been sentenced to imprisonment. A large proportion of them were receiving  welfare, in particular  the "early pension" (førtidspension) which is usually given to people with severe physical or mental issues  but also awarded to immigrants who have little chance of obtaining a job, for whatever reason.

Douglas Johnson

Douglas Johnson is the Speaker for the Sheffield Green Party. Poor party! Poor speaker, pitifully poor speaker!

But first, a limp, hopeless, not in the least resounding call from this caricature figure, recorded for posterity by 'The Yorkshire Post:'

'The Green Party has called for an immediate end to the violence in Israel and Palestine.'

I think of some animal rights demonstrations I took part in a very long time ago, the moronic chants which made me realize that this was no way to achieve the humane objectives:  'What do we want? Animal liberation! When do we want it? Now!' What, now? This minute? Animal liberation is an unrealizable objective, to secure improvements in animal welfare needs hard work, realism. Gains can be temporary gains. This is no field for naive people, except for naive people who want to be thought of as amounting to something, perhaps even people who would like to be taken seriously - this is yet another unrealizable objective.  An easy way for nonentities to be transformed is to shout - or have published in 'The Yorkshire Post' - ridiculous simple minded claims.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is deep seated and to imagine that it can be solvedy by a Green Party call for immediate action is unadulterated garbage-thinking, if it can be called thinking. This is someone with obviously no understanding of harsh realities - with not nearly enough understanding of life and its limits, the barriers to fulfilment.

Douglas Johnson is a reliable person, a very reliable person, someone you can depend on. He can be relied upon to endorse ringing slogans that sound good - to politically tone-deaf people. He can't be relied upon to produce argument and evidence for his views. That would be too much trouble. So, when he was asked, 'Do you agree with the finding of the Government's Sewell Report stating the UK is no longer institutionally racist? The box he ticked - but of course - was the box 'Strongly Disagree.'

Of course, he ignored all the contrary evidence.  But what does factual evidence matter to ideologists like him? The mass of legislation which exists to safeguard the interests of racial minorities, the warmth and understanding of ordinary people - not all ordinary people, of course. There are ones with views that could be called toxic. But I'd describe the views of Douglas Johnson on Israeli-Palestinian relations as toxic.

This response of D.J, was recorded on the site,

https://whoismycouncillor.co.uk/

Christine Gilligan Kubo

A political party (or branch of a political party) which values its reputation doesn't allow fanatics to ruin its reputation. Moderates in a political party (or branch of a political party) have a responsibility to take effective action to curb the excesses of fanatics and if necessary see that they don't control the party and cause serious damage to the party. Obviously, not all the moderates need to take action but there must be enough of them to ensure that the action is effective. Mainstream parties have leaders who can be replaced if they fail badly in this task. The Green Party has a different view of leadership. They view strong leaders with disfavour. Strong leaders can cause damage if they fail but strong leaders can take effective action in cases like this, whilst the decentralized Green Party has endemic weaknesses. If individual councillors  choose not  to take any action, in cases where firm action is a necessity, then they can get away with it.

Political parties have competitors, of course, just as businesses have competitors. The political parties which are the competitors of the Green Party can benefit from any Green Party failures.

In Sheffield Green Party, I'd claim that councillor Alexi Dimond is a fanatic who can inflict serious damage on the party and I'd say that Christine Gilligan Kubo is one of the moderates.

Moderation isn't enough. Moderates may have many strengths but if they're ineffectual in matters like these, they lack an essential strength. Moderates are often well-meaning, wishy-washy people who are often fluent speakers but poor when it comes to realistic action. I don't claim that councillor Kubo is well-meaning but wishy-washy.

Is Christine Gilligan Kubo aware that Alexi Dimond is playing with fire? Is she concerned, very concerned, that Alexi Dimond's words and actions can cause massive harm to the Green Party? The same questions could be asked of other 'moderates' in Sheffield Green Party.

I've taken copies of the evidence I make use of here, and other evidence.

On the evidence I have, the Green Party is very weak in matters of defence. It can't, it won't make an adequate attempt to defend itself. It won't make even a token effort to defend itself, when faced with argument and evidence. It complacently assumes that its stance is ethical, beyond criticism. 

