Britain is still a world-beater at one thing: ripping off its own citizens

“Whether as taxpayers or consumers, pretty much everyone in Britain is now human feedstock for Big Capital. This may not be how you see yourself. After all, you’re a customer and in our dynamic, choice-stuffed markets the customer is king. Except that the propaganda doesn’t match reality.” Aditya Chakrabortty asks what Britain is actually for.
www.theguardian.com

Papering over poverty

“The Tories last year voted against a housing bill, right, this bill, it wasn’t asking much, it wasn’t attempting to turn Buckingham Palace into temporary housing for sex offenders. It was suggesting that private landlords have a legal obligation to ensure their properties are fit for human habitation. What sort of fucker votes against that? I wonder how many of the seventy Tory MPs, who are also private landlords, voted against that, including David Cameron? I’ll give you a clue: it was all of them!” Jonathan Pie, played by British actor Tom Walker, suggests that a healthy UK economy would need to do more than to create an environment in which only the wealthy do well.
www.youtube.com

The cycling boom is fantastic—but I miss having London to myself

“Back when we were fewer there was a glorious freedom in dancing through the traffic, whose rules and logic we learned so well that it often felt like a benevolent force, sheltering us as much as it threatened us. We were the pilot fish darting in among the sharks, the gazelles sprinting through herds of lumbering bison.” Requiring only two sentences, Emily Chappell manages to capture the essence of cycling in London before Boris Bikes and cycle superhighways.
www.theguardian.com

Worldwide awards 2015 highlights

“Worldwide Awards 2015 went down on Saturday January 17th at Koko London, with live performances from Adrian Younge and Bilal, Dorian Concept Trio, Taylor McFerrin, Melanie De Biasio, The Heliocentrics with Sunra members Marshall Allen and Noel Scott, Fatima and The Eglo Band, and Anushka! And that’s just the live bands! On the DJ tip, we had Lil Silva, Lone, Seven Davis Jr, Alex Patchwork, Skinny Macho, Clap! Clap!, Atjazz and more holding it down on the decks throughout the night.”
Gilles Peterson
youtube.com

Underground London: adventures in the secret city beneath our feet

“Today, we’ve been so inculcated with fear and distracted by obligations and consumer junk, we can’t even be bothered to ask why numerous miles of warm, fluorescently lit tunnels under Chancery Lane are laying mothballed while people with no homes freeze to death on the streets above them—forced to sleep in hypothermic conditions by anti-homeless spikes installed on ledges outside shops, luxury flats and offices.” Bradley Garrett regards urban exploration as an apathy killer, spreading stories that help us perceive worlds other than the ones presented to us.
www.theguardian.com

There’s probably no god. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

“The Atheist Bus Campaign began when Ariane Sherine wrote an article in June 2008 about Christian adverts running on London buses. These ads featured the URL of a website which said non–Christians would burn in hell for all eternity. Ariane suggested that atheists reading her article could each donate £5 to fund a reassuring counter–advert.”
www.atheistbus.org.uk

Update: Christian religious groups are about to respond with ads stating that “there definitely is a god”.

A minute of silence

Last week I got caught up in the traffic jam that followed the killing of an innocent man at Stockwell tube station. Today, I passed the same spot again. This time I stopped.

Remembering Jean Charles de Menezes one week after he was shot and killed by police at Stockwell tube station in London. What did the ubiquitous CCTV cameras record that morning?

Update: Reports are now emerging that Jean Charles de Menezes had already been restrained by an officer when he was shot in the head seven times.

Food for London

You are in London. You are hungry. Here’s what to do: Find Dominique at his stand and ask him for galette. You like fresh spinach? Good. Ask him to prepare something with spinach. Alternatively, try his crêpe with Grand Marinier and banana. Anything. If you’re not satisfied, come back and hack this site…

Dominique Ait-El-Manceur serves arguably the best galettes and crêpe in the whole of London. You can find him weekdays at Exmouth Market from 12:30–18:00 and Saturdays at Broadway Market from 10:00–16:00.