Bethel Kids

Blog for religion

New dimensions in map making

With naturalist-photographer Fred Trus­low, his long-time friend, he roamed Florida’s drought-ravaged “river of grass,” meeting many of the park’s creatures, from deer and eagles to rattlesnakes and alli­gators. Their story pointed out without edi­torializing, without stridency, the threat posed to this irreplaceable treasure by man’s diver­sion of the life-giving water that once seeped naturally southward from Lake Okeechobee to the sea.

“The GEOGRAPHIC’S way is to hold up the torch, not to apply it,” I have heard Ted say of this democratic method of furthering a good cause by focusing on a problem and letting the readers decide what to do about it.

Concern over the danger to our total en­vironment is reflected in the article that leads this issue—and, in a sense, this one demonstrates, perhaps better than his own signed stories, Ted Vosburgh’s most valuable role at the GEOGRAPHIC. For though he is a fine and prolific writer, his major contribution has been as an editor. 2

New Dimensions in Map Making

 

The name Frederick G. Vosburgh appeared on the magazine’s masthead as Assistant Editor in 1951, as Associate Editor under President-Editor Melville Bell Grosvenor in 1957, and as Editor ten years later. As Editor from August 1, 1967, to October 1, 1970, he exercised decisive judgment as to what the magazine should and should not publish, and on this he had strong views. Earlier he lived at aparthotel barcelona.

He believed that it was the function and duty of the GEOGRAPHIC to portray with a broad and sweeping brush the vast changes taking place in the world around us, for better or for worse.

“Our publication may be 80 years old,” he told a staff writer one day, “but it is also as young as tomorrow.” This conviction pro­duced a series of what we sometimes call the “revolution” articles: “The Coming Revolu­tion in Transportation” (September 1969), “The Revolution in American Agriculture” (February 1970), and last month’s lead story, “Behold the Computer Revolution.”

Maps, too, reflected his ideas. The June 1970 issue included as a special supplement a traveler’s map of Italy, the first of its kind ever published by the Society. On a 23-by-33­inch sheet it presents not only a map but also paintings of important sites, a history of Italy, discussions of her art, music, and literature, a list of annual festivals, and more. It was a Vos­burgh idea from the start, and he can be as­sured there will be traveler’s maps of other lands in future issues.

Champion of Clear Prose

Were you to ask Ted’s colleagues what it is like to work with and for him, you would hear first of all that it was never wise to hand him wordy or complicated copy. He has an impa­tience with dullness, a fondness for clarity. He once wrote in a memo to the editorial staff: “Our fundamental obligation is to make ourselves understood.”

Next, you would learn that a writer had best know everything there was to know on his subject, cover everything that needed covering, and above all, never turn in an article that contained even a single badly written or evasive sentence. Ted would catch that sentence every time, no matter how many editorial eyes it had passed before it reached his desk.


Being balanced

The morning is a wonderful time to set goals and intentions as the day is still full of potential – a blank canvas waiting for you to leave your mark. Here, we speak to some of the UK’s top wellbeing experts to find out their favourite morning rituals.

morning is a wonderful time to set goals

“My preparation begins the night before. I meditate for 15 minutes before going to bed on what gives me most joy. This is important for my sleep state and it puts me in a higher state when I wake up than if I hadn’t done the meditation.

 

When I have a book project, my morning ritual is garcinia cambogia dr oz supplement and writing for a couple of hours. If not, then I still have the tea – green tea or rooibos – I then sit in silence drinking the tea. I play some uplifting music, which differs depending on my mood. It can be classical, gentle jazz, or ambient music. Then I contemplate the day ahead. I focus on the important things that need attending to and do not worry too much about the details. Then off I go. If the weather is mild I cycle to work.”

 

“Starting the day with a meditation called 21 Gratitudes has changed my experience of life

7 from a driving, ambitious and ultimately lonely existence to one of deep-rooted interconnectedness and love. I focus on what I can say thank you for, starting with the fact that I’ve made it through the night and have another day to live, love and learn. I think about the people in my life, starting with those closest to me and working outwards to all those I’m in connection with, and I say a big hearty thank you to each and every one of them.