I'd make a rough analogy with defence issues at the national level. A political party which wants to govern and has a realistic chance of winning an election may have all kinds of strengths but if its defence policies are weak, then the political party deserves not to win an election. The world is too dangerous a place to risk electing a party which is ineffectual in matters to do with defence. A country too weak to defend itself, a political party too weak to defend itself, unable or afraid to use argument and evidence.

Alexi Dimond's chant:

'Netanyahu, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide.
Biden, Biden, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide.
Rishi Sunak, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide.
Starmer, Starmer, you can't hide, we charge you with genocide.

To confine attention to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, to accuse the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition of genocide is gross misuse of a word which should never be misused, never used casually or thoughtlessly. A party which simply overlooked the inflammatory language of one of its councillors would be negligent enough. To actually publish the misuse of the word 'genocide' on its Website is worse still.  To accuse the other politicians of genocide is abject misuse of the word too. Killing of civilians in war is overwhelmingly common. Only some of the killing deserves to be called 'genocide.' I discuss the issues in the column to the right.

There are many, many issues arising from this grotesque display of stupidity on the part of Alexi Dimond but I'm also very concerned about the inaction and seeming cluelessness of the 'moderates' amongst the Green Party Councillors. When I revise these profiles, I'll include any developments in these areas, developments which may be very good, good, quite good, not so good, bad or shockingly bad.

Christine Gilligan Kubo may  find these matters uncongenial. I know that she has a great liking for a part of rural Sheffield which I know well, which I've visited very often and like very much. People may join the Green Party for reasons to do with wildlife, wild flowers, organic gardening and other reasons which are far removed from these unpleasant issues. But political parties have to address unpleasant issues more often than pleasant issues. Undue specialization is a liability in a party which has aspirations to exercise power. If a political power wants to be regarded as responsible and effective, it has to be far more broadly based than any of those fringe parties, single-issue parties.

I take the view that people who join the Green Party, stand for election as a Green Party councillor or a Green Party MP should be aware of  very serious matters like these. If the response is 'not interested,' then this isn't a party worth voting for.

Bernard Little

This snippet comes from a much larger image, shown on the Sheffield Green Party Website page

https://sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk/2023/10/14/greens-support-the-justice-for-palestinians-demonstration/

My reason for including only a very small part of the complete image: to observe copyright restrictions. If the copyright holder believes that I'm infringing copyright - my view is that I'm not - then contact me and I won't argue the point but simply remove the small extract.

I discuss some of the content of the page in my profile of councillor Angela Argenzio, although my main criticism is reserved for councillor Alexi Dimond. In the main image, councillors Maleiki Haybe, Alexi Dimond and Bernard Little, on the right, are shown holding up a large banner during a demonstration / protest / attempt to boost their sense of self-esteem. I'd describe it as a 'vanity protest.'

The psychology of protesting / demonstrating is interesting. Obviously, there are valid protests / demonstrations, ones held to further a cause which deserves to be furthered. Among the criteria for deciding if  cause is valid and protests / demonstrations to support the cause are valid is this: the ability to support the cause by argument and evidence, as opposed to reliance upon stereotyped slogans.

People who take part in protests / demonstrations don't need to be able to defend their cause, or not in any detail whatsoever, but legitimate causes need to have some secure basis, and one not based on the need for wish-fulfilment.

Bernard Little can at least hold a banner but based on the evidence available to me, I've reason to think that Bernard Little could only present an incoherent defence of the cause. More likely, he wouldn't make the effort to offer a defence at all. He's not alone in the Green Party in that respect. There are many, many others like him.

To clear the matter up,  I think he ought to make the effort just once to show that he's not so clueless after all. I invite him, then, to send me an email putting the case for his view of Israeli-Palestinian relations, giving me permission to publish the email on this site - or, alternatively, get it published on a site of his choice. The case he presents shouldn't, of course, be copied wholesale from an existing source. He wouldn't want to be known as a plagiarist, would he? In fact, Green Party 'campaigning' in the field of Israeli-Palestinian relations (and in many other areas) amounts to mass plagiarism.

Toby Mallinson

 This is simply a start. Toby Mallinson will need quite a lengthy profile. He's someone I knew quite well. For about twenty years, I was a very active member of Sheffield Amnesty International and for most of that time, he was an active member too, as was Angela Argenzio, another Green Party councillor.. I've no knowledge of whether the two are still members of this discredited organization, which lost its way a long time ago. I intend to give the evidence in due course.

