History UsefulNotes / BritishPoliticalSystem

28th Nov '16 9:59:12 AM TheFowler4F
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'''[--(1 [=MPs=], 3 Lords, 24 [=MEPs=], 6 Wales [=AMs=], 2 London [=AMs=], 490 local.)--]'''\\
[[AC: Current Acting Leader: Nigel Farage (MEP, South East England).]]\\

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'''[--(1 [=MPs=], 3 Lords, 24 20 [=MEPs=], 6 Wales [=AMs=], 2 London [=AMs=], 490 local.)--]'''\\
[[AC: Current Acting Leader: Nigel Farage Paul Nuttall (MEP, South East North West England).]]\\
30th Oct '16 10:15:12 AM randomguy566
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The Conservatives unexpectedly won a majority of 12 in the 2015 general election, largely at the expense of their former coalition partners the Liberal Democrats. It should be noted that the Conservatives are [[{Understatement}} not particularly popular in Scotland]], with the joke being that there are currently twice as many pandas in Scotland than there are Tory [=MPs=].\\

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The Conservatives unexpectedly won a majority of 12 in the 2015 general election, largely at the expense of their former coalition partners the Liberal Democrats. It should be noted that the Conservatives are [[{Understatement}} [[Understatement not particularly popular in Scotland]], with the joke being that there are currently twice as many pandas in Scotland than there are Tory [=MPs=].\\
26th Oct '16 3:06:49 PM Karl304
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With the exception of the Conservatives and UKIP (who never win any seats anyway), the main UK parties do not contest seats in Northern Ireland, and do not stand for elections to the Northern Irish Assembly[[note]]And in many cases, actually can't because they're not registered to do so anyway, and the UK-wide party doesn't want to try it, resulting in the curious situation in the 2016 Assembly election of Labour [=wannabe-MLAs=] standing under the banner of the "NI Labour Representation Committee". It didn't work.[[/note]]. Instead, a series of regional parties holds sway here.

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With the exception of the Conservatives and UKIP (who never (neither of whom win any seats anyway), the main UK parties do not contest seats in Northern Ireland, and do not stand for elections to the Northern Irish Assembly[[note]]And in many cases, actually can't because they're not registered to do so anyway, and the UK-wide party doesn't want to try it, resulting in the curious situation in the 2016 Assembly election of Labour [=wannabe-MLAs=] standing under the banner of the "NI Labour Representation Committee". It didn't work.[[/note]]. Instead, a series of regional parties holds sway here.



[[AC: Current Acting Leader: Naomi Long (MLA, Belfast East).]]\\

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[[AC: Current Acting Leader: Naomi Long (MLA, Belfast East).]]\\
18th Oct '16 3:21:36 AM 06tele
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Originally formed as warring Anglo-Saxons joined together under one leader, for hundreds of years the monarch served as the de facto leader of England, passing on the power to a relative, preferably a son, upon death. After the childless "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth died, the Scottish monarch James VI of the House of Stuart, her first cousin twice removed (being the grandson of her cousin James V), came to the throne as James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland. Unfortunately his son, Charles I, wasn't too good at the job he later inherited, as his opposition to Parliament triggered the English Civil War, which ended with Charles getting beheaded in 1649. Following the King's execution, Parliament declared the abolition of the monarchy and the formation of a republic called the "Commonwealth" governed by Parliament in its own right: an extremely radical concept for those times. Despite officially ruling in the name of the people, the Commonwealth was dominated by both army, who had fought the King's men during the civil war and were essentially the reason it existed, and followers of the Puritan faith whose influence meant that the Commonwealth was often rather more like a theocratic "Christian republic" than a republic in the Roman, American or French understanding. The Puritans, as their name suggests, weren't fond of fun and many strict religious rules were enforced including the infamous banning of Christmas festivities.

