There are 415 British MPs who don’t take climate change seriously enough. That is the number who voted to build a third runway at Heathrow earlier this week; 119 of them were Labour. The plans sailed through Parliament, despite some vocal but limited resistance. Only 119 MPs voted against it. Most of them weren’t worried that a third runway would make it near impossible to meet the government’s carbon reduction commitments. They were concerned that the plans were London-centric and might sideline transport projects in the north.
The government recently published a list of 360 companies that underpaid their staff. But workers need more than the ‘naming and shaming’ of employers, when low pay is institutionalised and the government is quick to blame poor working conditions first and foremost on immigrants. Addressing the Conservative Party Conference after she became prime minister, Theresa May claimed to be on the side of people who ‘find themselves out of work or on lower wages because of low-skilled immigration’. If the left focused its efforts on uniting and organising low-paid workers regardless of where they were born, it could begin both to quell anti-migrant sentiment and to fight back against low pay and poor working conditions.