The Castle (Saint Helena)
The Castle is the main government building of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha, located in Jamestown on the island of Saint Helena. A Grade I-listed building, the oldest parts of the complex date to 1708, but it was reconstructed in the 1860s because of termite damage, it does not have the appearance of a typical castle, though the site was part of the East India Company fortifications of Jamestown. Governor John Roberts ordered the construction of the Castle in 1708 on the site of the previous triangular James Fort, close to James Bay; the fort was rebuilt over the next several years to extend across the entire seaward mouth of James Valley and the Castle was behind it to the east. It replaced the decrepit Fort House as the official residence of the Governor of Saint Helena and housed the island’s administrative offices, it was a modest one-storey building with a low basement. The Castle was rebuilt in 1867 to repair termite damage and has remained the same since.
Plantation House, in the District of Saint Paul's, became the Governor's official residence in 1792, although the Governor's office remains in the Castle. Most of the main administrative offices of the colony, including the Chief Secretary’s, are in the Castle and the Legislative Council meets in the Council Chamber on the second floor. Part of the complex are the Printing Office, Savings Bank and the colony's archives. Only the foyer is open to the public. St James church History of Saint Helena Denholm, Ken. "South Atlantic Fortress". Saint Helena Island Info. Retrieved 25 November 2016
Elizabeth II is Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. Elizabeth was born in London as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, she was educated at home, her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; when her father died in February 1952, she became head of the Commonwealth and queen regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Ceylon. She has reigned as a constitutional monarch through major political changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, the decolonisation of Africa. Between 1956 and 1992, the number of her realms varied as territories gained independence and realms, including South Africa and Ceylon, became republics.
Her many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. Significant events have included her coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012 respectively. In 2017, she became the first British monarch to reach a Sapphire Jubilee, she is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch as well as the world's longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state, the oldest and longest-reigning current monarch and the longest-serving current head of state. Elizabeth has faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family, in particular after the breakdown of her children's marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992 and the death in 1997 of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales. However, support for the monarchy has been and remains high, as does her personal popularity. Elizabeth was born at 02:40 on 21 April 1926, during the reign of her paternal grandfather, King George V.
Her father, the Duke of York, was the second son of the King. Her mother, the Duchess of York, was the youngest daughter of Scottish aristocrat the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, she was delivered by Caesarean section at her maternal grandfather's London house: 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair. She was baptised by the Anglican Archbishop of York, Cosmo Gordon Lang, in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 29 May, named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after George V's mother, who had died six months earlier, Mary after her paternal grandmother. Called "Lilibet" by her close family, based on what she called herself at first, she was cherished by her grandfather George V, during his serious illness in 1929 her regular visits were credited in the popular press and by biographers with raising his spirits and aiding his recovery. Elizabeth's only sibling, Princess Margaret, was born in 1930; the two princesses were educated at home under the supervision of their mother and their governess, Marion Crawford.
Lessons concentrated on history, language and music. Crawford published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years entitled The Little Princesses in 1950, much to the dismay of the royal family; the book describes Elizabeth's love of horses and dogs, her orderliness, her attitude of responsibility. Others echoed such observations: Winston Churchill described Elizabeth when she was two as "a character, she has an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant." Her cousin Margaret Rhodes described her as "a jolly little girl, but fundamentally sensible and well-behaved". During her grandfather's reign, Elizabeth was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind her uncle Edward and her father. Although her birth generated public interest, she was not expected to become queen, as Edward was still young. Many people believed he would have children of his own; when her grandfather died in 1936 and her uncle succeeded as Edward VIII, she became second-in-line to the throne, after her father.
That year, Edward abdicated, after his proposed marriage to divorced socialite Wallis Simpson provoked a constitutional crisis. Elizabeth's father became king, she became heir presumptive. If her parents had had a son, she would have lost her position as first-in-line, as her brother would have been heir apparent and above her in the line of succession. Elizabeth received private tuition in constitutional history from Henry Marten, Vice-Provost of Eton College, learned French from a succession of native-speaking governesses. A Girl Guides company, the 1st Buckingham Palace Company, was formed so she could socialise with girls her own age, she was enrolled as a Sea Ranger. In 1939, Elizabeth's parents toured the United States; as in 1927, when her parents had toured Australia and New Zealand, Elizabeth remained in Britain, since her father thought her too young to undertake public tours. Elizabeth "looked tearful", they corresponded and she and her parents made the first royal transatlantic telephone call on 18 May.
