Posted by: vickim57 | 6 August 2009

Islanders: your wind turbine blade plant, the six guys still inside, and the UK environment need you!

Much of the blog today has exhorted people who are not on the Isle of Wight to get there to support the Vestas occupiers who could be evicted tomorrow.

Today many of the campaigners on the Isle of Wight, visitors and Island residents, have been out and about following up contacts already made, and leafleting the public to get their support for tomorrow. The Vestas occupation needs bodies outside the plant – if there are enough of us, who knows, it might delay eviction and give Ed Miliband a chance to step in… we live in hope!

Tomorrow, if you can, Island residents, please get along to the plant and give your support. If Vestas closes on the Island 525 jobs will be lost (as well as 100 in Southampton). Other businesses that depend in part on work from Vestas or on the money earned by Vestas workers will themselves suffer. People who want to stay living on the Island are going to struggle to find a job and might have to move away.

Your Island needs you! More than that, the UK environment needs you! The government has committed itself and the UK with it to high targets for reducing carbon emissions, and expanding renewable energy. We have learned, through the Vestas campaign, if we didn’t know before, that vast numbers of our countrymen and women think renewable energy is a good idea on paper but Not In My Back Yard!

Isle of Wight residents, please come to the Newport plant, St Cross industrial estate, tomorrow: your commitment to saving those green jobs of the workers at Vestas can inspire people all over the UK to commit to the action on saving the environment and saving jobs that we all must take.

The government has said it won’t step in to keep wind turbine blade manufacture on the Isle of Wight. It backs up Vestas, arguing that the market isn’t there. Isn’t the government’s job in the next epoch to ‘grow the market’? What better sign that it is earnest about expanding renewables could there be than to invest in the Isle of Wight plants, as a sign of confidence that demand for wind turbines will grow, that UK energy and the UK population can be converted, in every sense of the word, to renewable energy?

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband, who has conducted talks with Vestas about the plant, accepts their arguments, and has washed his hands of the fate of the 625 Vestas workers and of the plant that makes the wind turbine blades that the UK could use. A few weeks ago, introducing the government’s white paper on renewable energy, he looked rather foolish as at the same time news began to spread about Vestas’ closure. He has spent the last week in Brazil trying to persuade them to be more environmentally friendly, which again looks rather foolish, if not arrogant, set beside his failure to step in and save the jobs at Vestas.

It’s not too late for him to step in to prevent the closure of Vestas. Please email him and let him know what you think: milibande@parliament.uk.

So, Ed, there’s one last person who should be on the Isle of Wight tomorrow, and that’s you – to see, worst case scenario, what your inaction has done or, here’s hoping, to come up with an 11th hour plan for saving Vestas, saving jobs, and saving the planet! Over to you!


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