Brexit uncertainty in 2017-2018 was bad enough. 2019 brought a Johnson majority followed by a pandemic in 2020, factors which are disastrous for our economy.
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.
Scotland and the North East have so much in common that we should be able to find an acceptable legal basis to enable us to work together. The idea of recreating a barrier between us last seen 300 years ago fills me with horror but that is now in prospect.
We are a sovereign state, and we remained one when a member of the EU. And the surest demonstration of this is that we have left the EU.
In a similar vein displaying political art, music or poetry can grab people’s attention in real life and on social media. Likewise, a lockdown does not prevent us from wearing political messages on our clothes or masks to get the message out. If you are sharing such images or lyrics on social media be sure to tag in your local politicians.
The region is famous for its 1936 Jarrow to London march against unemployment and poverty. Although initially perceived as a failure, in subsequent years, this march was acknowledged by historians as a defining event of that decade.
I can’t believe that we still need to talk about peace in Ireland in September 2020. The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998; that’s over 22 years ago. Peace, this unique and precious commodity is being gambled with and traded in the most underhand and despicable way possible by the Westminster government. The […]
What would be the criteria for awarding state aid to a tech firm or a project? Would there be viable tests and assessments? Could more government money be thrown away and wasted? Will we see a mushrooming of dodgy algorithms and apps which do not function properly. Will they invest in the wrong companies again and waste yet more of government funds? Will the state aid land once more in the hands of companies and individuals who are associates of government staff, advisors and donors?
Does Johnson actually speak for ordinary Tories? Does Johnson represent your views? Johnson was elected on the basis of having personally negotiated a ‘fantastic’, ‘oven-ready’ deal with Europe, what happened to it? Is the government so incompetent and negligent it doesn’t read the small print of the international agreements it negotiates? How will you vote tomorrow?
Over the past few years, the average British millennial has been stripped of their European citizenship, and all the exciting life opportunities it entails, largely against their will. Young people remain well and truly locked out of an inhuman housing market. They are forced to work long hours on top of full-time studies yet will still graduate dozens of thousands of pounds in debt and into yet another catastrophic recession that is not of their own making.
This is the Haymarket, Newcastle. Nowadays it is a metro station at the end of a busy shopping street. As the name suggests this area was for many years the scene of a market selling hay and straw, a reminder of our agricultural past. Long ago but still remembered and timely to do so in […]
The UK government has chosen not to renew or continue its relationship with the Creative Europe programme after the end of the calendar year. This is a move that is viewed as a retrograde step on both sides of the channel and doesn’t fit with the government’s own narrative about a close relationship with our nearest neighbours nor its tub-thumping global Britain rhetoric.
We must stress our patriotism, that we want what is best for this country. That does not mean giving in to others but instead working with them when it suits our interests. Europe is our biggest trading partner, and we have to work out ways of trading with them which suit both of us.
How do you start becoming an investigative journalist?
I’m scared. Not for myself, although I will be soon. No, this is for my son, my friends and neighbours and the future of our country. I’m not prone to wild conspiracy theories, but since the 2016 referendum I have felt that what is happening is symptomatic of a bigger game; something like Maze Runner, […]
Local residents from the North East held a socially distanced protest in Hexham Market Place on Saturday morning. This was joining the other 3.5% events taking place across the country. The 3.5% represents the number of people it takes for peaceful protest to succeed and has quickly taken off as a movement primarily against the […]
Democracy is not democracy if the electorate does not have a chance to change its mind. I and many others were denied the opportunity to vote in the 2016 referendum simply because of our age.
This government made 11 U Turns on their own policies in the last 14 weeks. Whilst many of these have been welcomed, why did they get it so wrong in the first place? It does not inspire trust.
What is Democracy? Democracy is about giving the people a say. Not being told what to do, but having their views represented. The conventional way to do this is to have a parliament with people’s views represented by the candidate who gets the most votes in an election. Parliamentary Democracy In the UK, our parliamentary […]
There has been a rise of the far right in the last few years. Somehow it has become the new normal: acceptable and even respectable
As a kid in Italy in the late 1970s, I fell in love with a country called ‘Inghilterra’. This word translates as ‘England’, but at that age I was not aware of the four countries that make up the UK nor of the political issues amongst them. Inghilterra was the country of my favourite British […]
A personal reflection on a protest On Tuesday 18th August I joined a protest outside Chequers, the country residence of the Prime Minister of the UK. The group was there primarily to draw attention to the Russia Report. So much for taking our sovereignty back! In the words of Dominic Grieve QC, former attorney general […]
One in three companies expect to make redundancies by the end of September.
We didn’t set out to become Brefugees. What happened to us may well become more and more common as the UK’s Brexit recession sets in.
Local residents from the North East held a socially distanced night vigil outside the Nissan factory in Sunderland (Washington) on Friday 14th August at 9.30pm. The group is concerned about the effect of a No Deal Brexit on industry and jobs throughout the North East and particularly at the Nissan plant in Sunderland. Members of […]
On military philosophers and mercenaries Two striking discussions of Dominic Cummings have described him as a ‘mercenary’. The Newcastle social scientist and child poverty expert, the late John Veit-Wilson, commented in the Guardian that “it has long seemed obvious that Cummings was a highly articulate chancer and mercenary for neo-liberal US billionaires.” A reviewer of […]
The progress of the Agriculture Bill Can No Deal Brexit be averted? Good news. It can! If the House of Lords amendment passes when it returns to the House of Commons in September it may kill off the nightmare of a No Deal Brexit! This may surprise you. I did say “if”, but It’s a […]
Meeting one’s idol at any age is momentous. I met mine when I was just 18 and deeply immersed in local politics in Ireland, during the Summer of 1981. Politics was in my blood and I was active since the age of 16, in County Kildare, Ireland. My political involvement centred around the youth wing […]
On democracy, Brexit and Russian money It can be difficult to have any faith in our current democracy, but I suppose when we compare the UK to Russia or China or indeed some other countries, we might consider ourselves lucky. Democracy is defined as ‘The belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves’ (Cambridge English Dictionary) […]
On independence, Russian style The House of Commons Select Committee on the Future Relationship with Europe conducted its last oral session before the summer recess interviewing experts on the future of UK foreign and security policies after Brexit, and the scope for future coordination in these areas with the EU. Professor Malcolm Chalmers, from the […]