• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Scots Reject Independence, But The United Kingdom May Never Be The Same

Scotland and UK flags

The United Kingdom will stay united, but it may never be the same again.

Final Election Eve Poll In Scotland Finds ‘No’ Leading By Six Points

UK and Scottish flags

As this post is being written, voters in Scotland have been heading to the polls for roughly seven hours, and polls will remain open until 10pm local time, or 5pm U.S. Eastern time. By all accounts, turnout is expected to be quite high, and neither side is claiming that they are assured of victory. However, […]

On Eve Of Vote, Anti-Independence Forces Have Slight Lead In Scotland

Scotland and UK flags

It’s all over but the voting in Scotland.

Obama’s Anti-ISIS Coalition Seems To Exist Only In His Mind

obama-isil-speech

Despite the President’s assurances of an international coalition, the rest of the world doesn’t seem all that interested in joining the fight.

Scottish Independence Becoming More Likely?

Scotland and UK flags

With just nine days to go, it’s anyone’s guess how the Scottish Independence vote will turn out.

Scottish Independence Losing In The Polls

Scotland and UK flags

If recent polling is to be believed, the bid for Scottish independence is going to go down in flames.

Scottish Independence Referendum A Nailbiter

travel-suitcase

Scottish independence may be more likely than many think.

Alan Turing, Computer Pioneer Who Broke Engima Code, Pardoned On 1952 Conviction Of Homosexuality

Alan Turing

Alan Turing, the computer pioneer who played a crucial role in breaking the Nazi’s Enigma code during World War II only to be convicted in 1952 on charges of “homosexuality,” has been pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II: Nearly 60 years after his death, Alan Turing, the British mathematician regarded as one of the central figures […]

In Preliminary Vote, British Parliament Rejects Military Action Against Syria

parliament-night-r_1590366i

After a day-long debate, the British Parliament has voted against authorizing military action against Syria: LONDON—British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a preliminary vote on Syria, an early sign of the pushback Western governments may face as they prepare to launch an attack. Thursday evening’s vote was nonbinding, but in practice the rejection of military strikes means […]

U.K., France Seeking More Time For Decision On Syria Strikes

syria-obama

While there had been some indications earlier this week that a strike on Syria could happen before the Labor Day Weekend, two of America’s closes allies are seeking to slow the decision making process down: LONDON — U.S. efforts to forge an international coalition to support a military strike on Syria faced fresh uncertainty Thursday, […]

Former Obama Adviser Goes To Work For British Conservatives

Jim Messina

The architect of President Obama’s re-election campaign is going to work for the Tories.

German Pols Upset Over NSA Programs Ahead Of Obama Visit

military-soldier-sunset

Politicians and others in Germany are upset about the revelations of NSA spying, and it’s likely to come up when President Obama heads there later this month: As President Barack Obama prepares to visit Germany next week, German officials are turning up the heat on the U.S. over its Internet surveillance, according to reports, with […]

Prince Harry Back In Afghanistan

08princeharry-popup

After his recent troubles in Las Vegas, Prince Harry probably welcomes a return to combat duty in Afghanistan for the first time in four years: CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan (AP) — Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, began a four-month combat tour Friday in Afghanistan as a gunner on an Apache attack helicopter, […]

Brits Say They Will Not Let Julian Assange Leave The Country

travel-suitcase

It looks like Julian Assange will have to get used to the Ecuadorean Embassy: The UK has insisted it will not grant Julian Assange “safe passage” to Ecuador as it seeks a diplomatic solution to him being given asylum. Downing Street said the government was obliged to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden where he faces […]

Ecuador Grants Julian Assange Asylum

julian-assange-interpol-warrant-570x320

Another step in the ongoing diplomatic showdown over the founder of Wikileaks.

More British Troops At The Olympics Than In Afghanistan

hi-852-olympic-troops-london

Thanks in large part to failures by the security company hired by the London Organizing Committee, there are now more British troops deployed to provide security for the Olympics than there are in Afghanistan: The Summer Olympic Games in London kick off today with the opening ceremony extravaganza, march of athletes, lighting of the flame and security and surveillance […]

The Anglo-Saxon Outrage Of The Day

us-politics-republicans-democrats

Two words spoken by a Romney aide have led to a ridiculous firestorm on the right, while the rest of their comments are being ignored.

