ISSUE 53 WINTER 2006-07

Peace Matters Index


ONLINE contents

- turn off the lights
- mince pies and missiles
- making room for peace
- in harm’s way
- positive response to conflict
- action for peace where you live
- playtime in the Lotz ghetto
- new kind of warfare

- compled issue pdf

Boys with their toys
The new face of war
Uncrewed planes such as those
increasingly used by the US
military may soon be flying
over Britain.
Cover story

If reports are to be believed, the Army is so strapped for cash that soldiers based in Britain have been told to take extended leave over Christmas and to be sure to turn off the lights and heating at barracks and offices.
Thousands of soldiers working for units that provide back-up at home for troops working in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas actions have been warned that money must be saved over the three-week holiday period. Military sources said the more radiators, lights, computers, faxes and printers that could be turned off, the better it would be for the budget which is now straining to keep within the designated expenditure limits.
One army officer who returned to his office this week discovered the heating had been turned off. ‘It was freezing, so I went home,’ he said.

action: military and education

The Story of Greenham Common Ground. David Fairhall. 2006.
Whether the Greenham Common protest against nuclear weapons was before your time, whether you were an active participant, a male sympathiser or whether the whole episode was a remote event ‘Common Ground’ makes, depending on your relation to the event, interesting, evocative, and entertaining reading.
Fairhall paints a vivid picture of life at Greenham, from the excitement of night time raids on the missile base to the humiliation of imprisonment, from the hardship of repeated evictions to the delight in the wide support for the camps.
While the cruise missiles left Greenham Common17 years ago as today’s government seem set to replace its ‘ageing’ nuclear weapons ‘Common Ground’ offers more than a chance to reminisce; it offers a chance for reflection on the effectiveness of ‘anti-nuclear’ actions. Its last chapter consisting of answers (largely predictable) from a wide range of people to a number of questions Fairhall posed, nonetheless make challenging reading.

hope for the future?

A recent survey of newly-appointed head teachers asked which management styles they felt to be most effective.
The most popular style was typified by Mahatma Gandhi, who led a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience in India against British colonial rule. In contrast, only about one in 10 heads approved of the ‘coercive leadership’ model of Winston Churchill.
Head teachers supported a shared style of leadership which was democratic and involved other members of staff. In contrast, the Churchillian model was about ‘focusing attention on one central figure’.
‘Coaching and democratic styles enable headteachers to work with others to bring about improvements to schools that are sustainable over the long term,’ says Alison Kelly of the National College for School Leadership, the national centre for professional training for senior school staff. ‘Sharing leadership in this way can develop leadership potential throughout the school, and beyond into the education system as a whole,’ she said.
In a millennium poll in 2000, Mahatma Gandhi was voted the greatest man of the past thousand years by readers of the BBC News website.


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