Tag Archives | UK

Outrage in UK Over ‘Royal Heilnesses’ Film and Story Shows Queen Elizabeth Giving Nazi Salute

Rupert Murdoch will never receive a knighthood now. His ultra-lowbrow tabloid The Sun has published a film and story depicting the British royal family giving Nazi salutes as a front page story with the blaring headline “THEIR ROYAL HEILNESSES” (see below).

heilnesses

Needless to say the official response from Buckingham Palace is one of outrage and condemnation. The Sun describes the twenty-second film from Balmoral Castle in Scotland:

The film shows the then Princess Elizabeth, just seven, larking about in 1933.

Egging on her sister Princess Margaret, three, is their uncle Prince Edward, Prince of Wales. He was a sympathiser towards Hitler’s Nazi Germany and became King Edward VIII.

It’s unclear what Murdoch’s motivation may be, but considering the phone hacking scandal in which he and his heir apparent son James were roundly condemned and cast out by the British establishment, perhaps there’s more to the story than just selling newspapers.

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British Government Tested Chemical and Biological Agents on Thousands of Citizens

If you were in the UK in the 1950s and ’60s, there’s a decent chance that you were subjected to chemical and/or biological warfare tests by the British Government, reports the Independent:

During the Cold War, the British Government used the general public as unwitting biological and chemical warfare guinea pigs on a much greater scale than previously thought, according to new historical research.

Barons Court Station - geograph.org.uk - 1762897.jpg

London Underground Commuters were exposed to toxic bacteria in 1964. Photo by Ben Brooksbank (CC)

 

In more than 750 secret operations, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Britons were subjected to ‘mock’ biological and chemical warfare attacks launched from aircraft, ships and road vehicles.

Up until now historians had thought that such operations had been much less extensive. The new research, carried out by Ulf Schmidt, Professor of Modern History at the University of Kent, has revealed that British military aircraft dropped thousands of kilos of a chemical of ‘largely unknown toxic potential’ on British civilian populations in and around Salisbury in Wiltshire, Cardington in Bedfordshire and Norwich in Norfolk.

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Spy Agency’s Secret Plans to Foster Online “Conformity” and “Obedience” Exposed

Creative Heroes (CC BY 2.0)

Creative Heroes (CC BY 2.0)

This post was originally published on Common Dreams. See more of Jon Queally’s posts here.

With never-before-seen documents accompanied by new reporting on Monday, The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Fishman are offering a more in-depth look than ever into how a secretive unit of the UK’s GCHQ surveillance agency used a host of psychological methods and online subterfuge in order to manipulate the behavior of individuals and groups through the internet and other digital forms of communication.

According to the reporting, the latest documents, which were leaked to journalists by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden,

demonstrate how the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit of the signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is involved in efforts against political groups it considers “extremist,” Islamist activity in schools, the drug trade, online fraud, and financial scams.

Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile in the public understanding, after documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in “dirty tricks” like deploying sexual “honey traps” designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks, and generally warping discourse online.

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I Spent the Night in the Tate Gallery, Listening to the Quiet Sounds of Art Activism


Ellen Booth writes at Common Dreams:

It’s 5:20am in the morning, and I’m sitting on a small folding stool at the side of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. It feels strangely soothing as I sit listening to the musical night time sounds inside the Tate Modern. The drone of the air conditioning units forms the backdrop to a cacophony of dull repetitive chimes, scraping of chairs and cordons as cleaners work, distant frustrated clanging of management doors, and a ghostly gusting of wind through the corridors and rafters above.

In front of me, a bright line of books reflects the rising morning sun. To the left of these books, a cluster of friends and journalists sleep, sniffling and snoring, surrounding a store of precious water and food. To the right, a tired shift of performers in veils, kneel to scrawl charcoal messages of hope and despair on the floor. The squeaking of charcoal sounds like so many happy mice, busy at work.

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CCTV Looking Out For Them Not You

cctv advocates reading list
Essential reading for all CCTV advocates

How did the United Kingdom, a country that supposedly had such high regard for individual freedom, fall under the spell of an all pervasive surveillance state? To understand how the spell was cast and why it was effective, we need to look back to the 1990s when the CCTV camera gold rush began in earnest.

A key catalyst was the manufacture of consent — the government, assisted by its trusted media, went on a charm offensive to create support for CCTV cameras. Despite the fact that the technology was untested and therefore had no evidence in support of their claims, they promoted cameras as a magical solution to fix all of society’s ills.

