A roundup of progressive news…
1.Media Repeats Kremlin Anti-Fracking Claims – While Ignoring Russia’s Promotion of Climate Denial-DeSmog
In their latest attempt to push for more fossil fuel extraction, climate sceptic groups and Conservatives are claiming, without evidence, that anti-fracking groups are bankrolled by the Kremlin.
Headlines have included: ‘Did Putin plot with eco-warriors to halt Britain’s fracking and keep us all hooked on his gas?” in the Daily Mail and The Sun’s: “FRACK NEWS: How lying Putin spent millions spreading fake news about fracking”.
DeSmog features a read on how none of these claims have been substantiated and there is no proof of a link between the Kremlin ‘bankrolling’ groups in the UK who through grassroots protests influenced the UK’s decision to impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing – fracking – for shale gas in 2019.
However, there doesn’t seem to be much scrutiny of how RT, formerly Russia Today, has been sharing the work of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which is currently working with the Net Zero Scrutiny Group, a group of backbench Tory MPs opposed to Net Zero targets.
2. Britain’s Economy Is Rigged Against Workers –Tribune Magazine
Labour MP Andy McDonald writes for Tribune Magazine about how Britain’s economy is rigged against workers, following P&O’s boss openly admitting that his company broke the law to fire 800 workers without consultation with unions or workers.
McDonald highlights how during the course of the pandemic, 500 people entered the billionaire class while the rest of us endure the biggest fall in living standards since records began and adds: “Despite having taken millions of pounds of taxpayer money to keep their businesses afloat during the crisis, many companies have used fire and rehire tactics to bully their workforces into accepting lower pay and worse terms and conditions.”
He adds that the only reason Peter Hebblethwaite, chief executive of P&O, has gotten away with it is because he ‘understands he can continue to trample over workers’ rights, as long as the Tory government does nothing to stand in his way, or even promotes a situation in which law-breaking is good for a company’s bottom line.”
3.Exclusive: Majority of UK backs public ownership of energy firms, poll shows-LabourList
An exclusive poll for LabourList shows that the majority of people back public ownership of energy firms.
The new research has found that a total of 55% back the renewed public ownership of energy, while just 8% said they would oppose the policy. 23% said they neither supported nor opposed it, and 15% said they did not know.
It comes amid soaring energy bills, with living standards set for the largest drop since the 1950s.
However, Labour leader Keir Starmer has ruled out nationalising the Big Six energy firms. When asked whether he would implement the policy, he told the BBC: “No… I do not agree with the argument that says we must be ideological.”
4.Revealed: 90% of Met officers disciplined for racism still work for force-openDemocracy
OpenDemocracy highlights how just 5% of Metropolitan Police officers disciplined for racism towards fellow officers in recent years have been sacked.
It comes after the revelation that two officers who traumatised a Black teenage girl by strip-searching her at her school were only removed from front-line roles recently – two years after the horrifying event took place.
Freedom of Information requests by openDemocracy show that nearly 90% of officers who have been disciplined for racism against fellow officers still work for the Met – as do nearly 99% of the 300 officers who had a complaint made against them.
Katrina Ffrench, Director of UNJUST, an organisation that challenges racial injustice within the police, criticised officers who retired or resigned after an allegation was levelled at them. She said: “Such blatant avoidance of accountability only harms policing by undermining trust and legitimacy. The Met must do better.”
5. Childcare costs match or exceed the rent or mortgages for nearly two-thirds of families, survey finds –Morning Star
A survey has found that the cost of childcare matches or even exceeds that of rent or mortgages for nearly two-thirds of families, the Morning Star reports.
The shocking poll, conducted by campaign groups Pregnant Then Screwed and Mumsnet, shows that 62% of parents are paying the same, if not more, for childcare as they do to keep a roof over their heads.
The research, based on nearly 27,000 parents of young children, shows the figure is even higher for single parents and those who work full-time at 73%.
Nearly half (43%) of mums say that high childcare prices have forced them to consider quitting work, demonstrating how the problem pushes women into low-paid insecure work, the groups said.