Maconie argues that, 80 -years on, we’re going back to 1930s depression, deepening inequality in material condition and the growth of radical-right populism. It can’t be denied that we’re seeing a widening gulf between the north and south of England. Just as disturbing, we appear to be witnessing a big gap opening up between the cosmopolitan core cities of Manchester and Newcastle and nearby urban post-industrial and coastal towns where’s there much discussion about the ‘white working-class’ becoming marginalised, angry, left out and left-behind.
The North East, with its skills and industrial know-how should be at the forefront of a green revolution. As others have already advocated, it has the potential to become an international hub of carbon neutral technologies and wind-related energy sources.
I had my small independent record label named Blue Wings Records where I promoted and released tracks from small independent electronic artists. But when my wife got seriously sick I decided to stopped working on the record label and care for her.
As for the red wall Tories who did get in, their seats could be fragile. We are yet to see any evidence of their promises to ‘level up’ the North East. This, along with a fall in popularity of the Conservatives due to the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis could mean blue could turn red again (or maybe yellow or green of course) in the next election.
When, before the Chancellor’s statement, the Bylines editor suggested I wrote a commentary piece on government policy (i.e. change your mind every few minutes) as it related to theatre I said, “I wouldn’t dare write a political article – I suspect only every tenth word would be publishable!”
The scale of slavery was matched only by the owners’ double standards. Like the anti-slavery campaigner James Mather of South Shields who, in a feat of moral contortionism, lodged a claim on behalf of his slave-owning wife, Grace Ainsley. He received £2,469 for 121 slaves at their plantations in Jamaica.
In a similar vein displaying political art, music or poetry can grab people’s attention in real life and on social media. Likewise, a lockdown does not prevent us from wearing political messages on our clothes or masks to get the message out. If you are sharing such images or lyrics on social media be sure to tag in your local politicians.
The region is famous for its 1936 Jarrow to London march against unemployment and poverty. Although initially perceived as a failure, in subsequent years, this march was acknowledged by historians as a defining event of that decade.
The Westminster government’s new restrictions on informal childcare demonstrates how out of touch it is with our region
If you rely on friends and family to look after your children whilst you are at work, you are stuck. If, however, you can afford to pay for a nanny or registered childminder, they may continue looking after your children like they did before.
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.
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.”
As we pick up the pieces in the wake of coronavirus, it is imperative that we begin a serious conversation about devolving real power and resources to the English regions.
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.
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.
The great British teenager swap has started: lots of excited young people moving to start their adult lives at university. How do they fit in with the local community?
“How do you deal with writer’s block?” This question is often asked of authors, screenwriters and playwrights but what exactly is writer’s block? According to Wikipedia. writer’s block is: “a condition… in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown.” I am an author of a published novel, […]
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.
There is that excited buzz that you always get in a theatre before a show. La vie en Rose plays on the sound system which seems strangely appropriate and people settle into their seats to enjoy the show. The difference tonight is that the seating is very spread out: one or two people and then […]
Democracy is not democracy if the electorate does not have a chance to change its mind. I and many others were denied the opportunity to vote in the 2016 referendum simply because of our age.
Local residents from the North East held a socially distanced night vigil outside the Nissan factory in Sunderland (Washington) on Friday 14th August at 9.30pm. The group is concerned about the effect of a No Deal Brexit on industry and jobs throughout the North East and particularly at the Nissan plant in Sunderland. Members of […]
At the beginning of March this year I met up with some friends in Sheffield. We had all been involved in a project on poverty some years ago; as often happens, we had become friends and had kept in touch over the years. We are all women aged over 60, from different places, different work […]
I used to work with a guy who was a fanatical NUFC supporter. So fanatical was he that he claimed to get more pleasure out of Sunderland losing a match than Newcastle winning one. Now we’re not just talking Newcastle v Sunderland games – haven’t had many of those in recent years! – but any […]
Today it was announced that A-level and GCSE students in England would be guaranteed to achieve a grade which was no lower than their ‘mock’ grade. This begs a number of questions. Firstly, how accurate is a mock grade? Many of us have heard countless times the expression “it’s only the mocks”. As one Newcastle […]
Local theatre director and writer reflects on the process of becoming a writer.
Virtually every day, fresh job loss announcements are made: some national such as EasyJet, Boots, Marks & Spencer and Intu, some local like Nissan and De La Rue.
Residents made cardboard cut-out body shapes, each one representing a company or number of jobs at stake in the event of ‘No Deal’.
I grew up from around the corner of this factory and can just about remember the excitement of it being built here to save the area from economic disaster after the pits closed.
A group of concerned local residents from the North East are planning a socially distanced protest outside the Nissan factory in Sunderland (Washington). The group will call on the government to reject a No Deal Brexit as members are worried that this would risk jobs and seriously damage the economy. The protest will take place […]
If someone had told me four months ago that Absolute Cabaret would be putting a show together without actually seeing each other in person until the day of the show, rehearsing everything online and then not being able to get closer than two metres to each other on the day of the show, I would […]
Football clubs across the North East have played a crucial role during the current pandemic: supporting foodbanks, doing community outreach, and perhaps most valuable of all, ensuring that the spread of the virus is contained by not giving fans any possibility of gathering in large numbers to celebrate success. And whilst cheap jokes, such as those, […]