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Theatre by the Sea

Cornwall's Minack theatre. Perched on the cliffs at the SouthWestern tip of the UK, the Minack offers the chance to see classic theatre with a spectacular natural backdrop. The open-air theatre was originally conceived by Rowena Cade in the 1930s, and she was also personally responsible for much of the construction of the facilities that still exist. The pictures and 360 panoramas available here should give you some idea of the place. A few more here.
posted by biffa on May 19, 2005 - 5 comments

How Good Was The Good War ?

Five years ago, Robert Lilly, a distinguished American sociologist, prepared a book based on military archives. Taken by Force is a study of the rapes committed by American soldiers in Europe between 1942 and 1945. He submitted his manuscript in 2001. But after September 11, its US publisher suppressed it, and it first appeared in 2003 in a French translation. We know from Anthony Beevor about the sexual violence unleashed by the Red Army, but we prefer not to know about mass rape committed by American and British troops. Lilly suggests a minimum of 10,000 American rapes. Contemporaries described a much wider scale of unpunished sex crime. Time Magazine reported in September 1945: "Our own army and the British army along with ours have done their share of looting and raping ... we too are considered an army of rapists."
An Ethical Blank Cheque... So, How Good Was The Good War ? And from the Eastern Front: Uncensored Memories
From Alfredo Perez's Political Theory Daily Review
posted by y2karl on May 11, 2005 - 104 comments

Learn Brit-Speak

Learn Brit-Speak British Airways wants to help Americans understand "Brit-Speak". Of course you've always wanted to know what pants, snog, squiz and lurgy mean, but as a marketing strategy? annoying flash interface, but all 72 items inside
posted by quiet on May 7, 2005 - 81 comments

George Galloway

Highlight of the election coverage: George Galloway is the leader of Respect and won a historic and unexpected victory against the Blairite Oona King, on an anti-war ticket. He was then interviewed by Jeremy Paxman, an increasingly controversial interviewer well known for asking questions absurd numbers of times until they get answered - a technique which arguably backfires here. You might want to watch Galloway's acceptance speech first. [Windows Media. My two cents: Paxman is an egregious cock, more interested in getting his eternally righteous indignation across than any issues.]
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 6, 2005 - 75 comments

Blair wins third term in UK

Blair wins third term in UK overcoming public outcry against his handling of the war in Iraq. His Labour party was elected despite attracting votes from only 22% of those eligible to do so.
posted by drewlondon on May 5, 2005 - 74 comments

UK Election 2005

Psephologists rejoice! The Guardian will be blogging the UK election as it happens, and there's already some comments and links to other online discussions. As the UK polls close at 10:00 pm, this means that early results and exit polls will be in late afternoon for US poll-watchers.
posted by carter on May 5, 2005 - 223 comments

It's a basic irony, folks...

I'm amused by today's Editorial in The Sun. It starts off with how a protest vote against Labour may mean 'you could be signing a young person's death warrant' due to the Liberal Democrat party's drugs policy.

The second half of the newspaper's editorial is a tribute to Anthony Wakefield... whose death came, of course, as part of the Blair government's war in Iraq... a basic irony that the newspaper has failed to pick up on. [via Bloggerheads]

For those who don't know, The Sun - which backs Blair, though not like this - is the UK's biggest selling newspaper and is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
posted by tapeguy on May 3, 2005 - 32 comments

Lee and Dan's Excellent Adverts

The truth behind the spin? - three party political broadcasts (.wmv) made by Lee and Dan, the men behind the VW Suicide Bomber advert, and commissioned by the UK's Channel 4
posted by Navek Rednam on Apr 30, 2005 - 10 comments

BBC Question Time

BBC - Question Time Leaders Special [Windows Media or RealMedia]
- Panorama: Iraq, Tony and the truth [transcript]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Apr 28, 2005 - 23 comments

Tour of the English canal system

On the revival of a forgotten piece of infrastructure: Britain's massive canal system was constructed in the late 18th century to move goods throughout the country and provided an extensive logistical network for the industrial revolution. Since the rise of rail and truck transport, the canals were left to decay for generations. Today many are being restored, providing revenue for local communities and acting as a catalyst [PDF] for urban renewal.

One group of fun-lovin' Brits has been touring these man-made waterways since the 1970's and documenting their journeys in copious detail. The canals traverse every conceivable type of landscape, and evince some pretty amazing engineering.
posted by pieisexactlythree on Apr 22, 2005 - 14 comments

I'm Hungry

Are you thinking what we're thinking? Make your own Tory party election poster. I did. Also happening in real life.
posted by armoured-ant on Apr 17, 2005 - 34 comments

Hare lips can kiss, or so they say...

