Saturday didn’t start well…

January 14th, 2019

Saturday 10th November didn’t start well. I arrived on time for the start of what should have been a large protest to find nobody there. Of course protests are quite often planned and advertised on social media but never take place, some people get an idea it would be a good idea to have a protest, put up an event but give up when they find nobody shares their enthusiasm; others are cancelled at the last minute when I’m already on the way to them, and others were never really intended to take place. But this was different, a protest by a large group, so something was very clearly wrong.

Fortunately I’d remembered to bring my phone – quite often I come out without it, as I did this morning, though I realised when I was only a few yards down the street and rushed back to  pick it up. But other days I only think about it when my train is approaching the platform, or even when I’m actually at an event in London and put my hand into my pocket to phone someone and find the pocket is empty. But for once I’d remembered it, so took it out and began searching on Facebook for the event. I couldn’t find it.

Clearly something was wrong, and by then I had an idea what it might be. I did another search and found that I had put the event in my diary for the wrong week and was standing there waiting for something not due to happen for another 7 days.  This meant I had an hour and a half to wait for the next event I was hoping to cover (and I checked that this really was on the correct date.)

There were a number of possibilities. I was rather near one of my favourite pubs and it was tempting, but drinking early in the day when I wanted to cover more protests would not be a good idea. I could have gone to one of London’s museums or art galleries – and I often do visit one when I have a little time to spare, but I had long enough to do something else. I did a quick search on my phone for anything else  of interest happening and drew a blank, so instead I decided to go and look for a protest in those London places where protests often occur.

So I got on the tube and I found one in the first place I looked, Trafalgar Sqaure, though not something I would have have normally gone out of my way to photograph. UK Unity is an extreme right organisation which describes itself as “A genuine Grassroots campaign to Leave the EU then rebuild Britain!” and which states it “is entirely opposed to any hate speech, violence or harassment and we firmly believe in the rule of law.” but which publicises the actions of peole like Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage and is running a petition urging the immediate deportation of all “illegal immigrants” wit the claim “Those crossing the channel from France are not ‘refugees’ or ‘asylum seekers’ but unvetted and illegal migrants in our country.

Their protest in Trafalgar Square about the lack of progress in leaving the EU also called for the resignation of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and for policies which “Put British Laws, British Culture and British People first“. There were a number of faces in the crowd familiar from photographing groups such as the EDL and the National Front. They favour simply leaving the EU with no agreement, refusing to make any payments and fail to acknowledge the disastrous consequences that would follow.

I’d soon had enough of being around them, and wandered off down the road to see if anything was happening at Downing St, or outside Parliament, but there was nothing. However it was now time to get on the District Line from Westminster to Aldgate East and the next event in my diary, a rally by the UK branch of the National Committee to Protect Oil Gas & Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, supported by others including Fossil Free Newham. This was a part of a global day of protest to save the Sunderbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was taking place in Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel.

There are some protests which don’t take a great deal of time to photograph, with relatively little happening at least visually. People standing in a line with posters , placards and banners. The odd tiger. Losts of speeches, a few in English. So I was soon leaving and making my way to the pub where I hoped to meet Class War. They were a little late so I had time to drink a pint without rushing.

It wasn’t really a full-scale protest by Class War, just a short visit to remind the ‘Jack The Rippe’r tourist venue in Cable St, with its macabre displays profiting from the gory deaths of a few working class women, that it disgusts many and should close.

Police were waiting just around the corner when they arrived and came to harass the protesters, with one women constable making threats about arresting them for their bad language – who had the law pointed out to her. After a short protest Class War rolled up their banner and went in search of another pub. They almost got there when they were diverted into yet another on the way…

Clas War are very much a group misunderstood in various ways by different people and often deliberately, but whose actions often attract far more publicity than many other groups – and their intention is to provoke. I don’t always share their views – though on the Ripper obscenity I’m 100% with them – but their activities are always interesting. Protest is definitely more fun with Class War, and they do very much raise the profile of important issues.

