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GJA launches blog space to host critical debates

This blog signals our intention, with the launch of our new website, to utilise this space to host critical debates on the key issues we face, as an organisation, as a movement of workers, and as a society.

In the Greener Jobs Alliance, we describe ourselves as a ‘loose coalition’ of activists, trade unionists and campaigners, from unions, NGOs and other organisations.  We are bound by a common interest in ensuring that the struggle against climate change progresses while also protecting workers, promoting the new skills and jobs that will be needed in a low carbon economy, and ensuring the training and education to provide those skills.

As a loose coalition, the views of our members and our supporters about how to achieve those aims are inevitably varied and may be the same as or different from the union, NGO or other organisation that we are also a member of.  These differences are nothing surprising; reorienting our economy to ensure the avoidance of climate catastrophe is uncharted territory.  There are bound to be differences of opinion, strategy and substantive content in our proposed programmes.

What we cannot continue to do, and this is what the new GJA blog space intends to address, is allow ourselves to be divided over these differences.  Only the elites whose interest is in maintaining the status quo as much as possible actually benefit from that.  Workers do not, nor do our communities.  Too often our movement engages in needless finger-pointing, making so-called ‘definitive’ statements to counter other arguments, with a mic drop to imply there is no debate to be had.

We desperately need to get over that stage and move to a more constructive situation.  That means providing the space, as we will here, for a range of viewpoints, flushing out the differences and working through what they mean and how we can best overcome them.  Hidden vested interests have to be left out; our aim has to be advancing the cause of workers in all its facets, ensuring our communities are well served, and our planet protected.  These are not mutually exclusive but aspects of the same struggle.  But we need to work through the details and try as best we can to achieve solidarity.

Over the course of 2022 GJA will solicit comment and debate on the difficult issues we need to confront.  If we have a contribution from one ‘side’ we will invite a response from the other, a reply to that etc.  and we will insist on having these discussions in good part – no animosity or personal attacks.  The issues are what matter, and we ill serve our constituents if we allow standards to drop (we can leave that to Westminster!)

Off the cuff, the subject matter we have in mind would include – workers short term Vs long term interests, supply chains, the U.K. and internationalism, the nuclear debate, airport expansion, carbon capture and storage, public Vs private.  If we can have the kinds of discussion we need around these, and many other, issues, we can arrive at a better place, one where we identify the real culprits and don’t let them off the hook.  That’s our ambition and we call on every potential contributor to help us get there.

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