Western Goals Institute
The Western Goals Institute was a far-right, conservative pressure group in Britain, re-formed in 1989 from Western Goals UK, founded in 1985 as an offshoot of the U. S. Western Goals Foundation, its stated intent was anti-communism, although the group was known for its opposition to non-white immigration into mainland Europe and Britain. The Western Goals Institute was founded in May 1985 as the British branch of the American organisation the Western Goals Foundation. In March 1987 Western Goals UK had filed a complaint with the Charity Commission for England and Wales against three major British charities, War on Want, Christian Aid claiming that they were involved in political campaigning work in support of left-wing organizations due to their campaigns against apartheid in South Africa; the Charities Commission upheld the Western Goals complaint, obliging War on Want to halt political campaigning. In October 1988 Western Goals held a well-attended fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference addressed by their patron, General Sir Walter Walker, former Commander-in-Chief of NATO forces in Northern Europe, Sir Patrick Wall, the M.
P. for Beverley, the Revd. Martin Smyth, MP, others on terrorism, highlighting the links between the African National Congress and the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Western Goals subsequently issued a paper summarising the issues raised at this meeting; the Irish media confirmed these links. As a result of their expanding activities and organisation, Western Goals UK was relaunched in 1989, becoming the Western Goals Institute, independent of the U. S. foundation. Gregory Lauder-Frost a leading member of the Conservative Monday Club, was invited in February to join Thomas J Bergen, Peter Dally, Professor Antony Flew, Linda Catoe Guell, Dr. Joseph Labia, Trggvi McDonald, Rev. Martin Smyth, MP, the Lord Sudeley, Dr. Harvey Ward and Rev. Basil Watson, OBE, as Vice-Presidents of the institute; the institute's stated aims were to "combat the insidious menace of liberalism and Communism within all sectors of British society" and its initial activities included denouncing what it described as "extremist" left-wing Labour Party candidates.
The institute was critical of the United Nations, its Director Andrew Smith stating "western nations have seen fit to submit themselves to the writ of the UN, a body composed of regimes hostile to western democratic values."The institute stated its aims on the BBC in 1991: "Western Goals works to establish networks and links with conservative groups dedicated to the preservation of the cultures and identities of western nations. We are conservatives. A multicultural society does not work. We wish to protect the way of life we had, it was a mistake to permit these people to come here. Politicians must now accept this. Large numbers of immigrants reject European culture and wish to remain alien in religion and culture. We want European culture in European countries. We would seek to have treaties with countries to permit resettlement."Initially, the Western Goals Institute drew some support from Conservative parliamentarians, & the London magazine City Limits stated that "Western Goals is talking the same blunt authoritarian language as many Tory back-benchers and rank and file Tories.
It is a group to be reckoned with... having a formidable list of honorary patrons and Vice-Presidents". With an public role Western Goals attracted left-wing hostility. In September 1991 Campaign Against Fascism demonstrated outside the home of Lord Sudeley, they said, "to expose his involvement in setting up an international network of right-wing extremists." In response Sudeley refuted the claims and described Western Goals "as being committed to the traditional values of conservatism in England." Mr Mike Whine, the'Defence Director' of the Board of British Jewish Deputies weighed in describing the institute as "not fascists or anti-Semitic, but they inhabit the shadowy, nether-world of the far right-wing."Following the end of the Cold War, the group lost its original anti-Communist raison d’etre in Europe, at least, but it continued to forge and retain links with other ultra-conservative and nationalist political parties such as the Front National of France. The association with Le Pen and his party resulted in many of the group's former Conservative supporters distancing themselves from the organization.
