Category: Economy

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BREAKING

Covid hit businesses call for pragmatic approach to secure historic UK-EU agreement – CBI & trade associations

Yvonne Wancke

The CBI and 71 trade associations and professional bodies representing 190,000 businesses and seven million employees are calling for politicians on both sides to carve a path towards a deal. Sectors from automotive to aviation, chemicals to creative industries, and farming and food to pharmaceuticals – are united: securing a quick agreement matters greatly for jobs and livelihoods

Finished at 55?

Stephen Lambert

Despite the publication of the Augar Review, the last decade has seen adult and community education being starved of resources with the virtual disappearance of ‘night-classes’. Day-time opportunities for older adults to update their skills to become plumbers or electricians have been cut to the bone. Yet, these are things that could help the older unemployed worker get back onto the jobs ladder.

Boris needs to do his homework!

David Taylor-Gooby

A CETA deal would not stop border checks of tariffs on some goods. There would still be checks at borders. If you want to see what this is like, travel to the southern border between Montenegro and Croatia south of Dubrovnik. The queue of lorries being checked, not just for what goods they are carrying but also whether they harbour illegal immigrants, is enormous.

How low will Jenrick go?

Peter Benson

Critics pointed out that relatively prosperous towns such as Glastonbury (low-priority listing) were chosen for inclusion in the Towns Fund publication, but relatively poor towns such as Tynemouth (medium priority listing) were not. For medium-priority towns in the North East like Tynemouth, Sunderland, Seaham and many others, the chance of access to the Towns Fund has not just diminished, it has gone. They have been erased by a centralist, elitist government which focusses solely on the rich and powerful.

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.

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.

What next?

Sally Young

The North East, with its skills and industrial know-how should be at the forefront of a green revolution. As others have already advocated, it has the potential to become an international hub of carbon neutral technologies and wind-related energy sources.

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!”

Who’s backing Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor: part 3

A S Hunter

Is this a case of cash for contracts? That’s what it looks like. It may be that Houchen’s enthusiasm for hiring local firms may be based on something other than local pride. If there is an alternative explanation for the award of these contracts, then Houchen needs to provide it.

Poor Boris

Peter Benson

Does the Prime Minister know what it is really like to be without enough money or a job, to have to borrow mid-month to survive till pay day or turn to a loan sharks or a charities to buy food, nappies, pay the bills or buy Christmas presents for his kids?

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

Peter Lathan

I have great memories of climbing this wonderful hill by what I think is the best route of all the seven I’ve tried. That’s Hall’s Fell, the most central of the five buttresses which make up the southern face of the mountain. Starting with a wide swathe of grass and heather, it soon becomes a narrow rocky ridge which leads unerringly straight to Blencathra summit.

Alternative ways to protest during ‘lockdown’

Louise Brown

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.

Double Halloween horror show for the North East!

Louise Brown

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.

Working from where?

Sally Young

Employers are starting to realise that they can cut down on office costs, reduce the difficulties and risks of social distancing and quarantine and enhance the geographical diversity of their workforce. Workers can see the advantages of not having long commutes, saving transport costs, possibly having more autonomy on how they work, and a potentially more pleasant environment. Clearly there could be a massive impact on the environment in reducing emissions.

Ghost Light: an interview with Jen Stevens, singer songwriter

Yvonne Wancke

“I come from quite a musical family, I started learning piano aged four and have sung for as long as I can remember. My parents were into a mixed bag of music, so I grew up listening to everything from the Beatles to Grieg. I started off studying classical music, both for piano and voice and then moved towards folk and jazz. I was gigging from the age of 15 and have worked as a professional musician since then. Music has always been an integral part of my life.”