London cops announce citywide facial recognition cameras

In 2018, London's Metropolitan Police Force announced trials of a facial recognition system that could be married to the city's legendarily invasive CCTV thicket; the tests failed 98% of the time and led to arrests of people who opted out by covering their faces. Read the rest

The UK's Conservative Party recently put up a new statue of known anti-Semite Nancy Astor

Nancy Astor was the first woman to sit in Parliament; this is true. She took her seat as a member of the Conservative Party on November 28, 1919. And so, to celebrate the centennial, the party put up a brand new statue of her outside of her former home at Plymouth Hoe. According to the BBC, the statue was made by artist Hayley Gibbs and cost £125,000, which was raised through crowdfunding.

It's somewhat of a relief that they paid for it themselves. Because Astor wasn't actually the first woman elected to Parliament. No, that honor went to that incomparable badass Constance Markievicz, the Irish revolutionary, suffragette, and staunch advocate for workers' rights. In keeping with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy, however, Markievicz refused to actually take her seat in the British House of Commons, or participate in any parliamentary processes.

But okay, fine. Nancy Astor was the first woman to literally take her seat in Parliament. Whereas Markievicz famously advised women to, "Leave your jewels in the bank and buy a revolver," Astor once said, "I am the kind of woman I would run from." Case in point: while Astor claimed to despise the Nazi party for oppressing women, she also allegedly told Joseph Kennedy that she saw Hitler as a welcome solution to the “world problems” that were the Jews. According to the History News Network:

Astor wrote Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than just "give a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before she'd be in favor of launching  "Armageddon to save them.

Read the rest

A song about the Tories, for anyone confused about this Thursday's election

Andy Moore writes, "My friend the marvelous Ms. Truelove Waits made a song containing election advice for anyone in the UK confused about who to vote for this Thursday." (I am a member of the Labour Party and a donor to the 2019 campaign). Read the rest

A quick trip through the ghastly, racist, sexist, eugenicist, authoritarian things that Boris Johnson has said in recent years

For many years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was a newspaper columnist for the Telegraph, where he espoused some of the most reactionary, disqualifying garbage ever published by a mainstream UK publication, a trend that continued after he began his political career. Business Insider has rounded up a "greatest hits" reel of Bojo's most disgusting and awful rhetoric, as the old Etonian plute fights his first-ever election as a prime ministerial candidate. Read the rest

The Labour manifesto: transformation of the welfare system, fair conditions for workers, universal housing, home care for elderly, fully funded NHS, fair taxes for the rich

The Labour Party's 2020 Election Manifesto is out, and it promises a comprehensive reworking of the British state to benefit the vast majority of Britons, not the tiny minority who have waxed ever-richer through decades of neoliberalism and ten years of cruel Tory austerity. Read the rest

Twitter censures UK Tory Party for changing its blue-check account name to "FactCheckUK" during the prime ministerial debates

The UK is having an election in less than a month, and last night, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn debated Tory archclown Boris Johnson for a televised debate in which Johnson had to defend his record as a lying, racist, philandering, cowardly failure of a human being, and of a leader to his party and the nation. Read the rest

Supercut of British voters insulting Boris Johnson on the campaign trail

Presenting: Boris Johnson Gets Out of London and Talks to People Who Are Not Rich Remainers: The Essential Collection. Read the rest

Britain's unbelievably stupid, dangerous porn "age verification" scheme is totally dead

For years, Her Majesty's Government has been pursuing a plan to use the Great Firewall of Britain to block all porn sites unless they collect and retain personally identifying information on every porn user attesting to their age, thus fashioning the world's largest kompromat database, which -- thanks to the use of credit-cards as part of the verification scheme -- could be conveniently sorted by its members' net worth by would-be blackmailers. Read the rest

CBC sues Canada's Conservative Party for using short debate clips in campaign materials

Canada's Conservative Party is terrible, and it has terrible policies, and it will be terrible for Canada if they are elected. I already voted against them with my mail-in ballot. That said, the CBC is 100% wrong to sue the Tories for copyright infringement over the inclusion of short debate clips in Conservative campaign websites and tweets. Read the rest

