Last modified on June 15, 2024, at 00:53

United Kingdom

United Kingdom
of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
United kingdom rel87.jpg
UK location.png
Union jack.jpg
UK Royal Coat of Arms.png
Flag Coat of Arms
Capital London
Government Constitutional monarchy
Language English (official)
Monarch HM King Charles III
Prime minister Rishi Sunak
Current Conservative Leader Nigel Farage
Area 94,526 sq mi
Population 68,000,000 (2020)
GDP $2,800,000,000,000 (2020)
GDP per capita $46,344 (2021 estimate)
Currency Pound Sterling
Internet top-level domain .uk

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is a sovereign state north-west of mainland Europe. It comprises England, Scotland and Wales, which occupy the island of Great Britain, and Northern Ireland on the island of Ireland. It attained its current identity in 1922 after most of Ireland was granted independence. The UK, at least in part, has a separate identity from mainland Europe.[1]

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. Its head of state is King Charles III, and its head of government is Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

The United Kingdom is a member of the United Nations and rethinking its commitment to NATO after the disastrous actions of the U.S. Democrat Biden regime culminating in the Rape of Afghanistan.[2][3]

British values, culture and institutions were spread throughout many parts of the world during the period of the British Empire, 1600-1960, and British contributions to world culture include the English language, the parliamentary form of government, the Anglican Church ("Church of England"), a tradition of personal liberty, and the common law legal system. But in the 21st century the UK government has become a Leftist tool of liberal censorship, flagging as white supremacy works by Shakespeare, George Orwell's 1984, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.

Name

London - Thames panorama.

The official name of the nation (since 1927) is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.[4] The full official name is seldom used except in very formal or legal documents. The short version for historical topics is either "Britain" or "Great Britain." The short version for recent events (since the 1970s) is "United Kingdom" or "UK" The adjective is always "British".

Britain was part of the British Empire, which has become the "British Commonwealth", and is mostly a discussion club. Britain has a few scattered minor possessions, including Gibraltar, but gave up its last important colony—Hong Kong—in 1997.

Westminster in the evening.
  • England is the largest of the four components of the United Kingdom. "England" was often used to stand for the nation in older literature published before 1970. However use of "England" to refer to the entire country is now sometimes considered offensive by many citizens of the other three member countries and is thus discouraged.
  • The standard language of the UK is English; Welsh has parity in Wales, and Gaelic is widely used on official documents, roadsigns, etc. in remote Gaelic-speaking areas of western Scotland.

MacColl (2008) explores the use of the term 'Britain' in English, French, and Latin texts from the 12th century to the 16th. The term was flexible, used in a variety of ways (geographically, politically, and ethnically), and not always indicative of any specific meaning. The English at first tended to conflate 'Britain' with England or the southern portion of the island of Great Britain, though the term 'Greater Britain' was applied starting in the 14th century to refer to the entire island. The Scottish, beginning in the 15th century, used the term in the modern sense - as reflective of the entire island of Great Britain and the 'polity' of England, Wales, and Scotland. This latter usage paved the way for the relatively smooth ideological transition after the 1707 Acts of Union.[5]

Anthem

The national anthem of the UK is currently God Save the King. Should a female heir accede to the throne, the anthem will become "God Save the Queen".[6]

The constituent nations have their own unofficial anthems. In the case of Wales, this is Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers), and for Scotland it is Flower of Scotland. England does not have its own distinctive anthem in the same way, but at sporting events in which England is competing as a separate nation, Edward Elgar's patriotic song Land of Hope and Glory is sometimes used (although God Save the King is more commonly used). Additionally the hymn "Jerusalem" has a large number of supporters in England as an alternative to, or replacement for, the national anthem. In Northern Ireland, the Protestant and Catholic communities respectively use God Save the King and Amhran na bhFiann, the Irish national anthem. Londonderry Air is often used as the anthem for Northern Ireland competitors in sporting events.

People

Royal College of Music.

The United Kingdom's population in 2004 surpassed 60 million—Its overall population density is one of the highest in the world. Almost one-third of the population lives in England's prosperous and fertile southeast and is predominantly urban and suburban—with about 7.2 million in the capital of London, which remains the largest city in Europe.

A net total of 408,000 people were added to the UK population in 2008, the largest numerical increase since 1972. This was partly due to the highest fertility rate in more than three decades. More than half of the increase in births last year was due to non-UK born mothers.

There is also an ever-increasing aging population with the number of people over 85 now at a record 1.3 million, the equivalent of one in every 50 people.

Education

Tower Bridge, London.

In 2023, The Guardian reported:

Ministers have set a target of ensuring 90% of children achieve the national curriculum standard in reading, writing and maths at the end of primary education by 2030. However, after several years of slow progress, attainment has slipped back to levels only slightly above those of 2015-16.

The slump means that in 2022, 41% of year 6 pupils in England left primary school without meeting the expected standards in literacy and maths – 275,000 11-year-olds, according to researchers at the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) thinktank. That is 50,000 more than in 2019...

Rishi Sunak has been warned that a target to boost the number of children entering secondary school with the expected standards of reading, writing and maths is “a far cry from reality”, amid new evidence that 275,000 pupils a year are leaving primary education without the right level of skills.[7]

Elite private prep schools, such as Eton and Rugby, attended by youth whose families can afford to pay high tuition rates.

All state-funded schools in the UK are required to start the day with a collective assembly that is 'wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character',[8] although this is not always adhered to and there are small numbers of state-funded Muslim, Jewish and Hindu schools.

About thirty-six percent of British students go on to post-secondary education.

Higher education has been a specialty for over 500 years at Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge), with new "red brick" universities added in the 19th century and many others in the late 20th century. Universities contribute £33 billion a year to the economy. Britain has a strong attraction for international students, with 342,000 attending in 2007 (compared to 672,000 in the U.S. and 183,000 in Australia). They spend £1.5 billion in tuition in Britain annually, plus another £0.4 billion off campus.

According to an early-2017 report, universities in the UK have high levels of censorship and low levels of free speech.[9] Additionally, many UK schools (about 120 in May 2017) adopted a program that promotes in indoctrinates students with the homosexual agenda in all areas of curriculum and in other ways such as unisex uniforms and the removal of terms such as "boy" and "girl" from school vocabulary.[10]

Demographics

A group of islands close to continental Europe, the British Isles have been subject to many invasions and migrations, especially from Scandinavia and the continent, including Roman occupation for several centuries. Contemporary Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before the 11th century. The pre-Celtic, Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and Norse influences were blended in Great Britain under the Normans, Scandinavian Vikings who had lived in Northern France. Although Celtic languages persist in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, as well as Cornwall in south-west England, the predominant language is English, which is primarily a blend of Anglo-Saxon and Norman French.

British youth.
  • Population (2007 est.): 60.8 million.
  • Annual population growth rate (2007 est.): 0.275%.
  • Major ethnic groups: White British 91%, Irish 2%, West Indian and African 3%, South Asian 3%, others 1%.
  • Major religions: Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholic, Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), Muslim.
  • Major languages: English
  • Minority languages: Welsh, Gaelic, Lowland Scots (including Ulster Scots), Cornish.
  • Education: Years compulsory—12. Attendance—nearly 100%. Literacy—99%.
  • Health: Infant mortality rate (2007 est.)--5.01/1,000. Life expectancy (2007 est.)--males 76.23 yrs.; females 81.3 yrs.; total 78.7 years
  • Work force (2007, 31.1 million): Services—80.4%; industry—18.2%; agriculture—1.4%.

