The notion of a job for life is fast receding. Not so long ago, a job at “The Ministry” in Longbenton, or maybe with the local council, meant financial security. Not in any sense of luxury, but the stability to raise a family, followed by a decent pension after you’d put in your decades of … Read More
I just about remember the TV show ‘When the Boat Comes In’. It was set in the fictional town of Gallowshields in the North East. If you’ve seen it even once, you’ll remember the theme tune, “Thou shalt have a fishy, on a little dishy, thou shalt have a fishy when the boat comes in.” … Read More
Our latest video from our March 2021 event WE ARE NOT NUMBERS with Salma Mustafa (Haifa) and Rawan Jawad (Gaza) discussing the COVID-19 response by Israel and the Israeli and Palestinian elections in March and May, as well as life for young people in both areas.
The death of Nigel Todd I have a packet of Northumberland Wildflower Seeds given to me by Nigel Todd. The mix contains flowers that will thrive in harmony with our local ecosystem. It speaks to his ecological sensitivity and profound sense of place. High on the wall of Newcastle’s Stowell Street is a stone carving … Read More
When I was a ward councillor for Monument – Newcastle City Centre – our police liaison officers showed exemplary sensitivity and emotional intelligence when dealing with challenging members of the public. We know, though, that any organisation can have bad individuals in it – serving police officer Wayne Couzens has been charged with the murder … Read More
In 1929 the Roaring Twenties plummeted to earth with the Wall Street Crash. Its global aftermath caused mass unemployment and eventually a collapse of democracy across Europe, the rise of the Nazis, and genocide. The response to the Wall Street crash in both the US and Britain was to cut public spending. Austerity didn’t work … Read More
As a political insider, not much in politics shocks me. But I was astounded to hear the Chancellor say, the “Budget is not the time to set detailed fiscal rules, with precise targets and dates to achieve them by.” WTF? That’s exactly what a budget’s for. My first priority is to deliver for the people … Read More
WE ARE NOT NUMBERS We are very pleased to invite you to our next online event, featuring two young women speaking on the uneven roll out of COVID-19 vaccine among Israel, Gaza and the Occupaied Palestinian Territories. Should be really fascinating to hear about the contrast in the daily lived experiences of Salma in Haifa, … Read More
BUILD BACK FAIRER Sunday February 28, 2021 “Build Back Better” has become the mantra. Good as far as it goes, but unless we build back fairer we’re back to the status quo. High levels of economic inequality and deprivation are damaging to health and wellbeing. The core objective must be providing good jobs. Ken Loach’s … Read More
The climate emergency.
“Shall we meet online or in real life?” This increasingly common question speaks volumes. No matter how good your internet connection or webcam is, it’s still not the same. Maybe The Matrix has raised our expectations. Workers in the cultural sector have again shown their creativity and resilience. Online shows, workshops, musical performances from bedrooms. … Read More
The North of Tyne was given the target of creating 10,000 jobs over 30 years, and commensurate funding. So 21 months into my term, I should be on target to create 583 jobs. In fact, we’re on target to create 3,194 jobs. With another 2,114 jobs safeguarded through the pandemic. So in less than two … Read More
Did you know the 2nd February is Groundhog Day? At this very moment houses are being built which will need to be retrofitted. Retrofitting means installing something later which would have been easier and cheaper to include it when it was built. This will cost about £20,000 per house. Who will pay? Probably the homeowner. … Read More
Is 24-hour rolling news really unprecedented? Do you remember when you were a kid, and you’d ask your Mam or Dad for something, and they’d say, “We’ll see” – which is parent speak for “No chance.” Or they’d say “We’ll see what Santa brings” which is code for “Hopefully you’ll have forgotten by then”. As … Read More
Democracy is a powerful idea. Everyone gets an equal say, no matter your background or your wealth. It took a lot of fighting for – the landed nobility did not roll over willingly. Many campaigners were hanged, transported or killed in battle. The events in Washington DC this week show we can’t take it for … Read More
January, it’s said, is named after the Roman god Janus. He’s depicted having two faces, one looking into the past and the other the future. He’s the overseer of transition and change. Then the first lockdown in March happened, and none of us knew what that would mean for the region’s economy. Or the country’s. … Read More