435 posts tagged with britain.
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Sailing close to the flame

At what point does a government have to stop and wonder if it's judged the mood correctly?

The UK government manages to bribe a rebel with a cushy job, but not one, not two, but three other MPs walk away from the government in one day. Are things going wrong in the UK?
posted by twine42 on Mar 18, 2003 - 63 comments

Cook sods off

The resignation speech [Real, edited text] of Robin Cook, the ex-Foreign Secretary who led British troops into Kosovo, received a standing ovation in the House of Commons, something that hasn't happened in recent memory. The now leaderless House votes on the war tomorrow.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 17, 2003 - 45 comments

Funny Across The Atlantic

America and England: Separated By Humor? "This laughter gulf between two otherwise co-dependent cultures should not be thought surprising. The two most fundamental aspects of comedy are observation and speech rhythms and these are necessarily subject to local variation. The point has often been made that British jokes derive most often from class and puns, while US humour is rooted in gags." While talk show host Ruby Wax claims "If your language consists of little more than guttural grunts and cherry pie, you can't be blamed for not getting it." Is it any wonder her little show tanked so fast?
posted by owillis on Feb 25, 2003 - 45 comments

The time travel art of Rosalind Brodsky, 1970 - 2058

"At the Institute of Militronics and Advanced Time Interventionality we have been committed to time travel based research since 2005." Sure, it's probably just a poker-faced art project by the electronic Writing Research ensemble, but isn't it nicer to think of it as the life's work of the late Rosalind Brodsky (1970-2058), artist, musician, and Martian real estate agent?
posted by snarkout on Feb 14, 2003 - 4 comments

What? You actually wanted to cycle somewhere?

Weird cycle lanes of Brighton (and Hove, actually). 'This website grew out of an article...claiming that some cycle lane up north was the shortest in Britain. What! I thought, we have many many much shorter lanes!!' Not so much a competition, more an amusing photolog of some of the more ridiculous attempts at creating cycle lanes in Brighton, UK...are they this bad in other cities around the world?
posted by i_cola on Feb 14, 2003 - 19 comments

The Modern Antiquarian.

The Modern Antiquarian. Quirky, funny and joyous guide to the folklore and folkloric sites of Britain. There is a weblog too - read about Carmarthenshire standing stones or adventures in Cornwall.
posted by plep on Feb 8, 2003 - 4 comments

Roger Scruton on Being Conservative; Glen Newey on Being Republican

Tweedledum and Tweedledee: Two great essays from very opposite sides of the barricades, but embodying the same healthy bloody-mindedness: reverent Roger Scruton, English, conservative and monarchist ,on the Right, and irreverent Glen Newey, Scottish, socialist and republican, on the Left. The differences are plain to see. But it's the similarities, I think, that point to the enduring strength of the British political spirit.
posted by MiguelCardoso on Feb 5, 2003 - 9 comments

Girl to sue over detention

Girl to sue over detention "The family, who want compensation, will argue that the detentions were unlawful because they took place in Freya's free time. " If you can't give kids detention, how else are they going to be punished for breaking school rules?
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 28, 2002 - 88 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell on Dec 18, 2002 - 6 comments

Laughter capital of the world ?

Laughter capital of the world? "Declining audiences, dull material, complacent comics: a crisis is looming ....London suddenly appears to be in the grip of a recession for the first time since the alternative comedy boom took off at the beginning of the 1980s." From a nation exporting Bill Bailey(live in NYC this week) ,Eddie Izzard, Ali G, can this really be happening? (BTW I always thought Canada tried to lay a claim to this crown?)
posted by Voyageman on Dec 16, 2002 - 15 comments

Britain's rising HIV

"Immigration has overtaken gay sex as the main form of HIV into Britain" - that I never knew.
posted by robself on Dec 1, 2002 - 8 comments

UK millenium engineering projects

I recently rode the Falkirk Wheel, perhaps the least well known of a number of UK projects marking the Millenium, which fuse stunning design with ingenious engineering. [more inside]
posted by gravelshoes on Nov 30, 2002 - 17 comments

British Pathé online archive launched

Here is the News. The old news, that is: the entire 3500 hour British Pathé Film Archive covering news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970, with low-res clips available for free, was launched today.
posted by rory on Nov 19, 2002 - 15 comments

Is there a limit to protecting children.

