Map of Britain's roads... and nothing else

jamaps created a map that shows all the main roads in Britain and nothing else, giving the vague impression of something weirdly biological.

Data: Ordnance Survey (2014) Tools: QGIS

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Wakefield Rural police in West Yorkshire threatens to prosecute anyone who mocks its epic drug bust

Covering Airedale, Altofts, Castleford, Crofton, Featherstone, Ferry Fryston, Glasshoughton, Normanton, Ryhill, Walton, Whitwood and surrounding areas of West Yorkshire in England, the Wakefield Rural Police scored an epic haul at Walton Colliery nature park: a "small quantity of Cannabis" seized from a "young man who was parked up alone" and subsequently sent on his way without charge.

After announcing the drug bust on its Facebook page, however, the department found itself being mocked by locals who made fun of it posting such a trivial incident.

Such insolence will not stand!

Unfortunately we have had to ban a number of people from using this page today. I would like to remind everyone that this is a Police page and whatever your thoughts on one of my officers seizing drugs in the community, being insulting, abusive or offensive can and will result in a prosecution under the Malicious Communications Act 1988.

We will not overlook the significant harm that illegal drugs cause to our communities. We know from experience that this can progress from using what are perceived to be recreational drugs to more addictive and harmful substances and the resulting criminality used to fund their continued use.

Please use this page with respect or you will be banned and maybe even prosecuted

Police Inspector Martin Moizer.

***Cannabis Seized***

PCSO 687 Ian Campbell and PCSO 882 Ben Hughes attended Walton colliery nature park and seized a small quantity of Cannabis from a young man who was parked up alone.

Walton Colliery nature park will be firmly on our patrol plan in the future to prevent this behaviour.

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Old UK military film about Belize incredibly smug and insulting

Whoever scripted this hated Belize almost as much as they hated Britain -- it's so sanctimonious, condescending, self-loathingly offensive you suspect it's dark comedy and start looking for Peter Serafinowicz to show up. But it's an old explainer for upper-crust military officers, apparently, a glove that certainly fits all the above. It's gone viral as an artifact of the 1980s, but by then Belize was independent, so it's probably older. The political backdrop: Belize was supposed to become independent in the 1960s, but Britain knew Guatemala would invade if they left, so things got very complicated. It's one of the funny little secrets of decolonization that Britain was responsible for Belize's defense well into the 1990s and never really left. Read the rest

Russian nerve agent attack may leave Skripals with 'limited mental capacity'

The military-grade nerve toxin attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia may have left the victims with 'compromised mental capacity,' a British judge said on Thursday. It is unclear whether the former Russian double agent and his adult child will recover from being poisoned with what the UK says was a Russian chemical weapon known as 'Novichok.' Read the rest

Unsettling British pork advertisement

The aptly-named "Scarred for Life" Twitter account posted this remarkable ad for British pork, dating to some indefinitely creepy moment in the 1970s or 1980s. There should be a corollary for Poe's law ("it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken for the thing parodied") for parodies of British advertisements. Be sure to click through to the thread for more high-quality horrors of UK product marketing.

Previously: KFC Commercial, by Peter Serafinowicz.

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Cheggers dead at 60

A headline meaningful only to Britons of a certain age, and for all others a momentary visit to the strange alternative reality of UK childrens' light entertainment in the 1970s and 1980s. Keith Chegwin is dead at 60.

Chegwin was known for hosting programmes including children's game show Cheggers Plays Pop and Swap Shop. ...

He went on to make infamous Channel 5 nudist gameshow Naked Jungle, appearing naked except for a hat, and also starred as himself in Ricky Gervais show Extras....

The larger-than-life character, described by his family as "a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend" leaves two children and his wife Maria. He had been cared for at a hospice in recent weeks.

Photo: BBC

Here is footage from the nude game show.

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British road barriers, modeled on children, stare into you

A town in Buckinghamshire, England, has repositioned road barriers made to look like children after a resident said they were too creepy. The toddler-sized safety posts were designed to be more attention-grabbing than the standard poles, and are.

There are eight of the child-shaped bollards outside four primary schools in Iver and Iver Heath. Iver Parish Council said the bollards cost £5,395, excluding installation. In September, local resident Jonny Baker said the bollards were "creepy and hideous". "I look out of my window every morning and these are what I see. They're absolutely terrifying," he said.

Here's video of the bollards.

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Report: Trump visit to Britain canceled

The Telegraph reports that Donald Trump's visit to the UK has been canceled -- at least for now. A planned "working" stop in the near future, mooted as a compromise to keep Trump away from the symbolic and prestigious trappings of an official state visit, unraveled after Trump retweeted islamophobic videos posted by a British fascist group, then harangued Prime Minister Theresa May on Twitter when she issued mild condemnation of his actions.

More forceful in his condemnation was London mayor Sadiq Kahn, who openly said Trump was unwelcome in his city.

Neither the working trip nor a state visit were ever scheduled. May's invitation riled many in Britain, where Trump is widely loathed. The scaled-down "working visit" would have allowed the president to avoid losing face should the state visit not quickly materialize. Read the rest

Casual sexism, British-style, in the Houses of Parliament

In Britain, a mirror-world scandal of harassment and abuse is unfolding. Like its American counterpart, it reaches into high levels of entertainment and government. But unlike America, the "jocular contempt for women" that Richard Rorty feared would return is already on merry display in Parliament itself.

"When I met the Israeli deputy prime minister, he stormed out of the meeting. The Secretary of State got a much more cordial reception," said Sir Desmond Swayne, a conservative MP. "Is it just because she's a lady?"

The smarm! The transparently false detachment! The bad comic timing! The sublimated, sneering rage! Affectation as the failure state of eccentricity! If all this is your cup of tea, be sure to check out the latest from Peter Hitchens.

