Category: Politics

Climate change catastrophe! – to be shown at COP-26

North East Bylines

A new show about climate change, Climate Change Catastrophe, made by children for grown-ups, will be shown at COP26 , the United Nations annual climate change conference being held in Glasgow, UK, on 12 November. Hundreds of primary school children from across the North of England worked with Newcastle University climate scientists and engineers, and Cap-a-Pie […]

North East blue seats might turn red suggests new poll

Yvonne Wancke

A recent poll by YouGov suggests that if an election were to be held tomorrow, the Conservatives would almost certainly lose some of their recently gained so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats, including Redcar and North West Durham. A number of seats in the region were won by the Tories in 2019 but now, just as the […]

Tees Valley: Houchen helps those that help themselves

Scott Hunter

The shortage of HGV drivers continues to dominate the headlines, with Boris Johnson telling the world that the whole point of Brexit was to do away with the low-wage/high-immigration economy that we are living with and instead to train British workers to do higher skilled jobs, thus creating a high-wage/low-immigration economy. Time to look at […]


Shortages: a view from Europe

Yvonne Wancke

A few days ago I wrote an article on the subject of food and fuel shortages following recent comments from Treasury Minister and Tory MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, Simon Clarke. Clarke claimed that the current problems are not due to Brexit. He also said that the rest of Europe was experiencing the […]

Is Ben Houchen getting cold feet about Teesside Airport?

Scott Hunter

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the airline industry. So, the news that the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) recently provided Teesside Airport with a £10 million bailout came as no surprise. Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, rightly pointed out at the time that this type of measure had been necessary for regional airports […]

North East HistoryPART 7

The first safety legislation: North East coal mines, 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall […]

Climate change education

Anya Cook

It is high time we recognised the inter-connectedness of our planet and our people – we are not separate from it or each other. The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 takes place in Glasgow in November. Many believe this is the last opportunity to mitigate disaster. The urgency of change needed now is Code Red. […]

Hundreds attend ‘Brexit isn’t working’ protest

Yvonne Wancke

Hundreds of people have gathered in Manchester, where the Conservative Party Conference is taking place, to say that Brexit isn’t working. This is all in the context of food and fuel shortages and the HGV crisis. People have travelled from Leeds, Lancaster, the North East and Manchester itself to make their voices heard. There is […]

It’s colder up north: a winter of discontent beckons

Peter Benson

Every winter we take the cold weather for granted. However, this year it’s going to cost us all so much more in heating bills. On 1 October gas and electricity prices go up by 12%. How many of us can really afford all these prices hikes, along with fuel and food prices rocketing, all largely […]

Pro-refugee Italian mayor, Lucano, receives prison sentence

Colin Gordon

Yesterday Domenico (Mimmo) Lucano, the former mayor of the town of Riace in Calabria, Italy, was sentenced to a jail term of 13 years 2 months. He was also ordered to repay 500,000 euros to the Italian state and EU. Mimmo Lucano has been perhaps the world’s most admired contemporary pioneer in the creation of […]

Simon Clarke says shortages are across Europe and not caused by Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Today Simon Clarke, Treasury Minister and MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said, on Radio 4 Today that the fuel shortages are not unique to the UK: “The idea that this is just a British problem is fundamentally wrong.“ He claims that it is a problem shared across Europe, specifically mentioning Germany and Poland. […]

Why we had a high infection rate over the summer

Giuseppe Bignardi

A recent holiday in Italy has allowed me to compare the contrasting approaches taken in fighting Covid-19. In Italy face masks are still compulsory in enclosed spaces. Here they are not. Thus, in a recent journey to Manchester my train compartment was packed, but hardly anybody was wearing masks whilst a few were coughing. Italy […]

The hospitality industry post-Brexit

Margaret Green

I recently began working in hospitality. An area of which I had no experience. Little did I know that I was coinciding with the upheaval of Covid-19 and Brexit. I have tried to pull out some of the trends that I have seen and in particular those that might be relevant to Brexit. I have […]


