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

A roundup of progressive media news…

1.50,000 of the UK’s newest nurses recruited from poor countries in short supply –openDemocracy

OpenDemocracy features an article on how a quarter of all new nurses in the UK were educated in poorer countries with more severe staffing shortages.

“Since 2017, 50,000 of the nurses who have registered to practice in the UK have been educated in countries that have too few of their own nurses to provide the level of health care recommended by the United Nations,” writes Adam Bychawski .

Of those who signed up, 38,000 new NHS England nurses indicated their nationality, including countries that have experienced severe staff shortages over the past five years.

The World Health Organization has spoken out against active recruitment in countries themselves suffering from a shortage of nurses.

2.Vote ID-‘It’s far worse than any US state’, Byline Time

The government’s plans to introduce voter ID for the next round of elections are a form of “legal voter suppression” that would have a far more disproportionate impact on younger voters than older voters, writes the former LFF editor Josiah Mortimer for Byline Times.

In England’s 2023 election, voters will have to show ID or be turned away for the first time, after the Elections Act was passed in April.

Six of the government-accepted IDs are specifically for older people, while almost none are for young people.

Labor MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle told Byline Times the recent changes reflected voter suppression in the United States. He said: ‘I had a colleague from the New York City Council here last week – we chatted and he couldn’t believe the levels of identification that were unacceptable. He said that even in the United States, university cards are accepted. It’s way worse than any US state here – he couldn’t believe it.

3. Sanctioned coal barons among Russian delegates to COP27 –DeSmog

As the COP27 meeting in Egypt offers another opportunity for world leaders to come together to fight climate change, Russia has decided to send dozens of leaders from the country’s vast fossil fuel industry to the conference, including two sanctioned oligarchs with significant coal interests, DeSmog reports.

The site reports that: “Oleg Deripaska, who has large stakes in several coal companies, and Andrey Melnichenko, who transferred ownership of Russia’s largest coal producer to his wife in March when the sanctions were imposed, are expected to both attend.

“Sixteen other people on the official Russian delegation’s list are linked to businessmen currently under Western sanctions, including six representatives of oil and gas giant Gazprom, according to the DeSmog analysis.”

Green MP Caroline Lucas said: “Russian coal billionaires with close ties to Putin should not be close to the COP27 climate conference.

“Dirty money and the influence of fossil fuels will not solve the climate emergency – the only way to do that is to keep new fossil fuels firmly in the ground and invest in green economic transformation instead. which is so urgent.”

4. Matt Wrack: “You can change your own life if you’re organized” –Grandstand

Tribune features an interview with Matt Wrack of the Fire Brigades Union to discuss the Conservatives’ assault on public services, the prospect of a firefighters’ strike – and how to rebuild a fighting union movement for the 21st century.

Socialist magazine reports that over the past ten years central funding for the fire service has collapsed by forty percent in real terms. 1 in 5 firefighter jobs have been lost, and for those who remain, real wages have been cut by £4,000”.

Amid the cost of living crisis, with firefighters left with no choice but to use food banks, Wrack telling Tribune Magazine: “Even using the CPI, we estimate that a firefighter is less well off by around £4,000 a year than if our salary had kept pace with inflation over the last twelve years, that’s a loss percentage of around 12%.

He added: “Real wage cuts have caused a lot of demoralization. Some people just want to fight, and that’s fine. Other people are demoralized by the fact that their employer, chief officer, and politicians don’t care about them or the work they do. Most firefighters take great pride in their work, but they want to be able to do it efficiently, professionally and also in decent conditions. And those 12 years have been an endless grind of one thing after another.

5. Our right to protest is fundamental – and we must fight to keep it –work list

Labor MP Marsha de Cordova has written an article for LabourList on why the Government’s Public Order Bill will make it more difficult to bring about meaningful change in society, given how it would “criminalize legitimate protest tactics and deter people from taking to the streets out of fear.” consequences “.

Marsha writes: “Measures including a new lockdown offense will draw people with disabilities and others into the criminal justice system. For example, activists with disabilities who lock their wheelchairs at traffic lights to protest social security cuts by the Conservative-led coalition government in 2010 would be criminalized under this bill. Direct action not only helps bring about fundamental change, but it has also helped change the narrative of how we are portrayed. Through the protests, we have shown that we have agency and can determine our own future.

She goes on to add, “This bill will not solve the problems it purports to solve. Suppressing the protest will impact us all, but it is those of us from underrepresented backgrounds who will suffer the most. The government should protect our right to protest, express and ensure our safety. If he really cared, he would have introduced a victims bill and brought justice to the 1.3 million victims who dropped out of the justice system last year.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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