Jake Thackray doesn't have a lot of fans but the fans that he does have are loyal and devoted.

A dominant inspiration to the modern English Chanton music scene, from the end of the sixties until the early eighties, Jake was never off the television as resident troubadour on shows like the Braden Beat, and That's Life A schoolteacher and a devout Roman Catholic, his songs express an openness and tolerance for dissident sexualities that is rarely associated with modern Christianity. [more]
posted by PeterMcDermott on Apr 15, 2005 - 29 comments

Rock the vote

In 21 days the UK will be holding a general election, and people around the country will be voting for the next government. Can't choose between the different parties? Who should you vote for?
posted by Mwongozi on Apr 14, 2005 - 56 comments

...and a robber button is?

"Before, during and after the upcoming [United Kingdom] general election campaign, Channel 4 FactCheck will provide the most reliable analysis of what the political parties and their leaders are saying. The site will scrutinise interviews, speeches and manifesto pledges - informing public debate by creating a popular resource for an information-hungry electorate." A UK cousin to FactCheck.org.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 7, 2005 - 7 comments

Okay the numbers are in

Okay, the numbers are in. Now that die hard fans of the UK edition have vented, I'm curious to know what those who have not yet had the pleasure of Ricky Gervais' company make of the American version of The Office. Comments?
posted by IndigoJones on Mar 31, 2005 - 49 comments

* Makes TARDIS noise, dematerializes*

Christopher Eccleston, the new Doctor Who, has tendered his resignation. Geez, his first episode wasn't that bad.
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Mar 30, 2005 - 45 comments

Ape Up or Flip Out!

The Happy Poster Project : because Nothing is Unpossible.
posted by whatnot on Mar 28, 2005 - 18 comments

I've got it -- it was Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in Orkney with a power line!

"I had to give a statement. I offered them coffee and asked them if they would like to try some swan terrine but I think they were rather horrified. That was a mistake, wasn't it?" The Queen's composer wonders whether he should rethink his thrifty attitude towards accidentally acquired food.
posted by maudlin on Mar 18, 2005 - 28 comments

ASBO - WTF

ASBOs (or Anti Social Behaviour Orders) are used to stop a variety of different anti-social behaviours.
(Wikipedia Link only included to give background. The fun stuff is in the following BBC links)
posted by seanyboy on Mar 15, 2005 - 25 comments

UK Shop Names

Because "Tanning Salon" just won't bring in the punters. Where its worth spending some money just to see the names show up on your credit card statement.
posted by bunglin jones on Mar 10, 2005 - 48 comments

RIP Tommy Vance

RIP Tommy Vance. For years the voice of BBC Radio 1's 'The Friday Rock Show' and, for TV viewers throughout the UK, the voice of a multitude of adverts, Tommy Vance has died following a stroke. RIP you gravel-throated bringer of rock.
posted by TheDonF on Mar 6, 2005 - 9 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain 'presents 90,000 images and sounds from the British Library, chosen to evoke places in the UK and beyond.' Dialects, gardens, sketches, stamps, and all kinds of stuff.
posted by plep on Mar 4, 2005 - 4 comments

The Trial of John Dicks, and other True Stories

Homosexuality in 18th Century England :: an amazing compilation of primary source material from newspaper reports and other sources.
posted by anastasiav on Mar 3, 2005 - 13 comments

Super Gus!

Well I'd vote for him. Or maybe not.
posted by 13twelve on Feb 28, 2005 - 8 comments

McOverturned on McAppeal

You may have heard of the "McLibel Two", the pair of Brits who, as part of a group called London Greenpeace (not affiliated with Greenpeace International, by the by), published a flier decrying the nutritional and corporate values of McDonalds, and who subsequently lost a libel action brought against them by the corporation. It took a few years, but The European Court of Human Rights has overturned the decision, based on the fact that the two did not receive legal aid assistance during the trial (where they represented themselves).
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Feb 15, 2005 - 23 comments

Mmm, church and state, mmmmmmm.

Uhoh. Tony Blair's new Education Secretary Ruth Kelly is almost certainly a member of masochistic Catholic cult Opus Dei, as featured in The Da Vinci Code.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jan 24, 2005 - 52 comments

Essex History

Earls Colne, Essex: Records of an English Village 1375-1854 ; and Domesday Witham, an Essex town. Pieces of Essex history.
posted by plep on Dec 31, 2004 - 4 comments

A thorn in the side of Big Brother.

