Category: Home Affairs

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National Insurance increases: ‘levelling up’ for the North East?

Yvonne Wancke

This week the government voted to increase National Insurance contributions in order to fund social care. National Insurance contributions are set to rise by 1.25 percentage points. Whilst initially this may not seem a lot, it is worth noting that for anyone earning between £10,000 and £50,000 a year, it actually means an increase of […]

‘Keep the lifeline’ of £20 UC increase urge Kenton councillors

Stephen Lambert

The UK government should retain the £20 increase to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, which has been a lifeline to thousands of households across the city for people struggling to afford the essentials. Charities, health care professionals, foodbanks and councillors across the city are backing the Keep the lifeline campaign and are calling on […]

Hartlepool: nuclear waste and a council civil war 

Julia Mazza

August is the silly month, with the press scrabbling for copy to fill column inches left empty by the political recess. It is the perfect season for Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, sultan of spin, to create a “secret radioactive waste dump” conspiracy theory. In eleven August days, he accused Hartlepool Labour Group, smeared a local charity, ousted […]

North East HistoryPART 1

Dangerous jobs in the North East coal mines, 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall takes a look at the issues of safety and eventual legislation for […]

Women’s detention centre: monthly protests

North East Bylines

A coalition of local people and campaign groups from across the country will protest against the proposed detention centre in Consett, County Durham, on Saturday 21 August. This will be the third demonstration organised at the site and the first of regular demonstrations happening on the third Saturday of every month.  Inhumane practice of indefinite […]

Durham Miners’ Gala: Little Big Meetings and the truth about Thatcher

Julie Ward
Durham miners banner

Boris Johnson’s crass comments praising Margaret Thatcher for closing the pits in the 1980s and wrongly attributing her with green credentials have been roundly condemned by leading figures connected to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is the second year running that Gala organisers have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the iconic ‘Big Meeting’ due […]

Sharon Hodgson, MP urges veterans to have their say

North East Bylines

Today former Shadow Minister for Veterans, Sharon Hodgson MP, is urging local veterans across the North East to participate in the Labour Party’s consultation with veterans. They are being encouraged to participate in a survey so that their voices can be heard. As Shadow Minister for Veterans, Sharon developed the consultation, which will help the […]

Review

14 dead and nothing said: Uprising review

Ade JBones Van Vliet

Early in the morning of 18 January 1981, flames tore through a three floored combined house party at 439 New Cross Road, South London. 13 young black people lost their lives directly through the fire and the toll rose to 14, when a further party attendee tragically committed suicide, two years later.  Within six weeks […]

Just who are “The People” and who represents them?

Gareth Kearns

Last Wednesday, 21 July 2021, as I Joined with the SODEM team at the regular PMQs protest outside parliament, I was told in unequivocal terms by a Covid-denier that I didn’t represent “The People”. Just what I am to make of that? I’m sorry, “The People”, but I have never made any claim to represent […]

BREAKING

North East coalition urges Chancellor to reverse £20 UC cut

North East Bylines

A broad, cross-sector coalition of North East organisations has come together today (21 July 2021) to urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse the planned £20 a week cut to Universal Credit which will hit hundreds of thousands of low-income households across the region this autumn. Writing jointly to the Chancellor as organisations “committed […]

Opinion

Freedom Day: free to do as I want?

Gareth Kearns

Savid Javid was pinged. We all know what that means, so it was necessary for him to inform recent associates, and it would be necessary for said associates to also isolate. This is a few days before ‘Freedom Day’. These have been the rules for us all. They’re terribly inconvenient, that’s true, but we are […]

Unfair two-child limit hits 14,000 North East families

North East Bylines

Regional child poverty campaigners have renewed calls for an end to the government’s ‘two-child limit’, after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today (15 July 2021) show that almost 14,000 families – including at least 42,000 children – across the North East are now affected by the policy. The two-child limit The two-child limit […]

Keep them poor, uneducated and hungry!

Peter Benson

I would like to hypothesis that the greatest success of this ten-year government is to keep the underclass in their place. That is as far away as possible from the elite. And poor, uneducated and hungry. We are run by the elite for the elite. Any other thoughts are pure fantasy. I think that it would […]

3 out of 10 key workers’ children in the North East live in poverty

Julie Ward

We used to think that poverty was something that mainly visited the unemployed, the homeless, those who were far from the labour market through a combination of bad luck and poor life chances. However the shocking phenomena of in-work poverty has been growing year on year even before the pandemic laid waste to the economic […]

UPDATED

Newcastle United Fans Foodbank: Meaningful Dignity

Bill Corcoran

History is like the tide coming in; sometimes you see it, sometimes it floods you without warning. The 21st Century started like the tide you can see; a cleaning torrent of optimism that swept doubt aside, giving us what now seems like blissful prosperity, culture and awareness. We even had decent football with Sir Bobby […]

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.

North East money: U-Turn or pork barrel politics?

Julia Mazza

There’s a financial weather warning in place across the North East. Every day a blizzard of banknotes swirls around the region, smothering the press with good news: Towns Deal millions here, Freeport billions there. And with it a warm front of jobs, jobs, jobs. As we gaze on in wonderment are we seeing a U-turn […]

Cross border services and Batley and Spen: Podcast

Bylines Network Podcast

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 […]

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“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.”

Poetry Corner

Happyland

Harry Gallagher

In Happyland we sing our song of pride in riches from squalor, we read our press and nod along while worshipping the dollar.   Take pride in our irrefutable past, mansions built from sugar and cotton, take heed of that flag, pride of the mast and keep saluting till you have forgotten.   So sing […]

Opinion

One Britain One Nation: nil points for sentimental forelock tugging

Julie Ward

The OBON song was created by school-children in Bradford and there are certainly a lot of cute children waving Union Jack flags in the official video. Whilst I love a good sing-song and I do go all dewy-eyed at the thought of primary school choirs I simply can’t get excited by the crassness of the whole thing.

Free school meals: multimillion loss to North East schools

North East Bylines

Figures published by the Department for Education confirm that there was an increase of 5,700 pupils in receipt of FSM across the North East between the school census of October 2020 and that of January 2021. This means that schools in the region are facing a loss of up to £7.66 million in pupil premium funding as a result of the Government’s change.

The Online Safety Bill: threats to free speech

Dylan Neri

There are roughly three approaches to free speech: the absolutist approach of the United States, outlined in the First Amendment to the Constitution; the authoritarian approach, that says speech must be limited to ensure order and stability, for the safety of the collective; and, a third approach, encapsulated by the blurry wording of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10, with its dubious reference to the “duties and responsibilities”, which argues that free expression must occasionally be restricted to the benefit of the minority.

Tyne Bridge: celebrating 100 years

Jane Neville

“ The whole region I am certain wants to see the Tyne Bridge restored to the magnificent spectacle it was when the Queen’s grandfather opened the Tyne Bridge in October 1928.”

Matt Vickers, an exhibition centre and ‘levelling up’

Scott Hunter

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.

Remembering Jo Cox: Love not hate wins

Jessie Joe Jacobs

But we all vowed to continue to fight for our values. To never let hate win. To not allow division to be the foundation of our democracy. People campaigned for remain for many different reasons but for me, it was about values. It was a belief in international solidarity. That we genuinely are stronger together.