John Leslie Keeble is an English pop and rock drummer. He is best known for his membership of the 1980s new wave band Spandau Ballet. John Keeble was born in Derbyshire, he was athletic as a child, playing both cricket. He bought his first drum kit at the age of 16 and started pursuing an interest in music in a Dame Alice Owen's School band called The Cut with Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley and Steve Norman in 1976; the band soon recruited Kemp's brother Martin on bass. The band was named The Makers, The Gentry and Spandau Ballet. Spandau Ballet produced a number of international hits including "True", "Gold" and "Through the Barricades." In 1984 the band participated in Live Aid the following year. The band broke up in 1990, after their final studio album, Heart Like a Sky, failed to live up to the critical and commercial success of their earlier albums, such as True and Parade. In 1999, John Keeble, along with fellow band members Tony Hadley and Steve Norman, attempted to sue former Spandau Ballet guitarist, Gary Kemp, for alleged unpaid royalties.
They claimed that an agreement had existed between Kemp and the rest of the band, whereby Kemp, the main songwriter in the band, would pay his bandmates a share of the royalties earned. The claims were vigorously denied by Kemp, Keeble and Norman subsequently lost their court case. Although vowing to appeal the verdict, they decided against this. Keeble, with Gary Kemp, was instrumental in setting up Spandau Ballet's reunion in the 2000s. On 25 March 2009, he joined the rest of his original classic-line-up bandmates for a press conference at HMS Belfast, to announce that the band had reformed and would conduct a world tour starting in Dublin in October 2009. Keeble played drums for Fish, the former lead singer of Marillion, during his first-ever solo show in the Rex Cinema at Lockerbie on 21 March 1989, he performed on his single "State of Mind", the third track on his debut solo album Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors. He has worked with 69 Daze, The Herbs and Tim Deluxe. After the original breakup of Spandau Ballet, Keeble played in the Tony Hadley solo band and was on tour throughout 2006.
He has formed his own rock band, I Play Rock, with Richie B and Chris Paulo Dale, in which he plays drums and provides vocals. Keeble became friends with Fish. Keeble married his wife Leaflyn in 1988 and Fish gave her away at the wedding; the couple have a daughter Jaime Rae Keeble. I PLAY ROCK Website
A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. There is no consensus among music critics as to the specific criteria; the format originates with folk singer Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads and was subsequently popularized by traditional pop singer Frank Sinatra's 1940s–50s string of albums, although the term is more associated with rock music. In the 1960s, several well-regarded concept albums were released by various rock bands, which led to the invention of progressive rock and rock opera. Since many concept albums have been released across numerous musical genres. There is no clear definition of what constitutes a "concept album". Fiona Sturges of The Independent stated that the concept album "was defined as a long-player where the songs were based on one dramatic idea – but the term is subjective."
A precursor to this type of album can be found in the 19th century song cycle which ran into similar difficulties in classification. The broad definitions of a "concept album" could encompass all soundtracks, cast recordings, greatest hits albums, tribute albums, Christmas albums, live albums; the most common definitions refer to an expanded approach to a rock album, or a project that either revolves around a specific theme or a collection of related materials. AllMusic writes, "A concept album could be a collection of songs by an individual songwriter or a particular theme — these are the concept LPs that reigned in the'50s... the phrase'concept album' is inextricably tied to the late 1960s, when rock & rollers began stretching the limits of their art form." Author Jim Cullen describes it as "a collection of discrete but thematically unified songs whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts... sometimes assumed to be a product of the rock era." Author Roy Shuker defines concept albums and rock operas as albums that are "unified by a theme, which can be instrumental, narrative, or lyrical....
In this form, the album changed from a collection of heterogeneous songs into a narrative work with a single theme, in which individual songs segue into one another."Speaking of concepts in albums during the 1970s, Robert Christgau wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, because "overall impression" of an album matters, "concept intensifies the impact of the Who's Quadrophenia and Mary McCaslin's Way Out West and Millie Jackson's Caught Up in more or less the way Sgt. Pepper intended, but the sheer historical audacity of Joni Mitchell's For the Roses or Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols has a comparable effect. It's a species of concept that pushes a rhythmically unrelenting album like The Wild Magnolias or a vocally irresistible one like Shirley Brown's Woman to Woman, to a deeper level of significance." Rick Wakeman, keyboardist from the band Yes, considers the first concept album to be Woody Guthrie's 1940 album Dust Bowl Ballads. The Independent regards it as "perhaps" one of the first concept albums, consisting of semi-autobiographical songs about the hardships of American migrant labourers during the 1930s.