Ethnic tensions

Britain is home to 2.4 million Muslims from numerous ethnicities. This population is growing 10 times faster than the national average. Regarded as one of the most tolerant countries in Europe, Britain struggles with questions of Islamic integration, as well as the psychological aftermath of the July 2005 suicide bombings on London's public transport system carried out by young Britons of Pakistani descent, which left 52 people dead and over 700 injured.

Gooming gangs

See: Irreligious British fail to stand up to Muslim groomer gangs

Religion

Canterbury Cathedral (photographed during 1890-1900).

Religious faith, according to a 2011 survey, has declined sharply in Britain over the last two decades. Now only 42% of people describe themselves as Christian, as opposed to 66% in 1990. Most of the decline is due to a drift away from the Church of England, it is claimed, with only 20% claiming allegiance, down from 40%.

In 2003 the Office of National Statistics estimated 29% of the population identified with Anglicanism, 10% with the Catholic Church, and 14% with other Protestant churches. A 2007 survey reported that the number of Catholics (mostly Irish) attending Sunday services has overtaken the number of Anglicans doing so. A September 2006 English Church Census reported that Methodists were decreasing as a percentage of the population, while members of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Pentecostal churches, many churches from Africa, and the Eastern Orthodox Church, almost entirely immigrants, were increasing.[11]

Individuals with no religious belief comprised 21% of the population in 2009. Muslims comprise 3% of the population. The Muslim community is predominantly South Asian in origin, but other groups from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Levant are represented. In addition, there is a growing number of indigenous converts. Although estimates vary, the Government places the number of mosques in the whole country at one thousand. Groups comprising 1% or less of the population include Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, and Buddhists. Individuals from Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and Sikh backgrounds are concentrated in London and other large urban areas, primarily in England.

Attendance at religious services was significantly different from the number of adherents. According to a report released on May 8, 2008, by Religious Trends, only 4 million Christians attend services on a regular basis (defined as at least once a month) in the country. These figures do not include Northern Ireland, where higher%ages reportedly attend both Catholic (more than 60%) and Protestant (more than 35%) services. The Religious Trends report stated that more than 50% of Muslims regularly worship at mosques. Figures for Jews and other religious groups were unavailable.

Religious affiliation was not evenly distributed among ethnicities. According to the 2001 census, approximately 70% of the white population described themselves as Christians. Nearly 75% of black Caribbean respondents stated that they were Christians, as did 70% of black Africans. Meanwhile, 45% of Indians were Hindus and 29% were Sikhs. Approximately 92% of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis were Muslims.

In Northern Ireland, where divisions between nationalists and unionists evolved largely along religious lines, the 2001 census showed that 53.1% were Protestants and 43.8% were Catholics. Many Catholics and Protestants continued to live in segregated communities in Northern Ireland, although many middle-class neighborhoods were mixed communities. The policy of the Government remained one of promotion of religious tolerance.

There are two established (or state) churches—The Church of England (Anglican) and the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian). The Act of Settlement, enacted in 1688, states that no Catholic, or person married to a Catholic, may ascend the throne.

Religion in schools

The Government provides financial support—up to 90% of the total capital costs of the buildings and 100% of running costs, including teachers' salaries - to sectarian educational institutions that are commonly referred to as "faith schools".

The Government also helps fund the repair and maintenance of all listed places of worship for religious groups nationwide and contributes to the budget of the Church Conservation Trust, which preserves "redundant" Church of England buildings of architectural or historic significance.

The Government has not classified the Church of Scientology as a religious institution and therefore has not granted the organization recognition for charitable status.

Matthew Boulton College.

More than 30% of state schools had a religious character. Nearly all of the 6,949 "faith schools" are associated with Christian denominations, although there are 31 Jewish, 7 Islamic, and 2 Sikh schools. An additional two Jewish, three Islamic, and two Sikh schools have also been tentatively approved by the Government to open. In addition, several hundred independent schools of a religious nature receive no state support but must meet government quality standards. Controversy arose in 2006 over 100 Islamic schools when an Office of Standards in Education (Ofsted) evaluation of these schools showed many were "little more than places where the Koran was recited." The schools were given time to correct their deficiencies. A review is due in 2010. Some Christian faith schools also faced controversy. Some were accused of not following the national curriculum in science, teaching creationism instead. During the reporting period, a further controversy erupted when it was learned that some faith schools were not following an "open" admission policy as required by law, denying admission to both special needs children and those outside the faith of the school administrators. The Catholic Church and the Church of England have an agreement to voluntarily accept up to 25% of places for pupils from another religious group or no religious group.

Almost all schools in Northern Ireland receive state support. More than 90% of students attended schools that were either predominantly Catholic or Protestant. Integrated schools served approximately 5% of school-age children whose families voluntarily chose this option, often after overcoming significant obstacles to provide the resources to start a new school and demonstrate its sustainability for 3 years before government funding begins. Demand for places in integrated schools outweighed the limited number of places available. The May 8, 2007, devolution, or granting of power, authorized the Northern Ireland Assembly to decide on academic selection. Now there are more than 50 integrated schools, and the new Government permits existing schools to petition to change from sectarian to integrated. More petition for that status than are granted it. Some have accused the Government of a go-slow approach to avoid sectarian animus.

The law requires religious education for all children, ages 3 to 19, in publicly maintained schools. In England and Wales it forms part of the core curriculum in accordance with the Education Reform Act of 1988. In Scotland, religious education of some sort is mandated by the Education Act of 1980. However, the shape and content of religious instruction throughout the country is decided on a local basis. Locally agreed syllabi are required to reflect the predominant place of Christianity while taking into account the teachings and practices of other principal religions in the country. Syllabuses must be nondenominational and refrain from attempting to convert pupils. Schools with a religious designation follow a syllabus drawn up by the school governors according to the trust deed of the school. All parents have the legal right to request that their children not participate in religious education, but the school must approve this request.

Daily collective prayer or worship of "a wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character" is practiced in schools in England and Wales, a requirement that may be waived for students who obtain permission of the school authorities. The Education and Inspections Act 2006 permits sixth form students (generally 16-19-year-olds) to withdraw themselves from worship without their parents' permission or action. This new law does not exempt sixth form students from religious education classes. Non-Christian worship is permitted with approval of the authorities. Teachers have the right not to participate in collective worship, without prejudice, unless they work for a faith school.

After several controversial court decisions prohibiting full-face veils in school (but not head scarves) and the wearing of a Christian chastity ring, the Department of Education provided guidance that advises schools to "… act reasonably in accommodating religious requirements," under human rights legislation. Some Muslim groups, including the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said it was inappropriate for the Government to provide guidance that regulated Muslim communities in matters concerning the expression of their religious beliefs. But it is also legally possible under the act, according to the guidance, to have a school uniform policy that "restricts the freedom of pupils to manifest their religion" on the grounds of health and safety and the "protection of the rights and freedoms of others." The Government's guidance is meant to remind "head teachers" to act with a degree of sensitivity when considering decisions that will impact the cultural complexion of their communities.

