All the reports of UK government corruption in one place!

Image for post
Image for post
Dramatic reconstruction of scenes at Conservative HQ.

This article will be continually updated (seriously, there’s a new story every day). There are so many existing stories that I’m trying to track down, which will be added too — if you see one I’ve missed, let me know in a private note or in the comments.

I want readers to appreciate the sheer volume of reports on UK government cronyism & corruption— that’s why I’m compiling this very long list. There is just SO MUCH.

It’s also necessary to identify the pattern and the history of this. It’s not isolated incidents or individual stories that give the full picture. It has moved beyond insinuations and rumours — this is systemic.

Sadly, the vast majority of these articles and quotes are related to deals done during the coronavirus pandemic. Profit was considered more important than people’s lives. The too-little, too-late, too-expensive solutions sourced from the private sector (while circumventing the NHS, local Public Health teams and Public Health England) will no doubt have contributed to the UK’s “world-beating” death rates. …


Not the one from The Queen; the one from our terrible politicians.

A group of people sat around a dining table, raising wine glasses in a toast.
A group of people sat around a dining table, raising wine glasses in a toast.
Image

I follow a lot of North Americans on Twitter and Medium, and I’ve seen all the fears and pleas about Thanksgiving this year. I know that a load of people, in the nation worst affected by the pandemic, are getting on planes, coming from all over the country, gathering in one place, hugging their relatives, not wearing masks, and breathing all over each other in confined conditions. What could possibly go wrong?

We don’t do that holiday, so we have a month’s respite on the seasonal madness. I hope we will learn from the mistakes that seem to be being made across the pond, but I know that in reality we won’t, and we’ll probably try to outdo America (hold my beer, etc, etc.). …


But it’s hard to see through it if that’s all you’re used to.

Image for post
Image for post
Source: pxfuel

“Taxpayers may have to cough up £3,000 for Yorkshire Ripper’s funeral” screams the headline in the Daily Mirror. But in the sub-heading it tells the full story: “Criminals like Peter Sutcliffe must be buried at the taxpayer’s expense according to Ministry of Justice, if their surviving family cannot or will not pay for the funeral”. Oh, so this is a non-story, then?

No, because most people won’t even read beyond the headline. The Mirror knows this, and produced ‘stories’ like this before the days of clickbait or even the internet. …


If we let Amazon do all our diplomacy, there might be hope for Britain’s reputation yet!

Image for post
Image for post
Source

Trending on Twitter today is “United Ireland”. Now, with a no-deal Brexit just over one month away, that does look like a realistic prospect. The geography of the UK means that our territory in Northern Ireland has a land border with the EU, and a trade border in the middle of the Irish Sea, which will not do.

It violates the terms of the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement, which works on the principle of no borders between the UK and Ireland. The Agreement also allows the people of Northern Ireland to decide their fate, with the provision for a referendum on uniting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland if it’s what the people want. …


It’s the only thing we’re good at.

Photograph of Lord Kilclooney, a Peer in the UK House of Lords.
Photograph of Lord Kilclooney, a Peer in the UK House of Lords.
It’s this guy. He’s the (current) racist I’m talking about.

It’s not just that the UK consistently manages to insult and annoy every other country out there. It’s more the lack of apologies and the pride it takes in being an international troll. We think we can say and do whatever we like, and expect other nations to put up with our bullshit.

The attitudes espoused, and the era they come from, are remnants of an Empire we no longer have. …


You can just tell their fingers are crossed behind their backs.

Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister) scowling.
Boris Johnson (UK Prime Minister) scowling.
Source: SCMP

As is customary when a new US President is elected, world leaders send their congratulations. It would be a huge reputational issue if one country chose to opt out, and so Britain did the next best (I mean worst, really) thing. The UK PM has now congratulated Biden on his win, but only after the Scottish First Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Mayor of London and the First Minister of Wales had already done so. And it was more than one hour after the first of these politicians sent their regards.

Eventually PM Johnson tweeted the following statement:

“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement. …


Are you ready to pay some RESPECTS?!

Image for post
Image for post
The World’s Biggest Crocheted Poppy.

As is the custom in Great Britain, Remembrance Day is treated with more importance than a religious holiday. In fact, it’s become part of the poppy-worshiping proto-cult that has developed around Britain’s ideas about war.

For although the poppy, and Remembrance Day, were originally supposed to be about remembering the fallen, nowadays it is seen as a demonstration of how much the wearer loves war. Good, old British wars, of course; the only type of just war.

Because Britain is the goodies in any military conflict, and the other party is the baddies. That is as complex as the British Establishment will allow the public discussion of war to be. It’s all about paying our respects. …


It is what it is.

A wheelie bin on fire
A wheelie bin on fire
Source

I write so much about the UK’s dire political mess that I decided my work needed a proper home. Why ‘Shit Britain’? Well, have you seen the state of this place? It’s an utter bin fire.

Occasionally there’s a positive story to come out of the UK, and those rare moments will be shared here, too. But mostly it’s shit.

Do you have a hot take on the miasma wafting over from this cursed isle? Leave a message in the comments and I’ll add you as a writer.


But that’s how he’s portrayed in a BBC trailer.

Close-up, oblique view of a running track.
Close-up, oblique view of a running track.
Image: Pixabay

The BBC Press Office tweeted Tuesday afternoon (27th October) a trailer for a documentary, The Trials of Oscar Pistorius. That title by itself suggests to me that it may not be an unbiased account of the life and crimes of the notorious athlete-turned-killer. But, hoooooo boy, wait until you see the trailer. And the webpage.

The tweet was deleted, and the BBC withdrew the trailer, while insisting that the series is more complex than portrayed within these two minutes of film. And I damn well hope so.


From 1875 to the present day.

A row of cartoon houses
A row of cartoon houses
Image: Needpix

This is going to be a long read, but most of it is pictures, so don’t worry!

Much is made of the declining size in UK dwellings over time, but I wanted to see what it actually looked like when comparing houses built in different decades. We have had various minimum standards for public housing, and we also have data on houses that were actually built.

I’ve created layouts based on size standards laid down at various times in the last 150 years, and these are compared with the results of a survey of 90,000 British houses constructed between 1930 and 2010. …

About

Katy Preen

Journalist, author, feminist. Reading the comments so you don’t have to.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store