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
posted by Beholder on Nov 17, 2002 - 29 comments

Aspects of the Victorian Book

Aspects of the Victorian Book is a Sunday morning kind of site, a relaxed but vivid tour of 19th century British publishing that explores production techniques such as lithography, binding and illustration, and looks at the printed works of the period (including forms such as the inexpensive "Yellowbacks" and their cousins, the usually lurid "Penny Dreadfuls").
posted by taz on Nov 17, 2002 - 6 comments

1901 Census up and running online

1901 Back on it's feet again... At last it's the 1901 show!(the date not the time) and the UK Public Record Office 1901 Census is up and testing again after having crashed due to overdemand earlier in theyear. And it works! I've discovered my great grandfather was a wheelwright and that his eldest son was a labourer at the gas works (I saw my first naked girlfriend in a bedroom in the shadow of that very gasworks!) and that I had a great great Uncle Percy!
posted by terrymiles on Nov 15, 2002 - 4 comments

"I am the first to say that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forgery, but what is strange is that they [the Israelis] perhaps read it and decided to implement it." Mohammed Sobhi, screenwriter of The Horse without Horseman, reacts to charges that his Egyptian mini-series is anti-semitic. The program tells the story of an Egyptian who leads the struggle against the British colonizers until he finds a book that provides proof that the true enemy is not the British, but the "Elders of Zion".
posted by tranquileye on Nov 8, 2002 - 9 comments

Trial by Tabloid?

Trial by Tabloid? Top BBC presenter Angus Deaton has been sacked after a sex & drugs scandal. He has presented comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You for over ten years. So, is ti right for him to be sacked after trial by tabloid? Do we actually care what our T.V. presenters get up to after the cameras are turned off?
posted by prentiz on Oct 30, 2002 - 16 comments

Actor Richard Harris dies

Actor Richard Harris dies "Don't let it be forgot - that once there was a spot - for one brief, shining moment - that was known as Camelot..." Such a sad day all around. R.I.P., Richard.
posted by dnash on Oct 25, 2002 - 21 comments

MOD Selects The Carlyle Group as Preferred Bidder for QinetiQ. In a move that seems to be going ahead with very little coverage, Britain's military research agency is being sold off to a foreign company. Given the important role Qinetiq plays in Britain's Defense, and the type of business The Carlyle Group is, this is perhaps surprising...
posted by chill on Sep 8, 2002 - 12 comments

A hot rod hamster

A hot rod hamster caused quite a stir when he was caught racing along the promenade – in his dragster car. More Friday Funny.
posted by Grod on Sep 6, 2002 - 21 comments

Essex

Essex is the New Jersey of England, but is trying to change the public perception of my beautiful home county. Not all Essex girls are slappers and it's not all industrial wasteland. But why tell the rest of England about our beautiful secrets?
posted by essexjan on Aug 30, 2002 - 31 comments

Rumpole and the Angel of Death.

Rumpole and the Angel of Death. Leo McKern dies at 82. "Author John Mortimer created Horace Rumpole with only one actor in mind, and as the blustering, grumbling barrister, McKern did not disappoint."
posted by mcwetboy on Jul 24, 2002 - 11 comments

Big Brother is here!

Big Brother is here! Close to a thousand Brirish schools have collected their student`s fingerprints via library scanners; all this without the consent or knowledge of the parents. Please commend my success in refraining from oversentionalizing the story. YES!
posted by ( .)(. ) on Jul 23, 2002 - 15 comments

Britain to Relax Laws for Millions of Dope Smokers.

Britain to Relax Laws for Millions of Dope Smokers. The theory is that this move will free up officers and money to deal with more serious drug problems. As far as the classification goes, cannabis will now be grouped with anabolic steroids and growth hormones, two substances that I think are more dangerous than pot. What was it grouped with before?
posted by Miss Beth on Jul 9, 2002 - 18 comments

British papers

British papers seem to be the only place we can find out what goes on in the US these days. Probably has to do with the liberal media, wouldn't you say?
posted by nofundy on Jun 18, 2002 - 36 comments

The Queen as Mickey Mouse?

The Queen as Mickey Mouse? A look at Britain's Royal Family as a tourist attraction with the Queen as its figurehead akin to Mickey Mouse and Disneyland in the US.
posted by percine on Jun 15, 2002 - 3 comments

Spider-Man "too violent for kids"

Spider-Man "too violent for kids" The British Board of Film Classification has given the Spider-Man film (which opens here in the UK today) a '12' certificate because of its violence, meaning no one under that age can see it. Some local authorities have exercised their power to reclassify it as a 'PG' to open it up to younger viewers.
The BBFC's argument runs that "The violence is set in a modern urban setting with a clear message that the use of violence is the normal and appropriate response when challenged." In fact, I'd say, the film suggests that an appropriate response when challenged is to put on an armoured exo-skeleton and fly around on a jey-powered glider. How can the BBFC not get the concept that this is a fantasy?
posted by jonpollard on Jun 14, 2002 - 45 comments

UK Kids to Get £40 a Week to Stay in School.