Census

According to the 2011 Census the religious make-up of the UK at that time was:

Religions in United Kingdom
Belief Thousands Proportion
Christian 29,000 51.6
No Religion 9104 15.5
Muslim 1591 2.7
Hindu 559 1.0
Sikh 336 0.6
Jewish 267 0.5
Other 179 0.3
Buddhist 152 0.3
Pagan & Wicca 40 0.1
Total religious 45,163 76.8
No answer 4289 7.3

The answers were distorted by an internet campaign just prior to the census, encouraging people to actually question religion that claimed that if at least 50,000 people stated their religion as 'Jedi Knight' it would be officially classified as a religion. This was not true, though the Office of National Statistics does aggregate very small religions into the 'Other' category whereas a religion of 50,000 would be itemised separately. This separate listing does not constitute any form of official recognition.

It should be noted that non-practising Christians and the non-religious group are growing in the UK and Europe. At the same time, there is growth in the Islamic group due to immigration.

Two of the four states of the United Kingdom, England and Scotland, have official state religions. The Church of England is the official religion of England and the (Presbyterian) Church of Scotland is the official religion of Scotland. The (Anglican) Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1871 and the (Anglican) Church of Wales was disestablished in 1920, whereupon it was renamed the Church ''in'' Wales.

Growth of evangelical Christianity in the UK

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity

The Christian Post reported on July 21, 2019, as far as Britain: "The percentage of respondents who said they were nondenominational Christians increased from 3% of the population in 1998 to 13% in 2018."[12]

In December 2017, the Church Times reported:

In 2016, the Centre for Theology and Community (CTC) published new research on Evangelical church-planting in east London, Love, Sweat and Tears (News, 8 April 2016, Features, 21 April). This confirmed the widely recognised image of Evangelicals as people who like to plant churches, but it also revealed that the way they work is not at all how people often imagine.

All of these Evangelical churches were planted in deprived areas, not suburbs; most of their members were local; one parish was cross-tradition; every parish was reaching people who do not attend church; and all of them were involved in social-action projects that served their local communities.[13]

Due to religious immigrants, many of whom are evangelical Christians, church attendance in Greater London grew by 16% between 2005 and 2012.[14] In 2013, it was reported that 52% of people who attended church in London attended evangelical churches.[15]

On December 14, 2009, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported:

Some 4.5million of the UK's foreign-born population claim to have a religious affiliation and more than half are Christian. Church attendance in Greater London grew by 16% between 2005 and 2012.[16] In addition, the latest immigrants to the UK as a whole mean British Christianity is becoming more charismatic and fundamentalist.[17]
According to the Mail Evangelical Christianity is on the rise.

Some 4.5million of the UK's foreign-born population claim to have a religious affiliation. Of these, around a quarter are Muslim while more than half are Christian – with Polish Catholics and African Pentecostals among the fastest-growing groups.

While traditional churchgoing is on the decline in the UK over the past decade, the latest immigrants mean Christianity is becoming more charismatic and fundamentalist.

'Perhaps the most significant change has been the growth of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity within migrant populations, particularly those from Africa and Latin America,' the report found.

'In Lewisham, there are 65 Pentecostal churches serving the Nigerian community, and others serving the Congolese, Ghanaian and Ivorian communities.'

Professor Mike Kenny of IPPR said: 'The research shows that recent waves of inward migration have given a boost to some of the UK's established faith communities at a time when Britain's society and culture are generally more secular, and smaller numbers of the indigenous population are regularly attending churches.

'Recent migration trends are altering the faith map of the UK. Their biggest impact is being felt in some of our largest cities: London above all, where a rich mosaic of different faith communities has come into being.'

Evangelical Christianity might be heavily African-influenced but it’s also spreading among the natives as well.[18]

See also:

Irreligion and desecularization in the 21st century

Desecularization is the process by which religion reasserts its societal influence through religious values, institutions, sectors of society and symbols in reaction to previous and/or co-occurring secularization processes.[19]

The United Kingdom and Europe as a whole is projected to undergo a process of desecularization and the resurgence of religion (See: European desecularization in the 21st century).

For more information, please see:

Anticipated growth of Muslim population in the UK and Europe

See also: Future of religion, Christianity and Islam in the UK and Europe and Atheism vs. Islam

According to Channel 4 News: "There were 1.6 million Muslims in England and Wales in 2001, or 3 per cent of the population, according to the census. By 2011 the Muslim population had grown to 2.7 million people or 4.8 per cent of the population... Assuming patterns of net immigration do not change significantly, the Pew Forum thinks that there will be just over 5.5 million British Muslims, representing 8.2 per cent of the UK population, by 2030."

In April 2010, Eric Kaufmann indicated concerning the future of Islam in Europe:

I address this in some detail in the book, as well is in a recent article in the April issue of Prospect magazine here in Britain. The short answer is that I don’t foresee a Muslim-majority Europe in this century or in the next. Why? Mainly because Muslim birthrates are plunging both in Europe and the Muslim world. Already, Iran, Tunisia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and several other Muslim countries have replacement-level fertility or below. In the UK, Bangladeshi and Pakistani fertility has halved in a generation and is now under 3 children per woman. This means their long-term growth will begin to tail off. The other part of the equation is the rise of non-Muslim immigrant groups (African and West Indian Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and other Eastern faiths) who are also increasing and therefore making Europe more plural and, in the process, rendering it harder for Muslims to increase their share of the population.

That said, Muslim membership retention and in-group marriage is exceptionally high (over 90 per cent) and they are a much younger population than the host society. So they are on course for steady growth. My colleagues and I expect their fertility to fall to host levels by 2030, but they will still make up 5-15 per cent of most West European countries by 2050 and 10-25 per cent by 2100. This is a major change from the 2-6 per cent levels of today[20]

The 2019 journal article When will European Muslim population be majority and in which country? published in PSU Research Review indicates: "Among three scenarios, the most likely mid-point migration scenario identifies 13 countries where the Muslim population will be majority between years 2085 and 2215: Cyprus (in year 2085), Sweden (2125), France (2135), Greece (2135), Belgium (2140), Bulgaria (2140), Italy (2175), Luxembourg (2175), the UK (2180), Slovenia (2190), Switzerland (2195), Ireland (2200) and Lithuania (2215). The 17 remaining countries will never reach majority in the next 200 years".[21]

None of this is an exact science, and some demographers say total fertility rate overestimates the lifetime fertility of immigrants because it doesn’t adjust for the fact that they tend to have children soon after arriving.[22]}}

At the same time, over several decades/centuries, silent demographic changes due to higher fertility rates can have large scale consequences.[23]

Islamic terrorism in the UK

See also: Islamic terrorism in the United Kingdom and June 2007 UK terror attacks

The United States website Homeland Security Digital Library published the article Islamist Terrorism in the UK: An In-Depth Analysis:

The Manchester Arena experienced a Muslim terrorist attack. See: Manchester Arena Bombing

It would take a rechristianization of Britain in order for the Islamic terrorism situation to be turned around in the UK.
On March 7th the Henry Jackson Society, a British think tank, released a report titled, Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998-2015). As stated by author Hannah Stuart, the purpose of the report is to provide “information and statistical analysis on the manifestation and development of the threat to national security from Islamism-inspired terrorism.” According to the report, there have been 264 convictions of Islamism-inspired terrorism in the UK as a result of arrests made between 1998 and 2015. Interestingly, 72% of these Islamism-related offences (IROs) were committed by UK nationals or individuals holding dual British nationality, with the overwhelming majority being perpetrated by males. However, although their numbers remain small, female involvement in Islamism-inspired terrorism has tripled since 2011, with women accounting for 11% of all IROs occurring between 2011 and 2015. This represents a 175% increase from IROs occurring between 1998 and 2010 involving women.

