The worse your town was hit by austerity, the more likely you were to vote for Brexit

After the Brexit vote, a lot of people pointed out that the areas that voted most heavily in favour of separating from the EU were also the areas that relied most heavily on EU subsidies, and wondered why British voters would decide to slit their own throats. Read the rest

UK government defends the use of under 16s as covert operatives

A spokeswoman for UK Prime Minister Theresa May has gone to the House of Lords to defend the government's practice of recruiting "child spies," some of them under the age of 15, to gather intelligence "against terrorists, gangs and drug dealers." Read the rest

Major airlines won't fly kidnapped children anymore, but Trump is still welcome in the UK

United Airlines and American Airlines have signalled the end of their participation in Trump's practice of kidnapping children to scare away potential asylum seekers, (AA: "We have no desire to be associated with separating families, or worse, to profit from it"; UA: "Our company’s shared purpose is to connect people and unite the world. This policy and its impact on thousands of children is in deep conflict with that mission and we want no part of it") -- but Theresa May's Tory government has failed to rescind its invitation for Trump to stage a state visit to the UK, despite the "deeply disturbing" images of kidnapped, distraught children. Read the rest

UK security minister proposes "Digital IDs" to enforce online civility

Ben Wallach is Theresa May's security minister; he has proposed that the UK follow China's example and require that any place providing internet access use bank-account verification to affirmatively identify all the people who use the internet so they can be punished for bullying. Read the rest

Former Tory chancellor takes over newspaper, sells "money-can't buy" coverage to Uber, Google and others

George Osborne was David Cameron's Chancellor of the Exchequer, the architect of UK austerity; he was fired by Theresa May when she became Prime Minister and he did not run for re-election in the disastrous election of 2017, instead taking a job as editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard. Read the rest

8 years of austerity have turned the UK into a bleak Victorian dystopia, where pensioners without electricity die from fires ignited by their candles

It's been eight years since the Conservative government of David Cameron declared its austerity programme, slashing transfer grants to local governments and putting private firms in charge of rooting out people who could be denied benefits on any technicality. Read the rest

Canadian Conservative parliamentarian accuses black rival of "thinking the world revolves around her skin colour"

Dave writes, "Maxime Bernier, a far-right asshole who ran for leadership of Canada's Progressive Conservative party on a platform of 'fair gun policy' and 'standing up for rural Canadians,' decided that his colleague across the aisle (Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes) thought too much about her skin colour, and let it taint her point of view." Read the rest

Britain's hardline prohibitionist drugs minister is married to a weed grower

When Theresa May became the British Prime Minister, her pick for Home Office Undersecretary of State was Victoria Atkins, a former prosecutor who specialised in jailing drug users, and who was on record for her uncompromising, evidence-ignoring stance on any form of drugs legalisation. Read the rest

UK government will deputise newsagents to collect and retain identity documents from the nation's pornography viewers

The UK public has spent years being fed a diet of ridiculous, empty promises about the government's capacity to find and block every adult site on the internet, then securely identify who is an adult, and only allow adults to look at adult content. Read the rest

75% of Theresa May's £50m gift to grammar schools will go to Tory districts

The UK Conservative Party has "made Britain great again" by restoring systems that use tax money to subsidise the wealthy; for example, they have revived the "grammar school" system of publicly funded schools that get to turn away students based on their test scores. Since you can improve your test scores by paying expensive tutors, grammar schools are primarily a way of letting wealthy people enjoy a parallel, publicly funded educational system. Read the rest

Leaked Grenfell Towers papers: Tory politicians rejected fireproof cladding proposal for a 5.7% savings

The Grenfell Towers fire was one of the most deadly fires in modern British history, killing at least 72 people, with no way to know how many more may have died. Read the rest

The UK's Data Protection Bill doesn't protect immigrants; help the Open Rights Group raise £30,000 for a court challenge

The UK's Data Protection Bill is far-reaching and long overdue, extending vital privacy protection to Britons -- unless they're immigrants. Read the rest

Revenge of the Laughable Bumblefucks: Rob Ford's brother admits that actors were hired to pretend to be his supporters at rally

Doug Ford is the leader of the Ontario Provincial Party, a job he got through outright fraud; and it's only getting better: on Monday night, Ford -- brother of the dead, disgraced, crack-addicted, racist, sexist, rapey, violent, lying former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford -- showed up for a leadership debate in Toronto, cheered on by throngs of supporters, who turn out to have been paid actors pretending to be Conservatives. Read the rest

Bipartisan amendment forces UK government to impose transparency on its offshore tax havens

One cute side-effect of Brexit is that it got the UK out of pending EU rules limiting financial secrecy as part of a crackdown on money laundering by looting dictators, one percenters, and criminals; the Tories had put a process in train to come up with a made-in-Britain version, which was always going to be weaksauce thanks to the outsize influence of the City of London and its finance bosses on UK politics, but even that was killed by Theresa May's disastrous snap elections last year. Read the rest

Scottish Tories defeat anti-money-laundering measure aimed at shutting down the Russian oligarch-Scotland pipeline

The Scottish Limited Partnership is a notorious financial secrecy vehicle that's been used to launder at least $80 billion, mostly from oligarchs and organised crime figures from the former USSR, in only four years. Read the rest

The UK government declined a chance to get £364m out of Carillion before it failed, and British taxpayers are now on the hook for that money

Last December, the accounting giant EY presented a proposal to the failing mega-business Carillion to break it up and sell its profitable parts, keeping it from collapsing and sticking the British taxpayer with billions of pounds' worth of unfunded pension liabilities. Read the rest

Convicted criminal Silvio Berlusconi returns to Italian politics as a kingmaker

Silvio Berlusconi, a misogynist, racist creep-authoritarian who was caught paying a teenager for sex and then lied to cops to get them to stop investigating the case, is banned from holding public office in Italy thanks to a criminal conviction for fraud; but that hasn't kept Italy's media (a large slice of which he controls) from elevating him to the role of political kingmaker in the country's upcoming elections. Read the rest

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