“Please sir, I want some more.”  – what does Oliver Twist have in common with the North?

June 29, 2020Featured, Home page featured, Mayor

Oliver Twist sums up the relationship between central government and the North. There’s a dependency on grants from Westminster, often tied in with the electoral cycle.  Restrictions come from Whitehall on to how to spend it, with priorities optimised for the Home Counties. Oliver needed the handouts because the playing field was tilted against him. … Read More

This U-turn government

June 21, 2020Featured, Home page featured, Mayor

Politicians are terrified of U-turns. They look indecisive. 200,000 kids have had to skip meals because their family couldn’t afford enough food during lockdown.  Yet thanks to England footballer Marcus Rashford, 1.3 million kids will now get fed this summer.  When the cupboards are bare, that £15-a-week voucher will stop kids becoming malnourished. For the … Read More


June 15, 2020Featured, Home page featured, Mayor, News

Culture is the sum total of how we express ourselves as humans.  Culture is our collective soul. For some it’s theatre, museums, art galleries, opera.  For others, a live music gig, a beer festival or a home game. I don’t see culture as a “sector”, an opportunity for economic growth.  We can live in concrete … Read More

North of Tyne Mayor, Jamie Driscoll’s weekly column in The Journal and The Chronicle

June 7, 2020Featured, Home page featured, Mayor

Why is it that when someone supports #BlackLivesMatter, someone replies, “All lives matter!” If someone told you, “I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer,” you wouldn’t reply, “Well some people get prostate cancer!” The protests in America are the confluence of three recent killings of black citizens by US Law Enforcement Officers. On 25th February this … Read More

Corona virus – the latest regional updates

April 3, 2020Mayor, News

Citylife Line (updated 8 April 2020, 09:45) Citylife Line is a new service that has been launched to help harness the outpouring of goodwill from residents in Newcastle who want to help the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak. The service has been set up with partners in the voluntary and community sector for people wanting … Read More