The report goes on to discuss contemporary developments in terrorism, highlighting that “the expansion of the terrorism threat from that predominantly associated with AQ [al-Qaeda]-linked groups to one driven by IS [Islamic State] has been the key development since the publication of the previous edition of this report in 2011.” As such, the author concludes that terrorism inspired by the Islamic State currently represents the greatest threat to the UK’s national security. A brief overview of AQ is offered, which discusses the evolution of the terrorist group, including the creation and expansion of AQ franchises. Knowledge of this history is necessary to better understand both current trends in Jihadist-inspired terror attacks and the rise of the Islamic State.[24]

Dr. Peter Hammond's article What Islam Isn't indicates:

When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions ( Paris --car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats (Amsterdam - Mohammed cartoons).
  • Guyana -- Muslim 10%
  • India -- Muslim 13.4%
  • Israel -- Muslim 16%
  • Kenya -- Muslim 10%
  • Russia -- Muslim 10-15%

After reaching 20% expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings and church and synagogue burning: Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%[25]

Health

Coronavirus pandemic and the UK

Electron microscope scan of a coronavirus, so-called due to the crown-like filaments on the surface.

On September 30, 2022, The Guardian reported: "A weaker than expected recovery from the coronavirus pandemic has left the UK as the only G7 country with a smaller economy than in early 2020, according to official figures likely to further undermine the government’s tax-cutting measures."[26]

Nanny state approach to the coronavirus pandemic

See also: United Kingdom's nanny state approach to the coronavirus pandemic

In July of 2021, Der Spiegel indicated that Finland was the best at handling the coronavirus pandemic based on an index based on excess mortality, restrictions on people's lives and liberty, GDP performance and vaccination coverage.[27] See: An observation about the countries that handled the coronavirus pandemic well so far. And let's look at Finland.

While Finland did a good job of handling the coronavirus, the coronavirus pandemic turned the UK into a bigger nanny state than it was before the pandemic.

City Journal is one of the world's premier urban-policy magazines, “the Bible of the new urbanism,” as London’s Daily Telegraph puts it.[28]

In Autumn of 2021, Lionel Shriver published the article The Most Frightened Nation with the byline Why the United Kingdom will never be the same which stated:

What was once the land of “keep calm and carry on” could now be the “most frightened nation in the world.” So says Laura Dodsworth, author of A State of Fear: How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Data seem to bear her impression out. According to an Ipsos MORI poll conducted in July, an impressive 27 percent of Britons want to impose a government-mandated nationwide curfew of 10 PM—not then in force—“until the pandemic was under control worldwide,” which might be years from now. A not-inconsiderable 19 percent would impose such a curfew “permanently, regardless of the risk from Covid-19.” Presumably, these are people who don’t get out much. While 64 percent want Britain’s mask mandate in shops and on public transport to remain a legal requirement for the duration of the global pandemic, an astounding 51 percent want to be masked by law, forever.

There’s more: some 35 percent want to confine any Briton who returns from a foreign country, vaccinated or not, to a ten-day home quarantine—permanently, Covid or no Covid. A full 46 percent would require a vaccine passport in order to travel abroad—permanently, Covid or no Covid. So young people today would still be flashing that QR code on whatever passes for smartphones in 2095, though they might have trouble displaying the device to a flight attendant while bracing on their walkers. Likewise, the 36 percent who want to be required to check in at pubs and restaurants with a National Health Service contact-tracing app forever. A goodly 34 percent want social distancing in “theatres, pubs and sports grounds,” regardless of any risk of Covid, forever. A truly astonishing 26 percent of Britons would summarily close all casinos and nightclubs forever. Are these just a bunch of fogies who don’t go clubbing anyway? No. In the 16-to-24 age bracket, the proportion of Brits who want to convert Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London’s Soho into a community lending library, even after Covid is a distant memory, soars to a staggering 40 percent.

Far from yearning for their historic liberties as “free-born Englishmen,” eight out of ten of the British, according to a Southbank/Kingston University survey, were “anxious” about lifting any of their benevolent government’s copious pandemic restrictions...

But the most enduring damage to the home of Magna Carta may be political. The transformation of the United Kingdom is permanent. Its citizens can never again characterize lockdowns and other previously unthinkable government edicts, such as “you’re forbidden to leave the country,” as unprecedented. The state has established precedents galore. The public is already being softened up for the return of repressive measures in some form this autumn, even if only to control a surge of flu.

It’s official: British civil liberties are provisional. They can be rescinded at a moment’s notice on the government’s whim. They are privileges, not rights. The anything-but-inalienable “rights” to free expression, to protest, to assembly, to association, to worship, to travel, to work: all require permission slips.[29]

As of January 11, 2022, in the UK, deaths per 100,000 people was 316.30 deaths per 100,000 people.[30] By contrast as of January 11, 2022, in Finland, which has given much more liberty to its citizens, deaths per 100,000 people was 149.13 deaths per 100,000 people.[31]

United Kingdom and obesity

See also: United Kingdom and obesity

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): "Obesity rates in the United Kingdom are the highest in Europe. In England, rates have increased faster than in most OECD countries. Two out of 3 men are overweight and 1 in 4 people are obese in the United Kingdom. The proportion of people overweight in England is projected by the OECD to rise a further 10% during the next 10 years."[32]

Sports and Pastimes

Wembley Stadium.

Many of the most popular sports in the world today were developed or codified in the UK. These include football (which is called soccer in North America), cricket, rugby, tennis, hockey, baseball and golf. The UK is represented in international competitions by the individual nations (such as in football, the one-day form of cricket and rugby) and by the whole of the UK in other sports (such as athletics, golf and tennis). The Test cricket team is that of 'England & Wales' (colloquially, just 'England') but from time to time has had Scottish and Irish players.

The UK remains a major sporting force both in competition and the administration of sport. It is dominant in several Olympic sports, notably cycling, rowing and sailing and a leading force in cricket, rugby union, and golf.

Certain venues have their own distinct and historical recognition and host a number of international competitions. These include Wimbledon for tennis, Silverstone for motor racing, and St Andrews for golf. There are several major venues for football, rugby and cricket.

Domestic sport is dominated by football with one of the strongest and most popular leagues in the world - the Premier League. This league is sponsored by Barclays Bank, so has the official name "Barclays Premier League". Many of the Premier League's teams are well known outside the United Kingdom, especially the "big four" (Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool) and maintain followings around the world. Cricket and both codes of rugby also have strong and popular domestic leagues. Other popular sports include snooker, rowing, golf, tennis, athletics, cycling, darts, horse racing, and motor racing. These most popular sports are well covered by both the print press and television.

Some sports which are more popular in other countries such as volleyball, handball, American football and basketball have small but dedicated followings.

The U.K. is also renowned for its music, and is the home of bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Oasis, Coldplay and Radiohead, as well as festivals such as Creamfields, Isle of White Festival and Glastonbury. London traditionally is the world centre for recordings of classical music and the annual "London Proms" concerts are recorded worldwide. The "Last Night at the Proms" is a major "Television Event".

