Category: Politics

The devil’s in the detail

Cross Border Services Group

All else being equal, why would a British tiler living in the UK be your first choice for work in Switzerland, rather than a British tiler living locally in a neighbouring EU country (of which Switzerland has several)? And why should the consumer in Switzerland be denied that choice? Within the microcosm of the Cross-Border Services group alone, this means that the translator living in the UK can legitimately deliver services on-site in Switzerland, but the translator living in Rome cannot. It would seem all UK citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others.

When is an expat not an expat?

Clarissa Killwick

Little account has been taken by either side of real human beings, their practical problems, level of integration and especially the impact on families. The UK’s post-Brexit Immigration Bill effectively shuts the door on its own citizens from returning to live in the UK after March 2022 if, with their EU spouses and family, they cannot meet the Minimum Income Requirement.

Fire service staff administer 11,000 vaccinations

Jane Neville

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen residents, groups, organisations and businesses from across the public and private sectors having to adapt to a whole new way of life. This has included 169 staff and crew members from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) who have volunteered to temporarily move from their normal day job and […]

A challenge to Ben Houchen as he is re-elected Tees Valley Mayor

Yvonne Wancke

Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor winning 73% of the vote. His nearest rival was Labour’s Jessie Joe-Jacobs. Houchen said that he was “overwhelmed and humbled” and that his plan was to bring “attractive jobs” to the region. He also commented that he had made a “fantastic start” but that there was […]

May elections special

Tories take Hartlepool

Scott Hunter

For days now, the town’s cemeteries have been full of people turning in their graves, as their descendants revoke all that they stood for, an act that has been accomplished with much wringing of hands. But the deed is done, the priorities of the people of Hartlepool have changed, and there’s no going back. One key question remains, however. That’s the question of what precisely the Tories have just acquired.

Covid passports, sporting events and international travel: more from the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus

Carol Westall

“The other dimension .., is what these passports will be used for. Will they be used for international travel, will there be a matter of restricting … activities like going to a football game, will they be used to restrict everyday activities like going to a bar, going to a restaurant, will they be used to restrict essential activities like going to a supermarket or to a job. These have very different implications.

North East People

Sacked!

Jim Walker

In September 1972, I took up two posts at Northumberland College of Education just outside Ponteland: one was as lecturer in English; the other was as a resident warden and Senior Resident Warden as from January 1973. The college had been a children’s home. When the site opened as a college in 1965, the cottages […]

Conversation starterMay elections specialOpinion

Vote conservative for a free and just society?

Dylan Neri

process of logical and rational analysis. As William F. Buckley, Jr. put it, “it is the chronic failure of liberalism that it obliges circumstance – because it has an inadequate discriminatory apparatus that might cause it to take any other course.” The problem with Conservatism then is our intransigency, our desire to fully appraise the situation before we act. But Conservatism must insist that while the will of man is limited in what it can do, it can do enough to make over the face of the world; and the question we must face is this: What shape should the world take given modern realties? Freedom, individuality, the sense of community, the sanctity of the family, the supremacy of the conscience, the spiritual view of life – can these verities be assimilated into a world of continual technological advancement? In a world of continuing atomisation of the individual and a steady regression into the vanity of the self? These have had a smashing social effect on us, to be sure; but because they were abandoned, not because of their insufficiency or proven inadaptability. These are values that if you ask any thinking person seriously interested in the pursuit of a better society should tell you they value so dearly, and miss even more. And these values and principles are intrinsic to the Conservative cause; it is to the achievement of these by which we disagree.

May elections specialUPDATED

No north-south divide in Jesmond, Newcastle

Yvonne Wancke

“Growing up both my parents worked in education and seeing the impact that cuts from the coalition government, I felt a real sense of injustice over the heartless policies…such as the bedroom tax. This government targeted some of the most vulnerable in our society and those that were already struggling. Something I will always remember is my Mum saying to me that ‘you should always judge a society on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens and with this [coalition] government we are failing at that test’.

May elections specialUPDATED

How are you going to vote?

North East Bylines

How are you going to vote? Would you like to have your say? We plan to publish some of your thoughts in the next couple of days. Please write to us at editor@northeastbylines.co.uk

Another Hartlepool independent: Sam Lee

Scott Hunter

Sam knows just how difficult it can be to get voters’ attention, not to mention their approval, in an election. It is not just that the main parties have party machinery to support them, it is also the fact that their voices are amplified by the media. There is no level playing field.

North East People

A great response from council candidates in County Durham for ACORN

Yvonne Wancke

“The North East has a proud history of standing with the persecuted – whether that be miners, steel workers or women. We have stood against fascists in Stockton, last summer Durham knelt for George Floyd. It is what our communities do. It is our history. We stand together in solidarity and we will do so again with the Gypsy, Romani and Traveller Communities.”

May elections specialUPDATED

Green Hartlepool?

Scott Hunter

Scott Hunter interviews Rachel Featherstone, Green Party candidate for the Hartlepool by-election

The public health impact of the policing bill

Carol Westall

In this article I limit my discussion to the effect of the bill in public health and medicine. Dr Hilary Aked focussed on serious violence partnerships, about the health context and what the bill means for health workers.

Anti-social behaviour in Newcastle has to stop say local politicians

Yvonne Wancke

Councillor Stephen Lambert said: ”Quality of life issues during the pandemic are very high on residents’ agenda across Kenton and nearby areas. The physical condition of green spaces, the state of our parks and community safety figure more highly in peoples priorities than central government imagines.”

All set for a win on the pools?: a look at the bookies’ take on the Hartlepool by-election

Scott Hunter

The popularity of the Brexit party in recent years may also provide some insight into what is happening in Hartlepool today. What UKIP, the BNP, the Veterans’ and People’s Party and other similar groups have had in common is their anti-immigrant, islamphobic, hang-‘em-and-flog-‘em agenda. The Brexit party dispensed with that, and instead set up with no policy platform at all, other than the realisation of Brexit. Now, under the name Reform UK, the party has a limited platform – most notably opposition to lockdown.

Brexit impacts in the food industry

Rahat Choudhury

Leaving the EU always had the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the food industry. There were many concerns around the impact on the supply chain, sourcing ingredients and labour shortages.

North East People

Teaching in Leeds

Jim Walker

In 1970, I returned to Britain from my teaching post at the University of Dar es Salaam and got a fixed-term job in the Overseas Education Study Group (OESG) in the Institute of Education at the University of Leeds. Our students were teachers whose governments had sent them to us to undertake advanced courses in […]

Poetry Corner

The inhuman caterpillar

Harry Gallagher

The street of shame is alive,
thriving with the buzzing of texts
as slippery lizards bend eachother
over cokedust covered desks.

North East People

Life-saving Waterside Responder scheme highlighted in new video to celebrate Be Water Aware Week

Jane Neville

“The waterside responders scheme as highlighted in the video demonstrates a real life example of this and Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service like all other Services, as well as partners are committed to this. The swift and effective actions of the staff in the video in helping to rescue a person in a river at night and in trouble is a clear example of the lifesaving role that bar staff and others can make to saving lives with a little bit of training and equipment.