Author: Charlie McCarthy

Charlie is a writer who lives in North Yorkshire. Originally from Glasgow, he has lived in the North of England for most of his life. Before becoming a writer, Charlie was a science teacher. His areas of interest include politics, the environment and education.

Devolution dilemma in North Yorkshire

Charlie McCarthy

The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.

The impact of demographic change on the US election

Charlie McCarthy

As America enters the week of the most important presidential election in living memory, it is poignant to consider the changing face of that great nation and, how this may play out in the election itself. America is not as white as it used to be and this could affect the outcome. In general, non-white […]

Farming protest planned for Northallerton tomorrow

Charlie McCarthy

For generations, sheep and cattle farmers have shaped the upland Yorkshire landscape we all cherish. Now many traditional farmers, so vital to the fabric of our rural communities, are at risk of being put out of business. Uplands farmers – particularly sheep and beef cattle farmers in the Yorkshire Dales and on the North York […]

The unholy alliance – it’s only economics keeping the UK united, for now

Charlie McCarthy

Scotland’s a small country, both in terms of its economy and population, though it’s big in ambition and vision. The country’s economic numbers are hard to bear for all those with independence ambitions. The journalist and broadcaster Andrew Neil recently become embroiled in the independence debate following a response to a tweet from an independence […]

Russian influence in the UK: is this the ‘new normal’?

Charlie McCarthy
st basil s cathedral

The first act of the newly formed international security committee (ISC) under the leadership of former Tory Julian Lewis, was to publish the long awaited Russia report. It is important to remind ourselves of the primary aims of the government when considering our relationship with a potentially hostile power such as Russia. The government’s aim […]

Trade bill may tip the scales on Scottish independence

Charlie McCarthy

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the shops in a face mask, Brexit is back with a vengeance (not that it ever went away). The government will publish legislation on Thursday that will form the foundation of the UK’s ‘internal market’ when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December […]

Pen-y-ghent: time to plan a Yorkshire day out

Charlie McCarthy

It’s been a funny year in many ways. Locked down, isolated, unable to get out and enjoy the Yorkshire hills. However, all that’s changing and now is the time to get into the spare room, find that map you’re sure you have somewhere, and plan your first trip out. How about starting with one of […]

Black Lives Matter and the Benin Bronzes

Charlie McCarthy

The message to those in similar positions of influence remains simple. Be the change you want to be. Use you influence, move the British Museum into the twenty-first century. By changing the dialogue and presenting British history from the viewpoint of the colonised as well as the colonisers, you could make it an even more interesting place to visit.

Who pays the Tory Party piper?

Charlie McCarthy

Large donations to the Conservative Party and the delayed publication of the Russia report are harming our democracy. Politics costs money, lots of it. ‘Short money’ is the UK state’s attempt to fund our politics and ensure opposition to the government exists in our democratic system. The opposition political party receive £16k per seat and […]

The politics of knowledge: 21st century poverty

Charlie McCarthy

Marcus Rashford has changed the government’s view on free school meals in the summer holidays. He, and other footballers, have found their political voice and the Conservative government is going to have to listen. Poverty can be a motivator. Children born into homes where there isn’t enough to go round never forget the experience. Some, […]

Reopening schools: Scotland vs England

Charlie McCarthy

A different response to reopening schools in Scotland may bring about more lasting changes and a more balanced experience for pupils north of the border. Will England step up to the mark? John Swinney, the Scottish government’s education secretary, has said it is “unlikely” that Scottish schools will return to normal next year. With schools […]

In the British Empire, black lives didn’t matter

Charlie McCarthy

Tearing down the statue to Edward Colston is an historic moment for Bristol and a much needed history lesson about the British Empire for the rest of the UK. The video clip of the toppling of his statue has demonstrated to us all how aggrieved members of the black community, and many other people, feel […]

Dealing with a racist USA

Charlie McCarthy

A new challenge for the UK, an old problem for the USA. One week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of Minneapolis Police, America is again at war with itself, with many cities resembling scenes last seen in history books recounting the civil liberties struggles of 1968. We are the […]

Disagreement over schools reopening

Charlie McCarthy

With five working days left until schools are meant to reopen for nursery, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children, doubts remain over their role in spreading the virus. This debate about children as vectors of the virus is becoming critical. Osama Rahman is director of analysis at the Department for Education (DfE) and chief […]

Building a new Yorkshire – are citizens’ assemblies a way forward?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy argues a citizens’ assembly for Yorkshire would help revitalise and level up the region as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown. Brexit has already cost the UK economy £130 billion, shrinking three per cent since the referendum. Putting this into figures we can more easily relate to: EU membership cost 34p per person […]

Home education in a pandemic – how we de-schooled almost overnight

Charlie McCarthy

School’s out for summer – or is it out for longer? In the space of just one weekend we de-schooled our country. What does this mean for the future of education? In ‘De-schooling Society’ (1971) Ivan Illich, the philosopher critic of the institutions of modern culture, put forward a series of suggestions for learning for […]

How will the lockdown and Brexit affect tourism in Yorkshire?

Charlie McCarthy

Yorkshire faces up to three winters in a row I always enjoyed history lessons at school. One of the lessons that made the greatest impression on me was the struggle farmers faced throughout history to gather enough harvest and make it last through to have enough to start again the following spring. Winters were lean […]