Members of all three services gathered at Kandahar Air base to pay their respects during a service of Remembrance in November 2014.
The New British Government’s Take Christina Mackenzie on Defence During last spring’s election campaign in the United Kingdom defence issues were not high on the agenda. Whenever politicians briefly turned their attention to defence it was usually to talk about the Trident nuclear warheads carried by four Vanguard-class submarines. But those who undertook door-to-door campaigning report that the vast majority of people they spoke to “couldn’t give a toss” about Trident...unless they were hippies or armed forces staff!
lthough the election had been forecast by pollsters as a neck-and-neck race between Ed Miliband’s Labour Party and David Cameron’s Conservative Party (often referred to as the Tories), it was the latter that won 36.9% of the vote, gaining 331 of the House of Commons’ 650 seats and a narrow majority. The Labour Party won 30.4% of the vote, 232 seats.
Most of the seats it lost were in Scotland where it was roundly trounced by the Scottish National Party (SNP), led by Nicola Sturgeon. Labour had held 41 of that nation’s 59 seats, but only managed to hold onto one of them, with the Tories also winning one and the Liberal Democrats another. Thanks to the British electoral system of “first past the post” the SNP won 56 seats
British Parliament he British Parliament is made up of two houses: the House of Lords is the upper house and the House of Commons the lower one. Their work is similar but the 650 members of parliament (MPs) are elected to the House of Commons while the 825 members of the House of Lords are not elected by the public: they are the 26 bishops of the Church of England, 92 hereditary peers and the remainder are life peers appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister. The House of Commons alone is responsible for making decision on financial Bills, such as proposed next taxes. The Lords can consider these but cannot block or amend them.
EDR - September / October 2015
European Defence Review magazine issue #23