No money for Vestas, but Mandelson bails out Airbus

I'm speechless: Mandelson, Prince of Darkness and proud wearer of custard, has just offered Airbus £340 million to keep producing planes. Meanwhile Vestas has closed and 400 hundred green jobs have been lost. Is anyone else getting angry?

I'm finding it quite hard to write anything intelligent or rational about this. I don't want to see 1,200 people who work for Airbus out of work. But I also know that there are hundreds of people on the Isle of Wight who are unemployed because this Government refused to support the only windfarm manufacturer in the UK - and that one of those companies tackles climate change, while the other makes it worse.

Tackling climate change means making tough decisions. Given a choice, this Government and the vested interests it represents will make the wrong decision every time. Mandelson, and everything he represents, has no place in the world we want to build. We need to kick him, and his crony mates, as far from power as we can (and an extra punt for good measure).

While single-issue campaigning is fantastic at exposing a problem, it can't give the systemic critique we so desperately need right now. As hard as we try, Plane Stupid can't do much about the banking sector, labour rights or the theft of resources from the developing world. That's why we need broader campaigns which can show how capitalism and the systems which support make our lives a misery - and help us take action against it.

Conveniently there's loads you can do over the next fortnight if you're as worked up as I am. There's the Climate Camp Cymru this weekend, and the Earth First! Summer Gathering next week, both of which offer workshops, skill-sharing and camp fire chats about how we get out of this mess. Then the Camp for Climate Action kicks off, swooping on a secret location somewhere in the M25 for a very long weekend of naughtiness. Get busy!

Spiked: free marketeers for labour rights!

"Dad, do I have to keep holding this sign? I'm cold, and Byker Grove is on soon." "Shut up and keep protesting or I'll confiscate your Beano and leave you only the Trotskyite classic Terrorism and the State to read!"

So we got an email from Spiked Online - formerly Living Marxism, formerly the Revolutionary Communist Party - this morning, which suggested that we might like to pop over to their website and have a read of the latest critique of a post-Marxist, post-structuralist, reimagining of dialectical materialism, entitled Defend green jobs! Smash ungreen jobs! Brendan O'Neill, revolutionary communist turned revolutionary capitalist, has taken issue with our support for Vestas and our lack of support for the occupation in Ireland.

What occupation, you may ask? Well, while the Vestas occupation was underway, a similar one was taking place against the sacking of 28 workers at travel agents Thomas Cook. And yesterday the notoriously violent La Guardia smashed their way in, dragged them all out and arrested them, causing one woman to go into premature labour.

It's great that O'Neill has stopped sucking up to big business just long enough to give a toss about the rights of labour, but he's seeing conspiracy where there is none (as usual). Funnily enough, we were talking about the Thomas Cook occupation last night - the first I'd heard of it - and thinking about what we could do, because it's always been clear that this sort of thing - layoffs of workers in the fossil fuels or high-carbon transport sectors - was going to be the inevitable result of decarbonisation.

Tackling greenhouse gas emissions isn't a middle class obsession, as much as O'Neill would like it to be. It's an issue of rights and justice for the poorest in society. The people causing it have names and addresses. Sadly they are also the most likely to profit from the disaster, just like those "cynical companies and corporations that frequently dress up downsizing and cost-cutting as an environmentalist measure". Those worst hit - the displaced in Bangladesh forced out by rising sea levels; the millions of Africans left starving by drought; people living in unisurable homes in the UK fighting back another round of floods - are also those least responsible.

The Thomas Cook layoffs are the first of many, and we have to be ready. People earning minimum wage working in a travel agents are not responsible for climate change; nor are the workers at Kingsnorth, Heathrow or anywhere else. But that doesn't mean we should all keep flying; instead, we need a just transition to help workers unfortunate enough to be working in high-carbon industries find new, better jobs in greener sectors. Because if we don't they, and their children, will be the ones paying for climate change, unlike O'Neill and his post-communist corporatist cronies at Spiked.