Queen Elizabeth Meets Former IRA Commander

Royal visit to Northern Ireland - Day 2

Twenty years ago, the idea of the Queen of England meeting with a Commander of the Irish Republican Army would’ve been unthinkable, but times do change: BELFAST, Northern Ireland — In a moment of heady symbolism that would once have seemed unthinkable, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s head of state, shook hands on Wednesday with Martin McGuinness, a onetime commander […]

Iranian Diplomats To Be Expelled From Great Britain

travel-suitcase

The British government has reacted pretty quickly to yesterday’s embassy attack in Teheran: The UK is to expel all Iranian diplomats following the storming of its embassy in Tehran, Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced. He said he had ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London. Tuesday’s attack by hundreds of protesters […]

Iranian Students Storm British Embassy (Updates)

30tehran1_cnd-articleLarge

Well, this sounds familiar: Dozens of hard-line Iranian students stormed the British Embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, bringing down the Union Jack flag and throwing documents from windows in scenes reminiscent of the anger against Western powers after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. The mob moved into the diplomatic compound two days after Iran’s parliament approved […]

David Cameron Calls On Tories To Back Same-Sex Marriage

gay-marriage

The fight for marriage equality may be on the verge of a significant victory across the pond, if this excerpt from David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative Party is any indication: I once stood before a Conservative conference and said it shouldn’t matter whether commitment was between a man and a woman, a woman and […]

British Parliament Debates Libya Commitment (And So Do The French)

parliament-building-london

The English are so quaint, what with their odd way of spelling colour, those double-decker buses, the way they call elevators “lifts,” and their cute little devotion to the idea of democratically debating whether their country should go to war: London – The British government won overwhelming parliamentary backing late Monday for its role in […]

Three Different Takes on the Leaked “War Logs”

afghanistan_flag_map

Three different ways they’re viewing the leaked “war logs” across the Pond.

Lockerbie Bomber Not Dying After All

Lockerbie Pam Am Flight 103

It turns out that Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi isn’t dying after all, at least not any faster than any other human being.

Meanwhile, Across The Pond, The Brits Are Not Amused

US-UK-blend-570x285

Last week, I noted that the British seemed to be taking the reaction of the Obama Administration, and Americans in general, quite personally, and perceiving it as an attack on Britain as a whole. Well, if their reaction to yesterday’s meeting between White House officials and BP Executives is any indication, the sentiment has not […]

The Odd British Response To American Anger At BP

US-UK-blend

One of the most striking developments over the past several days has been news of the way that some Britons seem to be reacting to American anger at BP. It started with statements from Boris Johnson, the always outspoken Mayor London, who accused President Obama of using “anti-British rhetoric:” Boris Johnson has warned that the […]

Diplomatic Faux Pas: U.S. Sends Queen Elizabeth Birthday Wishes A Week Early

queen-phil-thrones_1125962i

Well, at least it wasn’t a week late: The State Department has conceded committing a diplomatic faux pas by sending birthday greetings to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II a week early. Spokesman P.J. Crowley allowed that a congratulatory message from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sent Friday on what the department thought was the eve […]

Britain After Brown

Gordon Brown 10 Downing

As Doug noted yesterday, Gordon Brown announced his resignation as prime minister and party leader in a bold gambit to secure a progressive Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition.  He failed.  All signs point to an imminent power sharing arrangement between the plurality winning Conservatives and the third place Lib Dems.   Former Sun political editor George Pascoe-Watson is […]

OTB’s Guide to Today’s British Election

Clock Tower, Palace of Westminster

Today, voters in Great Britain and Northern Ireland go to the polls to elect a new Parliament and–most likely–indirectly choose an new government as well. In this post, I’ll try to give a high-level overview of the context of the election and perhaps break out the crystal ball to make some tentative predictions as well. […]

Too Many Foreigners?

A recent survey in the UK asked if there are too many foreigners living in the country: Via American Catholic, who loves “the dry humour of the English!” Note: I’m pretty sure this isn’t an actual survey.

Is Obama’s Treatment of Netanyahu Anti-Semitic?

travel-suitcase

In answer to the question, “Why has Barack Obama treated Netanyahu so ‘rudely’?”, Glenn Reynolds responds: Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really. This is absolutely absurd. First of all, I wouldn’t characterize the President of the United States not completely kowtowing to […]

$1 Billion Fortress America to be Built In London

travel-suitcase

I’m not sure how this got approved, but apparently the State Department was budgeted $1 billion to build a new embassy in London: The United States has unveiled plans for its new $1 billion high-security embassy in London — the most expensive it has ever built. The proposals were met with relief from both the […]

Marking the Anniversary of the Embassy Seizure

Iran hostage crisis

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the seizing of the U. S. embassy in Tehran by factions of the revolution that overthrew the shah. President Obama has issued a statement on the occasion which I will reproduce in full here: Thirty years ago today, the American Embassy in Tehran was seized. The 444 days that […]

American Opportunity Myths

opportunity knocks

Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins have written a piece for Brookings titled “Five Myths About Our Land of Opportunity.”  None of it’s new to those who’ve paid much attention to these things in recent years. What’s interesting, though, is the seeming contradiction in Myths 1 and 4. 1. Americans enjoy more economic opportunity than people […]

Britain Seeks Ban On Pint Glasses

pint-glass-chelsea

As part of their ongoing effort to cement George Orwell’s reputation by making him the most accurate prophet in history, the British Home Office is now investigating the possiblity of forcing every Pub in Britain to replace pint glasses with plastic pint cups: The BBC reported recently that the British Home Office is seeking a […]

