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A Pre-Departure Orientation Program on Contemporary British Culture UK Politics and Current Events Order! Order!?

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1 A Pre-Departure Orientation Program on Contemporary British Culture UK Politics and Current Events Order! Order!?

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3 Saint George (England)Saint Andrew (Scotland) Saint Patrick (Ireland) Saint David (Wales) Flags of the U.K.

4 Political Culture in the U.K. Institutions of UK Government Empire and Commonwealth Party System Parliamentary System Major Issues Youll Hear About Domestic Policy Differences The UK and the EU

5 The sun never sets on the British Empire.

6 Lands claimed by Britain in North America were amongst the earliest to become British colonies. The British Empire: North America

7 The British Empire: The Caribbean Risking life for glory and riches Risking life for glory and riches Sugar peaked economic interest Sugar peaked economic interest Slave trade between Britain, Africa, and the Americas Slave trade between Britain, Africa, and the Americas

8 The British Empire: South America American dominance prevented British influence American dominance prevented British influence Powerful British economy allowed for the informal Empire Powerful British economy allowed for the informal Empire

9 The British Empire: Africa First and final British colonies First and final British colonies Transatlantic slave trade Transatlantic slave trade Gold and ivory as attractive trade goods Gold and ivory as attractive trade goods

10 The British Empire: Middle East Gulf, East Africa, and West India trade Gulf, East Africa, and West India trade Indian dominance regional control and access to communication and supplies Indian dominance regional control and access to communication and supplies

11 The British Empire: Asia Fortunes made in spices from the Orient Fortunes made in spices from the Orient European state rivalry strengthened Britain European state rivalry strengthened Britain Markets in tea, textiles, and opium Markets in tea, textiles, and opium Economically successful Economically successful

12 The British Empire: Oceania Supported the Royal Navy Supported the Royal Navy Land for undesirables Land for undesirables Immigrants to New Zealand Immigrants to New Zealand

13 The British Empire: Rise of Commonwealth Succeeded the British Empire Succeeded the British Empire Preserved economic and political links Preserved economic and political links Formalized in 1931 Formalized in 1931 Association of free and equal states Association of free and equal states

14 The British Empire: The Commonwealth Today Voluntary association Voluntary association 50 member states 50 member states 1.8 billion people 1.8 billion people Promotes democracy and good governance Promotes democracy and good governance Sport, education, and cultural ties Sport, education, and cultural ties

15 The British Empire: The Commonwealth Today Citizens have some rights in each others countries Citizens have some rights in each others countries –Citizens can register to vote in other Commonwealth countries Share imperial traditions Share imperial traditions –Love of cricket and rugby –Driving on the left –Boxing Day –Wigged court judges –British English

16 Political Culture in the U.K. Institutions of UK Government Empire and Commonwealth Party System Parliamentary System Major Issues Youll Hear About Domestic Policy Differences The UK and the EU

17 UK Party System

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21 Political Culture in the U.K. Institutions of UK Government Empire and Commonwealth Party System Parliamentary System Major Issues Youll Hear About Domestic Policy Differences The UK and the EU

22 British Government

23 Distinguishing features Distinguishing features Legislative: House of Commons & House of Lords Legislative: House of Commons & House of Lords Executive Executive Judicial Judicial Role of the Monarchy Role of the Monarchy Devolution: Government in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Devolution: Government in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland

24 Distinguishing Features Parliamentary Sovereignty Parliamentary Sovereignty No separation of powers No separation of powers Absence of a single, written Constitution Absence of a single, written Constitution Ceremonial role of the Monarchy Ceremonial role of the Monarchy

25 Lower chamber Lower chamber 659 democratically elected MPs 659 democratically elected MPs Functions: Functions: make laws, scrutinize the government, safeguard rights of individuals make laws, scrutinize the government, safeguard rights of individuals exclusive power over money bills exclusive power over money bills Parliament: House of Commons

