Blogs

Why we should celebrate the fracking moratorium - and fight for more

Guest post by Kim Hunter, Frack Free Scarborough (writing in personal capacity)

Late last Friday night, Britain's Tory government announced an immediate moratorium on fracking until it finds 'compelling new evidence' the industry won't have 'unacceptable impacts on the local community'.

Anti-fracking activists cried with relief, then uncorked the wine, told long-suffering family members they would finally spend quality time together and started organising well-side parties. And then they took to social media to question the Tories' integrity. 

They have none. 

Boris Johnson hasn’t suddenly become an ‘uncooperative crusty’ (as he called XR activists). He hasn't, after all, made 'people and planet before profit' the guiding principle of his election manifesto. The moratorium doesn’t include other forms of unconventional oil and gas, not even processes like acidisation, which in 2015 were excluded from the definition of fracking by political sleight of hand. The fracking moratorium falls into the same category as other populist pre-election measures.

But it is fracking that Johnson chose to sacrifice on the altar of his party's political ambition. He hasn't decided to renationalise the railways, or raise the minimum wage to £10 an hour. Fracking must fall because campaigners have so completely menaced the industry, so thoroughly countered its attempts to create positive PR, that it has become a political liability.

Trade union leaders stand with XR on right to protest

The decision by the Metropolitan Police to ban Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London is an attack on civil liberties, and ignores the urgency of the climate emergency facing us. The use of Section 14 to enforce this ban is especially worrying.The right of assembly and protest is an important one that has been fought for by campaigners, the Labour movement and trade union movement over many years.

Historic day – TUC passes support for a 30-minute workday campaign action in solidarity with climate strikes

Guest post by Sean Vernell, University and College Union National Executive Committee

The TUC passed, unanimously, the composite motion calling for a 30-minute workday campaign action to coincide with the global school student strike on the 20th September. It is the first time that the TUC has called on its 6.5 million members to demonstrate support for school students taking action. Indeed, it is the first time in many years the TUC has called on its members to demonstrate its collective power in solidarity with anyone. 

The trade union movement has a great debt to pay to the school students for transforming the debate over climate change and making it one of the main priorities amongst working people.

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