Category: Politics

Almost 400,000 people in UK have had long Covid for at least a year

Carol Westall

The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed an estimated 385,000 people have experienced long Covid for one year or more. The figures reveal that in total 962,000 people had self-reported long Covid of any duration on 6 June 2021. Of these just 76,000 or 8% were hospitalised when they first caught coronavirus, and […]

UPDATED

NHS demos today: 1% pay rise is an insult

Louise Brown

The government have delivered a huge blow to NHS staff by proposing a 1% pay rise for those working in England next year. This includes a whole array of workers such as nurses, doctors, paramedics, porters, cleaners, physiotherapists and Occupational and Speech and Language therapists. These are the people who have put their lives at risk continuing to work on the frontline over the last year while watching so many of their colleagues become ill or die from Covid-19. Remember they did this during periods when sufficient PPE was not always available and until very recently, without being vac

PART 1

Sir Kevan Collins: Education Recovery Committee

Connor Lamb

The first thing that Sir Kevan Collens discussed was the importance of working from the “bottom up as well as the top down” in order to get students and parents to engage back in education. He believed that this could take the form of engaging local authorities and community/faith groups, alongside the integration of other sectors including the health and social care sector alongside the police.

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”

BREAKING

Nissan announcement: a cause for celebration?

Louise Brown

I know just how important Nissan is economically to Sunderland, having grown up from just around the corner from it. It has provided decent jobs to the area for over thirty years. This is why I stood outside Nissan with other NE4EU members week after week last year often in the cold and pouring rain to stand in solidarity with its workers.

Chi Onwurah MP hails “huge victory” on steel safeguards

North East Bylines

Workers at steel works across the North East had joined thousands more across the country in demanding the retention of the safeguards. Chi Onwurah helped lead opposition to the government’s plans in Parliament. On 21 June, Chi spoke in a debate forced by the Labour Party, and told government ministers that “our national interest demands a sovereign steel capability”.

Opinion

PE in schools: does it need to be reformed?

Connor Lamb

Also often ignored are the barriers that can prevent students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities from fully enjoying PE, such as activities not being adapted to support the additional needs of students with disabilities. This means that not all students can enjoy physical activity in the way that the government through Ofsted presents. This can ring alarm bells in its own right.

Warning to Sajid Javid: 4000 long Covid cases a day

Carol Westall

Dr David Strain, who heads up the British Medical Association’s work on long Covid, said that of the 22,000 people diagnosed with coronavirus yesterday, around 4,000 will have symptoms of long Covid in three months’ time. This will have a “huge impact” on the health service. He urged the new Health Secretary to consider long Covid as one of the “key parameters” ahead of lifting lockdown restrictions.

Settled status deadline and cross-border services

Kim Sanderson

The end of June marks the deadline for EU citizens to lodge an application for settled status in the UK. The Office for National Statistics’ 2018 figure for EU citizens here was 3.66 million, yet recent reports suggest over 5.3 million applications for settled status have already been made. Unfortunately – perhaps partly because of the underestimate in numbers – there is now a backlog of around 400,000 in the processing of applications. This is likely to cause an anxious wait for many people at an already stressful time.

Patriotism, schools and the UK

Connor Lamb

Can a government led by a Prime Minster who once compared Muslim women who wear the veil to letterboxes be trusted to respect other people’s faiths? Can a government whose Prime Minster unlawfully suspended parliament claim to respect the democratic policy? Can a government that had quietly removed anti-bullying training regarding homophobia in schools last year claim to be for identifying and combating discrimination?

JournalPART 2

Covid and me: Christmas ‘celebration’ and tiers

Peter Lathan

In the North East we, of course, will be in Tier 3, whilst London, whose rates are rising while ours are falling, will be in Tier 2. Of course. Well, we are in the north and London is London and must therefore be better than us. Even if it isn’t.

Poetry Corner

Happyland

Harry Gallagher

In Happyland we sing our song of pride in riches from squalor, we read our press and nod along while worshipping the dollar.   Take pride in our irrefutable past, mansions built from sugar and cotton, take heed of that flag, pride of the mast and keep saluting till you have forgotten.   So sing […]

Opinion

One Britain One Nation: nil points for sentimental forelock tugging

Julie Ward

The OBON song was created by school-children in Bradford and there are certainly a lot of cute children waving Union Jack flags in the official video. Whilst I love a good sing-song and I do go all dewy-eyed at the thought of primary school choirs I simply can’t get excited by the crassness of the whole thing.

Free school meals: multimillion loss to North East schools

North East Bylines

Figures published by the Department for Education confirm that there was an increase of 5,700 pupils in receipt of FSM across the North East between the school census of October 2020 and that of January 2021. This means that schools in the region are facing a loss of up to £7.66 million in pupil premium funding as a result of the Government’s change.

Voting rights for British citizens abroad

Clarissa Killwick

“In a world where goods and capital are mobile, I think rights should also be mobile, this is why Italy decided not only to allow its citizens living abroad to vote but also, since 2001, to elect their own representatives in the Italian Parliament in order for them to have their own voice.”

Covid and mental health: the effects Part 3

Carol Westall

Covid and Mental Health hosted by the British Medical Association is concluded here, with the emphasis on mental health, domestic abuse and homelessness. In this article we shall report some of the work being done to analyse and understand the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of citizens, particularly those affected by domestic abuse.

The Online Safety Bill: threats to free speech

Dylan Neri

There are roughly three approaches to free speech: the absolutist approach of the United States, outlined in the First Amendment to the Constitution; the authoritarian approach, that says speech must be limited to ensure order and stability, for the safety of the collective; and, a third approach, encapsulated by the blurry wording of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10, with its dubious reference to the “duties and responsibilities”, which argues that free expression must occasionally be restricted to the benefit of the minority.

Tyne Bridge: celebrating 100 years

Jane Neville

“ The whole region I am certain wants to see the Tyne Bridge restored to the magnificent spectacle it was when the Queen’s grandfather opened the Tyne Bridge in October 1928.”

Matt Vickers, an exhibition centre and ‘levelling up’

Scott Hunter

The basic idea that this region should take a more active role in the arts is, of course, a good one, but it’s not at all clear whether Matt Vickers has any idea about how to go about doing that. You just can’t help but wonder if the announcement is intended to do something other promote this manifestly unrealistic plan. Perhaps the real intention is simply to promote Matt Vickers.

Covid and mental health, a global view Part 2

Carol Westall

Dr Kola works at the WHO centre of psychiatric diseases. Part of her research involves analysing the impact of and response to Covid-19 in low- and middle-income countries, particularly the mental health implications. The virus has spread rapidly in several of these countries, with many not sufficiently prepared to manage the various factors.

The Great British Spring Clean: councillors and MP lend a hand

Dylan Neri

Kenton councillors Stephen Lambert, Chair of the Kenton Committee, and Ged Bell, Cabinet Member for Environment, along with Catherine McKinnell MP, joined local residents for a clean-up of North Kenton Park as part of the ‘Great British Spring Clean’ over the weekend.