Blair's hypocritical carbon dioxide emissions

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
20 February 2007

This week the congestion charging zone was extended to west London. Never mind the majority opposition to it. However, the 1.7 million signatures on a petition against the government's plans to introduce road pricing (which even crashed the government's website at one point!), has been noticed...

Yes, Blair has stepped in, realising that road pricing is not a vote-winner. So he is going to e-mail every single petitioner and explain to them about the need to "tackle congestion" on the roads - and combat global warming!

As if anyone who has to use a car does not already know that congestion is a problem! But where are the alternatives? Where is the affordable and efficient public transport which has been missing all along, as the traffic queues built up on an inadequate, under-invested road system?

Network Rail has just produced a report which only has statistics to 2004 - and already at that time 15% of passengers commuting to London in peak periods had to stand all the way! It is predicted that train overcrowding could leave 130,000 standing by 2014. But instead of announcing massive investment into the railways, for new services, we are to be charged per mile on the road system? This may not be "definite" says the government, but nevertheless, the pilot schemes are going ahead. As for the plans for railways, these are limited to tinkering around the edges - extra carriages - but even then, hinge on increasing fares even more!

Of course it is typical of this government to pretend it is tackling the damage to the environment by making ordinary people pay, while companies, responsible for the majority of pollution, congestion and carbon emissions get off scott free!