Wednesday, 5 September 2018

12 left-leaning independent media sites you should be following


The UK mainstream media is the most right-wing and the least trusted in Europe. For decades a handful of savagely right-wing propaganda barons have been allowed to debase the standard of political debate by relentlessly attacking and smearing anyone who dares to stand up and argue against the neoliberal orthodoxy (privatisation mania, deregulation, wage repression, tax cuts for the rich, social security cuts for the poor, and ruinous austerity dogma) that has served the interests of billionaires so well at the expense of the rest of us.

Instead of counteracting the toxification of UK political discourse by the right-wing propaganda barons, the supposedly left-liberal media have repeatedly joined in the dog-piling of alternative voices. 

The Guardian, The Independent, and The New Statesman all host some of the worst offenders when it comes to pretending to be left-wing, but actually arguing for the continuation of neoliberal economic policies at home and imperialist war-mongering overseas.

A monthly online subscription to The Guardian costs £12, but instead of using that cash to fund an organisation that hosts some of the most insidious anti-left commentators of all, why not consider making a few smaller £1 subscriptions to truly independent left-leaning sites?

If you can't afford to subscribe to all/any of the following sites, you can still help by sharing this article, and by following the social media accounts of these pages and sharing their posts to help them reach a wider audience.

Here are twelve suggestions (in no particular order):

Novara Media
[Website - Twitter]

Novara Media have been running for five years, and they're going from strength to strength, despite the fact that the majority of their contributors are unpaid volunteers. Most of the other sites on this list concentrate on blog posts, articles, and occasionally infographics. Novara Media are one of the leading left-leaning producers of video content.

One of the best reasons to support Novara Media's work is that they helped spring the phenomenal Ash Sarkar onto the political scene. With a bit more support Novara Media could easily become a production line of left-wing talent.

Vox Political

Vox Political is a one-man blog operated by Mike Sivier since 2011. The blog usually focuses on disability rights, welfare issues, and Labour politics.

Mike is a Labour Party member so a pro-Labour slant is to be expected, however he has done amazing work, including extensive investigations into the number of people to have died within weeks of being declared "fit for work" under the Tory government's dehumanising and discriminatory assessment regime for sick and disabled people.

Pride's Purge
[Website - Twitter]

Pride's Purge is a one-man political blog established in 2011 that is mainly focused on disability and welfare issues. Articles range from compelling evidence based critiques to outright satire.

In the early days of Another Angry Voice Tom Pride was a major inspiration for my work, so if you see some value in what I do now, please consider supporting one of the guys who inspired me to do it.

Evolve Politics
[Website - Facebook]

Evolve Politics is a left-wing news and current affairs website that was founded in 2015. During the 2017 General Election they were one of the most mega-viral pro-Corbyn websites on Facebook (the other two being Another Angry Voice and The Canary).

Since 2017 Evolve has gone from strength to strength, improving the standard of their content and the breadth of their coverage.

The Canary

The Canary is an unashamedly left-wing and socially liberal website that was established in 2015 by Kerry-Ann Mendoza who previously ran the Scriptonite Daily blog.

The site has multiple contributors meaning the quality of the articles are extremely variable, ranging from superb examples of evidence based journalism to annoying clickbait. What is undeniable is that The Canary has played a massive role in holding the Tory government to account over issues the mainstream media have tended to downplay or outright ignore, especially the devastating impact of hard-right Tory austerity dogma.

We Own It

We Own It is a campaign against privatisation mania that has been running since 2013. Their mission statement says that "Public services should belong to all of us - whether that's the NHS, schools, water, energy, rail, Royal Mail, care work or council services".

Setting up a small donation to support We Own It would help them continue to fight against Tory privatisation scams, and to promote the concept of not-for-profit public services run for the benefit of the British people rather than a handful of corporate shareholders.

Zelo Street

Zelo Street is the blog of a left-leaning social liberal from Crewe called Tim Fenton that's he's been running since 2009.

Fenton is an astoundingly prolific writer, producing an average of three articles per day, every day for the last six years. He's always at his best when he's critiquing extreme-right fanatics and the output of hard-right propaganda rags like the S*n, Daily Mail and Express.

Tax Research UK
[Website - Twitter]

Tax Research UK is the personal blog of the economist Richard Murphy, which he's been running since 2006.

Richard has campaigned on a number of important issues from tax-dodging to inequality. Probably the most famous blog post he's ever produced is the myth-buster post that proves that Tory governments always create more debt than the Labour governments!

