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

A roundup of progressive news...

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1.The Tufton Street Elite Takes Back Control of the Brexit Project-Byline Times

After Liz Truss became prime minister, Byline Times takes a closer look at how the Tufton Street elite, a small but influential network of libertarian, pro-Brexit thinktanks and lobby groups, now have a new HQ, 10 Downing Street.

The piece highlights how Liz Truss has spoken at more events hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs and rather worryingly, that the “new Prime Minister has begun to execute the agenda of her ideological tutors”.

At least five of Truss’ closest advisors are Tufton Street alumni – including her chief economic advisor – while six Cabinet ministers have links to radical right-wing lobbying groups in the US.

This is the same IEA that refuses to disclose the sources of its funding and which opposes many Net Zero policies.

The guiding principle of Truss’ economic plan is based on the misguided belief of ‘trickle-down economics’ which these think tanks have pushed, plans which have done nothing more than ramp up inequality.

2.Scrap UK’s Net Zero Target, Key Figure in Pro-Truss Think Tank Tells Tory Conference-DeSmog

A senior figure from the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) which has close links to Liz Truss, has called for the 2050 net zero target to be scrapped, DeSmog reports.

It quotes Andy Mayer, chief operating officer and energy analyst at the IEA, as calling the legally binding target “nonsense” before adding that the energy crisis shows that energy security and “affordability” are more important.

“Get rid of it. Have a more sensible, aspirational, optimistic approach to tackling climate change and net zero,” Mayer told an IEA-run panel titled: “Energy Crisis: Can the UK Afford Net Zero?” at the Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham.

“The question with net zero, and the problem with the government’s position, is that it has adopted this very hard Left, socialist, central-planning model of tackling an environmental challenge,” Mayer said.

The IEA holds a great deal of influence with the current government and is believed to be holding several high-profile conference events with ministers.

3. Ministers found no evidence Truss’s ‘red tape-cutting’ will aid businesses-openDemocracy

Liz Truss may be big on cutting red tape, but even the government’s own experts have warned that there is no evidence that ‘red tape-cutting measures’ will benefit businesses’, openDemocracy has revealed.

The prime minister announced yesterday that 40,000 large companies will be given the same exemptions from regulations as those with fewer than 50 staff, because the changes ‘would boost productivity and supercharge growth’.

openDemocracy reports: “Research previously commissioned by the government found there was not enough evidence to support the deregulation – with one researcher telling openDemocracy it could actually hinder growth.

“A paper published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2018 concluded: “There is very limited empirical evidence on the firm-level effects of regulation on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth”.

The authors warned ministers that not understanding this would doom government plans “to failure”.

4. Can Liz Truss survive? New Statesman

Andrew Marr has a brilliant write up in the New Statesman looking at whether Liz Truss can survive the disastrous start to her premiership.

Marr points out that while Truss cannot sack her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, given how they are ‘politically joined at the hip’, then the best Truss can hope for is making it through to 2024 and holding an election following months of sustained growth; “if next year or in early 2024 this does not happen, then the ruthless Conservative machine may eject and replace her”, he warns.

The former BBC journalist writes: “Traditionally, a successful Conservative government can rely on the three Ms – support from the markets, the media and the machinery of state (including, from a distance, a fourth M: the monarchy). This one has, for the time being, lost the markets and much of the machinery of government, but it still has the media.

“The phalanx of Conservative newspapers is preparing to enter full election mode. Key editors loathe Keir Starmer for his role in prosecutions over phone hacking and have been told to do everything they possibly can to stop him reaching Downing Street.”

5. Richest to gain 40 times as much from tax cuts despite U-turn, analysis shows-LabourList

New analysis has found that the richest households will gain around 40 times as much as the poorest from the ‘mini-Budget’ despite the government U-turning on its plans to abolish the 45% income tax rate for earnings over £150,000, LabourList reports.

According to research published by the Resolution Foundation, the richest 5% of households in the UK still stand to gain an average of £3,500 next year due to the fiscal statement earlier this month.

LabourList reports: “While the Resolution Foundation found that the U-turn will remove 62% of the cash gains of the richest 5% of households and 54% of the richest 10%, the poorest fifth of households will gain just £90 next year from the mini-Budget.

“The think tank reported that a quarter of the gains from the remaining tax cuts will go to the richest 5% of households while just 16% will be spread across the entire bottom half of the income distribution.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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