The institute and its predecessor were affiliated with the World Anti-Communist League. As Western Goals delegate, Andrew Smith attended the 21st conference of the World Anti-Communist League held in Geneva August 27–29, 1988, addressed by one of Western Goals UK's patrons, Major-General John K. Singlaub. Smith contributed an article on the speech in WACL's Free World Report the following January. In July 1990, WGI sent a delegation to the 22nd WACL Conference in Brussels and from 1991 WGI was the UK chapter of the senior World League. In line with the ‘Reagan doctrine’ policies of its American patrons, Western Goals UK had established links with militant, violent, anti-Communist groups internationally; these include the Angolan UNITA movement and the Salvadoran Nationalist Republican Alliance party, whose leader, Roberto D’Aubuisson, became one of the group's international patrons. It was claimed that Western Goals may have been used by its U. S. partners as a conduit for fun
National Democrats (United Kingdom)
The National Democrats was a British nationalist party in the United Kingdom. Former party Chairman Ian Anderson died on 2 February 2011, the party was de-registered with the Electoral Commission on 10 March 2011; the party evolved out of the Flag Group wing of the British National Front, which gained control of the NF during the early 1990s. Party leader Ian Anderson sought to change the name of the NF to the National Democrats. 72% of the membership voted for the change in a postal ballot. However, the move was resisted by other NF members and so the National Democrats came into existence as a new party; the party contested two parliamentary by-elections in 1996. In Hemsworth, Mike Cooper received 111 votes and, in South East Staffordshire, Sharron Edwards received 358 votes. Although the NDs never took part in scheduled European elections, it did contest the Merseyside West by-election in which Simon Darby stood but only gained 718 votes. In the 1997 general election, the party contested 21 seats and received a total of 10,829 votes, compared to 35,832 for its rivals in the British National Party, 2,719 votes for the NF.
The party's best result was in West Bromwich West. However, this was not a normal constituency, since this was the constituency of House Speaker Betty Boothroyd, which major parties by convention do not contest; the party was damaged before the 1997 election when it was revealed by The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail that leading member Andy Carmichael was working for MI5. Where the West Midlands had been a stronghold, it now began to fall apart, in 1998, the local branch, which included leading ND activist Simon Darby, defected to the BNP, leaving only a small number of party loyalists behind; the party did not nominate candidates in the 2001 general election. In the early 1990s, the National Front was left a legacy of one hundred thousand pounds by a party supporter. Following the 1995 name change to the National Democrats the legacy remained with the National Democrats under the control of Ian Anderson; the money was spent on the purchase of Britannia House - the building doubled as party HQ and the site of Anderson’s printing business.
The National Democrats attempted to give the impression of attracting a mass membership. It never did; the party printed a glossy monthly magazine called Vanguard, edited by Blackburn-based Stephen Ebbs which lost money on every print and was subsidised by legacy cash. Publication of the former NF paper, The Flag, now in support of the new party. In January 1998, Ian Anderson accompanied members of the anti-paedophile campaign People Power when they delivered a letter to Downing Street demanding tougher action against child abusers. In attendance were other extreme right wingers, including Paul Ballard of the BNP and Bill Binding, exposed by Searchlight as a leader of the British branch of the Ku Klux Klan and a former BNP parliamentary candidate. A plan to hand out extreme right-wing literature was abandoned when Curtis Sliwa, leader of the Guardian Angels vigilante group, turned up with members, some of whom were non-white. People Power's literature was produced from his printing business in Dagenham.
Following this, the National Democrats set up a website called Paedophile Watch to "out" suspected child abusers with leaflets and demonstrations. The site listed newspaper reports containing the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders. Reporters from the News of the World sought information from Ian Anderson for their "name and shame" stunt. By 2000, the National Democrats had ceased to exist with only the Flag newspaper being published as an independent publication, without reference to the National Democrats or the Campaign for National Democracy. By the beginning of 2002, the party continued as a pressure group under the name Campaign for National Democracy; the party ceased to exist after the death of its leader at the beginning of 2011. Simon Darby, parliamentary candidate, left the party in 1998 for the BNP and became its press officer and deputy leader. Martin Wingfield,co-editor of The Flag, left the party in 2001 and joined the BNP and became editor of its Voice of Freedom paper.