Murphy would probably deny that he's an out-and-out lefty, but there is certainly a huge amount of crossover between us full-on lefties and his anti-austerity pro-investment economic views, his opposition to tax dodging, and his work on inequality, so he's definitely worth a follow.

Double Down News
[Website - YouTube]

DDN have produced some absolutely outstanding videos since they were established in January 2017. Aside from left-leaning UK political content, they've also conducted some outstanding interviews with the likes of  LowkeyAkala, and DMC.

The Skwawkbox

The Skwawkbox is a left-wing news blog founded in 2009 that mainly focuses on Labour Party politics which exists to present information that rarely makes it into the mainstream media (except when mainstream media hacks nick Skwawkbox exclusives and pass them off as their own work, which is heppening more and more regularly).

The Skwawkbox is particularly hated on the Labour party right for its effectiveness in providing rapid counter-narratives to fight back against each anti-Corbyn attack point the Labour right-wingers come up with.

The London Economic
[Website - Twitter]

The London Economic is a left-leaning news website that rose to prominence during the 2017 General Election campaign. It was originally founded as a personal blog by the editor Jack Peat. Of all of the sites listed here it's the one that most closely resembles a traditional mainstream media source, with various sections ranging from the economy to sports, which is partly down to their relationship with the South West News Service news agency.

Another Angry Voice

When I started the Another Angry Voice in 2010 I had absolutely no idea that it would become one of the most recognisable left-wing sites on the British political scene, let alone make me by far the most viral political writer on Facebook during the 2017 General Election!

I'm very proud of what I've achieved without any establishment or mainstream media connections whatever, but I'm also well aware that I couldn't have achieved any of it without the support of people who see some value in my work. 

Without all the likes, comments, and shares I could never have reached an audience of millions of people, and without the subscriptions and donations there's absolutely no way I could devote so much of my time to writing articles and creating infographics.

Conclusion

That 11 of the 12 sites in this list has been founded in the last decade just goes to show how much social media has opened up the UK political landscape to the kind of left-wing voices who would never have been given a platform by the mainstream media gatekeepers of political discourse.

The rise of left-wing independent media sites has finally created a little bit of counter-balance to a mainstream media that has consistently favoured the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy for the past four decades. But the reach of all of these 12 sites combined is still a drop in the ocean compared to the enormous reach of right-wing propaganda operations like The S*n and The Daily Mail.

That's why every £1 counts. Every pound that ordinary people spend supporting bloggers, independent websites, and campaign groups, rather than mainstream media outlets, makes a difference because pretty much everyone working on independent left-wing media sites is either earning a tiny fraction of what their mainstream media counterparts get paid for protecting the neoliberal orthodoxy, or working on an entirely voluntary basis.

There's no way that self-serving billionaires like Rupert Murdoch, Jonathan Harmsworth, or the Barclay brothers would ever fund writers who critique the hard-right neoliberal orthodoxy that has served their interests so well, so it's absolutely up to ordinary people to begin funding and supporting the kind of media that's going to stick up for their interests, rather than the vested interests of right-wing billionaires.



 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.




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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks. a very useful list, some sites I hadn't heard of(I'll put that right)the others are excellent.Keep up the good work, your efforts are appreciated.

Strokeybeard said...

Double Down is Monbiot central at the moment; is there any release from this Guarniad apologist?

Unknown said...

Thanks VERY much..

Gerald O'Connell said...

I am currently halfway through an upgrade to http://www.onlyport.com/ and will include some of these excellent links in the 'Alternatives To Mainstream Media' section.

Meanwhile, you and some of your readers may enjoy looking at some of my posts at http://oconnellomics.com - I describe it as 'A Heterodox Political Economy Blog'. Some of my views could be regarded as 'left-leaning', but at the same time I'm as keen to challenge left-wing orthodoxy as I am to challenge anything else that just doesn't add up. Take a look...

Anonymous said...

Well done, a very useful list. I am still pleased to be sending a small contribution monthly.

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Great reasearch about David Allen Green!
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Anonymous said...

Well done Thomas, I wish we even had half that many to choose from in Australia!
We are 'owned' by Murdoch muck media 80+% and our elections decided via his multitude of media options.
Our regional/rural folk don't even have a choice, especially in the State of Queensland, where, unless on-line, which is problematic in remote areas, there is only Murdoch papers.
What we also need is some decent centre-left independents to vote for, as our so called 'independents' border on fascist, and with our preferential voting system, their votes go to the LNP - equivalent of your 'torie's, and more like Trump & the Republicans these days, as that's who they follow.
Sad state of affairs politically for 'merica, England and Aus.
Keep up the great work!
Cate Grace

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