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

A roundup of news on the left…

A pile of newspapers with text overlaid reading "Voices on the Left"

1.Government Offers No Dedicated Cash for Councils to Warn People they will Need Voter ID in May Elections-Byline Times

With voters in England required to show voter ID for elections from May 4th this year, Byline Times has a piece on how the government has provided no extra cash to councils for them to  inform people they will need to bring ID to vote.

Byline Times reports: “According to the Government, £4.75 million of funding has been provided to local authorities to support “additional engagement” with voters over the change. But it has not specified a dedicated amount to be spent solely on spreading the word to the electorate about the requirement for voter ID at polling stations. Any money that councils will also have to spend on hiring extra staff, training and admin to implement the change coming from this same pot.”

Several million people in the UK lack appropriate photo identification, with low-income and some ethnic minority groups among the most at risk of being disenfranchised.

2. Revealed: Met Police officers kept jobs after sending racist and sexist messages-openDemocracy

As the Metropolitan Police force continues to suffer from a crisis in confidence and trust,  openDemocracy reveals that Met cops received only written warnings for sending and posting racist, sexist and offensive messages on social media.

openDemocracy reports: “The documents show:

“In 2020, a WhatsApp message was “deemed to be offensive on the basis of ‘racism’”. This resulted in a final written warning.

“Also that year, an officer “sent inappropriate images that are racist, sexist and offensive via a whatsapp group”. The officer received a final written warning.

“Another received the same sanction for posting “sexually explicit and inappropriate posts” which “can be accessed and viewed by members of the public”.

3. Nigel Lawson, Founder of Tufton St. Climate Denial Group, Quits Parliament-DeSmog

Nigel Lawson, founder and honorary president of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)  has announced he will be retiring from parliament, DeSmog reports.

Lord Lawson, who was Chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, has played a prominent role in the climate sceptic group GWPF as well as in Net Zero Watch, and is leaving the House of Lords, according to the Telegraph.

LFF has previously reported on how Lord Lawson created a climate science denying apparatus in the heart of Parliament. He claimed that “global warming is not a problem” as recently as 2021, in an article written for the Spectator magazine.

4. 10 Reasons to Oppose the Anti-Strike Laws-Tribune

With the government’s anti-strike legislation passing its second reading in the Commons, Tribune has a brilliant write up of 10 reasons why we should oppose the anti-strike laws.

The Minimum Services Bill is an attack on a fundamental human right, the right to strike, with employees who disobey an order to work during a strike facing the sack.

Tribune’s piece also highlights how the measures could lead to union bankruptcy, as well as further decimating public services and keeping wages low.

5. Health and education strikes can unite communities behind the labour movement-Morning Star

The Morning Star has an editorial on how to defeat the Tories in their attempts to attack unions and keep pay low.

The paper claims that to defeat the intransigence of the government, ‘we need to continuously raise political pressure on decision-makers’, and ‘spreading the strikes across as many sectors as possible is the most effective way to do that.’

It goes on to add: “The National Education Union’s ballot result is such good news because healthcare and education are two core pillars of public service in Britain, services nearly every family relies on.

“Hospitals and schools can act as focal points for community mobilisation behind strikers and their demands. Unions should be clear that there will be consequences for local politicians who are not prepared to support striking workers.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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