The Bylines Network Podcast


13 September: Afghan Interpreters & Social Care


With the mainstream media attention diverted from Afghanistan, this week the Bylines Network podcast looks at the situation on the ground, and what has changed since the Taliban took over the country in August. With a new administration installed, and clampdowns on women’s rights and the right to protest, it is important to keep an eye on the situation, and not let it drift off the attention.

This week, we also spoke with Martin Waller at East Anglia Bylines. Martin, wrote a piece for East Anglia Bylines this week on how to fund social care, and we spoke about the problems with the government’s plans, and possible solutions.

30 August: Audio Edition No.3


Our Third Audio Edition of the Bylines Network, a selection of articles from across the Network read by our team. This week’s articles are: 

0:23: Unite’s new general secretary – new dawn for Labour, or cold war? – Jane Thomas (Yorkshire Bylines) read by Alex Toal 
5:20: Hauliers dismiss ‘bring in the army’ plans to stock supermarket shelves
Peter Thurlow (East Anglia Bylines) read by Stephen Tomlin

11:44: The Covid Climate Crisis – Amber Hill (West England Bylines) read by Julian Greenbank 
16:44: The woman who haunts Sunderland Empire Theatre Peter Lathan (North East Bylines) 

Welcome to the third part of our miniseries on the state of higher education in the pandemic. In this episode, John and Alex speak about the “marketisation” of higher education, with the introduction of tuition fees. What does it mean to “get a degree”, and how does the university experience weigh up to how it is sold? Then, Alex speaks with Nick Hillman of the Higher Education Policy Institute on the broader impacts of the reintroduction of tuition fees. 


9 August: Generation Rent (education mini-series pt.2) 


Welcome to part 2 of our education mini-series, focusing on the lives of students during the pandemic. In this episode, we focus student housing: throughout Covid many students were either forced into mass-produced university accommodation, or trapped in run down private housing. With discussion of rent rebates, strikes, and evictions, Paige and John speak with: 
– Brandon Olufowobi (Unite Students) 
– Louise Jennifer (University of Leicester Rent Strike) 

2 August: Audio Edition no.1 


Our First Audio Edition of the Bylines Network, a selection of articles from across the Network read by our team. This week’s articles are: 

0:50: Anti-vaxxers, past and present – Pen Hemingway (Yorkshire Bylines) read by Alex Toal
7:56: A 3% pay rise is not enough for NHS England – Louise Brown (North East Bylines) read by Gareth Kearns
11:10: For those in peril at sea: the Seafarers Centres – Ann C Holland (Central Bylines) read by Julian Greenbank
14:35: Conservatives and Labour are deceiving women on rape sentencing – Dr Stella Perrott (Yorkshire Bylines) read by Paige Furlonge-Walker 

16 July: Sixteen months of Zoomiversity (Education mini-series pt.1) 


We’re delighted to bring you the first episode of our new education miniseries! Our hosts Paige, Connor, and John have all been in university for the past year of Covid, and have put together a four-part series on the reality of being a student during the biggest crisis in a generation. In the first episode, Connor, Paige, and John give personal testimonials of the last year. The unique challenges of online learning, and the social consequences of moving back in with your parents and losing contact with all of your friends. 


19 July: Happy “Freedom Day”? 


As the final round of unlocking arrives on 19th July, we discuss the challenges which this new stage of the pandemic will pose. Cases are soaring, and with them the risk of Long Covid and of vaccine-resistant mutations. For our article of the week, we speak with Mo Kanjilal of Sussex Bylines about her recent piece Playing For England: Football and national identity. In the light of the recent racist incidents which occurred after the Euros final, we discuss the reality of being a person of colour in England during big international tournaments, and also the unifying effect which this team had on the country. 



14 June: Pride in the UK


 As Pride month rolls along, Chris Davis and Connor Lamb open the discussion with a look at what Pride has become in 2021, the commercialisation of pride and the “pride-washing”.  Then, listen in as we have our very first Member of Parliament on the podcast: Lloyd Russell-Moyle (Brighton Kemptown). Connor and Chris discuss what Pride means to him, in addition to the government’s plan for reforming the Gender Recognition Act. 

