Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party said that sewer cleaners should be paid more than bankers because their job is more useful. Speaking at the Ecosocialism – Fracking, Climate and Revolution conference in London on June 7th hosted by Socialist Resistance and Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, she observed that virtually everything in the Queen’s Speech earlier that week had been bad for the climate, from more fracking to more roads.
However, she argued, a big chance is coming in British politics as a society in which 20% of workers are earning less than the living wage is unsustainable and unjust. Setting out some of the policies advocated by the Green Party she called for the minimum wage to be replaced by a living wage; for the NHS to be fully restored to public ownership and for the railways to be renationalised.
Natalie’s full speech can be seen here.
Alan Thornett of Socialist Resistance remarked that the event was the first time the far left had discussed the environment together. Arguing that the environmental crisis is the major challenge facing humanity he commented that traditional socialism has had a bad record in understanding the significance of ecology and that if Marxism is to remain relevant as an ideology in the 21st century that’s something that has to change.
In his contribution, which can be seen here, he goes on to develop a definition of what “ecosocialism” means.