Voices on the Left: 5 leftist blogs to read this week


An overview of progressive news…

1. How the Net Zero Backlash is linked to climate denial – and Brexit – DeSmog

DeSmog has a shiny room on how the current backlash against Net Zero and the campaigns for a referendum on the issue are linked to both climate denial and Brexit.

Taking a closer look at the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG), a group of around 20 Conservative MPs opposed to the “net zero agenda”, the article highlights how it is linked to climate science that denies Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) as well as think tanks that pushed for Brexit.

He says: “The NZSG has roots in the libertarian network behind the push for a ‘hard’ Brexit, including the European Research Group (ERG), which Baker chaired. Many of the politicians, think tanks and donors who supported Brexit are deeply involved in opposing climate action. Nigel Farage recently joined the fray with his campaign for a “net zero referendum,” an effort rooted in climate science denial.

Exploring the links between the NZSG and the GWPF, he adds: “The links of the MP group with the GWPF are extensive. In August 2021, NZSG chairman Craig Mackinlay told Bloomberg that his new parliamentary group would use GWPF research for its campaign. Meanwhile, two NZSG members are current or former GWPF Trustees: Steve Baker, MP, joined the GWPF as a Trustee in May 2021, and Lord Peter Lilley, NZSG Member, is a former GWPF Trustee .

2. Ministers refuse to take action against racial discrimination – so we must fight –work list

Imran Hussain wrote an opinion piece for work list about discrimination against people from ethnic minorities in Britain and how it is often overlooked in the workplace.

Imran writes, “This discrimination takes many different forms, from outright bullying and harassment, which should always be reported and always prosecuted, to unconscious biases that prevent them from being promoted, see them work fewer hours or let them earn less than their colleagues. .”

Imran criticizes the government for its lack of progress on the issue, particularly on wage disparities.

He adds: “According to the latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics, there is a wide variation in the ethnic pay gap across the country, reaching up to 24% in London, which sees people from BME earn less than their colleagues. Yet, despite numerous warnings and repeated pleas from businesses and unions, the government continues to sit idly by rather than tackle the problem.

3. MPs raked in £500,000 as government flip-flopped on second jobs –openDemocracy

OpenDemocracy reveals how the 20 highest earning MPs raked in almost half a million pounds from second jobs in the four months the government ended its crackdown plans.

Among the MPs named are former Prime Minister Theresa May and Tory MP and lawyer Geoffrey Cox. The revelations come after Tory ministers quietly scrapped plans to cap MPs’ earnings from second jobs following lobbying scandals involving the likes of Owen Paterson last year.

4. The Conservatives’ war on public transport –Tribune Magazine

Karl Hansen writes for Tribune on how the cost of living crisis has impacted people’s ability to pay for their journeys and how public transport can be an alternative, but only if the Conservatives give up their obsession with privatization and increase funding.

Hansen writes, “High levels of car dependency that expose workers to rising fuel prices are not inevitable; they are the result of bad public policy. For years, governments have sought to reduce the cost of the automobile while pushing the cost of public transport above the cost of living, creating an incentive to drive. The result of this war on public transport is that car addiction has reached its highest level in fifteen years.

“Public transport not only suffers from chronic underfunding, it has been devastated by privatization and deregulation. Control and ownership of buses and railways were given to the private sector, resulting in fragmented and poorly managed services that prioritized shareholder profits over the provision of a public service.

5. Six million on the brink of fuel poverty –the morning star

Morning Star Features an article about the impact of energy poverty on working class communities across the country.

“The worst affected areas will be working-class areas in the Midlands and Yorkshire, including Bushbury South and Low Hill in Wolverhampton, with 88% of homes in fuel poverty.

“Washwood Heath in Birmingham, Castle and Priory in Dudley, Shelton in Stoke will see over 80% energy poverty and Smallbridge and Wardleworth in Rochdale, Bramley in Leeds, Richmond in Sheffield, Derwent in Derby and Nechells in Birmingham with just under 80 percent.”

William Baker, from Solutions to Tackle Energy Poverty, said local authorities would face a “tsunami of energy poverty” in the coming months and needed government resources to deal with it.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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