Where I differ from Class War is that I’m more of a pragmatist and I don’t think the chances of getting revolution on anarchist lines is too probable in the foreseeable future. So while I share many of their opinions about the Labour Party, and in particular about criminal London Labour councils which are demolishing council estates, handing over public assets to private developers and failing to provide council housing for current residents and others who can’t afford high market house prices or rents who Class War are very rightly castigating, I’d like to support those in the party who are campaigning for socialists to take control of the local parties, which could bring about a real change. And while I don’t have particularly high hopes of what a Corbyn government might be able to acheive, I’m convinced that there would be some advantages over the Tories, who have shown themselves cruel, unthinking and quite simply evil beyond previous administrations. Though under our current system, my vote inone of the country’s safer Tory seats is entirely a worthless gesture.

More on all these protests at:
Leave Voters say Leave Now!
Global Day to save the Sunderbans
Class War picket the Ripper ‘Museum’

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Darkest London

January 12th, 2019


Class War had come to support the protesters

Another protest about London Councils and housing took place in Deptford, one of the literally and metaphorically darkest areas of the capital on that Tuesday evening. Lewisham Council had turned the Old Tidemill Garden, a community garden, into a fortress, surrounded by fences and ringed by security guards 24 hours a day, at considerable cost to the local council tax payers.

After discussions with the council had failed to acheive any meaningful communication, local residents had occupied the garden around the end of August, but two months later were very forcefully evicted at the end of October in a scandalous and illegal action by a large force of bailiffs, while police stood back and watched.

The campaigners set up a camp on an area of open ground just to the east of the garden and in front of Reginald House, council flats that are also to be demolished under the council’s plans, along with a disused school. Campaigners have put forward alternative proposals which would allow the same number of new homes – though with more social housing – on the site but retain the garden and allow all current residents to remain in the area, but the council and developers Peabody have refused to give them any serious consideration.

The area around the camp where people met was in darkness, and most of the pictures I took there at slow shutter speeds were spoilt by subject movement, a few by camera shake. Closer to the road and the roundabout there was a little more light and my efforts were more succesful.

The march set off down a dimly lit road past the heavily guarded garden, and few of the pictures I took at the start were usable. When it turned onto Deptford High St things became much easier, but after a short walk up there it turned off into another dimily lit road and path, on its way to the New Cross Assembly Meeting where the recently elected Mayor was expected to answer questions from the public.

The side street outside the building where this was to be held was also dark,  and working at high ISO and slow shutter speeds was rather hit and miss. I took a few pictures using my LED light, but this only usefully illuminates a fairly small distance from it and doesn’t give a wide enough spread of light for my wider images.

I took a few pictures using flash,  but was unhappy with the results. With so low ambient light it is hard to get any satisfactory balance between people and things close to the flash and the background, and I abandoned the effort. The flash didn’t seem to be working properly in any case – probably some incorrect setting on camera or flash. The Nikon system is great when it works, but there are quite a few silly little things that can prevent it working properly.  A few of the better pictures were made with the help of headlights from cars, stopped briefly by protesters on the road.


Lit by car headlights

We waited and waited for the Mayor, but he didn’t arrive, though a couple of police did. Messages came through that he had been held up, and after it began to seem unlikely he was coming I and some of the other protesters left. It was cold and I’d been standing around too long and was very pleased to be able to sit on a warm bus to take me to the station for a train on my way home.

Later I heard that the Mayor had finally arrived, and there had been a rather unsatisfactory meeting, with most of the protesters being refused entry and few questions being answered. Later, when the Mayor left, their had been some noisy scenes and at least one arrest. I was sorry to have missed the action, but also felt some relief as I was faily sure I wouldn’t have managed any good pictures.

More text and pictures:
Save Old Tidemill Garden & Reginald House

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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Labour, Labour Home Snatchers!

January 11th, 2019


Anarchist Martin Wright leads a protest as a Labour Party activist is called to the microphone

The picture above has an interesting structure with a strong central figure and two planes defined by the poster he is holding and the banners behind, which appeals to me. But it is also a picture in which the text is important, particularly the poster message ‘Labour Leaders in the Social Cleansing of Council Estates in London’, not just because it actually makes  an unfortunately true point, but because it very clearly makes the point which this image is about – a protest by one of London’s leading anarchists over housing, and against the policies pursued by Labour councils in London.


