Thursday, 11 June 2015

a moratorium is not a ban (not published in the Guardian)

Peter Murry                                                                Saturday, 06 June 2015

The Guardian has given lots of coverage recently to Labour party soul searching about losing the election and what it has to do to revive its fortunes. My own unsympathetic opinion is that Labour misses the point on major issues and seems determined to continue to do so.  Andy Burnham is reported, (, stating that “A moratorium on fracking should be imposed until stronger scientific evidence can show it is safe to drill for shale gas,..”. Even safe fracking, which is most likely impossible anyway, extracts fossil fuels that are the major contributor to human caused climate change.

Not only does a senior Labour figure apparently not understand the need to take effective action on THE major issue currently facing humanity; but Labour also offers no real alternative to Tory austerity economics. A programme of public investment and job creation to build a low carbon infrastructure in the UK might be a start.

Surely the job of an Opposition is to offer alternatives to government policies. If Labour continues not to do this it will continue to haemorrhage support to parties and organisations offering real alternatives to human caused climate change and austerity economics.

Yrs etc P.Murry, Secretary, Green Party Trade Union group


I’d like to thank Lesley and other supportive commenters on the letter of mine which  The Guardian did not publish, instead today they published several letters, none of which as far as I can see addresses the fact that fossil fuel extraction contributes to climate change.
The prize for sheer blinkeredness should. Imo, go to by Gary Smith GMB union and
Ken Cronin UKOOG (“We are United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG). We represent the onshore oil and gas industry.”(

This letter contains the following gems “Having access to gas is a matter of national security. Our homes and large parts of British industry need gas; any suggestion to the contrary is just not the real world.” And

“Gas also provides high-skilled employment for many hundreds of thousands of people in this country and this has the potential to increase still further.

 The letter writers presumably refer to a “real world” where climate change isn’t happening, not like the one we actually live in then? Moreover arguing for something on the grounds that it “has the potential to increase still further.” is risible, bubonic plague, war and climate change itself all have the potential to increase and that does not mean that we should let them do so, if we can help it. “High-skilled employment could and should be provided by the creation of jobs building a new low carbon economic infrastructure.

This is the ‘just transition’ which the TUC and the Green Party both advocate.
I should add that inspite of this inane letter; I fully support the work of the GMB in defending its members’ pay and conditions, including their future employment. I supported them when they represented the Brighton bin-men against the incompetence of a Green council . In this instance this letter just makes them look stupid and short sighted and as an honest friend I have to tell them so.

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