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Letters—Scotland failing on climate target as Cop26 approaches

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Issue 2760
An Extinction Rebellion protest at the G7 summit. There will be more protests at the Cop26 event
An Extinction Rebellion protest at the G7 summit. There will be more protests at the Cop26 event (Pic: Extinction Rebellion)

Scotland has been unable to meet its climate change target for the third year in a row.

That’s particularly outrageous as Glasgow will host this year’s UN climate conference in November.

The main perpetrator responsible for failing to meet reduced emission targets comes from the domestic transport sector propped up by the fossil fuel industry.

However, with more solutions that incorporate renewable energy generation into the national grid, some emissions have been chipped away at.

In addition, some natural mechanisms to sequester and reduce carbon are being depleted at the same time.

Forests and peat lands that act as carbon sinks, are degrading, cut down or transformed for land use such as agriculture—the third highest emitter.

Policies to cut emissions must be transformative.

They have to work at a systematic level whereby serious infrastructure investment can facilitate the switch to lower emitting transport methods.

At the moment highly individualised options such as purchasing an electric vehicle or bicycle are no match for the insatiable thirst for North Sea oil.

Lofty rhetoric on decarbonising, will be doubled down come November.

The recent G7 summit displayed the ploys of Western nations engaging in further confrontational geopolitics and undermining action on the climate change they are disproportionately responsible for.

Net zero pledges within this atmosphere will not be met in Scotland and beyond if people’s interests are not at the centre of the discussion.

Divesting from destructive energy intensive sectors that fuel the war machine must be part of the green recovery.

When we protest at Cop26 in November we will highlight predominantly global questions.

But we should also remember that Scotland’s politicians are failing to take the urgent action that is required.

Daniel Mwangi


Labour uses Covid-19 as cover to move right on borders

Labour is using the rising number of Covid-19 cases to adopt a much more right wing position over immigration and asylum.

In a coordinated mood last week, Labour framed the central problem around the maintenance of coronavirus restrictions as people entering Britain from abroad.

Shadow home secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds published a “dossier” entitled “Losing Control—A Story Of Conservative Covid Border Failure”.

Deputy leader Angela Rayner then tweeted that Labour was for “keeping the British people safe” while the Tories dangerously left open the borders.

It was followed up by a parliamentary motion that demanded blocking travel from more countries and an international vaccine passport.

With vast areas of the Global South unvaccinated that means an automatic block on travel for billions of people.

Keir Starmer went on LBC radio to say “Freedom Day” on 21 June had been postponed by the government’s “pathetic” border policy.

Of course there are valid questions about quarantine and testing.

But Labour is adopting themes of the right and far right about harder borders and keeping out “diseased foreigners”.

It is disgustingly racist and the Tories will always be able to go further.

Sarah Buchanan

West London

How can we outlaw the fire and rehire attacks?

I have been following the strikes and protests against employers’ use of fire and rehire.

This is where people have the “choice” of accepting a worse contract or being sacked.

Socialist Worker is right to point out this spreading practice and to demand opposition to it.

If it becomes common then we face a severe squeeze on living standards.

There have been many big battles such as at British Gas, Go North West in Manchester and now at JDE Coffee in Oxfordshire.

But there have been very few wins.

I wonder if the laws against trade union action are now so strong that nasty, determined employers can always win.

Should we not be putting more emphasis into seeking to achieve a change the law to outlaw fire and rehire?

It would be better if strikes could overcome employers. But that doesn’t seem likely.

Roger Oliver


Step up the solidarity with Colombia

Over a month since it began the violence against protesters in Colombia continues. The number of “disappearances” is now in the hundreds alongside increased deaths and assaults.

The protests give the rest of the world a glaring look into the living standards of the working class and corruption in the Colombian state.

Despite this revelation of the truth there has been a severe lack of interest from the world’s media.

This is not new as the rest of the world is usually disengaged from Latin American politics. This is exactly how the Colombian government would like to keep it. It is manipulating its own media to portray protestors as “terrorists” when in reality they are fighting to be treated as humans and for equality.

This is why supporting the Colombian cause is imperative.

Both the working class and indigenous people have come together against corruption. A revolutionary fire has been lit.

And after over a month of protests we can learn a lot from the sustained struggle of Colombians.

They need our support more than ever, our solidarity. Make the effort to understand and tell their stories when the media won’t. #SOSColombia.

Francesca Yepes

South London

Why is the eviction ban only for business, not renters?

The Tories will always look after their friends.

The government has announced it will extend the ban on evictions from commercial buildings until 2022.

But from the start of June it halted the eviction ban for tenants.

There are hundreds of thousands of renters in arrears and open to eviction and homelessness. They don’t get the same level of support as businesses.

Sally Blanchard

by Facebook

Keir Starmer’s rotten slogan

Keir Starmer has chosen “Stronger Together” to brand his re-write of policies that will tear up Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy.

Its bold ideas include “public services that work from the start”. Does anyone support “public services that don’t work from the start”?

“Stronger Together” was also the slogan of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential bid.

How apt that Starmer has raided the presentational cupboard of someone who was so in with the elites that they couldn’t beat Donald Trump.

Marie Geordiagis

North London

Don’t go back to how it was

I am never going back to commuting.

I know I am lucky to be able to work from home. But so can many others.

Workers, tell the boss you are not going back to how it was. Embrace a fuller life where you don’t spend two hours a day going back and forth to work.

It should be at the front of union demands.

Alan Brown


Remember Daniel Morgan

We must not let the revelations about police corruption and the Daniel Morgan murder be ignored.

The least his family—and the rest of us—deserve is that this terrible series of events leads to thorough change.

Mike Hardcastle


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