Tag Archives: green

Labour conference votes to nationalise energy firms in defiance of Starmer

Keir Starmer: his own entitled arrogance led to this defeat.

More-Tory-than-Tories Labour leader Keir Starmer stood humiliated after his party conference rejected his refusal to re-nationalise energy firms.

Labour is now mandated to bring all the privatised franchises back into public ownership, in line with the wishes of the general public – and Starmer will just have to lump it.

Nationally, 53 per cent of the public want energy firms re-nationalised while only 15 per cent oppose the move.

But let us be clear that this is not just a backlash from the ‘Labour Left’; it is a decision by a majority of delegates from all sides of the party’s so-called ‘broad church’.

It is also a hilarious turnabout – and loss of face – for the Labour leader who was exposed as a liar only hours earlier, when he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that he did not believe in nationalisation, contradicting his own pledge to party members when he was seeking election as leader.

Labour delegates on the conference floor voted overwhelming in favour of a “socialist green new deal” motion – explicitly backing public ownership of energy companies. The motion also called for the creation of millions of green jobs and publicly-owned green investment banks.

Perhaps Starmer should have showed less entitled ignorance to a Green New Deal activist he brushed off on his way to the party conference, earlier:

It’s a performance that takes arrogance to a shocking level. This Writer would defy any Labour supporter not to be angry after watching it.

And that is Starmer’s problem: more and more Labour members are getting angry at his treatment of the rank-and-file, grassroots party as though they exist merely to serve him and his elite chums.

This vote is a wake-up call, and the message is clear.

It says: “No. You do what we tell you.”

Sadly, I don’t think he has the brains to recognise it.

Source: Labour delegates vote to nationalise energy firms in defeat for Keir Starmer | The Independent

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Why would Johnson apologise for ‘mine closure’ comments? He wanted to offend you

Great minds think alike: I was going to put together an image with the caption “Johnson is the pits” but someone got there before me – the Mirror, by the look of it.

The worst part of Boris Johnson’s comments on pit closures is not their crass insensitivity – it is the clearly-stated intention behind them.

Even the Tory-supporting BBC couldn’t hold back from commenting that “He is reported to have laughed and told reporters: ‘I thought that would get you going.'”

He had said:

“Thanks to Margaret Thatcher, who closed so many coal mines across the country, we had a big early start and we’re now moving rapidly away from coal altogether.”

He wanted to cause offence with his claim that Margaret Thatcher helped the environment by closing coal mines in the mid-1980s.

He knows perfectly well that she was no environmentalist; she wanted the mines closed in order to break the power of the unions. It was part of her plan to put millions of people out of work, because this would give employers the whip hand in wage negotiations (they would tell any applicant who wanted more that there were plenty of other people seeking a job).

Predictably, the Tory-supporting BBC has supported Johnson’s claim with a sidebar by “environment analyst” Roger Harrabin (who?) claiming that Thatcher had a point because she told the UN that greenhouse gases were “changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways” – in 1989.

That was five years later – an eternity in which she and her advisers had enjoyed plenty of time to dream up an excuse for the pit closures that plunged so many lives into poverty, uncertainty and despair.

Harrabin’s comment, “Her pit closures were not part of a green policy, but they did fortuitously show the UK could prosper without coal,” was as insensitive as Johnson’s. Tell that to the families of the mine workers who lost their livelihoods, and who are still struggling, even today!

Who exactly does Harrabin mean by “the UK”? Bosses of our big-business energy firms? But, they’re all foreign executives, most of whom work for the governments of EU countries. Privatisation led to shares in the formerly-nationalised energy industry being bought by those EU-based concerns.

Johnson, of course, is still claiming that the UK has Brexited itself away from giving money to the EU but this is clearly untrue.

Representatives of opposition political parties have demanded a retraction from Johnson – whose government has supported the opening of the UK’s first new coal mine in decades, in Cumbria.

So he was lying about switching to green power.

And let’s face it – he doesn’t care about offending people. He thinks it will boost his reputation among… a certain section of the British public.

Remember the other shocking things he has said:

Remember his Brexit campaign, when he lied that the NHS would be given £350 million a week? That investment might have done us all some good, prior to the coronavirus crisis but it was never going to happen because the Tories have been running the NHS down to make it ripe for privatisation – which would have made the UK even less capable of handling Covid-19.

Remember when he tried to make a joke of the massive loss of lives in the Libyan city of Sirte during that nation’s civil war? Or when he had to be stopped from inappropriately quoting a colonial poem by Kipling in Myanmar?

Remember when Eddie Mair, on BBC Radio 4, read out a litany of Johnson’s racist behaviour, to the dismay of Amber Rudd?

