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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

So where does the US stand with the Irish after tonight's speech?

So where does the US stand with the Irish after tonight's speech? I mean, we're going to go after all terrorists and all countries that harbor them, right?
posted by dopamine on Sep 20, 2001 - 27 comments

A Million British children

A Million British children all jumped at the same time. They actually caused a little bit of recordable seismic activity.
posted by yevge on Sep 8, 2001 - 13 comments

Over-educated, over here and overwhelmed

Over-educated, over here and overwhelmed The teacher shortage in Britain is so acute, that talent from the four corners is being shipped in at double the cost. The irony is, that if our teachers were actually paid the salary this gentleman is getting, there would be more of them...
posted by feelinglistless on Sep 6, 2001 - 11 comments

I thought I was the only one

I thought I was the only one who giggled at the name of this British sweet treat. Traditionalists balk at changing the name, but supermarkets report sales lags because folks are embarrassed to ask for it. What would you re-name this dessert?
posted by Oriole Adams on Aug 27, 2001 - 24 comments

Do you know me?

Do you know me? "I am a white male, Caucasian, about five feet, nine inches. I weigh 150lbs. I have no visible marks on my body. I have no memory of any events prior to waking up in the hospital in November of 1999."

"Philip Staufen" has naturally dark brown hair and he has brown eyes. He doesn't have any tattoos, distinguishing marks, or scars. He is a Vegan and has a digestive disorder called Celiac.

"Philip Staufen" is living a nightmare.
posted by o2b on Aug 25, 2001 - 30 comments

Ho ho ho. Straight from the horse's mouth. The Conservative Party is racist after all.

Ho ho ho. Straight from the horse's mouth. The Conservative Party is racist after all. Embarrassment for Iain Duncan-Smith's attempt to become leader of the UK Conservative Party as it emerges that one of his backers is a supporter of the racist British National Party. Is Edgar Griffin right to say that his views are widely shared by Conservative Party members? (And by extension, Republican Party members.)
posted by salmacis on Aug 24, 2001 - 13 comments

Anonymous Juice tries to review everything he's ever encountered.

Anonymous Juice tries to review everything he's ever encountered. I first read about this website whilst reading the Web Life section of The Guardian this morning while on the train to work. I live in Liverpool and . . . cont
posted by feelinglistless on Aug 4, 2001 - 7 comments

Kilroy's Kingdom

Kilroy's Kingdom Robert Kilroy-Silk is the 'king' of the British talkshows (a title conferred because he's the only male talkshow host). 'Off The Telly' investigates why an ex-MP and potential Prime Minister now finds himself attempting to relate with the common people three hundred and sixty mornings a year (including repeats). Typical quote: "I suppose I’m really lucky, I get on really well with my son - always have - but some fathers and sons don’t always find it easy to be friends ... some boys are even deprived of their father altogether, when he walks out, and dumps not just their wife, but them. Which is a bit like you Mike, you haven’t seen your Craig, who’s 15, for seven years. Why’s that?" No on screen fights then, but one old buffer got frisky one morning and tried to remove his pants . . .
posted by feelinglistless on Aug 2, 2001 - 1 comment

Archer sentenced to 4 years...

Archer sentenced to 4 years... This may not mean much to those from outside the UK but there will be celebrations in much of England tonight as the 'Teflon Tory' finally takes fall. Sometimes justice is done, even to politicians with immense arrogance, money and no apparent morals. The scale of the web of deceit is fascinating and the ending quite poetic.
posted by Mr Ed on Jul 19, 2001 - 19 comments

With Britain getting whipped on most sporting fronts, the BBC suggests we take a leaf out of the Americans' book. [More inside]
posted by Mocata on Jul 9, 2001 - 15 comments

Michael Young's critique of the meritocracy

Michael Young's critique of the meritocracy is brilliant, subversive and quite possibly based on faulty assumptions. "It is good sense to appoint individual people to jobs on their merit. It is the opposite when those who are judged to have merit of a particular kind harden into a new social class without room in it for others."
posted by lbergstr on Jun 29, 2001 - 11 comments

Tony Blair wants to nix Double Jeopardy protection.

Tony Blair wants to nix Double Jeopardy protection. A right that has been considered vital since the days of the Magna Carta is under threat from Labour. Blair wants to make it possible that "someone acquitted of a killing can be put on trial again if new evidence emerges". Why not just be sure of the case in the first place? This would only cause a rush to trial by unprepared prosecutors.
posted by dwivian on Jun 25, 2001 - 11 comments

Vote early, vote often.

Vote early, vote often. (With apologies for sticking this on the front page.) Using your skill and judgement, predict the winning party in the UK general election, size of the majority, and the number of seats won by the Lib Dems. Closest to the actual result gets a gift subscription to Private Eye, the fortnightly antidote to British politics and media, or the equivalent value in that international currency: Amazon vouchers. (And if you've emailed me already, there's no need to post a prediction.)
posted by holgate on Jun 7, 2001 - 16 comments

Hmmm, Big Brother is checking out my motor,

Hmmm, Big Brother is checking out my motor, and no one seems to care anymore. Pretty soon Big Brother will track my personal movements and know my genetic make up! Well, I'm outta here in four days and who knows what life will be like on this Sceptered Isle by the time I get back? Why doesn't anyone seem to care about this anymore!
posted by davehat on May 21, 2001 - 5 comments

Special Report: Refugees in Britain.

