167 posts tagged with UK and politics.
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The lady's not for turning?

‘History is what happened in the past’: reflections on The Iron Lady.
posted by Artw on Jan 4, 2012 - 92 comments

The first cut is the deepest

This is the story of one cut. Back in October 2010 George Osborne announced £95 billion in cuts to public services, saying he’d leave it to councils to choose what to shut down. Inevitably most of the casualties ended up being unrenowned places, unlikely to stir up much protest - drop-in centers in housing estates, inner-city park rangers, community theatres, etc. I wanted to write about just one of them, about the ripples created by a single closure. I made my selection quite randomly. I chose a place called Youthreach. I didn’t know much about them, only that they offered weekly counseling sessions to young people, aged 11–25, in Greenwich, South East London. Jon Ronson
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 29, 2011 - 16 comments

How the religious right censored the UK media – Christian Mothers’ Union head appointed as ‘expert’ by David Cameron

How the religious right censored the UK media – Christian Mothers’ Union head appointed as ‘expert’ by David Cameron
posted by nam3d on Oct 14, 2011 - 34 comments

Good for the arabs, but not good for us

Cameron said: “Free flow of information can be used for good. But it can also be used for ill. And when people are using social media for violence, we need to stop them.”
posted by knz on Aug 14, 2011 - 73 comments

Choose one.

With a coalition government and the recent turmoil over the voting system, sometimes British democracy feels like it's in a bit of a crisis. Thank goodness you can now vote on issues that really matter.
posted by Acheman on May 31, 2011 - 25 comments

'He's never kind, he's never affectionate'

30 years of Steve Bell, The Guardian's political cartoonist.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 25, 2011 - 14 comments

Jumping the pond

Dozens of concerned citizens will march on London this weekend to protest high taxation and government debt. Sound familiar? The rally is the first sign of what The Guardian terms "a radical Tea Party-style mass movement" in the UK. Organisers The Taxpayers' Alliance have previously been linked to the US-based Freedom Works.
posted by londonmark on May 13, 2011 - 49 comments

The Lockerbie Deal

How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
posted by reenum on Apr 28, 2011 - 10 comments

A Progressivel Tea Party

"Imagine a parallel universe where the Great Crash of 2008 was followed by a Tea Party of a very different kind.... The name of this parallel universe is Britain." The UK's Progressive Tea Party.
posted by wittgenstein on Feb 9, 2011 - 25 comments

American President Top 40!

The top US presidents: First poll of UK experts. The full list plus ranks for Vision, Domestic Leadership, Foreign Policy Leadership, Moral Authority and Historical Legacy.
posted by crossoverman on Jan 19, 2011 - 74 comments


A 3 hour podcast interview (part 2 here) with British comics legend Pat Mills, most famous for the anti-war WW1 strip Charley's War, the creation 2000ad and many of the most enduring characters within it, superhero hunter Marshall Law and numerous other comics. His work usually combines combines dark humour, a dash of left wing politics and ludicrous amounts of violence, now as much as ever with puritan zombie hunter Defoe. Subjects discussed in the intreview include the death of artist John Hicklenton, being Irish-English, Sláine and the comparitive lack of celtic heroes in modern popular culture, Oliver Cromwell and the Levellers. Bonus link: 20 pages of Metalzoic, Pat Mills and Kevin O'Neills "lost" story.
posted by Artw on Dec 19, 2010 - 18 comments

You think it’s cuddly but it will tear your insides out

Pulp's Common People - the great class-based song of the 90s?
posted by Artw on Nov 11, 2010 - 119 comments

Swiftboating considered harmful.

UK (ex)MP Phil Woolas has indicated he will seek a judicial review of the decision today to void his election victory of earlier this year. He was found guilty of "knowingly making false statements about [rival candidate] Mr Watkins in campaign literature". Woolas claims the ruling will "inevitably chill political speech", whereas the Justices' ruling found that his Election Literature breached UK laws.
posted by samworm on Nov 5, 2010 - 35 comments

UK Spending Review

The Chancellor of the UK coalition government has announced the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review, setting budgets for government departments to 2014/15. Total savings will be £18 billion. Local government funding will be cut 7% each year for the next four years. The Arts Council budget will be cut by 30%. 490,000 jobs are forecast to be lost over the period in the public sector. The average cuts for each government department will be 19%. The speech. HM Treasury Spending Review pages. Guardian summary. Independent article. Nick Robinson's blog for the BBC. Make your own cuts with the Guardian's interactive tool. Graphic showing 09/10 government spending (that is, before the cuts).
posted by paduasoy on Oct 20, 2010 - 91 comments

The Tories' favourite Lib Dem

Good news for Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats: he's more popular than the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron. Perhaps not so good news for the Liberal Democrats' image: that's with Tory party activists. Meanwhile, Cameron has professed his love of Macs and iPads in an interview, undoubtedly causing Apple to become instantly uncool in much the way The Smiths and Paul Weller did a few years ago.
posted by acb on Oct 4, 2010 - 54 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

If politicians were mathematicians

If politicians were mathematicians. "I would like to suggest two systems for parliamentary votes, one that would weaken the party system but without killing it off entirely, and one that would protect large minorities. Neither has the slightest chance of being adopted, because they are both too complicated to be taken seriously. But mathematicians wouldn’t find them complicated at all — hence the title of this post." Fields medalist Tim Gowers messes around with political axioms.
posted by escabeche on May 12, 2010 - 18 comments

UK PM calls a voter a bigot whilst wearing a radio mike.

