"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
...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 -
How safe is your pension?
(UK) 'Nine million people in this country, young and old, pay a slice of their wage into final salary occupational pension schemes. But Channel 4's economics correspondent Liam Halligan reveals that most people don't realise they have no legal right to that pension money whatsoever. And some people have lost the lot.'
Think Britain's social safety net is more secure than that of the US? Think again.
Related :- Pensions Theft
, a campaigning website set up by pensions activists, some of whom lost their pensions when their company went bust.
posted by plep
on Sep 15, 2004 -
was the 13th Anniversary of Freddie Mercury's death, whilst [almost] coincidentally, tomorrow marks the occasion of the 13th Mercury Music Prize
, which he had nothing to do with
In that time, we've seen classical-punk piano recitals
nominated, agit-prop rockers repeatedly snubbed
and Radiohead routinely listed but falling short [though not this year.]. It's always a varied list, but are you
really interested in the obscure, the fusion, the orchestral and the jazz?
Listen to 'em all here
, and fill up the gaps here
. A complete list of past nominees and winners can be found here
, and the bookies seem to rate both The Streets
and Franz Ferdinand
worthy of the accolade, according to odds published here
Will ascullion again pick the winner? Listen on the web to find out tomorrow, midnight GMT, or watch on digital TV in the UK .
Previous years' threads here.
posted by dash_slot-
on Sep 6, 2004 -
A new newspaper for London.
The first edition of The Line
comes out today - apparently, despite its size, the UK capitol lacked an independent paper until now (please feel free to correct this if it is wrong). It's still thin, but does provide an interesting alternative look at issues both local
posted by jb
on Sep 1, 2004 -
The USA is sending the refugees from Monserrat
back home. Why? Because the threat from their volcano is no longer regarded as "temporary", but "permanent".
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Aug 20, 2004 -
English Accents and Dialects.
The British Library has compiled an online archive of northern speech dating back to the 19th century. The recordings range from from audio from Victorian cylinder dictaphones to 1950s football fans chanting.
posted by Masi
on Aug 1, 2004 -
No time to pick out your own music? Still like the CD format? Live in the UK? Well has The Rough Trade Shop
got a club
for you. Is this outmoded on arrival or an interesting variant on old style "X-Of-the-Month" clubs? I know I sometimes find it overwhelming to keep up with what's new'n'exciting.
posted by PinkStainlessTail
on Jul 30, 2004 -
Top 100 British...Intellectuals?
Rock bands, schmock bands. Who are currently the cream of British Intelligentsia? Prospect names 100
of (supposedly) the UK's finest and asks you to vote for your top 5, plus a write-in. The list is discussed further here
. Some entrants may make you wonder
, some may make you gasp
, most you just won't have a clue about!
posted by biffa
on Jul 1, 2004 -
Rude place names.
If you're in England then this is for you. Please bare with us rest of the world, this is what we really like in our humour (at least it in Kilburn). If you're not in England then feel free to use my postcode, NW2. Ooooo, titter ye not
(and who will be the first wag to post "not"?)
posted by ciderwoman
on Jun 28, 2004 -
The UK local elections have taken place
, and for the first time ever forced the ruling Labour government into third position, with their worst showing in history
. Is this just a mid-term blip, or the culmination of the huge Iraq backlash that will topple the government? With Bush in trouble too, will any of the warring leaders be left come November? And can the Big Intervention
website topple Blair himself?
posted by wibbler
on Jun 11, 2004 -