My view of Toby Mallinson is that he does a great deal of recycling. I'm not referring to the recycling of used materials, to save them from going to landfill, of course, but another form of recycling, very popular in the Green Party. I regard him as  a political innocent, a naive and ignorant recycler of commonplace illusions and delusions.

An article in 'The Star' newspaper gives the background to the Israeli Flag episode

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/council/
sheffield-council-leader-calls-out-serious-danger-in-removal-of-town-hall-israel-flag-by-palestine-protesters-video-4368239

An extract from the article,

Coun Toby Mallinson (colleague of Alexi Dimond - his comment is given in his profile) also condemned the Israeli flag decision on X. He said,

'I condemn the appalling, criminal actions of Hamas killing hundreds of civilians, and the reprisals of the apartheid Israeli regime killing hundreds more. Decades of breaching international laws and the promotion of hatred by the regime have led to this catastrophe.

'I am ashamed that Sheffield is flying the flag of the regime. I am very concerned about the major damage being done to relations with Muslim and other communities in our city by this act.'

I don't show the complete and utter disregard of realities, the complete and utter disregard of fair-mindedness her by discussing his claims one by one. I do show his stupidity by discussion in the rest of the page. For example, the claim so often made in these circles, and made by Toby Mallinson, that Israel is an 'apartheid state.' This claim is the subject of the section The Goldstone report and 'apartheid Israel on this page.

Other material on this page amounts to a refutation of other claims he makes. He would benefit from a remedial course in history, including branches of military history, and a remedial course in stylistics (the style is the familar fraudulent, standardized agitation, in essentials plagiarism pure and simple). 

Ruth Mersereau

Councillor Mersereau was one of the councillors who abstained from voting for paragraphs of a 'Substantive Motion' at a Sheffield Council meeting.

https://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/mgAi.aspx?ID=19840

These were the paragraphs. I would have thought that they were uncontroversial. What reasoning - or obscure action on impulse - led councillor Mersereau to  abstain? I'm puzzled. Perhaps she can explain - or perhaps she'd prefer not to explain. In my own experience, the Green Party finds explanation uncongenial. It prefers evasion.

That this Council:

h)  recognises that, in 2005, the EU monitoring centre on Racism and Xenophobia (now the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights) adopted the following working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

 

 

 

 

(i) notes that the working definition has become the standard definition used around the world;

(j)  notes that this definition has been adopted by the European Parliament, the UK College of Policing, the US Dept of State, the US Senate and the 31 countries comprising the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance;

 

 

 

(k)  recognises that, in 2016, the British Government also formally adopted this working definition of antisemitism;

 

 

 

(l)  in view of recent controversy over the precise definition of antisemitism, this city with its proud history of religious tolerance and the first UK City of Sanctuary proclaims its support for the published international definition of antisemitism; and

 

 

 

(m)  directs Sheffield City Council to formally adopt the official and international recognised working definition of antisemitism for this city.

Henry Nottage

,

Henry Nottage runs a cycle business in Sheffield. I respect him for that. Running a business is demanding. Running a business can give people a healthy sense of realities. Businesses run by naive, unrealistic people tend to go under. But it's possible for people who are very realistic in the running of the business to be naive and unrealistic in other matters, such as matters to do with international relations. International relations in which Israel, Hamas and Iran come to mind. I provide evidence for supporting Israel and condemning Hamas and Iran. The Green Party, including Sheffield Green Party, isn't a big believer in providing evidence or in providing context. In the case of Israeli-Palestinian relations, the context includes studies of civilian casualties in operations of war waged by the armed forces of democracies. I provide a summary of some of the evidence in the column to the right.

In this profile, I refer to a page of this site where I comment on the importance of small businesses and  argue that small businesses should be supported wherever possible. I practise what I recommend. But in the page on small business and big business, I point out that there can be difficulties.

I'm not a cyclist now but I used to be one, a very long time ago - in London. Below, I mention an incident which affected me whilst cycling in London. There are difficulties in promoting cycling. The Green Party isn't honest about these difficulties.  I see the need to take account of disadvantages as well as advantages. Very often, a course of action is promoted without taking account of the disadvantages. I call this 'alignment,' the pretence that all the advantages lie with the course of action being promoted. The Green Party uses this tactic again and again.

