Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain. It shares a border with England to the south, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east. In addition to the mainland, the country is made up of more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles, the Kingdom of Scotland emerged as an independent sovereign state in the Early Middle Ages and continued to exist until 1707. By inheritance in 1603, James VI, King of Scots, became King of England and King of Ireland, Scotland subsequently entered into a political union with the Kingdom of England on 1 May 1707 to create the new Kingdom of Great Britain. The union created a new Parliament of Great Britain, which succeeded both the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of England. Within Scotland, the monarchy of the United Kingdom has continued to use a variety of styles, the legal system within Scotland has remained separate from those of England and Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland constitutes a distinct jurisdiction in both public and private law.
Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, was one of the worlds leading industrial cities. Other major urban areas are Aberdeen and Dundee, Scottish waters consist of a large sector of the North Atlantic and the North Sea, containing the largest oil reserves in the European Union. This has given Aberdeen, the third-largest city in Scotland, the title of Europes oil capital, following a referendum in 1997, a Scottish Parliament was re-established, in the form of a devolved unicameral legislature comprising 129 members, having authority over many areas of domestic policy. Scotland is represented in the UK Parliament by 59 MPs and in the European Parliament by 6 MEPs, Scotland is a member nation of the British–Irish Council, and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. Scotland comes from Scoti, the Latin name for the Gaels, the Late Latin word Scotia was initially used to refer to Ireland. By the 11th century at the latest, Scotia was being used to refer to Scotland north of the River Forth, alongside Albania or Albany, the use of the words Scots and Scotland to encompass all of what is now Scotland became common in the Late Middle Ages.
Repeated glaciations, which covered the land mass of modern Scotland. It is believed the first post-glacial groups of hunter-gatherers arrived in Scotland around 12,800 years ago, the groups of settlers began building the first known permanent houses on Scottish soil around 9,500 years ago, and the first villages around 6,000 years ago. The well-preserved village of Skara Brae on the mainland of Orkney dates from this period and it contains the remains of an early Bronze Age ruler laid out on white quartz pebbles and birch bark. It was discovered for the first time that early Bronze Age people placed flowers in their graves, in the winter of 1850, a severe storm hit Scotland, causing widespread damage and over 200 deaths. In the Bay of Skaill, the storm stripped the earth from a large irregular knoll, when the storm cleared, local villagers found the outline of a village, consisting of a number of small houses without roofs. William Watt of Skaill, the laird, began an amateur excavation of the site, but after uncovering four houses
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party (UK)
The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is a senior politician in the British Labour Party. The post is held by Tom Watson, who was elected as deputy on 12 September 2015. Unlike other political party leaders, the Labour leader does not have the power to appoint or dismiss his or her deputy, the post is instead elected using the partys electoral college system, it was elected by Labour MPs before 1981. Recently, the office of Deputy Prime Minister has been revived, the previous Labour deputy leader, John Prescott, held this post from 1997 to 2007. However, the deputy leader is essentially a party official and there is no link between the two roles. The former Labour British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced on his election as Labour leader that the newly elected deputy leader, Harriet Harman. Brown subsequently appointed her Leader of the House of Commons in his first cabinet, in the event of a vacancy in the office of leader when the Labour Party is in opposition, the deputy leader automatically becomes temporary leader of the Party until a new leader is elected.
