Section: World

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APPG

Global vaccine rollout: APPG session 2

Carol Westall

”Yesterday Archbishop Tutu got his jab months after young and healthy people in the UK. Why, ask yourself why we have limited supplies. Why the UK’s stance on IP hoarding and overbuying meant that someone over 80 got his vaccine on the 18 May 2021. Also we took part in the AstraZeneca trial, the Johnson and Johnson trial and Pfizer trials and others, yet we were not guaranteed access. So much for the Commonwealth.”

Theatre

Dance theatre spectacular in the North East

North East Bylines

The Two Fridas is motivated by one of the world’s most famous self-portraits [The Two Fridas by legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo] which is being brought to life from the canvas to the stage through an intriguing mixture of storytelling, dance, music and live performance.. It is a dance theatre spectacular.

Review

The age of surveillance capitalism

Dylan Neri

Book review: The age of surveillance capitalism In the twentieth century, two visionary texts cast their shadows over the future of our species. One was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its horrific vision of a brutal totalitarian state grounded in the concept of ‘War is Peace’, in which the population is coerced into a state […]

Children’s rights: do we care?

Debbie Williams

“People don’t care about the rights of children, they only pay lip service to it, especially when a shocking story appears in the media e.g., baby P, or Marcus Rashford and the school meals story”

Covid-19 vaccines: the balance of self-interest and altruism

Giuseppe Bignardi
vaccines

Giuseppe Bignardi writes about the roll-out of vaccines across the world; the UK and US rank close to the top, but it’s also essential to consider which countries are exporting their vaccines around the world. A balance must be struck of self-interest, altruism, and diplomacy; right now, Boris Johnson has shown just selfishness.

The devil’s in the detail

Cross Border Services Group

All else being equal, why would a British tiler living in the UK be your first choice for work in Switzerland, rather than a British tiler living locally in a neighbouring EU country (of which Switzerland has several)? And why should the consumer in Switzerland be denied that choice? Within the microcosm of the Cross-Border Services group alone, this means that the translator living in the UK can legitimately deliver services on-site in Switzerland, but the translator living in Rome cannot. It would seem all UK citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others.

When is an expat not an expat?

Clarissa Killwick

Little account has been taken by either side of real human beings, their practical problems, level of integration and especially the impact on families. The UK’s post-Brexit Immigration Bill effectively shuts the door on its own citizens from returning to live in the UK after March 2022 if, with their EU spouses and family, they cannot meet the Minimum Income Requirement.

Covid passports, sporting events and international travel: more from the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus

Carol Westall

“The other dimension .., is what these passports will be used for. Will they be used for international travel, will there be a matter of restricting … activities like going to a football game, will they be used to restrict everyday activities like going to a bar, going to a restaurant, will they be used to restrict essential activities like going to a supermarket or to a job. These have very different implications.

North East People

Teaching in Leeds

Jim Walker

In 1970, I returned to Britain from my teaching post at the University of Dar es Salaam and got a fixed-term job in the Overseas Education Study Group (OESG) in the Institute of Education at the University of Leeds. Our students were teachers whose governments had sent them to us to undertake advanced courses in […]

LettersUPDATED

Letters

Editor Letters

The first broken Brexit promise of 2021 was Mr Gove’s, “never to weaken the environmental protections that we have put in place while in the EU” – but already, in the first week of January, the sugar beet producers have been granted permission to use pesticides containing the neoniconitoid thiamethoxam…

Climate change catastrophe!

Robina Jacobson

[The earth has been lent to us] “for our life; it is a great entail. It belongs as much to those who follow us as it does to us, and we have no right by anything we do, to involve them in any unnecessary penalties, or to deprive them of the benefit we have in our power to bequeath.”

North East People

Teaching in East Africa

Jim Walker

What a difference from Uganda in climate! Fort Portal is over 5000 feet above sea level, Kampala is over 4000 feet but Dar es Salaam is at sea level. The university is on a hill outside the city but, although we got a bit of a sea breeze, the humidity was very uncomfortable. Largely owing to the influence of the President, Julius Nyerere, political development in Tanzania was more advanced than it had been in Uganda but one British custom remained unchanged: the working day.

North East People

Teaching in Uganda: Part 2

Jim Walker

As I mentioned in the first part of Teaching in Uganda, the teachers’ wives did not work. At that time none of the couples had children living with them, they had a “houseboy” to do all the work around the house and a “shamba boy” to look after their garden. But my wife Anne could not stand the idea of such idleness. She was a nurse by profession but the school had no post for such a person.

New cross-party scrutiny for UK-EU trade

Kim Sanderson

Businesses are certainly being affected. Conservative MP Roger Gale, who sits on the new Commission, said: “The impact of the UK’s new trading arrangements with Europe and the world are being felt by businesses in every sector and communities in every corner of the country. We will be looking in detail at the impact of these deals, particularly upon the small businesses that are bearing the brunt of new red tape at our borders.”

North East People

Teaching in Uganda

Jim Walker

The school had no mains water or sewage and no grid electricity. Water came up to the school by means of a ram pump placed in a nearby volcanic lake; electricity was provided in the morning and evening by a diesel-engine generator. My fridge was powered by paraffin.

The invisible 1.2m British citizens scattered across Europe

Clarissa Killwick

Is it laziness or does it fit the agenda of some editors that readers’ preconceptions could be reinforced by their choice of images? On 6 April, under the inflammatory headline “Expats face hell in EU…”, the Daily Express gratuitously published no less than 4 pub photos to illustrate one article. According to a study on identity carried out by Brexpats founder Debbie Williams, birth country culture comforts are more likely to involve drinking imported tea, (if only we could still get it!), at home, rather than seeking out anglocentric pubs to be with our compatriots. Other than that our tastes are quite eclectic, blending cultures and with a common desire to share them. That, and the number of languages those in the study have between them, suggests a high level of integration, not to mention mobility. Stereotypical stock shots fail to convey any of this and, instead, are pernicious.

Poetry Corner

Song of the six million

Harry Gallagher

It didn’t begin with uniform wearers,
armband bearers; that’s just where it ended,
with proud keyholders
to blandly wicked gas chambers.

Around the world in 80 lines

Dylan Neri

The incredible solipsism of our species is undeniable. With the wonderful advancements of science and human understanding, this conceit has slowly been degraded to the point of embarrassment: no, the universe doesn’t revolve around the Earth; no, not the sun – no, not even the galaxy; “forget about your ‘dominion’ over all creatures”, said the […]

World Autism Awareness Week

Louise Brown

Females are commonly able to ‘mask’ their autism more than males making diagnosis more difficult in some cases. Where someone’s autism is less obvious (also in the case of high functioning autism or Asperger’s syndrome) sometimes others are far less tolerant as they are not aware they have this condition and hence get annoyed with things they view as socially inappropriate.

North East People

By bus to Russia

Jim Walker

I spoke Russian and could get by in French and German; but I had never driven anything larger than my father’s Daimler (in which I had failed my first driving test). Nevertheless, I applied and was accepted. The main driver was a mechanic who had driven heavy lorries across Australia between Sydney and Perth.

Review

Open: Kimberley Clausing

Giuseppe Bignardi

The starting point in the author’s analysis is that Donald Trump’s election was the consequence of dissatisfaction with economic stagnation and was based on a rhetoric that appealed to both the right and the left wing of the political spectrum.