Wounded British soldier gets lawsuit for Christmas?!
Alan Tudball was supposed to marry his fiance Claire McCombe in April of this year, but unfortunately Iraq -- and friendly fire
from two U.S. A-10 tankbusters
(video) -- spoiled the wedding plans. Tudball would have died if not for brave Christopher Finney
, who rescued the grievously wounded Tudball, even as the U.S. planes circled around for another strafing run.
refused to pay the wedding's cancellation fee, and the Leasowe Castle Hotel
-- not knowing of Tudball's circumstances -- initiated a lawsuit, but after media attention and several concerned phone calls (mine included), I am pleased to announce that the management of the Leasowe Castle Hotel has announced that they are not only dropping the lawsuit, but that they will host the wedding of Mr. Alan Tudball and Miss Claire McCombe free of charge. It's worth noting that when our leaders seem to only be capable of serving up plastic turkeys, the action of ordinary people working together can still bring about honest-to-goodness Christmas miracles.
posted by insomnia_lj
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Take This Honour And Shove It Up Your Arse:
Some, like JG Ballard
and Benjamin Zephaniah
, want the UK Honours System abolished; others want it reformed
want it left as it is. The recent leaking
of a distinguished list of refuseniks, coming just after Sir Mick Jagger got his ya-yas out
in Buckingham Palace, reminds us of Groucho Marx's
famous comment that he'd never join a club that would take members like him. It's certainly an archaic and complicated system
but, it seems to me, no more open to abuse than other countries' systems. And, arguably, no less ridiculous or hypocritical either. But is it (symbolically, culturally, whatever) useful enough nowadays, simple political expediency apart, to be worth hanging on to?
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Dec 22, 2003 -
The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
(NWOBHM to cognoscenti) one of the lesser known but most influential movements of the past quarter century. After the innovators of Metal
ran out of steam in the late 70's and were stampeded in the maelstrom of punk, heavy metal (and testosterone-soaked delindquents everywhere) found itself in a quandary). A number of UK acts took some cues from the punks, shortened the songs, reigned in the self-indulgence and speeded up the tempo, and upped the relevance and intelligence of the lyrical content, while still retaining the vocal prowess, instrumental pyrotechnics and young warrior energy that makes it Metal in the first place. Some groups
became world famous. Others only big in Europe
. Some great ones missed stardom by just
. Many of these acts have been cited as inspirations by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Napalm Death and the thrash/death metal hordes, and even many post-punks. An interesting summary for fans, and a good introduction for non-mans who may have to recalibrate their opinion of the genre after checking some of these bands out.
posted by jonmc
on Dec 17, 2003 -
UK bans controversial charity ads
In recent weeks, UK newspaper readers have been opening their newspapers to find full-page, colour pictures of a cockroach crawling out of the mouth of a baby. Now the adverts, for children's charity Barnardo's, have been banned. Barnado's maintain
that the pre-Christmas ads were justified as "a way of cutting through the apathy."
posted by TheophileEscargot
on Dec 10, 2003 -
The BBC is asking visitors of its news site to vote from a shortlist of the ten most embarrassing political moments
. Visitors can watch a short film
[real media] which shows all ten nominated moments (forgive the home-video moments style background muzak). There's some variety here: Tony Blair and Neil Kinnock in moments exhibiting a baffling degree of misguidedness, George W Bush and Kenneth Clarke in tight spots (figuratively and literally), while Charles Kennedy and John Prescott probably coming out of their situations looking better than they did beforehand. For me the most cringe-inducing clip is that of John Redwood, the then newly appointed Secretary of State for Wales, attempting to mime the Welsh national anthem. Genuinely difficult to watch.
posted by nthdegx
on Dec 5, 2003 -
BFI presents screenonline
| The British Film Institute
announces the launch of screenonline
: "This new site features an unrivalled collection of archive film and television footage from the bfi
National Film and Television Archive.... [It] is the first time the bfi
has given the public access online to its comprehensive collection of film and television material, giving teachers, students and film enthusiasts an exceptional opportunity to investigate British history, culture and society through cinema. "
posted by jacknose
on Dec 1, 2003 -
The State of Britain today.
of it's citizenry. ID cards. Making criminals of teenagers who snog
(!) And a bill to rival the USA Patriot Act
removing property & human rights at a minister's whim. With men being imprisoned in UK jails for over almost 2 years, without charge or trial (ala Guantanamo) it looks like the partnership between Bush and Blair is a little more than simple expediency.