Government

See also: British politics and List of political parties in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom does not have the constitutional free speech protections or an energetic Christian culture that exist in the United States, because there is not a codified constitution - though limited speech is proved via the Human Rights Act of 1998. However various acts mean there is free speech, similar to that in the United States. Certain county councils, like Salford Quays in the United Kingdom have issued 'public space protection orders' that fine people £50 for swearing.

In 2015, the UK was ranked 12th on the World Democracy index, above countries such as the US and France, and below those like Germany and Canada.[33]

Nationalist movements exist in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking (in the case of Scottish and Welsh nationalists) to dissolve the United Kingdom and to win independence for their respective territories, and in the case of Northern Ireland nationalists and republicans to create a sovereign united Ireland. At the present time, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own legislatures.

The United Kingdom does not have a written constitution (even though the Magna Carta is the oldest basis for constitutional law in the world and the basis for numerous other countries such as the U.S.). The equivalent body of law is based on statute, common law, and "traditional rights". Changes may come about formally through new acts of Parliament, informally through the acceptance of new practices and usage, or by judicial precedents. Although Parliament has the theoretical power to make or repeal any law, in actual practice the weight of 700 years of tradition restrains arbitrary actions.

Executive power rests nominally with the monarch but actually is exercised by a committee of ministers (cabinet) selected from among the members of the House of Commons and, less frequently, the House of Lords. The prime minister is normally the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons, and can remain in office for so long as he or she has the support of a majority in that body.

Cabinet of the United Kingdom

(As of 25 October 2022)

Jewel House guard in the Tower of London.
  • Head of State—King Charles III
  • Prime Minister (Head of Government)—Rishi Sunak
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary—Dominic Raab
  • Chancellor—Jeremy Hunt
  • Foreign Secretary—James Cleverly
  • Defence Secretary—Ben Wallace
  • Home Secretary—Suella Braverman
  • Health Secretary—Steve Barclay
  • Education Secretary—Gillian Keegan
  • International Trade Secretary—Kemi Badenoch
  • Environment Secretary—Therese Coffey
  • Business Secretary—Grant Shapps
  • Culture Secretary—Michelle Donelan
  • Work and Pensions Secretary—Mel Stride
  • Secretary for Scotland—Alister Jack
  • Secretary for Wales—David T.C. Davies
  • Secretary for Northern Ireland—Chris Heaton-Harris
  • Chief Whip—Simon Hart

Parliament

Westminster palace Charles Barry.jpg

Parliament was authorized in the Magna Carta (1215), and first summoned by King Edward I in 1296, making it one of the oldest governing bodies in the world. Parliament represents the entire country, and can legislate for the whole or for any constituent part or combination of parts. Elections are called by the Prime Minister, but the maximum length of a parliament is usually 5 years (except in wartime). The focus of legislative power is the 646 member House of Commons, which has sole jurisdiction over finance. Normally the government—the Prime Minister and cabinet with their supporting MPs—have full control of the House. If they lose control an new general election may be held. The House of Lords, although shorn of most of its powers, can still review, amend, or delay temporarily any bills except those relating to the budget. In 1999, the government removed the automatic right of hereditary peers to hold seats in the House of Lords. The current house consists of appointed life peers who hold their seats for life and 92 hereditary peers who will hold their seats only until final reforms have been agreed upon and implemented. The judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches, but cannot review the constitutionality of legislation.

Members of the House of Commons are elected to represent specific geographic constituencies. Members are elected on a "First past the post" system as opposed to proportional representation or other electoral systems. In effect this means that a third party with less than 25% of the vote typically obtains very few seats.

Constituent countries

The separate identities of each of the United Kingdom's constituent parts are also reflected in their respective governmental structures. Up until the recent devolution of power to Scotland and Wales, a cabinet minister (the Secretary of State for Wales) handled Welsh affairs at the national level with the advice of a broadly representative council for Wales. Scotland maintains, as it did before union with England, different systems of law (Roman-French), education, local government, judiciary, and national church (the Church of Scotland instead of the Church of England). In addition, separate departments grouped under a Secretary of State for Scotland, who also is a cabinet member, handled most domestic matters. In late 1997, however, following approval of referenda by Scottish and Welsh voters (though only narrowly in Wales), the British Government introduced legislation to establish a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Assembly. The first elections for the two bodies were held May 6, 1999. The Welsh Assembly opened on May 26, and the Scottish Parliament opened on July 1, 1999. The devolved legislatures have largely taken over most of the functions previously performed by the Scottish and Welsh offices.

Scottish Eilean Donan castle.

Northern Ireland had its own Parliament and prime minister from 1921 to 1973, when the British Government imposed direct rule in order to deal with the deteriorating political and security situation. From 1973, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, based in London, was responsible for the region, including efforts to resolve the issues that lay behind the "the troubles."

By the mid-1990s, gestures toward peace encouraged by successive British governments and by President Clinton began to open the door for restored local government in Northern Ireland. An Irish Republican Army (IRA) cease-fire and nearly 2 years of multiparty negotiations, led by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, resulted in the Good Friday Agreement of 10 April 1998, which was subsequently approved by majorities in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Key elements of the agreement include devolved government, a commitment of the parties to work toward "total disarmament of all paramilitary organisations," police reform, and enhanced mechanisms to guarantee human rights and equal opportunity. The Good Friday Agreement also called for formal cooperation between the Northern Ireland institutions and the Government of the Republic of Ireland, and it established the British-Irish Council, which includes representatives of the British and Irish Governments as well as the devolved Governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Devolved government was reestablished in Northern Ireland in December 1999.

The Agreement (more commonly known as the "Good Friday Agreement", and more rarely as the Belfast Agreement[34]) was reached on Friday, April 10, 1998 in Belfast and provides for a 108-member elected Assembly, overseen by a 12-minister Executive Committee (cabinet) in which unionists and nationalists share leadership responsibility. Northern Ireland elects 18 representatives to the Westminster Parliament in London. However, the five Sinn Féin Members of Parliament (MPs), who won seats in the 2004 election, have refused to claim their seats.

Crown Dependencies

A number of the smaller British Isles, most importantly Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are 'British Crown Dependencies' and not members of the UK. Their governments are independent of that of the UK other than foreign and defense policy (the UK government retains the legal power to overrule the governments of the Dependencies, but this power has not been exercised since 1967).

Membership in the European Union (1973-2020)

The Conservative government of Sir Edward Heath took the UK into the European Union in 1973. The Labour Party under Harold Wilson won the 1974 general elections and due to splits within the party, called the only national referendum asking the people if they wanted to stay in the Union. The "yes" vote won by a margin of approximately two to one. The Labour and Conservative parties have since had deep divisions over Union membership. Labour's 1983 manifesto promised to leave the Union, and whilst the Conservative party have never pledged to leave the Union, a growing band of "Eurosceptics" threatened to tear the party apart in the 1990s. The Labour, Conservative and Scottish National parties wish to stay in the Union although disagree over the level of integration, but smaller parties such as the UK Independence Party and the Referendum Party campaigned on the single issue of sovereignty being lost to the Union.

