|Issue 6 - June 1972|
Ah well! Here we are again - a couple of weeks late due to being skint, but we've made it. Anyway, once again we think it is time to put ourselves in a clear relationship with the paper. Every issue we write an 'Editorial' but we do not have an editorial policy as such. Someone has to do the day to day organisation of the paper, and somebody has to get the paper together: and that's us. Doing that means that we have to be the ones to choose which articles to print, what artwork to put in, who to get it all from, etc. Basically we try our hardest - not always totally successfully, but well ...! - to avoid being censors. We have to make some decisions about what goes in the paper, but we try to do it on the grounds of quality, local relevance - we are, after all, a north-eastern community newspaper - and inevitably our personal opinion. We try to put as much as possible in the paper, and we try not to inconvenience our artists too much. But, sometimes we have to cut things, or shorten them, or reject artwork. Our only 'editorial policy' is to print what we get. And if we do have to chuck things out, no-one of us ever makes a decision on his own. We try not to be power crazed. Anyone involved in any way with Muther Grumble is in on any decision that is taken while they are around. And we're always open to having more people around - there's too much to do as it is.
Muther Grumble as an organisation is becoming quite effective in its own way. The paper ... well, make your own decision. We are getting our info more and more together, both advice and knowledge - and someone has introduced a system to us to classify it. So Maurice has been condemned to a month's bureaucracy getting it all together in the right order. The Durham City Claimants' Union has its home here and a lot of us have become actively involved in it. Also Rich is sorting out legal odds and ends and building up a legal info / help / advice service with, for example, a list of friendly solicitors. (Do you know any?) We are also in the process of starting a mail order book service with some pretty unusual and hard to come by literature.
Please ask us for anything - we may know and be able to help. Anyway we can try and find anything out. Also, please send us info etc etc. MG gets more efficient only through feedback. Get in contact. The more people we know and who know us, the better MG will be.
We try to be aware of the balance of what goes into Muther Grumble. We try not to have too much of the content of any issue on one subject. But on looking back over the six issues of MG, there is a lot of stress on pollution, the environment, planning etc. This is largely deliberate. We are all very aware that pollution is one of the major factors controlling our survival and the survival of our children. Closely linked to this is the belief that the people responsible for so-called 'planning' are in a position to have an immense direct effect on the present quality of our lives. Think of how the new motorway will affect the lives of the people of Newcastle. Think how the development of Teesside affects a huge number of people without much apparent thought for their general welfare and happiness. It happens all over, the whole time. That is why we will go on plugging environmental issues - showing up some of the scandals, and generally trying to spread a truer sense of responsibility among all of us and awareness of the importance of the position of polluters and planners alike.