Category: Politics

Gavin Williamson: Queen’s portrait, twisted priorities

Connor Lamb

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.

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.

Refugee week 2021: it could be you or me

Caroline Hoile

I shall never forget speaking to ‘E’ as I met him off a flimsy boat arriving into Chios, packed with desperate people. He smiled at me, gratefully accepting the food that I offered to him, which the charity I was volunteering with supplied for people arriving. “What will happen to me now?” he asked me nervously.

UK commitment to donate Covid vaccine doses at G7

Carol Westall

A recent cross-party letter to the Prime Minister from 116 MPs and peers, has been coordinated by the APPG on Coronavirus. While the UK has committed funding to COVAX, we remain a net importer of Covid-19 vaccines. The letter called on the UK to donate one dose of the vaccine to the Covax scheme for every dose imported into the UK.

How many lies did Matt Hancock tell?

Peter Benson

The key issue was testing patients for Covid before they were discharged to care homes. It’s been clear for a long time that many patients were transferred untested, thus substantially increasing the risk of spreading the disease, and that many thousands of care home residents died.

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 […]

Unrealistic Covid-19 expectations

Giuseppe Bignardi

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.

Nigerian military violence petition

North East Bylines

“ I am glad that we have finally had a response from the government on this, nearly nine months later and that that there is an investigation into the violence and the SARS unit has been disbanded, but I and the Nigerian diaspora in the U.K. want to see tougher action from the UK government to show that further violence is not acceptable and to help clamp down on corruption.”

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.

NHS Digital in NHS ‘data grab’

Scott Hunter

Concern over the government’s plans to acquire the nation’s GP held patient records reaches a state of sublime confusion. The government has directed NHS Digital to start taking medical records from GPs in England and Wales from 1 September 2021. This is with a view to creating a central database of pseudonymised patient data. This […]

How to opt out of NHS data sharing

Yorkshire Bylines

Here is your ‘how to’ guide to opt out of the NHS data sharing plans – otherwise known as the NHS data grab. There has been a lot of media coverage of the government’s plans to sell off our private medical records. Under the original plans, we only had until 23 June to opt out. This deadline has now been extended to 1 September, but many other questions remain unanswered.

Solidarity with Hong Kong protestors: global campaign 12 June

Julie Ward

Before the sentencing, Lee said: “I am ready to face the penalty and sentences. I am proud I can walk with the people of Hong Kong on the road to democracy. I want to dedicate the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ to the Hong Kong people. We will walk together even in darkness with hope in our heart.” Amnesty International in its latest campaign briefing describes the jailing of these opposition leaders a “violation of international law”.

MBE for campaigner for UK nationals in the EU

Clarissa Killwick

“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.”

Opinion

Concerns about medical data: letter to a Tory MP

Nicola Tipton

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.

The forgotten student part 4: after the rent strikes

Connor Lamb

A conversation I had with a friend ensued after they congratulated me after my first article in North East Bylines. This friend mentioned that their accommodation provider had refused to provide any financial support. An idea came after this conversation. Let’s see if any student who has studied in the North East this year actually benefitted from the rent strikes?

BREAKINGUPDATED

North East set to lose two MPs: is this ‘levelling up’?

Yvonne Wancke

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.

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.

Mind, the mental health charity and how it can help

Jessica Ingham

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.

Opinion

Northumbria should make all North Easterners proud

Will Sadler

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.

Jamie Driscoll interview part 2: talking politics

Dylan Neri

“I joined the Labour Party in 1985, while the miners’ strike was going on…and my mum was a trade union representative… and went on to become the women’s officer for Cleveland Count Council, and the chair of the Refuge from Domestic Violence in Middlesbrough.”

Allegations have Ben Houchen hot under the collar

Scott Hunter

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”.

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.

Opinion

Writing a diary entry: 3 June 2021

Peter Lathan

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.

Poetry Corner

We are each other

Harry Gallagher

We need a brother of the blues; come blow your horn, light a fuse beneath the tinder of our fickle lie-down-and-take-it, ever-so-humble, bowing, scraping days.   We need Sister Rosetta to rasp and wake us better, shake our crumbling foundations, hold us up to a mirror, come deliver us from ourselves.   We need to […]

Opinion

The forgotten student experience: part 3

Connor Lamb

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