Many people, including right across the North East will have to make the hard choice of whether to eat or heat in 2022. We need to hold the government to account.
Author: Peter Benson
Irish Born Peter Benson moved to the UK in 1987. Peter is a frequent visitor to the North East and has been an active campaigner to stop Brexit and the damaging effect it would have on the peace process in Northern Ireland. He is very much committed to social justice and frequently highlights the many inequalities in society in letters to newspapers and on social media in addition to campaigning on these as well Peter is married with two grown up daughters and lives in London.
Greggs has been a real success story – so much so that you can practically taste it!
A new poll suggests that the tide may be turning for voters in Red Wall areas. Those polled preferred Keir Starmer to Boris Johnson as PM.
There are questions to be asked about whether a funding application of this type, from a fund intended for areas with higher levels of deprivation, is entirely appropriate.
All I want for Christmas is equality for all children, wherever they live in the country.
As I work close to Parliament square, I pass by 10 Downing Street on my way home and I often stop and mutter some words under my breath. On Friday 10 December I came across a very dignified and resolute protest by six women outside the gates of Parliament. The group was part of Covid […]
I stumbled upon it on my way home. A night time vigil for Nazanin Ratcliffe. It was to highlight the ongoing hunger strike by Richard Ratcliffe outside the Foreign and Commonwealth office in Whitehall Central London. It was his thirteenth day and night there and it was a cold night. It was humbling to be […]
Sadly, my energy provider has gone bust, It was Pure Planet, a 100% green energy provider. It’s the 13th Energy provider to go broke. I have been switched to Shell. Another provider serving 1.7 million is also reported to be in financial difficulties. Some of these firms might have survived if the UK had invested to […]
I fear I could be suffering from Schadenfreude, as I find myself somewhat unable to show empathy for the boss and biggest shareholder of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Brexit promoting Tim Martin must take some of the blame for the current crises in food, energy, labour and logistics, that the country is still reeling from. He […]
Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]
Gas prices are rocketing. Confirmation of reduced European wide supply from Gazprom on Monday prompted prices to rise by a further 10% in just one day.
We must not downplay the seriousness of the current energy crisis. Higher gas and electricity prices on top of other price increases are a real problem. There is a potential for blackouts and job losses. Whilst the government says there is no scarcity of energy at the moment, winter is coming. Why is there an […]
The expression ‘triple whammy’ does not adequately describe what is ahead for all of us, much less cash in our pockets in the months to come. And the North East is often hit particularly hard. So many prices are increasing: fuel and energy prices, travel, council tax, National Insurance, roaming charges and inflation. Universal Credit […]
Employers all around the UK must be humming the words of the iconic Beatles song in total despair. Chronic labour shortages are holding back economic recovery, causing rapid inflation and damaging businesses in virtually every sector of the economy. It beggars belief that a Scottish farmers co-operative has had to throw away 3.5 million heads of […]
More national brands are announcing supply problems caused by the lack of HGV drivers, on top of Tesco and Iceland. Adding to the list in recent days are Ikea, Coca Cola, Costa, Gregg’s, Wetherspoon’s, McDonald’s, KFC and many more. The reality is that virtually every corner of the economy is being impacted. This is from supermarket […]
It must be the biggest disaster ever for a pub to run out of beer and suffer staff shortages all at the same time. Tim Martin, boss of the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s, cannot be getting much sleep these days as his die-hard love of Brexit costs his business trade. Wetherspoon’s is yet another high-profile business […]
The current government has brought new meaning to the word ‘dishonesty’, as in creating a false illusion that something is real when it clearly is not. In good old-fashioned language it’s a bare faced lie. And as such we need to call it as it is. This has been likened to adding a garden shed to your […]
The food shortage crisis engulfing hospitality sector has now claimed a new high profile scalp, Mc Donald’s. The tabloids are reporting that customers of Mc Donald’s are fuming and furious with the lack of milk shakes and bottled water. There are also multiple reports on social media that North East based Greggs is also suffering from […]
Are you in a flap about the chicken shortage and worried about not getting enough of your favourite finger licking delicious chicken meal? Well, if not you should be or perhaps you have not been in a supermarket lately. The reason for the chicken shortages in Nando’s and KFC is an acute shortage of staff within […]
I renewed my household insurance on 31 July and it was a shock. The renewal price had jumped from £253.40 to £294.24, an increase of 16%. My attempt at negotiation failed: ”Mr Benson this is the final price after all the discounts”. Rising prices I have had so many prices rises in recent months. The car insurance […]
I tested positive on Tuesday 13 July following a PCR test the previous day. However, I feel like I have dodged a bullet as so far, my symptoms have been relatively mild. I did a lateral flow test on Sunday 11 July just prior to the big England v Italy match and that was negative but I […]
I would like to hypothesis that the greatest success of this ten-year government is to keep the underclass in their place. That is as far away as possible from the elite. And poor, uneducated and hungry. We are run by the elite for the elite. Any other thoughts are pure fantasy. I think that it would […]
There is an old proverb that says trust can take years to earn but only seconds to lose. It is basic component of human character; without it we would not have got this far as a species. And so when it is broken, or lost, or even misplaced, the pain is so great and lasting.
The key issue was testing patients for Covid before they were discharged to care homes. It’s been clear for a long time that many patients were transferred untested, thus substantially increasing the risk of spreading the disease, and that many thousands of care home residents died.
I enjoyed my scenic walking route to the hotel on the Gateshead quayside close to the Baltic. The shops pubs and restaurants were all busy and everywhere signs of life and vitality were evident. The scenes reminded me of pre- lockdown days.
What the Cameron lobbying scandal tells us is that it’s time to say enough is enough, these people are effectively robbing us and it’s time to ditch them once and for all. Hearing from a friend of Cameron, George Eustace MP the Environment minister on Sky News that Cameron didn’t do anything wrong is like telling someone who mugged an old lady that they didn’t do anything wrong.
It’s extraordinary that in 2021 a former Prime minister can bring such disgrace to himself, his party, our parliamentary democracy and the nation’s reputation around the world. But it is perhaps a foretaste of what’s around the corner from the current Prime Minister who seems to revel in controversy.
“All conflict is about difference, whether the difference is race, religion or nationality… Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace — respect for diversity.”
The Towns Fund was set up to be shared between ‘left behind areas’ all around the country but it would appear that any poverty and depravation in the North East was of the wrong kind. The fund was found to have a clear bias for areas where the local MP was a member of the Tory party.
As taxpayers we may be grateful for the diligence of the treasury officials who rejected the efforts of Cameron’s lobbying but we must continue to be vigilant on the actions of all government ministers. There is considerable evidence to suggest there is clear bias in the awarding of grants and contracts to friends and donors of the Conservative party.