Can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change?

In a week of fracking irony, can the Labour Party reclaim the future from catastrophic climate change, asks Sam Mason?

It’s a decade since the Labour Party pioneered the ground-breaking Climate Change Act 2008. A rare moment of political consensus forged in the centre ground of New Labour and Tory beyond ideology visions of the ‘modern market economy’.  Responses to climate change if anything, are ideological in their economic and political basis and absurd that solutions can be left to the market waiting for signals.  Surely the scientific signals that we have twelve years to stabilise emissions are paramount and reassuringly something the Labour Party are finally addressing opposing the dogma of the market.  But is the party ready to “reclaim the future” with a transformative and ideological vision as Rebecca Long-Bailey said in her keynote speech at the party conference in September?

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Important victory in the fight against fracking

There was a lively crowd outside the High Court on October 17, showing solidarity with the 3 anti-fracking protestors, Simon Blevins, 26, Richard Roberts, 36, and Rich Loizou, 31, who were appealing their sentences of up to 16 months after being convicted of causing a public nuisance at the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road, writes Terry Conway

Supporters were jubilant later in the day to hear that the men were to be freed, after the Lord Chief Justice ruled that an “immediate custodial sentence in the case of these appellants was manifestly excessive”. Given that they had already been in custody for two weeks, he granted them a conditional discharge.

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Step up the fight to stop fracking at Preston New Road

Its all been happening at and around the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road over the last couple of weeks.

On September 26th, three anti-fracking activists, Richard Loizou, Richard Roberts and Simon Roscoe Blevins, were jailed for terms of as much as 16 months for their part in direct action on the site in July. Last week they announced they were going to appeal their sentences, some of the most draconian ever meted out to people taking direct action in this country.

The Campaign against Climate Change is organising this letter of support from trade unionists – sign up here.

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The people v the richest man in Britain

Jim Ratcliffe, newly crowned by The Sunday Times as the richest man in Britain, is being given a run for his money by a vibrant anti-fracking campaign in North East Derbyshire, writes Peter Allen. Ratcliffe is the founder and principal shareholder of INEOS and wants to undertake fracking on green belt land near Eckington, in the hope of obtaining a cheap source of gas for his chemical plants.

‘JR’ has been unable to persuade the local community that fracking would not only be in his own financial interest but would also benefit the local economy and society .Frustrated by what he considered to be an unreasonable delay on the part of Derbyshire County Council in responding to his request for planning permission for an ‘ exploratory well’, he appealed directly to his friends in government. Planning permission is no longer being left to locally elected politicians. Instead there is to be a public inquiry to consider the proposal, beginning in Chesterfield on June 19th. Anti fracking campaigners are hoping for a large turnout from protesters on that day.

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Fracking, climate change and the labour movement

The anti-fracking struggle is well alive in the UK and protesters across the country have made the headlines with their brave resistance against this extreme method of extracting gas by pumping large amount of water, sand and chemicals into the ground. Many communities supported by environmentalist and climate campaigners are resisting the fracking industry and the labour movement is playing an increasing role in supporting those struggles, writes Clara Paillard.

The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership included a ban on fracking as part of its 2017 General Election  programme.
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