Putting Old Issues on the Web
I started out scanning and saving individual pages. But with upgraded software, I was able to turn a complete issue into a PDF. For those issues where I had placed individual pages, these are left as a separate web-page.
I’ve extracted as web pages those I considered most relevant after 30 years. Plus my long-running Newsnotes, much of which is of limited interest now unless you want to know the history. And really you need to know the history in order to navigate the future.
A few Newsnote items I found particularly interesting are also placed as individual web pages. Suitable for collection by topic, which I plan to do later.
Articles on topics like the NHS, Education or Industry were excellent at the time, but things have changed so much that their current usefulness is limited. Likewise many discussions of Labour Party politics. But discussion of why the left failed in the 1970s to 1990s remain relevant.
My older articles are signed Madawc Williams rather than Gwydion M. Williams. I also used the pen-names Michael Alexander, Dan Ackroid and Walter Cobb: (MA, DA, WC.) Partly this was when few others were writing. But my Contract of Employment included a clause about ‘not bringing the company into disrepute’. This can mean whatever they want it to mean, even though I worked in IT and no customer was likely to know my name. But a previous job of mine suddenly vanished after I published stuff critical of the ludicrously foolish policies that led to the First Gulf War. If that was covert action by British Intelligence, it would have been highly typical of British Intelligence. I might have lost commitment had I kept my nice job in London, and a modest and convenient flat whose value since I sold it has inflated to nearly half a million.
Whether I would have kept honest if tempted remains unknown: no one at all thought me worth tempting. And as far as I know, no one was even sharp enough to steal the interesting findings I published about Marx and Engels being against even a democratised Parliamentary system. (Parliamentary Democracy Downplayed in the Communist Manifesto and How Marx and Engels excluded Parliamentary Democracy from the Communist Manifesto.
Regardless, I had from the start used pen-names for some items that might have caused trouble. I did not suppose I could fool anyone who seriously wished to know, nor did I seek this. But it would be hard to claim that ‘disrepute’ was caused by a pen-name never used at work.
I admit some bias towards my own stuff. I’ve done the work, after all. Anyone else is welcome to do their bit.
For anyone who cares about a particular article from a placed magazine that does not have a web page, I could send you a Word file of the whole magazine, produced by scanning and with most of the words correct. Or you could make it yourself from the PDF if you pay the right fees to Adobe. Then send me a neat copy in Word and I will add it to the Labour Affairs website. Or you could post or blog it yourself, so long as you include a link back to our website.