“Without our Grassroots Music Venues, there would be no Beatles. No Stones, no Led Zeppelin, no Duran Duran, no Sade, no Oasis, no Skunk Anansie, no Adele, no Ed Sheeran, no Dua Lipa.”

There are so many ways in which our lives have been badly affected by the spread of this coronavirus. There’s a new one to add to that list, it could be making us snore more.

When the people of Russia and eastern Europe rose up 30 years ago and tore down the statues of Stalin the British establishment cheered, writes Sasha Simic, Stamford Hill, full address supplied.

When it was discovered that Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s chief medical officer, had twice broke the Covid-19 lock-down to visit her second home in April it cost her job, writes Sasha Simic, Stoke Newington, full address supplied.

I have given in to the pressure and bought a face mask. You may see me looking like a character from Mortal Kombat walking around the Downs.

Fundamental changes in our health and social care system are being planned in haste, without publicity or consultation, in breach of the NHS constitution, writes Marion Macalpine, Hackney Keep Our NHS Public.

Hackney Faith Forum organised a Day of Prayer for Hackney on Sunday (May 3) – the first time anything like this has happened for many years, writes Cllr Ian Rathbone, Hackney Faith Forum.

May Day 2020 was the day the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that Covid-19 death rates were more than double in the poorest areas of England and Wales than those in the richest, writes Sasha Simic, full address supplied.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the things I miss from before the lockdown. Most of all I miss being able to visit my father. He’s in a care home and seeing all the news about the situation in the care sector terrifies me.

I am dismayed at the government’s handling of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 outbreak, writes Rob Holloway, Glyn Road, Clapton.

I know the current situation is hard for a lot of us. I am still trying to use this column to bring you the more positive angles on our lives in a bid to help morale.

“Get Brexit done”, “get Brexit done”, “get Brexit done”.

Shortly before the world turned upside down, I was lucky enough to be at BBC 6 Music event in Camden, where Tony Visconti, the great producer behind David Bowie’s Berlin-period albums, and The Stranglers’ JJ Burnel were interviewed by Liz Kershaw.

Another week, another attempt to find a positive spin on the lockdown under which we are living.

I write on Wednesday, a couple of hours before our print deadline.

My rationed exercise on Tuesday saw me cycling to Hampstead, walking up Parliament Hill and up to Highgate, and freewheeling down Highgate Hill towards home.

I understand the anxiety and worry that the coronavirus outbreak may be causing you and your family.

On Sunday I gave £4 to someone who was begging. Aren’t I quite the hero?

I spent the oddity that was the turn of the millennium (or the turn of 1999/2000, at least) at a small party in a derelict school hall, wearing a dress, playing with my then-band in front of a handful of friends and, bizarrely, my former teacher.

As interest in who will be the next Labour leader heats up the name calling has started, but for Rebecca Long-Bailey the attention is getting a little weird.

January is the month when Hackney and Islington’s front gardeners show that they truly appreciate the finer things in life, in particular its olfactory pleasures, writes Will McCallum, Greenpeace UK, Newington Green.

It will be a bitter pill to swallow but it may be time for Remain campaigners to accept that Brexit will “git done” and rethink the focus of their energies.

In his first statement as prime minister, Boris Johnson gave “unequivocally our guarantee to the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us...that, under this government, they will have the absolute certainty for the right to live and remain,”

Thank you for the excellent feature on Downs Baptist Church on its history of standing up against injustice, writes Ian Rathbone, former chairman, Ogunwobi Family Campaign.


The NHS COVID-19 app can make a real difference to how we all tackle the pandemic, protecting our loved ones and those most at risk from coronavirus. Everyone aged 16 and over across England and Wales can download the app for free and play their part in combating the pandemic.

The way the UK does business with Europe changes from January 1, heralding a new start for the small and medium-sized companies. Let’s get businesses ready to take advantage of new opportunities...