In September 1939, Britain entered the Second World War. Lord Hailsham suggested that the two princesses should be evacuated to Canada to avoid the frequent aerial bombing; this was rejected by Elizabeth's mother. I won't leave wit
Tariq Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon
Tariq Mahmood Ahmad, Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, is a British businessman and a Conservative life peer. Born in Lambeth, he was educated at Merton Park, southwest London, he was appointed Minister of State for the Commonwealth and United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 13 June 2017. Speaking at a primary school he said that he decided that he wanted to be a politician after a visit to the Houses of Parliament when he was 13 years of age. In 1991, he entered Natwest's Graduate Management programme working as Head of Marketing and Branding and in 2000 went to work for AllianceBernstein. In 2004, he joined Sucden Financial, where he served on the Executive Committee and as Director of Marketing and Research, he is an Associate of the Institute of Financial Services and a member of the Institute of Directors. He is a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and from 1999 to 2008 served as Vice-President of AMYA, a British Muslim youth organization. From 2001 to 2006, he served as a governor of Wimbledon Park Primary school.
He joined the Conservative Party in 1994. In 2002, he was elected as councillor in Wimbledon, he contested Croydon North for the party in 2005. From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party. On 13 January 2011, he was created a life peer, taking the title Baron Ahmad of Wimbledon, of Wimbledon in the London Borough of Merton, formally joined the House of Lords on 17 January. In 2014, Ahmad was promoted to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at DCLG. Following the 2015 election he was appointed in the same role at both the Home Office and the Department for Transport. After the 2015 General Election, he was appointed jointly as Minister for Skills and Aviation Security at the Department for Transport, Minister for Countering Extremism at the Home Office. In 2016, he was appointed Minister for Aviation, International Trade and Europe at the Department for Transport in the First May ministry. After the 2017 General Election, Ahmad was appointed as Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with responsibility for the Commonwealth and the United Nations, the Prime Minister's Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Profile at Parliament of the United Kingdom Current session contributions in Parliament at Hansard Voting record at PublicWhip.org Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou.com Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
Monarchy of the United Kingdom
The monarchy of the United Kingdom referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories. The current monarch and head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who ascended the throne in 1952; the monarch and their immediate family undertake various official, ceremonial and representational duties. As the monarchy is constitutional, the monarch is limited to non-partisan functions such as bestowing honours and appointing the Prime Minister; the monarch is commander-in-chief of the British Armed Forces. Though the ultimate executive authority over the government is still formally by and through the monarch's royal prerogative, these powers may only be used according to laws enacted in Parliament and, in practice, within the constraints of convention and precedent; the British monarchy traces its origins from the petty kingdoms of early medieval Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England, which consolidated into the kingdoms of England and Scotland by the 10th century.
England was conquered by the Normans in 1066, after which Wales too came under control of Anglo-Normans. The process was completed in the 13th century when the Principality of Wales became a client state of the English kingdom. Meanwhile, Magna Carta began a process of reducing the English monarch's political powers. From 1603, the English and Scottish kingdoms were ruled by a single sovereign. From 1649 to 1660, the tradition of monarchy was broken by the republican Commonwealth of England, which followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms; the Act of Settlement 1701 excluded Roman Catholics, or those who married them, from succession to the English throne. In 1707, the kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged to create the Kingdom of Great Britain, in 1801, the Kingdom of Ireland joined to create the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; the British monarch was the nominal head of the vast British Empire, which covered a quarter of the world's surface at its greatest extent in 1921. In the early 1920s the Balfour Declaration recognised the evolution of the Dominions of the Empire into separate, self-governing countries within a Commonwealth of Nations.
After the Second World War, the vast majority of British colonies and territories became independent bringing the Empire to an end. George VI and his successor, Elizabeth II, adopted the title Head of the Commonwealth as a symbol of the free association of its independent member states; the United Kingdom and fifteen other independent sovereign states that share the same person as their monarch are called Commonwealth realms. Although the monarch is shared, each country is sovereign and independent of the others, the monarch has a different and official national title and style for each realm. In the uncodified Constitution of the United Kingdom, the monarch is the head of state; the Queen's image is used to signify British sovereignty and government authority—her profile, for instance, appearing on currency, her portrait in government buildings. The sovereign is further both mentioned in and the subject of songs, loyal toasts, salutes. "God Save the Queen" is the British national anthem. Oaths of allegiance are made to her lawful successors.
The monarch takes little direct part in government. The decisions to exercise sovereign powers are delegated from the monarch, either by statute or by convention, to ministers or officers of the Crown, or other public bodies, exclusive of the monarch personally, thus the acts of state done in the name of the Crown, such as Crown Appointments if performed by the monarch, such as the Queen's Speech and the State Opening of Parliament, depend upon decisions made elsewhere: Legislative power is exercised by the Queen-in-Parliament, by and with the advice and consent of Parliament, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Executive power is exercised by Her Majesty's Government, which comprises ministers the prime minister and the Cabinet, technically a committee of the Privy Council, they have the direction of the Armed Forces of the Crown, the Civil Service and other Crown Servants such as the Diplomatic and Secret Services. Judicial power is vested in the various judiciaries of the United Kingdom, who by constitution and statute have judicial independence of the Government.