When Johnson refused to condemn widespread police violence against civilians in Catalonia?

When he spoke nonsense about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Parliament, and the Iranian government used it to threaten her with an extra five years in prison, beyond the five she was already serving on a trumped-up charge?

When he was reprimanded by then-Commons Speaker John Bercow for referring to Emily Thornberry in “frankly sexist” terms?

When he praised Viktor Orban on his election win in Hungary after an anti-Semitic campaign?

His sexist and Islamophobic comments about women who wear the burqa?

The racist poem he published, saying that Scottish people were a “verminous” race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated?

His racist assessment of the French as “turds“?

His reference to gay men as “tank top-wearing bumboys“?

His question about Irish PM Leo Varadkar: “Why isn’t he called Murphy like the rest of them?”

His clueless claim that hard work can cure mental illness?

His relaxed attitude to his MPs abusing women?

His lie that the NHS would get 20 hospital upgrades, starting in his first week as prime minister – that he then edited out of a video?

His obscene description of then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn?

Let’s also add to it his apparent reluctance to go into Covid-19 lockdown last autumn, saying, “Let the bodies pile high in their thousands.”

Put all that together and you know Johnson won’t apologise for this latest outrage?

Why would he? He’s a serial offender.

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Labour is losing young voters to the Greens – because of Starmer

Not for the young: flag-shagging Keir Starmer has turned young voters away from the Labour Party.

How tragically revealing.

Admittedly this has to come with the caveat that the pollster is the Tory-run organisation YouGov.

However, the size of the numbers suggests there’s something in this.

They show that Labour’s share of the 18-24-year-old vote has plummetted by 21 points (from 56 per cent to 35 per cent). It seems all those voters have gone to the Green Party.

There’s a good reason for that…

Let’s be honest. We can name the reason in two words:

Keir Starmer.

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Labour challenges Johnson government to ‘Build it in Britain’ creating 400,000 new jobs

 

How pleasant to be able to report on something positive the Labour Party is doing.

The ‘green economic recovery’ was a Corbyn initiative, of course.

Ahead of this month’s Comprehensive Spending Review, Labour is calling for an economic recovery that will deliver high-skilled jobs in every part of the UK as part of the drive towards a clean economy. It is also calling for the low-carbon infrastructure of the future to be built in Britain.

Labour’s calls follow an extensive consultation with businesses, trade unions and other stakeholders around what a credible green recovery should look like, which received almost 2,000 responses. The consultation indicated that the Government must:

  • Recover Jobs
    By bringing forward planned capital investment and dedicating it to low-carbon sectors – at least £30billion in the next 18 months – as part of a rapid stimulus package to support up to an estimated 400,000 additional jobs.
  • Retrain Workers
    By putting in place an emergency training programme to equip people affected by the unemployment crisis with the skills they need for the future greener economy.
  • Rebuild business
    By creating a National Investment Bank similar to those operating in other countries, focused on green investment, and by ensuring that public investment always aids the drive to net-zero rather than hindering it.

The consultation report details a number of areas where progress has so far been limited in the UK, but where action now would support the creation of new jobs and tackle the climate and environmental crisis. They include:

  • Investing in upgrading ports and shipyards for offshore wind supply chains.
  • Expanding investment in Carbon Capture and Storage and hydrogen to help establish new opportunities for highly-skilled workers.
  • Accelerating planned investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and ensuring the planning system better supports electric vehicle charging.
  • Bringing forward orders for electric buses to help struggling manufacturers fill their order books.
  • Introducing a National Nature Service, an employment programme to focus on nature conservation projects.
  • Expanding energy efficiency and retrofit programmes, including in social housing.
  • Ensuring that updated Sector Deals for sectors like automotive, steel and aerospace protect jobs and promote the shift to net zero.
  • Bringing forward flooding protection investment, prioritising areas of need across the North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

These should be delivered within a wider strategy that also meets the UK’s overall infrastructure needs at the upcoming Spending Review.

Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

“We face a jobs emergency and a climate emergency. It’s time for a bold and ambitious plan to deliver hundreds of thousands of jobs which can also tackle the climate crisis.

“This is the right thing to do for so many people who are facing unemployment, the right thing to do for our economy to get a lead in the industries of the future and the right thing to do to build a better quality of life for people in our country.

“As other countries lead the way with a green recovery, Britain is hesitating. It’s time to end the dither and inaction, and start delivering now.  It is what the British people deserve and what the crises we face demand.”

Anneliese Dodds MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“Labour is ambitious for Britain. We can harness the opportunities for green growth if the Government takes the right decisions now.