UK Kids to Get £40 a Week to Stay in School. Schoolchildren are to be paid £40 a week to stay on at school as part of a multi-billion-pound revolution in secondary schools in England and Wales.
posted by ncurley on Jun 2, 2002 - 37 comments

Decisive Battle...

Decisive Battle... or not? The british are removing diplomats. The expulsion of the pakistani ambassador. Is India preparing to go to war or is this just another in a series of bluffs?
posted by bittennails on May 22, 2002 - 16 comments

Is It Racism If You Admit You're A Racist But Decry Racist Behaviour?

Is It Racism If You Admit You're A Racist But Decry Racist Behaviour? Geoffrey Sampson, Professor of Natural Language Computing at the University of Sussex in the UK is likely to be sacked from the Conservative Party for his defense of "racialism" as a legitimate human emotion. In an interview on this morninn's BBC Radio 4's "Today" programme, he said recognising people's racial prejudices is a scientific fact has nothing to do with espousing discriminatory behaviour. The Observer coyly shrank from linking Sampson's offending article but it wasn't difficult to find: here it is. Judge for yourselves.[My two cents and a question for UK Mefis: as a conservative, I'm quite impressed with Ian Duncan-Smith's(the new Tory leader's)efforts to dissociate himself from the Tory Party's reactionary bastions(e.g.The Monday Club) and attitudes. Is it just a pose, electioneering or is there something to it?]
posted by MiguelCardoso on May 13, 2002 - 33 comments

Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages?

Operation Snipe: To rescue 76 US hostages? "Joined by the US and Canadian troops, more than 2000 British-led Special Commando forces under "Operation Snipe" are gearing up efforts to launch a major attack to rescue around 76 soldiers who were arrested by the Taliban and Al Qaida forces during the battle in the snow covered Arma Peaks of Paktia Province in March this year, highly credible sources have confided to PNS."
posted by crasspastor on May 6, 2002 - 5 comments

An Algerian defendant tells a court of his transformation from an irreligious drug dealer on the streets of Germany to an Afghanistan-trained militant, and the psychic journey of some young Muslim slackers in England to become fighters for Al-Qaeda (NYT).
posted by semmi on Apr 24, 2002 - 14 comments

Another trip into TV Hell.

Another trip into TV Hell. In the UK we're much kinder to bad television -- shows will go on for weeks without an audience and often get comissioned for second series before someone releases they're awful (yes you 'Let Them Eat Cake' -- if that French and Saunder monstrosity had been on UStv it would have been cancelled after two episodes -- if it had been comissioned at all). 'Off The Telly' considers all the things prospective television producers need to avoid if they're going to create something they're proud of. Does anyone else have any bad examples?
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 4, 2002 - 18 comments

The Falkland Islands are ours and we'll get them back, says Argentina.

The Falkland Islands are ours and we'll get them back, says Argentina. Argentina celebrates the twenty-year anniversary of their invasion of the Falkland Islands. Britain won the Falkland War in 1982, but Argentina now boasts that they'll definitely conquer the islands in the future. Since the majority of islanders are of British descent, does Argentina stand a chance? And shouldn't Argentina be focusing on rebuilding its own economy instead of whining about some insignificant islands in the Atlantic ocean?
posted by wackybrit on Apr 2, 2002 - 38 comments

I've always had a love hate relationship with The Big Breakfast. But now that it's come to the end of a ten year run I think something will be missing in the morning -- it offered something different to the slow newscasting on the BBC and the slow presenters on GMtv. The show went out with a characteristic flourish, not only with this mad scoop on Britney Spears, but also by dumping a giant garden gnome outside Channel 4 offices, it's hand remodelled to give a 'v' sign to the bosses who wielded the axe. Goodbye, you beauty.
posted by feelinglistless on Mar 29, 2002 - 7 comments

oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched.

oh glorious rapture, vertu has launched. (flash) the phones (called "instruments" in vertu-speak) are okay, but the real meat seems to be the one-touch vertu concierge: allows one to find theatre tickets, make reservations, or (assumably) order KFC. and, as promised, they are indeed clutch-the-pearls expensive: €6000 to €24000. golly.
posted by patricking on Mar 27, 2002 - 12 comments

The Eden Project

The Eden Project celebrates its first birthday today. Happy birthday.
posted by homunculus on Mar 18, 2002 - 3 comments

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special?

