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The system of government in the UK is a parliamentary democracy. The UK is divided into parliamentary constituencies, and voters in each constituency elect a member of Parliament (MP) to represent them.
The ‘Swinging Sixties’ refers to the 1960s. It was a period of rapid social change, including a growth in popular music and fashion. The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are associated with this period.
The public in England and Wales elect Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs). The first elections for PCCs were held in November 2012.
There is no place for extremism or intolerance. British society is founded on fundamental values and principles which all those living in the UK respect and support.
In 1588 the English fleet defeated the Spanish Armada fleet, which had been sent to conquer England and restore Catholicism.
Sir William Golding, Seamus Heaney and Harold Pinter have all won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Civil servants are politically neutral, and are not political appointees.
The Giant’s Causeway is in Northern Ireland, on the north-east coast. It is a land formation of columns made from volcanic lava.
Roman Catholics and Baptists are Christian groups. Baptists are a Protestant Christian group. Other Protestant groups include the Church of England, Methodists, Presbyterians and Quakers.
Mo Farah won gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, and Jessica Ennis won a gold medal in the heptathlon.
Oliver Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector after the execution of King Charles I, when England was a republic without a king.
‘We shall fight them on the beaches’ is a quote from a speech by Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister in 1940, about a potential German invasion.
Valentine’s Day is on 14 February each year, when lovers exchange cards and gifts.
Sake Dean Mahomet (1759–1851) introduced both the curry house and the concept of shampooing to Britain.
The Vikings first raided England in AD 789. They came from Denmark and Norway.
Almost everybody in the UK who is in paid work must pay National Insurance Contributions. People who are self-employed must pay their own National Insurance Contributions.
People in the UK have to pay tax on their income, which includes profits from self-employment, and income from property, savings and dividends. Money raised from income tax pays for government services such as roads, education, police and the armed forces.
There are responsibilities and freedoms which are shared by all those living in the UK. This includes freedom of speech and a right to a fair trial.
The Reform Act of 1832 also abolished pocket boroughs (constituencies controlled by one wealthy family) and rotten boroughs (constituencies which had hardly any voters). More parliamentary seats were given to town and cities.
American colonies declared their independece from Britain in 1776. The War of Independence lasted until 1783, when the colonists defeated the British army and Britain recognised army and Britain recognised American independence.
Admiral Lord Nelson commanded the British fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. He died during the battle. The Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The public can watch debates from public galleries in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
If an MP dies or resigns, there will be a fresh election, called a by-election, in his or her constituency.
St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and is celebrated on 30 November each year.
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