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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 January 2017

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air, photo Jeff Pardoen (Creative Commons)

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air, photo Jeff Pardoen (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party

For ten days between March and April 2014, levels of poisonous particulates caused an extra 300 premature deaths in the UK, according to a recent government estimate.

This is on top of the expected 300 deaths from air pollution, making a total of 600 deaths that spring.

This is not a one-off incident. This December we had potentially the worst air pollution the UK has ever seen.

In France this spike led to emergency procedures including offering citizens free public transport and implementing restrictions on car usage. The rising levels of cardiovascular and respiratory problems are causing a lot of additional pressure on an already stretched NHS.

The Labour right's solution to this: punish commuters. London's Blairite mayor Sadiq Khan is proposing an additional 10 levy in certain areas of the city. Even Transport for London predicts this will have little to no effect on rising pollution in the area.

And yet the Green Alliance think-tank calculates there will be a 95% decline in investment in renewable energy between 2017 and 2020. Despite growing awareness of the issue, priority is given to the protection of profits for big business.

Only a socialist society, one that isn't dominated by the need for profit and exploitation, can organise the mass investment and integration needed to plan for the future.

Nationalise the energy companies and use the money to invest in safe, renewable energy. Nationalise public transport to create an affordable and reliable system that is a genuine option for commuters.

Run them under the democratic control of workers and service users, in the interests of the many, not the super-rich few.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 18 January 2017:


What we think

Labour's civil war continues - build a mass workers' party

Tories torn in two on single market


Resist Trump

Resist Trump

Inaugurate the resistance

We can stop Trump's sexist agenda in its tracks


International socialist news and analysis

Mexico: Mass movement against "gasolinazo"

USA: Seattle activists win housebuilding programme

1917revolution.org website to launch


Socialist Party news and analysis

'Black alert' NHS: Demonstrate 4 March

Eight billionaires own as much as half humanity!

Pollution kills 600: fight for clean air!

Northern Ireland calls snap election: back Labour Alternative

Millwall FC move threat: Defend the Den - 'wall not Renewal


Workplace news and analysis

Billions in profit for Tesco, cuts and job losses for workers

Liverpool dockers and drivers protest "appalling lack of facilities"

Manchester: BA cabin crew pay strike

London: Taxi drivers gridlock City of London

Southern Rail strike continues

Unite the Union elections

PCS union national executive elections


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist: read it, write it, sell it

Protesters surround Sheffield's cutting council

Fracking protest in Sherwood Forest

Residents protest at plans to close nine community centres

Anger at south east Kent Momentum meeting

Socialist Party national committee agrees document for congress


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Theatre review: high art and savage poverty in Bootle

John Berger: remarkable art of a contradictory socialist

Socialist artists invite others to exhibit work

The Socialist inbox


 

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