posted by Blue Stone
on Dec 1, 2003 -
“We fear the government using the current climate of fear and uncertainty about the future as a means to allow itself sweeping powers without an appropriate consideration of proportionality"
......no-go zones ........ power to ban peaceful protest ...... destroy private property without compensation ........prepare for the introduction of compulsory identity cards .... The climate seems to be changing.
posted by JohnR
on Nov 26, 2003 -
Why is it when men reach a certain age they get a hankering after a garden shed, somewhere they can escape to, to potter or mend things or just smoke and read? Well I'm glad it's not just me. And is this a particularly British thing?
posted by rolo
on Nov 15, 2003 -
The BBC introduces
it's new grass-roots political website iCan
. After research showed (surprise surprise) that "many people are very disillusioned and cynical about politicians and local civic institutions
" moves were made to set up iCan, to enable people to get information on and engage in local and national political issues. With search tools to find actions on local issues, message boards, and the ability to create a website for your cause, "iCan aims to make politics accessible to ordinary people confronting a problem.
" It's also one of the things Rupert Murdoch and The Guardian would like to squash.
posted by Blue Stone
on Nov 4, 2003 -
As of October next year, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
comes into effect in the UK. Under this act, a disabled person may have rights to sue a service-providing company if they have difficulty accessing their website just as they might if they had difficulty accessing their headquarters. The Royal National Institute of the Blind website
includes a "web access centre
", which takes a good look at the issue of accessibility and provides sound advice to web designers whether they are legally obligated to tackle such issues or not.
posted by nthdegx
on Oct 22, 2003 -
Have more sex
says the Conservative party in the UK, procreate for the good of the economy and solve the looming pensions crisis. "Europe's real demographic crisis is not longevity but birth rates". Research says, apparently
, that most women want more children than they have, but could it also be the case that a growing number of people just don't see the attraction?
posted by jonvaughan
on Sep 24, 2003 -
Breaking the silence
Last night ITV1 in the UK ran a documentary that is unlikely to be shown in the USA. It is by a respected journalist called John Pilger and amongst other tidbits it shows Colin Powell saying in 1991 that Iraq poses no threat and also Condoleeza Rice confirming the same thing. It also quotes some US officials that the current bunch who seem to be running US foreign policy were known during the administration of Bush senior as "the crazies". Plus much more.
posted by donfactor
on Sep 23, 2003 -
A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79.
"Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures." It's not all about the Sex Pistols.
posted by archimago
on Sep 18, 2003 -
Since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC
at the beginning of July, he has spent over £111.15m on eleven new players
prior to yesterday's transfer deadline. Some think that attempting to buy success in football (soccer) in this way is tantamount to cheating. This has really shaken things up in the genteel world of football - but is football still 20-30 years behind US sports? (salary caps, etc.)
posted by daveg
on Sep 2, 2003 -
Hippie Atrocities and Beautiful Freaks -- Oz Magazine
was, for a ten year run during the Sixties and Seventies, Australia's, and later England's, premier underground satire 'zine. Featuring contributions from (among others) Lenny Bruce and Germain Greere, and subject to two obscenity trials--one in Australia and another, more famous one following the editors' exile to England
--it evolved, in its English incarnation, a wicked
and of course, thouroughly psychedelic
design aesthetic. There are galleries of cover art here
and a Shockwave adaptation of the infamous School Kids issue here.
[warning: some images NSFW.]
posted by arto
on Aug 26, 2003 -
but few people catalog the fragments of conversation that they overhear. This guy
travels on the London Underground
regularly...and posts some of those one sided exchanges that make you wonder what the hell people are talking about.
(its my first FPP - play nice...)
posted by mattr
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Staffordshire Past Track.