26 Parliament: House of Lords 711 members: life peers, hereditary peers, 26 bishops of Church of England and law lords Functions: make laws, scrutinize government, safeguard rights of individuals, perfect laws passed in the House of Commons no taxation or finance matters

27 Executive: The Government Formed by majority party in House of Commons Formed by majority party in House of Commons Consists of prime minister, cabinet, and ministerial staff Consists of prime minister, cabinet, and ministerial staff Prime Minister: Tony Blair Prime Minister: Tony Blair 22 Cabinet Members 22 Cabinet Members Over 100 MPs in House of Commons on ministerial staff Over 100 MPs in House of Commons on ministerial staff

28 Prime Minister Question Time Accountability to government Accountability to government 1990 Example: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher answers question about Britains role in the European Community 1990 Example: Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher answers question about Britains role in the European Community

29 Monarchy Lacks political power Lacks political power Ceremonial head of state Ceremonial head of state Traditional powers are now exercised by Prime Minister and ministers on behalf of the crown Traditional powers are now exercised by Prime Minister and ministers on behalf of the crown

30 Judicial Appellate Committee in House of Lords is the highest court Appellate Committee in House of Lords is the highest court Prime Minister appoints judges to Appellate Committee Prime Minister appoints judges to Appellate Committee Lord Chancellor makes other judicial appointments Lord Chancellor makes other judicial appointments

31 Scotland Act of 1998 Scotland Act of member Parliament 129 member Parliament First Minister and cabinet First Minister and cabinet Control over most primary legislation Control over most primary legislation Devolution: Scotland

32 Government of Wales Act of 1998 Government of Wales Act of member Assembly 60 member Assembly First Secretary and Cabinet First Secretary and Cabinet Control over only secondary legislation Control over only secondary legislation Devolution: Wales

33 Good Friday Agreement of 1998 Good Friday Agreement of 1998 Power sharing design Power sharing design 108 Member Parliament 108 Member Parliament First Minister and Cabinet with unionist and nationalist members First Minister and Cabinet with unionist and nationalist members Control over primary legislation Control over primary legislation Devolution: Northern Ireland

34 Graphic Sources The United Kingdom of Parliament. The United Kingdom of Parliament Downing Street. 10.gov.uk/output/Page1.asp 10 Downing Street. 10.gov.uk/output/Page1.asphttp://www.number- 10.gov.uk/output/Page1.asphttp://www.number- 10.gov.uk/output/Page1.asp The British Monarchy. The British Monarchy. The Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Parliament.

35 Political Culture in the U.K. Institutions of UK Government Empire and Commonwealth Party System Parliamentary System Major Issues Youll Hear About Domestic Policy Differences The UK and the EU

36 Healthcare The United States vs. Britain

37 The United States 42.6 million without healthcare Universal health care is not a right of citizenship Only industrialized nation that does not guarantee access to health care as a right of citizenship 28 industrialized nations have single payer universal health care systems, while 1 (Germany) has a multipayer universal health care system

38 The United States (contd) Most expensive health care system in the world Spends at least 40% more per capita than any other industrialized country with universal care Based on private insurance coverage related to employment, public insurance for the elderly (Medicare), the military, veterans, and the poor and the disabled (Medicaid) System creates many gaps in coverage

39 Britain Healthcare is a basic human right National Health Service (NHS) is 56 years old Provides healthcare to all citizens based on need (not ability to pay) 2-tiered system with private service option One of the largest organizations in Europe Funded by taxpayers; managed by the Dept of Health

40 Britain (contd) Dept of Health distributes funds to health authorities in each region Government ensures high standard NHS receives appropriations annually 98% funded by income tax and National Insurance contributions 2% funded by patient charges (i.e., prescriptions, dental care)

41 Public Opinion (contd) I prefer the UK's NHS to the nightmare of red tape, expense and iniquitous medical resourcing that is inherent in the US private system. I cannot imagine how anybody, including Blair, can consider a private healthcare system that diverts precious financial resources to profits as being "efficient". - Dr Eric Bowman, St Andrews, Scotland