North Korea driving in Clapham

Robin Tudge

It’s 05:15, Sunday morning in Clapham, and I’m adopting ‘North Korea driving’ methods to save fuel. It’s a phrase I made up in 2002 when touring that isolated country, at the time barely crawling out of a famine that had killed a tenth of its people, a famine precipitated in no small party by a […]


History’s a funny old thing

David Keys

History is a funny old thing. It really does have an uncanny and disturbing habit of repeating itself. By turning its back on its continent, and by preferring the company of its empire, back in the 1930s, Britain became the naive joint midwife of the murderous mayhem of World War II. And today, the direct […]

Winter is coming

Sally Young

October will be a month of dread for too many people in the United Kingdom. It is when six million of the poorest households will lose £20 a week because of benefit cuts. The Job Retention Scheme, better known as furlough, comes to an end. On top of this, the fixed cap comes off energy […]


Should Middlesbrough be granted city status?

Scott Hunter

Middlesbrough mayor, Andy Preston, has been asking for suggestions why Middlesbrough should be granted city status. The informal opinion poll he commissioned in the town, predictably came back with the result that people are overwhelmingly in favour. After some reflection, I decided to contribute my opinion, but in so doing I think there is a […]

North East HistoryPART 6

The road to safety legislation in North East coal mines 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall takes a […]

Industrial action ballot by Stagecoach drivers

North East Bylines

More than 800 drivers and engineers at Stagecoach North East have called ‘time’ on the management’s ‘divide-and-rule’ tactics on pay and will be holding a ballot for industrial action, including the option to strike, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 22 September). The ballot for strike action and industrial action short of strike action opens […]

Remembering and celebrating the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp

Ann Schofield

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp at the American Military Base in protest against 96 new nuclear cruise missiles to be based there. It was marked by an anniversary walk by women in late August with a weekend of festivities and memorials to women who attended the camp. […]

Energy crisis sparks food and beer shortages amid local job losses

Peter Benson

We must not downplay the seriousness of the current energy crisis. Higher gas and electricity prices on top of other price increases are a real problem. There is a potential for blackouts and job losses. Whilst the government says there is no scarcity of energy at the moment, winter is coming. Why is there an […]

Trade Unions in the 21st century: the fall and slow rise

Stephen Lambert

In the opening decade of the 21st century, the key change for trade unionism in the UK have been high unemployment, the growth in part-time, flexible, zero-hours contracts and a widening chasm between secure full-time work and badly-paid insecure jobs. An important effect of this divide is that during and after the 2008 financial crisis, […]

North East HistoryPART 5

Ventilation and profit in North East mines 1800-1850

Audrey Marshall

Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall takes a look at the issues of safety and eventual legislation for […]

Sharon Hodgson, MP shows support for Second Hand September

North East Bylines

Sharon Hodgson MP is proud to join Oxfam this September in taking a stand against the fast fashion industry.  Second Hand September The #SecondHandSeptember campaign is celebrating looking fashionable in re-used and re-loved clothes. Both Sharon and the team at Oxfam are concerned about the environmental damage that fast fashion (mass produced clothes often at […]

Brexit isn’t working: protest at the Tory Party Conference

Joe White

On 3 October the Conservative annual party conference starts in Manchester. As delegates begin to arrive on 2 October, Grassroots for Europe groups from around the country and locals opposed to the Brexit deal will be there to give them the welcome they deserve and put Brexit at the front and centre of the agenda. […]

Climate Justice Rally in Newcastle this weekend

Julie Ward

After a summer of record temperatures, forest fires and devastating floods across the world, all eyes and ears will be focused on Glasgow as the world’s leaders prepare to meet for COP26 in November. There are huge expectations and high hopes, but also a lot of hype, plenty of political posturing, and far too much […]

Early Day Motion: a backbench MP’s petition

Richard Henson

A year or so ago I wrote an article bemoaning those who seemed to see democracy as a General Election only experience. However, just because one party has a big majority, the matter of representing the people continues on a daily basis. Early Day Motions The level of ignorance about the Parliamentary system was brought […]