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Tanker Drivers’ Dispute

The panic-buying fiasco the politicians have created has overshadowed what the dispute and potential strike is actually about. From Unite‘s website:

This is not about pay, it is about ensuring that high safety and training standards are maintained. It is about bringing fairness and stability back to an industry that is controlled by faceless global giants.

I would expect that the £45,000 earnings of the drivers was also released in some way to divert attention from their actual issues and discredit their dispute.

Don’t get me wrong: I would be very happy to earn that much money in a year. It’s far more than what I currently earn. But if I had poor training and health and safety conditions, and pay-rises frozen due to the financial crisis; while oil companies continue to rake in overwhelming profits, I’d probably be a bit pissed off too.

And for the politicians on each side to continue to use this whole event for PR is despicable. Labour using it to call for Francis Maude’s resignation and a general bashing of the coalition. Tories using it to divert attention away from the bad PR of kitchen dinners and a regressive budget.

And it all boils down to one thing. They are fighting so hard and shouting so loud to drown out the other, that no one is listening to what the people – you know, the ones they’re there to represent – need and want.

Listening to David Cameron blame the drivers for causing panic and chaos for the population around the Easter holidays was yet another chance to prove that. The tanker drivers’ dispute is not about pay. At no point did they call a strike or even threaten to call a strike on Easter weekend. They did not tell people to keep topping up their fuel or store fuel in jerry cans. In fact, the whole think had very little publicity until the budget.

I do not resent the drivers for their dispute, but I do resent the price I pay for putting fuel in my car.

Living in a rural area with few public transport options, I rely on my car. If the government really want some good publicity, perhaps they should look into reducing the duty we pay on fuel, or making public transport a more viable option.

Activism Environment

Block tar sands oil, not the FQD

Once again, the government proves itself to be untrustworthy. Cameron stated that he wanted this to be the greenest government ever (or something to that effect). But apparently all it takes is the Canadians pushing hard for tar sands oil to change all that.

This article from Greenpeace shows that the UK has done a 180-degree turn on their position regarding the EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). This proposal would have blocked a lot of tar sands oil; but now the UK has decided to block the FQD proposals.

So the greenest ever UK government is quite OK with importing one of the dirtiest forms of oil, and the greater pollution it will emit: 3 times more than crude oil. The greenest ever UK government is also OK with destroying Canadian forest, homelands of indigenous people, and accelerating climate change.

The greenest ever UK government will be a little off target with emissions reductions.

Write to Nick Clegg to tell him to sort out the government’s green credentials, and to sort out his Transport Minister, Norman Baker.

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Greenpeace Arctic Oil Drilling Petition

Cairn didn’t want you to see their Arctic oil spill response plan. They essentially admit that a spill in the Arctic would be catastrophic, and near impossible to clean up.The fact that this report is now public puts pressure on Cairn and other oil companies to get out of the Arctic, as it makes it absolutely clear that their drilling operations are breathtakingly irresponsible.

Please sign the petition asking Greenland’s Prime Minister to protect the Arctic.