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

A roundup of progressive news...

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Oxford University took millions from key ‘crony’ of Vladimir Putin-openDemocracy

Open Democracy reveals how Oxford University accepted more than £3m in donations from a billionaire Putin “crony” who was accused in the UK Parliament of “robbing assets from the Russian people”.

Vladimir Potanin, who served as Russia’s deputy prime minister in the 1990s, also donated money to an Oxford University fellowship scheme named in his honour.

Following openDemocracy’s findings, Labour MP Margaret Hodge called on Oxford to “sever all ties with Potanin” and donate the money he gave to an anti-corruption organisation.”

Potanin is one of Russia’s richest men, with a fortune of over $23bn.

2. Starmer vows to push “further and faster” on sanctions-LabourList

LabourList features a roundup of Keir Starmer’s calls for tougher sanctions against Russian oligarchs liked to President Vladimir Putin as well as the Labour leader’s concerns that Boris Johnson pushed ahead with the peerage nomination of Evgeny Lebedev, the son of an ex-KGB agent, despite fears from intelligence officials.

When it comes to defence spending, Starmer also insisted that the Labour Party would not be making the cuts that the government is making.

Starmer has also called on the government to strengthen the economic crime bill, demanding to know why Putin’s cronies were being given 18 months to quietly launder their money out of the UK property market and into another safe haven.

3. Campaigners demand more funding and tough action to end violence against women and girls- Morning Star

The Morning Star reports on how women’s rights campaigners are demanding more funding and tough action to end violence against women and girls following the anniversary of Sarah Everard’s death.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (Evaw) said that while 2021 had sparked a national conversation on violence against women and girls (VAWG) following the murders of Everard, Sabina Nessa and others, a different approach to the government’s current commitments was needed.

It called for significant investment in prevention, including through comprehensive relationships and sex education in schools and multiyear public campaigns.

4. Record Rail Fares Show Why We Need Public Ownership –Tribune Magazine

Following the highest rail fare increase in almost a decade, with ticket prices going up by as much as 3.8% and the cost of the average season ticket rising to an eye-watering £3,300, Karl Hansen writes for Tribune Magazine about why we need public ownership of railways.

Karl writes: “Current rail policy is clearly damaging to passengers, the economy, and our environment, as well as to the future of the railway itself. Attempts to claw back money by forcing passengers to pay more is made all the more unjust by the continuation of rail privatisation – a system which fills the coffers of private shareholders at the expense of passengers. The alternative to this is both obvious and popular: taking the rail back into public hands.”

Karl also takes a closer look at the cost of privatization, with it estimated that a ‘minimum of £725 million was leaked out of the railway every year to fill the pockets of shareholders’.

5. How We Won: The Activists Who Put a Stop to TUI’s Deportation Flights-Novara Media

Novara Media takes a closer look at the victory of campaigners who fought to stop TUI’s involvement in deportation charter flights. Following a little over a year of organising by the StopTUI campaign, TUI has not run a deportation flight in over six months.

Sophie Rosa writes about how for years, ‘TUI was one of the main airlines flying mass deportation charter flights on behalf of the Home Office’. The flights, which often happened in the dead of night, tore hundreds of migrants from their lives in the UK.

The article looks at how people power played an instrumental role in stopping the deportation flights taking place.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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