In the late 1940s, the LP record was introduced, with space age pop composers producing concept albums soon after. Themes included exploring wild life and dealing with emotions, with some albums meant to be played while dining or relaxing; this was accompanied in the mid 1950s with the invention of the gatefold, which allowed room for liner notes to explain the concept. Singer Frank Sinatra recorded several concept albums prior to the 1960s rock era, including In the Wee Small Hours and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely. Sinatra is credited as the inventor of the concept album, beginning with The Voice of Frank Sinatra, which led to similar work by Bing Crosby. According to biographer Will Friedwald, Sinatra "sequenced the songs so that the lyrics created a flow from track to track, affording an impression of a narrative, as in musical comedy or opera.... First pop singer to bring a consciously artistic attitude to recording." In the early 1960s, concept albums began featuring in American country music, however the fact went unacknowledged by rock/pop fans and critics who would only begin noting "concept albums" as a phenomenon in the decade, when albums became aligned with countercultural ideology, resulting in a recognised "album era" and the introduction of the rock concept album.
The author Carys Wyn Jones writes that the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, the Beatles' Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Who's Tommy are variously cited as "the first concept album" for their "uniform excellence rather than some lyrical theme or underlying musical motif". Other records have been claimed as "early" or "first" concept albums; the 100 Greatest Bands of All Time states that the Ventures "pioneered the idea of the rock concept album years before the genre is acknowledged to have been born". Another is the Beach Boys' Little Deuce Coupe. Writing in 101 Albums That Changed Popular Music, Chris Smith commented: "Though albums such as Frank Sinatra's 1955 In the Wee Small Hours and Marty Robbins' 1959 Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs had introduced concept albums, Little Deuce Coupe was the first to comprise all original material r
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, was a British stateswoman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British prime minister of the 20th century and the first woman to hold that office. A Soviet journalist dubbed her "The'Iron Lady'", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics and leadership style; as Prime Minister, she implemented policies known as Thatcherism. She studied chemistry at Somerville College and worked as a research chemist, before becoming a barrister. Thatcher was elected Member of Parliament for Finchley in 1959. Edward Heath appointed her Secretary of State for Education and Science in his Conservative government. In 1975, Thatcher defeated Heath in the Conservative Party leadership election to become Leader of the Opposition, the first woman to lead a major political party in the United Kingdom, she became Prime Minister after winning the 1979 general election.
Thatcher introduced a series of economic policies intended to reverse high unemployment and Britain's struggles in the wake of the Winter of Discontent and an ongoing recession. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised deregulation, flexible labour markets, the privatisation of state-owned companies, reducing the power and influence of trade unions. Thatcher's popularity in her first years in office waned amid recession and rising unemployment, until victory in the 1982 Falklands War and the recovering economy brought a resurgence of support, resulting in her decisive re-election in 1983, she survived an assassination attempt in the Brighton hotel bombing in 1984. Thatcher was re-elected for a third term in 1987, but her subsequent support for the Community Charge was unpopular, her views on the European Community were not shared by others in her Cabinet, she resigned as Prime Minister and party leader in November 1990, after Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
After retiring from the Commons in 1992, she was given a life peerage as Baroness Thatcher which entitled her to sit in the House of Lords. In 2013, she died of a stroke in London at the age of 87. Always a controversial figure, she is nonetheless viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers, her tenure constituted a realignment towards neoliberal policies in the United Kingdom. Margaret Hilda Roberts was born on 13 October 1925, in Lincolnshire, her parents were Alfred Roberts, from Northamptonshire, Beatrice Ethel, from Lincolnshire. She spent her childhood in Grantham. In 1938, prior to the Second World War, the Roberts family gave sanctuary to a teenage Jewish girl who had escaped Nazi Germany. Margaret, with her pen-friending elder sister Muriel, saved pocket money to help pay for the teenager's journey. Alfred Roberts was an alderman and a Methodist local preacher, brought up his daughter as a strict Wesleyan Methodist, attending the Finkin Street Methodist Church.
He stood as an Independent. He served as Mayor of Grantham in 1945–46 and lost his position as alderman in 1952 after the Labour Party won its first majority on Grantham Council in 1950. Margaret Roberts attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School, a grammar school, her school reports showed continual improvement. She was head girl in 1942–43. In her upper sixth year she applied for a scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Oxford's Somerville College, a women's college at the time, but she was rejected and was offered a place only after another candidate withdrew. Roberts arrived at Oxford in 1943 and graduated in 1947 with Second-Class Honours, in the four-year Chemistry Bachelor of Science degree, specialising in X-ray crystallography under the supervision of Dorothy Hodgkin, her dissertation was on the structure of the antibiotic gramicidin. Thatcher did not devote herself to studying chemistry as she only intended to be a chemist for a short period of time.
While working on the subject, she was thinking towards law and politics. She was prouder of becoming the first Prime Minister with a science degree than becoming the first woman, as Prime Minister attempted to preserve Somerville as a women's college. During her time at Oxford, she was noted for her isolated and serious attitude, her first boyfriend, Tony Bray, recalled that she was "very thoughtful and a good conversationalist. That's what interested me, she was good at general subjects". Her enthusiasm for politics as a girl made him think of her as "unusual". Bray met Roberts' parents and described them as "slightly austere" and "very proper". At the end of the term at Oxford, Bray became more distant and hoped for their relationship to "fizzle out". Bray recalled that he thought Roberts had taken the relationship more than he had done; when asked about Bray in life, Thatcher prevaricated but acknowledged the circumstances between herself and Bray. Roberts became President of the Oxford University Conservative Association in 1946.
