Uber loses license to drive in London

Ride-hailing service Uber has lost its license to operate private hire vehicles in London, after Transport For London authorities discovered that over 14,000 trips were taken with more than 40 drivers operating under fake identities on the Uber app.

The Uber cars won't disappear from London streets right away -- the company plans to appeal. Read the rest

Extinction Rebellion floats a drowned house down the Thames

Extinction Rebellion's Sinking House is a protest art-installation in the form of a suburban house drowning in the Thames. They launched it early last Sunday. Read the rest

A Museum of Neoliberalism is opening in London next week

Earlier this year, Boing Boing favorite artist Darren Cullen (previously) and Gavin Grindon created a Museum of Neoliberalism in Brighton, England -- now, he's fundraising to open it up again in London for six months. Read the rest

How the British left should seize this moment to strip finance of its political clout

In 1977, Nicholas Ridley, a Tory MP in Margaret Thatcher's government, wrote The Ridley Plan, a kind of shock doctrine manual that the Thatcher government followed in its program of mass-privatisations, attacks on trade unions, and the "stealth" privatisation of the NHS. Read the rest

What the London Underground used to be like

From the Kino Library comes this set of film clips shot on the London Underground in the 1960s and 1970s.

View at end of tube platform looking up at crowded platform and tube train, Victoria, pulling in. Men and women passengers board train, pushing on. POV from front of train through tunnel and past passengers waiting on platform as it comes to a halt. Shot on board tube carriage, sun streams through windows as it rides through London suburbs. Men in bowler hats reading newspapers. One woman in 1960s outfit sits in FG. Commuters. Passengers bounce around as train moves. Scene gets darker as train goes through tunnel. INT dark tube carriage. Men and women sit reading, quiet. INT tube station great shot at base of escalator, people coming down. Lots of miniskirts. Late 1960s fashions. 1960s passengers out of tube and up stairs, poster just seen ‘Heals Sale Now On’. People walking up stairs. People coming down escalator.

I lived in London in the late 1970s, when it was as depicted here but more run down, and the late 1990s, when it was all being renovated into a clean new sci-fi set. Different worlds! (Except for the Northern Line, which for some reason was not being upgraded and I guess is still exactly like this video.) Read the rest

London Metropolitan Police Service bans Extinction Rebellion from entering the city

Folks have been protesting about our species' slow turning of the knife deeper into the belly of Mother Earth for a long time now. However, once it became evident that it was a killing wound we inflicted on the environment, leaving us well and truly fucked, the protests escalated in size and numbers. Quickly.

Kids have been walking out of class, taking to the streets by the thousands. The pillaging of the Amazon, which has been going on for decades, is suddenly on the agenda in a big way with the United Nations and popping up in news broadcasts around the world. The climate activist group Extinction Rebellion is all up in everyone's grills around the globe, too. Recently, members of the group took to the streets to block traffic and generally fuck shit up (in a good way!) in major cities around the globe. London was on their hit list and man, did they hit it: shutting down streets in the city's downtown core, primarily in Trafalgar Square. Flights out of Heathrow Airport were disrupted. Over an eight-day period, London's Metropolitan Police Service threw over 1,300 of the protesters in the clink. It seems that the MPS was so sick of filling out paperwork for the arrests that they opted to make it illegal for Extinction Rebelling to do their thing within the city's borders... which, when you think about it will likely result in more paperwork. But hey: I am but a simple writer.

From The Guardian:

The Metropolitan police issued a revised section 14 order on Monday night that said “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘Autumn Uprising’ ...

Read the rest

Trial begins for the "cum/ex" bankers accused of stealing €447m and trying for €60b

You know that late-stage capitalism is upon us when a financial scandal targeting €60 billion in fraud against public treasuries is lost in the noise of other scandals. Read the rest

Vagina museum opens soon

The world's first vagina museum will open November 16 in London. Read the rest

#29leaks: someone leaked 15 years' worth of data from London's most notorious shell-company factory

Formations House is a London "financial services" firm that has been implicated in some of the world's most notorious money-laundering and fraud schemes, a company that has formed more than 400,000 companies, trusts and partnerships for its customers, many of them prefabricated, anonymous "shelf companies" that have been used to disguise the parties behind breathtaking frauds, some perpetrated by corrupt heads of state. Read the rest

After the Oliver Twist poorhouse became luxury housing with a segregated playground, London bans segregated play-areas

The world is full of corrupt oligarchs looking to smuggle their money out of their countries and put it somewhere where the rule of law that they have helped to dismantle at home still reigns; a favourite safe asset class is luxury housing in major cities, which is viewed as easy to sell on short notice due to the large supply of other money-laundering oligarchs. Read the rest

The Oliver Twist workhouse is becoming a block of luxury flats with a "poor door"

The incredible human misery on display at the workhouse attached to central London's Middlesex Hospital inspired Charles Dickens to write "Oliver Twist"; now, Camden council has granted a developer permission to develop the site into luxury flats (just in time for the luxury flat crash!), in exchange for a commitment to build some below-market-rent social housing flats, which will be accessible through "poor doors." Read the rest

British jury ignores judge and frees self-represented climate activists based on the "necessity defense"

In 2017, climate activists Roger Hallam and David Durant painted the words "divest from oil and gas" on a wall at King’s College London in chalk paint; they were facing £7,000 in fines and up to 18 months in prison, and did not qualify for a legal aid lawyer. Read the rest

London cops switch off wifi in the tube to make it harder for climate protesters to organise

This morning, the British Transport Police has ordered Virgin Media to switch off the wifi to some undisclosed London Underground stations in a bid to make it harder for climate protesters to organise their activities. Read the rest

Brexit is cratering London house prices

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' latest UK house price survey blames Brexit for continued declines in property prices in London and the southeast, "the worst slump since the financial crisis," with far more supply than demand. (via Naked Capitalism) Read the rest

Edward Snowden to keynote London's ORGCON!

ORGCON19 is the annual conference put on by the UK Open Rights Group (disclosure: I co-founded ORG and volunteer on its advisory board); it is "the UK’s largest human and digital rights conference," and this year's conference -- held on July 13 in central London -- is centred on "Data and Democracy, Digital Privacy, Online Censorship & the Role of Algorithms," so it only follows that the whistleblower Edward Snowden as its keynote speaker! Read the rest

London developer makes last-minute changes to lock poor kids out of "communal" playground

Henley Homes got permission to build a 149-home development on the site of the Baylis Old School complex on Lollard Street by promising to include some subsidised, below-market-rent units and "a network of courtyards and open spaces ... which will provide attractive areas for informal play. This will emphasise the sense of community within the scheme stressing that the common areas are there for the use of all the residents." Read the rest

Majority of London's newly built luxury flats are unsold, raising the spectre of "posh ghost towers"

Property developers in London built more than 1,900 luxury flats in 2018, the majority of which have so far failed to sell; all told, there are 3,000 luxury flats on the market, a high-water mark for a city whose property market was hijacked by offshore oligarchs and criminals who converted much of the housing stock into empty safe-deposit boxes in the sky. Read the rest

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