Tanya Murat of Southwark Defend Council Housing and a council tenant in Walworth

When the Labour government brought in the idea of regeneration it was probably for the best of motives, an attempt to improve the housing of many who were living in sub-standard accomodation by providing them with homes that met modern standards. But it was soon being used to do something very different, partly because developers saw it as a huge money-making opportunity, partly because some councillors and officers saw it as a way to develop their careers (and personal fortunes), partly because local authorities lacked the knowledge and experience to deal with the developers, and at least in part because of the demands and limitations imposed by central government on local authorities.

The result has been a culture in  which the needs of the people local authority housing is intended to meet – local residents – have become largely neglected, with councils aiming at realising the values of public assets and some councillors and officials getting treated to extravagant entertainment and getting lucrative jobs. Of course local councils have always suffered from people exploiting their positions for their own interests (and only a very few have been brought to justice.) But the huge redevelopment proposals which came out of thte regeneration process provided rich pickings for some.

Most local government in London is Labour led – with some borough such as Newham having no effective opposition at all. So mostly it is Labour controlled councils that are demolishing estates and handing public assets over to often rather corrupt developers – including some housing associations. Conservative councils are just as bad, but there are few of them. And we expect Conservatives to serve their own interests and those of their wealth friends, while Labour we expect to be ‘for the many not for the few’.


Ted Knight (right) argues with Martin Wright

Class War and other anarchist and left groups had come to take part in the protest called by called by ‘Axe the Housing Act’ against the demolition of council estates but neither they nor housing activists they have worked with were given the chance to speak. The final straw for them was when a prominent London Labour Party activist was called to the microphone. It is a long time since Ted Knight was ‘Red Ted’, the leader of a Labour council which planned and built homes on the premise that “nothing was too good for the working class”, was in power, but he remains a member of a party that has been responsible for more than 160 estate demolitions in the capital (though he has been fighting against some of them.)


‘Labour Labour Home Snatchers! Even Worse than Maggie Thatcher’

It wasn’t then suprising that Class War and some other activists erupted at this point, disrupting the meeting by shouting their views. They didn’t stop the meeting, but held it up for some time before things quietened down enough for Knight to speak – and the arguments continued. The banner behind Martin Wright, on which only a few words can be seen (you can read it unobstructed at the right of the picature above ), shows Corbyn reading another Class War poster, listing the names of many of the estates Labour Councils are demolishing, thrust in his face as he went to speak at another protest.


‘The people Ballotless by MendaCity Hall’ – Sadiq Khan rushed through proposals to avoid ballots

Some weeks after this Labour did make a new policy statement on housing, which did include some of the demands activists including Class War and  residents have been making, among them calling for all estate residents to be balloted and to be treated better when councils want to ‘regenerate’ estates. But those proposals are still being largely ignored by London Labour councils, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan rushing through a number of proposals which failed to meet the new standards, and others finding excuses to avoid implementing them.

There have been a few sucesses, notably in Haringey, where a huge level of protests by activists iniside and outwith the Labour Party resulted in the election of Labour councillors opposed to the billion-pound giveaway of council assets involved in the HDV (Haringey Development Vehicle), but elsewhere in London Labour councils dominated by the Labour right (and organisations such as Progress) are still finding ways to continue  the old and discredited policies.

I tried to cover both the main protest and the reaction to it from Class War and others, and separated out the two on My London Diary. There were a number of speakers representing estates currently being demolished or under threat in the main protest, but it did seem a shame that it was not more inclusive.

Class War protest Labour Housing record
No Demolitions Without Permission
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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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December 2018

January 10th, 2019

A few days off with virtually no protests taking place in London have given me time to catch up with December’s pictures, which as well as those from London also include those from a short trip to Matlock.

My london diary

Dec 2018


Matlock & High Tor
Matlock & Lumsdale
Matlock – Oker Hill
Brentford to Hammersmith
Boxing Day Walk
London Bike Life


Debenhams Pay Your Cleaners
Nine Elms Wander
Humanity Face Extinction
Extinction Rebellion at the BBC


Anna Soubry MP harassed by extremists
Extremist Brexiteers at parliament
Extremist Brexiteers clash with SODEM
MP welcomes Delhi to London driver
Cuts kill disabled people say protesters
Berlin Syndikat protest at London landlords
London Stands With The Stansted15