Gordon Brown didn't realise his radio mike was on and accidentally called the woman he'd just spoken with a "bigot". The Guardian's take; The Daily Mail. Is this Brown's Prescott moment?
posted by handee on Apr 28, 2010 - 158 comments

I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular.

"What are you f**king playing at?” Mr Murdoch asked Mr Kelner in a loud voice and in front of dozens of bemused journalists."
This week, 300,000 copies of the UK's Independent newspaper were distributed for free advertising the paper's claim to editorial independence stating, "Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – you will".

According to the Financial Times, Murdoch's son James subsequently stormed into the Independent's newsroom brandishing a copy of the edition, protesting it besmirched his father’s reputation. "Lively times," the Guardian observes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 22, 2010 - 62 comments

Dr Evan Harris - The Liberal Democrat's Dr Death?

The new focus on the Liberal Democrats sees the Daily Telegraph's Cristina Odone profiling Dr Evan Harris. That's "profiling" in the sense that the FBI might profile a criminal. A criminal the papers are calling Dr Death. [more inside]
posted by DNye on Apr 20, 2010 - 71 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

UK Election Statisitics Brain-Candy

Hurtling as we are towards an election that will be the most closely contested for a generation, where can we in the UK get a hit of statistical brain-candy? Well, no-one's going to do it quite as well as FiveThirtyEight did it for our transatlantic chums (though they will be posting on the UK), but try Electoral Calculus or UK Polling Report. For information about voting, try About My Vote.
posted by hydatius on Apr 8, 2010 - 37 comments

Is the Tea Party phenomenon good for (American) Democracy?

Naomi Wolf (previously) in her essay "Tea Time in America", wrote: "...concentration of executive power has threatened America’s system of checks and balances and given the Federal government the authority to spy on citizens, withhold information, and aggressively arrest and even Taser protesters – or to hire private contractors to do so. In these circumstances, the Tea Party activists’ focus on supporting states’ autonomy – and even on property rights and the right to bear arms – can seem like a prescient effort to constrain overweening corporate and military power in national government." [more inside]
posted by blue funk on Apr 5, 2010 - 136 comments

I blame Obama and his terrible gift giving. An iPod and some DVDs? Seriously?

The Special Relationship between the US and the UK is over... Perhaps it never really existed outside of the UK anyway.
posted by Artw on Mar 28, 2010 - 86 comments

The next age of government

While much is being made of dysfunctional government [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] and hung parliament [1,2,3,4,5], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society [1,2,3], smarter policy [1,2,3] and employee ownership [1,2,3,4,5,6,7] have been positively, uh, Obamanian.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 5, 2010 - 26 comments

Goodbye Footie.

Michael Foot, leader of the British Labour Party from 1980-83 and principally responsible for the longest suicide note in history, is dead at 96.
posted by unSane on Mar 3, 2010 - 58 comments

Weaponizing Mozart

Weaponizing Mozart - "How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control".
posted by nthdegx on Mar 1, 2010 - 88 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

This is not the time to send out a signal like this in some personal fucking sodcast

For quite some time, I’d wanted to make a screwball comedy. A fast-talking, wildly acclerating ensemble comedy that gets stupider and stupider. I never imagined it would be about a war, and inspired by a very recent war at that. But Simon, Jesse, Tony and I all felt that the more we found out about the dysfunction in Washington and the naivety in London leading up to the Iraq invasion, the more obvious it was that the only way to deal accurately and fairly with this topic was as a screwball comedy. - The Oscar nominated script for In The Loop, with an introduction by writer Armando Iannucci.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2010 - 33 comments

The People's Manifesto

Comedian and activist, Mark Thomas, has been touring the UK over the past year, compiling a set of policies that his audiences want to see implemented in Britain. As part of the publicity for the resulting book, The People's Manifesto, his publishers are offering to pay one lucky applicant's £500 deposit and campaign expenses to stand for public office at the upcoming general election, on the condition that they will base their campaign on the policies gathered in the book. [more inside]
posted by idiomatika on Feb 9, 2010 - 35 comments

The Economist: The World in 2010

In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year, NATO may lose in Afghanistan, the UK gets a regime change, China needs to chill, India's factories will overtake its farms, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum, the stimulus will need an exit strategy, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2", African football will unite Korea, conflict over natural resources will grow, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable), technology will grow ever more ubiquitous, we'll all charge our phones via USB, MBAs will be uncool, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world. And so the Tens begin.

The Economist: The World in 2010. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 14, 2009 - 60 comments

Ship ahoy, Captain!