Special Report: Refugees in Britain. The Guardian features excellent video clips of first-person stories of refugees who have made the long struggle from misery toward what they hope is a safer, more prosperous life. Includes stories on political asylum as an election issue, how to claim asylum, why refugees and asylum seekers are choosing Britain (the country with the second-largest immigrant population in Europe, after Germany) and a Flash-based guide on who's seeking asylum and from where.
posted by Mo Nickels on May 21, 2001 - 5 comments

Liverpool win the cup triple.

Liverpool win the cup triple. It's the kind of thing bring a tear to your eye even if you're an Evertonian. I always said Golden Goals were a great idea.
posted by feelinglistless on May 16, 2001 - 11 comments

Britain, down the drain or in heaven?

Britain, down the drain or in heaven? Interesting article from today's Independent (UK) that discusses how Britain's future will pan out. It seems that when we have an election we've got to go and become strangely self-critical before reverting to the usual refined apathy.
posted by nedrichards on May 10, 2001 - 12 comments

"Britain to install early warning bases in Oregon."

"Britain to install early warning bases in Oregon." These will be sited on US air bases in areas of protected wilderness, but will be leased out to the UK and solely answerable to HM Govt, with no state or Congressional accountability. If you protest outside, you'll be prosecuted on trumped-up charges. Oh, and they'll be tapping your phones and emails as well. (more inside...)
posted by holgate on May 2, 2001 - 11 comments

I'm Totally and Utterly Gobsmacked

I'm Totally and Utterly Gobsmacked Hmm... horses, sheep ... British gay people? Well, it's better than having entrail explode in your mouth, I guess.
posted by bclark on Apr 30, 2001 - 11 comments

Pathology Tribunal Collapses.

Pathology Tribunal Collapses.
One pathologist, who asked not to be named, said last night: "This is going to call into question the credibility of the board. How can the public, let alone coroners and the police, have confidence in the crucial work it does if it can't run a disciplinary hearing?"
posted by methylsalicylate on Apr 25, 2001 - 2 comments

Giving as good as they get?

Giving as good as they get? I don't condone this, but it's the first time in this country that I've heard whites complaining like this (and, symmetrically, the Asian community blaming a small minority).
posted by andrew cooke on Apr 19, 2001 - 9 comments

the arrival of foot and mouth in the centre of the lake district national park is horrific. One thing is clear; the Lake District will never be the same again.
posted by quarsan on Mar 26, 2001 - 11 comments

Scotland Yard raids Saatchi Gallery over complaints of child pornography in Tierney Gearon show

Scotland Yard raids Saatchi Gallery over complaints of child pornography in Tierney Gearon show - Why? Gearon, a former fashion model turned art photographer, has included in the show a couple of pictures of her children naked. "In one the two children are wearing theatrical masks while in the other her son is urinating in the snow." Gearon sees nothing wrong with her pictures, but apparently they make some people a little nervous.
posted by pracowity on Mar 10, 2001 - 19 comments

Britain's Millennium Dome

Britain's Millennium Dome didn't even stay open for a full year. The $1.2 billion Dome was shut down today at 6:00 PM GMT. An Irish company plans to provide luxury housing on the site, and make the building into a high tech buisness center.
posted by riffola on Dec 31, 2000 - 4 comments

"The rules of this game were set by the people, underwritten by the people, financed or not."

"The rules of this game were set by the people, underwritten by the people, financed or not." Yet another opportunity for the British Observer to put the US newspapers to shame, with an closely-argued, even-handed reflection on the fun in Florida. "The system, full of inefficiencies and coagulations, may stink, but it is also a system which belongs to the voters who now complain so shrilly about it."
posted by holgate on Nov 19, 2000 - 2 comments

My God! Brits actually have rights!

My God! Brits actually have rights! Of course, it's not part of their constitution since they don't have one, but they actually have a codification of things the government can't do to them.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Oct 1, 2000 - 23 comments

Help Wanted : Naval Chaplain for Her Majesty's Navy.

Help Wanted : Naval Chaplain for Her Majesty's Navy. Frustrated with the prospect of designing web pages for the rest of your life? Well, this might be for you.
posted by leo on Sep 10, 2000 - 0 comments

Gustavus Adolphus must be smiling.

Gustavus Adolphus must be smiling. The Stockholm Stock Exchange has launched a hostile takeover bid for the London Stock Exchange. My Swedish in-laws must be so proud. Or, um, not...
posted by aurelian on Aug 29, 2000 - 11 comments

They're dead. They're all dead.

They're dead. They're all dead. Buf if the rear section has been flooded with high pressure water, and if the British mini-sub latches on and opens the hatch, the mini-sub will instantly fill with water and the entire crew of the mini-sub will die. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Now I hope they can't latch on.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Aug 19, 2000 - 20 comments

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