Sharron Edwards, parliamentary candidate, left the party in 1999, stood as first candidate on the West Midlands list for the BNP in the 1999 European elections and became deputy chairwoman of the BNP before helping to form the Freedom Party. Gary Cartwright, regional organiser and local council candidate joined UKIP and is parliamentary advisor to Nikki Sinclaire; the party contested 21 seats. No candidates were elected, the party lost all but one of its deposits. * West Bromwich West was the Speaker's seat and was not contested by the major parties. The candidates were Betty Boothroyd, Richard Silvester and Steven Edwards Source: Source: Political party Politics of the United Kingdom List of political parties
Fulham (UK Parliament constituency)
Fulham was a borough constituency centred on the London district of Fulham. It was represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1885 until 1918 and from 1955 to 1997. Between 1918 and 1955 it was divided into Fulham East and Fulham West. At the 1997 general election it was replaced by Fulham. 1955-1974: The Metropolitan Borough of Fulham wards of Hurlingham, Sands End and Walham. 1974-1983: The London Borough of Hammersmith wards of Avonmore, Crabtree, Gibbs Green, Margravine, Parsons Green, Sherbrooke and Town. 1983-1997: The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham wards of Avonmore, Crabtree, Eel Brook, Gibbs Green, Normand, Sands End, Sulivan and Walham. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "F" British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, compiled and edited by F. W. S. Craig Debrett’s Illustrated Heraldic and Biographical House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1886 Debrett’s House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1901 Debrett’s House of Commons and the Judicial Bench 1918
The History of British Political Parties
The History of British Political Parties referred to as Politico's Guide to the History of British Political Parties, is a reference book about political parties in the United Kingdom. Written by David Boothroyd, it was published in 2001 by Politico's Publishing Ltd and distributed in the United States by International Specialized Book Services. At the time of the book's publication, Boothroyd worked as a researcher with Parliamentary Monitoring Services; the book contains entries on over 250 UK political parties that have participated in parliamentary elections. It is structured alphabetically by entry, with the size of each entry relative to the history and influence of the individual political party. Boothroyd includes information about the history and election statistics of each party, as well as a brief narrative, he focuses on the Conservative and Labour parties. Boothroyd's work received positive reviews in book journals; the book was recommended by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries.
The authors of the bibliographical work Information Sources of Political Science described it as a "handy guide", it was used as a reference in Third Force Politics: Liberal Democrats at the Grassroots. The History of British Political Parties is a comprehensive work which lists and describes over 250 political parties in the United Kingdom that have participated in parliamentary elections since 1832. Entries are organised alphabetically, most descriptions of the political parties span a few paragraphs or pages. Space is allotted to each entry based on the individual party's influence; each entry contains objective information on the party including its history, the number of registered members, election statistics, their email address and website if these exist. The author provides a narrative description of each party. Boothroyd writes, "Only three parties out of the 250... have formed a government in the United Kingdom." He devotes the most discussion in the book to the Conservative and Labour parties.
The book includes cross-references to enable the reader to locate political parties that have had changes over time. In a review of the book for The School Librarian, Valerie Caless wrote, "Overall, this is a thorough historical guide to the political parties, will serve as a useful reference book for students of both history and politics at all levels. A glossary or'concepts' guide would have been a bonus for the new or less patient student." N. W. Polsby of the University of California, Berkeley reviewed the book for Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, wrote, "The total absence of bibliographical aids is a weakness of this book, its strengths are its plainly accessible writing. This is a book to be consulted, not read straight through. Recommended at all levels." A review in Reference & Research Book News said, "The book is intended as an affordable reference book for the general reader interested in British politics". The History of British Political Parties was reviewed in Parliamentary Affairs.
In the 2003 book The Times House of Commons Guide: 1929, 1931, 1935, Boothroyd is mentioned as the author of The History of British Political Parties and referred to as "an elections specialist". In the 2005 bibliographical work Information Sources of Political Science, authors Stephen W. Green, Douglas Ernest, Frederick L. Holler described Boothroyd's book as "a handy guide to 250 British political parties," and wrote, "Even some of the more humorous and tongue-in-cheek political parties are included in this handbook, such as the Official Monster Raving Loony Party"; the book is used as a reference in the works Third Force Politics: Liberal Democrats at the Grassroots by Paul Whiteley, Patrick Seyd and Antony Billinghurst, published by Oxford University Press. Nicholas Whyte of the website Northern Ireland Access Research Knowledge wrote, "For general information about political parties in Northern Ireland since 1922, the whole of Ireland 1801–1922, England and Wales, I urge you to get hold of Politico's Guide to the History of British Political Parties by David Boothroyd available from Politico's."
