"Economic murder": Senior UK public health researchers say 120,000 people died under Tory austerity

Dr Ben Maruthappu, a senior public health researcher from University College London is the lead author on a forthcoming peer-reviewed paper in the BMJ Open which attempts to quantify additional deaths attributable to the UK Conservative Party's austerity measures under the 2010-2015 coalition government and the Tory governments since; Maruthappu and his co-authors attribute 120,000 deaths to austerity, and call them "economic murder." Read the rest

How the UK's "Company Factories" helped criminals from 13 countries launder £80B in stolen and looted money

Transparency International found 766 dodgy companies registered to just 6 UK addresses, formed by Trust and Companies Service Providers (colloquially called "company factories") that took advantage of the drastic understaffing at Companies House (the primary oversight body for company formation) to launder over £80 billion in stolen money smuggled out of 13 countries. Read the rest

Owner of a private school bus contractor fires low-waged drivers and shuts company without notice: "Fuck it"

Nippybus bills itself as "one of Somerset’s leading independent bus companies" and operates a schoolbus contract for a local council in Somerset, England, where it struggles to recruit drivers thanks to the low wages it offers. Read the rest

Someone dropped a USB stick containing a bunch of sensitive security data about Heathrow

A London man found a USB stick on a pavement in west London and (unwisely) plugged it into a computer, only to discover that it contained 76 folders with at least 174 documents full of sensitive information on the security arrangements at Heathrow airport, including "the types of ID needed to access restricted areas, a timetable of security patrols and maps pinpointing CCTV cameras" as well as the measures used to protect the Queen when she flies through LHR. Read the rest

UK Tory aides are circulating a list of accused sexual predators and harassers in Parliament

The spreadsheet contains 36 names: 2 Cabinet ministers identified as engaging in inappropriate behaviour towards women; 18 ministers who are said to have engaged in sexual misconduct; 12 MPs accused of sexually harassing female researchers and 4 MPs accused of harassing male researchers. Read the rest

Family on overnight BA flight refused seat switch as they were gnawed by bedbugs

A family of three (including a 7 year old girl) on a British Airways overnight from Vancouver to London spotted bedbugs crawling on their seats and alerted the crew, but the crew said the flight was sold out and wouldn't move them, so they spent 9 hours getting gnawed by bedbugs, arriving with their skin "absolutely covered" in bites. Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn to European left-wing parties: you won't win until you abandon neoliberalism

The Europe Together conference in Brussels brought together party leadership from "centre-left" parties across Europe; Jeremy Corbyn got two standing ovations for a barn-burning speech in which he called on European left wing parties to abandon Blairite anti-union/pro-bank policies and embrace policies that helped working families and reduced inequality. Read the rest

The Tories replaced benefits with "universal credit" and left a town to starve

In 2013, the Scottish city of Inverness had the unfortunate fate of being picked as the trial site for a pilot of "universal credit," one of the UK Conservative government's big ideas, in which the various benefits paid to low-income people were replaced with a single payment, centrally administered. Read the rest

Jeremy Corbyn: damned right we're a threat to the economic order

Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond called the Labour Party an "existential challenge to our economic model"; to which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, that is "absolutely right" and that Labour would destroy the current model, which "allows homelessness to double, 4 million children to live in poverty and over a million older people not getting the care they need." Read the rest

After her spies told Thatcher they thought an MP was raping children, she knighted him

The UK has been rocked by a series of "historic sex scandals" in which beloved cultural and political figures -- Clement Freud, Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris and many others -- have been revealed to have been sexual predators since the earliest days, using their money and respectability to rape children for decades with impunity. When each new horror surfaces, one of the first questions the public asks is, "Who knew about this and helped to cover it up?" Read the rest

Ofcom wants to give Britons the right to cancel their broadband when speed guarantees are broken

A new consultation by the UK telcoms regulator Ofcom will require ISPs to match the speeds they advertise, and if they fail to do so, customers will get the right to unilaterally cancel their broadband subscriptions without penalty. Read the rest

Theresa May coughs through a catastrophic party conference speech plagued by pranks and a crumbling set

Theresa May's speech to the Conservative Party conference last night was a "nightmare," from the moment when comedian Lee Nelson (last seen showering corrupt FIFA boss with handfuls of money) crept up to the stage and handed the Prime Minister a P45 form (the form that bosses in the UK use to formally fire their employees), telling her "Boris told me to do it." Read the rest

Thanks to the EU, the UK's privacy law may solve the mystery of Facebook and the last US election

The EU's data-protection framework is not without its flaws, but it does allow the public to force companies like Facebook to hand over all the data they hold on you, and that means that Americans can use the law to force Facebook to reveal how the Trump campaign's targeted ads worked. Read the rest

The London Underground thinks it can sell travelers' attention and wifi data for £322m

Since late 2016, the Transport for London has been running a pilot scheme, providing wifi to passengers while logging and retaining all the wifi traffic coming in and out of its access points, compiling a massive dossier on every tube-rider who had wifi turned on for their devices, whether or not they ever accessed the wifi service. Read the rest

The future of digital rights in the UK will start at ORGCon 17, London, Nov 4-5

There has never been a moment in which digital rights in the UK were more up for grabs, between Brexit, sweeping new surveillance powers, and the accelerating drumbeat of the digitisation of every aspect of life and society. Read the rest

Right-wing thinktank polls UK, find vast majority favour Labour's policies

In Public opinion in the post-Brexit era, the centre-right thinktank Legatum reveals that 83% of Britons favour re-nationalising water companies; 77% want to re-nationalise electricity, and 76% want to re-nationalize the railroads. Read the rest

Brexit: UK Tories propose changing thousands of laws in secret, without Parliamentary oversight

Much of the UK's system of laws and "unwritten constitution" derives from EU law, so with Brexit inexorably advancing, the UK has to pass a whole raft of parallel legislation that will replace the EU laws with UK versions, lest there be a "legal black hole" the day after Brexit. Read the rest

More posts