Posts under ‘Environment’

A 21st Century Energy Policy, Part 3: The Institutions to Make it Happen

by Chris MacMackin.

As discussed in Part 2, the transition to a low-carbon economy is a massive task requiring extensive government intervention. In the recent leadership campaign, Jeremy Corbyn promised to “promote the growth of over 200 ‘local energy companies’” and to “support the development of 1,000 community energy co-operatives”. Presumably by “local energy companies” he is referring […]

A 21st Century Energy Policy, Part 2: The Technology of the Future

by Chris MacMackin.

If humanity is to have any hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change, developed countries must take aggressive steps to decarbonise as quickly as possible. This will mean not only replacing existing fossil-fuel power plants, but greatly expanding electricity production to replace gas and petrol. Such a task demands not just an energy policy, but a […]

United we stand? The Southern Rail dispute and the unions

by George Waterhouse.

117 years ago, my great-great grandad, president of the Amalgamated Society of railway servants (ASRS), sat down in a meeting between the executives of ASRS and the Associated Society of locomotive engineers and firemen (ASLEF) to discuss federation. Had they succeeded in establishing unity between the rail unions back then, I might not be writing […]

Energy for the 21st century, part I: fossil-fuels, renewables and nuclear

by Chris MacMackin.

With the exception of Arthur Scargill, most on the Left agree that the days of fossil fuels must soon come to an end. We all know that it would be environmental catastrophe to revive the coal industry. We have to wean ourselves off coal and other fossil fuels but what will take their place? The […]

Labour needs to rediscover comprehensive economic planning

by John Penney.

In his barnstorming 2015 and 2016 Labour Leadership campaigns Jeremy Corbyn outlined a series of, very enthusiastically received policy offers of a distinctly left Keynesian, anti-austerity hue. These proposals ranged from renationalising the railways, to fully re-nationalising and refunding the NHS, establishing a universal free national education service, nationalising key utilities, controlling the banks more […]

This Chinese nuclear deal is unsustainable and costly

by Phil Burton-Cartledge.

Had Labour done it, the Tories would be screaming bloody murder. I am, of course, talking about the deal with the Chinese to build two nuclear power stations. If the Tories really were standing up for Britain, from a national security perspective it beggars belief that key national infrastructure be handed over to a power […]

Tory privatisation economics: try the London sewer, the mother of all scandals

by Michael Meacher.

As an illustration of what the Thatcherite privatisations of the 1980s now mean, you could not have a better example than the London super sewer. It costs £4.2bn, and you might expect that Thames Water, the privatised company that controls the whole of its length, should obviously be expected to pay for it. Not a […]

Andy Burnham’s policy on railway ownership is too weak

by Ken Livingstone.

I like Andy Burnham: he clearly has been on a political journey and he has played a good role on the NHS, but in my view his position on rail policy today not only doesn’t go far enough – it indicates the disconnect between voters and Westminster politics that we must repair. In the National […]

A third Heathrow runway is a menu without the prices

by Michael Meacher.

Business in this age of market fundamentalism is cock-a-hoop with the Davies report decision to recommend Heathrow. They would be, wouldn’t they, since the report has focused largely on the supposed economic benefits while claiming that all the toxic underside of the decision can be ‘managed’. However the feasibility of the latter needs to be […]

Tories’ pre-election fantasising comes back to haunt them

by Michael Meacher.

Northern powerhouse deflates into Northern power-cut. It was so hurriedly propagated by Osborne before the election as portraying the government as dynamic innovators of English devolution, but none of the details had been properly worked through, including the required transport infrastructure as we now know. So the election gimmick, if not evaporated, has dimmed at […]

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