Cutbacks caused Brexit: austerity correlates with UKIP membership

Not much detail, as the paper that makes the claim is only available at present to American Economic Association members; but in Did Austerity Cause Brexit? University of Warwick economist Thiemo Fetzer asserts that he found a "significant association between the exposure of an individual or area to the UK government’s austerity-induced welfare reforms begun in 2010, and the following: the subsequent rise in support for the UK Independence Party, an important correlate of Leave support in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union membership; broader individual-level measures of political dissatisfaction; and direct measures of support for Leave. Leveraging data from all UK electoral contests since 2000, along with detailed, individual-level panel data, the findings suggest that the EU referendum could have resulted in a Remain victory had it not been for austerity." (Image: Peter Damian, CC-BY-SA) (via Marginal Revolution) Read the rest

How Boris Johnson's "model bus hobby" non sequitur manipulated the public discourse and his search results

Boris Johnson is a racist, sexist, homophobic lying buffoon who has been repeatedly caught out using lies to sway public opinion, and that's why he's likely to lead the UK Conservative party and become the country's Prime Minister. Read the rest

"PM for a day": dissident Tories plan to bring down the government the day after Boris Johnson becomes Prime Minister

Boris Johnson -- a racist, sexist, homophobic lying buffoon who has been repeatedly caught out using lies to sway public opinion -- is now, incredibly, tipped to become the leader of the Conservative Party and thus the Prime Minister of the UK (this is because outgoing PM Theresa May totally bungled Brexit, and the UK's form of parliamentary democracy lets the ruling party fill the PM's seat with a vote of party members, and the British Tories have become the swivel-eyed racist loony party, and Boris is the perfect nominee for King of the Racist Swivel-Eyed Loons). Read the rest

The UK government gave away cheap money for property purchase deposits, which the wealthy abused, driving up property prices and leaving UK taxpayers exposed

In 2013, the UK coalition government of David Cameron's Tories and the Libdems' Nick Clegg launched a "Help to Buy" scheme that gave incredibly cheap, taxpayer subsidised loans to first-time homebuyers, who got their money interest free for five years and thereafter had to repay it at 1.75% interest. Read the rest

On Grenfell's second anniversary, 60,000 Britons are still living in firetraps clad in the same deadly, decorative materials

It's been two years since the Grenfell tower block in north Kensington burned, killing at least 72 people: the blaze revealed deep corruption and indifference among Britain's richest people and the millionaire Conservative politicians who do their business in Parliament, from the fact that the highly flammable cladding responsible for the blaze was added so that the building would be more attractive to rich people in nearby luxury tower blocks, to the fact that the fire came five years after Tory PM David Cameron declared war on "safety culture" to the fact that Tory politicians (overwhelming landlords themselves) had voted down a bill to require landlords to ensure that the properties they rented were safe and "fit for human habitation", to the fact that local Tory councillors had deliberately chosen a more fire-prone cladding to save 5.7% on the cost of materials -- the same local government that forced Grenfell survivors to bid against each other for new homes and then paid the same company that installed the flammable cladding to replace it. Read the rest

Boris Johnson may be the UK's next Prime Minister, but he's up on criminal charges for Brexit "Battle Bus" lies

Boris Johnson (previously) is the racist, cowardly serial liar whose Old Etonian wealth and privilege warped and corrupted him into the kind of man who smashed up restaurants in acts of wanton, drunken vandalism, the sort of man who could never win a general election in the UK. Read the rest

Big Tech lobbyists and "open for business" Tories killed Ontario's Right-to-Repair legislation

In February, Liberal Party opposition MPP Michael Coteau introduced Right to Repair legislation after he was charged $400 to fix the cracked screen on his daughter's Samsung phone; that bill is now dead, as are dozens of Right to Repair bills introduced in US state houses, after Conservative MPs, heavily lobbied by US Big Tech firms, killed it before it could proceed to committee. Read the rest

Ontario's low-budget Trump-alike wants to eliminate sedation for people getting colonoscopies

Doug Ford (previously) is the trumpian buffoon elected to the office of Premier of Ontario by rural voters who never experienced his laughable bumblefuckery firsthand (the people of Toronto -- who suffered under his tenure on city council while his asshole crackhead brother was mayor -- resoundingly voted against him). Read the rest

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