Labour’s Clive Lewis accuses nuclear unions of being ‘voice for big business’ Corbyn ally says unions are failing to speak up for renewable energy because they do not have members in that sector. Clive Lewis, the former shadow secretary of state for energy, singled out GMB for being too close to the nuclear lobby and said it was not speaking up for renewable energy because it did not have members there. He also questioned why unions “fight to the bitter end” for the arms industry. His comments reflect tensions within the Labour movement over union support for nuclear power and a nuclear deterrent. GMB, Unite and Prospect have tens of thousands of members in the nuclear and arms industries. Corbyn has called for a “nuclear-free world”. He said unions had thrown their weight behind plans for Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power plant to be built in the UK for 20 years. “That is one of the reasons that a big song and dance and hoo-ha about solar wasn’t made by the unions and yet they are getting staunchly behind Hinkley,” Lewis said. He told a 60-strong audience at an event organised by Labour EnergyForum that the Labour movement needed to do more to get involved in the renewable energy sector. GMB has confirmed that its 3,000 members working at Sellafield in Cumbria will go on strike on Wednesday over a pay row.
Guardian 26th Sept 2017 read more »
Labour calls for councils to take over energy system. Shadow energy secretary, Alan Whitehead sets out vision of decentralised energy.
Utility Week 26th Sept 2017 read more »
Rebecca Long Bailey “we promised to take the radical action needed to tackle climate change, and ensure that 60% of our energy comes from low carbon or renewable sources by 2030. To support projects like Swansea tidal lagoon and Moorside nuclear plant”
Labour Party Press Release 26th Sept 2017 read more »
In just one word of support – “Moorside”- Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, , speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton on Tuesday, undermined the progressive energy policy outlined by her colleague, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, in his own keynote speech to the same conference on Monday.
David Lowry 26th Sept 2017 read more »
Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell made an important re-statement of Labour’s plan to radically reform the UK energy supply and services delivery system. He told the Conference: Labour will ensure we become world leaders in decarbonising our economy. With a publicly owned energy supply based on alternative energy sources. Where the Tories have dithered and delayed, to deliver zero-carbon electricity, we will absolutely commit for example to building projects like the Swansea Tidal Lagoon. Ours will only become an economy for the many, if we significantly broaden ownership. That means supporting entrepreneurs, small businesses, the genuinely self-employed and massively expanding worker control and the co-operative sector.”
Dave Lowry’s Blog 25th Sept 2017 read more »
John McDonell’s speech to the Labour Conference came out with a lot of green sounding rhetoric on renewable energy but the commitments are vague and potentially fatally undermined by what could well end up as a commitment to centralised re-nationalisation of parts of the energy system. Now I’m all in favour of the community owning our energy system provided it is local people – city councils, cooperatives, local not for profit companies, but not centralised nationalised industries. These aren’t things that are controlled by the public or the Government, on the contrary they control the Government. This can be seen most graphically in the case of EDF, about which I talked in an earlier blog post. Really, one should not trust Labour’s commitments, as vague as they are, as far as you can understand them, which isn’t very far. I read John McDonnell’s speech and the only renewable energy source mentioned was a tidal lagoon plant in Swansea. What about wind power or solar power? No mention – but, wait for it, whilst Jeremy Corbyn was busy saying he would cancel Hinkley C (really?), his junior energy spokesperson was busy telling people they would support a different nuclear project at Moorside.
Dave Toke’s Blog 26th Sept 2017 read more »
Naomi Klein: It’s been such a privilege to be part of this historic convention, to feel its energy and optimism. Because friends, it’s bleak out there. How do I begin to describe a world upside down? From heads of state tweeting threats of nuclear annihilation, to whole regions rocked by climate chaos, to thousands of migrants drowning off the coasts of Europe, to openly racist parties gaining ground, most recently and alarmingly in Germany. I applaud the clear stand Labour has taken against fracking and for clean energy. Now we need to up our ambition and show exactly how battling climate change is a once-in-a-century chance to build a fairer and more democratic economy. Because as we rapidly transition off fossil fuels, we cannot replicate the wealth concentration and the injustices of the oil and coal economy, in which hundreds of billions in profits have been privatised and the tremendous risks are socialised. We can and must design a system in which the polluters pay a very large share of the cost of transitioning off fossil fuels. And where we keep green energy in public and community hands. That way revenues stay in your communities, to pay for childcare and firefighters and other crucial services. And it’s the only way to make sure that the green jobs that are created are union jobs that pay a living wage. The motto needs to be: leave the oil and gas in the ground, but leave no worker behind. And the best part, you don’t need to wait until you get to Westminster to start this great transition. You can use the levers you have right now.
Red Pepper 26th Sept 2017 read more »