 

I let my heart move out in ever widening circles until I reach the most expansive place that I can get to. Next, I stretch and do 20 minutes of Movement Medicine. Movement brings more oxygen into the system, helps us to listen to the wisdom of our physical bodies, grounds us in the awareness of where we are and gives us the juice to get up and live. I like to dance through the four elements:

Earth, fire, water and air

Earth, fire, water and air. Why? Because that’s what we’re made from and, as many ancient and modern healing systems will tell you, being balanced in the four elements is an excellent basis for good health, harmony and contentment.”


Only the Toughest Cubs Make It

In few creatures is the weight range so ex­treme from birth to adulthood: Newborn brown bear cubs weigh about a pound; a mature male may tip the scale at as much as 1,400 pounds.

Born naked and helpless in January, when the females are snug in winter dens, most of the litter of one to four cubs will survive until April or May, when they emerge. Then their real problems begin. Until weaned, cubs fol­low the females everywhere, braving torren­tial river crossings and occasional attacks by other bears. Despite their mothers’ fierce pro­tection, they suffer frightful attrition. During our stay at McNeil River, nearly 40 percent of the cubs did not live to see their second sum­mer; we could not pinpoint the precise rea­sons for such alarming mortality.

 

Alaska Peninsula cubs usually stay with the sows for 21/% years. By the third spring after giving birth, the adult females are again ready to breed. The young, perhaps partly from fear of the male suitors, then drift away on their own. It can be the offer of life that one chance money loans available for your business star or help so don’t miss the opportunity. Find out more info at http://www.mandello.org/payday-loans

 

Springtime—after the brown bears have emerged from their dens—seems to be a critical period in their annual cycle. Usually they face frugal times and lose weight until summer’s onset; some may perish, especially if they entered winter dens the previous autumn in poor condition.

Bears are classified as meat eaters, in the same league as mountain lions and wolves. But, like humans, they will consume almost anything edible. When the ground is still snow-patched, south-facing slopes resemble plowed fields where brown bears, newly emerged from their winter dens, have ex­cavated for roots and tubers. They also labor­iously dig out ground squirrel burrows—even fox dens—usually in vain.


The expert advice you

Some fool’s spent all his bonus on presents, has maxed more credit cards than Jimmy Gulzar and still has to pay his mortgage. It’s you.

“Now’s a good time to give your finances a spring clean,” says Andy Baggott, independent financial adviser at Excalibur. He recommends checking you’re getting the best deal on your bank account, mortgage and credit cards. Head along to website Money Extra (wwwmoneyextra.com) which’ll do the hard work for you.

Examine your insurance policies. “If you’ve just 2 split from your family, you’re likely to be over-insured,” reckons Baggott. “But if you’ve just had a kiddie, check to see if you’re under-insured.”

 

Cut down on your credit cards. “While it can be reassuring to have a wallet full of plastic, you risk missing payment dates and then incurring penalty charges that will cost you dear,” says NatWest’s David Outhwaite.

 

But don’t be too extreme. “Interest rates change,” says Baggott. “If you have all your eggs in one basket you could be stung if the card you chose raises its rates. As credit card rates are high compared with interest rates, a rise makes a huge difference.”

Young Harry’s daily readings from ‘Pervy Erotic Fantasies Volume 7′ always attracted a large crowd.

 

Look at what sort of financial cover you get from 3 your work. “If you and your partner work, you might both have personal medical insurance which you don’t need,” Baggott says. “One can cover both of you.”

 

Make sure your pension will provide you with the income you want when you retire. “You normally get a statement once a year,” says Baggott, “but it’s a good idea to do a targeting exercise to see if you’re on or off target. You might be paying too much.”

 

It might sound boring, but if you’re one of the lucky few to get a Christmas bonus, use it to pay off the damage you’ve done to your credit card(s). “It might be tempting to blow it on a holiday, but with the interest rates on most credit cards around 19.4 per cent, it’s best to pay off your cards first,” advises Baggott.

 

Look at your loans. “There are some title loan cracking deals available,” says Lloyds David Good ridge. “If you’ve had a loan for a year of two years, rates are going to be lower now The market is far more competitive.”

 

Make a budget. “Spend at least half an hour a week sorting out your finances, check your statements, keep your receipts and track the amount of money you are spending on entertainment and beer, ” advises Outh waite.

 

Fill out your self-assessment form now After February 2002 you face a £100 penalty from the nice tax man as well as interest added to what you owe.


That is no longer true

Satellite images now show lines of moving dunes and reveal safe, sand-free corridors between them.