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Originally formed as warring Anglo-Saxons joined together under one leader, for hundreds of years the monarch served as the de facto leader of England, passing on the power to a relative, preferably a son, upon death. After the childless "Virgin Queen" Elizabeth died, the Scottish monarch James VI of the House of Stuart, her first cousin twice removed (being the grandson of her cousin James V), came to the throne as James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland. Unfortunately his son, Charles I, wasn't too good at the job he later inherited, as his opposition to Parliament triggered the English Civil War, which ended with Charles getting beheaded in 1649. Following the King's execution, Parliament declared the abolition of the monarchy and the formation of a republic called the "Commonwealth" governed by Parliament in its own right: an extremely radical concept for those times. Despite officially ruling in the name of the people, the Commonwealth was dominated by both army, who had fought the King's men during the civil war and were essentially the reason it existed, and followers of the Puritan faith whose influence meant that the Commonwealth was often rather more like a theocratic "Christian republic" than a republic in the Roman, American or French understanding. The Puritans, as their name suggests, weren't fond of fun and many strict religious rules were enforced including the infamous banning of Christmas festivities.
festivities.[[note]]The Puritans during the Commonwealth were actually more divided and less strict than they became later; Cromwell believed strongly in religious liberty (well, for everyone except Catholics) and the infamously fun-hating Presbyterians didn't become the dominant strand of English Puritanism until after the Restoration.[[/note]]
18th Oct '16 2:50:25 AM 06tele
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A party which has attained victories primarily in Britain's elections for members of the European Parliament, but ironically want to change that situation by pulling the UK out of the EU altogether. Although founded as a "wide-spectrum" single-issue party united by opposition to British membership of the European Union, they have since emerged as a populist, nationalist, anti-immigration grouping of disgruntled Thatcherite Conservatives disillusioned with their "home" party, and their general outlook is very similar to that of the right "[[PrivateEye Sir Bufton Tufton]]" wing of the Conservative Party that was dominant in the '80s but unofficially marginalised post 2005. In recent years however they have made a play for disgruntled Lib-Dem and Labour voters, and in the 2015 elections arguably emerged as the main opposition party in traditionally Labour areas, picking a large number of second places in Labour safe seats. The party's first European parliamentarians had a tendency to make embarrassing jingoistic far-right gaffes, although the current leadership has made effective efforts to improve the party's image. Their party colour is purple, and their icon is a pound symbol (£)Śrepresenting their opposition to the EuroŚwith the party initials "UKIP" forming the bar across the middle. They have three members in the House of Lords, who defected from the Conservatives, and used to have a Northern Ireland Assembly Member, who joined UKIP after his suspension from the Ulster Unionist Party. Following the defection of Douglas Carswell in 2014 and his subsequent win for their party in the Clacton by-election, they gained their first MP; Mark Reckless defected shortly afterwards, won his seat in the by-election, but lost it in the subsequent general election). The party was the third largest in vote share in the 2015 general election (with the best part of four million votes), but won only one seat - Douglas Carswell's. In the 2016 devolved elections, they won 7 seats in the Welsh Assembly, mostly from the regional vote which is based on proportional representation. The majority of their votes come from disgruntled Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem voters in regions that combine high levels of poverty, unemployment and immigration. Several of these new UKIP [=AMs=] are former Tories, including the aforementioned Mark Reckless, though one AM has since resigned the whip due to an argument over who gets to be in charge.\\

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A party which has attained victories primarily in Britain's elections for members of the European Parliament, but ironically want to change that situation by pulling the UK out of the EU altogether. Although founded as a "wide-spectrum" single-issue party united by opposition to British membership of the European Union, they have since emerged as a populist, nationalist, anti-immigration grouping of disgruntled Thatcherite Conservatives disillusioned with their "home" party, and their general outlook is very similar to that of the right "[[PrivateEye Sir Bufton Tufton]]" wing of the Conservative Party that was dominant in the '80s but unofficially marginalised post 2005. In recent years however they have made a play for disgruntled Lib-Dem and Labour voters, and in the 2015 elections arguably emerged as the main opposition party in traditionally Labour areas, picking a large number of second places in Labour safe seats. The party's first European parliamentarians had a tendency to make embarrassing jingoistic far-right gaffes, although the current leadership has a succession of leaders later made effective efforts to improve the party's image. Their party colour is purple, and their icon is a pound symbol (£)Śrepresenting (£) -- representing their opposition to the EuroŚwith Euro -- with the party initials "UKIP" forming the bar across the middle. They have three members in the House of Lords, who defected all defectors from the Conservatives, and used to have a Northern Ireland Assembly Member, who joined UKIP after his suspension from the Ulster Unionist Party. Following the defection of Douglas Carswell in 2014 and his subsequent win for their party in the Clacton by-election, they gained their first MP; Mark Reckless defected shortly afterwards, won his seat in the by-election, but lost it in the subsequent general election). The party was the third largest in vote share in the 2015 general election (with the best part of four million votes), but won only one seat - seat, Douglas Carswell's. In the 2016 devolved elections, they won 7 seats in the Welsh Assembly, mostly from the regional vote which is based on proportional representation. The majority of their votes come from disgruntled Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem voters in regions that combine high levels of poverty, unemployment and immigration. Several of these new UKIP [=AMs=] are former Tories, including the aforementioned Mark Reckless, though one AM has since resigned the whip due to an argument over who gets to be in charge.\\



