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

A roundup of progressive news...

Voices on the Left

1.GB News Appoints Chairman Who Spent Years Promoting Climate Denial

DeSmog features a piece on how GB News has appointed as its chairman someone who has a ‘history of sharing articles that dismiss the threat of climate change, sharpening concerns about the TV channel’s role as a platform for opponents of climate action’. 

The site reports that ‘between 2013 and 2017, United Arab Emirates-based investment manager Alan McCormick tweeted numerous articles by climate science deniers, including one calling on readers to “celebrate carbon dioxide”.

GB News has regularly hosted guests who have cast doubt on climate science and oppose net zero polices, including the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of Conservative MPs. In March, presenter Nigel Farage launched a call for a “Net Zero Referendum” on the UK’s climate targets, modelled on his Brexit campaign.

2. Taxpayers charged £17m to subsidise MPs’ food-openDemocracy

OpenDemocracy has an exclusive story on how taxpayers have forked out £17 million to subsidise bars and restaurants in the House of Commons over a three years period.

It found that ‘politicians could have a full three-course meal at the restaurant for as little as £10.41 last year’.

This is despite all 17 of the bars and eateries in the House of Commons making huge financial losses – totalling £6.6m in the first year of the pandemic alone.

The findings come amid a soaring cost of living crisis, with one Tory MP last week claiming that food poverty was down to a lack of cooking and budgeting skills among the poor, for which he was widely condemned.

Others such as Tory minister George Eustice have been urging people to stop buying branded items.

3. Labour can win by focusing on cost of living not ‘culture war’, poll suggests

LabourList has a write up of new polling by Opinium which shows that Labour can win the next general election by focusing on the cost-of-living crisis and avoiding the ‘culture war’.

The poll, carried out for Progressive Britain, found that when people were asked what debate they were most passionate about at the moment, 46% said the cost of living.

LabourList reports: “The cost of living came first, above the NHS, the war in the Ukraine and climate change. 6% said they were “passionate” about whether or not trans women should participate in women’s sport, and 6% cited the law around recreational drugs”.

Commenting following the publication of the research, Progressive Britain director Nathan Yeowell said: “The local elections results squared with my experience on the doorstep: people are listening and willing to vote Labour.

“But we can’t rely on Johnson to keep messing up, we have to come forward with a relatable cost of living programme for the current crisis, and a vision for work, jobs and security that people can believe in for the next election.”

4. The Tory Plan for Stealth NHS Privatisation –Tribune Magazine

Christopher Thomas writes for Tribune Magazine on how the Tory government is pushing an ever-growing number of people towards private alternatives by neglecting and underfunding the National Health Service.

A worrying survey last month found that half of private healthcare leaders expect their industry’s market in the UK to grow by ten or fifteen percent by 2025.

Christopher writes: “In a country with universal healthcare, this in itself is a huge coup. Worse, it risks undermining the basis of support for the service we already have. The NHS is the envy of the world—but political choices made by a select few are turning a fundamentally unjust, two-tier model of healthcare into Britain’s new normal.”

He says that chronic underfunding and a lack of investment has led to record waiting lists, meaning more people have begun turning to private healthcare as a result.

“In the long run, diminishing use could form the basis for ending the NHS as we know”, he says.

5. The government’s plan to cut 90,000 Civil Service jobs marks a return to austerity, TUC warns-Morning Star

The Morning Star features a piece on the reaction to the government’s plan to cut 90,000 Civil Service jobs.

The prime minister has called for the jobs to be cut to free up cash to spend on tax cuts, however the TUC says its proof once more that the government is committed to austerity.

Frances O’Grady, the general secretary of the TUC, says: “This is back to austerity – and we saw how austerity failed not only ordinary people but the country in the end by holding back growth.

“How on Earth the government expects to be able to shed 90,000 civil servants at a stroke and for it not to damage communities, I really don’t know.

“Communities will be extremely angry if they’re looking to get hit again, in terms of key public services.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Comments are closed.