Tag Archives | United Kingdom

Scottish Independence: Why I Changed From a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes.’

scotland[disinfo ed.’s note: A referendum on whether Scotland should be an independent country, separate from the rest of the United Kingdom, will take place on Thursday 18 September 2014.]

I despise nationalism. I despise patriotism. I hate bagpipes, I hate kilts and tartan and I hate the cringe inducing shouts of “wha’s like us” in bars across the nation at closing time on drunken Saturday nights. I love the other countries we share this little island with. I am not what you could ever call a patriot or a nationalist and I would call myself European long before I’d ever call myself Scottish. I believe in cultural and ethnic integration. I believe in a world where nationalities blur into one another rather than divide on tribal lines. I have been, until fairly recently, a staunch ‘No’ voter. However, all things considered, I now feel I am left with no choice but to vote Yes in the forthcoming referendum.… Read the rest

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Spate Of Frightening Clown Stalking Continues In United Kingdom

clownThe Guardian on the new candy-colored face of random street terror in the decaying metropolis:

A police force has told members of the public to ignore people dressed as clowns if they meet them in the street, after spate of reports of terrifying sightings.

Norfolk police received a report from a member of the public alarmed by a clown sighting in Gaywood, near King’s Lynn, on Tuesday evening. The suspect was described as wearing a “full clown outfit” with a red suit and red hair.

The following evening the force received a similar report after two clowns were spotted near a skate park in the town. These people wore “Halloween-type” clown masks. In both cases, the callers reported being alarmed and being chased a short way up the road. It follows recent reports of the circus characters scaring people in Northampton.

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MI5 Feared GCHQ Went ‘Too Far’ Over Phone and Internet Monitoring

via The Guardian GCHQ

Amid leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, senior intelligence source reveals worries were voiced in 2008

Senior figures inside British intelligence have been alarmed by GCHQ‘s (Government Communications Headquarters) secret decision to tap into transatlantic cables in order to engage in the bulk interception of phone calls and internet traffic.

According to one source who has been directly involved in GCHQ operations, concerns were expressed when the project was being discussed internally in 2008: “We felt we were starting to overstep the mark with some of it. People from MI5 were complaining that they were going too far from a civil liberties perspective … We all had reservations about it, because we all thought: ‘If this was used against us, we wouldn’t stand a chance’.”

The Guardian revealed on Friday that GCHQ has placed more than 200 probes on transatlantic cables and is processing 600m “telephone events” a day as well as up to 39m gigabytes of internet traffic.

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British Politician Claims He’s Having Affair With An Alien

simon parkes

He says nonetheless he remains focused on fixing the potholes in Whitby. Via the Mirror:

A Labour politician has sensationally claimed that an extra terrestrial affair is ruining his marriage. Simon Parkes, town councillor for Stakesby in Whitby, says he has sex with the alien, who he refers to as the Cat Queen, around four times a year.

He even claims to have fathered an extraterrestrial lovechild called Zarka and says having sex with the alien has caused tension in his marriage: “My wife found out about it and was very unhappy, clearly. But it is not on a human level, so I don’t see it as wrong.”

“What will happen is that we will hold hands and I say ‘I’m ready’ and then the technology I don’t understand will take us up to a craft orbiting the earth.”

He says his work is unaffected: “It’s a personal matter. I’m more interested in fixing someone’s leaking roof or potholes.”

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Edward Snowden Reveals That Fake Internet Cafes Were Used To Monitor Emails At London G20 Summits

GCGQ

The Guardian has more revelations from top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden, including, Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency runs its own internet cafes in the vicinity of geopolitical conferences:

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The evidence is contained in documents – classified as top secret – which were uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by the Guardian.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

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Irish City Hosting The G8 Summit Gets Fake Storefronts To Create Appearance Of Prosperity

ireland

Located in a region devastated by austerity and the global financial crisis, fascinatingly, Enniskillen will be turned into a movie-set-style simulation of a thriving town when global leaders pass through for the G8 Summit next month. Via PRI’s The World, Irish Times reporter Dan Keenan says:

These are basically empty shops that are being now made to look as if they are thriving businesses – what they’ve done is they have filled the shop front window with photographs in the windows of what was the business before it went bankrupt or closed. In other words, grocery shops, butcher shops, pharmacies, you name it. It’s an attempt to make the place look as positive as possible for the visiting G8 leaders and their entourages, and it’s really tried to put a mask on a recession that has really hit this part of Ireland really very badly indeed.

This initiative is stemming from the Foreign Office in London.

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Elite Boarding School’s Exam Asks Boys To Justify The Army Killing Protesters

eton collegeEton College in England has groomed teenage boys for elite positions in society for nearly 600 years. (Recent alumni include Prime Minister David Cameron and the royal princes.) The Huffington Post UK reports that the school’s scholarship exam, presumably given to our leaders of tomorrow, has raised eyebrows:

Eton College asked 13-year-old boys competing for a scholarship to pretend to be Prime Minister and justify the army shooting dead 25 protesters as a “necessary and moral” decision, it has emerged.

Tony Little, headmaster of Eton College, said the school does not favour “any particular political viewpoint”.

The question was part of an exam to win one of 14 King’s Scholarships. The school, which Prince Harry and Prince William attended, charges more than £30,000 a year in fees.

eton

 

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Is The Loch Ness Monster Just A Conspiracy To Boost Scottish Tourism?

Loch Ness RocksEvery kid in Britain grows up with the Loch Ness Monster as part of their cryptozoological cultural heritage, but could it just be a conspiracy to boost tourism in Scotland? Emma Ailes reports for BBC News:

It is 80 years since hotel manageress Mrs Aldie Mackay first reported seeing a “whale-like fish” in the waters of Loch Ness.

Now an academic at St Andrew’s University is trawling through 1,000 eye-witness accounts since to see what they can tell us.

He wryly notes more than a few hotel proprietors among typical spotters. So is “Nessie” just a conspiracy to boost tourism?

It was 14 April 1933 and Mrs Mackay, manageress of the Drumnadrochit Hotel, was driving with her husband along the road to Inverness.

As they drove, she glanced out across the still calm waters of Loch Ness towards Aldourie Castle. There, in the water, she saw something.

In a rare interview years later, she described the moment to marine biologist and founder of The Loch Ness Project, Adrian Shine.

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London Throws Party Celebrating Death Of Margaret Thatcher

Anti-Margaret Thatcher badge, 1980sReuters reports that only “hundreds” of people turned up for “the party of a lifetime” celebrating the death of reviled (and occasionally revered) former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher in London today:

Several hundred people turned up for a “party” in central London on Saturday to celebrate the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a mass protest predicted by some failed to materialize.

The British capital’s mayor had warned of potential rioting as organizers promised thousands of opponents of Thatcher, who died aged 87 on Monday, would descend on London’s Trafalgar Square to mark the passing of a leader who was loved and loathed in equal measure.

Current British politicians and world leaders past and present have paid tributes to the former premier, Britain’s longest serving prime minister in over a century, but she continues to divide Britons over policies which saw her crush trade unions and privatize swathes of industry.

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