Alton Webteam: February 2017
A generation or so back in time, one of my grandsons and I made a nostalgic trip to Newcastle on Tyne. My grandson because he had graduated from the University there, and I because in the 1930s I had served an apprenticeship in the workshops of the North Eastern Marine Engineering Company. Through contacts we had at the University, we were able to visit many of the places in Northumberland which we knew of old. One day, I found myself standing on the concrete floor of a huge workshop where I must have stood in my greasy overalls and cloth cap all of 86 years ago!
I had noticed, however, that the office from which our guide emerged was labelled 'Human Resources Manager'. There was no such person in my day. The foreman's nod at the factory gate was the usual means of getting a job. Whatever the intention had been as a job description however, I did not like the term 'human resources', as if there was no difference between the stream of people coming in at the front gate and the stream of raw materials coming in at the rear.
More recently, in January 2017, there was a re-screening on TV of the appalling scenes witnessed by British Army photographers as they moved into the death camps of Belsen and Buchenwald towards the end of WWII. Seeing corpses being dragged along by former guards and thrown into pits was unimaginably revolting. Of dignity or respect there was not a scrap of evidence.
Such events follow when common humanity is replaced by a doctrine or ideology of racial or social discrimination and the treatment of people as things. Whatever changes new technologies bring to the way we do things and the environment we do them in, do not let them destroy our precious common humanity and change us into mere robots ourselves.
P.S. Winter is still with us, and I have about 20 boxes of firewood weighing about 8Kg each for sale at £1 for a charity of your choice. Phone 593757.
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