As Andrew Haldane, director of stability at the Bank of England, put it in a historical overview a few years ago, ‘there is one key difference between the situation today and that in the Middle Ages. Then, the biggest risk to the banks was from the sovereign. Today, perhaps the biggest risk to the sovereign comes from the banks. Causality has reversed.’ Yes, it has: and the sovereign at risk is us. The reason for that is that in the UK bank assets are 492 per cent of GDP. In plain English, our banks are five times bigger than our entire economy. (When the Icelandic and Cypriot banking systems collapsed the respective figures were 880 and 700 per cent.) We know from the events of 2008 and subsequently that the financial sector, indeed the whole world economy, is in an inherently unstable condition. Put the size together with the instability, and we are facing a danger that is no less real for not being on the front page this exact second. This has to be fixed, and it has to be fixed soon, and nothing about fixing it is easy.
- "Let's Consider Kate
," John Lanchester, London Review of Books
posted by Rustic Etruscan
on Jul 10, 2013 -
The Works of Swede Mason
: "Jeremy Clarkson,
" "Get in the Back of the Van,
" "Jungle All The Way,
" "Bill Wyman's Metal Detector,
" "Put the Lotion in the Basket, *
" "Got The Sucka,
" "The Gobshite, *
" "Squashed Thingy,
" "Spare Me The Madness,
" and the pair of tracks based on Neighbors
deaths "Coffee And Croissants
" and "Todd....Dead.
" [more inside]
posted by flatluigi
on Oct 13, 2009 -
Colour on the Thames
is a 7 minute film shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor
, one of the many early forms of tinting black and white film. Beside Colour on the Thames
, which provides a wonderful view of 1930's England, the only film made in Gasparcolor I could find online was Colour Flight
by New Zealand artist Len Lye, an abstract cartoon set to instrumental 1930's pop music. The story of Gasparcolor
is in itself interesting, for instance touching on Nazis, Hungary between the wars and early color animation.
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 27, 2009 -
The NHS at 60.
The National Health Service is 60 on July 5th. Take a look at documents, audio and video related to the birth and growth of this "radical plan."
posted by fire&wings
on Jun 28, 2008 -
Applications for UK visas are being denied for ridiculous reasons
, says an independent monitor report. Among the reasons: never having been on holiday before, "failing to complete pivotal areas of Section 6", and "plan[ning] a holiday for no particular purpose other than sightseeing. BBC readers contribute their stories
- from potential bridesmaids being told that they were only going to marry English men like their sister was doing, to not having good enough German.
posted by divabat
on Jun 21, 2007 -
"The German invasion of Britain took place in July 1940, after the British retreat from Dunkirk".
We see, documentary-style, members of the Wehrmacht trooping past Big Ben and St Paul's Cathedral, lounging in the parks, having their jackboots shined by old cockneys, and appreciatively visiting the shrine of that good German, Prince Albert
, in Kensington Gardens. Kevin Brownlow
and Andrew Mollo
's film "It Happened Here
", with its cast of hundreds (.pdf)
, imagines what a Nazi occupation might have been like — complete with underground resistance, civilian massacres, civil strife, torch-lit rallies, Jewish ghettos, and organized euthanasia. Shot on weekends, eight years in production, made for about $20,000 with nonactors and borrowed equipment and Stanley Kubrick's help, "It Happened Here" was originally envisioned by Brownlow
as a sort of Hammer horror flick about a Nazi Britain
. Thanks in part to Mollo's fanatical concern with historical accuracy
, however, it became something else
. The most remarkable thing about this account of everyday fascism is that it has no period footage. Brownlow's 1968 book
about the film's production, "How It Happened Here
", has recently been republished
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 12, 2006 -
In 2001 America destroyed
the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed
the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Nov 22, 2005 -
in the Commons for the first time since his election in 1997. MPs refused to pass laws allowing terrorist suspects to be jailed without trial for 90 days, and Blair's parliamentary majority of 66 turned into a minority of 31. The government has been holding back on the vote for months in an attempt to persuade their party to back the Prime Minister - they failed.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Nov 9, 2005 -
Blair, the war criminal
Tom Dalyell, a Labour MP with over 41 years of service in the House of Commons has voted with his Labour Party constitutency to call for Blair to reconsider his postion as party leader. He further states that he believes "[Blair] should be branded as a war criminal and sent to the Hague".
posted by lometogo
on Mar 27, 2003 -
Cooking the Books
The Office of National Statistics feels that the UK population is a little too small - so they're inventing one million people to fill the gap. Why did they do a census if they were going to make it all up?
posted by tabbycat
on Sep 23, 2002 -
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 -
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 -
Planes over London will be shot down, warns government.
The UK government warned that any plane venturing into airspace over central London was likely to be shot down. All aircraft movements over the heart of the capital are banned until further notice. The flight path into London-Heathrow airport passes close to the Canary Wharf skyscraper in the east of the city and along the River Thames over the House of Parliament, the Guardian newspaper reports. (Down the page a ways.)
posted by krisjohn
on Sep 12, 2001 -
England vs. USA
Over the death penalty. Initially I felt like saying "butt out" but America tends to get involved in other countries when our citizens are in trouble (like that kid in Singapore way back).
posted by owillis
on Sep 10, 2001 -
Six-year-old kid goes to school, gets beaned with rocks. Class bullies? No. Protestants
. Doesn't it seem like there are some places in the world (Middle East, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Balkans, etc.) where people just insist on hating and killing each other until everyone's dead? Or is it just that the various media paint it that way?
posted by Bixby23
on Sep 4, 2001 -
More NMD to make you nervous.
If you're in an area about to be vapourised then you are safe. If you live anywhere else you are not. I live about half a blast radius away from one of the radar stations
in the UK (it doesn't look like that picture anymore - some of the golfballs are now pyramids). From direct assault I maybe won't be hit but the bombs falling out of the sky on their way from Iraq to New York are pretty much going to land on my head. Cool.
posted by vbfg
on Sep 3, 2001 -
Labour Party WINS UK General Election
Tony Blair's Labour Party now officially wins the general election after getting the needed 330 constituencies. Not all the results are in yet, but it's not important. Labour are past the post. Well done Tony!
posted by wackybrit
on Jun 7, 2001 -