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special? 'Off The Telly' reviews three decades of Christmas Day television in Britain. "It's funny...that Christmas time is actually an excuse for some of the worst TV atrocities of the year to be inflicted upon us. Christmas telly does not equate with quality. And yet, never does TV become a more integral part of our own family or personal routines and traditions. And never are we so receptive to a gathering of disparate middle-of-the-road celebrities and their stale party pieces." And for the ultra-cynic, TV-Go-Home's Charlie Booker presents an alternative schedule.
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 24, 2001 - 17 comments

Immigrants should have to swear an oath of allegiance to show their "clear primary loyalty" to Britain

Immigrants should have to swear an oath of allegiance to show their "clear primary loyalty" to Britain This is the conclusion of a report looking into this summer's race riots. From the story: The report suggests that an oath of national allegiance on the Canadian model might help future race relations. The report says that a quarter of places in single faith schools, be they state or private, should be given to children of alternative backgrounds as a way of bridging the divide. What fresh madness is this?
posted by Summer on Dec 11, 2001 - 33 comments

(some) British Muslims

(some) British Muslims - an interesting article from Prospect describes how different generations (and classes) of British Muslims view the conflict in Afghanistan (starts as personal history; the political meat of the article is in the second half).
posted by andrew cooke on Dec 9, 2001 - 2 comments

Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK

Naughty Children to Be Registered as Potential Criminals in the UK UK police are to set up a secret database of children as young as three who they fear might grow up to become criminals. What next, DNA testing on embryos to find out if they have a genetic leaning towards criminal behaviour? Link courtesy of Backwash.
posted by Jubey on Nov 26, 2001 - 14 comments

BBC 2 are axing their current channel idents

BBC 2 are axing their current channel idents One of the pleasures of this UKtv channel is seeing how they'll be banging, crashing or stretching that little number two. Is this a revolutionary development or just another example of meddling from a channel which is having trouble finding an identity within the UK's multi-channel future?
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 14, 2001 - 17 comments

Jonah Goldberg on why the British are like dogs,

Jonah Goldberg on why the British are like dogs, and the French like cats.
posted by Ty Webb on Nov 12, 2001 - 22 comments

This is not what the travel agent told me Kabul looked like!

This is not what the travel agent told me Kabul looked like! Report in London times of British Muslim who went over to join the Taliban war effort and found out they were nothing but "lunatics and liars." Question: Should he be allowed back into Britain and if so, should he be tried for treason?
posted by prodigal on Nov 2, 2001 - 31 comments

"Afghanistan" as seen by Frederick Engels in August 1857. First published in "The New American Cyclopaedia", Vol. I, 1858

"Afghanistan" as seen by Frederick Engels in August 1857. First published in "The New American Cyclopaedia", Vol. I, 1858 ".....Thus ended the attempt of the British to set up a prince of their own making in Afghanistan...." Last sentence of classic piece of writing. Does history always repeat itself, or can nations and their leaders alter destiny by finding lessons in the most dismal failures of their past?
posted by Voyageman on Oct 28, 2001 - 7 comments

Comedian Rowan Atkinson is understandably nervous about his career

Comedian Rowan Atkinson is understandably nervous about his career in the light of proposed laws in the UK to outlaw insightment to religious bigotry. Having built his career from playing comedy vicars and priests you can imagine him wondering if all his old material is suddenly worthless. Downing Street has sought to re-assure as usual but you can see why he'd be filled with uncertainty. As he points out in a situation were personal opinion is involved, how would one tell if one was breaking the law. For example, some stand up comedy may be fine, but how about movies? Where does 'The Life of Brian' stand? Or 'Dogma' for that matter...
posted by feelinglistless on Oct 17, 2001 - 10 comments

British widow can stay in US further to this thread...
posted by monkeyJuice on Oct 12, 2001 - 3 comments

Blair now a 'legitimate target.'

Blair now a 'legitimate target.' A spokesman for a British Islamic group has said Tony Blair is a 'legitimate target.' According to spokesman, "This means if any Muslim wanted to kill him or get rid of him, I would not shed any tears." Salman Rushdie roomate jokes aside, this is pretty chilling.
posted by prodigal on Oct 10, 2001 - 23 comments

Mercedes supercar

Mercedes supercar to be built in Britain. God, that feels to good to read. Am I xenophobic, nationalistic or proud of the Euoropean Community on my doorstep? I'm not sure, but how can you hold a grudge against a country with this?
posted by Frasermoo on Oct 3, 2001 - 13 comments

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