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Extinction Rebellion message signals a shift in thinking

07 May, 2019

EXTINCTION Rebellion have called an end to the protests across central London but last night (Wednesday) they appeared to have secured a lasting legacy.

A Labour Party motion declaring an environment and climate emergency was supported by the Conservative government.
Thousands of people packed into Parliament Square to remind the politicians of the strength of support for the Extinction Rebellion group.

For Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s Labour Party, the issue of the environment is not just about climate change and reining in carbon emissions.

It is about promoting the idea that the current economic model is threatening the foundations on which human life depends.

Market-led approaches, like carbon trading for example, have failed to slow the pace of change.

Privatisation has failed to deliver.

Models of ownership and workers’ rights in green infrastructure and technology need to be rewritten.

State investment can be better harnessed, to promote solutions to climate change.

The world’s resources should not just belong to a privileged few.

MP Keir Starmer talks about his own personal efforts to live a greener life.

But the shift in thinking, perhaps signalled last night in the House of Commons, is that individuals cannot simply be left to their own devices.

Last night, Corbyn said he hoped his motion would set off “a wave of action from parliaments and governments around the globe”.

Resist bigotry

SCHOOLS should start organising trips for pupils to what is one of the most important exhibitions held in Camden in years. It’s about the inspiring life of Anne Frank who was killed by the Nazis as a young girl.

But this exhibition isn’t just about the past – it’s also about the awful scourge of today: bigotry, prejudice, even racism which has always lain dormant in society but has now been unleashed by the Brexit fiasco.

School students, perhaps, drawn to the irrational ideas of prejudice propounded by extremist groups, should take a look at this exhibition. It also deals with racism today – from the murder of Stephen Lawrence to racist slurs cast from the stands at football matches. It highlights the slurs the black Italian striker Balotelli had to endure.

But the exhibition – which in some ways is a little bit back to front starting with the Second World War and ending with racism today – could also have quoted Spurs’ Danny Rose or Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling who have spoken out against racism.

Entrenched bigotry is to be found here in Camden as well.

Mainstream parties should link up to resist it.

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