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

A roundup of progressive news....

A pile of newspapers with text overlaid reading "Voices on the Left"

1.Labour follows the money while Boris Johnson plugs holes in his sinking ship – LabourList

LabourList reports how Labour has called on the Tories to return political donations associated with Putin and his regime. The report cites shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who stressed how the government has not yet acted on the report into the nature of Russian interference in the Brexit referendum – published almost two years ago. Lammy also spoke of how there is no sign of the overseas territories bill or economic crime bill, or reform to the Computer Misuse Act or Companies House. 

LabourList continues that instead of tackling corruption in politics, Johnson is busy “plugging holes in his sinking ship,” including appointing Guto Harri as his new communications director.

2. Tesco condemned for adding to the cost of living crisis despite making pumper profits –Morning Star

The Morning Star jumps on the retail giant being ‘roundly condemned’ for fuelling the cost-of-living crisis by warning of a hike in food prices.

The story makes reference to John Allan, Tesco’s chairman, who said the “worst is still to come” after raising the company’s food prices by 1% in the last quarter, with increases five times that possible by the spring.

The story points to the cruel irony that the warnings from the chairman of Britain’s largest supermarket come despite Tesco reporting last month that it expects its 2021 – 22 profits to exceed £2.6bn after very strong Christmas sales.

3. The Tories have lied about Labour leaders for years. Why does the media care now? – Novara Media

Novara Media’s Aaron Bastani writes a thought-provoking piece how the Tories have lied about Labour leaders – Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband to name two. But while, as Bastani writes, the treatment of Brown and Miliband was “often nasty, person and never applied to their Tory counterparts”, the hounding they received was “nothing compared to what Corbyn would himself endure as leader after 2015.”

The article maps out some pretty depressing reading on how the media relentlessly vilified Corbyn. The piece notes the contrast to Keir Starmer’s treatment in the media, which has, “in unison” demanded an apology from Johnson after his Jimmy Saville comments in the House of Commons last week.

4. UK Big Six energy firms made more than £1bn in profit ahead of price hike – openDemocracy

As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, openDemocracy provides a timely analysis on how the UK’s ‘big six’ energy companies raked in more than a billion pounds of profit ahead of this year’s record hike in bills. The article cites the annual accounts published by energy regulator Ofgem, which show the highest earner, SSE, made £600m alone in profit before taxes.

The piece points to the inequity of the situation, as households on an average dual-fuel energy tariff will face a rise of £693 a year, and, how the poorest, who are more likely to use pre-paid meters, will be hit with a steeper hike of £708 a year. 

5- Cost of living crisis: It’s now or never for unions – Tribune Magazine

Writing for Tribune Magazine, Liam Young of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), says it’s now or never for unions. As workers face a stark decline in living standards amid stagnant wages and rising bills, the trade union movement must, writes Young, “organise resistance of risk irrelevance.”

Young speaks of how the trade union movement should respond, including reaching out to its members with a message of change, which “demonstrates the power of a collective voice.” Every lever must be pulled, such as utilising effective communications and playing a part in targeting demonstrations over cost-of-living issues.

Most importantly, trade unions must organise and support industrial action, Young continues.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward.


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