To date, the only Deputy Leaders who have gone on to become the leader of the Labour Party are Clement Attlee. Margaret Beckett briefly served as Labour leader following the death of John Smith in 1994. Harriet Harman was leader after Gordon Brown resigned in 2010 and after Ed Miliband resigned in 2015, John Robert Clynes served as leader prior to becoming Deputy Leader
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and the Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. From 1983 to 2007, Blair was the MP for Sedgefield, under Blairs leadership, the party used the phrase New Labour, to distance it from previous Labour policies and the traditional conception of socialism. Critics of Blair denounced him for having the Labour Party abandon genuine socialism, in May 1997, the Labour Party won a landslide general election victory, the largest in its history, allowing Blair, at 43 years old, to become the youngest Prime Minister since 1812. In September 1997, Blair attained early personal popularity, receiving a 93% public approval rating, the Labour Party went on to win two more elections under his leadership, in 2001, in which it won another landslide victory, and in 2005, with a reduced majority. In the first years of the New Labour government, Blairs government introduced the National Minimum Wage Act, Human Rights Act, Blairs government devolved power, establishing the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales, and the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In Northern Ireland, Blair was involved in the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, Blair has faced strong criticism for his role in the invasion of Iraq, including calls for having him tried for war crimes and waging a war of aggression. In 2016, the Iraq Inquiry strongly criticised his actions and described the invasion of Iraq as unjustified, Blair intervened militarily in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Blair was succeeded as the leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister by Gordon Brown in June 2007. On the day that Blair resigned as Prime Minister, he was appointed the official Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East and he now runs a consultancy business and has set up various foundations in his own name, including the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. Anthony Charles Lynton Blair was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, on 6 May 1953 and he was the second son of Leo and Hazel Blair. Leo Blair was the son of two entertainers and adopted as a baby by Glasgow shipyard worker James Blair and his wife.
Hazel Corscadden was the daughter of George Corscadden, a butcher, in 1923 he returned to Ballyshannon, County Donegal. In Ballyshannon Corscaddens wife, Sarah Margaret, gave birth above the grocery shop to Blairs mother. Blair has one brother, Sir William Blair, a High Court judge. Blairs first home was with his family at Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area of Edinburgh, during this period, his father worked as a junior tax inspector whilst studying for a law degree from the University of Edinburgh. Blairs first relocation was when he was 19 months old, at the end of 1954 Blairs parents and their two sons moved from Paisley Terrace to Adelaide, South Australia. His father lectured in law at the University of Adelaide and it was when in Australia that Blairs sister Sarah was born. The Blairs lived in the suburb of Dulwich close to the university, the family returned to the UK in summer 1958
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom. Labour served in the coalition from 1940 to 1945. Labour was in government from 1964 to 1970 under Harold Wilson and from 1974 to 1979, first under Wilson and James Callaghan. The Labour Party was last in government from 1997 to 2010 under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, beginning with a majority of 179. Having won 232 seats in the 2015 general election, the party is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, the party organises in Northern Ireland, but does not contest elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance. In September 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour Party, the first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and largely middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party.
In the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates, Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardies roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx. The motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to coordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and it had no single leader, and in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united.
The October 1900 Khaki election came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively, only 15 candidatures were sponsored, but two were successful, Keir Hardie in Merthyr Tydfil and Richard Bell in Derby. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, the judgement effectively made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. In their first meeting after the election the groups Members of Parliament decided to adopt the name The Labour Party formally, the Fabian Society provided much of the intellectual stimulus for the party. One of the first acts of the new Liberal Government was to reverse the Taff Vale judgement, the Peoples History Museum in Manchester holds the minutes of the first Labour Party meeting in 1906 and has them on display in the Main Galleries. Also within the museum is the Labour History Archive and Study Centre, the governing Liberals were unwilling to repeal this judicial decision with primary legislation
H. H. Asquith
He had a central role in the design and passage of major liberal legislation. In August 1914, Asquith took the United Kingdom into the First World War, Asquiths father owned a small business but died when Asquith was seven. Asquith was educated at City of London School and Balliol College and he trained as a barrister and after a slow start to his career achieved great success. In 1886, he was adopted as Liberal candidate for East Fife, in 1892, he was appointed as Home Secretary in Gladstones fourth ministry, remaining in the post until the Liberals lost the 1895 election. In 1908, Asquith succeeded him as minister, with David Lloyd George as chancellor. With their first majority government since the 1880s, the Liberals were determined to advance their agenda, an impediment to this was the unelected House of Lords, dominated by the Conservatives. When Lloyd George proposed, and the House of Commons passed, the Peoples Budget of 1909, meanwhile the South Africa Act 1909 passed. Asquith called an election for January 1910, and the Liberals won, Asquith was less successful in dealing with Irish Home Rule.