Central government funding and the creation of the CCTV myth

In the 1990s, the central government invited local councils to bid for funding in a series of “competitions” called “City Challenge”. Shortly after the announcement of one such funding round in 1994, the Home Office published a guidance document entitled ‘CCTV – Looking out for you’ [1].… Read the rest

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How Thatcher’s Government Covered Up a VIP Pedophile Ring

Now that most of the major figures are dead, the truth is emerging about the systematic sexual abuse of children by members of the British government, reports Nico Hines at Daily Beast:

A newspaper editor was handed startling evidence that Britain’s top law enforcement official knew there was a VIP pedophile network in Westminster, at the heart of the British government. What happened next in the summer of 1984 helps to explain how shocking allegations of rape and murder against some of the country’s most powerful men went unchecked for decades.

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Thatcher’s Ministry meets Reagan’s cabinet in 1981.

 
Less than 24 hours after starting to inquire about the dossier presented to him by a senior Labour Party politician, the editor was confronted in his office by a furious member of parliament who threatened him and demanded the documents. “He was frothing at the mouth and really shouting and spitting in my face,” Don Hale told The Daily Beast.

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The Three Most Desirable Jobs in Britain: Author, Librarian, Academic

It seems that Britain is about to change from a nation of shopkeepers to a nation of bookworms if this report in the Independent is to be believed:

Forget dreams of a glittering career in Premier League football or Hollywood. The three most desirable jobs in Britain are an author, a librarian and an academic, according to a new study that suggests the country is increasingly bookish in its career aspirations.

British Museum Reading Room by Eneas (CC)

British Museum Reading Room by Eneas (CC)

 

The “aura of prestige” connected with a career in writing or academia is preferable to jobs that brought promises of wealth and celebrity status, according to a Yougov survey with more than 14,000 respondents.

Being an author was the most popular choice among both men and women, with more than 60 per cent selecting it as their dream job. It was followed by a career as a librarian (54 per cent) and in academia (51 per cent).

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Science for the People!

CC-BY: BSSRS/Wellcome Images

CC-BY: BSSRS/Wellcome Images

There’s a smell in Battersea, south-west London. Today, there are streams of the internet devoted to a whiff of toast commuters notice on the train over the river. It’s something to do with local coffee roasters, apparently. But in the early 1970s, the area was very different economically, and the stink wasn’t nearly so pleasant. The strong stench – described at the time as “like dead bodies” – was colloquially known as “The Battersea Smell”.

There was various speculation about causes. Most likely was that the stench came from one or two local factories – the gin distillers John Watney and Co and the glucose manufacturers Garton Sons and Co. But no one really knew. Moreover, the local council seemed to be actively avoiding trying to find out, and avoiding attempting to do much about it.

As a local paper at the time noted, “We can get to the moon, phone relatives in Australia, perform miracles of surgery but a simple matter like getting rid of a smell seems to baffle everyone.”

Residents were especially annoyed as the local council insisted they use (expensive) smokeless fuel to cut air pollution yet seemed to do nothing about the stink.… Read the rest

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British Jihadis to Undergo Forced De-Radicalization

Although the British government’s motives may be honorable, deprogramming anyone sounds scarily close to brainwashing. Breitbart has the story:

Britain’s governing coalition has agreed that potential Jihadis who return to Britain from abroad should be forced to undergo a de-radicalisation programme when they arrive back in the UK.

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Photo: Menendj (CC)

The proposal is one of a series of measures agreed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats who form Britain’s coalition government. Also proposed is a new law to force airlines to share full passenger lists with police and security agencies, and plans to temporarily suspend to passports of UK citizens fighting for ISIS, preventing them from coming home.

According to the Sun, talks over the measures were “tense” and going on well into the night last night, ahead of the Prime Minister’s emergency statement in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The proposals come after the UK’s offical terror threat level was raised last week to severe, meaning that an attack is “highly likely”.

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Leaked Documents Reveal GCHQ Has Tools to Manipulate Online Information

Government_Communications_Headquarters_logo.svgDocuments have been leaked that show how the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has tools that can manipulate online information.

via The Guardian:

The disclosure comes the day before the UK parliament is due to begin up to three days’ debate on emergency legislation governing British surveillance capabilities. With cross-party support the bill is expected to be voted through this week.

Among the programs revealed in the document are:

• GATEWAY: the “ability to artificially increase traffic to a website”.

• CLEAN SWEEP which “masquerade[s] Facebook wall posts for individuals or entire countries”.

• SCRAPHEAP CHALLENGE for “perfect spoofing of emails from BlackBerry targets”.

• UNDERPASS to “change outcome of online polls”.

• SPRING BISHOP to find “private photos of targets on Facebook”.

The document also details a range of programs designed to collect and store public postings from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, and to make automated postings on several of the social networks.

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