Section: UK

Early One Morning In 1966

Harry Gallagher

Torn bloodied from the belly of the earth beneath your tinytoes, I am the precious gone to the bad. Longtime have I waited, glowering malevolent, a blackhearted mountain your grandpas built for coppers. My day is now. Time colliding with overripe circumstance; your coalboard clowns my hapless henchmen. Rainfall I have held like bile has […]

A real buzz at the Angels of the North premiere

Louise Brown

North East Bylines had the pleasure of attending the premiere of series three of BBC’s ‘Angels of the North’  in Newcastle last night. This programme follows the lives of the staff at Sammy-Jo Pearson’s salon ‘Longlox’ in Gateshead. The series has now branched out to also follow staff at Pure Ink, a Newcastle tattoo parlour […]

Northern Irish trade: Brexit breaks it

Joyce Quin

When the UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973 it was not at all surprising that the Republic of Ireland became an EEC member at the same time. The UK and Ireland were closely linked economically and both countries were committed to the common travel area between them and were conscious of the […]

Cancer and immunotherapy, a personal story: we need experts!

Nicola Freeman

A personal story of cancer and groundbreaking immunotherapy I have been meaning to write this piece for some time; however, I have felt spurred on to do it now by the vilification of doctors and undermining of scientists as experts by some areas of the media recently. I aim to provide testimony about a relatively […]

Work permits needed for TEFL teachers: a Brexit bonus?

Louise Brown

I read this morning that Brexit has prompted Irish TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers to become in demand within the EU.  This is because British teachers now need work permits to be employed over there whereas Irish teachers do not.  Although I knew this was always going to be the case after […]

Poetry Corner

The Cameron Manual On The Gaining Of Power

Harry Gallagher

Slick your hair back smooth, hold your arms wide open. Tell your fellow countrymen their beloved land is broken. Play on their grossest fears and promise wage increases, then take your shiny hammer and smash their land to pieces. When the fabric is dismantled from ceiling down to stanchion, wave a cheery farewell and retire […]


The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker

Abbie Rutherford

The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker is a brutal yet strangely beautiful and visceral examination of child-on-child murder that simultaneously evokes repulsion and sympathy. It follows Chrissie, an eight-year-old child growing up in a poverty-stricken area with a mother who neglects her, and Julie, a young woman trying to bring up her daughter, […]

Poetry Corner

Corona Moon

Suzanne Fairless-Aitken

The corona moon opens a watchful eye over the flock, huddled in familial groups, dotted across meadows. Blossom snows down from ice-cream cones. Snow-covered flesh snuggles into snow-covered flesh. Lanolin comforted lambs feed from tupped ewes, drained at the close of day – all marked with loyal blue. The straw -haired farmer shepherds them into […]


Wetherspoons’ boss loses out because of Brexit

Peter Benson

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 […]


NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]


UK doing worse than European neighbours says APPG on Coronavirus

Carol Westall

On 5 October the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus met to discuss the UK government’s ‘Winter Plan’ with witnesses giving expert evidence from a local, national and international perspective.   In September the Prime Minister announced the plans for tackling Covid during autumn and winter in England. ‘Plan A’ is designed to prevent […]

PART 1Travel

Bridges, Brunel, Banksy and beauty in Bristol and Bath

Robin Tudge

Part 1 We wanted to stop off at the Cheddar Gorge, but Covid had somehow closed this down. Still, in Bristol, the SS Great Britain and Brunel Museum  on Spike Island is well worth the £18 entry for the ship, all three decks restored as per a 19th century voyage of emigrants, even the driving […]

David Amess MP, a tragic loss on so many levels

North East Bylines

North East Bylines would like to express our deep condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess, MP who was killed whilst out meeting his constituents yesterday. MPs are the first port of call for many and the last bastion of hope for others. They are central to a functioning democracy. They […]

PART 1Travel

Locals, mining and “jam before cream” in Cornwall

Robin Tudge

“And the rule is jam before cream!” the café owner told me as she put the scones on the table. A diktat, or enabling me to avoid a faux pas? Or a loud declaration to locals within hearing that this café owner, sans Cornish accent, knew the norms. This was in the gorgeous little port […]

Who is MP Nadhim Zahawi?

