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Burns

111 years ago today, in my home town of Stanley, true disaster struck. Within minutes, down the various seams of the Burns Pit, 168 boys and men were dead. It was an explosion fathoms underground which devastated the coal-reliant community above. Many families lost multiple loved ones that day; single terraced streets saw death on […]

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New realities

Today’s reshuffle of the cabinet by Boris Johnson – his first real opportunity to assert an undeniable authority on his government since coming to power more than six months ago – was much more than the rearranging of deck chairs we’ve become accustomed to with ministerial reshuffles of late. This was phase one of precision surgery which, should things progress as planned for the strategists behind the doors of number 10, will see Whitehall and the country beyond remodelled over the coming five years.

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The art of the possible

The art of the possible Today is Brexit day. At 11pm this evening Big Ben will still not chime, and the moment will pass without great fanfare. But it will nevertheless mark a hugely historic and important point in the history of the UK. Given that I voted remain and continue to believe that we’re […]

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What Mr Corbyn should do next

Jeremy Corbyn finds himself this weekend in a position he never expected…and how many times over the past two years have we said that? Nobody (including those at the head of the Labour party) expected to be in this position after the election. With Labour’s massively increased share of the vote and (more importantly) a respectable […]

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Pollocks

After a slow start and a few missteps, Jeremy Corbyn has had a positive couple of days as Theresa May and the Tories stumbled over tax pledges and their policy on international aid, with the right wing press preposterously making a populist case against investing in development and British interest abroad. Jeremy the Patriot Labour […]

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Foot in Mouth Disease

The typical refrain from many left-leaning groups is that the media don’t give Labour under Jeremy Corbyn a fair hearing. That if only the media would fairly report his message, then the scales would surely fall from the eyes of the general public and a peaceful revolution would occur. For anyone paying attention, today was a perfect example […]

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Brexit Sandwiches

So we’re faced with a second general election in two years, the bread wrapped around last year’s Brexit referendum making perhaps the least appetising sandwich in memory. And it looks like being the strangest general election in memory, too. This is a general election that nobody – beyond Liberal Democrats, 24 hour news channels and […]

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We were young together

Tracey died on Thursday.

There. I said it. But it makes no more sense written down than it does being repeated a hundred times in my head.

Tracey was a school friend. We were in the same class and we were young together. She was tall and smart and funny and pretty. For a long time we were together almost every day; two people in a large and incredible group of friends who laughed and played and shared endless happy hours in the sun and the rain, never quite feeling the cold. A group of friends who took each other for granted in the best possible way, because there were no horizons.

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Ten things you (probably) don’t know about me

Establishing a new blog can be a very strange thing. Obviously I’m tickled by the fact you’re reading what I’m writing, and in particularly giddy moments I imagine two, three or more readers, nodding and shaking in all the right places.

So, dear reader, as you have been kind enough to drop by, I feel I should at least go to the trouble of introducing myself with ten things that you (probably) don’t know about me. I’ll begin almost an entire century ago…

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Death

Fascination is defined as “the state of being intensely interested (as by awe or terror)”. It’s safe to say that I am fascinated by death. I hate it. I fear it. Yet I think about it. A lot. And I hate that, too. That I am writing this article at all is significant, and entirely at […]