A roundup of progressive news….
1.MPs who lobbied for controversial ‘green’ petrol were funded by fuel industry –openDemocracy
A group of MPs who successfully managed to lobby the government to roll out a controversial ‘greener’ petrol to filling stations across the UK had received funding and support from the fuel industry, openDemocracy reveals.
Far from being greener, experts have warned that the fuel could actually lead to an increase in CO2 emissions compared with regular petrol.
Letters seen by openDemocracy reveal how the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Bioethanol met with ministers and urged the government to introduce E10 petrol “as swiftly as possible”.
The openDemocracy investigation states: “The APPG’s influential keystone report on E10, published in 2019, was paid for by a bioethanol company, Ensus Ltd. Staff from the company served as the group’s ‘secretariat’ and even gave “assistance” with research and writing the report, which namechecks Ensus 20 times and quotes its commercial director Grant Pearson.
“In total, Ensus provided between £3,001 and £4,500 worth of services.”
2.Yes, Now Is the Time to Demand Higher Wages –Tribune Magazine
Grace Blakeley writes for Tribune Magazine on why now is exactly the time to demand higher wages, after the governor of the Bank of England urged ‘wage restraint’.
Blakeley argues that Bailey’s approach was hypocritical and ‘economically nonsensical, as everyone from the head of the free market IFS to trade unionists were keen to point out’.
She writes: “When policymakers argue that workers are the ones driving inflation, they are preparing the ground for interventions that force workers to pay for that inflation.
“It is very obvious that wages are not being driven by greedy, militant unionists pushing their helpless bosses to provide wage increases that they simply can’t afford. Such a situation has only ever obtained in the imagination of capital, and it certainly doesn’t fit the facts today.”
3. The Labour Party is on track: we have the hunger, the desire and the ideas –LabourList
LabourList features an op-ed from Labour leader Keir Starmer after he took to the road, meeting voters during the parliamentary recess.
Starmer vows to unlock the talent and ambition which are found across our country but which is hampered by a lack of opportunity. He says: “That’s what this security, prosperity and respect tour has been all about: seeing the creativity underway in our towns and hearing the desires of communities across the country. You cannot fail to be inspired by it.”
The Labour leader says people who didn’t vote Labour at the last election are now taking a second look at the party and that there is huge ‘enthusiasm for the direction Labour is moving in’.
4. The British Empire Wasn’t Just About Race –Novara Media
Kojo Koram writes for Novara Media about how recent years have seen an attempt to draw a line between people who care about race and empire, and people who care about the communities that have been economically “left behind” in Britain.
However, Kojo explains that the desire to bracket off debates about empire into debates about race, ‘as though conversations around its legacy are essentially the concern of bitter racial minorities inflicting their frustrations on everybody else’, is an old trick.
Kojo writes: “Challenging the aftermath of empire in Britain means reinterpreting the British state and its constitution in light of its development through empire, understanding the role that English conceptions of property play in reinforcing global corporate power, placing the never-ending immigration debate in the context of Britain’s global legacy, looking at the role that the City of London and Britain’s overseas territories play in financial globalisation, and asking how many of the problems that Britain itself is now facing are themselves a consequence of the afterlife of empire.”
5.Over a million people in England paid too much for NHS prescriptions, study finds –Morning Star
More than a million people in England overpaid for NHS prescriptions in the year to April 2021, the Morning Star reports.
The report was based on a consumer advice company report, with people affected missing out on savings of around £40 on average because a certificate could have capped their costs.
MoneySavingExpert said people can buy an NHS prescription “season ticket” which would typically save them money if they tend to pay for more than one prescription per month.
In total, 1,063,648 people paid for at least 12 prescriptions in the 2020/21 financial year, with 16 being purchased on average.
Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward
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