Grenfell silent walk – 18 months on
Hand Back Venezuela’s stolen money
SODEM vigil against Brexit
70 years of Human Rights


Marchers oppose Tommy Robinson
London flooded with Santas
British Museum Stolen Goods Tour
Dharma meditation for climate
Protest Slavery in Libya
Winkfield Walk
SHAC Alternative Housing Awards 2018
BBC Boycott Eurovision Israel 2019


Together for Climate Justice
Stop Universal Credit day of action


London Images

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

Retouching

January 9th, 2019

I spent most of last Friday retouching around 50 scans from negatives that I took in 1981, using Photoshop. It’s a rather tedious job, but it does enable me to reclaim images from negatives that have often suffered rather from the ravages of time, poor storage and attacks by gelatine-devouring minute insects. It is the insect damage that is most difficult to correct, with multiple tracks visible sometimes over large areas, particularly noticeable in skies, and also in deep shadow areas. It isn’t always possible to completely remove it, but usually I can at least hide it, sometimes needing to make skies lighter than I would prefer and shadows darker.

There are of course photographers who don’t beleive in retouching in any way – and purists in the digital age who, particularly for news photographs, object even to any burning or dodging. I’m glad I don’t work for an agency like Reuters who have such an extremist view, not least as I think it unjustifiable, though of course there are things we shouldn’t do which some of their photographers have been caught out doing in the past, removing content from pictures.

Fifteen years ago I took many of my pictures using fill-flash, particularly to lighten faces which would otherwise be in shadow; now using cameras with greater dynamic range I do this when necessary mainly in Lightroom or Photoshop to obtain the same effect. Both to my mind equally acceptable photographic techniques. And taking this further, no photograph taken with flash or other added lighting really represents the scene as it was, but is an artifact produced by the photographer. As of course in other ways is every photograph.

The camera never records a scene as we see it. For us, seeing is a far more complex process, which processes the raw data in many ways, seeing more in shadows and highlights, emphasizing the subject against the background and more. We can only produce images that reflect what we saw and felt that made us press the shutter by working on the image after it has been taken – and even then only imperfectly. That we all take many poor photographs is not due to us consciously making bad pictures, but I think largely a matter of the gulf between what we see and how Nikon or Canon’s hardware records.

Back in the darkroom days we danced our hands and held shapes on wires and more in the enlarger’s beam to get the image we wanted. Now Photoshop makes these things easier and more controllable – and we only need to do them once and not for every print we make. Many of the vagaries of processing – dust spots, scratches, air bells and more – could only be corrected on prints, using fine pointed brushes and spotting dyes; even worse were dark spots, where delicate scraping with a scalpel was the only recourse. Sometimes we had to retouch a print and then photograph it to make a copy negative for further prints, usually on a larger format.

Back in the earlier days of photography, when large negatives or glass plates were the norm, then these could be retouched, but this was hardly possible with 35mm film, though scratches could be filled with varnish or, in a rather revolting but widespread darkroom practice, a little grease from rubbing a finger on the outside corner of your nose.

I was reminded of the days before my time today by a post on Facebook linking to a couple of articles about retouching in the early years of photography, How Photo Retouching Worked Before Photoshop and The Art of Retouching – Pre-Photoshop, and it is a subject often covered in great detail in early photographic text-books.

Edward Weston was employed as a negative retoucher by a portrait studio in Los Angeles in 1908 before becoming a studio portrait photographer. In the 1920s he came to hate retouching, but it was only in 1929 that he felt able to hang up the sign in his studio window that read “Edward Weston, Photographer, Unretouched Portraits, Prints for Collectors.” Though I very much follow his demand for realism, on the only occasion I’ve seriously considered buying an original Edward Weston print I couldn’t bring myself to do so becuase of the small dark and light dust spots on it which I knew would annoy me every time I saw it on my wall. I think it would, despite these, now be worth roughly a hundred times as much as when I failed to buy it.

Mark Silber has put on-line a rather nice film made with Kim Weston about his grandfather’s darkroom practice, including a little vintage footage of Edward. Kim talks briefly about his re-touching of portraits. But I do wish he’d taken out some of the dust on his later work – as has been done for reproduction, You can watch Richard Boutwell of BWMastery.com retouching one of his prints using Photoshop on YouTube, though the sound is missing on the first 5 minutes of the 1 hour video video.

