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Run you cowardly Italian!

On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. In 1964, Peter Watkins wrote and produced a docudrama for the BBC, from the perspective of a documentary crew on the ground, depicting the battle and its aftermath: Culloden. [1:12:14]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 18, 2014 - 14 comments

"But really, if you can make tea, then you can make beer."

Meet craft brewers, home brewing enthusiasts, bartenders in "Craft Beer – A Hopumentary", which focuses on California. [YT] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 15, 2014 - 32 comments

to end all wars

First world war – a century on, time to hail the peacemakers
"On the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, we should remember those who tried to stop a catastrophe" [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 4, 2014 - 27 comments

May the road rise up to meet you.

The Roader’s Digest is ‘the most complete archive of information on the British and Irish road networks on the web.’ from the A1 to the R999; from the B3306 to the B855, they probably have a description of it. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on May 6, 2014 - 20 comments

'the epitome of barbarism and heathendom.'

The Vikings invented soap operas and pioneered globalisation - so why do we depict them as brutes?
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 24, 2014 - 51 comments

Your Culture Is Stupid And I Hate It

Transcontinental Yelling With Jo (An Englishwoman) and Mallory (An American)
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 15, 2014 - 89 comments

100 Not Out

When British forces pull down the union jack for the last time in Afghanistan this year, it will be a hugely symbolic moment. It is not just that the departure marks the end of 13 years of British involvement in combat in that troubled country. The surprise is that it could also signal the end of a century or more of unbroken warfare by British forces. Next year may be the first since at least 1914 that British soldiers, sailors and air crews will not be engaged in fighting somewhere. [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Feb 13, 2014 - 47 comments

Winston Churchill interviewed in January 1939.

"The essential aspects of democracy are the freedom of the individual, within the framework of laws passed by Parliament, to order his life as he pleases, and the uniform enforcement of tribunals independent of the executive. The laws are based on Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, the Petition of Right and others. Without this foundation there can be no freedom or civilisation, anyone being at the mercy of officials and liable to be spied upon and betrayed even in his own home. As long as these rights are defended, the foundations of freedom are secure. I see no reason why democracies should not be able to defend themselves without sacrificing these fundamental values."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 10, 2014 - 21 comments

iPads and food banks.

Let's admit it: Britain is now a developing country.
Gender equality? The WEF ranks us behind Nicaragua and Lesotho. Investment by business? The Economist thinks we are struggling to keep up with Mali. Let me put it more broadly, Britain is a rich country accruing many of the stereotypical bad habits of a developing country.
Aditya Chakrabortty discusses the increasing hollowing out of the UK economy, as well as the City as an economically distorting resource curse.
posted by jaduncan on Dec 10, 2013 - 74 comments

Ask: did you know they have wi-fi and sushi?

How to write about the North
posted by mippy on Nov 28, 2013 - 63 comments

A malignant species of wit

The Berners Street Hoax - On November 26th, 1810, at 5 o’clock in the morning, a chimney sweep appeared at Mrs. Tottenham’s door.
posted by unliteral on Nov 26, 2013 - 10 comments

"Save one life, save the world."

In 1988, Nicholas Winton appeared on the BBC program "That's Life." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 24, 2013 - 12 comments

Get dole. Buy dope. Sell dope. Gamble. Lose. Borrow money. Buy dope

"There are six bookmakers, one more is on its way, and five loan shops. Even if you are on JSA you can borrow money from Speedy Cash. It's the main business around here.Take dole, turn it into weed, sell them, take your profits and put them into the machines. If you win, you are quids in. If you lose, you get cash from the money shops to cover your losses. Back to dole and buying drugs. There's nothing else around here to do." -- How betting machines help small time drug dealers launder their profits and how this is about the only economic activity keeping the poorest local economies in Britain going. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Nov 12, 2013 - 56 comments

A = Ayn, B = Britain, C = Cameron, D = Doh!

Ayn Rand: More Relevant Now than Ever
The speaker was the CEO of Saxo Bank, Lars Seier Christensen. As the head of an investment bank based in socialist Denmark, Christensen is particularly enraged by high taxation, social welfare and banking regulation. "The world is on the wrong track," he told us. "A malady that has long beset Europe is currently spreading to the US". Apparently we are experiencing a "socialist revival" to which "Ayn Rand is the only answer".

posted by urbanwhaleshark on Nov 1, 2013 - 123 comments

The Old Ways

A History of British Folk Horror
posted by Artw on Oct 22, 2013 - 62 comments

The Beclogged Budgie

Budgie - starring Adam Faith. The complete series one and two is available on YouTube [you may well need your cockney rhyming slang dictionary]. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Aug 7, 2013 - 11 comments

