"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 -
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 -
On the basis of the facts and evidence before the committee, we conclude that if at all relevant times Rupert Murdoch did not take steps to become fully informed about phone hacking, he turned a blind eye and exhibited wilful blindness to what was going on in his companies and publications. This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International. We conclude, therefore, that Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on May 1, 2012 -
10 O'Clock Live
is a show currently airing on Channel 4 in the UK. It could be considered a British take on the Daily Show, but longer, weekly, with more discussion, and performed live. MeFi favorite Charlie Brooker
is one of their presenters, along with David Mitchel, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr. While focused on British issues, the show sometimes covers international topics, and is wildly funny. Here are some highlights:
Charlie Brooker: On Gaddafi - On Berlusconi - On the 'Big Society' - On Sarah Palin -
On the iPad 2 - On the English Defense League & the Daily Star - On Ed Miliband (Leader of the Labour Party, beating out his brother David) - On Prince Andrew
David Mitchell: On political hyperbole - On language in the media - On encouraging rich people to immigrate - On what to do with the Olympic Stadium
Jimmy Carr: As Berlusconi - On Product Placement
Lauren Laverne: Guide for new democracies - Inside the brain of Ed Miliband - British PR companies helping tyrants
Everyone on David Cameron on The One Show (this one's awesome) [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Mar 24, 2011 -
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 -
Feed Me Better
Jamie Oliver (UK fat tongued food wizard) campaigns to ban the junk food and get fresh, tasty and, above all, nutricious food back on school dinners menu.
posted by Spoon
on Mar 17, 2005 -