Boing Boing 

UK tabloid publishes 1933 film of Edward VIII teaching Nazi salute to Queen

The Sun keeps it classy.


The Sun keeps it classy.

Buckingham Palace is defending film footage published by a British tabloid today that shows a young Queen performing a Nazi salute with her family at Balmoral.

Read the rest

Police admit falsely arresting teen rape victim: "this is what happens when you lie."

worthyrd.jpg-pwrt2

A 17-year-old rape victim, treated with callous indifference and arrested by UK police who accused her of lying, has been awarded £20,000 in a settlement.

Hampshire Constabulary apologized for refusing to properly investigate the victim's complaint, and admitted liability for false imprisonment and assault.

The girl was attacked in April 2012, reported it immediately, and provided her clothing for forensic analysis. But police decided within two days that she was lying and threatened her, The Guardian reports, with charges of her own should she pursue the matter.

When she did so, she was arrested on suspicion of "perverting the course of justice," and was told by one detective that "this is what happens when you lie."

The police failed to test the evidence and, reportedly, were told by a supervisor to "fucking nick her."

"I was horrified," her mother told the BBC. "A woman comes forward and tells the police authority she has been raped: You expect them to do everything they can to put the rapist away."

The case only proceeded months later after an official complaint was made, prompting prosecutors to ask for thorough tests on the garments.

The attacker, Liam Foard, was subsequently identified. After denying any sexual contact at all with his victim, he was convicted and jailed for five years in 2013. But it's taken another two years—and a lawsuit filed under human rights legislation—for Hampshire Constabulary to say sorry.

In the meantime, one of the officers responsible for the girls treatment was given a written warning, and three others allowed to resign or retire before the investigation into their conduct could be completed. Ten other officers received "management action."

"Given that she had been raped, reported the matter to the police and now found herself under arrest and being accused of lying, this must have been a particularly traumatic experience," an internal review concluded. "Clearly, had the rape investigation been completed to the required standard, she would never have been arrested and interviewed."

Local police have issued statements promising it will not happen again.

"I would like to reassure all victims of sexual assault that we do take you seriously," Chief Superintendent David Powell told reporters. "We do believe you, we appreciate how hard it is to come forward to report these offences, we do not judge you and we are committed to ensuring a professional and supportive response. We are doing everything to ensure we never have an initial response like this again."

"I am appalled by the way the victim and her family have been treated in this case and would like to express my heartfelt sympathy to them," wrote Simon Hayes, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hampshire. "It is entirely unacceptable for victims of crime not to be listened to and taken seriously. I would like to reassure the public that since I have been in post there have been significant changes to the way sexual assault cases are handled by the Constabulary. These changes in procedure should mean that the series of events that led to this particular victim being re-victimised by the police and not receiving appropriate justice, would not be permitted to happen again in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight."

But the family's lawyer, Debaleena Dasgupta, says that without the Human Rights act, it would have been far more difficult to get justice.

"Many people wrongly assume the police have a legal obligation to investigate crimes," wrote Dasgupta in a press release. "However, the only way victims of crime can seek justice for these sorts of issues is using the Human Rights Act, which imposes a duty on the police to properly investigate very serious offences."

How to swear British-style

With historical references and details of cultural and regional texture, Anglophenia explains how to utter terms like "bloody", "sod off" and "bollocks" with the proper mix of joy, irritation and indifference.

Britain's new pylons look like scales of justice

x 2015-04-09 at 3.33.51 PM

The UK is to see its first new electricity transmission tower design in nearly a century, reports the BBC.

The new design abandons the traditional "Mutant Eiffel Tower" style in favor of a sleek "T" shape.

This renders obsolete all those weird British science fiction TV shows from the 70s and 80s, where the regressed medieval future was illustrated with pastoral landscapes studded by the obsolete but still-looming pylons of the barely-remembered 20th century.

The new ones, however, are far more obscenely symbolic of totalitarian self-regard, and surely have a great future in spooky hauntological sci-fi where leather and sack-clad villagers worship science and its manifestations.

This is already most of West Sussex, yes, but just imagine everyone doing it. Pictured above is new pylon, with some classic pylon in the background.

Making egg nog for the British

eggnog-holiday-drink-with-ground-nutmed-and-cinnamon-stick

Did you know you can enjoy raw eggs relatively fearlessly in the UK? As an American often found hiding out in England, I was surprised to learn that they don't have egg nog here.

Read the rest

"Where is this phantom poo?" Park inspector alleging poocrime refuses to disclose location of poo

A local council in the UK has decided not to prosecute an accused park pooper's owner, which seems just as well, since she claimed there was no poo in the first place and the poo inspector could not identify the alleged poo in question.

Amber Langtry, 35, was walking her dog with a friend on New Year's Day when a lone Tower Hamlets Enforcement Officer accused her of not clearing up after her pet.