With the UK voting in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, thereby achieving the party's entire reason for existence, they are now in the process of wondering what on Earth to do now.

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With the UK voting in a 2016 referendum to leave the European Union, thereby achieving removing the party's entire reason for existence, they are now in the process of wondering what on Earth to do now.
now. As a result, currently suffering from chronic (possibly terminal) revolving door leadership.
18th Oct '16 2:45:17 AM 06tele
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The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were (rightly) perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations, "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then-Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, replied, "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.[[note]]One of the few heartwarming episodes in Northern Irish history was the solid partnership and genuine friendship that developed between Paisley and McGuinness, during their term as (respectively) First Minister and Deputy First Minister, before Paisley's death in 2014. They were so so frequently photographed laughing together that they got nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers". Imagine a hardline, right-wing Israeli MP developing a friendly working partnership with a leader of Hamas, and you'll get a sense of how unlikely this was.[[/note]]

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The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were (rightly) perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations, "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then-Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, replied, "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.[[note]]One of the few heartwarming episodes in Northern Irish history was the solid partnership and genuine friendship that developed between Paisley and McGuinness, [=McGuinness=], during their term as (respectively) First Minister and Deputy First Minister, before Paisley's death in 2014. They were so so frequently photographed laughing together that they got nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers". Imagine a hardline, right-wing Israeli MP developing a friendly working partnership with a leader of Hamas, and you'll get a sense of how unlikely this was.[[/note]]
18th Oct '16 2:43:47 AM 06tele
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The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were (accurately )perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations, "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, replied, "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.[[note]]One of the few heartwarming episodes in Northern Irish history was the solid partnership and genuine friendship that developed between Paisley and McGuinness, during their term as (respectively) First Minister and Deputy First Minister, before Paisley's death in 2014. They were so so frequently photographed laughing together that they got nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers". Imagine a hardline, right-wing Israeli MP developing a friendly working partnership with a leader of Hamas, and you'll get a sense of how unlikely this was.[[/note]]

to:

The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were (accurately )perceived (rightly) perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations, "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then Foreign then-Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, replied, "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.[[note]]One of the few heartwarming episodes in Northern Irish history was the solid partnership and genuine friendship that developed between Paisley and McGuinness, during their term as (respectively) First Minister and Deputy First Minister, before Paisley's death in 2014. They were so so frequently photographed laughing together that they got nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers". Imagine a hardline, right-wing Israeli MP developing a friendly working partnership with a leader of Hamas, and you'll get a sense of how unlikely this was.[[/note]]
18th Oct '16 2:42:41 AM 06tele
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The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- which, to be honest, is true; when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, spat back "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.

to:

The second largest party in Northern Ireland and the main nationalist (favouring Irish unification) grouping in the NI assembly. While they've been elected to the House of Commons, they don't actually take their seats as they see NI's membership of the UK as illegitimate.[[note]]Also, if they did take their seats, they'd have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Crown.[[/note]] The cheeky buggers still [[http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/sinn-fein-under-fire-over-westminster-expense-claims-16175256.html claim the Crown's expenses, however]]. During UsefulNotes/TheTroubles, they were perceived (accurately )perceived as the political wing of the Provisional IRA -- which, to be honest, is true; when the then-leader Martin [=McGuinness=] said in negotiations negotiations, "We'll have to consult the [IRA] army council on this", the then Foreign Minister (later Taoiseach) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, spat back replied, "Yeah, well, there's a mirror in the toilet if you want to go in there and talk to them" -- but like the DUP they've generally managed to distance themselves from their more radical past.
past.[[note]]One of the few heartwarming episodes in Northern Irish history was the solid partnership and genuine friendship that developed between Paisley and McGuinness, during their term as (respectively) First Minister and Deputy First Minister, before Paisley's death in 2014. They were so so frequently photographed laughing together that they got nicknamed the "Chuckle Brothers". Imagine a hardline, right-wing Israeli MP developing a friendly working partnership with a leader of Hamas, and you'll get a sense of how unlikely this was.[[/note]]
18th Oct '16 2:34:00 AM 06tele
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Left-of-centre party agitating for Cornish autonomy, in the style of Celtic region devolution. Nothing more than a handful of members of Cornwall County Council. Generally regarded as nothing more than a joke.