Extinction Rebellion begins

January 8th, 2019

Extinction Rebellion is a new movement determined to use non-violent direct action to make people and government wake up to the imminent crisis of climate change, where science now suggests we have only 12 years to take decisive action to avoid the inevitability of mass extinction.

One of the speakers was Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who sat down outside the Swedish Parliament on a climate strike instead of going back to school after the summer break to try and get them to respond to the gravity of the situation, an action which has led to similar protests around the world.

The crowd of around a thousand joined together to read a ‘Declaration of Rebellion‘ announcing their action, pledging to take action. This is a lengthy statement which spells out the unprecedented problem and accuses the government and law of failing to act appropriately, making it “our sacred duty to rebel”.

It continues:

“We hereby declare the bonds of the social contract to be  null and void, which the government has rendered invalid by its continuing failure to act appropriately. We call upon every principled and peaceful citizen to rise with us.”

The declaration ends:

“We refuse to bequeath a dying planet to future generations by failing to act now.

We act in peace, with ferocious love of these lands in our hearts. We act on behalf of life.”

Among those also speaking at the event were Labour MP Clive Lewis, economist and Green MEP Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MP Caroline Lucas and environmentalists Donnachadh McCarthy and George Monbiot.

At the official end of a protest which blocked the road in front of Parliament for an hour and a half, McCarthy invited others to join him in continuing the protest, sitting down in several groups. There were already a number of activists locked together lying at the side of the road.

After they had been on the road for another fifteen minutes, and had failed to respond to warnings by the police, arrests began to be made, with around 15 of those sitting on the road being arrested, including McCarthy. He later posted about the experience and his interesting discussion with the officers escorting him in the police van who shared many of his concerns about our environmental crisis.

More at:

Extinction Rebellion rally
Extinction Rebellion roadblock

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

No Justice! No Peace! 20 Years

January 7th, 2019

This was the 20th annual march by the United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC), a coalition of of people killed by police, in prisons, in immigration detention and in secure psychiatric hospitals. I first knew about their campaign in 2003, when I took the picture above, along with others. Then the list they carried of those who have died in custody since 1969 hand around 1800 names on it; now it is considerably longer, with many new names being added each year.

Some of those I photographed in 2003 were still there in 2018, but others have themselves died – sometimes as a result of their grief. Many have given up on the struggle for justice, beaten down by the system which lies and obstructs the course of justice – including the police, coroners and judges who all dissemble, and a complaints procedure dedicated to being ineffective. For most there is no justice – but many are determined to fight on despite this. The most determined sometimes make a little progress, but still the system keeps slapping them back.

Of course not every death in custody is a result of criminal acts by police or others concerned. Some are from natural causes. But too many are from a lack of care; too many from the use of excessive force and failures to carry out proper procedures for restraint. And too many from clearly criminal acts which our courts allow to go unpunished.

The only case among around two and a half thousand where there has been a sucessful prosecution, so far as I’m aware, is one where the violence by fellow officers so offended one policeman that he broke ranks and gave evidence against them. In other cases police have got away with perjury, supporting the clearly false evidence of their fellow officers, making up stories between them that bear little relation to what actually happened.

So many police inquiries into these incidents have been at best half-hearted and often facially incompetent or even criminal. CCTV cameras – even in police stations – never seem to work when officers would be in the frame, and interviews are not made or delayed for months.

Of course police have a difficult job, and mistakes will sometimes happen, but this goes beyond this, and is an institutional problem – like the racism which, despite its revelation after the death of Stephen Lawrence, is still active in police forces around the country, and involved in too many of the deaths. Many of the victims are also people with mental health problems, and the continuing deaths also reflect a lack of proper mental health provision, exacerbated by changes in policies and government cuts both to health services and to community services.

The campaigners met in Trafalgar Square, and then marched slowly, very slowly down Whitehall, stopping for a rally opposite Downing St, where many representatives of the bereaved families spoke. A delegation went to take a letter to the Prime Minister at 10 Downing St, as they have done each year, though never getting a sensible reply. This year they were even refused entry, despite having made their application several months earlier. Police on the gate were apologetic (and the police had facilitated the march and rally in exemplary fashion) and took the letter promising to see it was delieved, but apparently their request had been lost, perhaps deliberately, by Theresa May’s office and they could not be allowed to enter.

