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Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

Once asked what his favourite joke was, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party and now Prime Minister, replied, “Nick Clegg”.

Nick Clegg is the leader of the Liberal-Democrat Party and is now the Deputy Prime Minister.

Constructive talks between teams representing their two parties lasting a mere five days (it took the Germans 40 days to form their most recent government), and in which both made huge concessions to the other in order to form a stable government at a critical time in the nation’s history, have resulted in the first coalition government in this country in my lifetime.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg News conference – part 1

David Cameron and Nick Clegg News conference – part 2

Cameron hails ‘shift in politics’

Virgin Media

David Cameron has hailed “a historic and seismic shift” in Britain’s political landscape as he launched the country’s first coalition government since the Second World War.

The new Prime Minister marked his inaugural day in office by handing two major economic portfolios to his Liberal Democrat allies, anointing Vince Cable as Business Secretary and David Laws as Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

He also promised “very early legislation” to establish fixed-term Parliaments, effectively enshrining in law the Conservatives’ five-year coalition deal with the Lib Dems.

At a joint news conference with new Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – held in the garden of No 10 – Mr Cameron said the award of a total of five Cabinet jobs to Lib Dems underlined the parties’ “sincere determination” to work together.

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It never ceases to amaze and move me the grace with which the losing girls make their exit from Over the Rainbow — a grace which Gordon Brown also displayed as he made his final departure from Number 10 Downing Street.

Last Thursday, the British electorate went to the polls to elect a new government. Although there were still 53 seats to declare, it was clear, by the time I got up on Friday morning, that there was no clear winner and that we were well into “hung parliament territory” — where no party has an outright majority and either the largest party has to seek to govern alone or two of the three major parties form a coalition.

“The British people have spoken, Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, a former leader of the Liberal Democrat Party declared, “only nobody seems to know what they’ve said.” (The general consensus seems to be that the result is not a repudiation of the Labour Party, which Gordon Brown leads, but of Brown himself, and it is not an endorsement of David Cameron and the Conservatives, who have the largest number of seats.)

The leaders of Britains’s third largest party, the Liberal Democrats suddenly found themselves, therefore, in the role of “kingmaker”, as they opened began negotiations with the party which had gained the most seats, the Conservative Party, while Gordon Brown, the current Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party which has governed the country for the last thirteen years, remained in 10 Downing Street, the UK premier’s official residence, and considered his options. (more…)

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Waterboarding of 9/11 suspect was ‘concealed’

Manningham-Buller criticises Bush staff

Richard Norton-Taylor, Guardian/UK, March 10, 2010

Manningham Buller

Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller criticised George Bush and his administration, for torture of terror suspects Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

The government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, the former head of MI5, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller revealed last night.

She also said the Americans concealed from Britain the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 2001 attacks.

“The Americans were very keen that people like us did not discover what they were doing,” Lady Manningham-Buller told a meeting at the House of Lords.

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Chris Marsden, wsws.org, Dec 17, 2009

The issuing of a British arrest warrant for former Israeli Foreign Minister and current leader of the opposition Tzipi Livni is only the latest event confirming an international body of legal opinion that Israel should be tried for war crimes over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Livni was a member of the war cabinet during Operation Cast Lead, the offensive against Gaza between December 27, 2008 and January 18 this year. Some 1,400 Palestinians—the majority of them civilians, including 400 women and children—were killed, at least 5,000 people were injured, and 21,000 homes and other vital infrastructure were destroyed.

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PM Blair seems to have deployed arguments as they suited him. Our weapons inspections were telling another story

Before the Iraq war was launched in March 2003 the world was given the impression by the US and Britain that the goal was to eradicate weapons of mass destruction. Recent comments by Tony Blair suggest, however, that regime change was the essential aim. He would have thought it right to remove Saddam Hussein even if he had known that there were no WMD, he said, but he would obviously have had to “deploy” different arguments. Must we not conclude that the WMD arguments were “deployed” mainly as the best way of selling the war? Blair’s comments do not exclude a strong – but mistaken – belief in the existence of WMD even when the invasion was launched. However, given that hundreds of inspections had found no WMD and important evidence had fallen apart, such a belief would have been based on a lack of critical thinking.

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