Category: Politics

Opinion

I don’t know what I am

Peter Lathan

Now, perhaps, there are just two classes – the public school, wealthy, grouse shooting, hunting, power-hungry class and their wannabes – and the rest of us, the shopkeepers and civil servants, barristers and baristas, blue-collar workers and teachers, doctors and lawyers et al.

Peace is fragile and needs your help

Julie Ward

So in the midst of this maelstrom of testosterone-fuelled theatrics what can the genuine peace loving individual do to help avoid Armageddon? Firstly, mark the day in your diary this year and every year. Don’t let the UK forget its historic foundational role so spread the word and tell all your friends.

Give peace a chance

Peter Benson

I can’t believe that we still need to talk about peace in Ireland in September 2020. The Good Friday Agreement was signed on 10th April 1998; that’s over 22 years ago. Peace, this unique and precious commodity is being gambled with and traded in the most underhand and despicable way possible by the Westminster government. The […]

BREAKING

Further Covid restrictions in the North East

Yvonne Wancke

The leader of Newcastle City Council, Nick Forbes said: “The evidence we’ve found from local testing is that it’s spreading in three main areas: in pubs, in people’s homes and in grassroots sports…[council leaders] have put together a series of requests to government for additional restrictions around these areas for a fixed period of time to try to prevent a damaging full lockdown.”

Shorting the Tech Sector – With state aid we’ve got it made: technical misnomers

Dr Jayne Hamilton

What would be the criteria for awarding state aid to a tech firm or a project? Would there be viable tests and assessments? Could more government money be thrown away and wasted? Will we see a mushrooming of dodgy algorithms and apps which do not function properly. Will they invest in the wrong companies again and waste yet more of government funds? Will the state aid land once more in the hands of companies and individuals who are associates of government staff, advisors and donors?

Letter to a northern conservative MP

Kim Cowie

Does Johnson actually speak for ordinary Tories? Does Johnson represent your views? Johnson was elected on the basis of having personally negotiated a ‘fantastic’, ‘oven-ready’ deal with Europe, what happened to it? Is the government so incompetent and negligent it doesn’t read the small print of the international agreements it negotiates? How will you vote tomorrow?

Opinion

Happy days!

Peter Lathan

Those were the days when the only heating in the house was the fire – and someone had to clean out the previous day’s ashes before laying and lighting it. And if the only hot water in the house came from the boiler behind the fire, then some poor soul – usually the mother – had to get up before everyone else to get that fire started.

Stop scapegoating students

Carlos Conde Solares

Over the past few years, the average British millennial has been stripped of their European citizenship, and all the exciting life opportunities it entails, largely against their will. Young people remain well and truly locked out of an inhuman housing market. They are forced to work long hours on top of full-time studies yet will still graduate dozens of thousands of pounds in debt and into yet another catastrophic recession that is not of their own making.

Save British Farming and No to No Deal protest in Newcastle

Yvonne Wancke

This is the Haymarket, Newcastle. Nowadays it is a metro station at the end of a busy shopping street. As the name suggests this area was for many years the scene of a market selling hay and straw, a reminder of our agricultural past. Long ago but still remembered and timely to do so in […]

Opinion

Lions laughing at donkeys

Gareth Kearns

This is how comedy generally, and most particularly political satire, works: the people with no power lampoon, satirise, or rip the proverbial out of those who actually hold the power. It is a ‘punching up’ from below. The powerless show up the foibles, the hypocrisies, the failures of the powerful who have such influence and even control over their lives. The humour is found in the release of tension. The powerful are rarely, if ever, hurt by this – and when they are it’s usually because they are engaged in a practice so egregious that history will never be their friend anyway.

Help! Where do I go?

Peter Howarth

If you live in America, to turn the lights on you flick the light-switch up; if you live in England, you push it down. One of the first principles of ergonomics is that is you design things so that they work in the way you expect them to. This is a basic psychological, or cognitive, principle but to achieve it you first have to know what is expected. Detractors say that ergonomics is just applied common sense, and while that is a good description, it also belittles a practice that aims to provide people with what they want, need, and expect.

A Creative UK in a Creative Europe

Julie Ward

The UK government has chosen not to renew or continue its relationship with the Creative Europe programme after the end of the calendar year. This is a move that is viewed as a retrograde step on both sides of the channel and doesn’t fit with the government’s own narrative about a close relationship with our nearest neighbours nor its tub-thumping global Britain rhetoric.

Perfidious Albion?

David Taylor-Gooby

We must stress our patriotism, that we want what is best for this country. That does not mean giving in to others but instead working with them when it suits our interests. Europe is our biggest trading partner, and we have to work out ways of trading with them which suit both of us.

Working together: the 3.5% movement

Jon Johnson

I’m scared. Not for myself, although I will be soon. No, this is for my son, my friends and neighbours and the future of our country. I’m not prone to wild conspiracy theories, but since the 2016 referendum I have felt that what is happening is symptomatic of a bigger game; something like Maze Runner, […]

How will Baroness Fox vote?

Julia Mazza

As the House of Lords takes its seats for the new session of Parliament, we can expect the 36 new peers to have their ‘formal introduction’ to the chamber over the next few weeks, after which they can take part in debating and passing legislation. The question is, how will the new Baroness vote? As […]

Opinion

Forelock tugging in the 21st century?

Gareth Kearns

Watch out for the little things. Watch out for what people tell you when they don’t believe they’re saying anything in particular. Parliament came back on 1 September 2020 and I joined a group of protestors outside. This was part of the ongoing Stand of Defiance European Movement (SODEM) protests. On this day we joined […]

‘No deal blues = more food queues

Louise Brown

Local residents from the North East held a socially distanced protest in Hexham Market Place on Saturday morning. This was joining the other 3.5% events taking place across the country. The 3.5% represents the number of people it takes for peaceful protest to succeed and has quickly taken off as a movement primarily against the […]

Who’s backing Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor?

A S Hunter

A more questionable donation comes from a company called GBMW Ltd, whose sole director is former Stockton South MP, James Wharton. The issue around Wharton is the prominent place he holds in the recently published report on Russian interference in British politics.

Nature days out

Marc Read

One thing that I’ve found is that the wildlife, birdwatching, and photography communities are all incredibly friendly, willing to talk about what they’ve seen and to give tips; or to leave you be, if you just want some peace and quiet. The North-East really is a spectacular region, and I’m so happy to have made it my home after years down south.

Putin wins again

Robin Tudge

I was working in Moscow in 1996-1997, and remember the utter destitution of the place, the old babushkas who’d won the war against the fascists stripped of their pensions and left to stand in two feet of snow, lined by the dozen outside metro stations, selling bootleg vodka.

Howway, Give Way!

Peter Howarth

Do you know the story of the man who jumped off the top of the Empire State Building?  As he passed open windows on his way down the people in the rooms heard him saying ‘so far, so good’.  That story came to mind when I drove along the A69 and came across the ‘Give […]