7 June: Breaking down the resignation of Sir Kevan Collins 


This week, Alex and new host Connor Lamb from North East Bylines discuss the resignation of Kevan Collins, the government’s education tsar. Why did the government ignore their own advice, and what will the £1.4bn dedicated to closing the education gap actually do?  Then in our “article of the week” section, we speak with Viv Griffiths of Sussex Bylines about an article which she wrote about plans to convert a Brighton school into an academy.

31 May: Breaking down the Blue Wall?


Join us as we ask “are voters in the South turning against the Conservatives?” With Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire County Councils falling to No Overall Control this year, and major metro mayoralties in the South flipping to Labour, are Conservative voters in the South changing their preferences at the same time that Labour voters in the North are?

24 May: The Queen’s Speech is debated in Parliament 


Alex and Jules have a look at the Queen’s Speech. What’s in it, and what does this legislation mean for the country? Then, listen as they speak with Brian McHugh for our new “article of the week section, and discuss some stories from the last week which they feel have been overlooked in the mainstream media.

17 May: Our Future, Our Voices 


What does it mean to be young and in politics? How can we get young people more involved in politics? This week, our hosts, Kerry, Jules, and Chris Davis discuss how they got into politics, and what it means to be political in 2021.

9 May: An alternative breakdown of the Local Elections results 


Fed up of hearing about the vaccine bounce? Sick of takes about what the local elections mean for Keir Starmer? Then tune in as we speak with Councillor Georgia Taylor, and break down what some of the results mean for the residents who voted in Sussex, West England and Yorkshire. We’re also joined by Emma Knaggs, grassroots director at Make Votes Matter, to discuss the government’s plans to make our elections less democratic

2 May: Speak to the candidates 


Join us on the virtual campaign trail as we speak with some of the candidates hoping to get elected to office for the first time: Georgia Taylor (Green – standing for East Sussex Council), Liz Webster (Liberal Democrat – standing for Swindon and Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner) and Jessie Joe Jacobs (Labour – standing for Tees Valley mayor)


25 April: Are our local elections democratic? 


Are our local elections democratic? From voting systems, to ID laws, to changes in how local government is running, how much do our votes impact how we are governed? This week, we speak to Abbie Jones, from Make Votes Manchester, and Tom Brake, Director of Unlock Democracy, on how democratic our system truly is.

18 April: Why don’t people vote in local elections?


What role does local government play in today’s society? What even is a Police and Crime Commissioner? The Bylines Network podcast has you covered, as we speak with Professor Colin Copus of De Montfort University, and Rachael Farrington of, about the upcoming local elections.

21 March: Promoting inclusivity in local government


Mo Kanjilal interviews Stephanie Prior, standing invitee on Brighton and Hove City Council’s tourism, equalities, communities and culture committee. Mo and Stephanie discuss the importance of encouraging representation at a local level, and what can be done to lower barriers to entry into politics.

14 March: How governments use human psychology to avoid scrutiny 


Grace Pritchard speaks with Dr Pam Jarvis and Dr Stella Perrott about coercive control. They discuss how governments use human psychology to avoid scrutiny, looking in particular at the current government’s handling of the covid pandemic and victim blaming.

7 March: Democracy Under Fire  


Catch up with our “Democracy under Fire” webinar, featuring Peter Jukes (Byline Times), Tom Brake (Unlock Democracy), Clive Lewis (Labour Party), and Natalie Bennett (Green Party). Discussing the threats facing democracy in the 21st century, from press freedom to our antiquated voting system

28 February: Standing up for the North, with Jessie Joe Jacobs 


The Bylines Network podcast starts in the North East! Host Ellie Rainsley speaks with Tees Valley mayoral candidate Jessie Joe Jacobs about the coronavirus, devolution, and reaching out to communities left behind by the political establishment.

Yorkshire Bylines original podcast with Grace Pritchard in “The Agriculture Bill returns …” talks to Joe Stanley, a farmer and conservationist from the East Midlands, and Natalie Bennett, Green Party peer, about the importance of the agriculture bill, currently going through parliament.

Yorkshire Bylines original podcast with Grace Pritchard in “Proper devolution” talks to Jane Thomas, Andy Brown and John Harris about devolution in Yorkshire, what it looks like now and how it’s set to change and develop in the future.

Yorkshire Bylines original podcast – in “A Britain of two nations”, Grace Pritchard speaks to writers Marc Limon and Charlie McCarthy about the inequalities inherent in our educational system and wider society. Don’t forget to let us know what you think!

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