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

A roundup of news from progressive outlets...

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1.Heritage Foundation Hosts UK Climate Science Denier at Event Opposing ‘Green Energy’-DeSmog

The influential U.S. think tank, the Heritage Foundation, has hosted a well-known UK climate science denier at an event attacking what one speaker called Europe’s “socialist” net zero policies, DeSmog reports.

The think tank held a panel event on December 8, called “Lessons for America from Europe’s Green Energy Disaster”, featuring Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s main climate science denial group.

The GWPF was founded in November 2009 and was headquartered at Tufton Street in London, a Westminster building home to a network of organisations, including pro-Brexit thinktanks and lobby groups.

The GWPF has long been accused of spreading misinformation about climate change with “little or no regard” for scientific evidence and seeking to slow progress on necessary action.

DeSmog reports: “The event’s chair Diana Furchtgott-Roth – who is director of Heritage’s Center for Energy, Climate, and Environment – wrote an article for Forbes last month which argued that the West should encourage “all countries” to use “natural gas, coal, and nuclear” to help the poor.”

2. Conservative Party Propped Up by Financiers, Property Developers & Fossil Fuel Interests-Byline Times

Byline Times reports on how the Conservative Party has seen some donors flee as it prepares for the growing likelihood of an electoral defeat and how, significantly, the party is being propped up by bankers, developers and fossil fuel interests.

Bankers have contributed a third of the party’s income over recent months, and at the same time the party has introduced plans to remove the cap on their bonuses, reports Sam Bright.

He writes: “The largest single cohort of Conservative donors are from the financial sector, with at least 10 financiers having given £833,000 to the party during the latest accounting period – a-third of its total income. This included Michael Tory (not a typo), who gave £100,000 to the party in September this year. Tory was the head of UK investment banking for Lehman Brothers when the firm collapsed in 2008 – an event that lit the touch-paper on the global financial crisis.

“The Conservatives also received £25,000 from Michael Daffey, a former Goldman Sachs executive who bought Jeffrey Epstein’s $51 million New York mansion. One of the largest Conservative donors in recent months has been Malik Karim, the former managing director of Credit Suisse, who gave £290,000 to the party in the three months to September. He is followed by Andrew Bell – the founder of an investment platform – who gave £250,000.”

3. I’ve been an NHS nurse for 15 years. Here’s why I’m going on strike-openDemocracy

A nurse has written a powerful opinion piece for openDemocracy about why she’s going on strike.

Holly Turner writes: “We hear reports of the NHS in crisis, hospitals running at capacity and dangerously low staffing levels. But without working within these services, it’s impossible to truly understand what this looks like for staff, and the patients these staff are doing their best to care for.

“What staff are witnessing first hand is a catastrophic breakdown of services that has left us with vacancies hitting 135,000 and patients in danger. We desperately need to focus on retention of staff: without addressing that, we have no chance of tackling the backlog of seven million patients. Sadly, neither the government or opposition ever bring retention into the conversation, because that would mean putting pay restoration on the agenda.

“In a recent survey by the GMB union, one in three ambulance staff said they had been involved in a delay that had resulted in a person dying. This is a terrifying statistic, and just one of many that the government should be taking far more seriously.”

4. Graham accuses Sunak of “abdication of responsibility” over ambulance strikes-LabourList

The general secretary of Unite the union, Sharon Graham has accused Rishi Sunak of an “abdication of responsibility” over upcoming industrial action by ambulance workers, LabourList reports.

She said: “In all my 25 years of negotiating deals with employers, I have never seen such an abdication of responsibility as that by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak today. It is well beyond time for him to intervene and break the deadlock in the NHS dispute.

“The general secretaries of all the unions involved are prepared to negotiate, but the PM needs to come to the table now. It’s time to stop hiding behind the discredited NHS pay review body.

“He needs to name the time and place. If need be, Downing Street on Christmas morning – a new deal and the dispute could be nearing resolution before it’s time for Christmas lunch.”

5. Cold Homes Kill-Tribune

Grace Blakeley has written a piece for Tribune magazine on how much of a devastating impact fuel poverty is having on families.

With millions of people pushed into fuel poverty as a result of soaring energy bills and a lack of government support, so-called ‘warm banks’ are springing up across the country as charities and local authorities struggle to support residents who can’t afford to heat their homes.

Blakeley writes: “The chancellor has said more targeted support will be provided to families in extreme need—those in receipt of social security payments like out of work benefits and the state pension. But of the twelve million households struggling to pay their energy bills, nearly three million will not qualify for government support. “There are more than seven million people living in those three million households, many of whom are children and elderly people, who will find themselves pushed even deeper into poverty as a result of

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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