Voices on the Left: 5 blogs from the left you need to read this week

A roundup of progressive news...

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1.Who and what does Labour stand for? Labour’s Covenant offers an answerLabourList

Jon Cruddas writes a piece for LabourList whick seeks to offer a greater definition of what the Labour project entails and what the Labour Party stands for.

The piece is based on the findings of ten working groups which produced over 50 papers in 40 webinars and what is now called Labour’s covenant.

Cruddas writes: “Labour’s Covenant is a plan for the reconstruction of the national economy across the UK. It includes repairing and updating the ‘everyday economy‘; reforming the central state and the union of the UK; creating strong local economies and communities; and mobilising resources to promote geo-political interests in foreign, environmental, trade, defence and security policy.”

2. It’s Time for a 3-Day Weekend-Tribune Magazine

There’s been a growing momentum when it comes to calls for a shorter working week in recent years. Adrian MacMahon writes for Tribune about the benefits of a shorter working week, including rest, leisure and life admin as well as key benefits for employers.

Adrian writes: “Put simply, a rested worker is a better worker. In 2019, the Health and Safety Executive found that the greatest cause of sick absences from work is work-related stress (54%). As such, a Henley Business School study in 2019 found that a four-day week could save UK businesses an estimated £104 billion annually, because workers would be happier, less stressed, and take fewer days off ill, and be more productive as a result.”

3.US conservatives spreading anti-vax misinformation to unvaccinated Uganda-openDemocracy

OpenDemocracy has a piece on how a US Christian legal organisation and a Texas-based think tank are among those promoting anti-lockdown and vaccine hesitancy messages in Uganda.

The joint investigation by media non-profit the Citizens and openDemocracy has found that:

US Christian legal organisation Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and Texas-based libertarian think tank the Brownstone Institute are among the organisations backing Uganda’s ‘End Lockdown Now’ campaign.

The Brownstone Institute’s founder told Ugandans at an online event: “There’s no real case for getting a vaccine if you’ve had natural immunity. It doesn’t make any sense.”

End Lockdown Now has platformed anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-lockdown and pandemic-denying arguments, with journalists and scientists from Europe and Australia among those spreading misinformation to Ugandans at the group’s online events. One such event was hosted by ADF.

Separately, ADF has also involved itself in three legal challenges opposing lockdown measures in Uganda.

Uganda’s Ministry of Health said it would investigate the End Lockdown Now campaign as a result of this investigation.

4.Gordon Brown launches petition to urge government to support humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan –Morning Star

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has helped to launch a petition urging the government to hold an emergency multi-nation conference to raise money to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

He warned that five million children and four million adults in Afghanistan are in immediate danger of acute malnutrition, and that 23 million people face famine in the coming months.

The petition is a direct call to the public to add their voices to the appeal for action to save Afghan lives.

5. Poor Brits Live Much Shorter Lives. What Can We Do?- Novara Media

A piece by Ell Folan  in Novara Media looks at how in 2020, life expectancy in England fell more dramatically than at any other point since WW2, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ell writes: “In poorer areas, life expectancy declined by nearly twice as much as it did in wealthier ones; BAME people died from Covid-19 at much higher rates than white people; while people with disabilities faced a significantly higher death rate than able-bodied people. The pandemic also exposed regional health inequalities: the northwest experienced a far higher proportion of deaths from Covid-19 than the southwest, for instance.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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