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?
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?
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.
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
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.
or not? The british are removing diplomats.
of the pakistani ambassador. Is India preparing to go to war or is this just another in a series of bluffs?
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?
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."
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).
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?
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?
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.
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.
The Eden Project
celebrates its first birthday
today. Happy birthday.
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
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?
(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).
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.
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?
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?
"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?
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...
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.
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
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?
A Million British children
all jumped at the same time. They actually caused a little bit of recordable seismic activity.
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...
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?
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."
" 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.
" is living a nightmare.
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.)
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
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 . . .
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
With Britain getting whipped on most sporting fronts, the BBC suggests we take a leaf out of the Americans' book
. [More inside]
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."
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.
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
"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...)
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.
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?"
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).
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.
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.
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.