Section: UK

Page of 16
Opinion

Lies, damn lies, and statistics … never lie!

Peter Howarth

They were universally referred to, and still are, as ‘The Entertainers’. Tino Asprilla’s hat-trick against Barcelona? Magic. Peter Beardsley’s catalogue of skills? Wonderful to watch. Andy Cole’s run over a couple of seasons when he averaged a goal a game? Jaw-dropping. No matter what their local loyalty was, during this period Newcastle United was almost every fan’s favourite second team.

Save our food standards and save British farming

Nicola Tipton

Being asked to ‘trust’ the government simply beggars belief. The government would be seen to be trustworthy if it simply implemented the safeguards put forward in the amendment! Parliament is made up of elected honourable servants. It is their duty of care to protect the people’s interests and respect their wishes. The Agricultural Bill is unacceptable in its unamended form. It is not good enough to argue if the bill passes in the form Boris Johnson and the unelected advisor Mr. Cummings want, that it does not necessarily mean that chlorinated cheap chicken and all the host of other things may not be sacrificed. We have been lied to on too many occasions.

North East farmers protest to protect British farming

Louise Brown

Back in May, Richard Holden failed to support a rebel Tory amendment to the Agriculture Bill, if passed, the amendment would have banned US imports of food produced to lower welfare, food safety and environmental standards than those required of British farmers.

North East Bylines: an update in numbers, words and quotes…

Yvonne Wancke

“It’s nice to have a platform on which to share our articles. It gives us an opportunity to write on varied topics. Publishing in a formal or academic journal is often very time consuming. North East Bylines is ready to roll with quite a fast turnaround. The paper has been well received and this boosts our confidence together as a team!” Jayne Hamilton, writer

Why mental health should be a regional and national priority

Stephen Lambert

According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists people with no history of mental ill-health are developing serious psychological problems for the first time as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Many are worried over job insecurity, social isolation and relationship breakdown. One in 10 children has a diagnosable mental health problem. There’s a compelling moral and economic case for dealing with mental ill-health among teenagers.

Another protest is possible and very necessary

Julie Ward

Fight For The Future has amassed an impressive list of speakers who have now embarked on a virtual tour of the UK, focusing on national and regional issues, whilst also aiming to mobilise ongoing resistance to the unfolding tragedy of Brexit. The tour arrives in Yorkshire and the North East on Saturday October 10th.

Dominic Cummings: made in the North East?

Julia Mazza

Cummings followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) with two easy, false arguments: the money spent on more politicians could be spent on doctors; and the Assembly would raise Council Tax. In hindsight it could be Brexit: The Prequel.

Can we expect a return to normality by March?

Giuseppe Bignardi

Speed of vaccination in Western countries may depend on whether access to an initially limited supply of vaccine is restricted to a few countries or whether there would be a wider and more equitable distribution of the vaccine from the outset. An initial high price for the vaccines would also be a barrier for lower income countries.

Recipe

Easy tuna and vegetable lasagne

Yvonne Wancke

This is not an exact kind of recipe; it’s more just some ideas to try out. I kind of started this dish as a way to use up some vegetables and then kept on adding…You can substitute as much as you want. If you want it to be veggie then leave out the tuna and […]

Envy Motel release Trendsetter

Yvonne Wancke

“Trendsetter is about how the media and modern-day trends affects narcissistic tendencies and allows a narcissistic person to believe they are perfect without any flaws. The song is written from a male perspective, expressing their experience with a significant other, and delves into how the narcissist cares a lot more about what other people think, and being accepted, rather than treating anyone who actually cares with respect and decency.”

Social Care – whoever knew?

Sally Young

Social care should be about meeting the needs of people as best we can; not reducing personal interactions to financially viable, fully costed impersonal transactions. People are not cost units.

Is Britain returning to the Great Depression of the 1930s?

Stephen Lambert

Maconie argues that, 80 -years on, we’re going back to 1930s depression, deepening inequality in material condition and the growth of radical-right populism. It can’t be denied that we’re seeing a widening gulf between the north and south of England. Just as disturbing, we appear to be witnessing a big gap opening up between the cosmopolitan core cities of Manchester and Newcastle and nearby urban post-industrial and coastal towns where’s there much discussion about the ‘white working-class’ becoming marginalised, angry, left out and left-behind.

Enjoy your breakfast!

Peter Benson

We may compensate with a coffee and croissant, or biscuits at 11am, or eat more for lunch as hunger pangs set in, but imagine if you are a primary or secondary school student and this option was not available. Can you learn while hungry? Can you sleep if you are hungry?

Opinion

I’ve got those lazy crazy lockdown blues

Peter Lathan

I’m also beginning to think that I am suffering from some bizarre form of Stockholm Syndrome. I put my shoes on this morning (first time I’ve worn shoes or socks for months) and went out to start the car. Guess what? The battery is flat, not the teeniest, weeniest, tiniest suggestion of the smallest scintilla of a little sparklet, and, you know, I feel almost relieved at finding another reason not to go out.

Opinion

Is the argument black and white – or grey?

Peter Howarth

This moral issue comes down to the age-old question of whether the end justifies the means, and there isn’t a universal answer to this question. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but the choice here is which is the lesser of two evils.

Education and the thought police

Julie Ward

To prohibit learning about anti-capitalism is like trying to teach the history of the Civil War without mentioning Oliver Cromwell and the Roundheads.

Opinion

Mind your language!

Nicola Tipton

Is this acceptable behaviour from a man elected to serve his country? The use of the word speaks volumes and does have at least a hint of feudalism. It demonstrates exactly how some of the elite, public school educated, think of the general public.

Harry Gallagher’s poetry for people

Judi Sutherland

I think everything has changed. The smashed fragments are still in the air, so we’ll have to see what happens when or if things settle. What will the new ‘normal’ look like? Search me. I know I’ve had to get used to reading to my own face on a screen at Zoom events, which is weird!

Opinion

Patriotism or Nationalism?

Gareth Kearns

Today, people are quoting Johnson. No, not *him*, not the buffoon. I mean Dr Samuel Johnson. A particular quote. This one: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. And I see what that Johnson was getting at, but most of the people quoting him do not. As Johnson would have been the first to tell you, language evolves. Meanings become nuanced. Indeed, sometimes a new term, a new word, a new reference is required.

Theatre after Covid

Peter Lathan

After the longest theatre closures in English history (1642 – 1660 by Cromwell), theatre was revitalised.

Rafal’s Blue Wings

Kim Sanderson

I had my small independent record label named Blue Wings Records where I promoted and released tracks from small independent electronic artists. But when my wife got seriously sick I decided to stopped working on the record label and care for her.

Planting the seeds of revolt!

Jon Johnson

Food and animal welfare standards are lower in many other countries, meaning cheaper imports but based on the widespread use of hormones and antibiotics, chemical treatments and cruel factory-farming practices. “By scrapping our safeguards, we face the triple whammy of tariffs to export, the need to maintain the EU standards we currently operate in and cheap imports as well. It will mean ruin for huge numbers who are just getting by right now” said Mr Clarke, who farms crops and livestock near Bedale.

Is Sunak leaving you out?

Peter Lathan

When, before the Chancellor’s statement, the Bylines editor suggested I wrote a commentary piece on government policy (i.e. change your mind every few minutes) as it related to theatre I said, “I wouldn’t dare write a political article – I suspect only every tenth word would be publishable!”