Meet Jim Duffy, Stop Hinkley's Co-ordinator and Press Officer
Spotlight on Jim Duffy
Weekly Views, Burnham & Highbridge Weekly News, March 29th 2006
STOP HINKLEY campaigner Jim Duffy was born near Manchester of Irish parents. As a teenager he became interested in green issues and a life-long vegetarian.
He developed a career in psychiatric nursing and specialised in psychotherapy using various approaches including analytic, drama therapy and art therapy. He pursued this work in Bridgwater and as a Senior Nurse taught modern methods to qualified staff in West Somerset. Later he worked in a prominent London unit.
In the 1990's he changed direction in life, quit his career and sailed his yacht to the Greek islands. En route he met his wife, Karalina, from Belarus, the country most affected by Chernobyl. They lived in Paris for two years and now live in the village of West Quantoxhead with their two daughters aged eight years and 18 months.
Jim has been a local anti-nuclear campaigner for most of ten years, achieving success in shutting down a nuclear incinerator and later the ageing Hinkley Point 'A' reactor. He highlighted local health issues by commissioning cancer studies suggesting a link between radioactive discharges and extra breast cancer in Burnham.
Currently he is campaigning to stop any more reactors being built.
1) What do you think is the best and worst thing about the place you live in? I enjoy the sea views and local woodlands where I walk our Collie, Brandy. But it's a bit quiet socially and culturally.
2) What do you think is the best thing and worst thing about your job? It's great when we achieve something, especially publicity for issues we feel are important - it feels as if we're breaking through the fears and secrecy around the nuclear industry. But occasionally I experience hostility from nuclear people.
3) What item in the news has particularly interested you this week? I was saddened to see the violence after the elections in Belarus. Their president has also squashed much information about Chernobyl.
4) If you could meet anybody, dead or alive, who would they be? I very much admire Prem Rawat who teaches meditation and inner peace.
5) If you were king or queen for the day, what laws would you pass? I'd bring about an end to nuclear power but encourage every aspect of sustainable living from localised energy to cruelty-free farming and a more holistic health service.
6) Who is your hero and why? I like Ghandi's courage and sensitivity.
7) What is the most important thing to you in your life? I think it's important to find a connection with your deeper self, to keep 'on track' while life can be wobbly sometimes.
8) If you had one million pounds to spend, how would you do it? Millions of African people seem desperate for help just to survive - that must be a priority.
9) What has been the most important event to you so far this year? A close elderly relative has switched from living independently to being hospitalised and may go into long-term care.
10) What do you think this year holds for yourself? I expect to be busy campaigning against mistaken proposals to build more nuclear power stations.