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.Liz Truss Cites Economist Linked to Climate Deniers in Defence of Her Tax Cut Plan-DeSmog

Tory leadership hopeful Liz Truss has cited an economist who not only thought that the minimum wage would lead to millions being unemployed but who is also linked to climate deniers.

DeSmog exposes how Patrick Minford, who Truss cited as the one economist who supports her tax plans, is also a fellow at the Centre for Brexit Policy (CBP), a think-tank in which several figures also hold key roles in the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

Minford also led the now defunct pressure group Economists for Free Trade (EFT), which was convened by US shale gas millionaire Edgar Miller, one of the few known funders of the GWPF.

Rather worrying that those linked to climate deniers are now once more having an influential role in the Tory leadership contest.

2. Tory MP Takes £46,000 a-Year Second Job With Energy Company-Byline Times

Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin in Shropshire, has accepted a lucrative second job with an American energy firm during the cost of living crisis, Byline Times reveals.

Pritchard was appointed as a “strategic marketing communications” advisor to Linden Energy Holdings on 1 May this year, with an annual salary of £3,900 a-month, equivalent to £46,800 a-year. Pritchard is contracted to deliver 12 hours of work a month for Linden, meaning that his hourly rate is £325 (£2,600 a-day).

The revelations come at a time when the rest of the country is suffering from a cost of living crisis caused by soaring energy bills.

3. Home Office pressured inspector to soften damning report on Channel crossings-openDemocracy

The Home Office has been accused of pressuring an independent inspector to change a report that called aspects of its response to Channel migrant crossings “inexcusably awful”.

OpenDemocracy reports: “Home Office officials demanded that David Neal reword his foreword because it was too critical, but Neal – the chief inspector of borders and immigration – refused.

“The report, which was published today after a three-month delay, said the way vulnerable migrants who crossed the Channel by small boats were being treated on arrival was “unacceptable”. 

“The Home Office’s performance in delivering an effective and efficient response to the challenge posed by the increasing volume of migrant arrivals via small boats is poor. In my judgement, this arises principally from a refusal to transition from an emergency response to what has rapidly become steady state, or business as usual,” Neal said in his foreword to the report.”

4. BT Workers Are Striking Against Corporate Greed-Tribune Magazine

Dave Ward, the general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, writes for Tribune Magazine about why BT workers are going on strike.

It will be the first BT and Openreach strike since 1987 and will pit engineers and call centre workers, many of whom are forced to rely on foodbanks, against a massively profitable corporation – and executives who earn millions of pounds a year.

Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, received £3.5 million (a 32 percent rise) last year—86 times the average salary of a BT Group worker.

Ward writes: “BT Group made record profits of £2 billion last year, with millions given out to shareholders. In addition, Philip Jansen, CEO of BT, received £3.5 million (a 32 percent rise) last year—86 times the average salary of a BT Group worker. Despite this incredible wealth built off the backs of their employees, in March, managers at BT Group imposed a £1,500 flat rate payment, but with inflation currently at over nine percent, this represents a real-terms pay cut. This is an insulting offer, when some BT staff are so poorly paid that food banks have been set up in the workplace. The executives are using Swiss Banks while our members queue at food banks.”

5. Starmer: Rebooting economy will be next Labour government’s “defining task”-LabourList

LabourList feature a piece on the Labour Party’s plans to reboot the economy and tackle the cost of living crisis. The Labour leader has declared that rebooting the economy would be the next Labour government’s ‘defining task’, as he announced that the party would set up an ‘industrial strategy council’.

In a major speech in Liverpool today, Starmer said that the approach to growth I have set out today will challenge my party’s instincts. It pushes us to care as much about growth and productivity, as we have done about redistribution and investment in the past. Not to hark back to our old ideas in the face of new challenges…

“We will not be distracted by the siren calls – from the right or the left – that say economic growth and net-zero do not go together.”

You can read the full speech here.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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