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Left-of-centre party agitating for Cornish autonomy, in the style of Celtic region devolution. Nothing more than a handful of members of Cornwall County Council. Generally regarded Regarded by non-Cornish people as nothing not much more than a joke.
joke.[[note]]Although Cornwall isn't exactly a political heavyweight, it does have a distinct cultural identity. The Cornish language, which is distantly related to Welsh and Breton, is one of the very few languages to have died out ''and been revived''; at the beginning of the 20th century nobody spoke it at all, but by 2008 there were an estimated 2000 people who speak it fluently. In 2009, UNESCO changed the status of the language from "Extinct" to "Critically endangered".[[/note]]
18th Oct '16 2:19:55 AM 06tele
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Despite the similarity of their names, they couldn't be more different to the BNP (whose founding it predates), the SNP supports the monarchy and has policies that typically resembles modern-day social-democratic parties found in mainland Europe. The popularity in Scotland of the SNP is widely perceived in England as inexplicable, or else is explained away (and criticised) as mere bigoted nationalism, but it happened for perfectly logical reasons: for years, Labour was the overwhelmingly dominant party in Scotland, but being UK-wide party, its policies were determined in Westminster. This was especially true when Tony Blair was PM and ran a very top-down Labour administration. This meant that, for decades, however the Scots voted in national elections, they were never able to elect anyone who was committed to looking after Scottish interests in particular: one of the few issues that the Conservative and Labour parties agree about is that national policy has priority over local policy. The result was that all the crucial political decisions about Scotland were made by people who didn't live in Scotland and weren't that interested in the place. The resulting massive public disaffection with the two main parties meant that, in the 2015 UK general election, the SNP had a massive landslide, winning 56 of the 59 Scottish seats. With the collapse of the Liberal-Democrat party, they are now the third largest party in the house, with more [=MPs=] than all the other smaller parties combined; a drastic shift in the power balance, and almost unheard-of for a party that only contests elections in one part of the UK. The current party leader, and First Minister of Scotland, is Nicola Sturgeon.\\

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Despite the similarity of their names, they couldn't be more different to the BNP (whose founding it predates), the SNP supports the monarchy and has policies that typically resembles modern-day social-democratic parties found in mainland Europe. The popularity in Scotland of the SNP is widely perceived in England as inexplicable, or else is explained away (and criticised) as mere bigoted nationalism, but it happened for perfectly logical reasons: for years, Labour was the overwhelmingly dominant party in Scotland, but being a UK-wide party, its policies were obviously determined in Westminster. This Westminster.[[note]]This was especially true when Tony Blair was PM and ran a very top-down Labour administration. administration.[[/note]] This meant that, for decades, however the Scots voted in national elections, they were never able to elect anyone who was committed to looking after Scottish interests in particular: one of the few issues that the Conservative and Labour parties agree about is that national policy has priority over local policy. The result was that all the crucial political decisions about Scotland were made by people who didn't live in Scotland Scotland, and weren't that interested in the place. The resulting massive Years of growing public disaffection with the two main parties meant that, in the 2015 UK general election, the SNP had scored a massive landslide, winning 56 of the 59 Scottish seats.seats and essentially wiping out Labour's power in Scotland. With the collapse of the Liberal-Democrat party, they are now the third largest party in the house, with more [=MPs=] than all the other smaller parties combined; a drastic shift in the power balance, and almost unheard-of for a party that only contests elections in one part of the UK. The current party leader, and First Minister of Scotland, is Nicola Sturgeon.\\
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