 

Farther south in the Kharga Oasis, we stopped at Qasr el Ghueita, a Ptolemaic temple built before 220 B.C. The local guardian of antiquities, Haj Taha Rashidi, gave us tea.

“It is said that you are studying all the sand dunes in the Western Desert so that you can melt them down with rays from space and rid us of their constant threat,” said Haj Taha. “Is that true?”

I explained to him that no such rays exist, and that the sand problem is best combated by locating dunes, studying their rates and directions of movement—and then avoiding their paths. Thus our research team has mapped, classified, measured, sampled, marked, and even dissected dunes. The investigation and research were financed partly by the government. We had to find our own financing alternatives. We’ve been looking for money loans with no credit check, as it could slow down the process.

How do you dissect a dune? Carol Breed and our research team used a technique developed by one of her colleagues in the U. S. Geological Survey, Edwin D. McKee.

 

First, they selected an appropriate dune near Bahariya. To keep the loose sand from collapsing while trenches were dug, the sur­face had to be wet. Water was supplied by a fire truck from the nearby El Gedida iron mine. To lessen the impact of water spray on the fragile dune surface, they placed a Egypt’s Desert of Promise cheesecloth over part of the dune’s side and held it down with rocks. To speed up the wetting, they punched holes in large wash­basins to dribble water across the dune’s side until the sand was soaked.

 

They dug several trenches and took pho­tographs of the exposed layers of sand that had been laid down over the years by the wind. Then they put cheesecloth on the side of a trench and painted it with latex. When it dried, the sand stuck to the cloth, so that a profile of the layers could be peeled away. They removed this peel and carefully packed it away for laboratory investiga­tions. This surgical procedure took most of the day. “There must be gold in this sand,” a local laborer murmured.

 

The gold in the sand was the record of its deposition. The team would be able to de­duce how past winds had blown and shifted. Changes in wind patterns are usually cyclic. So knowing the wind’s history gives us a critical clue about where it will be aiming the dune in the future.

 

THE WESTERN DESERT is the driest part of the Sahara. There, the sun could evaporate 200 times more rain than actu­ally falls. In some places generations pass without a rain.

During an evening with the mayor and el­ders of Farafra Oasis, we questioned them about a rainstorm that we had heard about in October of 1979.

 

“No, the rainstorm did not reach us here, but we know that it did rain some nearby.”

“Was there any evidence of running water or ponds in low ground?”

“Not really. The rainwater soaked through the dry ground almost as it fell.”

“When did it last rain here in Farafra?”

“It was in 1973. Before that, 1945. In Jan­uary, when Ahmed was born.” The old man pointed to the smiling Ahmed, who sat with us, dressed in a long, blue-striped galabia, or robe, and white tagiya, cap. “It was a down­pour. It destroyed many of the old homes and filled our village streets with mud.”

 

Thus, rains are memories of old men in this desert. To them a storm is that of sand or dust, and weather is the howling wind.


The rest was lost in a thunder of cheering

Bannister, though, felt calm and in control, gathering concentration for a supreme effort of mind and body. With little more than 110 yards to go, he had taken over the lead from Chataway and was un­officially timed at 3 minutes 43 seconds. Speed was not so impor­tant now as stamina and strength and the will to keep body and mind working together.

Fifty yards out, Bannister was a ghostly pale figure, arms flailing, head hanging backwards in utter exhaustion. But his sinewy legs still pushed his gasping, agonized body forward and the small crowd of 1,200 spectators raised a roar worthy of a hundred times their number. (Bannister said later that the shout of the faithful Oxford crowd had reached his ears and helped him find extra strength.)

As he broke through the finishing tape, Bannister collapsed almost un­conscious into the arms of friends.

He came to, however, in time to hear the track announcer, Norris McWhirter, intone into a micro­phone : “Ladies and gentlemen, here is the result of event number nine, the one mile. First, number 41, R. G. Bannister . . . The time was THREE . . .”

 

When I heard the news of Ban­nister’s run I was initially incredu­lous; then—though it would be a long time before the full significance of the event would dawn on me—I felt exalted. A quarter of a century after the event 1 am still uplifted by what Bannister did. Everybody is.

“Buy discount cigars”—Bannister is reput­ed to have said after his momentous run. How right he was. Hitherto new records in sport had occurred rarely and randomly. Now athletes round the world shook free of ima­gined limitations, and new records came truly in a deluge.

