Category: Politics

COP26: What is the climate conference and why is it important?

Chloe Davies

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and it is attended by countries who have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that was agreed in 1994. This is the 26th meeting and it is taking place now in Glasgow, Scotland. The main goal of COP26 is to lock […]

‘Climate Change Catastrophe’ goes to COP26

Robina Jacobson

If you have the privilege to be in the Green Zone of COP26 in Glasgow at 12.30 pm on 12 November, you’ll be able to see a screening of ‘Climate Change Catastrophe’, the inspired result of a collaboration between Cap-a-Pie Theatre Company, hundreds of Northern children and their teachers, and Climate Scientists and Engineers from […]

Standards, sewage and sleaze in the House of Commons

Richard Henson

Water, water, everywhere… (but no PM and not a drop to swim in?) Tories 283, Opposition 163. Blink and you missed it! So what did happen yesterday? It all started with a video from DEFRA, a report from ENDS, both discussed in an appearance of Fergal Sharkey on Good Morning Britain, and a critique on […]

The agonies of Steve Turner, Cleveland PCC

Scott Hunter

Times are hard for Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner, Steve Turner.  No sooner had he batted away complaints that he was unfit for office on account his receiving a police caution for theft whilst a manager for Safeway in the 1990s, than he was confronted with further historical allegations of sexual assault. That such a […]

Boris Johnson avoids difficult debate by visiting Hexham hospital

Yvonne Wancke

Protestors from North East for Europe waited at Hexham General Hospital to greet Boris Johnson today. Kim Sanderson, spokesperson for North East for Europe said: “We are here to meet the Prime Minister to voice our concerns over corruption in the Conservative party at national and County Council levels.” “We also want to show our […]

Starving to free Nazanin

Peter Benson

I stumbled upon it on my way home. A night time vigil for Nazanin Ratcliffe. It was to highlight the ongoing hunger strike by Richard Ratcliffe outside the Foreign and Commonwealth office in Whitehall Central London. It was his thirteenth day and night there and it was a cold night.  It was humbling to be […]

Does your ‘honourable’ MP represent your values?

Yvonne Wancke

Only last week the government voted to change the rules on parliamentary standards. This was a direct attempt to save one of their own from a parliamentary suspension due to wrongdoing. Just how honourable are our ‘honourable’ members? In a typical U-turn, the government then back-tracked. This was followed swiftly by the resignation of Owen […]

Climate change: let’s get practical

Neil Taylor

We know the environment and climate are in trouble. This is from the perspective of humans and other species.. What can we do about it? First-off…please don’t leave it to politicians and business leaders! Many want short term results and profit at almost any price. And many will not deliver what we need. Also don’t […]

Young campaigners take a stand, Boris Johnson takes a snooze

Julie Ward

The image of Boris Johnson maskless and dozing during the opening speeches at COP26 in Glasgow is one of the most damning indictments of our incompetent leader to emerge and is now circulating around the world much to the amusement of international commentators. Downing Street officials insist the PM was following the rules, only removing […]

Instructions on how to become a fascist

Giuseppe Bignardi

A book by Michela Murgia In this book Michela Murgia pretends to be an apologist of fascism and tells us what fascism is about. Fascism may not represent with the same name, which is somewhat discredited. Thus, you identify fascists on the basis of what they do, not what they call themselves. The picture on […]

North East MPs hopeful despite Leamside pushback

North East Bylines

Last week the final round of successful bids from the Restoring Your Railways programme were announced by the Government in the Spending Review. Sadly, one of the unsuccessful bids was the bid to re-open the Leamside rail line. This was sponsored by Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, and Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield.  […]

Political hate and violence: where is it headed?

Robin Tudge

The murder of David Amess is the first murder of a British MP since MP and mother, Jo Cox was shot and stabbed in the street a week before the 2016 referendum. Of course, British Parliamentarians have come under physical attack, have been killed in the past by extremists of nationalist or religious hues, increasingly […]


Yet another government U-turn

Yvonne Wancke

Only yesterday the government voted for an overhaul of parliamentary standards rules. This was in order to save Owen Paterson from a 30 day suspension. The government has now signalled that there will be a rethink. The reaction to this controversial vote from the opposition yesterday was one of shock, amazement and outright disgust. Labour […]


Solidarity on trial: Mimmo Lucano and the Riace experiment

Giovanna Procacci

A spreading wave of international outrage has been generated by the stunningly severe sentences meted out on 30 September by a court in Southern Italy to Domenico Lucano, the internationally celebrated creator of a novel model of migrant and asylum welcome in his native town, Riace, and to seventeen of his co-workers. Giovanna Procacci, a […]

Owen Paterson avoids suspension: a dark day for democracy

Nicola Tipton

Seven deadly sins revisited Today the Conservative government ordered its MPs to back a review of standards investigations, meaning that Tory MP, Owen Paterson avoided suspension for 30 days for breaking the rules banning paid lobbying. Back in January, I wrote this article. After today’s debacle in the Commons and endless catalogue of breaches to […]

Save our Standards Action Day outside Hexham Mart

Yvonne Wancke

Today a group of Tynedale locals from North East for Europe are taking part in an Action Day for Farmers outside of Hexham Mart. The group has become increasingly aware of the difficulties farmers face in the current climate due to Brexit and government policy. North East for Europe, which is part of the European […]

Barred from justice: vulnerable EU citizens were locked out of system says new report

North East Bylines

Three vulnerable EU citizens living in the UK were locked out of accessing the justice system to challenge deportation orders because of conflicting government procedures and lengthy delays. These are the findings of a Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) investigation published today. A law centre charity that provides legal representation for people who have […]

England: A Reclamation

Harry Gallagher

We reclaim this land, these seafronts, these fields whose owners have stolen them, hearts black as coal. We reclaim this England in the name of its children whose blood runs rich with the planet’s every pitch: from Africa’s sons, chained and enslaved, dragged to the North, to build a great wall; from Saxon invaders who […]

NUFC takeover: a statement from Newcastle Amnesty Local Group

North East Bylines

As part of the major organisation campaigning on human rights worldwide, Newcastle Amnesty Local Group are of course concerned about the serious human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the NUFC takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund. At the same time we understand and share Newcastle fans’ excitement at the […]

My energy firm is bust: we needed more ‘Rough’

Peter Benson

Sadly, my energy provider has gone bust, It was Pure Planet, a 100% green energy provider. It’s the 13th Energy provider to go broke. I have been switched to Shell.  Another provider serving 1.7 million is also reported to be in financial difficulties. Some of these firms might have survived if the UK had invested to […]

Education Uncovered

Education Uncovered: BTECs and hidden funding cuts

Connor Lamb

With the end of a difficult and chaotic 2021 in sight, it is time to explore the things that happened in the education sector this year that did not get the needed attention due to the pandemic.  This is Education, Uncovered. Nationwide, less than 5% of white students from working class backgrounds are represented at […]

Poetry Corner

A thousand dead crabs

Harry Gallagher
a thousand dead crabs

A thousand dead crabs washed up on the sand, a torn and tattered note littering no man’s land: “Poison all your rivers, dump sewage in the main. Then taking it in turns party as the planet burns, and choke to death on the shame.” Harry Gallagher