So commerce was not for me. What next? “I’ll try teaching,” I thought. My brother John was now a vicar and a governor of Staveley Road Secondary Modern School in Chiswick, London. I wanted to see what teaching was like and he got me a temporary job there. (This was when you didn’t have to have a teaching qualification in order to teach; you just had to have a degree.)
The blackbird on our fence
is protesting freely
across several keys
about excess competition
in this morning’s song contest
The heavy-handed response by the Met Police to the vigil, at Clapham Common, for Sarah Everard, was the leading story on Sunday. Peaceful vigils were held in Glasgow, Nottingham and elsewhere. The awful irony of this was not lost; that the murder of a woman by a serving a police officer, ends up with more women being man-handled by the Police. Sunday was also Mothering Sunday.
The Chancellor, fixated on his own image and the Prime Minister, preoccupied with paying for an opulent £200K redecoration of his Number 10 flat is only the start. The Justice Secretary wants to restrict peaceful protests and the Health Secretary has handed out PPE contracts to a mate. But the icing on the cake is […]
“I won’t be silenced just because the truth makes him uncomfortable. He has shown poor judgement and ignorance to the strength of feeling of the nation towards these tragic events and the issue of violence against women.”
On 11 March 2011 a huge earthquake off the coast of Japan cased a Tsunami that caused devastation to the north east coast of the main island. The nuclear power plant at Fukushima was inundated causing a power failure and a meltdown of three reactor units, resulting in radioactive leaks into the atmosphere and the […]
The right to food is laid down in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 25 and in the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, article 27. In 2012 the UN launched the goal of ‘zero global hunger’ by 2030 in recognition of the stark physical and mental health implications for […]
There is an old philosophical thought experiment that you will have heard of. It goes like this – “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” This old chestnut persists because it so beautifully demonstrates how language and meaning can impact upon how […]
To some experts, the most troubling trend is the drop by up to 40 per cent in the number of ‘attainers’ – teenagers at college or sixth form who are mean to join the register prior to voting age. A generation is in danger of missing its first taste of democratic participation, and perhaps never acquiring the habit of voting. This year’s local, Mayoral and Police and Commissioner elections could have a major influence on young people. The outcome could impact on job prospects, apprenticeships, climate change and finding somewhere affordable to live.
She came in peace to reclaim the night,
with her sisters, a candle and a thimble of hope,
which wept itself out under flashing blue lights.
Escaping the final harvest,
haunting a lichen-limbed nest,
the ghost apple hangs transparent
where once branches bent
laden with wanton fruit,
swollen to a pregnant glut.
My platform as Chair will be ‘Step by Step Towards Rejoin’. Nothing less than rejoining the European Union is either acceptable or practical as our ultimate goal. For Britain’s security, prosperity and influence as a nation we must be full participants in the world’s largest free-trade bloc that lies on our doorstep. But accomplishing this politically in the current climate must be achieved in stages. That is not to be tentative – as anti-Brexit parties and politicians have been over the last year – but to bring as many people as possible with us on this journey.
I once made this recipe for a friend who came to visit (actually the non-veggie version). He had driven many miles on a motorbike from the south on a crazy wild and wet night. The food went down pretty well! I know it’s a but late for winter warmer food but hey, this is England. […]
Striplight eyed, Eve tumbles out
to mourning’s waking arms,
home to bed’s hollow belly,
the longnight’s deadweight
gushing from her soul
into the pillow’s soft shoulder.
The Republicans weren’t just beaten by a superior presidential election campaign, but with a four-year grassroots fight to weaken their authority and prevent the Trump agenda from becoming law. With some adjustments we can copy their game plan.
Crucially we came up with the concept of ‘sheep made out of sheep’. I’d been going to craft shows for years and always picked up a random needle-felting kit but I’d never come across a kit that made a virtue out of the type of sheep being crafted from its very own wool. I knew very little about sheep despite my grandma having a farm full of them! The pandemic struck and I set to work researching sheep breeds, the qualities of their wool, and which would work together well in a collection.
The hashtag for this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March is #ChooseToChallenge. This hashtag is also behind the rallying cry of a new campaign #NoToHassockfield which has been established in response to the announcement by the Home Office of the creation of an Immigration Detention and Removal Centre on the site of the notorious […]
I’m also pretty sure that Priti Patel & co have no knowledge of the rather long history of sanctuary in the holy places of Northumberland and Durham. And I think they can have no idea how many people in the North East belong to and support the modern Sanctuary organisations. These refuse to accept that people can be treated like trash and instead offer a warm welcome, in many very practical ways, to the large numbers of people being ‘settled’ here into temporary accommodation while they wait in anxiety for a decision on whether they can be ‘granted leave to remain’ and be allowed to become members of society here.
At an online meeting this weekend, residents expressed fears that the women, many of whom have fled from cruel and dangerous situations in their home countries, were to be locked up in ‘prison style’ conditions for 23 hours a day.
The government has failed to put together a plan to rescue the social care sector, despite Boris Johnson’s claim in 2019 that he would fix the crisis in social care “with a clear plan we have prepared”. The NHS also needs extra funding to deal with the huge backlog of non-Covid health needs. Rishi Sunak made no mention of either social care or improved NHS funding in his budget statement.
“someone whose passion has kept our hope alive through many a dark time.”
Two hundred years ago
this February in Rome
Inspired by Hexham’s heritage and funded by Historic England, Animating Hexham aims to discover stories and evoke memories of the town’s high streets and buildings, using these to inspire animations and conversations about Hexham’s heritage.
The government’s pay award of 1% to NHS staff has received widespread condemnation for its parsimony. There has been further condemnation that workers in the care sector continue to suffer low pay and poor working conditions.
For all the zipped-up body bags,
for carrying your country without pause,
for tending all those beds,
for tending to our dead
you get 1% and a round of applause.
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
They’re desperate. They’ve been found out. They’re currently riding the unwillingness of their readers, and Brexiters generally, to accept that Brexit is now revealed to be a lie because so many of those very readers are complicit in facilitating that lie, and the consequences for the country are so grave. It’s a particularly potent brew of complicity because it was notions of patriotism and loyalty –in themselves perfectly fine sentiments – that were harnessed and weaponised to spur normal people into this betrayal of country and kin.
Dunsinane becomes darker than hell itself. The porter declares, “But this place is too cold for hell. / I’ll devil-porter it no further.” Scotland is also increasingly described metaphorically as sick and diseased – just as the UK is, once again, being dubbed ‘the sick man of Europe’. The nation hosts a nightmare Covid-19 scenario, the economy is in a grievous state, and our national debt is eye-wateringly high.
The budget missed a golden opportunity to spark a Tees Valley green revolution with targeted investment in future technologies. Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour’s candidate in the looming Tees Valley mayoral election, has joined Ed Miliband to flag up a missed chance to reshape manufacturing, rebalance the economy and prepare Britain for a low carbon world. Shadow Business minister and former […]
In 1954 all young men had to do two years of national service. Unless you deferred it (to become an apprentice or go to university) you went straight from school, as I did. It was a prospect that few relished. But few went on to have quite the experience that I did. If you joined […]