BBC Documentary - Das Auto: The Germans, Their Cars and Us

Das Auto - the British Obsession with Germany and it's industrial Power continues (recent MeFi Discussion here) - while Top Gear tries to show with a Tribute that British Car Manufacturing is still alive and kicking.
posted by homodigitalis on Aug 5, 2013 - 10 comments

Mad dogs and Englishmen

An unusually sustained heatwave oppresses the UK, as temperatures have climbed above 82 degrees Fahrenheit for 11 days, the longest hot spell since 2006. Roads melt in England and Wales, rail lines buckle in England and Scotland, hospital admissions spike and wildfires burn. Swimming-related, army training and heat-related, deaths have increased. The Met Office currently hold a Level Three Heat Advisory for several regions (Level Four is "National Emergency"), while tabloids indulge in traditional "England is hotter than {exotic place}" headlines. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jul 19, 2013 - 263 comments

Pop History

The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records is a radio series on BBC written and narrated by Stuart Maconie. Each episode focuses on one particular pop song and tells the story of the song as well as what social trends it mirrored, for instance the episode on Telstar by The Tornadoes focuses on the technological progress, especially in space travel and music, and the story of songwriter and record producer Joe Meek. 25 episodes have been broadcast, including ones on Dizzee Rascal's Bonkers and 21st Century Britain, Cornershop's Brimful of Asha and the British-Asian experience , and Serge Gainsbourg's Je T'aime and sex. There are 25 more to come. There is also a blog and profiles of the songs already discussed. [Previously on MeFi]
posted by Kattullus on Jun 25, 2013 - 14 comments

1920s Britain in colour

In the mid-1920s, Claude Friese-Greene filmed The Open Road, a record of his journey through Britain, using the 'Biocolour' technique first developed by his father William. Eighty years later, the BFI produced a digital version of the preserved and restored film. We've seen London in 1926 previously on MeFi, but there's plenty more of The Open Road to see, including weavers in Kilbarchan (1:16), farmers harvesting with oxen in Cirencester (0:52), Glamorgan coal-miners (0:46), and more. [more inside]
posted by Catseye on Jun 17, 2013 - 7 comments

180 Years of Saturdays

The Spectator Archive was announced today, with searchable, browsable content of the weekly U.K. (conservative-leaning) magazine, from 1828 through 2008. [more inside]
posted by steef on Jun 10, 2013 - 10 comments

A Woman’s Place

The year was 1986, and Lynda had just joined a small cadre of female engineers working for FI, a groundbreaking IT firm that laid the foundations for outsourced development and women’s rights in the workplace. The company, originally called Freelance Programmers, was founded in the early 1960s by Stephanie Shirley, a German who had been evacuated to Britain — along with many fellow Jewish children — as part of the kindertransport shortly before the Second World War.
Gender equality is still a major issue in the technology industry, but 50 years ago one British company was blazing trails.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jun 1, 2013 - 14 comments

From Brezhnev to Blair

British capitalism already has many of the hallmarks of Brezhnev-era socialist decline: macroeconomic stagnation, a population as much too bored as scared to protest about very much, a state that performs tongue-in-cheek legitimacy, politicians playing with statistics to try and delay the moment of economic reckoning. Will Davies on the stagnation and repetition of neoliberal economic culture.
posted by downing street memo on May 11, 2013 - 45 comments

Badger badger badgering the Cameron government!

Dr. Brian May, CBE, PhD FRAS, recently retired Chancellor of LJMU, winner of The RPS' Saxby Award for achievements in the field of stereoscopic photography, distinguished author, lecturer, film producer, entrepreneur, and occasional musician has been quite busy lately trying to prevent a sweeping cull of the British badger population. His efforts have been surprisingly successful. The overwhelming response to his government petition led to a parliamentary debate, where MPs overwhelmingly rejected the cull in a non-binding vote. The government has attempted to press forward with the cull, but has faced significant resistance from scientists, naturalists, and concerned citizens that have led to implementation delays. The movement recently got the attention of Weebl, who has recorded a rough cut of a new song with Brian May called "Save the Badger Badger Badger" which was recently used in a flash mob protest. The final version will include additional vocals by Brian Blessed.
posted by markkraft on May 6, 2013 - 29 comments

jittery UK government reveals itself before potential claims of former v

Mau Mau to Midnapore: Confronting the brutality of empire There are certainly some Britons, including academics, journalists and human rights lawyers, who are aware of the realities of colonialism. However, in the society as a whole and in the media in the UK there are still far too many who seem strangely reluctant, even after so many decades after the end of the British empire, to come to terms with the true nature of colonialism or learn from the perspective of former subjects who had rebelled against it.
posted by infini on May 6, 2013 - 17 comments

