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In ‘Grave Breach’ of International Law, Israel Orders More Evacuations in Rafah

“People have stayed in Rafah thinking it’s safe and hoping that global pressure would stop an invasion. But now we are abandoned by the world and everyone feels betrayed and let down,” one aid worker said.

As Gaza Assault Intensifies, Egypt Joins ICJ Case Accusing Israel of Genocide

A Palestinian who died as a result of Israeli attacks is brought to Al Aqsa Martyr’s Hospital in Deir al Balah, Gaza on May 12, 2024.
 (Photo: Ashraf Amra/Anadolu via Getty Images)

“It’s a real diplomatic punch,” a former Israeli diplomat said. “Israel would have to take it very seriously.”

‘Sad What We Are Doing’: Global CO2 Increase Sets New All-Time Record

“I’d make this the lead story in every paper and newscast on the planet,” said Bill McKibben. “If we don’t understand the depth of the climate crisis, we will not act in time.”

Analysis Finds Nearly 100% of Campus Gaza Protests Have Been Peaceful

“If someone is speaking more about ‘violent encampments’ than they are about violent genocide of the Palestinians, they have a problem reflective of deep and dangerous biases,” said one supporter.

Trump-Appointed Judge Halts Biden Rule Capping Credit Card Fees

Mandela’s grandson calls Lammy ‘apologist for genocide’

Skwawkbox Exclusive: Israel lobby, Murdoch press hunting Greens after party gives ground to pressure

Direct action groups vow to defy government plans to proscribe them as ‘extremist’

Just Stop Oil activists demonstrate in Parliament Square, Westminster, central London, to demand the government immediately halt all new oil, gas and coal projects in Britain, October 30, 2023
Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil's You May Find Yourself... art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.
Image of InBedWithBigOil by Not Here To Be Liked + Hex Prints from Just Stop Oil’s You May Find Yourself… art auction. Featuring Rishi Sunak, Fossil Fuels and Rupert Murdoch.

New Labour MP Natalie Elphicke accused of lobbying over husband’s sexual assault case

Greta Thunberg fined for disobeying police at climate protest

Australia backs gas beyond 2050 despite climate fears

Ireland identifies four coastal areas for offshore wind projects

Auctions for the proposed sites are expected to occur before the end of 2024. Credit: ShutterDesigner/Shutterstock.com.

Rees-Mogg claimed this was “nonsense” and that no fossil fuel subsidies were handed out. He argued that they were tax breaks not subsidies and that the two were “completely different”, before cutting off the interview telling Vince to “do your homework”. 

The energy boss did, and hit back with a video in which he explains how tax breaks are subsidies, as laid out in a piece of Brexit legislation passed when Rees-Mogg himself was Brexit Minister.

Vince refers to a piece of Brexit legislation, the Subsidy Control Act 2022, which replaced EU laws with new British legislation which he said lays out that tax breaks are in fact counted as subsidies. 

In the video Vince said: “It begs the question, Mr Mogg, were you not paying attention when you were Brexit Minister passing pieces of legislation, did you not know that it was EU rules that say that tax breaks are subsidies and UK rules as well, both inside and outside the EU? Have you not done your homework?”

The New Economics Foundation has estimated that oil and gas extractors could receive up to £18.5bn in tax relief between 2023 and 2026, while the UK government gave fossil fuel companies £20bn more in support than renewables from 2015 to 2023, research found.

Campaigners have said that owners of the Rosebank development, a massive new, controversial oilfield in the North Sea, are set to receive around £3bn in tax breaks from the UK government.

The british green energy industrialist was praised online for his comeback.

A professor of law wrote on X: “Indeed, and a tax break can also be a subsidy (provided that it is specific) under the rules of the blessed WTO, which Rees-Mogg used to praise so highly. It’s Rees-Mogg who did not do his homework here.”

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Government accused of ‘conjuring up culture war with energy policy,’ as Rees-Mogg calls for ‘indefinite’ postponement of Net Zero targets

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https://leftfootforward.org/2024/03/government-accused-of-conjuring-up-culture-war-with-energy-policy-as-rees-mogg-calls-for-indefinite-postponement-of-net-zero-targets/

‘Another step backwards on the critical road to Net Zero.’

