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From The Socialist newspaper, 30 September 2015

Pollution cheat volkswagen kills thousands for profit

Richard Worth

Volkswagen, the world's largest car maker, fraudulently fitted eleven million diesel engines with "defeat devices" to rig pollution tests.

This has caused nearly one million tonnes of lethal air pollution a year. That's equal to the UK's combined emissions for all power stations, vehicles, agriculture and industry.

It has taken seven years to be "discovered". But government scientists in Britain have been warning of illegal levels of toxic gases since at least 2011. And European Union (EU) regulators knew about rigging as early as 2013 - but failed to act.

Also, campaign network Trans-port and Environment says it goes further than Volkswagen. Nine out of ten cars from every major manufacturer breached EU pollution limits when tested in real-world conditions.

Environment charity Greenpeace has uncovered that diesel carmakers employed 184 European lobbyists, costing 14 million. Does this explain it?

The scandal has caused a 30% nosedive in Volkswagen's share value. But the real cost is to us.

The pollutants spewed out by these cars have caused serious health conditions. Inflammation of the lungs, leading to asthma and bronchitis. An increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. And possibly memory loss and dementia.

Unfiltered 'particulate matter' also causes cancer. Exposure to air pollution hastens death - with 9,500 premature deaths annually in Europe's most polluted city, London.

Deaths

The government estimates the combined impact of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter is equivalent to 52,500 deaths a year in Britain.

Capitalists will do anything for profit. They can't be trusted to care for our health or environment. Poisons that should have been filtered by their engines are being filtered by our lungs instead.

The Socialist Party campaigns for public ownership of car makers and transport systems - under the democratic control of workers and the public. That could guarantee accountable, green, integrated and affordable transport for all.


This is not a drill

Oil and gas company Shell has called off potentially catastrophic Arctic drilling!

Has the petroleum giant had some miracle conversion? Has it abandoned its evil-genius-style plans for Armageddon?

Not quite. The firm says its decision was based instead on "disappointing" levels of fossil fuel in Alaskan oil wells.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 30 September 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

TUSC: Central in the battle for a working class anti-austerity voice

Socialism is back!

Free school meals cut as poor children go hungry

Pollution cheat Volkswagen kills thousands for profit

Gouging boss demands price hike for life-saving drug

Gravy-train Labour MP claims expenses to rent house next door

Tower block residents defend homes

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

How can we bring down the Tories?

Lessons from the past: Liverpool City Council 1983-87

Give us the resources to defeat the Tories

Subscribe to a paper by workers, for workers


International socialist news and analysis

EU ministers squabble while refugees drown

Hungary's xenophobic right-wing government

USA: Socialists breaking 'political stagnation'

Kazakhstan: workers solidarity action


Workplace news and analysis

Junior doctors fight government attacks

Nominate Roger Bannister for Unison general secretary

Hypocritical attacks on tube control room strike

Review: Kill the Bill

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Anger and protest against fire service cuts in Leicestershire

Come to Socialism 2015


 

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Related links:

Environment:

triangleWhat councils can do to protect the environment

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSocialist Inbox

triangleTree-cutting council must admit it was wrong

Volkswagen:

triangle47,000 kids exposed to illegal toxic air

triangle2016 hottest year on record, air poisonous

triangleMost diesels emit illegal levels of poison

triangleQuiz of the year

Profit:

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

trianglePimlico Academy protests: "Run by racists for profit"

triangleLondon bus drivers continue walkout

Oil:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLibya: Civil war and chaos follow interventions by world and regional powers

Transport:

triangleRMT: Militant industrial and political strategy must be fought for

Government:

triangleBobby Sands - Nothing but an Unfinished Song

Health:

triangleBeal school strikers suspend action after possible victory

Britain:

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

EU:

triangleCovid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic

Shell:

triangleShell pays 0 corporation tax, and plans huge hike in fossil output

Gas:

triangleFight back against British Gas bosses' 'fire and rehire' offensive

Europe:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: The rise of Eastern Europe's right-wing populist movements

European Union:

triangleCatalonia independence movement two years on

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