The Church of England, of which the monarch is the head, has its own legislative and executive structures. Powers independent of government are granted to other public bodies by statute or Statutory Instrument such as an Order in Council, Royal Commission or otherwise; the sovereign's role as a constitutional monarch is limited to non-partisan functions, such as granting honours. This role has been recognised since the 19th century; the constitutional writer Walter Bagehot identified the monarchy in 1867 as the "dignified part" rather than the "efficient part" of government. Whenever necessary, the monarch is responsible for appointing a new prime minister. In accordance with unwritten constitutional conventions, the sovereign must appoint an individual who commands the support of the House of Commons the leader of the party or coalition that has a majority in that House; the prime minister takes office by attending the monarch in private audience, after "kissing hands" that appointment is effective without any other f
RAF Ascension Island
RAF Ascension known as Wideawake Airfield or Ascension Island Auxiliary Field, is a military airfield and facility located on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean. The airfield is jointly operated by the United States Air Force; the facility is home to a USAF ground tracking station in support of the Eastern Range and rocket launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Ascension Island forms part of a British Overseas Territory together with Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha. In 1939 Ascension became important as a high-frequency direction finding radio station covering trade routes. Wideawake Airfield was built by the US military in 1942 by arrangement with the British government; the airfield was built using a US task force. The first aircraft to land on Ascension Island was a Fairey Swordfish from HMS Archer in June, 1942 and it went on to be used by more than 25,000 aircraft as a staging point during the war; the airfield fell into disuse. A USAF tracking station was activated as a satellite of Patrick Air Force Base in Florida on 25 June 1956.
The airfield's runway was extended in the Autumn of 1980. It was re-garrisoned by the RAF in 1982 and used extensively as a staging airfield during the Falklands War. A series of long-range bombing raids was carried out from there under the name Operation Black Buck; the Target Tracking Radar Station was a Nike Zeus test facility for tracking reentry vehicles from Cape Canaveral missile launches. Built from 1960-1961 for anti-ballistic missile measurement, the "Golf Ball" radar antenna was on Cat Hill, a collimation tower for radar calibration was towards English Bay; the facility is home to the Detachment 2 of the 45th Mission Support Group, part of the USAF 45th Space Wing. It operates a ground tracking station in support of the Eastern Range and rocket launches from Cape Canaveral in Florida; the NASA Tracking Station at Devil's Ashpit and the Cable & Wireless Earth Station at Donkey Plain were built in the mid-1960s for space operations and communications, including the latter's use for transmitting "microwave borne data via the Early Bird Satellite back to the NASA facility at Andover, Maine".
The station comes under the overall jurisdiction of the Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands, an officer of one-star rank. As of December 2018, the incumbent is Brigadier Nick Sawyer; the RAF airfield on Ascension Island is run on a day-to-day basis by around 19 RAF personnel, headed by a wing commander. RAF Ascension Island is the refuelling point for the Ministry of Defence's South Atlantic air bridge flights to RAF Mount Pleasant, on the Falkland Islands, from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, in the UK. Beginning in November 2017, the Ascension Island Government has contracted South African Carrier Airlink to conduct scheduled charter flights between Saint Helena Airport and Ascension Island on a monthly basis. Flights are scheduled on the second week of every month, arriving at Ascension on Saturday afternoon and returning to Saint Helena on Sunday morning; the first of these flights are scheduled for 18 and 19 November 2017. Ascension serves as a diversion airport for ETOPS aircraft crossing the Atlantic.
In January 2013, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200LR en route from Johannesburg to Atlanta diverted to Ascension as a result of engine problems. The site is home to a high frequency radio station forming part of the Defence High Frequency Communications Service; the station is operated by Babcock International Group on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. Potholes on the runway led to the suspension in April 2017 of all Ministry of Defence South Atlantic Air Bridge Flights between RAF Mount Pleasant and RAF Brize Norton until at least 2019/2020. An Airbus A330 aircraft operated by AirTanker Services on behalf of the Ministry of Defence carried out those flights although a limited number of commercial passenger tickets were available; those flights now travel via Cape Verde. Planes for emergency medical evacuation flights and the newly established monthly charter flight to Saint Helena Airport are not impacted given the size of aircraft used. Essential personnel and equipment are exempt from the suspension.