‘No Justice! No Peace!’ is the slogan of the campaign, and so far justice is sadly lacking.

More at:
20th UFFC remembrance procession
20th UFFC remembrance rally

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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

2018 numbers and stuff

January 6th, 2019

One of my favourite pictures for each month of 2018,  and some thoughts and statistics about this site.


January: End Outsourcing at University of London


February: Fix the NHS Crisis Now


March: Defend Afrin – Bring Anna Home

Its always hard to know what the numbers of visitors to >Re:PHOTO mean, but rather dispiriting when it declines, as it did in 2017, going down to around a tenth of its peak. Traffic does now appear to have levelled out, and has actually shown a small increase in recent months.

I think that huge decrease was largely caused by changes in Google’s algorithms which have greatly affected the visibility of the site. I’ve never done any real publicity, and its around a dozen years since I took any interest in ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ – when I was writing for money on another site and my income depended on the number of page views my articles recorded. Only a very small fraction now of visitors arrive from search engine, with 75% coming direct.


April: End outsourcing at University of London


May: Windrush Immigration Act protest


June: Vote No to Disastrous Heathrow Expansion

This site makes me no income – apart from the handful of kind individuals who have responded to the appeal on the bottom of my posts with small Paypal donations. Always welcome! As of course is sharing the posts I write with others. I write them to share some of my thoughts about photography (and sometimes too much politics) and to share my own work with a wider audience. As well as here, I also share my pictures both on Facebook and on a number of websites, mainly my own.

And of course it costs me a lot of time and a little money to run the site. I’m now facing a decision about how to continue this and the other web sites I run as I’m getting close to the limit of files that my current hosting contract allows – 262,144 files. I think I’ll have to open another contract, either with my current host or another, and with my plans for putting much more of my London archive on line it would be good to find a reasonably priced solution that would enable a rather larger number of files. Suggestions welcomed.

The actual costs I pay to my web host are probably balanced by the occasional sales of prints and reproduction rights to people who see my work here and elsewhere on the web, though these have turned out to be rather smaller than I hoped when I set up the sites. But it’s good to get people looking at the work even if they don’t pay for it, and what I pay each year on-line is less than a single physical exhibition would cost me, and reaches a hugely larger audience.


July: Shut Down Yarl’s Wood 14


August: Against attack on Bahrain Embassy hunger striker


September: Class War visit the Rees-Moggs

For 2018, the total number of visitors to >Re:PHOTO was 239,953 and the number of page impressions was 1,307,953. That works out at over 3,500 pages visited per day over the year.

The most popular of my other web sites was My London Diary, with over half a million page views in the year, over 1,400 per day, visitors up around 40% and page views up over 60% over 2017. The largest increase in views was for my London Photos site, which rose from from 21,120 page views in 2017 to 117,709 last year.


October: 20th UFFC remembrance procession


November: Extinction Rebellion Parliament Square


December: Grenfell silent walk – 18 months on

So thanks to you all for reading the site – and don’t forget comments are always welcome on posts.
______________________________________________________

There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

________________________________________________________

D-Day Anniversary Approaches

January 5th, 2019

A D Coleman has broken his unusual 3 month on-line silence to return to the long campaign by him and his colleagues to correct the myths about Robert Capa‘s D-Day pictures (and the related issue of the Falling Soldier), realising that:

“with the 75th anniversary of D-Day coming up on June 6, 2019, I’ve just realized that I’m likely to feel compelled to correct an endless stream of repetitions of the Capa D-Day myth, which has so permeated our culture that this investigation has barely begun to dislodge it.”

This particular post, Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (39), examines a recent article in a Le Monde supplement by Cynthia Young, the curator of the Robert Capa and Cornell Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography in New York, and as such a leading figure in studies of Capa.  Her ‘Les deux icônes de Capa’, published in October 2018 completely ignores all recent evidence which has established beyond any reasonable doubt the true circumstances under which Capa’s  1937 Spanish Civil War ‘Falling Soldier’ and  his 1944 D-Day ‘The Face in the Surf’ were made.