42 Public Opinion (contd) American healthcare is dictated by insurance companies whose boards are occupied by political heavyweights, ensuring that both economic and political power remains corporate. Individual choice only exists for those who have financial independence, since US healthcare is tightly linked to employment. The unemployed, chronically sick or between jobs are uninsured - about 40m Americans have no health insurance. And private insurance systems are unlikely to cover the costs of chronic illness. The UK has universal healthcare with 100% coverage, free at the point of access and independent of health status, employment or socio- economic class. If you corner most US doctors in a dark room they are really rather envious of the NHS. -Darren Fowler, Boston, USA

43 Public Opinion (contd) I feel that the NHS desperately needs to be overhauled. It is not 'free at the point of delivery' for many who need treatment. People who need to wear glasses have to pay for examinations and the spectacles they wear (even though their standard of living would be greatly reduced if they had no glasses.) If more employers were to offer healthcare schemes, perhaps there would be more money to be directed towards where it really needs to go. - Philip Edwards, Taunton Somerset England

44 Public Opinion (contd) I firmly support some sort of individual accountability for medical costs. Lifestyle choices strongly influence the cost of care. I highly resent being forced to pay for someone else's poor lifestyle choices when I take good care of myself. When someone can come up with a solution to that dilemma, I'll support their system. -Marten King, Portland, Oregon, USA

45 Employment Services The United States vs. Britain

46 The United States Unemployment results from lack of work; no fault of your own States administer federal unemployment insurance Department of Labor governs federal rules Payments based on percent of the last 52 weeks earnings, not exceeding maximum

47 The United States (contd) Maximum benefit period is 26 weeks (government may extend) In many states compensation is ½ of earnings, up to a certain limit

48 The United States (contd) Circumstances that may disqualify person from collecting unemployment Quitting without good cause Fired for misconduct Resigned because of illness Left to get married Self employed Involved in a labor dispute Attending school

49 Britain Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) is government unemployment benefit for people who are unemployed but seeking work JSA is part of the social security system JSA is meant to cover cost of living expenses No time limits on JSA Department of Works and Pensions funds JSA

50 Britain (contd) 2 forms of unemployment benefit Contribution based (CBJSA) Income based (IBJSA) Entitlement for CBJSA requires Adequate national insurance contributions during 2 previous tax years Proof they are available for work Proof they are actively seeking employment

51 Britain (contd) If person does not qualify for CBJSA and has little/no income, they receive IBJSA Must prove they are available for and actively seeking work IBJSA means tested for each individual person Benefits lower for those younger than 25 years old To continue receiving benefits, must visit job center every 2 weeks, give details about their job search and sign a declaration they are following their Job Seekers Agreement

52 Political Culture in the U.K. Institutions of UK Government Empire and Commonwealth Party System Parliamentary System Major Issues Youll Hear About Domestic Policy Differences The UK and the EU

53 Beginnings… Aftermath of World War II, animosity between European nations Originally an economic arrangement between France and Germany: united through industry Brains behind it were… French 6 countries: Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, France and West Germany… whos missing?

54 Progress towards European Economic Community The 6 strengthened their economic cooperation and the EEC – known informally as the Common Market – born in Same 6 countries, and lots of Frenchmen in the driving seat…

55 Britain tries to join! Britain applies for entry in 1961, but is blocked by…a Frenchman. De Gaulle famously said NON! Still part of the British collective consciousness

56 1973: Britain becomes a member Cracks show immediately – all decisions had to be voted unanimously – UK vetoes decision after decision after decision. Example: – In 1972, EEC attempted to pass a law regulating sugar in jam – UK objected on grounds that marmalade (traditional British jam made with oranges) should not be classified as jam – so vetoed, vetoed and vetoed, until the law was passed… in 1988.

