In this week’s Bylines Network Podcast, Katrina Best interviews Alex Toal. Alex was involved in campaigning in the Batley and Spen by-election. He reflects on what he learned on the doorstep and analyses the Labour win and what this might mean for Labour going forward. Cross border services We also hear from Kim Sanderson whose […]
Like many I wonder what planet Lord David Frost is on? Frost and his ilk live in an alternative universe bereft of the richness of 21st century cultural diversity where creative innovation will be a thing of the past due to a narrow curriculum and the wholesale trashing of our creative industries.
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
“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”
I know just how important Nissan is economically to Sunderland, having grown up from just around the corner from it. It has provided decent jobs to the area for over thirty years. This is why I stood outside Nissan with other NE4EU members week after week last year often in the cold and pouring rain to stand in solidarity with its workers.
Workers at steel works across the North East had joined thousands more across the country in demanding the retention of the safeguards. Chi Onwurah helped lead opposition to the government’s plans in Parliament. On 21 June, Chi spoke in a debate forced by the Labour Party, and told government ministers that “our national interest demands a sovereign steel capability”.
In the North East we, of course, will be in Tier 3, whilst London, whose rates are rising while ours are falling, will be in Tier 2. Of course. Well, we are in the north and London is London and must therefore be better than us. Even if it isn’t.
A case of stabbing your constituents in the back, then realising you’d shot yourself in the foot, perhaps?
Home Time is the collective’s latest community photography project, bringing together images of life in lockdown from across County Durham, captured on disposable cameras by a diverse range of people, some of whom live in care homes. The results of this crowd-sourced project are now being exhibited in large-scale format on exterior walls of public venues. This is nothing if not innovative!
A group of local North East residents feel so strongly about lies and broken promises from the current government that they are staging a rally in Newcastle on Saturday 26 June. The focus of the demo is #WeDemandBetter.
Somebody asked me what are the top three places I would go to once my incarceration is finished. That’s easy. I’d head for the bar at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, the bar at Live Theatre, also in Newcastle, and the bar at the Customs House in South Shields. Not for the drink — I’ve got plenty of wine and single malt at home — but for the company and conversation of like-minded theatre-lovers. For I have missed all that so much.
The basic idea that this region should take a more active role in the arts is, of course, a good one, but it’s not at all clear whether Matt Vickers has any idea about how to go about doing that. You just can’t help but wonder if the announcement is intended to do something other promote this manifestly unrealistic plan. Perhaps the real intention is simply to promote Matt Vickers.
Kenton councillors Stephen Lambert, Chair of the Kenton Committee, and Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Environment, along with Catherine McKinnell MP, joined local residents for a clean-up of North Kenton Park as part of the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ over the weekend.
While you fixate on one of the most revered and financially secure universities in our country, do you know that SEND provisions in schools are underfunded, to the point where these services could be cut due to the lack of funding? Schools across my region could potentially lose up to £7 million, which would be used to support students from low-income backgrounds.
How many more variants of concern are we going to see? Some scientists believe there may a limited number of mutations that increase the ability to spread ad evade immunity: thus, the Covid-19 virus might have already played its best cards. However, there is no certainty about this.
You can take them to a judge
but no one cares anymore
about fingernails blackened
from springs snapping tills shut.
As long as sour butter drips
from smiling lying lips on the BBC,
“Rights have been lost, that’s true. Our achievements pale into insignificance compared with what has been lost. I would like to expand the network we have created to include all British citizens who are committed to a positive debate on migration, and the protection of all rights. Somehow, we need to pave the way for the future of people mobility.”
I also consider myself to be a ‘good citizen’. I am sure no insult was intended but the inference that I am somehow a bad citizen because I am reluctant to hand over my medical data willy-nilly makes me angry. I am risk averse and try and ensure that my data is protected. I do not want, at this stage, to hand over the responsibility of protecting my data to a third party I do not trust.
A theme discussed frequently by speakers was that the pandemic is amplifying previously existing inequalities.
The number of North East constituencies will be reduced from 29 to 17 if the government approves the plans. There are two constituencies which would be absorbed into others. These are North Tyneside and Houghton and Sunderland South. Interestingly both have Labour MPs. Mary Glindon represents North Tyneside and Bridget Philipson is MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.
Mind is a charity that provides advice and support to help people who experience mental health issues. They run amazing campaigns to improve services, create awareness and education in relation to mental health. They have a positive and caring community and strive on helping the people who access them. They are active on social media sharing success stories, campaigns and advertising their services.
One could argue, that just like ‘North of Tyne’, Northumbria just describes a place in relation to another. But there’s a crucial difference. The name ‘Northumbria’ is steeped in more than one thousand years of history, whereas I strongly suspect the name ‘North of Tyne’ was magicked out of thin air during a thought-shower session in an anonymous local authority boardroom.
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 collected by Northumberland Archives and Hexham Libraries to inspire animations and conversations.
t begins to look as if Houchen has been a bit careless in his explanation, offering up the truth but not the whole truth. But then to be fair, the statement issued to the press is the work of his PR team. And his team has been less than fastidious in another respect here, which is the allegation that “this nonsense was first concocted by the Labour Party”.
There is a real passion for the community and the region which permeates everything Mayor Driscoll says. It is clear that he sees the enfranchisement of the local communities and local businesses as the key aspect of his plans for the region.
You’d have thought that, as it now seems that we are emerging from the abyss of Covid-19 and the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is perceptively brightening, and with the government aiming to loosen all restrictions on 21 June, my mind would be reacting with greater positivity, with a surge of energy, greater hope and optimism.
It’s pretty clear: the Higher Education sector is at a crossroads. At the end of both options is a complex intersection, with academic enrichment, student pastoral support, the financial implications of the pandemic and public perception all being controlled by a single traffic light
We heard today that the government has identified eight areas which are now subject to new advice. This is due to the number of cases of the Indian variant locally. These areas include North Tyneside in which there have been 40 reported cases. The government has stated that people should not travel into or out of these areas. Additionally they have advised people not to meet indoors. At this point in time the government has denied a “lockdown by stealth”.
This week sees the North East premiere of a brand new film. The Constant Sea is the first page-to-screen project by Newcastle based writer and director, Margaret Frayne, who also features in the film. Film locations include Seaton Sluice and Newcastle.
If freeports were such a good solution, why we have not tried them before? Sadly, the answer is that we tried them before, but they did not work.