Coleman berates Young for “not just ignoring contrary evidence and doubling down on the myth but actually adding spurious details to it“, pointing out that her activity is “fatal to credible scholarship“, and is extremely damaging to the reputation of one of photography’s major institutions, the ICP.

The post also looks again at John Loengard‘s contibution to the myth in his 1994 book Celebrating the Negative which includes Loengard’s photograph of the hands of Cornell Capa and the 8 surviving negatives above a light-box, along with his commentary which, as Coleman comments, included the myth of the melting negatives that any professional photographer should have dismissed out of hand.  Certainly many of us had.

The post ends with a rather more amusing D-Day story with a picture of the Royal Mail £1.25 stamp from a series “showcasing the ‘Best of British’ “. The picture of allied troops knee-deep in water as they waded ashore from a landing craft  with its caption, ‘D-Day: Allied soldiers and medics wade ashore’ was outed within minutes of its posting on Twitter as showing a US landing on a beach in Dutch New Guinea (now in Indonesia), and the design had to be abandoned.

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (39)

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My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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Don’t Break Up the NHS

January 4th, 2019

As the holed and bloody NHS logo under Jeremy the Vulture suggests, the NHS has been subjected to a long and brusing campaign of privatisation by the coalition and Tory governments since 2010 (and New Labour before then didn’t help.)

Many of us have found that our NHS clinics and services have been taken over by companies including Richard Branson’s Virgin Healthcare, and more and more of our NHS services are being moved into the hands of private companies, with even some NHS hospitals being run by them – though at least one has been returned to the NHS when the private company found it couldn’t make enough.

The process of privatisation has been carried out largely by stealth through various reforms by politicians who mouth about the NHS being safe in their hands while selling off parts of it to companies owned by party donors, friends and relatives and deliberately failing to cope with many of the real problems of the system.

One of the latest of these back-door privatisation schemes is the ICP contract. The Health & Social Care Act 2012 forced competitive contracting onto the English NHS, resulting in the wasting huge amounts of time and resources on competition and tendering processes. NHS England want to plaster over the obvious failures of this by adding another layer of contracting, the Integrated Care Provider contract, rather than getting rid of the system which has failed.

Brexit comes into all of this through the hope by some leading Brexiteers that after Brexit we would be able to offer the US a trade treaty which would enable American healthcare companies to take over much of our NHS as an incentive to get advantageous terms for British companies trading with the US.

The introduction of ICPs would break the NHS into smaller business units which would be competed for by private sector organisations. The plan is being driven by NHS England under CEO Simon Stevens, previously a senior executive of the giant US healthcare and health insurance company United Health Group.

The Carillion failure shows the danger of such contracting arrangements, where a failure of a ‘lead provider’ with multiple sub-contracters has led to thousands of job losses, abandoned major projects (including part-built hospitals), poorer services and great public expense.  Similar arrangements with multiple levels of contracting also made possible some of the failures which made Grenfell Tower a deathtrap.

We need – in the NHS and elsewhere – to move towards simpler systems and eliminate the many unnecessary and costly levels of management. Huge amounts too are wasted on consultancy fees. There is a kind of cult of management which bears no relation to its actual utility and too often it gets in the way of efficient working of organisations rather than facilitating it, often by forcing unsuitable structures in a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

I’m not an expert on the ins and outs of ICP, for which I suggest you look at the National Health Action Party’s page Reasons NHS England should scrap the draft ICP contract. The party and most of the speakers at the protest were professionals with years of experience in the NHS who are appalled at the privatisation which has taken place.

Among those who came to speak at the event was MP Eleanor Smith, a former NHS theatre nurse and Unison President, whose private members NHS Reinstatement Bill was due for its second reading later in the day, calling for the re-nationalisation of the NHS. 

Public services campaigning group ‘We Own It‘ had come to the event with a petition with 31,870 signatures to scrap the ICP contract, a large number considering the rather technical nature of the scheme, and after the rally the campaigners marched to the Dept of Health to hand in.

More pictures at Scrap ICP Contract, Keep NHS Public
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There are no adverts on this site and it receives no sponsorship, and I like to keep it that way. But it does take a considerable amount of my time and thought, and if you enjoy reading it, a small donation – perhaps the cost of a beer – would be appreciated.

My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

To order prints or reproduce images

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