Clearing the Path

money-bankruptcy

If true this: INTELLIGENCE chief Sir John Scarlett has been told that Saudi Arabia is ready to allow Israel to bomb Iran’s new nuclear site. The head of MI6 discussed the issue in London with Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Saudi officials after British intelligence officers helped to uncover the plant, in the side of […]

UK Court: Blogger Anonymity Not a Right

horton-nightjack

A British judge has ruled against a blogger who sought an injunction against having his secret identity published in the Times. Thousands of bloggers who operate behind the cloak of anonymity have no right to keep their identities secret, the High Court ruled yesterday.  In a landmark decision, Mr Justice Eady refused to grant an […]

Labour Falters

gordon-brown-460x276

I am usually loath to comment on the domestic politics of countries other than my own but, considering the more general implications of the story, I felt that the ongoing problems being encountered by Britain’s Labour Party were worth a mention: June 7 (Bloomberg) — Gordon Brown’s Labour Party was bracing for defeat in elections […]

Gordon Brown’s Last Days

Gordon Brown Losing Grip

Despite an embarrassing drubbing of his Labour Party at the polls and the resignation of several key ministers, the UK’s Gordon Brown vows “I will not waver, I will not walk away, I will finish the work.” As I explain in my New Atlanticist post “Britain’s Brown on Borrowed Time,” that’s unlikely to happen.  Nor […]

New Iron Curtain?

EU-HUNGARY/

The political financial crisis came to a head yesterday in Europe, with Hungary begging for help from its fellow EU members under the peril of a new “iron curtain” dividing the Continent and getting matter-of-factly rejected.  My New Atlanticist piece on the controversy, “Economic ‘Iron Curtain’ Dividing Europe?” concludes: The present crisis has had the […]

War on Terror into the Dustbin of History?

BRITAIN-TERRORISM/

In both a Guardian op-ed and a speech in Mumbai, both today, British foreign secretary David Milibrand says that the “war on terror” was a bad idea. In my New Atlanticist essay, “Time to Lose War on Terror?” I disagree.

Fixing US-UK Relations

us-uk-flags

In a New Atlanticist essay “How Special is the Special Relationship?” I take a look at claims that the US-UK relations are in bad shape and argue that, while the US may need an attitude adjustment, our friends across the pond need to step up their contribution to the partnership. While a Rumsfeldian dismissiveness and […]

Health Care Tradeoffs (Updated)

crazy-doc

Ezra Klein wrote an interesting post Wednesday arguing that extending life through medical intervention is expensive and that tradeoffs and rationing have to be made.  The only question, then, is how much value is placed on that extra unit of health care and who’s making the valuation. The inverse of the American health care system […]

Labour, Brown Lose Big in Glasgow

travel-suitcase

The Scottish Nationalist Party took one of Labour’s safest seats in a rather dramatic and unexpected upset that marks yet another setback for British prime minister Gordon Brown: Unfortunately for Labour, Glasgow is only the latest in a string of woeful electoral performances for the party under Mr Brown’s leadership. His party lost the London […]

Obama Running Away with European Vote

Gallup Obama Europe Poll

Barack Obama would easily win the presidency if the citizens of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom were doing the voting rather than Americans, Gallup reports. Unless I’ve missed something, Europeans aren’t eligible to vote in our elections.   These surveys nonetheless provide interesting insights into how different cultures view things.   Gallup’s Zsolt Nyiri, Frank […]

British Burglars Could Go Free!

British Burglar Photo

The United Kingdom is seriously considering doing away with prison sentences for scores of “lesser” crimes, Home Affairs Correspondent Tom Whitehead reports for the Daily Express. Hundreds of thousands of crooks could escape jail every year under the proposals by advisers to the Lord Chief Justice. Those sentenced to short, sharp shock jail terms of […]

Huzzah for Provincialism!

us-politics

Today’s Outrage of the Day on the right side of the blogosphere regards this latest bit from Barack Obama, regarding the need for our educational system to get better at teaching other languages. Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can […]

Racist Toddlers

us-politics

A bizarre story in the London Telegraph, “Toddlers who dislike spicy food ‘racist,’” is getting some play, thus far only from conservative blogs. The National Children’s Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents […]

Welcoming Our Robot Overlords

intellectual-invention

It appears that the British military, in conjunction with private industry, has begun building Skynet: With the launch of a new communications satellite, the British military has completed a highly advanced network that will allow robotic military units to be controlled at long range. Sound vaguely familiar? They actually named the thing Skynet. When the […]

Living for Big Brother

money-bankruptcy

Pubs in Yorkshire are being ordered to require patrons to remove their hats. Why? Because the hats are making it hard to identify people on CCTV. Pubs in Yorkshire have been ordered to ban people from wearing flat caps or other hats so troublemakers can be more easily recognised. The Park Hotel in Wadsley, Sheffield, […]

Page 1 of 3123