Section: UK


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 […]


Shortages: a view from Europe

Yvonne Wancke

A few days ago I wrote an article on the subject of food and fuel shortages following recent comments from Treasury Minister and Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke. Clarke claimed that the current problems are not due to Brexit. He also said that the rest of Europe was experiencing the […]


Post-pandemic comedy and female empowerment with Sarah Millican

Katie Maughan

Award-winning British comedian Sarah Millican is currently in Middlesbrough for her Bobby Dazzler tour, gracing Middlesbrough Town Hall with plenty of laughter. Sarah made the audience feel welcome on her first night in Middlesbrough, bringing everyone in to share their lockdown experiences and having a laugh alongside herself. For a night of relatable pandemic anecdotes […]

Hundreds attend ‘Brexit isn’t working’ protest

Yvonne Wancke

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is taking place, to say that Brexit isn’t working. This is all in the context of food and fuel shortages and the HGV crisis. People have travelled from Leeds, Lancaster, the North East and Manchester itself to make their voices heard. There is […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]

Simon Clarke says shortages are across Europe and not caused by Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Today Simon Clarke, Treasury Minister and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said, on Radio 4 Today that the fuel shortages are not unique to the UK: “The idea that this is just a British problem is fundamentally wrong.“ He claims that it is a problem shared across Europe, specifically mentioning Germany and Poland. […]

A right worrit…nothing like my mam…

Peter Lathan

I think it was on Twitter. I think it was, but I’m not sure. Not that it matters. Not really. Anyway, be that as it may, I read that those people who prefer to watch old TV series or films which they’ve seen before, rather than new, almost certainly suffer from anxiety. What a load […]

Why we had a high infection rate over the summer

Giuseppe Bignardi

A recent holiday in Italy has allowed me to compare the contrasting approaches taken in fighting Covid-19. In Italy face masks are still compulsory in enclosed spaces. Here they are not. Thus, in a recent journey to Manchester my train compartment was packed, but hardly anybody was wearing masks whilst a few were coughing. Italy […]

The hospitality industry post-Brexit

Margaret Green

I recently began working in hospitality. An area of which I had no experience. Little did I know that I was coinciding with the upheaval of Covid-19 and Brexit. I have tried to pull out some of the trends that I have seen and in particular those that might be relevant to Brexit. I have […]


North Korea driving in Clapham

Robin Tudge

It’s 05:15, Sunday morning in Clapham, and I’m adopting ‘North Korea driving’ methods to save fuel. It’s a phrase I made up in 2002 when touring that isolated country, at the time barely crawling out of a famine that had killed a tenth of its people, a famine precipitated in no small party by a […]