Selections from the BFI's collection of early cinema

The British Film Institute's YouTube channels offer a staggering amount (previously) of content on historical cinema, shorts, and discussion. Some short selections from the early and silent period of note - The Sick Kitten (1903) - How Percy Won The Beauty Competition (1909) - Tilly The Tomboy Visits The Poor (1910) - Suffragette Riot In Trafalgar Square (1913) - The Fugitive Futurist, in which a man on the run shows a device that can see far into the future (1924) - Vaudevillian legend Billy Merson Singing 'Desdemona'. Widely considered Britain's first sound film - (1927) Charley In New Town - part of an animated series from the Central Office, this one explaining the need for "New Towns." (1948) - Growing Girls, a filmstrip guide to puberty for young women (1951).
posted by The Whelk on May 2, 2013 - 5 comments

Act of Terror: arrested for filming police officers - video

When police carried out a routine stop-and-search of her boyfriend on the London Underground, Gemma Atkinson filmed the incident. She was detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest. She launched a legal battle, which ended with the police settling the case in 2010. With the money from the settlement she funded the production of this animated film, which she says shows how her story and highlights police misuse of counterterrorism powers to restrict photography. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Apr 29, 2013 - 24 comments

His home is his castle

This St. George's Day sees news of the next attempt to redress Britain's superhero shortage: Englishman, who looks like Iron Man crossed with a mediaeval crusader. The series promises “brand new, quintessentially English characters, including Greenbelt and Dry Stone Wall”. [more inside]
posted by acb on Apr 23, 2013 - 119 comments

Ruled by “Dave” and “Nick”

In a sense what we have is the Americanisation of Britain, or at least of England. A society where everybody has then sense that they can be anything they want to be, and where hardly anybody can. Crooked Timber's Chris Bertram on the evolution of British society since the seventies.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 12, 2013 - 20 comments

Enter, Stranger

How we made Knightmare The creator and the dungeon master of the 1980s fantasy game show revisit dodgy technology and terrified children. The wikipedia entry explains more. Knightmare mentioned previously on mefi
posted by lalochezia on Apr 9, 2013 - 19 comments

The Fishing Party

The BBC documentary The Fishing Party captures the mood of the Thatcher era with devastating accuracy. First broadcast in 1986, it follows a group of four City businessmen on a fishing trip to Scotland as they air their opinions on politics, money, education, discipline, women and dogs. Hilarious and appalling by turns, the whole documentary can now be viewed on YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. (Bonus link: the director Paul Watson describes the making of 'Mrs Thatcher's least favourite film ever'.)
posted by verstegan on Apr 9, 2013 - 22 comments

The Story of the Turban

The Story of the Turban (slyt) is a 38 minute documentary on the history of the Sikh community in 20th century Britain as embodied by the struggle to be allowed to wear the turban in all walks of life.
posted by salishsea on Apr 3, 2013 - 17 comments

The forgotten story of a dramatic imperial adventure

As a companion to his fascinating Raffles and the British Invasion of Java, Tim Hannigan has a blog — Footnotes and Sidelights from the Story of the British Interregnum in Java, wherein he shares interesting stories that could not find space in the published book. [more inside]
posted by unliteral on Apr 1, 2013 - 5 comments

It's the capital of the world, but is it still the capital of the UK?

BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders asks "Should Britain let go of London?"
posted by nickrussell on Mar 26, 2013 - 82 comments

Her Name was Lucy Meadows

Popular transgender Lancashire teacher Lucy Meadows was found dead last Tuesday. Blame has quickly fallen on an inflammatory Daily Mail article by Richard Littlejohn, which has lead to a petition to sack the writer. Is this fair? Jane Fae at the New Statesman says it doesn't matter, while the New Scostsman calls it 'monstering'. The f word blog and the Guardian have longer articles on the case and the issues surrounding it.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Mar 24, 2013 - 72 comments

Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Legacies of British Slave-ownership, which went live on February 27, 2013, tracks what became of the twenty million pounds set aside to compensate British slave owners in the Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies (1833). Users have a variety of search options that can yield results according to individuals, businesses, countries, and so on. The site tracks compensated owners through their contributions to the arts, politics, entrepreneurship, and governance; some owners have extensive biographical notes. A number of the site's revelations about slave-owning families and the extent of their compensation have already attracted comment. [more inside]
posted by thomas j wise on Feb 27, 2013 - 26 comments

