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

An overview of progressive news

1.British newspapers have accepted money to publish positive environmental stories about Saudi Arabia around COP26 –Signing time

Byline Times Reports that the Independent and the Evening Standard were accused of greenwashing after accepting an undisclosed sum of money from Saudi Arabia to publish dozens of positive environmental stories about the country before, during and after the COP26 summit of United Nations on Climate Change in Glasgow.

An investigation by the newspaper reveals that in the days leading up to the summit and in its early days, the Independent published at least 50 stories and videos as part of a trade deal with Saudi Arabia.

Most of the articles published under the deal highlighted positive environmental actions linked to the country and failed to mention negative contextual details. 80% of the articles portrayed either Saudi Arabia’s energy ministry or an environmental program in the country in a positive light.

2. Portuguese homework laws are a model for the post-pandemic world – Magazine Tribune

In Portugal, new legislation gives workers additional rights in the world of ‘homework’ – banning out-of-hours contact, banning surveillance and forcing employers to foot the bill for expenses, Tribune Magazine reports.

With the pandemic resulting in a change in working practices for many workers, with millions of people working from home and working from home likely to increase in the future, problems such as corporate spying on people’s homes. and a disrupted work-life balance have gained importance.

Tribune explores how the government passed new labor laws that it hopes will be a game-changer for how remote work works, including banning employers from monitoring homeworkers.

3. The NHS appointment booking website mainly offers private healthcare.open democracy

a exclusive openDemocracy story examines how people who wait to make an appointment with their GP are “plunged into a ‘confusing’ system of paid testing and ‘backdoor privatization’.

Patients are redirected to the website of a group called “Patient Access”, one of the largest providers of general medicine services to patients. Patient Access is a product of Leeds-based healthcare IT giant EMIS, one of the three largest companies providing digital back office services to GPs.

At the start of the pandemic, EMIS was one of 11 companies selected to provide remote access to general practitioners, including video and online patient assessment services, after a competitive bidding process that did not ‘lasted only 48 hours. In 2020, its profits rose sharply to reach £ 36million.

4. Unions plan to complete MPs’ triggering polls by June 2022 – List of work

LabourList Reports that the Labor Party plans to hold trigger polls for MPs starting next week and ending in June 2022. The site reports that the decision is made on the assumption that the Tories will want to hold a general election in the spring of 2023, before the new Parliament, constituency boundaries come into play.

Under the new trigger ballot rules, local parties can impose a full selection process in a Labor-held seat only if a majority of local parties and affiliated sections vote to ‘trigger’ such a contest.

NEC members are expected to agree on a document setting a timeline for the trigger ballots, which will begin in November 2021 and end by June 2022. Current MPs will be asked if they intend to represent themselves or to retire. Local parties of those wishing to run for re-election will choose to automatically reselect their MP or trigger a full process.

5. The silversmith staff are fighting for the future of our universities – Novara Media

Goldsmith UCU Finance Working Group write about why they called one of the biggest strikes in recent university history. They say they are fighting the top-down destruction of higher education as universities have become cash engines for consultants, senior managers and owners, students and staff feeling the impact.

The three weeks of continued union action follow a restructuring proposal that would result in the loss of 52 jobs in academic and professional services and the centralization of university administration.

After an unprecedented 70.2% turnout in the ballot, 93.3% voted for non-strike action and 85.8% for strike action. Workers at Goldsmiths UCU, which has nearly 1,000 members, went on strike Tuesday last week.

Basit Mahmood is Editor-in-Chief of Left Foot Forward

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