Tag Archives | UK

Possible next step for the UK Police Service?

Combat knife and grenade as standard

Police do not carry guns as standard in the United Kingdom. However some young British would-be coppers will be getting an interesting alternative option in their stockings this year. Why bother with a gun when you can pack a grenade, combat knife (complete with knuckle guard) and military style hard hat?

Might come in useful in the event of a re-run of the spontanious rioting that blighted 2011. Certainly puts a different twist on the idea of the UK being ‘policed by consent’.

Merry Christmas!

Nick MargerrisonRead the rest

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There’s Something Great About America

Picture: USDOD (PD)

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy”.

- Margaret Thatcher

I’ve rewritten this article, in light of recent tragedy. It’s based on an original version first published on my personal blog.

In 2011 two big events were celebrated on either side of the Atlantic. In the USA spontaneous parties began as news spread that Osama Bin Laden was dead. In the UK the nation was told to celebrate a Royal wedding. The scenes of joy in America filled me with a sense of almost unreserved admiration for a great nation whereas the state sponsored merriment in my own country provided me with a deep sense of detachment from a people who appeared as mindless zombies driven by raw unquestioning patriotism to celebrate something which did not benefit them at all.

As the street parties began I became painfully aware of how unfashionable my views are and it’s important to emphasise how out of step with the broad consensus of my nation I am.… Read the rest

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Could the UK Also be About to Decriminalise Cannabis?

Curious synchronistic rumblings from the British press seem to suggest a change in the UK’s laws on recreational drugs might be in the offing, after the US cannabis lobby’s recent successes. The bad news first, it won’t be until at least 2015 and the current official stance on the matter, reported by The Daily Mail, is predictably inane:

Last night, a government spokesperson said: ‘Drugs are illegal because they are harmful – they destroy lives and blight communities.

‘Our current laws draw on the best available evidence[1] and as such we have no intention of downgrading or declassifying cannabis.

‘A Royal Commission on drugs is simply not necessary. Our cross-government approach is working.

‘Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began and people going into treatment today are far more likely to free themselves from dependency than ever before.

‘We will respond to the report more fully in due course.’

Full story in The Daily Mail

However the above is taken from an article with the heading: “Treat addicts, don’t lock them up: MPs pave way to legalise drugs as they admit prison sentences are failing to deter offenders“.… Read the rest

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Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Was Staffed By Unpaid Workers Who Slept Under London Bridge

Talk about a symbolic event. The Guardian on the public pageant held earlier this month along the Thames River celebrating Britain’s Royal Family:

Long-term unemployed jobseekers were bussed into London to work as unpaid stewards during the diamond jubilee celebrations and told to sleep under London Bridge before working on the river pageant.

Jobseekers were taken to London by coach from Bristol, Bath and Plymouth as part of the government’s Work Programme. They had to camp under London Bridge the night before the pageant, had to change in public, had no access to toilets for 24 hours, and were taken to a swampy campsite outside London after working a 14-hour shift in the pouring rain on the banks of the Thames on Sunday.

Close Protection UK confirmed that it was using up to 30 unpaid staff and 50 apprentices, who were paid £2.80 an hour, for the three-day event in London.

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British Prime Minister Forgets His 8-Year-Old Daughter And Leaves Her In Pub

Photo: Remy Steinegger (CC)

The hapless David Cameron, Tory leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has probably done more to harm his reputation with the Conservative Party’s middle class core voters than any scandal involving Rupert Murdoch or other corporate puppet masters. Haroon Siddique reports for the Guardian:

David Cameron left his eight-year-old daughter in the pub following a Sunday lunch, after a mix-up with his wife Samantha, Downing Street has admitted.

The couple’s daughter Nancy wandered off to the toilets while they were arranging lifts and they only realised she was not with them when they got home, the Sun said.

The prime minister rushed back to the Plough Inn in Cadsden, Buckinghamshire, where he found his daughter with staff. A Downing Street spokesman said: “The prime minister and Samantha were distraught when they realised Nancy wasn’t with them. Thankfully when they phoned the pub she was there safe and well.

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‘Real Men Get Raped’ Campaign

Real Men Get RapedVia the Huffington Post:

A new rape awareness campaign aimed at men in London is hoping to challenge the way that people think about the crime and its victims.

Posters for the campaign, launched by Survivors UK, an organization that deals with sexual violence against men, read “Real men get raped and talking about it takes real strength” and show a rugby ball being punctured by a nail.

The ads will be prominently featured on 140 escalator panels in central London Tube stations on February 20 in hopes of reaching passengers during the Six Nations rugby tournament reports MaleHealth.co.uk. The ads will also be show on two 48 Sheet billboards at Clapham Junction train station and on screens at Waterloo stations on February 25 and March 17, when England plays at home in the tournament…

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UK Supreme Court Agrees To Extradition Of Julian Assange Of WikiLeaks

Julian Assange. Photo: Espen Moe (CC)

Julian Assange. Photo: Espen Moe (CC)

It’s looking likely that Julian Assange is on his way to Sweden. Report from AP via Google News:

Britain’s Supreme Court has endorsed the extradition of WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange to Sweden, bringing the secret-spilling Internet activist a big step closer to prosecution in a Scandinavian court.

But a question mark hung over the decision after Assange’s lawyer made the highly unusual suggestion that she would try to reopen the case, raising the prospect of more legal wrangling.

Assange, 40, has spent the better part of two years fighting attempts to send him to the Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crime allegations. He has yet to be charged.

The U.K. side of that struggle came to an uncertain end Wednesday, with the nation’s highest court ruling 5-2 that the warrant seeking his arrest was properly issued — and Assange’s lawyer saying she might contest the ruling.

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A ‘Sonic Weapon’ Can Be Deployed At the London Olympics (If Needs Be)

LRADReports Gavin Thomas for BBC News:

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed a device which can be used as a “sonic weapon” will be deployed in London during the Olympics.

The American-made Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) can be used to send verbal warnings over a long distance or emit a beam of pain-inducing tones.

The equipment was spotted fixed to a landing craft on the Thames at Westminster this week.

An MoD spokesman said it would be used “primarily in the loud hailer mode”.

Royal Marines operating in patrol craft from HMS Ocean are also heavily armed with conventional firearms.

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41 Percent of UK Don’t Think God Made the Universe (Highest Ever)

Cosmic HistoryCaspar Melville writes at New Humanist:

A press release reaches us from Premier Christian Radio with the headline “UK’s belief that God created the Universe at an all-time low”. It reports the findings of a study conducted by ComRes for PCR (2054 were polled online across the UK in April), ahead of the conference, called “Unbelievable 2012″,  PCR are holding in London on May 26 at which “academics and scientists” from the US and UK will be arguing that contemporary cosmology indicates that God created the world.

The headline findings of the survey are that only 26% believe that God created the world, 41% said they didn’t believe this and 23% didn’t know or didn’t want to say. In what the press release describes as a “strange twist” fully 25% of those who identified as “Christian” did not believe that God was the cause of the Universe.

So, why would a Christian outfit be trumpeting numbers which show that the idea of a God-created universe is is decline, even amongst their own gang?

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