Repeated crises led to gun running and violence, verging on civil war, bitter rivalries inside and between the three major parties worsened when Asquith was unable to forge the coalition into a harmonious team. It was weakened by his own indecision over strategy, Lloyd George organised his overthrow and replaced him as Prime Minister in December 1916. Asquith remained as leader of the Liberal Party, but was unable to quell the internal conflict, the party rapidly declined in popularity and was ruined by the 1918 general election. Asquith accepted a peerage in 1925 and died, aged 75 and his roles in creating the modern British welfare state, 1906-1911 have been celebrated, but his weaknesses as a war leader and as a party leader after 1914 have been emphasised by historians. Asquith was born in Morley, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the couple had three daughters, of whom only one survived infancy. The Asquiths were an old Yorkshire family, with a long nonconformist tradition and it was a matter of family pride, shared by Asquith, that an ancestor, Joseph Asquith, was imprisoned for his part in the pro-Roundhead Farnley Wood Plot of 1664.
Both Asquiths parents came from families associated with the Yorkshire wool trade, Dixon Asquith inherited the Gillroyd Mill Company, founded by his father. Emilys father, William Willans, ran a successful wool-trading business in Huddersfield, both families were middle-class, Congregationalist, and politically radical. Dixon was a man, cultivated and in his sons words not cut out for a business career. He was described as a man of character who held Bible classes for young men
Instant-runoff voting, known as the alternative vote or transferable vote, is a voting method used in single-seat elections when there are more than two candidates. Instead of voting only for a candidate, in IRV. Ballots are initially counted for each electors top choice, if a candidate secures more than half of these votes, that candidate wins. Otherwise, the candidate in last place is eliminated and removed from consideration, the top remaining choices on all the ballots are counted again. This process repeats until one candidate is the top remaining choice of a majority of the voters, when the field is reduced to two, it has become an instant runoff that allows a comparison of the top two candidates head-to-head. IRV has the effect of avoiding split votes when multiple candidates earn support from like-minded voters. For example, suppose there are two similar candidates A & B, and an opposing candidate C, with first-preference vote totals of 35% for candidate A, 25% for B. In a plurality voting method, candidate C may win with 40% of the votes, voters are pressured to choose the seemingly stronger candidate of either A or B, despite personal preference for the other, in order to help ensure the defeat of C.
With IRV, the electors backing B as their first choice can rank A second, instant-runoff voting is used in national elections in several countries. The method is used in local elections around the world, as well as by some political parties. IRV is described in Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, instant-runoff voting derives its name from the way the ballot count simulates a series of runoffs, similar to a two-round system, except that voter preferences do not change between rounds. It is known as the vote, transferable vote, ranked-choice voting, single-seat ranked-choice voting. Britons and Canadians generally call IRV the Alternative Vote, who use IRV for most single winner elections, call IRV preferential voting, as does Roberts Rules of Order. IRV occasionally is referred to as Wares method after its inventor, when the single transferable vote method is applied to a single-winner election it becomes IRV. North Carolina law uses instant runoff to describe the contingent vote or batch elimination form of IRV in one-seat elections, a single second round of counting produces the top two candidates for a runoff election.
There are a number of variations in IRV, IRV methods in use in different countries vary both as to ballot design and as to whether or not voters are obliged to provide a full list of preferences. In an optional preferential voting system, voters can give a preference to as candidates as they wish. They may make only a choice, known as bullet voting
Leader of the Opposition (United Kingdom)
The Leader of Her Majestys Most Loyal Opposition is the politician who leads the official opposition in the United Kingdom. The current Leader of the Opposition is Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, the Leader of the Opposition is normally viewed as an alternative prime minister, and is appointed to the Privy Council. They lead an Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet which scrutinises the actions of the Cabinet led by the prime minister, There is a Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In the nineteenth century party affiliations were generally fixed and leaders in the two Houses were often of equal status. A single, clear Leader of the Opposition was only definitively settled if the leader in Commons or Lords was the outgoing prime minister. However, since the Parliament Act 1911 there has been no dispute that the leader in the House of Commons is pre-eminent, the Leader of the Opposition is entitled to a salary in addition to their salary as a Member of Parliament. In 2010, this additional entitlement was available up to £73,617, the first modern Leader of the Opposition was Charles James Fox, who led the Whigs as such for a generation, except during the Fox–North Coalition in 1783.