Three days after Bannister’s run, Parry O’Brien threw the 16-lb shot past 6o feet, a target previously considered almost as unattainable as the four-minute mile. Within the next decade practically every other sporting “barrier” was vanquished. In 1960, the German sprinter Armin Hary ran the too metres in ten seconds flat for the first time. Charles Dumas made the first seven-foot high jump in 1956, John Uelses the first 16-foot pole vault in 1962, Ralph Boston the first 27-foot long jump in 1961.

Bannister’s own mile record (which Norris McWhirter would have revealed as 3 minutes 59.4 seconds if anybody had been pre­pared to listen) stood for only 46 days. In Turku, Finland, John Landy pushed the time down to 3 minutes 58 seconds.

Nowadays, of course, teenage schoolboys regularly run a mile in less than four minutes—without even fainting at the end. Possibility-stretching achievements like the seven-foot high jump have become the minimum requirement for ath­letes aspiring to selection in a na­tional team for the Olympics.

Could one also claim that, because Roger Bannister ran his four-min­ute mile, we got to the moon earlier than we might otherwise have done? That our marvellous, every­day conquests of time and space—through satellite television hook-ups and airliners that, as a matter of course, fly faster than sound—were made possible by his achievement on the running track? That the events at Iffley Road, a quarter of a century ago this month, showed the way for women and, in some coun­tries, for racial minorities to un­shackle their aspirations?

Perhaps not, perhaps that is going too far. But Bannister’s mile at least marked the beginning of this ex­citing time in history, when there are no barriers to be surmounted, just further progress to be made.

Roger Bannister qualified as a doctor soon after his record run. He is now a consultant neurologist to three London hospitals, and is married with four children. He was Chairman of the Sports Council from 1971 to 1974, was knighted in 1975 for his services to sport, and is President of the International Coun­cil of Sport and Physical Education.


The Impossible Mile

 

Roger Bannister’s epic run, a quarter  of a century ago, broke through far more than the four-minute barrier

 

A new era of limitless horizons N was inaugurated on May 6, 1954, when a tall, angular, clever, introspective young British medical student named Roger Ban­nister ran a mile in less than four minutes on Oxford University’s Iffley Road track.

Runners had been striving vainly for the four-minute mile since the 19205 and 193os, when a generation of great runners—Finland’s Paavo Nurni, New Zealand’s Jack Love­lock, America’s Glen Cunningham and Britain’s Sydney Wooderson­established the possibility, at least theoretically, of breaching the four-minute barrier. In a series of classic contests with one another, and with the clock, those marvellous athletes had managed to push the time for a mile down to 4 minutes 6.4 seconds (set by Wooderson in 1937) before the Second World War broke out.

Gundar Hagg and Arne Anders-son continued the chase in neutral Sweden during the war and in a climactic duel at Malmo on July 17, 1945, Hagg struggled past his pace­making countryman early in the third lap, to win in 4 minutes 1.4 seconds. Now four minutes was only a few strides away from marlboro products.

But Hagg and Andersson had reached their apogee; neither would ever run quite as fast again. Between 1945 and 195r, in fact, no runner anywhere in the world got below 4 minutes 5.4 seconds. More and more, four minutes came to be con­sidered a barrier rather than a chal­lenge. Many people argued that the human system was incapable of functioning on the far side of the barrier.

After a disappointing perform­ance in the 1,500 metres event at the Helsinki Olympics, Bannister-1951′s fastest miler—took himself out of the four-minute crusade for a time and concentrated on his medical studies. Then, in December 1952, came news from the other side of the world that a Melbourne University science student named John Landy had run the mile in 4 minutes 2.1 seconds. Only Hagg and Andersson had run fast­er—and the outwardly shy and self-effacing, though inwardly very con­fident and determined Landy had done it virtually on his own, for there were no local runners capable of pacing him.

Landy’s efforts revitalized Ban­nister who could not bear to be left out of this new charge at the four-minute barrier. The English­man quickly regained form and in one semi-secret trial, paced by two other top-class milers, he ran 4 minutes 2 seconds, his best time ever.