Scarfolk: One visit is not enough

Scarfolk is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979. Instead, the entire decade of the 1970s loops ad infinitum. Here in Scarfolk, pagan rituals blend seamlessly with science; hauntology is a compulsory subject at school, and everyone must be in bed by 8pm because they are perpetually running a slight fever. "Visit Scarfolk today. Our number one priority is keeping rabies at bay." Join their Learn To Swim program, and enjoy the song that won 2nd place in the 1974 Scarfolk Harvest Festival, Dormin Slowly Died With The Radio On.
posted by Jimbob on Feb 18, 2013 - 58 comments

It's about a scientist who makes a deal with the devil.

Utopia is a new British TV show about members of an online comic book forum who are in search of a cult graphic novel that can predict the future. It draws from 90s underground culture and the conspiracy theories around Grant Morrison's Invisibles. Den Of Geek spoiler-free review and links to the rest of their reviews. Spoileriffic Guardian review. Guardian reviews blog. [more inside]
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 6, 2013 - 73 comments

Fortress UK

The Last Stand - the remains of the Britain's coastal defences photographed by Marc Wilson.
posted by Artw on Feb 5, 2013 - 24 comments

The British Parliament are debating same-sex marriage

The Guardian is liveblogging the debate. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Feb 5, 2013 - 102 comments

Two short films by Matthew Holness

The Snipist - a post-apocalyptic nightmare set in a post-rabies Britain (warning: absolutely bleak). A Gun For George - a short film about crime-writer Terry Finch, author of the 70s Kentish fiction masterpieces The Reprisalizer. [more inside]
posted by dng on Jan 24, 2013 - 17 comments

Let us go down a rabbit hole.

The British Coup Conspiracy In early 1974, the right-wing Spectator magazine predicted “Britain is on a Chilean brink.
In March 1981 the Sunday Times carried an article which indicated that there were suggested preparations for a military coup d’état in Britain in 1974.
2006 BBC programme The Plot Against Harold Wilson.
David Leigh: The Wilson Plot: How the Spycatchers and Their American Allies Tried to Overthrow the British Government.
What If The Coup Against Prime Minister Harold Wilson Been Carried Out?
Cecil King's Plot to Overthrow Harold Wilson.
A biography of Prime Minister Harold Wilson known as Norman John Worthington on his MI5 file.
wiki. This was 1974 Britain. Some background.
posted by adamvasco on Jan 24, 2013 - 38 comments

The British and their bizarre view of American

The British and their bizarre view of American. "So, while from afar America may seem, to the Briton, a bewildering and Brobdingnagian phenomenon, close up and personal, the Americans themselves take on the more familiar Lilliputian lineaments of his own countrymen and women." Will Self takes a look at the ambivalent relationship the British has with the USA.
posted by zoo on Jan 6, 2013 - 125 comments

"The exchanges have taken place in a time-honored arena for mudslinging in Britain, the letters page of a newspaper"

It took 15 years, but, as the Guardian reports, the feud between writers Salman Rushdie and John le Carre is at an end.
posted by subdee on Nov 14, 2012 - 37 comments

"Crossroads possess a certain dangerous potency."

How Things Fell Apart, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 25, 2012 - 10 comments

From an axe to Auerbach

The story of British art From the earliest evocative stone structures at Skara Brae and Stonehenge to the disturbing 20th-century portraits by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, the art inspired by the British isles tells a truly spectacular story. Through painting, sculpture, architecture and much more, immerse yourself in the best of critic Jonathan Jones's epic survey of the artworks that have made us who we are interactive, intro
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 10, 2012 - 2 comments

Who killed Britain's Bronze Age Forests?

England 3,000 years ago was already as suburban as the outskirts of Basildon.
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 25, 2012 - 32 comments

Politician apologizes, is autotuned, creates beauty

Nick Clegg is so, so sorry. (YT) During the last British general election, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg was riding high on a wave of popularity (previously). [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Sep 21, 2012 - 111 comments

Lucy got some 'splaining to do

Ever had one of those nights that made you think about giving up drinking? Lucy Spraggan says it leads her to Beer Fear. (DLYT) [more inside]
posted by notashroom on Aug 31, 2012 - 20 comments

Cripes!

The Economist on the decline of British boy's comics as The Dandy ceases print publication. As it circles oblivion it risks joining the ranks of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, The Beezer and subversive late entry to the genre Oink. The days of the Great British girl's comic are sadly long passed. 
posted by Artw on Aug 17, 2012 - 70 comments

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