When she explained to the officer that he'd made a mistake and asked to see the offending evidence, he refused to show her, then pointed to a spot in the opposite direction to where Miss Langtry's dog had been. He then proceeded to issue her with a ticket and called the police.

It's a fantastic video, pitting an ineffective but invincible jobsworth against angry but self-controlled normals. Standout lines include "where is this phantom poo?", "non-compliance of female" and "there isn't even a poo, is there?"

Catnado strikes Britain

A small tornado that struck Chobham, England, left 13,000 without power over the weekend—and was said to have "lifted cats in the air."

Local fire crews also found extensive damage to trees and roofs from the storm, which also dumped hail and heavy rain on the county of Surrey, the BBC reported.

"We've got four feral cats in the yard and they were being lifted off the ground - about 6ft off the ground," said area woman Shirley Clay, adding that the animals were uninjured by the ordeal. "They just went round like a big paper bag."

Serious tornados are extremely rare in Britain, though the tabloids there claim weather data proves the nation is a 'hotspot' of miniature whirlwinds that usually go unnoticed.

Chobham 'mini-tornado lifted cats in air'

"Slaves" freed in London

A 69 year-old Malaysian woman, an Irishwoman, 57, and a Briton, 30, were all rescued from a house in south London this week, reports the BBC. A couple, both 67, are under arrest—and accused of holding the women as slaves for 30 years.

Student removed from school lessons after shaving head for charity

Rhys Johnson, 14, shaved his head to raise cash for medical research after three of his relatives were diagnosed with cancer. His school, Milford Haven School in Pembrokeshire, Wales, took him out of class for breaking its "haircut rules," leading to a 250-kid walkout of the school. The BBC reports:

On Thursday, a Pembrokeshire County Council spokesperson said: "School policy is set by a school's governing body and implemented by the head teacher and school staff.

"When this policy is disregarded by a pupil - and in this instance the policy has been clearly communicated to the pupil concerned - the school is acting appropriately in enforcing its policy."

Note the dismissive, yet evasive bureacratic tone! And the fact that the BBC gave an official spokesperson, of a publicly-funded government body, the cloak of anonymity behind which to further criticize a child.

UK to ban private investigation without a license

Working as an private detective is to be made illegal in England and Wales without a "license." The BBC:

The Home Office said it wanted to "ensure rigorous standards" in an industry where "rogue investigators" had been infringing privacy. Those who break the new rules - to be rolled out from autumn 2014 - could face up to six months in jail.

Unicorn proceeds through customs

Everyone's all worked up at the fact that Emily Harris, 9, was able to proceed through through customs with a passport that identified her as a unicorn. What do these tabloids have against unicorns? [The Sun]

Badger Swagger

The backstory: the British government is imposing an unpopular badger cull for questionable reasons.

Three Friends, a Breakdown, and a Lawsuit

Two and a half years ago, James Siddle moved to London for a new job; in two weeks time, he'll be moving out to a small town in the country, defeated.Read the rest

The rogue reptiles of the River Thames

The Fortean Times' Neil Arnold surveys the current monstrous inhabitants of the Thames and its tributaries, and the not-so-cryptozoological creatures that they might turn out to be: "There have even been reports of alligators."

Creators remember Knightmare, the pioneering VR adventure show

Knightmare was a fantastic childrens' adventure show that ran on British TV in the 1980s. A youngster, wearing a vision-blinding helmet, would be guided around a giant virtual reality castle by a team of his or her peers, which issued instructions from dungeon master Treguard's chambers. Though defined by its technical limitations, Knightmare built a cult following thanks to its pioneering blue-screen setup—hence the blindfolding—and merciless treatment of contestants. The Guardian's Ben Child interviewed creator Tim Child and star Hugo Myatt and found that the production was itself something of a bad dream. Embedded above is the show's intro and a short documentary about it. Then you may enjoy a a selection of deaths.

Black Mirror episode 2: White Bear and the culture of desensitization

The last episode of Black Mirror’s second season airs tonight on UK Channel 4.

Do you remember the first profoundly shocking image you saw on the internet? Perhaps it would have been something you came across by accident; perhaps you followed, half horrified and half compelled, a trail of digital whispers to see if you could handle it.

Maybe you don’t remember the first one, but you remember some of them. Maybe you shut the window, sick at yourself, at the glimpse of a woman’s eyes glassed with something unsettling, not staged. Maybe you lingered on eruptions, lacerations, in spite of yourself. To see if the image could possibly be real.

Read the rest

Ultimate British tabloid headline

Alex Balk spotted the best Daily Mail headline in recent memory: "Love-rat dad of nine children to eight women who headbutted ex-girlfriend in row over cheese toastie jailed for just 20 days."