- The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the
Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, it is also known as the 'heart of British politics'.
The United Kingdom is a unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. The current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II. She has reigned since 1952, making her the world's longest-serving current head of state. The United Kingdom's capital is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major cities include Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, and Manchester.
If the roads in England are a reflection of the state of the nation, the country is in deep trouble. Indeed, the National Debt reflects years of overspending and borrowing based on growth, where such expansion is contrary to the ethos of sustainability and circular economics.
We should be looking to reduce kleptocratic
empire building and scaling down the economy.
The United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, respectively.
Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the
Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution. The nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation.
The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The United Kingdom has sovereignty over seventeen territories which do not form part of the United Kingdom itself: fourteen British Overseas Territories and three Crown dependencies.
The fourteen British Overseas Territories are remnants of the British Empire: they are Anguilla; Bermuda; the British Antarctic Territory; the British Indian Ocean Territory; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; the Falkland Islands; Gibraltar; Montserrat; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; the Turks and Caicos Islands; the Pitcairn Islands; South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands; and Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus. British claims in Antarctica have limited international recognition.
Collectively Britain's overseas territories encompass an approximate land area of 1,727,570 square kilometres (667,018 sq mi) and have a population of approximately 260,000. A 1999 UK government white paper stated that: "[The] Overseas Territories are British for as long as they wish to remain British. Britain has willingly granted independence where it has been requested; and we will continue to do so where this is an option." Self-determination is also enshrined in the constitutions of several overseas territories and three have specifically voted to remain under British sovereignty (Bermuda in 1995, Gibraltar in 2002 and the Falkland Islands in 2013).
The Crown dependencies are possessions of the Crown, as opposed to overseas territories of the UK. They comprise three independently administered jurisdictions: the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey in the English Channel, and the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. By mutual agreement, the British Government manages the islands' foreign affairs and defence and the UK Parliament has the authority to legislate on their behalf. Internationally, they are regarded as "territories for which the United Kingdom is responsible". The power to pass legislation affecting the islands ultimately rests with their own respective legislative assemblies, with the assent of the Crown (Privy Council or, in the case of the Isle of Man, in certain circumstances the Lieutenant-Governor). Since 2005 each Crown dependency has had a Chief Minister as its head of government.
The British Empire, was a worldwide system of dependencies—colonies, protectorates, and other territories—that over a span of some three centuries was brought under the sovereignty of the crown of Great Britain and the administration of the British government. The policy of granting or recognizing significant degrees of self-government by dependencies, which was favoured by the far-flung nature of the empire, led to the development by the 20th century of the notion of a “British Commonwealth,” comprising largely self-governing dependencies that acknowledged an increasingly symbolic British sovereignty. The term was embodied in statute in 1931. Today the Commonwealth includes former elements of the British Empire in a free association of sovereign states.
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal countries. It is home to 2.4 billion people, and includes both advanced economies and developing countries.
Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch and head of state of the UK, as well as fifteen other independent countries. These sixteen countries are sometimes referred to as "Commonwealth realms". The monarch has "the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn".
Member states have no legal obligations to one another, but are connected through their use of the English language and historical ties. Their stated shared values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law are enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter and promoted by the quadrennial Commonwealth Games.
NO WRITTEN CONSTITUTION - OR EFFECTIVE REMEDIES
The Constitution of the United Kingdom is uncodified and consists mostly of a collection of disparate written sources, statutes, and judge-made case law and international treaties, together with constitutional conventions.
As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law", the UK Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament, and thus has the political power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. No Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.
LAW AND INJUSTICE
English law (which applies in England and Wales and Northern Ireland) is based on common-law principles. The essence of common law is that, subject to statute, the law is developed by judges in courts, applying statute, precedent and common sense to the facts before them to give explanatory judgements of the relevant legal principles, which are reported and binding in future similar cases (stare decisis).
Unfortunately, where the courts are supposed to be idependent under international and human rights law, judges may be influenced by masons on the one hand and by the honours system on the other. Such conflicts of interest undo the premise that the courts are independent, leading to injustices such as the Crown Prosecution Service seeking to convict 47 innocent men by witholding evidence that they knew undermined the Crown's case.
The courts of England and Wales are headed by the Senior Courts of England and Wales, consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice (for civil cases) and the Crown Court (for criminal cases). The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land for both criminal and civil appeal cases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and any decision it makes is binding on every other court in the same jurisdiction, often having a persuasive effect in other jurisdictions.
in the United Kingdom conducts its business in the Houses of Commons and
Lords. Political parties can send their leaders (members) to speak in
Parliament in the House of Commons (commoners = ordinary people without
title). These are the Members of Parliament that make up most of the
representatives of political parties in the UK.
United Kingdom has many political parties, some of which are
represented in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
Below are links to the websites of the political parties that were
represented in the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election:
DEMOCRATIC AND LABOUR PARTY
INDEPENDENCE PARTY (UKIP)
Democratic and Labour Party
OF PARLIAMENT A - Z (EXT LINKS)
MAY - PRIME
are concerned with how the make up of the above parties and (reasonably)
popular policies affects the Wealden district, because we are all
brothers on two islands in the Atlantic
Ocean and what we do of fail to do is likely to rebound on ourselves
and our fellow man in other nations around the world. How we act today
influences policies in other countries in our global community. It is
not just about us and our patch.