Monday, 30 August 2010

Blue Truck, Green Truck Update

See my article Blue Truck, Green Truck, this blog, 13 May 2010 for the background to this article.

Further to my earlier posting, US District Judge Christina Snyder has now ruled that the Port of Los Angeles is within it`s rights to implement a Clean Trucks Program. The Program makes trucking companies responsible for maintaining their own fleets of  `clean` trucks, reducing pollution levels etc. The American Trucking Association had contested the Port`s right to introduce such a program, but failed to convince the Judge.

The decision was welcomed by the Natural Resources Defence Council, The Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports and by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who stated that this was "real progress" and described the CTP as "a model for ports around the nation."

The American Trucking Association has accepted the verdict, but has launched a further lawsuit, contesting the Port`s right to insist that firms directly employ their drivers. At present, many firms depend heavily on a network of nominally independent self-employed drivers, roughly equivalent to the arrangement many catalogue companies in the UK have with self-employed couriers.

The following websites may be of interest ;


This blog will be carrying rather fewer topical articles in the future, as I simply don`t have the time needed for checking facts, keeping up to date with new developments. However, if you`re interested in community-based campaigns, charities, environmental groups etc, you may like to visit Angel Pavement at .

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Illustrated by Yaffle

The Labour Publishing Company Ltd was formed in 1920 at the suggestion of G D H Cole, at a meeting of a group called the Labour Research Department. Apparently, Cole had been approached by the economist J M Keynes with the suggestion that the LRD publish a book Keynes had been working on. In the event, that did not happen, but the seed had been sown in Cole`s mind.

Also present at the LRD meeting which approved Cole`s decision were George Bernard Shaw and Beatrice Webb.

The company was beset by problems from the outset, but managed to survive from 1920 - 1929. In 1926, they published a short play, Foiling the Reds or  The Heart of a Labourer by a playwringht using the name `Yaffle`. The play seems to be a satire on UK industrial relations at the time, though the playwright`s introduction to the LPC`s  published version of the volume is so studiedly ironic as to potentially confuse the reader as to his/her intentions.

Be that as it may, my main reason for penning this short article is to introduce you to the artistry of one `Flambo`, whose excellent work adorns this volume. Here are a few samples ;

Sadly, I`ve been unable to cast any light on the true identities of Yaffle and Flambo. It is true, apparently, that the children`s TV character Professor Yaffle (from Oliver Postgate`s TV series Bagpuss) was based on G D H Cole, but as far I know, this is just co-incidence.

At present, we do have a copy of Foiling the Reds on sale (3553 in our listings, but as I say, my main interest today is purely to introduce you to the excellent artwork. If anyone can cast any light on the identities of Yaffle and Flambo, I`d be interested to hear from you.