Category: Politics

Northern Irish trade: Brexit breaks it

Joyce Quin

When the UK joined the then European Economic Community in 1973 it was not at all surprising that the Republic of Ireland became an EEC member at the same time. The UK and Ireland were closely linked economically and both countries were committed to the common travel area between them and were conscious of the […]

Cancer and immunotherapy, a personal story: we need experts!

Nicola Freeman

A personal story of cancer and groundbreaking immunotherapy I have been meaning to write this piece for some time; however, I have felt spurred on to do it now by the vilification of doctors and undermining of scientists as experts by some areas of the media recently. I aim to provide testimony about a relatively […]

Congratulations to Wearside firefighter, Annabel Evans

Abbie Rutherford

Wearside firefighter achieves distinction accolade as part of TWFRS apprenticeship programme Firefighter Annabel Evans, aged 27, of Sunderland has gained distinction grades ‘across the board’ after completing the Operational Firefighters Apprenticeship as part of the first-ever group of trainee firefighters to be entered on to the programme within TWFRS. Annabel is originally from Oxford and […]

Work permits needed for TEFL teachers: a Brexit bonus?

Louise Brown

I read this morning that Brexit has prompted Irish TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teachers to become in demand within the EU.  This is because British teachers now need work permits to be employed over there whereas Irish teachers do not.  Although I knew this was always going to be the case after […]

Poetry Corner

The Cameron Manual On The Gaining Of Power

Harry Gallagher

Slick your hair back smooth, hold your arms wide open. Tell your fellow countrymen their beloved land is broken. Play on their grossest fears and promise wage increases, then take your shiny hammer and smash their land to pieces. When the fabric is dismantled from ceiling down to stanchion, wave a cheery farewell and retire […]

Opinion

Wetherspoons’ boss loses out because of Brexit

Peter Benson

I fear I could be suffering from Schadenfreude, as I find myself somewhat unable to show empathy for the boss and biggest shareholder of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Brexit promoting Tim Martin must take some of the blame for the current crises in food, energy, labour and logistics, that the country is still reeling from. He […]

Opinion

NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]

APPG

UK doing worse than European neighbours says APPG on Coronavirus

Carol Westall

On 5 October the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus met to discuss the UK government’s ‘Winter Plan’ with witnesses giving expert evidence from a local, national and international perspective.   In September the Prime Minister announced the plans for tackling Covid during autumn and winter in England. ‘Plan A’ is designed to prevent […]

£1 million donation supports North East students to succeed at Durham University

Robin Tudge

A major scholarships programme to help students from low-income backgrounds in North East England to study at Durham University has received a new donation of £1 million. The donation to the Durham Inspired North East Scholarships program, which supports exceptional young people from across the region to fulfil their potential at Durham, comes from Dr […]

Who is MP Nadhim Zahawi?

Connor Lamb

On Wednesday 15 September 2021, I was given the present of a lifetime. It was a day that was better than Christmas and my birthday combined. A fellow Freshers Team Leader sent me the news that Gavin Williamson had been sacked as Education Secretary. I may or may not had screamed in the middle of […]

Brexit crisis continues with bus driver shortages

Yvonne Wancke

Bus routes and services are experiencing disruption across the country, particularly in the North East. This is a knock on effect from the HGV crisis as bus drivers are being ‘poached’ by haulage bosses for hugely increased wages. The reasons for the bus driver shortages Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon, chairman of the North East […]

Thatcher’s lonely walk: a lesson for Boris Johnson?

Owain Gardner

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll, sums up the North East’s attitude towards Boris Johnson’s so-called “Levelling-Up Agenda” – there is quite literally no definition of what it actually is, despite the Prime Minister having been in Number 10 Downing Street for two years. Something which is born out in the representative poll of 10,000 […]

Opinion

High wage economy: a response to Boris Johnson

James Sheerin

It’s not that a high wage, high productivity economy is a bad idea. It’s what we desperately need to improve the lot of everyone in our broken society. It’s the bare-faced insincerity of Boris Johnson, the man who dreamed up the argument, perhaps even as he spoke to Andrew Marr last Sunday, as a way […]

Michael Gove’s extraordinary tale of Teesside at the Tory Party Conference

Scott Hunter

Are those beer goggles you’re wearing, Mr Gove? Michael Gove visited the site of the South Tees Development Corporation in late September. When he spoke of that experience at the to the party faithful on Monday, many may have been enthralled by what he had to say. Many on Teesside, meanwhile, were left absolutely speechless.  […]

Interview

Haulage: a perspective from Poland

North East Bylines

Gregor Gowans lives in Poland and is a journalist at trans.INFO. North East Bylines interviewed him to find out first-hand about lorry driver shortages and related matters. Gregor confirmed that there is indeed a lorry-driver shortage in Britain and throughout Europe, including Poland. But, he stressed, it is: “emphatically not true that there are empty […]

Climate change catastrophe! – to be shown at COP-26

North East Bylines

A new show about climate change, Climate Change Catastrophe, made by children for grown-ups, will be shown at COP26 , the United Nations annual climate change conference being held in Glasgow, UK, on 12 November. Hundreds of primary school children from across the North of England worked with Newcastle University climate scientists and engineers, and Cap-a-Pie […]

North East blue seats might turn red suggests new poll

Yvonne Wancke

A recent poll by YouGov suggests that if an election were to be held tomorrow, the Conservatives would almost certainly lose some of their recently gained so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats, including Redcar and North West Durham. A number of seats in the region were won by the Tories in 2019 but now, just as the […]

Tees Valley: Houchen helps those that help themselves

Scott Hunter

The shortage of HGV drivers continues to dominate the headlines, with Boris Johnson telling the world that the whole point of Brexit was to do away with the low-wage/high-immigration economy that we are living with and instead to train British workers to do higher skilled jobs, thus creating a high-wage/low-immigration economy. Time to look at […]

UPDATED

Shortages: a view from Europe

Yvonne Wancke

A few days ago I wrote an article on the subject of food and fuel shortages following recent comments from Treasury Minister and Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke. Clarke claimed that the current problems are not due to Brexit. He also said that the rest of Europe was experiencing the […]

Is Ben Houchen getting cold feet about Teesside Airport?

Scott Hunter

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the airline industry. So, the news that the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) recently provided Teesside Airport with a £10 million bailout came as no surprise. Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, rightly pointed out at the time that this type of measure had been necessary for regional airports […]

North East HistoryPART 7

The first safety legislation: North East coal mines, 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 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 […]

Climate change education

Anya Cook

It is high time we recognised the inter-connectedness of our planet and our people – we are not separate from it or each other. The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 takes place in Glasgow in November. Many believe this is the last opportunity to mitigate disaster. The urgency of change needed now is Code Red. […]

Hundreds attend ‘Brexit isn’t working’ protest

Yvonne Wancke

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is taking place, to say that Brexit isn’t working. This is all in the context of food and fuel shortages and the HGV crisis. People have travelled from Leeds, Lancaster, the North East and Manchester itself to make their voices heard. There is […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]