Elections in the United Kingdom List of UK by-elections List of political parties in the United Kingdom Politics of the United Kingdom United Kingdom general elections Child, Susan. Politico's Guide to Election Law. Politico's. P. 353. ISBN 1-902301-81-1. Parliamentary Affairs staff. "Reference Works. D. Boothroyd, The History of British Political Parties, Politico's, 2000, 338 pp. £25". Parliamentary Affairs. Oxford University Press. 54: 560–561. Doi:10.1093/parlij/54.3.560. City of Westminster. "Councillor Details – David Boothroyd". Www.westminster.gov.uk. Westminster City Council. Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2007. — bio page of author, at official City of Westminster website
National Front (UK)
The National Front is a far-right, fascist political party in the United Kingdom. It is led by Tony Martin. A minor party, it has never had its representatives elected to the British or European Parliaments, although it gained a small number of local councillors through defections, it has had a few of its representatives elected to community councils. Founded in 1967, it reached the height of its electoral support during the mid-1970s, when it was the UK's fourth-largest party in terms of vote share; the NF was founded by A. K. Chesterton of the British Union of Fascists, as a merger between his League of Empire Loyalists and the British National Party, it was soon joined by the Greater Britain Movement, whose leader John Tyndall became the Front's chairman in 1972. Under Tyndall's leadership, it capitalised on growing concern about South Asian migration to Britain increasing its membership and vote share in urban areas of East London and Northern England, its public profile was raised through street marches and rallies, which resulted in clashes with anti-fascist protesters, most notably the 1974 Red Lion Square disorders and the 1977 Battle of Lewisham.
In 1982, Tyndall left the National Front to form his own British National Party. Many NF members defected to Tyndall's BNP, contributing to a substantial decline in the Front's electoral support. During the 1980s, the NF split in two. In 1995, the Flag NF's leadership transformed the party into the National Democrats, although a small splinter group retained the NF name. Ideologically positioned on the extreme right or far right of British politics, the NF has been characterised as fascist or neo-fascist by political scientists. Different factions have dominated the party at different points in its history, each with its own ideological bent, including neo-Nazis and racial populists; the party espouses the ethnic nationalist view that only white people should be citizens of the United Kingdom. It calls for an end to non-white migration into the UK, with settled non-white Britons to be stripped of citizenship and deported. A white supremacist group, it promotes biological racism and the white genocide conspiracy theory, calling for global racial separatism and condemning interracial relationships and miscegenation.
It espouses anti-semitic conspiracy theories, endorsing Holocaust denial and claiming that Jews dominate the world through both communism and finance capitalism. It promotes economic protectionism, a transformation away from liberal democracy, while its social policies oppose feminism, LGBT rights, societal permissiveness. After the BNP, the NF has been the most successful far-right group in British politics since the Second World War. During its history, it has established sub-groups like a trade unionists' association, a youth group, the Rock Against Communism musical organisation. Only whites are permitted membership of the party and in its heyday most of its support came from White British working and lower middle-class communities in Northern England and East London; the NF has generated much opposition from left-wing and anti-fascist groups throughout its history, NF members are prohibited by law from membership in various professions. The National Front began as a coalition of small far-right groups active on the fringes of British politics during the 1960s.
The resolve to unite them came in early 1966 from A. K. Chesterton, the leader of the League of Empire Loyalists, he had a long history in the British fascist movement, having been a member of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s. Over the following months, many far-rightists visited Chesterton at his Croydon apartment to discuss the proposal, among them Andrew Fountaine and Philip Maxwell of the British National Party, John Tyndall and Martin Webster of the Greater Britain Movement, David Brown of the Racial Preservation Society. In principle, everyone agreed with the idea of unification, but personal rivalries made the process difficult. Combining anti-Semitism and anti-communism with anti-Americanism and anti-capitalism, the LEL had filled a void on the British far-right since the 1950s but had been criticised by some far-rightists for being too elitist and failing to build a mass movement. Chesterton agreed to a merger of the LEL and BNP, a faction of the RPS decided to join them.
