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


A roundup of progressive news…

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

1. Why the Burston Strike School still inspires – Morning Star

The annual rally to commemorate the Burston Strike School took place this Sunday. Writing in the Morning Star, Gary Smith explores why an industrial dispute in rural Norfolk maintains a presence in the labour movements collective consciousness. The Burston strike is the longest in British history – spanning from 1914 to 1939.

Smith writes, “It was the longest and perhaps the most idiosyncratic dispute in our history, bringing to the fore the agency of young people, challenges to deference and rural hierarchies, questions of land ownership and the clash between visions of education as a force for social control or for self-realisation.”

2. The PM must step up and provide for people, starting with free school meals – LabourList

The new Prime Minister has a complicated in-tray, but top of the list will be addressing the staggering cost of living crisis. Writing for LabourList, Kim Johnson has argued that school meals could be a crucial way of tackling this for children across the country.

Johnson writes, “In constituencies like mine in Liverpool Riverside, which has some of the most deprived wards in the country, 11 children in a classroom of 30 were already living in poverty prior to the cost-of-living crisis. Nationally, nearly four million children are now living in poverty – two thirds of them in working households – as we stare down the barrel of the most drastic drop in living standards for a century.”

Johnson goes on to argue for universal provision of free school meals, writing, “I’m calling on the government to roll out universal free school meals to ensure no child has to go hungry. It will be the first test for our new Prime Minister and Education Secretary, to show how far they are prepared to go to stop families starving this winter.”

3. Voters already hate Liz Truss – Novara Media

As a result of the mega-exposure of the Tory leadership contest, we now have a sense of the public’s attitudes towards Liz Truss. A wealth of polling has bene published on Truss, and Ell Folan has broken it down for Novara Media.

Folan writes, “According to YouGov, her net favourability rating is -32 – a figure that compares poorly to Starmer’s -18 net rating. Both leaders are unpopular, but Truss is more so.”

Folan goes on to argue that Truss’ popularity is only likely to decline. They conclude, “Her party’s reputation is poor, her personal popularity is low, and when she fights the next general election her party will be seeking a virtually unprecedented fifth term in office. Truss would do well to call a snap election as soon as she’s secure in Downing Street – because in terms of popularity, it’s only downhill from there.”

4. It’s time to cap political donations at a level the poorest can afford – openDemocracy

Writing in openDemocracy this week, Sam Fowles argued, “Every few weeks sees a new political donations scandal. The system needs fundamental reform.”

Fowles’ piece presents analysis from openDemocracy that donations to the governing party correlates with favourable government policy, highlighting the major donations to the Tories from the likes of property developers and fossil fuel companies.

According to Fowles, “The real issue is structural – our current system forces political parties to rely on donations. A small number of ultra-rich donors can thus decide which politicians and parties succeed and which fail.”

Fowles goes on to argue that capping donors at a level that only the poorest in the country can afford would mean “political influence of (unaccountable) rich donors would, consequently, no longer exceed that of ordinary people.”

5. Anti-Green Politicians Tipped for Top Roles in Truss Government – Desmog

With Liz Truss set to become the next Prime Minister, rumours have been circulating in the press as to who will take the top jobs in her government. Desmog’s Phoebe Cook has taken a look at those tipped for high office and their records on the climate crisis.

Highlighting right wing figures like John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg, Cook writes, “MPs with a history of casting doubt on climate science and opposing green policies are poised for cabinet positions under Tory leadership favourite Liz Truss, prompting fears over the UK’s climate ambitions.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful – and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Leave a Reply