A referendum to leave the EU was successfully held on June 23, 2016. In accordance with a Conservative Party manifesto commitment, the legal basis for a referendum was established by the passage of the European Union Referendum Act 2015 by the British Parliament. It was the third plebiscite held throughout the United Kingdom, and the second time the British electorate had been asked to vote on the issue of European Union membership: the first was held in 1975, when it was known as the EEC. Membership was approved in that referendum by 67% of voters – but the nature of the EU changed dramatically since then.[35] The referendum result, to leave the European Union, was a historic victory for conservative eurosceptics, and the next day, liberal prime minister David Cameron, who had supported EU membership despite its many flaws and no real benefits, resigned.[36][37] Another winner was conservative Eurosceptic Nigel Farage.

In 31th January of 2020 the United Kingdom started the transition period of leaving the European Union in which a trade deal should be negociated until January 2021.

United Kingdom's parliament and homosexuality

See also: United Kingdom's parliament and homosexuality

In 2022, The Daily Mail published the video 'The gayest parliament in the world': MP John Nicolson applauded.

On May 14, 2015, Time magazine noted:

Time magazine noted in 2015: "Following last week’s election, the U.K. now has more lesbian, gay or bisexual Members of Parliament (MPs) than anywhere in the world."[38]
Following last week’s election, the U.K. now has more lesbian, gay or bisexual Members of Parliament (MPs) than anywhere in the world. The Westminster House of Commons now boasts 32 MPs who openly identify as LGB (there are no transgender MPs) out of 650, making up 4.9% of the Parliament.

The data comes from the University of North Carolina’s LGBT Representation and Rights Research Initiative, but collecting statistics on LGBT representation is always tricky because some lawmakers may not have revealed their sexuality. In fact, there could be more gay MPs in another country where people do not feel as free to state their sexual preference in public. Nevertheless, the fact that more are willing to do so in Britain than elsewhere signals more progressive attitudes, putting it ahead of countries like Sweden where there are only 12 out lawmakers (3.4% of the parliament).

Elsewhere in Europe there are only two currently-serving transgender lawmakers, Belgium’s Petra De Sutter and Poland’s Anna Grodzka. There have only been two other openly transgender lawmakers in the world: New Zealand’s Georgina Beyer who won a seat in 1999 and retired from politics in 2007, and Vladimir Luxuria who was elected in Italy in 2006 but lost her seat two years later.

The number of gay British MPs is not far off the U.K. proportion as a whole, which is roughly between 5% and 7% of the country according to the government’s estimate. Thirteen of Britain’s out MPs belong to the center-left Labour Party and 12 to the center-right Conservatives.

It was the Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron who introduced same-sex marriage in March 2014, despite significant opposition within his party. He has said this was one of his proudest achievements during his first term as Prime Minister.[39]

In 2021, the British newspaper The Times noted that "Britain has most gay parliament in the world".[40]

Military

Royal Naval College.

In January 2023 it was reported that the U.S. Pentagon no longer considered the UK military as a top tier fighting force. The UK's an entire service is unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade.[41]

Readiness

In January 2024 it was reported that the Royal Navy was forced to advertise for a top job on social media in a move described as “utterly shameful” by military sources. Navy chiefs posted the advertisement for the £150,000-a-year rear-admiral position on LinkedIn in December as it struggled to fill the role internally. The chosen candidate would replace Rear-Admiral Simon Asquith as director of submarines and would be responsible for “elite operations” and the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

In January 2024 two British warships collided in a harbor in Bahrain, causing damage to both vessel. The HMS Chiddingfold appeared to reverse into the HMS Bangor as it was at a dock, according to video posted on social media.

In February 2024 one of Britain’s two aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, failed to depart for NATO’s Steadfast Defender military exercises as intended. While it was not immediately clear why the HMS Prince of Wales did not depart on schedule, it took a whole day for the ship to finally set sail. This hiccup came just about a week after HMS Queen Elizabeth, the British Royal Navy flagship and the Prince of Wales’ sister ship ended up stuck in the dock after an issue with the ship’s starboard propeller was found.

HMS Prince of Wales’s breakdown in August 2022 requiring extended repair work has not enhanced the RN’s image and provided perfect fodder for mainstream media always keen to exaggerate problems with aircraft carriers. . . Very shortly after sailing from Portsmouth on 27th August a coupling that joins sections of the starboard propeller shaft failed, causing significant damage to the shaft, propeller and some superficial damage to the rudder. The ship was subsequently dry docked in Rosyth inspection and repair. It has emerged the coupling break was the result of vibration caused because the shaft was out of alignment, something that was known about long before the carrier first left the shipyard in 2019.

In February 2024 a British nuclear missile test launch failed at a site off the coast of Florida, marking the second time in eight years that the country’s Trident 2 ballistic missiles have malfunctioned during trials.

NATO war in Ukraine

See also: NATO war in Ukraine and Bucha massacre
British Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps posing with a Ukrainian tank decorated with swastikas.

During the events leading up to the Russian intervention in the Ukraine civil conflict in 2022, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov asked U.K. foreign secretary Elizabeth Truss whether London recognizes Moscow’s sovereignty over the regions of Rostov and Voronezh. Truss replied that the UK “will never recognize Russia’s sovereignty over these regions.” British Ambassador to Russia Deborah Bronnert had to intervene and remind the Foreign Secretary that these two regions are actually considered Russian territory even by the United Kingdom and in fact those regions have been part of Russia for over 1,000 years.[42]

In mid-April 2022, The Times of London reported: “British special forces have trained local troops in Kyiv for the first time since the war with Russia began”.[43] The article said two Ukrainian battalions had received instruction over the previous fortnight in the use of "NLAWs, British-supplied anti-tank missiles that were delivered in February [2022] as the invasion was beginning.” A year later, Declassified UK revealed that 50 elite British troops were in Ukraine, citing a leaked US intelligence file.[44] The UK contingent was three times larger than any other ally. Among those who claimed to have been trained by UK special forces was Daniil Lyashuk, who had previously been convicted of torture by a Ukrainian court.[45]

According to Declassified UK, British Special Forces were seen to be operating in Ukraine by a Polish minister at the start of the Special Military Operation.The minister said: “It was a time when the Russians were still standing in Bucha, and the route was a grey zone. It was possible to run into Russians. We passed the last checkpoint. The Ukrainians told us that we continue at our own risk. “Well, and who did we meet next? Ukrainian soldiers and… British special forces. Uniformed. With weapons. They moved with the Ukrainians in trucks and off-road vehicles with artillery radars. They were tracking targets."[46]

The government of the United Kingdom added a British citizen, Graham Phillips,[47] a journalist and documentary film maker reporting from Donbas, to the sanctions list and seized his bank account for reporting on the NATO war in Ukraine.

