How the next step in coronavirus lockdown measures has added to the anger and confusion

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The next stage of the coronavirus restrictions have been confirmed and its fair to say most of the country is frustrated. When you look at the stats, its easy to see why.

The entire north east of England has been placed into tier 3, the strictest of the new set of restrictions. This is despite the area having a lower reproduction rate than London, which is in tier 2. If this doesn’t suggest a blatant disregard for areas away from the Westminster bubble, then nothing will.

The tier system has left people angry and confused, with one of the strangest areas being pubs. In tier 3, all pubs are closed except for takeaway services. In tier 2, you can have a drink but only with a substantial meal and tier one is free to just drink but only table service is allowed. The grey area of what a substantial meal is just the latest in a long line of confusing messages produced by the government. For some establishments, it could also be the difference between staying open and closing for good. …

The man who was born in County Durham, lived in New South Wales and died in Cambridgeshire

His story is one which epitomised the First World War as a truly global war. Born in County Durham in 1880, Thomas Hunter would switch his agricultural and coal mining life for a move to New South Wales, Australia.

The reasons for Hunter’s move down under are shrouded in mystery, but he did end up staying with family. He served in the local militia in Durham, and he would carry this on to Australia.

He worked in a heavy metal mine until the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914. Along with friends from the militia group, Thomas joined up and would set sail for Europe as part of the Australian Expeditionary Force. …

How speculation and overconfidence led to the worst economic crisis in history

The 1920s was a time of progression. The world was still scarred by the First World War and the Spanish Flu, which combined had killed over 70 million people. It had become impossible to look at the world in the same way, but the future at least appeared bright.

The USA was thriving. An economic boom had given more people jobs and a better standard of living. …

How the skill and determination of miners from around the world was used as part of the war effort

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When war was declared in August 1914, thousands of men from Britain rallied and joined up. Many of these were coal miners, men who worked deep underground in often dangerous conditions. They would have seen the chance to leave their communities and travel overseas as an exciting opportunity. For some of them, they would head underground only this time, instead of it being in the coalfields of home, it would be under the battlefields of the western front.

In an effort to break the stalemate, both sides resorted to tunnelling under the other’s trench. …

Why the younger, more radical members of the Democratic Party are going to be vital for the future

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With Joe Biden on the cusp of booking a moving day to the White House next year, America is once again set to have a President who is a Democrat. For the last four years, Donald Trump has divided the nation in one of the most controversial terms in recent history. He moved America back towards the right after eight years of Barack Obama. The Democrats have the chance to improve on the Trump years, but before they do so they need to get their own house in order.

Divisions within the Party have been an issue for some time. In Michael Moore’s 2018 documentary ‘Fahrenheit 11/9’, which covers the 2016 election onward, this is brought to light. In the 2016 West Virginia Primary, every country nominated Bernie Sanders for the Democratic candidacy. However, it was Hilary Clinton who was nominated by the state. It was an issue within the delegation system which led to this, and it was which discouraged many Democrats to vote in West Virginia. …

Why the start of Joe Biden doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Donald Trump

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When the electoral college votes from the State of Pennsylvania were confirmed, it effectively brought to an end one of the most surreal Presidential Elections in recent history. Joe Biden was projected by several media outlets to have won the race to the White House on Saturday afternoon, and resigned Donald Trump to becoming the first President since George H.W. Bush in 1992 to fail to win a second term in office.

This election was always going to be controversial. From the outset President Trump reminded the world that if he lost, he would refuse the result. The question of was this overconfidence or simply the attitude of a man who has had his own way all his life is up for debate, but one thing was for sure; Trump doing this would not be beyond the realms of possibility. …

A coloured look into hell on earth

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Trees stripped bare, buildings blown half out of existence and shell holes filled to the brim with poisonous, sulphur infused mud and water. It sounds like a depiction of hell from a harrowing biblical tale. However, there is nothing fantasised about this. For millions of people for over four years, this was life.

The colourising of pictures from the First World War is an art, and one which a page on Facebook has dedicated themselves to. ‘WW1 Colourised Photos’ have brought to life pictures of men and women who endured some of the worst conditions humans have ever been forced into. Some images are up close and personal, with it almost feeling as though you can look into the eyes and soul of the people in the picture. …

The many accents within the UK and how they form a rich tapestry of culture, woven over thousands of years

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It’s one of the first things you get asked at University. ‘Oh I like your accent, where are you from?’ is a classic ice-breaker question in halls of residence and student housing across the UK every September. It is asked with good reason and has a far more reaching impact than a simple friendly question. It helps to identify the vast range of accents which the UK has to offer.

Take my neck of the woods, for example. From Northumberland in the furthest reaches of the north east coast, through County Durham and down to Teeside, each area has its own distinct accent. ‘Geordie’, which belongs to those from Newcastle, is distinctly different to the sultry sounds of a ‘Mackem’ native to Sunderland. Although the two cities are just 15 miles apart, the local accents have plenty of differences, one of which was talked about by Dr Michael Pearce, senior lecturer in English language at the University of Sunderland, in a Sunderland Echo article in February 2020. …

How the current Labour leader is following in the footsteps of one of his predecessors

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The last week has seen Labour Party leader Keir Starmer inflict a blow on the far left wing of the party. The expulsion of former leader Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism accusations has threatened to tear the party in two, with a number of his allies leaving or threatening to leave if he is not reinstated. It was a bold move which could have been necessary, and it also echoes the actions of a Labour leader of yesteryear.

In 1985, Neil Kinnock gave a speech at the Labour Party Conference condemning the actions of a militant takeover of Liverpool City Council. Three years earlier, the council had adopted a hardened left-wing ideology. Over the years, the group responsible for the influence within the council, Militant tendency, had helped to significantly increase the number of Labour voters in every seat on the council. …

How a new type of politician has threatened to change the way we view people in power

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The world in 2020 is bizarre and unpredictable, with many aspects of society being tested and changed in the last 10 months. The grand finale of the year is a US General Election, with Joe Biden hoping to depose a man who has become the most prominent of a new kind of person; a celebrity politician.

When Donald Trump began running as the Republican candidate for the 2016 election, he did so as a man with no political experience. However, what he lacked in qualifications he made up for in popularity. …


Patrick Hollis

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. Passionate writing about politics, culture, sport, society and more

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