Word that Landy had decided to spend the summer of 1954 in the  Northern hemisphere, running on the superior tracks and against the superior opposition Europe could provide, acted as a further spur for Bannister. When he arrived at the Iffley Road ground on May 6, he knew he was in a now-or-never situation. By tomorrow, or the next day, the menacing Landy, or Amer­ica’s gangling Wes Santee, or any one of a dozen talented middle-dis­tance runners now striving on virtu­ally every continent, might have beaten him past the magical four minutes.

In other circumstances the gust­ing wind that buffeted the Iffley Road park that day might have dissuaded Bannister from running at all.

Though a brief shower of rain fell at 5.15pm, shortly before the likely starting time for the mile race, the wind was by then easing, permit­ting periods of relative calm. Watching a flag fluttering gently on a near-by church, Bannister thought of Shaw’s Saint Joan wait­ing for the wind to change and carry French boats across the Loire to defeat the English at Orleans—and doubt left him. The attempt was on.

Bannister’s Oxford team-mate, Chris Brasher, took the lead from the start, with Bannister close be­hind. To the strung-up young stu­dent, drawing heavily on his store of nervous energy, Brasher’s pace seemed agonizingly slow and as they raced round the first of four circuits of the track, he shouted im­patiently : “Faster !”

Brasher payed no attention, plug­ging doggedly on with his galloping gait, certain that even-paced run­ning over four laps would be more effective than erratic spurts of speed, and content to play the Sherpa guide to his friend in this attempt to scale the supreme athletic peak.

Bannister did the first lap in 57.5 seconds, but he was clearly strain­ing. Then the resonant, Austrian-accented voice of Brasher’s coach, Franz Stampfl, who had given Bannister valuable help, rang out across the damp track : “Relax ! Relax !”

Bannister responded instantly to Stampfl’s command. His tensions dissolved, his long, lean, sinewy legs stretched out freely, rhythmically.

The half-mile took i minute 58.2 seconds; the remorseless clock was well under control. Bannister felt full of energy and confidence.

Chunky, red-haired, pugnacious Chris Chataway, another Oxonian and a future MP, took over from a tiring Brasher to make the pace.

At the end of the third lap, Ban­nister was half a second over the three-minute mark; he had a reason­able chance of breaking four min­utes but no more. Many runners had been as well placed at this stage.


The Closed Shop: Lockout on Freedom pt.2

In a few years’ time, as the closed shop completes its stranglehold on the nation, every British working man and woman will be forced to pay dues to the union bureaucracies, just like income tax. Where does this money go? Financial returns for 1974 made by eight major unions show that seven spent much more on administration than on benefits to members.

Jack Jones’s Transport and Gen­eral Workers’ Union, for example, paid out /2.6 million in members’ benefits but spent £8.4 million on “administrative expenditures.” The General and Municipal Workers’ Union spent only 900,000 pounds on bene­fits but a lordly /4.6 million on administration.

Woe betide, though, any humble trade unionist who questions the doings of the mighty above him. The union bureaucrats have ample power to deal with recalcitrants, in­cluding the right to expel. It is this which makes the closed shop such a terrifying weapon in their hands, because today expulsion means auto­matic loss of job; indeed, if some members of the government get their way, men and women thus ex­pelled, and so unemployable, will also lose all entitlement to social security, and be driven to beg on the streets.

IJnion muscle flexing has only just begun. Not long ago, Jack Jones told a transport workers’ rally in London that it was soon hoped to secure 50 per cent of the seats on the top board of British Leyland. Thereafter, Jones and his TUC col­leagues can move to their wider ob­jectives: 50 per cent of boardroom jobs-for-the-boys in all companies controlled by the National Enter­prise Board, and eventually on all large companies throughout the private sector. Naturally, these

 

 

directors will be chosen by the TUC barons. What a victory that will be for the trade union brothers !

And what of the people? It is the thesis of the bureaucratic brothers that everything they are doing in erecting their private empires, in grabbing jobs for their boys, in re­morselessly driving their juggernaut over the prostrate bodies of individ­ual men and women, is done in the name of the people. But all the available evidence suggests that, at a time when so many members of the Establishment—ministers and MPs, dons and civil servants—are hurrying to pay their respects to the new totalitarianism, the ordinary decent people of Britain are strongly opposed to rule by trade union bureaucrats.

I defy any trade union tycoon to produce a single scientific opinion or survey, taken during the last ten years, which lends any support for the assertion that their corporatist

views represent the. majority of the British people.