“In recent years, and particularly during this crisis, our country has fallen behind in the drive to a cleaner, greener economy.  We’ve seen far more rhetoric than action – and that has cost our country jobs.

“Future generations will judge us by the choices we make today to tackle the unemployment crisis and face up to the realities of the climate emergency.

“That’s why we need coordinated action to support 400,000 jobs of the future today, not tomorrow. Now’s the time to build it in Britain.”

Source: Labour challenges government to ‘Build it in Britain’ and support 400,000 new jobs with green economic recovery – The Labour Party

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Is Dominic Cummings championing ‘air scrubber’ tech to starve more viable green projects?

Dominic Cummings: if he’s trying to rehabilitate his rep after the Rose Garden debacle, this might not work.

It seems Dominic Cummings’s plan to pump £100 million of public money into “air scrubber” technology is intended to help the bosses of energy companies that pollute the UK in the first place.

The “direct air capture” technology would use metal “air scrubbers”, to chemically strip carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The excess carbon could then be stored safely underground.

Here‘s a graph, courtesy of The Times:

There’s just one catch: it currently costs nearly £500 to extract a single tonne of CO2.

So if all the cash the Treasury has apparently devoted to the project went on scrubbing the air alone, it would extract only £200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

In 2018, the UK’s carbon footprint – the amount of CO2 emitted in the country – was 364 million tonnes.

In other words, the amount that would be cleaned is negligible compared to the amount emitted.

Meanwhile, it seems this expensive, long-term scheme is diverting investment away from more realistic near-term solutions.

So what’s going on here?

Is Cummings really trying to help?

Or is he sucking cash away from greener solutions, while trying to give polluters an excuse to carry on stinking up the planet?

Source: Technology which ‘sucks’ excess CO2 from the air could hurt UK’s green ambitions

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Is Vox Political on this Home Office list of left-wing ‘extremism’?

Take a look at this:

The Home Office has lumped together left-wing groups and green campaigners with neo-nazis and white supremacists in literature and posters supposedly designed to educate officers about extremism.

The Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) document has categories including white supremacist and nationalist groups, left-wing and “associated single issue groups,” animal rights groups, and environmental campaigns.

The left-wing and environmental groups listed include the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Stop the War, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Greenpeace.

Let’s have a poll:

Source: Left wing? You may be on police extremism list | Morning Star

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Labour lays down the green energy gauntlet with interest-free loan plan for electric cars

While the Tories – and other right-wingers around the globe – are still messing up the planet with fossil fuels, Labour has announced a game-changing plan to democratise ownership of electric cars.

A Labour government will offer loans of up to £33,000 to low- and middle-income households, people in rural areas, independent contractors and small-to-medium-sized businesses, to buy electric cars.

The intention is to provide clean transport for everyone, with 2.5 million interest-free loans; the government would cover the cost of interest.

And the scheme would boost the national grid, as everyone receiving a loan would be required to participate in a mass trial of “Vehicle-2-Grid” technology.

Electric cars will store energy when demand is low – during the night when the wind is blowing but people are asleep, for example – and discharge into the grid when energy use peaks -in the evening as people arrive home from work. This smooths out demand and reduces reliance on gas-driven power stations.

The plan was explained by shadow chancellor John McDonnell:

“This will stimulate the automotive industry. It will sustain jobs in the conversion from fossil fuels to electric but actually it will create new jobs as well.

“So this is beneficial in terms of the climate, [and] it is beneficial for those people who want to convert their carbon-fuel powered car into an electric vehicle that is sustainable.

“At the same time, it will help support the automotive industry and create jobs. Those jobs are in areas where we have had real issues, particularly with Brexit.”

The plan has been announced to contrast with the Conservative government, which has been slammed repeatedly, including by the Society of Motor Manufacturers, for scrapping support for electric cars.

Labour’s plan seems much better all round, it seems.

Source: John McDonnell announces interest free loans for electric cars  – The Labour Party

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Here are a few highlights we can expect from the Labour conference

This weekend, Labour Party members and supporters meet for their annual conference. What can we expect to hear announced at that event?

Here are just a few possibles that have been trailed in advance:

1. A Labour government may scrap the hated Universal Credit altogether.

“Labour is poised to back scrapping Universal Credit as part of a major shift over the Tories’ notorious six-in-one benefit. It comes after a year-long review by Labour found the UC brand is “toxic” and needs “transformative change”. Labour’s previous position was to “reform” UC… But multiple party sources said scrapping it, and replacing it with a fairer system, is now seen within Labour as the “direction of travel”.”