In the case of cycling, it's obviously true that cycling has vastly less impact upon the environment than driving. The industrial processes needed to manufacture bikes cause pollution but cycling causes no pollution. Does this mean that everyone who can realistically cycle rather than drive should buy a bike, if they don't have one already, and cycle rather than drive? There are difficulties here.

If arguments for and arguments against cycling are presented in two columns, for and against, the issue of safety would have to be entered in the column 'against.' First, some data from the UK government, followed by a personal experience of mine. An extract from the site,


https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-pedal-cyclist-factsheet-2021/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-pedal-cycle-factsheet-2021

Pedal cyclists are one of the vulnerable user groups. They are not protected by a vehicle body in the same way car users are, and tend to be harder for drivers to see on the road. They are, therefore, particularly susceptible to injuries.

It should be noted that it has been long known that a considerable percentage of non-fatal casualties are not reported to the police. Non-fatal casualties for pedal cyclists are amongst the most likely to be under-reported in road casualty data since cyclists have no obligation to inform the police of collisions. This should be borne in mind when analysing and interpreting the data.

Between 2004 and 2021:

  • fatalities decreased from 134 to 111 (-17%)

  • serious injuries (adjusted) rose by 27%

  • pedal cycle traffic grew by 62%

Averaged over the period 2016 to 2021:

  • an average of 2 pedal cyclists died and 84 were seriously injured (adjusted) per week in reported road casualties.

An accident on a road I know very well, Rivelin Valley Road, Sheffield, a very scenic road. At the end of September 2023 a cyclist was hit by a car and died on the 22 October.

Another accident, another person: a former BBC presenter, Dan Walker, was knocked off his bike and injured  at a roundabout in Sheffield where there have been 40 bike accidents in three years. The accident happened in February, 2023.

In my twenties, a very long time ago, I lived in London for a period of over four years. I bought a bike in Sheffield and used it in London. I was involved in an accident which could very easily have been fatal but which caused me no injury at all. It did make me aware of the dangers of cycling.

I was riding on a wide road, with wide lanes, at a time when there was hardly any traffic. A car overtook me and for some reason the car came so close to me that in a moment, I was knocked off the bike and was lying on my back on the road, completely uninjured. If a car, van, lorry or bus had been following, the chances of being killed would have been high. I got to my feet and found that the driver had stopped. He was very agitated. I didn't get angry with him.  I went on my way and he went on his.

I didn't report the incident to the police. This is one of those many, many cycling accidents which go unreported. I can well believe that there are many, many cycling injuries which never appear in the official statistics. Cycling is much more dangerous than it would seem from reading the statistics. I'm very safety conscious. I've devised a very simple means of protecting users against some dangers involved in working with sheet metal. I  take the view that young children should be protected from riding a bike on busy roads - protected by allowing them to ride only when they're older. I take the view that adults should consider the dangers very seriously before transporting young children on bikes which they are riding.

Not long afterwards, my bike was stolen. I did inform the police about the theft and a policeman came to see me. He was very helpful but of course couldn't do anything to help me to get my bike back. I'm glad that I never did get it back. I was forty years old before I learned to drive and bought a vehicle. Until then, I was a pedestrian and a user of public transport. The white van I drive now is absolutely essential for my work in construction, for the transportation of bulky materials, for instance. I haven't used it for driving long distances for a long time.

 For so many modern activities, big business is essential. If someone takes the bus to work or cycles to work rather than driving to work, the buses, the cycles, the lorries which deliver organic vegetables and other organic products to specialist shops have been constructed with steel. The conversion of iron ore to steel by advanced modern methods can't be achieved using small scale methods. Much larger economic entities are needed - big business, in fact. Modern economies, the ones which provide Green Party councillors and the people who vote for them with the necessities of life and the other things they need, and provide them so reliably and efficiently, need large-scale methods.

Big businesses are essential, and can co-exist with very small enterprises, but small enterprises have necessary limitations. The country could never be fed by a system of small plots, including allotments. Economies of scale are essential. The bread needed by the many millions of people in the country could never be produced from small plots where the wheat is harvested with a hand tool. Massive combine harvesters are necessary.