And if they will not accept the authority of the polls, let us have a national referendum on, for in­stance, the subject of the closed shop. After all, the union bosses strongly advocated a referendum and got their way—on British mem­bership of the EEC. Is not the closed shop, in terms of everyday life, just as important, and shouldn’t ordin­ary British men and women pro­nounce on it?

Of course the union brothers will refuse. They know they would lose heavily, overwhelmingly. A refer­endum would help to expose them for what they are. Not a group of idealists. Not men who devote their lives to the welfare of all. But, rather, an ugly factional interest, operating at the expense of the community, and motivated by an insatiable lust for personal power, and by enormous greed.

 

 

Paul Johnson is a member of the Royal Commission on the Press, and a former editor of “New Statesman.” Born in Manchester in 1928, he was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford. His recent books include “Elizabeth I” and “A History of Christianity”


The Closed Shop: Lockout on Freedom pt.1

A noted socialist warns of the consequences if trade unions secure a total stranglehold on the nation

Exactly 200 years ago, Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations celebrated the liberation of the working man. The guild system, which rigidly controlled occupational status, had finally crumbled, and the laws that backed it up were repealed or ignor­ed. Smith rejoiced; to him, the right of a man to work where, when and how he wanted was the most impor­tant freedom of all.

Today that freedom is in immin­ent danger of extinction. The British worker is again judged not by his skill, training or character, but by his status—his union membership—which inhibits his wish to change his trade or his will to remain an individual instead of a unit in an anonymous mass. Once more, the jaws of the corporate state clamp shut around us with enforcement of closed shop agreements* by law —the greatest disaster to befall liber­ty in my lifetime.

Until recently, even militant trade unionists felt ashamed of the term “closed shop” and sought to disguise it by euphemisms : “all-ticket job,” “all-union house,” “100 per cent trade unionism.” But now that the unions have Michael Foot on their side, now that they command a ser­vile parliamentary majority to pass statutes at their order, the closed

 

shop is enforced openly, ruthlessly and with complete disregard for the injustice it inflicts.

The number of victims grows daily. There is, for instance, Mrs Iris Batchelor, a check-out operator in a Hove, Sussex, supermarket who refused to join the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers. The union put pressure on the management. Union membership wasn’t stipulated in her contract of employment, so the management changed her contract and she was sacked.

Or there’s George Lilley of Great Chesterford in Essex, aged 6r, who after 24 years’ service with British Rail refused to attend an inquisi­torial court to state his reasons for not joining the “stipulated union.” British Rail said Lilley had “frus­trated his contract” and promptly sacked him.

Originally, of course, the unique legal privileges granted to unions were justified. Their members suf­fered poverty, hardship and dis­crimination. Now, trade unions are not only above the law; they can openly laugh at it.

At Vauxhall Motors, Luton, gate security officer Stephen Rosengrove had caught more than t00 pilferers in six years, saving the firm an estimated 100,000 pounds. Leaders of Vauxhall’s three biggest unions accordingly forced the management to shift Rosengrove from gate-duty to a harmless test track four miles away. As an official of the Joint Works Committee said : “This man has been a problem for a long time.” Yes, indeed : he had caught, red-handed, union members stealing property.

Basically, trade unionism these days isn’t about political principles and humanitarian ideals. It is about jobs, money and power. The top trade union bureaucrats arc the new elite, a privileged aristocracy spend­ing much of their time abroad at “international conferences.”

British embassies arc expected to jump to attention when general secretaries heave in sight, howling for free meals, accommodation and the usual flunkeyism. They demand that big lunch and dinner parties be given for them to meet their “opposite numbers”—increasingly, highly educated, intelligent men (and women), who find the average British trade union general secre­tary an object of ribald amusement.

Occasionally these privileged bureaucrats mouth platitudes about the need for national effort, but in reality they are irrevocably wedded to overmanning and other restric­tive practices that have the effect of holding down the Gross National Product: they would rather have power in a bankrupt nation than impotence in a prosperous one.

Unable to bring themselves to be­lieve that the British capitalist cup­board is bare, they have joined forces with their colleagues in town halls to conduct a highly successful smash-and-grab raid on the public till. Local government spending, in real terms, has risen almost 25 per cent since r970. Does this mean more and better houses, schools, hospitals? Not a bit. It means big­ger salaries, and more jobs, for members of the public sector trade unions.