Category: Home Affairs

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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.

Pride in the UK: Bylines podcast

Bylines Network Podcast

At the height of Pride month, join the team at the Bylines Network podcast, as we discuss the history and state of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK and across the world.  Hosts Chris Davis from Brighton and our very own Connor Lamb from Newcastle share their own experiences. The podcast also includes a fascinating and interesting […]

Supporting queer young people: legacy of Section 28

Connor Lamb

Stonewall conducted a survey regarding queerphobic bullying that found that 46% of queer students experienced queerphobic bullying in the North East, compared to 40% of students in London and 36% of students from the South East. This suggests that the North-South divide may come into play when it comes to queerphobia within schools.

EXCLUSIVE

Steve Bray, campaigner: first protest and what’s next

Yvonne Wancke

“This government has stripped away my rights, your rights, everybody’s rights. They have divided this nation…they’ve lied, they’ve cheated and nothing about this government is honest…In a modern day democracy that is frightening and we have to do everything we can to oppose it. “

Opt in, opt out? What is the law?

Richard Henson

Under GDPR, the rules are much stricter. The custodian must inform the subject of any change of purpose, in such a way that doing nothing retains the status quo, or face a heavy fine. That means they must be informed of any proposed change in such a way that they have to give explicit consent to the change (the opt in principle was there even with the previous act, but many companies construed it wrongly). The UK agreed with this; indeed it fits well with the NHS principle of informed consent.

The policing bill: protests continue in Newcastle

Ade JBones Van Vliet

For several times within the past five weeks, lively protests have taken place at Monument in Newcastle. A continuation of ongoing assemblies around the country, these protests are seen by the attendees as vital within both holding the government to account and for challenging exploitation and injustices both domestically and internationally.

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor interview: part 1

Dylan Neri

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.

UPDATED

Middlesbrough controlled by Tory and Independent ‘coalition’

Julia Mazza

A new ruling coalition of Tories and Independents has taken over Middlesbrough Borough Council. The three Conservative councillors have joined forces with 13 representatives in the Middlesbrough Independent Group and the ten strong Middlesbrough Independent Councillors Association, together with two other ‘independent’ Independents.

Asylum policies do not reflect our country’s values

Giuseppe Bignardi

To understand how important asylum-seekers and migrants are, we need to look no further than our Cabinet Ministers! Boris Johnson is the great-grandson of a Turkish politician who sought refuge in the UK. Priti Patel’s Ugandan Indian parents migrated to the UK just years before the dictator Idi Amin ordered the expulsion of the Asians from Uganda. Dominic Raab is the son of a Jewish Czech refugee. Rishi Sunak’s Indian parents came from East Africa.

Review

Grandfathers and sons: Blair and Bazarov

Dylan Neri

But where Blair errs is in his definition, or understanding, of ‘progressive’ politics; an understanding which enables him to equate the Biden administration (or, the not-Trump administration) with the cause of political progress.

Autism and digital interviews: a positive of lockdown

Connor Lamb

A virtual interview is quite simple: test out your camera and microphone, decide which smart shirt to wear, and focus on preparing your answers to common interview questions. And not to mention that this makes planning for the organisation easier too.

Opinion

Colonialism: how to resist and change

Bill Corcoran

I shout at the radio when someone says “north of Hadrian’s Wall” meaning Scotland, without knowing it goes along Shields Road; and associate themselves with the “civilised” invader, not the resisting Briton. I grimace when people think that we are Vikings “because we are north”; think we need their elocutionary education when we had electric light, proper mass transport, posh shops and high wages first. I end up swearing under my breath….

Poetry Corner

The Durham Dom

Kim Sanderson

One murky morn the Tories went
A-fishing’ in the sewer;
An’ catched a fish upon their heuk,
They thowt leuk’t very queer.

BREAKINGUPDATED

Incompetent government in North Tyneside coronavirus row

Yvonne Wancke

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”.

Children’s rights: do we care?

Debbie Williams

“People don’t care about the rights of children, they only pay lip service to it, especially when a shocking story appears in the media e.g., baby P, or Marcus Rashford and the school meals story”

Turning up the heat on cold-callers

Stephen Lambert

Following successful pilots elsewhere in the country and some 65 schemes covering 44,000 city households, Newcastle City Council continues to roll out ‘No Cold Calling Zones’. The zones help to prevent unsolicited visits to residents’ homes. A ‘No Cold Calling Zone’ is an area in which residents have decided they don’t want uninvited visits to […]