White Rose "is a protest blog collective focusing on civil liberties in the UK and the rest of [the] world. It was set up to point a finger at the erosion of personal freedom in the UK. Government's active measures introduce new means of control such as identity cards and surveillance cameras, the passive measures such as weakening of double jeopardy and presumption of innocence." Nice quote from this entry:
My audience were all gluttons for freedom, if by that you meant the freedom to hunt, or the freedom to eat roast beef without the fat trimmed off. But they were perfectly happy to see their own liberties curtailed, if that gave the authorities a chance to crack down on scroungers and bogus asylum-seekers.

posted by languagehat on Dec 20, 2004 - 20 comments

The price of greatness is responsibility.

"There is no excuse for superior authority not choosing the most suitable agents for particular duties, and not removing unsuitable agents from particular duties." With all the talk of empires and resignations, a reflection to history turns up a remarkable story about an already remarkable man:

A tense time in British India came to a head when General Reginald Dyer's brigade opened fire on an unarmed crowd assembled in Amritsar with machine guns, killing 379 and wounding over 1500. Command wanted to relieve him of duty, but patriotic (and imperialist) fervor at home led to a parliamentary debate which was expected to repudiate this decision and honor him. Enter War Secretary Winston Churchill who defended the Government so eloquently that the minds and hearts of the entire deliberative body were turned.
posted by allan on Dec 17, 2004 - 16 comments

The world's first multinational

The world's first multinational I found this informative piece via Arts&Letters. "Corporate greed, the ruination of traditional ways of life, share-price bubbles, western imperialism: all these modern complaints were made against the British East India Company in the 18th century. Nick Robins draws the lessons...
posted by Postroad on Dec 10, 2004 - 12 comments

Opening up government, because they're too slow to do it themselves

Hacking open democracy. First came FaxYourMP, so technophobe MPs could be easily contacted by the 'net generation. Next were PublicWhip, DowningStreetSays and TheyWorkForYou (previously discussed here and here) to help voters keep tabs on what their elected representatives get up to in office. Coming soon are FaxYourRepresentative/WriteToThem, NotApathetic and YourConstituencyMailingList. (MI).
posted by grahamspankee on Dec 10, 2004 - 6 comments

A Manx Notebook

A Manx Notebook. Many things related to the Isle of Man.
posted by plep on Nov 24, 2004 - 3 comments

Graffiti that a Queen Mother-#*@!%^ can love!

Black British Style at the V&A. Now with Create-a-tag!
posted by Dick Paris on Nov 15, 2004 - 3 comments

Transform Drug Policy Foundation

"After the War on Drugs - Options for Control is a major new report examining the key themes in the drug policy reform debate, detailing how legal regulation of drug markets will operate, and providing a roadmap and time line for reform." It's concise and reasonable, but is this report from the Transform Drug Policy Foundation (Google News lookup) really "the first practical road map for a benign drug policy that must follow the collapse of drug prohibition"? ... "No countries have yet legalised any drug covered under the U.N. convention" - will anything change anytime soon?
posted by mrgrimm on Nov 2, 2004 - 10 comments

The Face of Addiction

The Face of Addiction New anti-drug posters in London show the physical decline caused by taking Crack.
posted by Mwongozi on Nov 2, 2004 - 50 comments

Collect Britain

Collect Britain - The British Library portal site for collections, themed tours and virtual exhibitions, including Literary Landscapes, and Lost Gardens (several pages use flash). [via monkeyfilter]
posted by jb on Oct 26, 2004 - 1 comment

Sad day for music.

Legendary radio DJ John Peel dies of heart attack at 65. Peel's contribution to modern music and culture was "immeasurable".
posted by dash_slot- on Oct 26, 2004 - 118 comments

One hell of a good sailor

Devil and the deep blue sea. A devil-worshipping non-commissioned officer in the Royal Navy has become the first registered Satanist in the British Armed Forces. Chris Cranmer, a naval technician serving on the Type 22 frigate Cumberland, has been officially recognised as a Satanist by the ship's captain. That allows him to perform Satanic rituals aboard and permits him to have a funeral carried out by the Church of Satan should he be killed in action. A spokesman for the Royal Navy insisted that Mr Cranmer's unconventional beliefs would not cause problems on board ship. "We are an equal opportunities employer and we don't stop anybody from having their own religious values".
Followers of the Church of Satan live by the Nine Satanic Statements, which include Satan represents vengeance instead of turning the other cheek
posted by matteo on Oct 24, 2004 - 37 comments

The most predictable reaction ever?

