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Submitted by Daniel_Randall on Wed, 25/11/2009 - 12:15

...the pamphlet is shit. If it's sectarian to criticise a shit pamphlet, then fine; we're sectarians. Personally I thought the review was very accommodating indeed.

No amount of "well-researched information" (although frankly I'm far from convinced that any of the information in the pamphlet is particularly revelatory or new) can disguise the fact that this pamphlet is paper-thin politically and falls well, well short of what's objectively needed.

The central problem with the pamphlet is that is doesn't place any meaningful emphasis on workers' agency and the centrality of workers' struggle. It doesn't see transition as something to be fought for by workers and to be carried out under their control. It unquestioningly accepts the idea/necessity of some job losses in frontline polluting industries without raising the question of, for example, the conversion of coal-fired power stations. It doesn't even raise full employment as an aspiration (it just wants to take a chunk out of the current unemployment figure) and, rather than looking to struggles like Lucas or the NSWBLF for inspiration, it takes as its model the US and UK government's armaments policies during WWII!

The point about Jonathan Neale's membership of the SWP is that a member of an apparently revolutionary, Trotskyist organisation has presided over the production of a pamphlet that barely reaches the level of sub-reformism. (Not to mention the typical popular-frontist mush about the integral role of e.g. church groups in the "concerted uncompromising campaign" Theo mentions, which is now beyond parody.)

Does any of this mean people shouldn't read the pamphlet, or that it shouldn't be discussed in the labour movement? Clearly not. But Theo's idea that, because this is pretty much all we've got in terms of widely-available documents on the issue, it shouldn't be criticised is pretty ridiculous. If we have an idea of the slogans/ideas/politics necessary to develop working-class solutions to climate change, then to refuse to raise them because they might be deemed "sectarian" would be disingenuous and negligent in the extreme.

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