Category: Politics

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.

Teesworks Heritage Taskforce: cancelling culture?

Scott Hunter

Now that the South Tees site is being redeveloped, a new task has emerged, which is deciding on the preservation of some of its most important structures. Redcar MP and co-chair of Teesworks Heritage Taskforce, Jacob Young, is committed to commemorating this region’s industrial heritage.

Hancock must apologise to long Covid patients

Carol Westall

Matt Hancock is under pressure to apologise to long Covid patients, after an investigation by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus revealed that some are waiting over 100 days for treatment. Hancock must apologise.

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.

Amnesty International is sixty years old

Julie Ward

Beneson’s call to action was a heartfelt response to appalling abuse of power by state apparatus. He intended a simple year long campaign focused on ‘prisoners of conscience’. 60 years later the work of Amnesty International continues to be just as important

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….

Opinion

The forgotten, disabled student and a new defiance

Connor Lamb

People that were once told that they couldn’t work from home due to IT systems not accommodating them were able to once the pandemic hit. This is quite possibly ableism in it’s purest form. Adaptations that ‘couldn’t’ be made prior to the pandemic suddenly could be made when it protected and supported able-bodied neurotypicals. It should not have taken a virus to make these accommodations. In this way Covid-19 has become a twisted equaliser of sorts.

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”.

This is me: shining a light on inclusivity

Connor Lamb

I am going to write about what I know and what I’m passionate about. I’m primarily focusing on education, but also disability rights, queer rights and mental health. Disabled and neurodiverse people including myself are ignored by the government, and especially by our region, and so I’m excited to shine a light on those issues.

APPG

Global vaccine rollout: APPG session 2

Carol Westall

”Yesterday Archbishop Tutu got his jab months after young and healthy people in the UK. Why, ask yourself why we have limited supplies. Why the UK’s stance on IP hoarding and overbuying meant that someone over 80 got his vaccine on the 18 May 2021. Also we took part in the AstraZeneca trial, the Johnson and Johnson trial and Pfizer trials and others, yet we were not guaranteed access. So much for the Commonwealth.”

Scrutiny concerns in the Tees Valley

Scott Hunter
Teesside Airport

The mayoral system is essentially a presidential one. Except that it is a presidential system without checks and balances in place. And, speaking of presidents, Houchen has learned a great deal of his craft from Trump. Like Trump, he is expert in the use of social media. His PR team puts out a constant stream of news. Information and misinformation neatly entwined.

Review

The age of surveillance capitalism

Dylan Neri

Book review: The age of surveillance capitalism In the twentieth century, two visionary texts cast their shadows over the future of our species. One was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its horrific vision of a brutal totalitarian state grounded in the concept of ‘War is Peace’, in which the population is coerced into a state […]

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”

Opinion

The forgotten student experience: part 1

Connor Lamb

To do the maths, each university should have received approximately £47,169. That isn’t bad, but students had to compete to get some of that and considering how many students relied on part-time jobs before lockdown, there must have been a lot of applications. The effort made by the government to be lazy was very frustrating; why provide direct support to all students when you can let universities play judge, jury and executioner?

North East People

Finish

Jim Walker

I describe myself as a retired teacher. But I’ve also done work as actor; book-keeper; building labourer; ice-cream seller; interpreter; long-distance bus-driver; newsreader; paint salesman; pharmaceutical rep; proof-reader; property manager; and ski rep.

Glasgow immigration protest has Priti Patel in a quandary

Scott Hunter

Make no mistake, the sentiment that prompted the action in Glasgow yesterday is widely shared across Scotland. And, in case anyone is in any doubt about that, this is not the first time that Westminster politicians have fallen foul of Scottish sensibilities. At the beginning of the 1980s Scottish Tories formed a large minority of the country’s electorate. The vulgarity of ‘Greed is Good’ put an end to that. Today the hostile environment policy causes widespread offence across the spectrum.

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 […]