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has called for Net Zero targets to be postponed ‘indefinitely.’

The comments were made after Rishi Sunak announced that Britain needs to build new, gas-fired power stations to ensure the country’s energy security. The stations would replace many aging existing plants. However, the plans do not include climate-change measures, which critics say could threaten a legally binding commitment to cut carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2050.

Shadow energy secretary Ed Miliband accused the Tories of “persisting with the ludicrous ban on onshore wind, bungling the offshore wind auctions, and failing on energy efficiency.”

Liberal Democrat energy and climate change spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said that announcement was “another step backwards on the critical road to Net Zero.”

But for Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has a long record of climate denialism, the government’s announcement to build new gas-fired power stations is a good first step against what he referred to as the Net Zero ‘obsession.’

https://leftfootforward.org/2024/03/government-accused-of-conjuring-up-culture-war-with-energy-policy-as-rees-mogg-calls-for-indefinite-postponement-of-net-zero-targets/

Continue ReadingGovernment accused of ‘conjuring up culture war with energy policy,’ as Rees-Mogg calls for ‘indefinite’ postponement of Net Zero targets

New Liz Truss Faction ‘Pops’ With Climate Science Denial and Fossil Fuel Ties

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Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Lee Anderson and Liz Truss at the launch of ‘Popular Conservatism’. Credit: PA Images / Alamy

The launch of Popular Conservatism saw attacks on “net zero zealots” and the Climate Change Committee.

Liz Truss’s new ‘Popular Conservatism’ faction of the Conservative Party launched today with attacks on net zero targets and environmental bodies, using the playbook established by libertarian lobby groups.

The self-styled PopCons included politicians critical of climate policies and science, including Lord Frost, who is a director of the climate science denial Global Warming Policy Foundation, as well as Conservative MP Lee Anderson and Reform party president Nigel Farage

PopCon director Mark Littlewood is the outgoing managing director of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), an influential free market think tank that has talked up its access to government. 

The IEA received funding from oil company BP every year from 1967 to 2018, according to an Unearthed investigation confirmed by the IEA. Both IEA and BP have declined to say if this funding continues, when asked by DeSmog. 

A branded leaflet handed out at the event, under the heading “what we stand for”, stated: “End net zero zealotry and promote energy pragmatism to provide both security of supply and low prices”. 

The leaflet also named the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the government’s independent advisory body on hitting its climate targets, as one of the institutions which “stand in the way of meaningful reform”.  

Littlewood’s speech criticised the UK’s net zero target, complaining about “the Climate Change Committee, pronouncing on our progress to the eye-wateringly [sic] expensive and almost certainly unachievable aim of being carbon net zero”. 

Lee Anderson, former deputy chair of the Conservative Party, repeatedly attacked net zero in his speech, which he claimed “never comes up on the doorstep” aside from when it is brought up by “the odd weirdo”.

Anderson said: “if we became net zero tomorrow, this country… it wouldn’t make a blind bit of difference to the earth’s atmosphere”, pointing to the higher emissions produced by other countries. 

Anderson argued that net zero would cost voters money, calling for an “opt-in, opt-out” approach to what he called “green levies” on energy bills, adding: “Not one politician can put their hand on their hearts and tell you how much it’s [net zero] going to cost.”

The CCC has estimated the cost of net zero at less than one percent of GDP, while the Office for Budget Responsibility has said that “the costs of failing to get climate change under control would be much larger than those of bringing emissions down to net zero”.

Liz Truss used her speech to say: “If we look at the net zero zealots that Lee has just been talking about, the need for cheaper energy is being drowned out by some very active campaigners.” She claimed voters “don’t like the net zero policies which are making energy more expensive”. 

The International Monetary Fund found in September 2022 that the energy crisis was hitting UK households harder than any country in western Europe, due to the UK’s reliance on gas for heating homes.

Politicians fronting the PopCon group have a history of working with anti-green think tanks and supporting more fossil fuel extraction. 

Truss (who went to the University of Oxford with Littlewood) has extensive ties to the IEA, which is part of the Tufton Street network – a cluster of libertarian pressure groups and think tanks that oppose state-led climate action.