History and images of an English Midlands county : old photographs
on historic churches
, serial killers
(and the 1984-85 strike
Related sites :- the
Museums of the Potteries
, the area around Stoke-on-Trent which played a major role in the Industrial Revolution; thepotteries.org
, including postcards
Search of Agenoria
, black and white photographs of the post-industrial Black Country landscape; A Miner's Son
- more mining history in the Midlands (with more on the 1984-85 strike, possibly the most divisive political event in recent British history); save Bethesda Chapel
, a historic Methodist chapel in Stoke; panoramic views and history of Lichfield Cathedral
posted by plep
on Aug 25, 2003 -
Britain's Small Wars
since 1945. India, Palestine, Malaya, Korea, Suez Canal Zone, Kenya, Cyprus, Suez 1956, Borneo, Vietnam, Aden, Radfan, Oman, Dhofar, etc. Iraq and East Timor
not featured, as yet.
posted by plep
on Aug 20, 2003 -
In a new twist to a theme discussed earlier on MeFi
, on language censorship (but in an entirely different case) the UK might be the first country to jail a man for using a single court-prohibited word
As repellent as the defendant's behaviour was, can such a case of censorship and prohibition of freedom of speech ever be justified?
posted by Blue Stone
on Aug 12, 2003 -
Do you jump out of your skin whenever a car backfires? Just hope this guy didn't catch you on film. Interesting photos of people reacting to his backfiring van.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink
on Aug 7, 2003 -
Fix Up, Look Sharp
With stateside hip hop in an unprecedented doldrum, the torch has been snatched up on this side of the Atlantic by 18-year-old Eastender Dizzee Rascal. He's recovering from a stabbing carried out rival fans of a rival garage collective in Ayia Napa, Cyprus. The attack took place a few days before being nominated for the Mercury Music prize.
Guaranteed not to be everybody's cup of tea, but he's an interesting character and challenging music make it, and his album, worth a look.
posted by hmgovt
on Jul 29, 2003 -
Teenagers find the internet a frustrating experience
A survey in the north east of England finds that teenagers are increasingly being alienated in their online experience because they aren't being given the skillsets to cope with finding or using the information. Seems to be the old story of schools buying computers but the kids not being engaged enough on how to use them (which has been the case since I was stuck in front of an Acorn Archimedes
fifteen years go). Here is a similar article from Australia
which describes how their eductation system is coping with the issue.
posted by feelinglistless
on Jul 23, 2003 -
Today the British government
released a major report
on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist
, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others
posted by turbodog
on Jul 21, 2003 -
Kelly warned of 'dark actors playing games
Dr David Kelly's recent death has the British press in an uproar. Kelly was the former head of biological inspections in Iraq for the UN mission, Unscom, former deputy head of Porton Down and the Ministry of Defence's senior adviser on biological defence. In July 2002. According to reports the Carlyle Group took a 34% stake in QinetiQ which was splitoff in 2001 from the Porton Down research lab and is now a private company according to this story
The Carlyle Group is profiled here in this explosive explosive Dutch expose (note the first 1.48 minutes are in Dutch the rest is in English Since David Kelly was himself a micro-biologist in the past connected to Porton Down does he have any connection (as some have claimed: including a radio show I heard this evening) to the 11 or so micro-biologists that have died mysterious deaths after the 911 event? These deaths and there timelines are are extensively documented around the web.Including the following web page----(http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/)----
Is this is an area some creative journalists need to investigate?
posted by thedailygrowl
on Jul 20, 2003 -
It’s not a mass-produced American product.
It's either "a turnaround in American publishing, or... radically wrongheaded" - but it looks like The Guardian may be launching a version in the USA soon.
Could such a venture lead to the demise of the venerable old Fleet Street institution, owned by an independent trust
? Is it overreaching ambition or a daring entry into niche market?
More interesting to me, are there any similar non-profit media organisations in your part of the world (wherever that may be)?
posted by dash_slot-
on Jul 7, 2003 -
How Dodgy Are You?
I'm in the clear. No years in prison and no fine. Safe and boring. Let's see the Mefi criminal element emerge shall we? [Imagary may now be work safe and the quiz is based on UK law ...]
posted by feelinglistless
on Jun 10, 2003 -
'We continue to be ... surprised at the dreadful quality of British life' writes The Idler
magazine, in their on-going quest to disover 'the crappest town in Britain'. How many here have escaped from truly crap places to live, or are still trapped in them? (more inside)
posted by misteraitch
on Jun 10, 2003 -
160 million people watched the gloriously kitsch Eurovision Song Contest
this year. The UK's entry [Real]
scored an astonishing nul points
(i.e. none of the other 25 countries thought the British song was in the top 10 competitors). The singers
blame the country's worst ever result on sabotage. What do you think?
posted by Pretty_Generic
on May 26, 2003 -