He finally rejoined the government in 1806, and died that year, for there to be a recognised Leader of the Opposition, it is necessary for there to be a sufficiently cohesive opposition to need a formal leader. The emergence of the office coincided with the period when wholly united parties became the norm. This situation was normalised in the Parliament of 1807–1812, when the members of the Grenvillite and Foxite Whig factions resolved to maintain a joint, dual-house leadership for the whole party. The Ministry of all the Talents, in which both Whig factions participated fell at the 1807 general election, during which the Whigs had re-adopted traditional factions, the prime minister of the Talents ministry, Lord Grenville had led his eponymous faction from the House of Lords. Meanwhile, the government leader of the House of Commons, Viscount Howick, led his faction, howicks father, the 1st Earl Grey died on 14 November 1807. As such the new Earl Grey vacated his seat in the House of Commons and this left no obvious Whig leader in the House of Commons.
Grenvilles article in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography confirms that he was considered the Whig leader in the House of Lords between 1807 and 1817, despite Grey leading the larger faction. Grenville and Grey, political historian Archibald Foord describes as being duumvirs of the party from 1807 to 1817, Grenville was at first reluctant to name a Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, commenting. All the elections in the world would not have made Windham or Sheridan leaders of the old Opposition while Fox was alive, eventually they jointly recommended George Ponsonby to the Whig MPs, whom they accepted as the first Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons. Ponsonby proved a leader but as he could not be persuaded to resign. Lord Grenville retired from politics in 1817, leaving Grey as the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords
Attlee was the first person to hold the office of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, serving under Winston Churchill in the wartime coalition government. He went on to lead the Labour Party to an election victory in summer 1945. One of only a handful of Labour frontbenchers to retain his seat in the defeat of 1931. In 1935 he became the Leader of the Party, at first advocating pacificism and appeasement, he reversed his position and by 1938 became a strong critic of Neville Chamberlains attempts to appease Adolf Hitler. He took Labour into the Churchill war ministry in 1940, initially serving as Lord Privy Seal, he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1942. With victory in Europe in May 1945, the government was dissolved. Attlee led Labour to win a majority in the ensuing 1945 general election two months later. Within this context, his government undertook the nationalisation of public utilities and major industries, Attlee himself had little interest in economic matters but this settlement was broadly accepted by all parties for three decades.
Foreign policy was the domain of Ernest Bevin, but Attlee took special interest in India. He supervised the process by which India was partitioned into India and he arranged the independence of Burma, and Ceylon. His government ended the British Mandates of Palestine and Jordan, from 1947 he and Bevin pushed the United States to take a more vigorous role in the emerging Cold War against Soviet Communism. When the budgetary crisis forced Britain out of Greece in 1947 he called on Washington to counter the Communists with the Truman Doctrine and he avidly supported the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe with American money. In 1949, he promoted the NATO military alliance against the Soviet bloc and he sent British troops to fight in the Malayan Emergency in 1948 and sent the RAF to participate in the Berlin Airlift. He commissioned an independent nuclear deterrent for the UK and he used 13,000 troops and passed special legislation to promptly end the London dock strike in 1949. After leading Labour to a victory in the 1950 general election.
Attlee was narrowly defeated by the Conservatives under Churchill in the 1951 general election and he continued as Labour leader but had lost his effectiveness by then. He retired after losing the 1955 general election and was elevated to the House of Lords, in public, Attlee was modest and unassuming, he was ineffective at public relations and lacked charisma. His strengths emerged behind the scenes, especially in committees where his depth of knowledge, quiet demeanour, objectivity and he saw himself as spokesman on behalf of his entire party and successfully kept its multiple factions in harness