Friday 3 November 2006

Concrete Support for the Policies Mobilising Tomorrow's Climate Change Demonstration

Tomorrow (Saturday) will see a broad based coalition demonstrating for action on climate change from our own Government and internationally.

I want to express again my support for this critically important initiative. At last the issue of the environmental threat to our planet is hitting the popular and political agendas in an effective way.

Many are sceptical about the impact of demonstrations particularly after the Government ignored the 2 million people marching against the war. This fails to recognise that people coming out on the streets to show a commonality of purpose builds solidarity and confidence not just in those demonstrating but also in those who care about the issue but who at this stage are on the edge of action.

More and more now we are seeing groups campaigning on one issue linking in solidarity with others campaigning on another concern. The pensioners joining health workers on the lobby of Parliament on Wednesday and joining students marching against tuition fees were excellent examples of this re-emerging sense of solidarity in our society which politicians for over three decades have tried to extinguish.

I just want to express my solidarity with tomorrow's demo in one more very concrete way. In our newspapers this morning was an advertisement placed by Greenpeace. The ad said "What's really needed is a government that will create policies of real substance, and will commit proper resources to preventing climate change. A Government, in short, that will deliver a new kind of power. Is there any leader out there up for the challenge?"

Yes there is. I am campaigning to become leader of the Labour Party to introduce the very policies that Greenpeace and the Coalition on Climate Change are advocating.

So I express my solidarity with tomorrow's demo not just by committing myself to promoting this policy programme in my campaign but more importantly by undertaking publicly to ensuring its implementation if elected leader of the Labour Party.