Guest Post: The Neglected North – How an old fiver can put Northern England back on track

As a child, I used to get pocket money in the form of a five pound note depicting George Stephenson, so-called ‘Father of the Railways’. As it happens, Stephenson was also born a ten-minute drive from the house I grew up in. The small cottage in the village of Wylam, on the banks of the Tyne, still survives as a National Trust property, and it is a building I passed by countless times during my childhood, on Sunday afternoon walks by the river with my family.

Testing the limits of one’s convictions

I'm completely against the death penalty.  But, faced with some of the realities of what abolishing it would entail, I was forced to do some soul-searching about how willing I'd be to do more than just argue about the principle with anyone who'll listen.

Guest Post: How not to win a fight

His forearm is under my chin. I can feel the blood supply to my brain waning; I hear the sweat drops drumming on the mat and my opponent’s controlled breathing. The choke is tight and expertly executed. My umpteenth attempt to escape fails and, in a matter of seconds, my jaw will shatter and I will pass out. The smallest misjudgment can lead to permanent injury or death.

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