It's necessary to put no unnecessary obstacles in the way of people who want to start a  small business. I have a great interest in independent business and support them whenever I possibly can. I've a page Big business and small businesses  where I make the case for small businesses. I also point out some difficulties.

Henry Nottage is a Sheffield councillor but like all the Green Party councillors he seems to have little or no awareness of the importance to Sheffield of the steel industry.  The determination of the Sheffield Green Party to support steel making in the  'Steel City' is nowhere apparent. As with the other Green Party councillors, his view seems to be a limited one.

He's one of the Green Party councillors who could have a reputation for moderation. He's one of the Green Party councillors who aren't extremists, fanatics, of the councillor Dimond kind. But the non-extremist, non-fanatical Green Party councillors seem to have done nothing to oppose the  fanatics. In private, they may have made it clear that they don't share these fanatical views but they've done nothing to make a difference. All those Green Party claims to be making a 'real difference to communities' but Green Party councillors of the more moderate kind seem to be incapable of making even the slightest difference when it comes to curbing the extremism of Green Party councillors.  Some of the profiles on the page will make it completely clear what I'm referring to.

The failure of these moderates has severe repercussions.  

Martin Phipps

The Green Party's Alison Teal has fallen foul of Gender Ideology enforcers such as Martin Phipps, Alexi Dimond, Brian Holmshaw and Angela Argenzio. I'm referring in particular to the 'Trans' issuep

Alison Teal has made a case. She has claimed that 'gender ideology'  has a “frightening impact” on children and has called it  “regressive”. She was heavily criticised after making use of  an article which repeatedly referred to the comedian Eddie Izzard as a ‘man’ and a ‘he’ and opposed his use of women’s toilets. She went so far as to condemn the placing of male sex offenders in women's prisons.

It isn't that often that I agree with a Green Party figure, but in this case I side with Alison Teal.

The indignation, the horror of the would be enforcers would be fitting in the case of Iranian cruelties but not at all in this case.

I hope to extend this profile of the lacklustre Martin Phipps. I hope to extend all the profiles - over an extended period - but this is barren work, work lacking in all pleasure.

Maroof Raouf

This will be the shortest profile of all, a short quotation from councillor Raouf, a short comment, with a not so short link giving the source of the information.

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/ukraine-russia-sheffield-politician-claims-some-councillors-more-eager-to-support-ukrainian-children-because-of-blue-eyes-and-blonde-hair-as-opposed-to-those-in-yemen-and-syria-3596399

Councillor Raouf, quoted in this article in the newspaper:

What is happening in Palestine is far worse than what is taking place in Ukraine, yet I don’t see you crying tears for Palestine.

The people he was criticizing were Sheffield Councillors. From the article: Coun Raouf was critical of the rally where councillors of all parties held Ukrainian flags.

I can only assume that councillor Raouf can't be bothered to keep up to date with the extreme realities of the conflict in Ukraine. As for his illusions about the Palestinian territories, I can't recommend that he take a look at information in the rest of the page because I'm sure he can't be bothered to take a look. The comparison he makes in this brief statement is beneath contempt. I intend making use of this opinion of his in future publicizing of the issues.

Paul Turpin

Councillor Paul Turpin has his own page on the Sheffield Green Party Website. An extract:

We can make a big difference to people’s lives right here in Gleadless Valley, and across the city.

I see change coming from the ground up rather than the top down. By changing the way we do things here, we can change things in the city, in the country, in the world. That’s real Green politics.

Naive, simple-minded views often sound much more attractive than realistic views, views which take account of the constraints of action, the frustrations of action. To achieve changes, there's generally the need to take determined, sustained action, often with no quick results at all, often with no results in the long term, there's the need to make informed action, action based on evidence, action which takes into account realities which can't be changed by the people who want to make change happen. If change is achieved, it may produce the intended benefits but sometimes with great disadvantages, and the change may be only temporary.

Councillor Turpin's claims make it sound quite easy - even change in regions far distant from the Gleadless Valley in Sheffield. His claims are largely empty ones, expressing empty hope rather than anything likely to be of benefit to many people in Gleadless. Act local, transform this nation and nations in Europe, Asia Australasia, North and South America? He's living in a world of illusion. I don't claim that he's living in a world of total illusion, of course.  What he calls 'real Green politics' is full of misconceptions and falsifications.