The BNP was eager to accelerate integration, in part. Chesterton and the BNP agreed that Tyndall's GBM would not be invited to join their new party because of its strong associations with neo-Nazism, as well as the recent arrest of Tyndall and seven other GBM members for illegal weapon possession. Chesterton met with the neo-Nazi Colin Jordan of the National Socialist Movement, but again deemed it unwise to unite with his group. Chesterton wanted to keep his new party clear of the crude racist sloganeering he thought was holding back the far-right's electoral success, its initial policy platform revolved around opposition to the political establishment, anti-communism, support for the white minority governments in Rhodesia and South Africa, a ban on migration into Britain, the repatriation of all settled non-white immigrants to their ancest
Far-right politics are politics further on the right of the left-right spectrum than the standard political right in terms of extreme nationalism, nativist ideologies, authoritarian tendencies. The term is used to describe Nazism, neo-Nazism, neo-fascism and other ideologies or organizations that feature ultranationalist, xenophobic, anti-communist, or reactionary views; these can lead to oppression and violence against groups of people based on their supposed inferiority, or their perceived threat to the native ethnic group, state or ultraconservative traditional social institutions. Far-right politics includes but is not limited to aspects of authoritarianism, anti-communism and nativism. Claims that superior people should have greater rights than inferior people are associated with the far-right; the far-right has favored an elitist society based on its belief in the legitimacy of the rule of a supposed superior minority over the inferior masses. Some aspects of fascist ideology have been identified with right-wing political parties: in particular, the fascist idea that superior persons should dominate society while undesirable elements should be purged, which in the case of Nazism resulted in genocide.
Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform in London, has distinguished between right-wing nationalist parties—which are described as far-right such as the National Front in France—and fascism. One issue is whether parties should be labelled radical or extreme, a distinction, made by the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany when determining whether or not a party should be banned. Another question is what the label "right" implies when it is applied to the extreme right, given the fact that many parties that were labeled right-wing extremist tended to advance neoliberal and free market agendas as late as the 1980s, but now advocate economic policies which are more traditionally associated with the left, such as anti-globalisation and protectionism. One approach, drawing on the writings of Norberto Bobbio, argues that attitudes towards political equality are what distinguish the left from the right and they therefore allow these parties to be positioned on the right of the political spectrum.
There is debate about how appropriate the labels fascist or neo-Fascist are. According to Cas Mudde, "the labels Neo-Nazi and to a lesser extent neo-Fascism are now used for parties and groups that explicitly state a desire to restore the Third Reich or quote historical National Socialism as their ideological influence". Right-wing populism, a political ideology that combines laissez-faire capitalism, nationalism and anti-elitism, is sometimes described as far-right. Right-wing populism involves appeals to the "common man" and opposition to immigration. Far-right politics sometimes involves anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are deemed inferior and undesirable. Concerning the socio-cultural dimension of nationality and migration, one far-right position is the view that certain ethnic, racial or religious groups should stay separate and it is based on the belief that the interests of one's own group should be prioritised. Proponents of the horseshoe theory interpretation of the left-right spectrum identify the far-left and the far-right as having more in common with each other as extremists than each of them has with moderate centrists.
In the United States, the term hard right has been used to describe groups such as the Tea Party movement and the Patriot movement. The term has been used to describe ideologies such as paleoconservatism, Dominion Theology and white nationalism; the German political scientist Klaus von Beyme describes three historical phases in the development of far-right parties in Western Europe after World War II. From 1945 to the mid-1950s, far-right parties were marginalised and their ideologies were discredited due to the recent existence and defeat of Nazism, thus in the years following World War II, the main objective of far-right parties was survival and achieving any political impact at all was not expected. From the mid-1950s to the 1970s, the so-called "populist protest phase" emerged with sporadic electoral success. During this period, far-right parties drew to them charismatic leaders whose profound mistrust of the political establishment led to an "us-versus-them" mind set: "us" being the nation's citizenry, "them" being the politicians and bureaucrats who were in office.
Beginning in the 1980s, the electoral successes of far-right political candidates made it possible for far-right political parties to revitalize anti-immigration as a mainstream issue. Jens Rydgren describes a number of theories as to why individuals support far-right political parties and the academic literature on this topic distinguishes between demand-side theories that have changed the "interests, emotions and preferences of voters" and supply-side theories which focus on the programmes of parties, their organisation and the opportunity structures within individual political systems; the most common demand-side theories are the social breakdown thesis, the relative deprivation thesis, the modernisation losers thesis and the ethnic competition thesis. The rise of far-right political parties has been viewed as a rejection of post-materialist values on the part of some voters; this theory, known as the reverse post-material thesis blames both left-wing and progressive parties for embracing a post-material agenda that alienates traditional working class voters.
Another study argues that individuals who join far-right parties determine whether those parties develop into major political players
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh 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, 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. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K