In 2022, Truss’s campaign for Tory leader was run by Ruth Porter, a former communications director at the IEA. Once in 10 Downing Street, Truss hired Porter as her senior special advisor, and has since appointed her to the House of Lords. A number of former Tufton Street figures were appointed to government advisory roles during Truss’s short-lived tenure in Downing Street.

The IEA publicly supported Truss’s ‘mini-budget’, which caused economic chaos by promising large tax cuts without explaining how they would be funded. While in office, Truss lifted the UK’s ban on fracking for shale gas, a policy advocated by the IEA. (The policy was ditched by her successor Rishi Sunak.) 

The IEA has consistently opposed UK government climate policies, preferring “market solutions”. In October 2022, IEA executive Andy Mayer said the government should “get rid of” its net zero target, which he called a “very hard left, socialist, central-planning model”.

During her 2022 leadership campaign, Truss received £5,000 from Lord Vinson, one of the few known funders of the Tufton Street-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), the UK’s main climate science denial group. 

Rees-Mogg also has a long record of opposing climate policies. Earlier this month he said: “the current headlong rush to net zero risks impoverishing the nation to no global benefit on emissions”.

The UK government’s legally-binding target to cut carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 is part of international efforts to keep global warming below 1.5C. 

As Business and Energy Secretary in 2022, Rees-Mogg supported overturning the UK’s ban on fracking, and said “we have to stop demonising oil and gas” in a meeting with the UAE’s state investment company. 

He also receives around £29,000 per month to host a show on right-wing broadcaster GB News. A DeSmog investigation last year found one in three GB News hosts spread climate science denial on air in 2022, while more than half attacked net zero policies. The channel‘s co-owner, Paul Marshall, has £1.8 billion invested in fossil fuels via his investment fund Marshall Wace.

Science Denial

Several figures with ties to climate science denial turned out for the PopCon launch. They included Lord Frost, a trustee of the GWPF who last year said global warming could be “beneficial”, along with Dame Andrea Jenkyns, who sits on the board of the GWPF’s campaign arm, Net Zero Watch

The IEA and GWPF have both received funding from Neil Record, a Conservative donor who was IEA chairman until July 2023 and remains chair of Net Zero Watch. Record has donated thousands to Tory MP Steve Baker, an IEA ally and former GWPF trustee who has claimed much climate science is “contestable” and “propagandised”. 

The PopCon launch was also attended by GB News host Nigel Farage, honorary president of right-wing party Reform UK, which campaigns to “scrap net zero”. Last year the party received £135,000 from donors who spread climate denial or had fossil fuel interests. Reform leader Richard Tice has claimed that “CO2 isn’t poison; it’s plant food”.

Farage posed for a photo at the PopCon event with Lois Perry, director of climate denial group CAR26, who is running for leader of UKIP and last month said she does not believe in human-caused climate change. 

Original article by Adam Barnett republished from DeSmog.

Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.
Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.

Liz Truss attacks ‘left-wing extremists’ at Tory PopCon launch 

Addressing the audience Truss made a series of bizarre attacks on the Left, taking aim at “wokeism” and said the Tories had failed to “take on the left-wing extremists”. 

“Wokeism seems to be on the curriculum,” said Truss. “There is confusion about basic biological facts, like what is a woman. 

“Look at the net zero zealots, if you listen to the Today programme, I don’t recommend it, you’ll hear demands for more public spending.”

Truss went on to warn that the left were “on the march and actively organising”. 

“These people have repurposed themselves, they don’t believe they are socialist or communists anymore. They say they’re environmentalists, they say they’re in favour of helping people across all communities, they are in favour of supporting LGBT people or groups of ethnic minorities. 

“So they no longer admit that they are collectivists but that is what their ideology is about.” 

She went on to claim that anti-capitalists were being “pandered to” by the Government and that Conservative values were being eroded and said it was “only through Conservative values that we can give the British people what they want”, however fell short on saying what this was exactly. 

Liz Truss attacks ‘left-wing extremists’ at Tory PopCon launch 

Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.
Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.