In his article, Councillor Turpin  makes this claim, this criticism, the claim that Sheffield council has 'a relentless desire to accommodate big business at the expense of Sheffielders.'

But Sheffield, like so many other places, needs big business. Big business can generate useless or almost useless products but it also generates a very wide range of useful products. If big business which manufactures and makes available useful products moves to a town or city it can provide employment for large numbers of people. If Sheffield fails to attract big business due to the undue influence of views like the views of councillor Turpin, then Sheffielders will be disadvantaged, including, it may well be, people in the ward represented by this councillor.

I'll give just one example to show some particular obstacles, unrecognized by Green Party paid-up believers. Councillor Turpin may or may not have an interest in growing things but the lesson can be applied to other areas and other issues. It shows the gulf between Green Party theory and action in the real world.

Anyone who gardens or farms will inevitably face the problem of weeds. When food crops are grown, weeds can reduce the yield so that it becomes next to nothing. If the weeds competing with food crops reduce the yield of many food crops over very large areas, then people would go short of food and eventually starved, if no action is taken to control the weeds effectively.

I face the weed problem in the land I rent, of course. In the decades that I've been cultivating the land, I've hardly ever used the weedkiller glyphosate but I've had to put in much more work and to spend far more time on weed control than I would have if I'd used glyphosate more often.

For a long time, I used organic methods, but now I use non-organic methods as well when necessary.

I have a powerful flame weeder, which kills the top growth of weeds but leaves their roots undamaged. It's not an effective solution to bring weed infested land into cultivation.

The organic method (as advocated by the organization Garden Organic, the successor to the Henry Doubleday Research Institute, the organic organization which I used to belong to) recommends digging out the roots of weeds. This is not just impractical but impossible. A person determined to use this method to eliminate weeds would need to neglect all other responsibilities and  use all available spare time and still not succeed.

There are weeds which are comparatively harmless, although controlling them can still take up so much time. There are weeds with stubborn roots such as ground elder, creeping buttercup and couch grass which really do need a weedkiller which kills the roots and eliminates the weeds in very little time. The best known example in glyphosate. There are problems involved in using glyphosate, but they are largely exaggerated. Its toxicity is low. In a survey of the hazards of everyday life, the hazards of gardening and farming, the hazards of glyphosate are almost non-existent.

Very near to the land I rent, just across the road, in fact, there was a mass of Japanese knot-weed. Sheffield Council didn't send workers out equipped with trowels and spades to dig out the roots of the plant, prepared to spend months - years - in a futile attempt to control the weed using organic methods. It's impossible to control it in this way. The knotweed was sprayed with glyphosate and the problem wasn't solved. The knotweed hasn't come back.

Weed-control fabric can be laid down (and weighted down, to lessen the chance of wind moving it or damaging it) and this is acceptable according to organic standards. There's an element of hypocrisy here. Weed -control is a sythetic material derived from oil.

I regard his views - but not all his views - as damaging, He's failed to consider the disadvantages of his views. They're an example of the 'real Green politics' which is based on unreal thinking.

The national Green Party and Israel

This is the newest section of the page. For the time being, there's a very short profile of Caroline Lucas MP. I intend to extend the profile, to add material on Siân Berry and as a longer term objective, to add profiles of Green Party people, including councillors, across the country.

Brighton and Hove Green Party: Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP and Siân Berry, selected as the Party's candidate for the Brighton and Hove constituency.

Above, Siân Berry

Please see also my extensive page on Green Orthodoxy.

To be added to this section: material on Siân Berry, to be extended to include comment on the progress of her campaign to be elected the successor of Caroline Lucas as MP - and to include some setbacks during her campaign.   To be added, material on many other issues, including some further information about human rights abuses in Iran and some implications of  the current Israil-Hamas conflict for human rights in the region. I was the death penalty coordinator for Sheffield Amnesty International for twenty years but worked on almost the full spectrum of abuses. I give information about the death penalty in Iran on this page. I point out that Israel has used the death penalty only once My anti-death penalty page gives varied material.

