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The latest local and national UK and International news.

Political Corruption: Spain is Different

“Spain is different” was a slogan composed by Spanish minister Manuel Fraga in the 1960s to persuade the first planeloads of tourists to visit the sun-kissed nation. Spain at the time was under the rule Franco, a former ally of Hitler and Mussolini who won power with their help in a bloody civil war and cemented his grip on it for the next four decades through brutal repression of political opponents. While Britain enjoyed the swinging sixties and French students...

What do Aborigines & people in a former mining community in NE England have in common?

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Drawing on culture to promote well-being: communities united by their precarious circumstances Leading academic Matthew Johnson, Aboriginal community leader Mary Graham and Ashington community researcher Tony Bennett, examine how so-called ‘good culture’ can unite communities on opposite sides of the world. The Northumberland pit village of Ashington and Aboriginal settlements around Brisbane are communities united by their experience of relatively stable and long-established social systems being dismantled and replaced by apparently ‘precarious’ ‘circumstances’ including unemployment,...

Parliamentary sketch 25th March – Milband driven to distraction by the Chipping Norton set

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor It was a raucous affair, like the last day of term at school before the summer hols, but without Hungry Hippos, Connect Four and any form of discipline. Over at the BBC, news of the tragic air disaster had been dropped, the BBC said it was a decision they had not taken lightly, but a car enthusiast with a decent right hook had been sacked. So it was a momentous day, “remember where you were...

24/03/15 – Zayn Malik, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Stacey Solomon

By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE_Lifestyle Zayn Malik signed off for stress Zayn Malik, one fifth of incredibly popular boyband One Direction, has been signed off a few shows on the band’s world tour, citing stress as the reason. This all has come quite close to the emergence of some photos of Zayn apparently holding hands with a girl from Essex, whilst the band were in Thailand. To be specific, news outlets are referring to the girl in question as...

Parliamentary Sketch 18th March – Cameron gets his Giddy-on

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor Unlike every other PMQs, this one was a quiet affair. The MPs kept their shrieks and cries for the budget that followed, but there was still plenty of time for kitchen “jokes” aimed at Miliband, which (bacon) rolled - see anyone can do it - into the Chancellor’s statement as well. The one-liners were universally terrible, but at least Cameron carries his off in a smug way, that I can handle. But Gideon’s delivery is...

South Africa’s Gotham City

By Joe Thorpe South Africa is renowned for its high crime rates. Tell a friend you are heading out to the ‘Rainbow Nation’ and they’ll tell you to keep a hand on your bag at all times. Much of the media hype surrounding the violent crimes is inflated and over-stated, however there is at times an air of aggression, thinly veiled, and when media storms like the one surrounding Oscar Pistorius and his murder trial, South Africa seems to live...

17/03/15 – Azaelia Banks, Kanye West, Dolce and Gabbana

By Charlotte Hope, Lifestyle Editor @TLE_Lifestyle Dolce and Gabbana are pretty offensive When I think of Dolce and Gabbana, I think of ‘My Humps’by the Black Eyed Peas. Or, I mean, I used to. Now I’ll probably just think ‘ah those two designers who chose questionable words to articulate how they feel about something’. But ‘My Humps’is shorter so it’s likely I’ll go back to that in due course. Hey, what are you talking about? OH yeah I need to...

Parliamentary sketch 11th March – Make love not nuclear war

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor It was an awful PMQs, but luckily for the members of Parliament, every journalist was outside Jeremy Clarkson’s house. This session might have gone unnoticed, like a Russian submarine slipping past the Farne Islands. Well I did watch PMQs, and it reminded me of splitting-up with your partner. When all hope is lost, but you need to wait a few weeks before the removal van arrives, to pass the time you throw insults at each...

PMQs sketch 4th March – “Cause tonight is the night when two become eight”

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor PMQs began with both leaders arguing about how many immigrants are entering the UK. The assumption appears to be we that don’t want more people in the country, if that’s the case then both parties have failed; the Conservatives more recently. Luckily both leaders’ were saved by Farage, who had used his flagship speech earlier in the day to scrap his proposed 50,000 quota, and now looks as confused as everyone else, about immigration control....

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