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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

Your pension is not as safe as you think

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 - 6 comments

I Hear A New World

Meeksville centers around Joe Meek, Britain's first independent record producer, whose DIY engineering wizardry would transform record-making during the Sixties. Five years after an international #1 hit in the Tornadoes' space-age Telstar (Windows Media or RealPlayer), he would self-destruct, in an end not without tragedy or speculation. His works--along with his trademarked name--live on.
posted by LinusMines on Sep 10, 2004 - 4 comments

Maxed out

Former rebel turned pillar of society Sir Peter Maxwell Davies turned 70 today. For those unfamiliar, his website has audio samples of his published works.
posted by monkey closet on Sep 8, 2004 - 2 comments

shoshenmerningersdavis, jackassnm

A returned U.K. expat on English drinking's sharp increase.
(supporting study with female subjects) (the gov's counterintuitive but well-researched solution)
Brits: any accuracy to the concerns?
posted by Tlogmer on Sep 6, 2004 - 45 comments

Is this the Year of the Return of the New Wave? Or will Keane win?

Yesterday 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 - 14 comments

You gotta beat 53/70!

BBC Test the Nation: Popular Music.
UK centric [slightly] quiz in the Test The Nation series [- but allows a 'not UK' option.]
Who did write the theme from 'The Office' Handbags & Gladrags'?
posted by dash_slot- on Sep 4, 2004 - 24 comments

NekkidManMarch

It's marching season again in the UK. They always cause a heap of trouble for all concerned [NSFW unless your workplace is tolerant of full frontal noodlety]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 2, 2004 - 23 comments

The Line:

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 and global.
posted by jb on Sep 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Impeach Tony Blair

Impeach Tony Blair. Backed by a large dossier, supported by a handful (so far) of UK members of parliament. Summarised by The Spectator.
posted by iffley on Aug 26, 2004 - 21 comments

Ker-azy Policies!

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 - 24 comments

By Gum, I divvent!

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 - 10 comments

The Album Club

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 - 8 comments

Global warming hits UK birds.

Global warming hits UK birds. The year without young. Have we hit the bottleneck?
posted by lupus_yonderboy on Jul 30, 2004 - 43 comments

About English schools

A guide to the English school system. From the BBC. This certainly explained a few things for me. (And remember, private school = public school)
posted by iffley on Jul 29, 2004 - 7 comments

More Whitewash, Jeeves?

As the verdict of Butler Report into the intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, draws near in Britain, a senior intelligence source reveals that MI6 took the "rare step" of withdrawing the intelligence assessment that underpinned the claim that Saddam had continued to produce WMD (an admission that such information was fundamentally unreliable), however Blair did not tell the public "that the evidence of WMD was crumbling beneath him". [Watch the Panorama programme in question here for 7 days from 11-7-2004] The Dossier that Lord Hutton declared was not sexed-up (leading to senior BBC resignations), Dr Brian Jones (former head of the nuclear, chemical and biological branch of the Ministry of Defence's Defence Intelligence Staff) says was sexed-up, and details exactly how.
posted by Blue Stone on Jul 12, 2004 - 26 comments

My dad is cleverer than your dad!

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 - 22 comments

rude postcodes

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 - 30 comments

Quite a three pipe metafilter post.

Sherlock Holmes: the quotations; the pipes; the author (the public house named after him - the worst in Scotland, judging by the comments); the top ten lists; the vulcan; the city; the monographs; the magazine; the marvelous stories, of course; and more.
posted by nthdegx on Jun 23, 2004 - 9 comments

Blair in Trouble...

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 - 13 comments

First they came for the Saskatoon berries, and I said nothing....

As if mad cow wasn't enough. The UK has pulled saskatoon berries from store shelves while they decide if the berries are safe to eat. If not, my family in Saskatchewan should be dead by now. The UK Food Standards Agency is looking for your views on these cute little berries. So juicy, so tasty, so purple. How can you say no?
posted by Salmonberry on Jun 8, 2004 - 32 comments

mmm, swastikky

The British National Party discover Flash. Britons: remember to vote on Thursday to stop these guys getting their first European MP.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Jun 8, 2004 - 32 comments

Order! Order!! Order!!!

They Work For You was launched at yesterday's NotCon '04 by the people who brought you Fax Your MP. It makes Hansard accessible, via search facilities (by MP or by topic), with each individual speech presented as a separate, linkable entry. Get an RSS feed of your own MP's speeches, hold them to account over their special interests, but most of all, don't forget to vote this week!
posted by cbrody on Jun 7, 2004 - 5 comments

Suicide.....by Chat?

Dial-Up For Murder.
So, you're a typical geeky teenage boy with serious angst and a death wish. How do you commit the fatal deed? Obvious! Groom an older boy by writing 50,000 lines of fantasy, inventing 8 characters, including a female spy offering sex, meet up to buy a blade, and voila! - redefine murder plots for us all.
Wierdest.Web.Story.Evah?
posted by dash_slot- on May 29, 2004 - 15 comments

Tempered over burning witches

HOLY GRAIL FOUND AT LAST. In Yorkshire, amongst sheep. Tastes pretty good.
posted by Shane on May 10, 2004 - 11 comments

The Diamond Sutra

A few days ago we had the Gutenberg Bible from the 1450s. Feh. The British Library now presents the oldest printed book in the world, the 868AD Diamond Sutra, in Shockwave format.
posted by Pretty_Generic on May 8, 2004 - 10 comments

British soldiers in Iraq torture photos

British soldiers in new Iraq torture photos. Brutal photos and story in today's Daily Mirror.
posted by iffley on May 1, 2004 - 145 comments

By 'Eck Tarquin

British TV Adverts.
posted by seanyboy on Apr 24, 2004 - 6 comments

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