Section: UK

Football has come home: my Euro 2020 adventure

Chris Humble

My Euro 2020 adventure – and why football HAS come home… ‘Where it began’, as Neil Diamond croons in the opening lyrics to ‘Sweet Caroline’ – adopted as an anthem by England fans this summer – was back in 2018. The England Supporters Club My mate Andy and I joined the official England Supporters Club, […]


Football and politics: 1966 and all that

Richard Henson

I read somewhere last week that the England World Cup win led to Harold Wilsons big election win. Really? I thought… so I thought, and thought. 1966: football and politics I was at primary school and on holiday with my parents when the 1966 World Cup was on. This was the Summer holidays, probably late […]



Ursula Troche

My status is settled, or
seems that way, what
a state we are in, to need
a declaration for living
in this state of mind-
– the-gap Britain, mind
you, is that great?

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.

North East People

How North East Bylines helped me: confessions of a summer newcomer

Connor Lamb

Over the summer, I was looking for something productive and academically engaging to do in the run up to my dissertation year. With all of my assignments handed in and my marks handed back, I needed something to do over the summer that would help me get out of burnout and focus on something other […]

Rooting kindness in 2021: the year of the tree

Anya Cook

I have a friend who declares she is apolitical.  She is intelligent, well-read, always learning something, active in community groups and environmental campaigns.  Decisions are made that she does not agree with, yet she still declares she is not political? This outward projection of neutrality doesn’t make sense, or does it?  Neutrality serves only to […]

Time must have a stop: the ongoing relevance of Huxley

Dylan Neri

I was reading through the essays of Aldous Huxley recently, creator of our notion of a ‘brave new world’, when I was struck by a piece entitled ‘On a Sentence from Shakespeare.’ Allow me to share the opening paragraph, “If you say absolutely everything, it all tends to cancel out into nothing. Which is why […]

Poetry Corner


Harry Gallagher

Sweetheart; a poem by Harry Gallagher about sexual harassment and revenge

The North East is now England’s Covid-19 hotspot

Carol Westall

This week the Guardian reported that the North East of England is now the nation’s Covid-19 hotspot. Most cases are among the largely unvaccinated under-25s, according to local health leaders. Something weird  Professor Christina Pagel, member on Independent Sage (@chrischirp) tweeted “Something weird is happing in the North East”. She discussed the worrying trend that […]

Why facemasks are a big deal

Richard Henson

I’d like to start with a transcript from a talk, and Q&A, presented by the writer Jay Griffiths, about a month ago. This was on the subject of facemasks. “Here is a facemask. The facemask, I would say, is an emblem of kindness. It doesn’t protect the wearer, but it protects others. It is inherently […]


Quo vadis

Ursula Troche

I’ve now got Indefinite
Leave to Remain!
What are you
leave or remain?
I mean what do you think
Leaver or Remainer
what’s left, what remains?

Betrayal and the Covid Memorial Wall

Peter Benson

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.

Cross border services and Batley and Spen: Podcast

Bylines Network Podcast

In this week’s Bylines Network Podcast, Katrina Best interviews Alex Toal. Alex was involved in campaigning in the Batley and Spen by-election. He reflects on what he learned on the doorstep and analyses the Labour win and what this might mean for Labour going forward. Cross border services We also hear from Kim Sanderson whose […]

JournalPART 3

Covid and me as 2021 begins

Peter Lathan

Day 305, Friday, 1 January, 2021 : New Year 2021 It was midnight, the last midnight of 2020, and Covid 19, clothed in black drab, mystic, horrible, spoke. “You don’t think I’m going to go quietly, do you? That I’ll just scuttle off before a flurry of fireworks and the singing of Auld Lang Syne? […]

Almost 400,000 people in UK have had long Covid for at least a year

Carol Westall

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed an estimated 385,000 people have experienced long Covid for one year or more. The figures reveal that in total 962,000 people had self-reported long Covid of any duration on 6 June 2021. Of these just 76,000 or 8% were hospitalised when they first caught coronavirus, and […]


NHS demos today: 1% pay rise is an insult

Louise Brown

The government have delivered a huge blow to NHS staff by proposing a 1% pay rise for those working in England next year. This includes a whole array of workers such as nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters, cleaners, physiotherapists and Occupational and Speech and Language therapists. These are the people who have put their lives at risk continuing to work on the frontline over the last year while watching so many of their colleagues become ill or die from Covid-19. Remember they did this during periods when sufficient PPE was not always available and until very recently, without being vac


Sir Kevan Collins: Education Recovery Committee

Connor Lamb

The first thing that Sir Kevan Collens discussed was the importance of working from the “bottom up as well as the top down” in order to get students and parents to engage back in education. He believed that this could take the form of engaging local authorities and community/faith groups, alongside the integration of other sectors including the health and social care sector alongside the police.

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”


Nissan announcement: a cause for celebration?

Louise Brown

I know just how important Nissan is economically to Sunderland, having grown up from just around the corner from it. It has provided decent jobs to the area for over thirty years. This is why I stood outside Nissan with other NE4EU members week after week last year often in the cold and pouring rain to stand in solidarity with its workers.

Chi Onwurah MP hails “huge victory” on steel safeguards

North East Bylines

Workers at steel works across the North East had joined thousands more across the country in demanding the retention of the safeguards. Chi Onwurah helped lead opposition to the government’s plans in Parliament. On 21 June, Chi spoke in a debate forced by the Labour Party, and told government ministers that “our national interest demands a sovereign steel capability”.


PE in schools: does it need to be reformed?

Connor Lamb

Also often ignored are the barriers that can prevent students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities from fully enjoying PE, such as activities not being adapted to support the additional needs of students with disabilities. This means that not all students can enjoy physical activity in the way that the government through Ofsted presents. This can ring alarm bells in its own right.


This land

Ursula Troche

Here I am, with my sordid status symbol, settled status, now set in my place and this land that isn’t mine   this land is your land, it isn’t my land, in Cumbria and all over the island from the Epping Forest to the North Sea Waters this land wasn’t made for all of us, […]

Warning to Sajid Javid: 4000 long Covid cases a day

Carol Westall

Dr David Strain, who heads up the British Medical Association’s work on long Covid, said that of the 22,000 people diagnosed with coronavirus yesterday, around 4,000 will have symptoms of long Covid in three months’ time. This will have a “huge impact” on the health service. He urged the new Health Secretary to consider long Covid as one of the “key parameters” ahead of lifting lockdown restrictions.

Settled status deadline and cross-border services

Kim Sanderson

The end of June marks the deadline for EU citizens to lodge an application for settled status in the UK. The Office for National Statistics’ 2018 figure for EU citizens here was 3.66 million, yet recent reports suggest over 5.3 million applications for settled status have already been made. Unfortunately – perhaps partly because of the underestimate in numbers – there is now a backlog of around 400,000 in the processing of applications. This is likely to cause an anxious wait for many people at an already stressful time.