Protect profits, protect our ancient stones but destroy the planet

“The damage done to Stonehenge is outrageous. Just Stop Oil are pathetic. Those responsible must face the full force of the law.” So says Sir Keir Starmer on X/Twitter. So Starmer cares for our ancient stones but does not appear to have given a thought to the Israeli destruction, the cultural genocide, of nearly 200 heritage sites representing 3,500 years of history in Gaza. 

Starmer has stated his priority for the UK – economic growth. Perhaps he does not understand the implications He pays little attention to climate change, yet he should be increasingly concerned. Labour’s manifesto has recommitted them to stopping all future licences for new oil and gas; this is not enough.

Just Stop Oil activists have courage and take great risks. A criminal record could mean many doors closed to them, and time in prison can be isolating, frightening and traumatic. Many are young, though one supporter, a 57-year-old father of three, was arrested with 40 others and sentenced to six months in jail for slow marching peacefully in London on the A41 last year. Lawyers are Responsible commented that the sentence showed “the increasingly repressive environment that people find themselves in when they take entirely peaceful action to express concern about the climate and ecological crisis”.

The mainstream media is up in arms about the paint spraying of Stonehenge. They rarely rage about the catastrophe we all face by failing to act on climate change. Just Stop Oil remains undeterred: “Until world leaders act to protect us, Just Stop Oil supporters, working with other groups internationally, will take the proportional action necessary to generate much needed political pressure. This summer, areas of key importance to the fossil fuel economy will be declared sites of civil resistance around the world.” (JB)

Workers voting to see whether Amazon will be forced to accept union recognition

More than 3,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a month-long vote to see whether the company will be forced into accepting a recognition agreement with the GMB union. If successful, it will be the first time Amazon has recognised a trade union in UK history.

They are not going to give in easily. Amazon has been criticised in recent weeks for union-busting tactics in the lead up to the ballot and is already facing a legal challenge for pressuring workers into cancelling their union membership.

.While awaiting the date for the ballot, staff were subjected to daily so-called information meetings, which the union called brainwashing sessions, as their only purpose was to convince and encourage workers to vote against GMB recognition.

Amanda Gearing, GMB Senior Organiser, said:

“This is an historic moment. Amazon is one of the world’s most hostile and anti-union employers. They’re a multi-billion-pound global company investing huge energy to resist efforts by working class people in Coventry to fight for a better life. But right here Coventry Amazon workers have rejected Amazon’s attempts to smash their union. Instead, they’ve stood up to be counted and demanded the chance to vote on union recognition.

“Now Amazon workers, not the bosses, will decide”. (MT)

Would you bet your house on it?

As bookmakers have Labour at 1/41 to win the general election you might think it was hard for a Conservative to make money out of this. Not true. Never ones to turn up the offer of a quick buck, various Tories are now under investigation for insider trading on the date of the election. That’s right, you can gamble on when an election is going to be held. This almost invites Tories, knowing that they were going to lose anyway, to put a few grand on at their local William Hill’s and cash in. After all, if you belong to a party that is more than happy to make money for friends and family, as the rest of the country was coping with the effects of bad decision making killing their loved ones, why would you not use your insider knowledge to make money out of something as benign as when the next election will be held. Laura Sanders, the now suspended Conservative candidate for Bristol North West, put a bet on the date. The fact that she is married to Conservative Campaign Director Tony Lee is, apparently, a mere coincidence. Likewise Craig Williams, the party’s candidate for what would normally be a Tory safe seat Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr, and also a parliamentary aide for Rishi Sunak, put £100 on the date of the election. Meanwhile, and honestly I’m not making this up, the Tories have had to withdraw an ad telling the British public not to “bet on” Labour. Which probably tells us all we need to know about how the Tories view the election. One bet I can almost guarantee no Tories are making is the 40/1 being offered on a Tory victory.

I should point out that I do not approve of gambling and I am not advocating that anybody should do so. (DM)

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