She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, which condemned economic intervention by government as a
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive. The English word disinformation is a loan translation of the Russian dezinformatsiya, derived from the title of a KGB black propaganda department. Joseph Stalin coined the term, giving it a French-sounding name to claim it had a Western origin. Russian use began with a "special disinformation office" in 1923. Disinformation was defined in Great Soviet Encyclopedia as "false information with the intention to deceive public opinion". Operation INFEKTION was a Soviet disinformation campaign to influence opinion that the U. S. invented AIDS. The U. S. did not counter disinformation until 1980, when a fake document reported that the U. S. supported apartheid. The word disinformation did not appear in English dictionaries until the late-1980s. English use increased in 1986, after revelations that the Reagan Administration engaged in disinformation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. By 1990 it was pervasive in U. S. politics. The English word disinformation, which did not appear in dictionaries until the late-1980s, is a translation of the Russian дезинформация, transliterated as dezinformatsiya.
Where misinformation refers to inaccuracies that stem from error, disinformation is deliberate falsehood promulgated by design. Misinformation can be used to define disinformation—when known misinformation is purposefully and intentionally disseminated. Front groups are a form of disinformation, as they fraudulently mislead as to their actual controllers. Disinformation tactics can lead to blowback, unintended negative problems due to the strategy, for example defamation lawsuits or damage to reputation. Disinformation is prepared by government intelligence agencies; the tactic was used during the long Roman-Persian Wars, examples being the Battle of Mount Gindarus, Battle of Telephis–Ollaria, Heraclius assault on Persia. Usage of the term related to a Russian tactical weapon started in 1923, when the Deputy Chairman of the KGB-precursor the State Political Directorate, Józef Unszlicht, called for the foundation of "a special disinformation office to conduct active intelligence operations"; the GPU was the first organization in the Soviet Union to utilize the term disinformation for their intelligence tactics.
William Safire wrote in his 1993 book Quoth the Maven that disinformation was used by the KGB predecessor to indicate: "manipulation of a nation's intelligence system through the injection of credible, but misleading data". From this point on, disinformation became a tactic used in the Soviet political warfare called active measures. Active measures were a crucial part of Soviet intelligence strategy involving forgery as covert operation and media manipulation; the 2003 encyclopedia Propaganda and Mass Persuasion states that disinformation came from dezinformatsia, a term used by the Russian black propaganda unit known as Service A which referred to active measures. The term was used in 1939, related to a "German Disinformation Service"; the 1991 edition of The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories defines disinformation as a probable translation of the Russian dezinformatsiya. This dictionary notes that it was possible the English version of the word and the Russian language version developed independently in parallel to each other—out of ongoing frustration related to the spread of propaganda before World War II.
Ion Mihai Pacepa, former senior official from the Romanian secret police, said the word was coined by Joseph Stalin and used during World War II. The Stalinist government utilized disinformation tactics in both World War II and the Cold War. Soviet intelligence used the term maskirovka to refer to a combination of tactics including disinformation, simulation and concealment. Pacepa and Ronald J. Rychlak authored a book titled Disinformation, in which Pacepa wrote that Stalin gave the tactic a French-sounding title in order to put forth the ruse that it was a technique used by the Western world. Pacepa recounted reading Soviet instruction manuals while working as an intelligence officer, that characterized disinformation as a strategy utilized by the Russian government that had early origins in Russian history. Pacepa recalled that the Soviet manuals said the origins of disinformation stemmed from phony towns constructed by Grigory Potyomkin in Crimea to wow Catherine the Great during her 1783 journey to the region—subsequently referred to as Potemkin villages.
In their book Propaganda and Persuasion, authors Garth Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell characterized disinformation as a cognate from dezinformatsia, was developed from the same name given to a KGB black propaganda department. The black propaganda division was reported to have formed in 1955 and was referred to as the Dezinformatsiya agency. Former Central Intelligence Agency director William Colby explained how the Dezinformatsiya agency operated, saying that it would place a false article in a left-leaning newspaper; the fraudulent tale would make its way to a Communist periodical, before being published by a Soviet newspaper, which would say its sources were undisclosed individuals. By this process a falsehood was globally proliferated as a legitimate piece of reporting. According to Oxford Dictionaries the English word disinformation, as translated from the Russian disinformatsiya, began to see use in the 1950s; the term disinformation began to see wider use as a form of Soviet tradecraft, defined in the 1952 official Great Soviet Encyclopedia as "the dissemination of false information with the intention to deceive public opinion."
During the most-active period of the Cold War, from 1945 to 1989, the tactic was used by multiple intelligence agencies incl
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