Recent quotes:

Pret a Manger, Itsu Founder Says High UK Interest Rates Not ‘End of the World’ - Bloomberg

In fact, everything changed in the hospitality industry in about, maybe 1990. I can't remember. When they allowed people from Italy and Spain and France to come and work here. So young people would come here and work for two years, learn to speak English and go back. That changed hospitality forever. And again, most people... Merritt: That's over now, right? Metcalfe: A great many of your listeners won't know that, and they'll kind of take it for granted that thousands upon hundreds of thousands of better food places have opened in the last 50 years because of that.

For the new right, Hungary is now what Venezuela once was for the left | Nick Cohen | Opinion | The Guardian

You could say that in elected dictatorships, the state purges the civil service and judiciary and controls the media and Britain has not reached that point. But instead of looking at the terminus, notice the direction of travel. Johnson has suspended parliament and purged his party of dissenting pro-European voices. Attacks on the independence of the judiciary and civil service are now standard for a right that cannot tolerate constraints. Britain is not Hungary. But if you want to stop your country heading that way, is it not more effective to start fighting back at the first sign of danger rather than waiting until it is too late?

Britain secretly funded Reuters in 1960s and 1970s - documents - Reuters

The secret government financing of Reuters - as set out in the documents - amounted to 245,000 pounds ($317,838 at current exchange rates) per year before 1969 but then reduced to 100,000 pounds per year in 1969-1970 and nothing in 1972-1973. “The new relationship established with Reuters in the Middle East and Latin America can lead to valuable goodwill and cooperation with the Agency on a global scale,” John Peck, former head of the IRD, said in the documents.

Prehistoric Britons rack up food miles for feasts near Stonehenge: Landmark study reveals the monumental distances traveled for national mass gatherings -- ScienceDaily

Using isotope analysis, which identifies chemical signals from the food and water that animals have consumed, the researchers were able to determine geographical areas where the pigs were raised. The study offers the most detailed picture yet of the degree of mobility across Britain at the time of Stonehenge. Dr Madgwick said: "Arguably the most startling finding is the efforts that participants invested in contributing pigs that they themselves had raised. Procuring them in the vicinity of the feasting sites would have been relatively easy. "Pigs are not nearly as well-suited to movement over distance as cattle and transporting them, either slaughtered or on the hoof, over hundreds or even tens of kilometres, would have required a monumental effort. "This suggests that prescribed contributions were required and that rules dictated that offered pigs must be raised by the feasting participants, accompanying them on their journey, rather than being acquired locally."

UK without London

Matt Klein has put forward a fun claim: “Take out Greater London—the prosperity of which depends to an uncomfortable degree on a willingness to provide services to oligarchs from the Middle East and the former Soviet Union—and the UK is one of the poorest countries in Western Europe.”

Foul-mouthed mothers are causing problems for Mumsnet

FEW corners of the internet are more likely to celebrate the news of another royal baby than Mumsnet. Users of the parenting website, founded in 2000, welcomed last week’s announcement with a flurry of excited messages and grinning emoji. But not everyone was happy. One user, named “QuimJongUn”, bemoaned the fact that the same “fuckwits” who “spout their Daily Mail bullshittery” about benefit-claiming mothers are the same “wankwads” who will fawn over the baby when it is born. Other Mumsnetters agreed, in the strongest of terms.

Queuing to riot

“One of my favourite pictures was taken at one of the riots in London where there were looters going into a store. About 13 looters were queued up outside and they let one looter go in at a time, take whatever he or she wanted – and as soon as that looter comes out, the next looter goes in,” says Richard Larson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and a world expert on queues. (Thanks to his research focus, his academic peers have nicknamed him ‘Dr Queue’). “I can’t even imagine any place else other than London that looters would be so civilised to queue up.” Even the amid the chaos of the London riots of 2011, looters adhered to the principle of ‘first come, first serve’

Marina Abramovic's odd jobs

“We milked the goats in Sardinia to get sausages and bread. … We made [sweaters] and sell them on the market,” says Abramovic. For one month, Abramovic even worked as a mail carrier in London—which didn’t end well. “First it took me so long time to deliver all the letters,” she says. “And I decide that every letter who was written with typewriter machine must be bad news or a bill, and I throw them away. And I only deliver letters written by hand and become much faster. Only beautiful letters. After four weeks working, they could not prove anything, but they asked me to give back uniform, which I did.”

Chaucer's day job

Chaucer’s London job was always a precarious one. The king’s own advisers and allies in the City of London colluded to put him there, as their fall guy in a major profiteering scheme. His job as controller of customs was to certify honesty of the powerful and influential customs collectors – including the wealthy and imperious Nicholas Brembre, long-term mayor of London – and to ensure the proper collection of duties on all outgoing wool shipments. This sounds routine enough, until we realise how much was at stake: in the 14th century, wool duties contributed one-third of the total revenues of the realm. What’s more, the collectors of customs whose activities Chaucer was expected to regulate were themselves wool shippers and wool profiteers on a grand scale, taking advantage of their positions to accumulate immense fortunes at public expense. Their wealth enabled them to become donors and lenders to the king, and to multiply their privileges and profits. As lone watchdog of customs revenues, Chaucer was hardly likely to bring them to heel. His job was, essentially, to look the other way.

Duchess Kate Outs Herself As A Member Of The Beyhive At The Nets Game Last Night

The mistake that led to purple dye

In ancient times, purple chairs were virtually priceless. […]But that all changed in 1856, with a discovery by an 18-year-old English chemist named William Henry Perkin. Tinkering in his home laboratory, Perkin was trying to synthesize an artificial form of quinine, an antimalarial agent. Although he botched his experiments, he happened to notice that one substance maintained a bright and unexpected purple color that didn’t run or fade. […]He patented his invention — the first synthetic dye — created a company and sold shares to raise capital for a factory. Eventually his dye, and generations of dye that followed, so thoroughly democratized the color purple that it became the emblematic color of cheesy English rock bands, Prince albums and office chairs for those willing to dare a hue slightly more bold than black.
As with any conversation in Britain, the longer it goes on, the probability that Margaret Thatcher will be mentioned increases inexorably towards 1. You should get there first. This line has the advantage that it can mean anything.
The birds were permitted for those serving life sentences with tariffs which mean they are unlikely ever to be released.But currently no prisoners serving the 'whole-life tariff' have a bird, according to the MoJ.It is understood the pets are allowed to be kept under the Incentives and Earned Privileges scheme, which is designed to encourage responsible behaviour.