You've heard of the Swedish Pirate Party. You may have seen their their elected MEP, and their 50,000 members. You may even have heard of the German Pirate Party's thousand members. But now the Open Rights Group does not stand alone in the UK's digital rights movement. On June 30th, the British Pirate Party was registered. Press reaction is here. [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Aug 12, 2009 - 47 comments

The Smiler

Tony Blair wants to be president ...of Europe.
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2009 - 64 comments

Hate Wins

The far-right, whites-only British National Party (BNP) has won two seats (Andrew Brons, Nick Griffin) in the European Parliament. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jun 8, 2009 - 224 comments


"The BNP represents Britain's workers? They don't even represent basic British craftsmanship" - a response to the recent political broadcast by the UKs far right extremists the BNP, who are currently trying to exploit expenses scandals hiting the larger parties. Weirdly despite demanding British jobs for British workers their advertising uses American models.
posted by Artw on May 18, 2009 - 83 comments

Ayo Ghurkali

In a landmark defeat for the UK Government, the House of Commons has voted to allow all former and existing Ghurkas the right to live in the UK. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Apr 29, 2009 - 70 comments

Expenses Mashup

Following Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's expenses claim for pornographic films watched by her husband, which came hot on the heels of an investigation into expenses claims for MPs' second homes, the Guardian has published data on each MPs' claims. Now, it's been combined with data from They Work For You to create a map showing MPs' expenses claims, revealing interesting anomalies.
An investigation into MPs' expenses is forthcoming. [Previously]
posted by djgh on Apr 3, 2009 - 25 comments

Post neoliberal or just pre liberal?

"The crisis is an opportunity to sweep away the rotten postwar settlement of British politics. Labour is moribund. But David Cameron has a chance to develop a "red Tory" communitarianism, socially conservative but sceptical of neoliberal economics" [more inside]
posted by doobiedoo on Feb 15, 2009 - 22 comments

I have nothing to declare except my prejudice.

"Let them arrest me". Vehemently anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna (wiki, mefi). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK would pose a "serious threat to [...] public security" (PDF), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 11, 2009 - 83 comments

Value Altered Tax

The Tax Gap - "The Guardian will examine the extent of tax avoidance by big business, day-by-day over two weeks. We are naming more than 20 major British companies, and analysing their secretive tax strategies to ask: are they paying their fair share?".
posted by Gyan on Feb 4, 2009 - 34 comments

Can the BBC survive?

A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 29, 2009 - 50 comments

We won't be like that again.

Behind The Rent Strike [YouTube playlist; six parts of 50ish min. documentary] Nick Broomfield's graduation piece, a documentary on the 14-month rent strike by the people of Kirkby New Town, near Liverpool, which began in late 1973 in response (it wasn't the only one) to the Heath government's Housing Finance Act. Broomfield gets plenty of insight from local people and examines the social conditions behind the events. Great viewing of good film-making and an opportunity for a bit of nostalgia if you're a viewer from round that way.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 26, 2009 - 8 comments

Politcal Sketch

"As he walks past I am struck by the way, from his default gloomy expression, he constantly flashes his rictus grin at people, like a doomed and slightly out of control belisha beacon" - The Guardian's cartoonist Steve Bell on drawing Gordon 'Gordy' Brown (video). He's in the process of producing a number of sketchbooks covering the conference season - Liberal Democrat, Labour 1, Labour 2. And he covered this year's Democrat and Republican conventions and also visited 'Manifest Hope' (video), an art exhibition based around images of Barack Obama. Previously.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 25, 2008 - 9 comments

"If it isn't doom it'll do until a proper doom comes along."

The Tories first by-election win in over twenty-five years... the end of New Labour?
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 23, 2008 - 50 comments

Boris Johnson for mayor?

Stop Boris Johnson? [more inside]
posted by bwerdmuller on Apr 20, 2008 - 58 comments

Chris Lightfoot - "a one man think-tank"

It's a year since the untimely death of Chris Lightfoot. He had a remarkable combination of political commitment and technical expertise that led him to develop sites such as WriteToThem and Pledgebank for the splendid political and social software group, MySociety. His political writing brings a sharp and sarcastic wit to bear on such subjects as the Iraq war, and ID cards. There are also some good rants. A sad loss to British society.
posted by crocomancer on Feb 11, 2008 - 6 comments

Big man with a big heart does his part

Mark Wallinger has won the Turner Prize for 'State Britain' his recreation of Brian Haw's Parliament Square peace protest. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 5, 2007 - 12 comments

"He'd zap the programme off and holler/ 'Go and read some Emile Zola."

Boris Johnson, poet.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 9, 2007 - 16 comments

MRSA... the global medical communities dirty little secret.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In 2005, invasive MRSA infections were estimated to have killed 18,650 in the United States alone. This may be a conservative estimate. It is going global. It is changing politics. It may become pandemic. [more inside]
posted by PROD_TPSL on Oct 17, 2007 - 113 comments

The Men of Kent are suspect

Two recent reports on immigration in the UK, a published study on its economic effects, and an expert panel report on its and public service consequences, paint very different pictures. Not that the press need logic or evidence: they made their minds up about those Poles a long time ago, like people did about the West Indians, Bangladeshis and Jews . Is a rational debate on immigration even possible?
posted by athenian on Oct 16, 2007 - 18 comments

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