57 European Monetary System Agreed in 1979: 8 countries IN, one OUT… – This is why you wont be taking euros with you. Blair committed himself to a referendum on the issue, but has recently moved closer to the Bush administration than to his European allies. – (And hes committed himself to a lot of things before.)

58 The European Union 1991 Maastricht Treaty – single currency – social charter – abolition of borders – European police… UK hostile and insists on opt-out clause Commission President: Famous integrator Jacques Delors (French) – vilified by the British press; The Sun printed on its front page UP YOURS, DELORS!

59 Into the 21 st century… Challenges for UK/EU relations – Single currency – European Constitution – UK/US special relationship – European expansion and immigration – UK media and United States of Europe

60 6 December 2004 NHS Revolution: _______ to train as surgeons A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick

61 6 December 2004 NHS Revolution: Nurses to train as surgeons A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick

62 7 December 2004 Mother of 6 living on 20, __ has twins on the way A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick

63 7 December 2004 Mother of 6 living on 20,000 benefits has twins on the way A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick

64 Med schools paid to take students A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 7 December 2004

65 Med schools paid to take inferior students A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 7 December 2004

66 Gloria was close to death. The problem wasn't AIDS or poverty... it was that the NHS had stolen all the A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 5 December 2004

67 Gloria was close to death. The problem wasn't AIDS or poverty... it was that the NHS had stolen all the nurses. A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 5 December 2004

68 Outrage over new 'fast- track' for teens... no questions asked A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 5 December 2004

69 Outrage over new 'fast- track' contraception for teens... no questions asked A prominent Labour politician will announce today that he is defecting to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Tony Blair's "lies" over Iraq. The defection of Brian Sedgemore, who is standing down after 27 years as a Labour MP, threatens to upset Mr Blair's apparently unstoppable campaign for a historic third term. Declaring that "enough is enough", Mr Sedgemore also reveals that a small group of unnamed fellow MPs who are standing down are secretly planning to leave the Labour Party in protest at Mr Blair's leadership after the election. His decision to defect will intensify the escalating row over the legality of the war which was yesterday thrust to the centre of the election campaign. A defiant Mr Blair insisted he would not apologise for the war when he came under sustained criticism after the leaking of the Attorney General's advice questioning the legality of the conflict. But Mr Sedgemore, who has been a Labour Party member for 37 years, yesterday blamed the Labour Party's policies on Iraq for his decision to join the Liberal Democrats. Writing in The Independent, Mr Sedgemore says: "I voted against the war on Iraq and it becomes clearer every day that Blair decided to go to war after meeting Bush on his Texas ranch in After that, he lied to persuade the country to support him. "The stomach-turning lies on Iraq were followed by the attempt to use the politics of fear to drive through Parliament a deeply authoritarian set of law-and-order measures that reminded me of the Star Chamber. The Star Chamber used torture but at least they allowed a proper trial before throwing someone into prison. That is when I decided enough was enough. "For some of us it's not just about the war, it's about top-up fees and privatising the health service. We were going to issue a joint statement. That would have been the easiest thing for me to do but I believe I owe it to voters to speak out now," he says. Labour's spin machine may dismiss Mr Sedgemore as a maverick 5 December 2004

70 Political Culture in the U.K. Are you politically savvy? Quiz & Raffle

71 When did Britain join the European Union? Are you politically savvy? 1973

72 Who is the leader of the Conservative Party? Are you politically savvy? Michael Howard

73 How many MPs are in the House of Commons? Are you politically savvy? 659

74 Who has been tipped to be the next Labour leader after Tony Blair? Are you politically savvy? Gordon Brown

75 Please join us for the next Mind the Gap session: Part 1 - Traveling Roundabout the UK: Discovering England, Scotland & Wales Part 2 - Minding the Gap: A Panel Discussion on UK/US Differences Tuesday, May 31 Whats Next? Same time & place


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