Provocations

Operation Orbital is the UK program to train Ukrainian fascist forces for aggressive warfare since 2014.[48]

According to RIA Novosti, British officers were abruptly redeployed to Kyiv on February 24, 2022 to command defense of the city from a headquarters set up in a school. “A source in the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that after a swift offensive by a group of Russian troops on February 24 against Kiev, the British, who were assisting with intelligence to the ATO headquarters in Kramatorsk, moved to Kiev to lead the city’s defence from a headquarters based at school No 72″, – he said.[49]

Former leader of the Socialist Party of Ukraine, Ilya Kiva said that the Bucha massacre was planned and prepared in advance by the counterintelligence of Ukraine, with the assistance of the British MI6. Kiva said,

"The whole story in Bucha was prepared and planned in advance by the SBU and MI6. They arrived early in the morning, cordoned off the area, scattered the corpses and then sent journalists there. That's why that clown Zelensky even came back. To raise the interest of the international press in the alleged tragedy, but it's all a pure fake. Why didn't such a situation take place in other areas? Don`t you understand that it was staged in advance, which was supposed to arouse the aggression and hatred in you first of all. But it didn't happen."[50]

Ukrainian commanders told The Times of London that soldiers from Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) trained Ukrainian troops in Kyiv.[51]

Captured UK Brimstone missile.

On May 1, 2022 Defense Updates reported on the delivery of hundreds of the UK Wunderwaffen Brimstone precision guided missiles to Ukraine. Defense Updates reported:

"UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has stated that victory for Ukraine is a "strategic imperative" for the West and Russian forces must be pushed out of "the whole of Ukraine". This is the clearest statement that has been made yet regarding Britain's war aims which have, until now, been limited to stating that President Putin's invasion of Ukraine "must fail and be seen to fail"....The missile has a range of 60+ km or 37+ mi and a maximum speed of Mach 1.3....It has been estimated that Brimstone is 3 times more effective than the AGM-65G Maverick missile against modern tanks, and 7 times more effective than the BL755 cluster bomb. In combat, Brimstone has demonstrated accuracy and reliability "both well above 90 percent"...This capability will fundamentally change the tactical scenario since the Russian forces will now know that they may have to face long-range precision attacks, chances of which were very limited earlier. It is to be noted that The West is sharing critical intelligence with Ukraine which can be used to prioritize and target the most important Russian assets."[52]

On May 8, 2022, it was reported that the Russians captured a fully intact Brimstone missile which can now be reversed engineered.[53] By the time the "hundreds" of Brimstones are launched against thousands of Russian tanks, a Russian and Chinese version of the Brimstone will likely be available. From that point forward it is only a question of who can produce more, faster. The US and EU's sanction regime against Russia limits the availability of certain component materials needed. Brimstone is a next generation improvement on the American Hellfire missile, bringing Hellfire and Brimstone to the battlefield. On the same day as the disastrous and humiliating defeat and surrender at Azovstal, May 17, 2022, a Russian missile hit a military barrack at Desna, a military base 46 miles northeast of Kyiv, killing 87.[54] The base was hit again in June, this time killing 200.

While Ukraine was losing 20,000 soldiers a month, Boris Johnson travelled to Kyiv to promise training for 10,000 soldiers every four months.[55]

On June 19, 2022 Commander of UK Strategic Command Gen. Thomas Patrick wrote to the UK Royal Army troops, "There is now an urgent need to forge an army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle. We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again. There is now a burning imperative to forge an Army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle."[56]

On July 11, 2022, the BBC reported that UK Special Forces were involved in the illegally killing of 54 unarmed detainees in Afghanistan.[57]

UK military-intelligence organization

Leaked documents revealed that British military-intelligence organizations were training a guerrilla army of 'stay behind' sabotage groups to attack Russian military and civilian targets in Crimea. The investigative news website The Grayzone named the key players working with the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) in Odessa to set up the covert force.[58] They include military consultant Hugh Ward, who works for private security firm Rezolutionz, MI6 veteran Guy Spindler, former Lithuanian defense minister Audrius Butkevicius and veteran intelligence agent Chris Donnelly. The Grayzone also reported that British private military contractor Prevail Partners, founded by former Royal Marines Brigadier and Special Boat Service (SBS) commander Justin Hedges and other ex-commandoes, had been hired to train the new guerrilla force.

Intrusion of UK military reconnaissance aircraft in the Murmansk region, August 15, 2022.

The Greyzone reported Spindler and Butkevicius lobbied governments to ramp up funding for the program. Internal emails seen by the site asked: "will Uncle Sam pay for this?" while a "costed proposal" to the British Ministry of Defense had been "turned down for risk reasons."

Alex Finnen, of the British army Specialist Group Military Intelligence section of the 77 Brigade cyber-warfare centre and the Foreign Office's Russia Unit, said in one email from March 2022 that the proposal — tendered at $600,000 per insurgent per year — was “very expensive for what it is,” although the firm was in a "seller's market". “I suspect that they have taken the first figure they thought of and then doubled it. So, there needs to be more discussion as to how and what these people are going to do,” Finnen wrote. “Partisans live in and amongst the people. That suggests that you need people from across Ukraine, in small teams to take part as Prevail suggest ‘oblast by oblast’. How are they going to achieve this?”

Justin Hedges claimed that his firm could do a much better job by training 40-strong groups in guerrilla warfare tactics. He said funding could be “provided by flowing ‘donations’ through Prevail's established NGO, Rhizome Insights Ltd,” without leaving a clear trail from governments to the mercenary firm.

Russia accused the UK of complicity in the September 26, 2022 bombing of the Nord Stream pipelines across the Baltic Sea, the October 8, 2022 truck bombing of the Kerch Strait bridge to Crimea and the October 29, 2022 attack on the Crimean port of Sevastopol with seven marine and nine aerial drones. Other incidents in the Crimean peninsula are suspected to be the work of covert units, including an explosion at a military airfield in August 2022 and an attack using a small drone to drop explosives.

UK & US sabotage peace talks

See also: 2022 Istanbul peace negotiations

In late March 2022, as Ukraine and Russia neared conclusion of a ceasefire on Russia's Special Military Operation to end the Donbas conflict under terms largely along the lines of the Minsk Accords with the issues of the Donetsk Peoples Republic, the Luhansk Peoples Republic, and Crimea off the table, Johnson rushed to Kyiv and convinced Ukrainian dictator Volodymyr Zelensky not to accept the deal in exchange for promises of NATO aid to fight the Russians. Two months later, after thousands of the Armed Forces of Ukraine troops were ground down on the battlefield along with their NATO weapons, talk of resuming ceasefire negotiations was now encouraged by Western leaders. The Kremlin announced that the status of the Kherson and Zaporozhye republics would be off the table as well, if negotiations were to resume.

While the Prime Ministers of France, Germany, Italy, and Romania urged Ukrainian dictator Vladimir Zelensky to pursue a negotiated settlement with Russia and end the slaughter of Ukrainian troops in a hopeless cause, Johnson urged Zelensky to continue the war and keep the gravy train of $53 billion in U.S. aid flowing.

Ukrainska Pravda reported in May 2022 on Boris Johnson's unannounced surprise visit to Kyiv shortly after Russia and Ukraine had reached a peace settlement in their talks in Istanbul. The Russians had agreed to withdraw to the pre-February 2022 borders and Zelensky would implement the Minsk Accords. Ukrainska Pravda reported in essence what Johnson told Zelensky according to sources close to the Ukrainian dictator:

"if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the UK and US] are not. Johnson’s position was that the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee, now felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to "press him."[59]

Only a month after Russia was forced by innumerable actions by the West to achieve the aims of protecting the Russian-speaking people of the Donbass region and the Russian Federation itself from a malevolent Ukrainian regime becoming a NATO state on its border, Russia initiated peace negotiations. These bore fruit in March 2022 when significant progress was announced from Istanbul where the talks between the two sides were being held. Russia removed its troops from around the capital Kiev, sent there with the goal, not of conquest, but of bringing the Kiev regime to its senses and to negotiate a peaceful outcome. This avenue toward a peaceful resolution of all areas of concern was swiftly blocked via a visit to Kiev by then British prime minister Boris Johnson. This one act condemned upwards of half a million Ukrainians to their deaths and the potential destruction of Ukraine as a viable state.[60]

Zelesnky and BoJo. Boris Johnson sabotaged peace efforts between Russia and Ukraine in April 2022. Tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers died needlessly in the following months.
Boris Johnson posing with Ukrainian special forces. Most were killed in an unsuccessful NATO raid on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant.