2. A Labour government’s ‘green revolution’ may plant a million trees to counteract the NHS’s carbon footprint.

“An “NHS forest” of a million trees would be planted at hospitals across the UK under a Labour government as part of the party’s plans for a green revolution. Under proposals due to be outlined at the party’s autumn conference, Labour will say it wants to plant the trees at hospitals to battle pollution and counteract the NHS’s carbon footprint.”

3. Labour may rid itself of one of its greatest detractors – by ending the ‘deputy leader’ post.

“Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will vote … on a motion that would remove the party’s barnacle-like deputy leader Tom Watson – by removing the deputy leader post altogether.”

Despite vowing to support whoever became leader when he was elected deputy in 2015, Mr Watson has spent the last four years determinedly undermining Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Now, after one mass exodus of centrists (Labour right-wingers opposed to Mr Corbyn) to other parties like the Liberal Democrats, and with more set to depart at the next general election, Mr Watson may find himself isolated – and removing the ‘deputy leader’ position is a means of silencing him.

Indeed, Mr Watson’s removal could be the big event of the conference.

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What he thinks they want to hear: Farage attacks Royals in speech to far-right Aussies

What a drip: He might be a big hit with foreign Conservatives, but this is how British people see Nigel Farage.

This is typical populist behaviour. Nigel Farage told Australian Conservatives what he thought they wanted to hear.

So he praised up the Queen, but then attacked other Royals for social justice and environmental campaigns because he knew that this would be popular with his audience.

Did he mean what he said? Who cares?

The only thing that matters to Mr Farage will be the effect his words had on his audience – that they leave their conference believing what he has told them about the UK, and that he is their ally.

He’s drumming up support from rich foreigners.

Nigel Farage has derided the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their “irrelevant” social justice and environmental campaigns while abusing Prince Charles and describing the late Queen Mother as an “overweight, chain-smoking gin drinker”, in an incendiary speech to an Australian rightwing political conference.

Farage’s speech to Sydney’s Conservative Political Action Conference – from which media were barred – ranged across his views on Brexit, media bias and the United Nations, but he reserved his fiercest condemnation for members of the royal family, including princes Charles and Harry, and the Queen Mother.

Source: Nigel Farage attacks Harry and Meghan, jokes about ‘overweight’ Queen Mother | Politics | The Guardian

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Why have Plaid and the Greens given way to right-wing, pro-austerity Lib Dems in by-election?

As a resident of Brecon and Radnorshire, I find it strange that apparently left-wing parties like Plaid Cymru and the Greens are not fielding candidates in the by-election – because they are supporting the right-wing, pro-austerity, pro-privatisation Liberal Democrats.

Does that make any sense to anyone at all?

Sure, Plaid and the Greens want the UK to remain in the EU, which is the Lib Dems’ current vote-grubbing pose, but the leaders of those parties must know that giving the yellow peril another MP will only make it more likely to propose another coalition with the blue meanies (that’s the Tory Party to the uninitiated).

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said his party’s decision was intended to “coalesce support for the remain side in Wales”. But this reasoning doesn’t work.

A win in Brecon and Radnorshire would give the Liberal Democrats just 14 MPs – not enough to exert any effective influence over whether the UK stays in the EU or leaves it.

Did you hear any reports of the Liberal Democrats swaying any of the Brexit votes that Parliament has already held?

No. Neither did I.

These party representatives – and their voters – are either living in a unicorn-chasing fantasy land or they are deliberately misleading the public.

And in the meantime, nothing is said about the policies that directly affect the well-being of people in one of the UK’s most deprived rural constituencies.

What will a Liberal Democrat MP do to ease the burden caused by cuts to public services? Nothing – Liberal Democrats supported Tory austerity for five long years.

What will a Liberal Democrat MP do to help people struggling to make ends meet because they are on Universal Credit? Nothing – Liberal Democrats helped the Tories introduce the failed scheme that takes money away from claimants more often than giving it out.

How will a Liberal Democrat calm uncertainty facing businesses because of Brexit? She won’t – and this is crucial. Jane Dodds will not be able to influence business reactions to Brexit in any way at all.

It’s time voters in Brecon and Radnorshire woke up to the fact that they are being fed a line of propaganda.

A choice between two right-wing, austerity-loving, privatising neoliberal organisations is no choice at all – and the Brexit Party is a bad joke, as Ann Widdecombe proved this week.

If only there was a party standing in this election whose policies actually stood up for ordinary people, bolstered the fabric of our society, and made sense of the confusion over Brexit.

Oh, but of course there is!

It’s the party nobody in the mass media wants to talk about.

In Brecon and Radnorshire, Labour is the party for you.

Source: Pro-remain parties strike byelection pact to fight Conservatives | Politics | The Guardian

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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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