Socialist Worker

Letters—Unions should boost climate fight, not back nuclear power

Issue No. 2773

Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Connecticut, US.

Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Connecticut, US. (Pic: pedrik/Flickr)


I believe the NEU union was wrong to support the GMB’s motion on climate change at this years TUC congress.

The motion contained within it support for nuclear power.

Nuclear power should be opposed.

It creates nuclear waste which remains active for tens to hundreds of thousands of years.

There is no safe way to store this waste and most is currently stored above ground in facilities that are running out of space.

Moreover, nuclear power increases the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As more states develop the infrastructure for nuclear power, their capacity to build nuclear weapons similarly develops.

Letters - Don’t be fooled by the false promise of nuclear jobs
Letters - Don’t be fooled by the false promise of nuclear jobs
  Read More

Investment should be switched to renewables such as solar, wind and tidal power and not to the powerful interests behind nuclear.

The nuclear industry shouldn’t take the funding that ought to be going to wind, solar and tidal.

The GMB argues that we need to “save British jobs” in nuclear.

But a just transition would see investment in green industries and job creation.

All trade unionists need to do all they can to build the movement against climate change and mobilise for the protests around Cop26.

Jess Edwards

NEU executive member

 

  • The climate resolution passed by the TUC is bad for the climate. Its support for nuclear and gas is a vote against a transition to renewables.

Nuclear is a very poor match for renewables because of its inflexibility.

Nuclear only provides base load power which is supplemented with gas generation.

Nuclear is not renewable energy because it forms an integral part of a fossil fuel energy system.

The choice is either renewables with energy storage or gas with nuclear.

You can’t have both and the TUC has voted for the latter

John Sinha

North London


Betrayal in Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Labour council has approved a new shopping mall on the historic Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, east London.

The area—feted as Bangla Town—is the centre of Tower Hamlets’ large Bangladeshi community.

On Brick Lane: tracing East End history
On Brick Lane: tracing East End history
  Read More

The markets, food stalls and curry houses have also attracted many visitors and tourists in the past.

But recently, Brick Lane businesses have been struggling, exacerbated by Covid restrictions. Some shops are derelict and restaurants have closed.

Brick Lane and the community need real help, but the proposed five-storey office block and shopping mall will undermine any chance of meaningful recovery.

Following a vigorous campaign, and 7,000 letters of opposition, the council deferred planning permission last year.

Detailed alternative plans, focusing on the needs of small businesses and residents, have been drawn up.

Tower Hamlets council has ignored this in favour of modest adjustments made by the owners of Truman Brewery. They’ll grant a little more space to local businesses alongside a mass of high street chains.

Their new mall will likely lead to rent rises and a loss of culture.

Yet again, Labour defers to big business, riding rough-shod over the communities they are meant to serve.

Rob Hoveman

East London


Reality of social care is grossly exploited workers

I work in social care in Derbyshire and visit service users at home or in care settings.

I see every day the commitment and care of the staff who support them. This is a skilled and diverse workforce on low pay and working very long hours.

Most work in the private sector, where care is a business and produces profits for those who own and run the companies.

People are often on zero hours contracts or insecure work

The Tory plans to increase national insurance contributions for working class people mean these same staff will pay even more.

The service users who rely on them have contributed throughout their own working lives as well.

They deserve to be cared for when they get sick, are older or need help.

This is a vile attack that can be resisted—tax the rich instead.

Jane Hindle

Chesterfield


Action now as LGBT+ hate crimes soar

It’s 2021, and LGBT+ people still face oppression, stigma, and violent attacks.

Last month a gay couple, Rob and Patrick, were violently attacked with glass bottles by a mob of men in Birmingham’s Gay Village.

The appalling hate crime included homophobic slurs that were hurled at them.

LGBT+ spaces also face attacks with a rainbow arch at Milton Keynes Pride set alight by homophobes recently.

Since Brexit chaos led by the right, homophobic attacks have risen a huge 147 percent.

Racist and Islamophobic hate crimes have also risen within these five years, suggesting that all kinds of marginalised people have been negatively affected.

Acts of violence against transgender people have also risen, partially due to more exposure and visibility.

Unfortunately with higher visibility, we have received more backlash from many who want to oppress transgender and non-binary individuals.

This includes some of the vocal trans-exclusionary feminists and gender criticals.

It seems that with a right wing government in place, these attacks are on the rise and almost nothing is being done to stop them.

Alex Bright

Black Country


Trespass will be celebrated

“Time for another trespass movement?” asks Julia Richardson as the Police and Crime bill threatens to make trespass a criminal offence (Letters, 8 September).

“It’s already happening” is the answer from the 1,000 marchers who celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Winter Hill trespass in Bolton. In 1896, marching in their thousands, people successfully defeated the landlord in his attempt to put his grouse before people’s right to roam.

We need to do this again.

Geoff Brown

Manchester


Don’t forget pension hit

Facing the prospect of having to increase the state pension by 8 percent next April, it’s no wonder the Tories recently trashed their triple lock policy.

It followed that in order to do this quietly it rushed through its social care programme.

It worked. There has been very little media coverage of the effect the ending of the triple lock will have on pensioners, and the fact that pensions will now rise by only 2.5 percent in April.

The value of Britain’s state pension is still among the lowest in the developed world.

A recent Commons briefing on pensions showed Britain at 30th position in a table of 36 countries.

Alan Gibson

East London


Feminism and imperialism

Criticism of Judy Cox’s article (Letters, 8 September) is unfounded.

“Imperial feminism” is an accurate description of the phenomenon of supporting the allies in their vicious wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is done by claiming that these wars are fought in part to liberate Afghan women.

As Judy Cox explains only a handful of women were actually helped in this regard.

Jamie Rankin

St Martin d’Uriage, France


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