Regional accents are routinely discriminated against in the national media: frequently deemed unintelligible or vulgar. Until regional voices are incorporated into mainstream television dramas, Love Island and other reality TV shows will continue to offer the only outlet for regional relatability on the small-screen. To this end, I salute Love Island’s producers for refusing to succumb to London-centricity, even if the show contains a plethora of issues surrounding mental health and emotional abuse.
Female political leaders have more demands placed upon them than their male counterparts: criticised for crying at the ‘wrong’ times, and for failing to cry when the gravity of the situation demands it. This paradox is enforced particularly hard upon older, Conservative-leaning women who tend to be more reserved in public. To avoid both sexism and ageism, journalistic obsession over women’s emotions, and their emotional responses, must stop altogether. Crying is not an objective science, and ‘to cry’ is not synonymous with ‘to feel.’
Many Headteachers, teachers, local authorities and MPs remain frustrated with the Government’s refusal to increase real-terms funding in state-sponsored education. But they remain hopeful that their cross-party co-operation and lobbying might reverse their fortunes in the next Comprehensive Spending Review. Only time will tell if this becomes reality, or if pressing domestic issues continue to be overshadowed by Brexit.
Rape comments – like those levied at Jess Phillips by UKIP candidate Carl Benjamin – are never unintentional, offhand or a heat-of-the-moment attack: they are a careful type of performance by right-wing politicians, desperate to challenge mainstream media and shore-up public support. We need to stop giving such individuals the airtime to ‘defend’ or contextualise their views.
Though branded a historic devolution deal by former chancellor George Osborne, the North of Tyne Mayor will possess little substantive power: unable to legislate on housing or transport. With a paltry annual sum of £20 million to overturn the devastating effects of austerity, it’s doubtful whether the post can secure genuine change.
London gets a better transport deal than anywhere else in the UK. Until regional transport systems achieve parity with the capital, ‘clean air’ congestion charges will isolate the poorest in society, for whom maintaining a car or taking taxis is the more affordable option.
A People’s Vote on the specificity of how we leave the EU has genuine potential to dissipate the Brexit deadlock. But it’s currently being hijacked by affluent, self-righteous Remainers who’d rather vilify than engage with those who voted to Leave – and who see a second referendum exclusively as an opportunity to overturn the initial result.
With never-ending headlines proclaiming one Brexit fiasco after another, you’d be forgiven for feeling dreary about the UK’s political prospects. But all is not lost.
Shortlisted for the Terry Kelly Poetry Prize, this political limerick by North-East born John Lennox takes aim at ‘small-town’ abandonment by prevailing British governments.
Unleashed from the shackles of pretence, this was probably the most honest and important dissection of contemporary culture that I have seen in a British gallery to-date.