Connor Lamb

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, I was given the present of a lifetime. It was a day that was better than Christmas and my birthday combined. A fellow Freshers Team Leader sent me the news that Gavin Williamson had been sacked as Education Secretary. I may or may not had screamed in the middle of […]

Brexit crisis continues with bus driver shortages

Yvonne Wancke

Bus routes and services are experiencing disruption across the country, particularly in the North East. This is a knock on effect from the HGV crisis as bus drivers are being ‘poached’ by haulage bosses for hugely increased wages. The reasons for the bus driver shortages Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, chairman of the North East […]

Thatcher’s lonely walk: a lesson for Boris Johnson?

Owain Gardner

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, sums up the North East’s attitude towards Boris Johnson’s so-called “Levelling-Up Agenda” – there is quite literally no definition of what it actually is, despite the Prime Minister having been in Number 10 Downing Street for two years. Something which is born out in the representative poll of 10,000 […]

Black History Month

Representation Matters: a paradigm shift is needed

North East Bylines

Representation Matters is an upcoming event as part of Black History Month. The event is being organised by Loujane Alasi, who is Media Communications Officer for Success4All, an education charity based in Newcastle. Success4All is an education charity based in Newcastle. It prepares children and young people for a brighter future. Their Learning Hubs, Bus, […]


High wage economy: a response to Boris Johnson

James Sheerin

It’s not that a high wage, high productivity economy is a bad idea. It’s what we desperately need to improve the lot of everyone in our broken society. It’s the bare-faced insincerity of Boris Johnson, the man who dreamed up the argument, perhaps even as he spoke to Andrew Marr last Sunday, as a way […]


Haulage: a perspective from Poland

North East Bylines

Gregor Gowans lives in Poland and is a journalist at trans.INFO. North East Bylines interviewed him to find out first-hand about lorry driver shortages and related matters. Gregor confirmed that there is indeed a lorry-driver shortage in Britain and throughout Europe, including Poland. But, he stressed, it is: “emphatically not true that there are empty […]


NUFC takeover: statement from Chi Onwurah, Newcastle Central MP

North East Bylines

The Newcastle United takeover has been completed. Below is a statement from Newcastle Central MP, Chi Onwurah. For Newcastle United fans – who make up the majority of my constituents – the last few years have been an agony of frustration, disappointment and deception, further poisoned by the undisguised contempt of the club’s owner and […]

National Poetry Day

After Brexit

Claire Lynn

After Robert Southey’s The Battle of Blenheim It was an autumn evening, Old Kaspar’s pigs all slain, And he within his cottage walls Was staring out at rain, Beside him, languishing and green His little grandchild Wilhelmine. She saw her brother Peterkin Returning from the shops, Reporting aisles of empty shelves Where once were stacked […]

National Poetry Day

Poet’s Paranoia

Harry Gallagher

There are poets in front of you on the Poetry Escalator To Heaven. From dawn to dusk, non-rhyming, they climb aboard The Golden Stairway Of Acceptance. Their poems sing like hymns, like Arts Council bids you were too lazy to fill in. In your darkest dreams, they’re laughing at you, but that’s not really true. […]

Climate change catastrophe! – to be shown at COP-26

North East Bylines

A new show about climate change, Climate Change Catastrophe, made by children for grown-ups, will be shown at COP26 , the United Nations annual climate change conference being held in Glasgow, UK, on 12 November. Hundreds of primary school children from across the North of England worked with Newcastle University climate scientists and engineers, and Cap-a-Pie […]

North East blue seats might turn red suggests new poll

Yvonne Wancke

A recent poll by YouGov suggests that if an election were to be held tomorrow, the Conservatives would almost certainly lose some of their recently gained so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats, including Redcar and North West Durham. A number of seats in the region were won by the Tories in 2019 but now, just as the […]