I asked the Sheffield Amnesty Group to raise motions at two Annual General Meetings of Amnesty International. All the motions were carried overwhelmingly. They were to do with human rights abuses in China, anti-personnel mines and campaigning techniques used by Amnesty. I took the view that many of the campaigning techniques used by Amnesty were demonstrably ineffective. The letters, now emails, sent by Amnesty members to Iran requesting that Iran should implement an immediate moratorium on executions, before eventual abolition, never had a chance of achieving the objective. The letters were received in private, the emails are received in private, and the individual contacted would do absolutely nothing. Similarly for other repressive regimes and for a very wide range of other objectives.

I left Amnesty International. I think that the campaigning carried out by Caroline Lucas to oppose abuses in Iran are creditable but are examples of campaigning which could be more useful, less ineffectual. In the current Israeli-Hamas conflict, to give any support to Hamas, to oppose Israeli action against Hamas, will lead to consolidation of the power of Iran, will disadvantage Israel whilst giving potential advantages to Israel. Protests against Iran in this country will have no effect on Iran or only a slight, temporary effect. Military action in the region has the potential to damage Iran, perhaps to increase disaffection with the regime in Iran.

I intend to extend this section with more material on Caroline Lucas and to include material on Siân Berry.

First of all, a link to a horrific video on cruelty to farm animals in Gaza, followed by information on the contributions of Caroline Lucas MP to animal welfare. Green Party people - including Caroline Lucas MP -  would do well to consider some implications of this gross cruelty to animals in Gaza. I intend to add material to show the implications, as I see them.  I don't know of a more devastating video on farm animal welfare anywhere.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/
2013/dec/12/cattle-abuse-gaza-video

I've worked for farm animal welfare for a very long time. I contacted all the Sheffield Councillors to ask them to put an end to the council's support for factory farming, for example battery chicken eggs, by using humane suppliers.

Extract from the page

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/23-09-2009-green-party-leader-to-head-up-influential-animal-welfare-group.html

Caroline Lucas has been named as the new President of the European Parliament's cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup.

The Green Party leader is well known for her longstanding efforts to achieve better protection for animals, having played a key role in the creation of legislation to ban the sale of cat and dog fur in the EU, and in the recent ban on the import of seal products.

She has also campaigned against the continued use of animals in travelling circuses and the EU-subsidised practice of bullfighting.

My page on animal welfare campaigning includes information about a demonstration I took part in - a non-abrasive demonstration - to secure the rehoming of Annie, an arthritic circus elephant, filmed being savagely beaten by a circus employee. There's a link to a video record of some of the horrible beatings. The series of demonstrations was successful. Annie was freed and rehomed.

My view is this: to assume that anyone interested in animal welfare should support the Green Party and vote for the Green Party would be a mistake, and a bad mistake, is in the case of environmental issues.

People in the Green Party might be astonished to find that people in other parties have a concern, often an intense concern, for animal welfare and environmental issues. When, a long time ago, I contacted all the Sheffield councillors to ask them to change the council's purchasing policy and to stop buying intensively farmed products, such as battery chicken eggs, the only reply in support came from the one and only conservative councillor at the time.

I'm one of these working class Sheffielders who regard the Green Party as impractical, clueless, showing no signs of common sense in so many of their pronouncements, a party to be avoided, certainly not a party which deserves a vote.

This Website shows that I've worked very hard on environmental matters, practically, by means of environmental projects, to give just one example, the 'New Growing System' which is designed to reduce dependence on mains water, to collect and store water from natural precipitation, and to achieve other environmental goals, including lessening the burdens on form workers.

The current Google ranking for my site for the search term
farms gardens water collecting composting is
1 / 27,000,000

 www.linkagenet.com/themes/arrest.htm  gives information about my campaigning for farm animals, circus animals, fur animals and other issues to do with animal welfare.

www.linkagenet.com/themes/bullfighting.htm a very extensive page gives information about my anti-bullfighting campaigning. The current Google ranking for my site for the search term
bullfighting argument action against is
3 / 1,230,000

The current Google ranking for the search term ethical depth is
3 / 164,000,000


https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/23-09-2009-green-party-leader-to-head-up-influential-animal-welfare-group.html

Caroline Lucas has been named as the new President of the European Parliament's cross-party Animal Welfare Intergroup.

