The United Kingdom, containing all four countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is an island country in northwest Europe. England, famously, is home to the oldest city, London, which is the cultural and financial capital of the world. London is the site of the famous Roman spa, Bath, where Romans first started writing around 2,000 years ago. Also located within easy reach of London is the Shakespeare Festival, one of the longest running theatrical performances in the world. The birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon, is also nearby and a great tourist destination. Other major attractions include the British Museum, the London Aquarium, Tate Modern and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
The BBC is the most popular international news channel, giving a wide global audience daily access to breaking news and world events. Politics is a key feature of the news as there are many parties and coalitions in the House of Commons and House of Lords. The two main parties, Labour and the Conservative, form two-party governments after general elections held on the first Tuesday of each year. The election result was controversial as some voters felt that one party was answerable to too many allegations of corruption.
There are many smaller parties and political parties throughout the United Kingdom. Every major political party has a headquarters and many of them have several local branches which hold regular party meetings. Many smaller political parties do not have official headquarters and their leader can be anyone who meets the party criteria. They often communicate with supporters and public through party leaflets, press releases and door-to-door campaigns.
As, well as Westminster, the main political parties have their regional party headquarters in other areas of the country. The Liberal Democrats has a national office in Wales and the Scottish National Party has one in Scotland. The largest political party in England and Wales is the Liberal Democrats, with six percent of the vote. The Scottish National Party has three percent, while the Liberal Democrats have one percent.
The remaining parties are left with fewer options for candidates during an election campaign. The two largest parties have several lists of possible candidates with many more ‘independents’ or smaller parties on the list. By running a single candidate for an uncontested seat, they hope to attract enough votes to win without having to fight so hard for the remaining seats. By focusing their efforts on just one area of the UK, they hope to gain power without a divisive battle at a national level. In the last general election, the Liberal Democrats was able to form a government with the help of the Unionists.
Throughout UK politics, the press is prominent in influencing public opinion. The tabloids are always looking for scandal and problems and the public sees through it all and they want to know the truth. Politics can also be considered a war of words with the prime minister often using strong language to attack the opposition. UK politics is an interesting place to visit. There is plenty of controversy and politics that gets the juices flowing.