Update: more from this charming "Sir Desmond" character:

The current ‘feeding frenzy’ of allegations where the most minor risqué remark is reported in the same breath as a very serious criminal offence is just absurd. It is just about as proportionate a reaction as the Junior Anti Sex League in George Orwell’s 1984.

As, I tweeted last week, I recall my housemaster’s advice when he reminded us of the rule that no boy be alone with a girl in his study “believe me boys, this is for your own safety”. I suspect that a number of parliamentary colleagues wish that they had had that advice, and taken it.

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Report condemns British police over failure to investigate stalking and harassment

In 112 recent cases of stalking and harassment reviewed by UK police watchdogs, "not a single one was dealt with properly," reports the BBC. The report, "Living in Fear," found that victims of harassment and stalking were widely disregard and left at risk, and often told that the harassment they received was their own fault.

One in five women and one in ten men report being stalked in the UK. The Crime Survey for England and Wales (as quoted by the BBC) reports 4.6% of women and 2.7% of men aged 16-59 were victims in 2015-16.

One victim said police made her feel she was to blame for receiving abusive messages on social media. "It was my fault for being on Facebook," she said.

The report also said police officers were failing to recognise repeated signs of a stalker, by treating each complaint in isolation rather than being part of a pattern.

That, in turn, meant police and prosecutors did not see the bigger picture and appreciate the full scale of the harm suffered by the victim.

Helen Pearson, from Devon, reported her stalker to the police 125 times over five years.

"They literally didn't want to know," she said. "I was a nuisance."

One victim publicly refused to accept an apology from Devon and Cornwall Police after being attacked by her stalker with a pair of scissors.

Helen Pearson, 34, suffered neck and face wounds when her neighbour Joseph Willis attacked her with scissors in an Exeter graveyard.

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Piers Morgan owned

Piers Morgan is a British journalist, pundit and Trumpkin who blew his big break in America and now presents breakfast television when not being nasty to women on Twitter. Here he is on Good Morning Britain getting savagely owned by copresenter Susanna Reid.

And here's a supercut of Reidian microexpressions, as she endures day after day of Morgan's vacuous, rambling bullshit:

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Man thrown 30 feet by runaway bus picks self up and enters pub

A fellow in Reading, England, was lucky to survive when a runaway bus plowed into him, sending him flying through the air and landing only inches from where the vehicle's tires barreled past. Fortunately there was a pub only feet away, allowing him to acquire a healing potion within seconds of the incident.

According to the BBC, Mr Smith suffered only minor injuries and said he feels "lucky to be alive".

Daniel Fraifeld, 50, who co-owns the Purple Turtle bar, said: "I think he [Simon] pretty much got up, brushed himself down and then an ambulance came and took him to be checked.

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A cloud shaped like Britain

This image, taken by Matt Hallas in the East Midlands, was sent into the BBC's splendid Weather Watchers page, which has many more atmospheric delights. Read the rest

UK Conservatives lose majority in election shocker

The Conservative Party had a startling collapse at the polls in the United Kingdom's general election, falling short of control of the House of Commons and forcing its leader, Prime Minister Theresa May, to cut a deal with the fringe Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to muster enough MPs to govern and cling to her job.

May called the snap election three years early, in hopes of turning a huge polling lead into a commanding political mandate going into forthcoming negotiations to leave the European Union. But instead of extending the party's slim majority, the Tories' shambolic campaign saw it evaporate as the opposition Labour party surged, led by an unexpectedly effective Jeremy Corbyn.

The general consensus is that May's failure is too great for her to continue as Prime Minister, especially with the chaos of Brexit negotiations looming. But she moved quickly to shore up her position, striking a deal to form a new government with DUP support as Corbyn and others called for her to resign.

With the count all but complete, the Conservaties won 318 seats, the Labour Party 261, the Scottish National party 35 seats, the Liberal Democrats 12 seats, the DUP 10 seats, and others 13. The far-right UK independence party did not win a single seat. Read the rest

Lord Buckethead wins 249 votes in UK general election challenge to Prime Minister May

Lord Buckethead, standing against British Prime Minister Theresa May in the country's Wednesday general election, won a staggering 249 votes. The "intergalactic space lord" who "enjoys planet-conquering" and "dominating inferior species" (and UK TV light entertainment classic Lovejoy) fought for office in the Maidenhead, Kent constituency hitherto and henceforth considered a safe seat for May's Conservative party.

Though Buckethead did well, May retained her seat by thousands of votes.

The nation as a whole, however, is unexpectedly up for grabs: May, convinced by opinion polls that a snap election would yield a landslide mandate for her Brexit agenda, instead found herself reeling against a resurgent Labour Party, led by the suddenly and unnervingly competent old-timey socialist Jeremy Corbyn. Though her party seems likely to retain the largest vote and perhaps a very slim majority in Parliament, her cred is toast. And Corbyn's success is energizing the left, and not just in Britain...

The far-right UKIP party seems to be utterly vanquished, too, a sweet outcome for anyone left of Mussolini.

That said, given the assumption Corbyn's Labour party will hang parliament without quite gathering enough seats to topple the Tories, are you ready for Prime Minister Boris? Just imagine how great he'll look in photo ops with Trump.

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Fox News apologizes after inviting on British celebrity racists to call for mass imprisonment of Muslims

Even Fox News has its faintly-drawn limits, and one of them appears to lie a few inches short of "let's have Nigel Farage and Katie Hopkins on to say we should round up the Muslims." Read the rest

Britons unbowed by terrorists—or by the hysterical Islamophobes demanding they panic

Here's a video of people in Manchester singing "Don't Look Back In Anger" after a moment's silence for the 22 people killed in this week's terror attack.

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