The Green Party leader is well known for her longstanding efforts to achieve better protection for animals, having played a key role in the creation of legislation to ban the sale of cat and dog fur in the EU, and in the recent ban on the import of seal products.

She has also campaigned against the continued use of animals in travelling circuses and the EU-subsidised practice of bullfighting.

Caroline Lucas on 'Violence in Israel and Palestine'

https://www.carolinelucas.com/latest/violence-in-israel-and-palestine

'Like many of you, I have been horrified by the brutal and deadly attacks on Israeli civilians, as well as by the numbers of people injured. I condemn Hamas for their acts of unimaginable terror, including the taking of hostages.'

This is excellent.

' ... the violence must stop.'

And how, exactly? Will the violence be stopped by making recommendations that couldn't possibly have any effect? By completely unrealistic requests? Nothing on the page will have any effect whatsoever. The page is designed to showcase Caroline Lucas as enlightened, caring, ethical public figure. It has nothing to do with solving the problem.

Similarly the page on 'Peace and Defence:'

https://www.carolinelucas.com/issues/peace-defence

'I'VE TAKEN A CLEAR AND CONSISTENT STAND FOR PEACE.

Including

  • Finding alternatives to military intervention'

Caroline Lucas's recommendations, if they were ever implemented, would lead swiftly to invasion by Putin's forces and a country under Russian occupation would lose its freedom and independence, with absolutely no prospect of achieving Green Party goals, targets and wishful thinking. If Putin lost power, it's likely that his successor in the Kremlin would want to take advantage of a country without the means to protect itself against invasion.

The page is ridiculously misguided. It pays no attention to realities at all.

A very different matter. Perhaps Caroline Lucasl could do more to ensure that her Web Page is  updated more often.

https://www.carolinelucas.com/contact

In line with government guidance, during the Coronavirus crisis I am working from home, as are my parliamentary and constituency staff. Please do not visit the constituency office as it’s closed.

I would think that Caroline Lucas hasn't been working from home for a long time and I very much doubt that the constituency office is still closed.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Above, views of an individual, name unknown - for the time being - who claimed to be the 'Chief Steward' at an event organized by Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It was held at Devonshire Green, Sheffield. The event was vile. The protesters marched through Sheffield from a distant assembly area. I was at the Green when they arrived. Their arrival was very, very disturbing. A woman with a megaphone was shouting out again and again and again, 'From the River to the Sea,' the call for the extinction of Israel. When I left, after speaking to a selection of protesters, including this steward, I walked through the centre of the Sheffield. In a quiet side-street, a car sped past with an open window. A child next to the window was shouting out, again and again, 'From the River to the Sea.'

I got nowhere with any of the protesters I talked to but I'd no illusions. I wasn't there to change hearts and minds, by putting forward reasoned arguments, with evidence, although I did mention a few things. One of the reasons why I attended, but not the most important reason, was to take some photographs to illustrate this page and other pages, in particular the Home Page of the site, and to acquire video footage as well,

These were people taking place in a public event, in a public place. The law allows me to take photographs and to film. The demonstrators didn't like that at all. They weren't interested in what the law allows and doesn't allow. They made it completely clear that they wouldn't allow it, but I disregarded their ignorant protestations. I  took photographs and I took short film footage. I've taken photographs at a previous event and didn't use it. I'm discriminating in my use of photographs. They have to be good enough to use, as photographs. I won't use them if they seem mediocre photographs. I observe copyright and I won't infringe copyright by using photographs of Sheffield Solidarity Campaign people and Sheffield Green Party people not taken by me. What I can do, and will do, is to take the photographs and the film footage myself and to use them on this site.

 The only person with no objection to being photographed or filmed was the Chief Steward shown above. I have used two photographs, but only because the photographs seem well worth including for their value as photographs, not because of any views on photographs. I didn't need the Chief Steward's permission to take the photographs.

I had quite a long conversation with one man who said that he was gay. I'd told him - but he may well have known this already - that homosexuality  is illegal in Gaza and punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years. He made it clear that he had absolutely no interest in this fact. It was unimportant to him. He made it clear that he was against Israel and that wasn't unimportant in the least. He became very angry when I made it clear that I was taking photographs at the event. I told him firmly that I could take whatever photographs I wanted to.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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