Truss summons ‘Secret Tories’ to fight Davos and Left

Former prime minister Liz Truss during the launch of the Popular Conservatism movement at the Emmanuel Centre in central London, in a bid to rally right-wing Tory MPs ahead of a general election this year, February 6, 2024

Running through a list of enemies almost longer than her catastrophic time in Downing Street, Ms Truss nevertheless claimed that Britain was “full of secret Conservatives — people who agree with us but don’t want to admit it,” while the Tory party had been appeasing “left-wing extremists.”

Painting a picture of a world on the edge of socialism, the former prime minister, best known for crashing the economy in a matter of days, asserted that “the left have been on the march.”

“They have been on the march in our institutions, they have been on the march in our corporate world, they are on the march globally,” she claimed.

Taking on this menace and “changing the system itself” will require “resilience and bravery,” Ms Truss added.

Unfortunately, rather than resilience and bravery, she had to hand only Lee Anderson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, former frontbenchers taking a break from their present gigs on GB News.

Truss summons ‘Secret Tories’ to fight Davos and Left

Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.
Lettuce complains about being compared to Liz Truss.
Continue ReadingNew Liz Truss Faction ‘Pops’ With Climate Science Denial and Fossil Fuel Ties

Truss-supporting economists call for minimum wage to be frozen, then cut

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https://leftfootforward.org/2023/11/truss-supporting-economists-call-for-minimum-wage-to-be-frozen-then-cut/

‘Is it too much of a stretch to recognise that poverty is the CAUSE of poor growth.’

Image of cash and pre-payment meter key
Image of cash and pre-payment meter key

The Growth Commission was formed by Liz Truss, following her resignation as prime minister after her chaotic 49 days in government. Truss was in the audience at the Commission’s event, alongside Jacob Rees-Mogg and former Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost.

Minimum wage rates increased in April. The level is currently set at £10.42 an hour for those aged 23 and over. 21-22-year-olds must be paid a minimum of £10.18 an hour, 18 to 20-year-olds receive £7.49 and under 18s and apprentices have to be paid no lower than an hourly rate of £5.28.

Growth Commission co-chairman, Shanker Singham, said the group was “concerned about how high” Britain’s minimum wage is compared with other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“There is nothing wrong with the minimum wage. What matters in terms of competition is where it is set,” said Singham.

“What we are intending to do in the UK is move it to 66 percent of median wage, which is far higher than any other OECD country by next year and will be a significant drag on the economy.

“So we are suggesting freezing it and targeting it down to 61 percent.

“Even that small reduction or that small change in minimum wage has a very big impact on GDP per capita, according to our calculations,” he added.

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/11/truss-supporting-economists-call-for-minimum-wage-to-be-frozen-then-cut/

Continue ReadingTruss-supporting economists call for minimum wage to be frozen, then cut

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s GB News show under Ofcom investigation

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https://leftfootforward.org/2023/07/jacob-rees-moggs-gb-news-show-under-ofcom-investigation/

Image of Climte-change denier and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg.
Image of Climate-change denier and Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg. Chris McAndrew public-domain image via WikiMedia. Please see Notes.

An episode of Jacob Rees-Mogg’s State of the Nation GB News show faces an Ofcom investigation on whether it complied with the rules of the broadcast regulator.

The programme in question covered a breaking news story about the civil trial verdict involving Donald Trump, which led to 40 complaints being made to Ofcom. The investigation will focus on whether the programme complied with rules which prevent politicians acting as newsreaders.

The regulator said, “our investigation will look at the programme’s compliance with our rules which prevent politicians from acting as newsreaders in any news programmes, unless exceptionally, it is editorially justified”.

The right-wing news channel that boasts Nigel Farage as a presenter and most recently Tory deputy chairman Lee Anderson, is no stranger to Ofcom scrutiny. An investigation remains ongoing into the Saturday Morning show with Esther and Philip broadcast on GB News, related to the same rule.

https://leftfootforward.org/2023/07/jacob-rees-moggs-gb-news-show-under-ofcom-investigation/

Notes. I claim that Jacob Rees-Mogg is a Climate-change denier and Brexiteer. These claims are confirmed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Rees-Mogg

Continue ReadingJacob Rees-Mogg’s GB News show under Ofcom investigation