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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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.
Here is footage from the nude game show.
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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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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
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:
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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.
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.
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Helen Pearson, 34, suffered neck and face wounds when her neighbour Joseph Willis attacked her with scissors in an Exeter graveyard.
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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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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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
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, 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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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."
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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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Fergus Wilson rents almost 1000 properties in Kent, England, but not to Indians, Pakistanis, or women who are survivors of domestic violence. The BBC reports that this sterling example of British tolerance is getting sued.
He has insisted he is not racist and has rented to "non-white" people, including Gurkhas.
Mr Wilson said: "It is not the colour of their skin, but the smell of the curry.
"The EHRC appears to be saying that the purchaser then must let the house to someone who does cook curry."
Advocacy group Hope Not Hate said: "Mr Wilson needs to join the 21st century.
"It's almost as if he has taken a tick box to offend every vulnerable group in Britain.
"We hope these legal proceedings will help him rapidly re-focus his outdated views."
It's almost comical, how his rental criteria measure a disparate but illustrative collection of inane bigoted resentments. Read the rest
I lived in Britain for 20 years and am still amazed by Drunk-Scientist's map
of London's commuter drainage basins. Read the rest
London's Evening Standard writes that since Britain's vote to leave the European Union, reports of crimes involving racial hatred on the London Underground have risen 57%.
A total of 468 racially and religiously aggravated offences were reported on the Tube from July to December, compared with 297 in the six months leading up to the referendum in June.
The crimes also surged in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote and in the weeks after the election of Donald Trump in November.
Hate offences have increased each year since 2014. British Transport Police recorded a total of 765 last year, 580 in 2015 and 485 in 2014.
British Transport Police make the important point that a nationwide campaign is underway to encourage victims and witnesses to report racial abuse, so it may be that greater awareness is as much in play as increased incidence. The crimes reported include what in the U.S. would be not usually be criminal (e.g. Nazi salutes and slurs) but also assaults, batteries, systematic harassment by tired and emotional solicitors, etc. Read the rest
In Britain, grounds for divorce are quite specific: adultery, desertion, "unreasonable behavior", the agreement of both parties or five years separation. An appeals court has therefore affirmed another judge's ruling that Tini Owens, 66, is not otherwise permitted to divorce her husband of 39 years.
Judge Robin Tolson ruled against Mrs Owens in the family court last year, concluding that her allegations were "of the kind to be expected in marriage" and refused to grant a divorce petition.
Three appeal judges, led by Sir James Munby, the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, analysed the case at a hearing in London on Tuesday.
Philip Marshall QC, representing Mrs Owens, told the court that the "vast majority" of divorces were undefended in 21st Century England.
He said: "It is extraordinarily unusual in modern times for a court to dismiss a petition for divorce."
She said the marriage was loveless, desperately unhappy, and that she was left in a wretched state by his manner, tone, insensitivity and mistrust.
Her complaint reads like the script of a grim British cringe-humor sitcom: yelling at her in an airport after her failure to buy the right crystal tchotchke from duty free; nasty remarks during dinner with guests; endless passive-aggressive sighing and tutting, etc.
the Respondent saying, “can I say something without you
flying off the handle? I have said this before that when you put
cardboard in the skip, do it properly and not without any
thought about what will happen to it. Read the rest