Tuesday, 1 November 2016

a social democrat fantasy world?

The Guardian has a slightly better record than most other English national newspapers in reporting on green political issues, but it all too often it misunderstands and misrepresents them. Zoe Williams does this in her article on the Richmond by-election, (“Division haunts the left. Richmond is our chance to lay it to rest” 31/10/2016), when she writes of “…the unions and the greens on opposite sides, one fighting for jobs, the other for the climate.” Perhaps she has not heard that the TUC advocates a ‘just transition’ to a low carbon economy whereby workers can change employment from industries that contribute to climate change to those that help to reduce its impacts. 

Maybe she is also unaware of the “1 Million Climate jobs” publication by the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union group which sets out a detailed, credibly researched, argument detailing how a ‘just transition’ could be brought about; at least 8 major unions have supported the production of this plan. 

I could go on and cite other instances of Unions and greens making common cause over such issues and I have no intention of glossing over the fact that there are disagreements on some points, including airport expansion. However the matter is more complicated than a simple binary opposition of ‘greens versus unions’. I thought I might find some recognition of this in a Guardian opinion piece.

Yrs. sincerely

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