KEEP YOUR FUCKIN' LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. A follow up to this post.
posted by sic on Oct 18, 2004 - 129 comments

Greenham Common History

Greenham Common History. 'Greenham Common - a name linked world-wide with the awesome potential of nuclear deterrence and the protest movement it gave rise to. But there is a bigger story; here we explore the history of one thousand acres of open land near Newbury in Berkshire. ' (via)
posted by plep on Oct 17, 2004 - 3 comments

British Television Advertising Awards

It's the best of advertising at this year's BTAA. Flash. Click BTAA Awards, Winners.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Oct 10, 2004 - 10 comments

Land Reform and Mass Trespass

A campaign for land reform in Britain. 'A few rich people, many of them aristocrats, own 69 per cent of the land in Britain. As a result, house prices are so high, millions can't afford to buy a home.' (New Statesman) Related :- freedom to roam (from the Ramblers' Association site), the 'independent' Isle of Eigg, the Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout in 1932 (and a news report from the era).
posted by plep on Oct 7, 2004 - 23 comments

The Scissor Sisters

The Scissor Sisters (album art NSFW) seem to be getting the attention of the two primary community-owned radio stations I have bookmarked, to the point of becoming a guilty pleasure. The band is unapologetically camp riffing or perhaps just plundering the more popular glam rock lexicon and of course the music that we love to hate, disco. Of course, it may be all over. With the recent revelation that the Scissor Sister are favored by U.K. Tory co-chair Liam Fox they might suffer what the Guardian calls, the Curse of the Thrashing Doves. The wisdom being that while it is kosher for bands to endorse politicians, it is the kiss of death for politicians to endorse bands. Still, it is interesting to me how things have changed in that the Scissor Sisters are capitalizing on the gay card early in their careers. Melissa Etheridge took two albums before coping to what had been an open secret.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Oct 5, 2004 - 14 comments

Fulfilling my First Rule obligations

London Pillow Fight Club tomorrow. Do you really have the option of not being there? I guess, like, being across an ocean is an acceptable excuse.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Oct 5, 2004 - 30 comments

Be Attitude for Gains

In-your-face shoot-em-up action by bedroom-coders/games designers. From Japan: Warning Forever; Perfect Cherry Blossom; Cho Ren Sha 68K; Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra; Score Soldier; rRootage; Every Extend; TKKN / Crazy Game; and Galshell: Blood Red Skies [NSFW]. Be attitude for gains! From the West: Deadeye; Strayfire; Warblade; Mutant Storm; Bugatron; Space Birdz; Spheres of Chaos; Battle of Yavin; Demonstar; 'Troid; Platypus; Gridrunner; Intensity XS; and Tsunami 2010. From the pages of Edge magazine.
posted by nthdegx on Oct 1, 2004 - 9 comments

Rape a 'way of life' on Pitcairn

The legacy of the mutiny on the Bounty. Three cheers for the Empire!
posted by Pretty_Generic on Oct 1, 2004 - 34 comments

Will the poodle lose his kennel?

Blair on the slide. Charles Kennedy's dreams may come true next spring, it seems [UKfilter].
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 26, 2004 - 38 comments

Subculture, the meaning of style

For Westerners, the index case of subculture has to be the 1960s UK conflict between the razor-sharp, tailored mods and their mortal enemies, the greasy rockers.

Difference was critical to these first self-identified youth subcultures: difference in dress, in music, in drug of choice, in the favored mode of transport...everything. This obsessive focus on not just standing out, but standing out just so - on showing the world precisely the right angle of a hat, length of a coat, shortness of hair - has defined many a subculture since. We recognize b-boys, ganguro girls, and straightedge punks by such deployments, among many, many other identifiable groups. (It's not just a youth thing, either: leathermen and the delightfully recrudescent roller derby culture are largely adult phenomena.)

To a devotee of a given subculture, such matters, far from being a "narcissism of small differences," are a matter of pivotal import in framing how one presents oneself to the world: how we want to be seen, how we want others to understand us. But I'm getting older now, and further out of the loop, and I realize that just maybe I'm losing the ability to discern these differences in the people I pass walking down the street. I find myself asking, who and where are the new subcultures? And how do they choose to present themselves to us?
posted by adamgreenfield on Sep 25, 2004 - 17 comments

'I could fcuk Raquel Welch for £25.'

Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes - gives a controversial and candid account of his experience of paying for sex
posted by zeoslap on Sep 24, 2004 - 40 comments

Anglo-Sikh Heritage

Anglo-Sikh Heritage. Sikhs and Britain. More at the Sikh Cyber-Museum.
posted by plep on Sep 22, 2004 - 3 comments

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