In coronavirus shutdown, Britain will pay self-employed people 80% of average monthly profit

Wouldn't it be amazing if the United States did this?

Britain’s finance minister Rishi Sunak said Thursday all self-employed citizens will receive a taxable grant of 80% of their average monthly profits as part of the government’s coronavirus response plan. Read the rest

UK calls in army in COVID-19 fight, NHS staff feel like 'cannon fodder' over lack of coronavirus protection

Some NHS medical staff in the UK feel like 'cannon fodder' over the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) against coronavirus, and on Monday the government said the military would help ship millions of items including masks to healthcare workers who have complained of shortages.

Frontline staff in UK hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have been begging for masks, gloves, face shields, and hazmat suits.

The situation is so desperate that some nurses and doctors were and are reportedly improvising by tying plastic aprons around their heads, and affixing clinical waste bags around their legs. Read the rest

Coronavirus: UK will pay 80% of lost wages for those laid off due to COVID-19 outbreak

'For the first time in our history, the government is going to step in and help pay people's wages,' Rishi Sunak announces

The UK government will pay up to 80% of wages for workers who are at risk of being laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic, the chancellor has announced.

The United States is not doing anything like this, or discussing anything like this.

Why isn't the purportedly richest and most powerful and most awesomest country in the world, ours, doing the same -- or something close -- for the millions of suddenly jobless workers? Oh yeah, a corporate tax cut instead. And a single thousand-dollar check, or something. Thanks, GOP Senate. Read the rest

$1 million stolen in UK coronavirus scams

Criminals are tricking people who want to buy protective masks

In the United Kingdom, vulnerable people who are afraid of coronavirus have lost more than 800,000 british pounds ($1 million in US dollars) to coronavirus scams in the last month. Read the rest

UK to empower media regulator Ofcom to regulate internet, remove 'harmful' content

The UK government has announced a plan to put media regulator Ofcom in charge of regulating the internet, with a focus on removing illegal content and minimizing “harmful” content. Read the rest

UK says OK to Huawei

The UK will allow China's Huawei to build what are described as 'non-core' elements of a British 5G network, but the Chinese company is not allowed to operate at what are defined by the government as sensitive sites. Read the rest

Brexit means the UK will shelve the EU Copyright Directive (for now)

Last year, the EU adopted the incredibly controversial Copyright Directive (it passed by only five votes, and afterwards 10 MEPs said they'd got confused and pushed the wrong buttons!): now, EU member states have to create rules that require online platforms to filter all user-generated content and block it if it matches a secret, unaccountable blacklist of supposedly copyrighted works; and to allow news sites to veto or charge for links to their articles. 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

US pharma and biotech lobbyists' documents reveal their plan to gouge Britons in any post-Brexit trade-deal

Both Phrma (the lobby for the global pharmaceutical industry) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization (biotech lobbyists) provided letters to a US-UK government meeting to discuss post-Brexit trade terms, in which both organisations called for substantially higher British prices for essential medicines after Brexit. Read the rest

Opendemocracy: the Libdems tried to censor our article about their sale of voter data, then used a forged email to intimidate us

There's not really any dispute that the UK Liberal Democrats party sold voter data for £100,000 to the Remain campaign in 2016, though the Information Commissioner's Office tried to suppress that revelation until after the coming election; the Libdems say they did nothing wrong, but when Opendemocracy's Jim Cusick approached the party for a statement ahead of an article, he got no reply. 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

Crowdfunding another year of Theyworkforyou, the UK's astounding, essential political tool

For more than a decade, Britons have relied on Mysociety's Theyworkforyou to find out who represents them in Parliament (as well as the regional assemblies), find out what those people are doing and saying, and to get in touch with their lawmakers and their fellow constituents to hold them to account. 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

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

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

Why are we still treating economics as if it were an empirical science that makes reliable predictions?

Robert Skidelsky is an eccentric British economist: trained at Oxford, author of a definitive three-volume biography of Keynes, a Lord who sat with the Tories as their economics critic during the Blair regime, who now sits as an independent who is aligned with Labour's left wing. Back in September, Yale University Press published Skidelsky's latest book, Money and Government: The Past and Future of Economics, a retelling of the history of economics as a discipline that seeks to uncover how economics' failings created the 2008 crisis and have only made things worse since. Read the rest

Labour pledges universal broadband and nationwide fibre, will renationalise the farcical, terrible BT Openreach

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party have pledged universal, free broadband and a nationwide fibre buildout by 2030 if elected; they plan to renationalise parts of BT and tax Big Tech to pay for the fibre rollout. Read the rest

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