While A330s are for now unable to land at the airport, the United States military continues to maintain a weekly flight between the island and Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, only for the use of its personnel, while the MV Ascension supply ship services US facilities. A C-17 for the UK's MoD lands there at Ascension once a month for its own personnel. On 18 November 2017, SA Airlink started a scheduled weekly charter from Jamestown St Helena to the island. Saint Helena Airport List of Royal Air Force stations This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/. Media related to Wideawake Field at Wikimedia Commons RAF Ascension Island James Rogers and Luis Simón; the Status and Location of the Military Installations of the Member States of the European Union and Their Potential Role for the European Security and Defence Policy. Brussels: European Parliament, 2009. 25 pp
A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments. Laws enacted by legislatures are known as primary legislation. Legislatures observe and steer governing actions and have exclusive authority to amend the budget or budgets involved in the process; the members of a legislature are called legislators. In a democracy, legislators are most popularly elected, although indirect election and appointment by the executive are used for bicameral legislatures featuring an upper chamber. Names for national legislatures include "parliament", "congress", "diet", "assembly", depending on country; each chamber of the legislature consists of a number of legislators who use some form of parliamentary procedure to debate political issues and vote on proposed legislation. There must be a certain number of legislators present to carry out these activities; some of the responsibilities of a legislature, such as giving first consideration to newly proposed legislation, are delegated to committees made up of a few of the members of the chamber.
The members of a legislature represent different political parties. Legislatures vary in the amount of political power they wield, compared to other political players such as judiciaries and executives. In 2009, political scientists M. Steven Fish and Matthew Kroenig constructed a Parliamentary Powers Index in an attempt to quantify the different degrees of power among national legislatures; the German Bundestag, the Italian Parliament, the Mongolian State Great Khural tied for most powerful, while Myanmar's House of Representatives and Somalia's Transitional Federal Assembly tied for least powerful. Some political systems follow the principle of legislative supremacy, which holds that the legislature is the supreme branch of government and cannot be bound by other institutions, such as the judicial branch or a written constitution; such a system renders the legislature more powerful. In parliamentary and semi-presidential systems of government, the executive is responsible to the legislature, which may remove it with a vote of no confidence.
On the other hand, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature in a presidential system is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. Legislatures will sometimes delegate their legislative power to administrative or executive agencies. Legislatures are made up of individual members, known as legislators. A legislature contains a fixed number of legislators. For example, a legislature that has 100 "seats" has 100 members. By extension, an electoral district that elects a single legislator can be described as a "seat", as, example, in the phrases "safe seat" and "marginal seat". A legislature may debate and vote upon bills as a single unit, or it may be composed of multiple separate assemblies, called by various names including legislative chambers, debate chambers, houses, which debate and vote separately and have distinct powers. A legislature which operates as a single unit is unicameral, one divided into two chambers is bicameral, one divided into three chambers is tricameral.
In bicameral legislatures, one chamber is considered the upper house, while the other is considered the lower house. The two types are not rigidly different, but members of upper houses tend to be indirectly elected or appointed rather than directly elected, tend to be allocated by administrative divisions rather than by population, tend to have longer terms than members of the lower house. In some systems parliamentary systems, the upper house has less power and tends to have a more advisory role, but in others presidential systems, the upper house has equal or greater power. In federations, the upper house represents the federation's component states; this is a case with the supranational legislature of the European Union. The upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments – as in the European Union and in Germany and, before 1913, in the United States – or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the United States since 1913.
Tricameral legislatures are rare. Tetracameral legislatures no longer exist, but they were used in Scandinavia. Legislatures vary in their size. Among national legislatures, China's National People's Congress is the largest with 2 980 members, while Vatican City's Pontifical Commission is the smallest with 7. Neither legislature is democratically elected: the National People's Congress is indirectly elected. Legislature size is a trade off between representation. Comparative analysis of national legislatures has found that size of a country's lower house tends to be proportional to the cube root of its population.
Parliament of Botswana
The Parliament of Botswana consists of the President and the National Assembly. In contrast to other Parliamentary systems, the Parliament elects the President directly for a set five-year term of office. There are no term limits; the President is of Government in Botswana's parliamentary republican system. The former President of Botswana is Ian Khama, who assumed the Presidency on 1 April 2008 and won a full five-year term in the postceding Botswana General elections, which were held on 16 October 2009 and returned his Botswana Democratic Party with a majority of 35 seats in the 61 seat Parliament. There exists a body known as Ntlo ya Dikgosi, an advisory body that does not form part of the Parliament. Botswana is one of the two only nations on the African continent since the end of colonial rule to have achieved a clean record of free and fair elections since independence, having held 10 elections since 1966 without any serious incidents of corruption; the other is Mauritius Politics of Botswana List of legislatures by country Official website