The sudden failure of the Istanbul agreement led to the immediate influx of mass amounts of the latest U.S. gear such as HIMARs. Zelensky was secretly promised unlimited funding and military support as bait. Stuck between the path of peace or the chance to go down in history as the one man who could do what Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and Hitler could not do. Zelensky chose to put his faith in NATO’s invincibility. Ukrainian journalist Diana Panchenko confirmed what happened:

"I know for a fact that the war could have been stopped back in March. A man from Zelensky's inner circle told me: We simply ditched the Russians in March. He boasted about it... Friends, I know them all personally.

I appeal to Ukrainians. You are ruled by sociopaths who do not understand the consequences".[61]

On October 11, 2022, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with 60 Minutes:[62]

"We sat at the negotiating table with the Ukrainian delegation until the end of March [2022], when an approach to a settlement on the principles suggested by the Ukrainians at the time had been harmonised in Istanbul. These principles suited us for that moment but the talks were stopped by direct order from Washington and London.

This conflict is overrun with Anglo-Saxons that fully control the Vladimir Zelensky regime. The Poles and people from the Baltics are trying to fit in on their team.

Since then the Ukrainian President has said many times that he is not going to hold talks with the Russian Federation under President Vladimir Putin. Recently, he codified this ban in law. We have never sought negotiations. The Istanbul round completed the process started at Ukraine’s request. Russia positively reacted to the proposal to enter a dialogue, but its initiators cut it off with a shout from overseas or London.

We are hearing statements by White House representative John Kirby, my colleague Antony Blinken and other members of the US administration. They are saying that they are completely open to talks with the Russian Federation, that they favor a political settlement of the current situation in Ukraine but Russia (the “troublemaker”) is rejecting proposals to establish contact. I can say straight away that this is a lie. We have not received any serious proposals to establish any such contact. There were some attempts that were not very serious, but we didn’t reject them, either. Instead, we suggested that they formulate specific proposals. Some people made them to us by proxy but in this case, we didn’t receive any clear explanations from anyone, either. No need to lie. We were taught in a kindergarten then lying is bad. Apparently, American kindergartens are not so advanced as they were in the Soviet Union and are now in Russia."

Ukrainska Pravda reported in May 2022 on Boris Johnson's unannounced surprise visit to Kyiv shortly after Russia and Ukraine had reached a peace settlement in their talks in Istanbul. The Russians had agreed to withdraw to the pre-February 2022 borders and Zelensky would implement the Minsk Accords. Ukrainska Pravda reported in essence what Johnson told Zelensky according to sources close to the Ukrainian dictator:

"if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they [the UK and US] are not. Johnson’s position was that the collective West, which back in February had suggested Zelenskyy should surrender and flee, now felt that Putin was not really as powerful as they had previously imagined, and that here was a chance to "press him."[63]

On June 23, 2022, the UK Guardian reported Johnson saying that Ukrainian refugees could be deported to Rwanda.[64]

On June 29, 2022, while accusing Russian president Vladimir Putin of being delusional, Johnson fantasized about recreating the Roman Empire.[65]

Responding to comments Johnson made about German support for the NATO war in Ukraine, chancellor Olaf Scholz said of Johnson, "We know that the very entertaining former prime minister always has his own relationship to the truth."[66]

Kerch Strait bridge terror attack

The Ukrainian government took credit for the terrorist attack and destruction of civilian infrastructure on the Kerch Strait bridge.[67]

The Grayzone obtained an April 2022 documents entitled, AUDACIOUS: Support for Ukraine Maritime Raiding Operations,[68] drawn up for senior British intelligence officers hashing out an elaborate scheme to blow up Crimea's Kerch Bridge with the involvement of specially trained Ukrainian soldiers.[69]

In August 2022 Zelensky aid Mykhailo Podolyak told the Guardian there could be more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to strikes on a railway junction and an airbase in Crimea, as well as a hit on Russian warplanes at Crimea's Saky aerodrome. Podolyak told the Guardian that the Kerch Strait bridge linking Crimea with the Russian mainland was a target. “It’s an illegal construction and the main gateway to supply the Russian army in Crimea. Such objects should be destroyed,” he said.[70] On August 18, 2022, the Russians reported shooting down surveillance drones over the Kerch Strait bridge.

Podolyak took credit for the terrorist attack and destruction of civilian infrastructure: "Crimea, the bridge, the beginning. Everything illegal must be destroyed, everything stolen must be returned to Ukraine, everything occupied by Russia must be expelled."[71] The Washington Post reported that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) were behind the terrorist attack.[72][73] The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) determined that Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukrainian military intelligence, was the chief organizer on the Ukrainian end.[74] Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed that the Kyiv regime was behind the terrorist attack.[75][76] The Ukrainian Post Office issued a commemorative stamp to honor the terrorist attack.[77] The attack was an act of state-sponsored terrorism by the government of Ukraine with U.S. taxpayer money.

Russia warns the UK government

On November 3, 2022, Russia summoned the British Ambassador to Moscow, Deborah Bronnert, over claims that the UK provided training to Ukrainian forces that attacked Russia's Black Sea Fleet in Crimea. The Russian Foreign Ministry presented the diplomat with a “steadfast protest” and warned her that London’s hostile actions “could lead to unpredictable and dangerous consequences,” according to a statement published on the ministry's website. “If acts of aggression that risk turning [Britain] into a direct party in the conflict continue, the British side will solely bear the responsibility for their negative consequences and the increase in tensions between our countries,” the ministry said.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ukrainian Navy conducted dives and a target detonation exercise in the Black Sea and on the shore near the cities of Odessa, Nikolayev, as well as Ochakov with the help of British experts. The Ambassador received a vehement complaint over the British military specialists' active involvement in training and supplying the units of the Ukrainian special operations forces, especially with the intention of carrying out acts of sabotage at sea. The demarche highlighted how such aggressive behavior by the British raises the possibility of an escalation and might have unforeseen and catastrophic results.

According to the ministry, “An agreement was reached in September 2020 between London and Kyiv to expand the British instructors’ training programme for Ukrainian military divers.” Further, it stated that the Naval Training Initiative for the Ukrainian Navy, which includes combat swimmer training programs, was put into action by the parties in late 2020.

Ministry underlined that the Joint Multinational Training Group - Ukraine initiative significantly strengthens naval cooperation between the United Kingdom and Ukraine. This work is done at a different Ataman Golovaty Special Operations Center "South" of the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces in the city of Ochakov, Nikolayev region, and it contains training underwater special operations personnel for carrying out operations in the Black Sea and Azov Sea.

Special operations divers are being trained in a military diving school in Odessa, which is a part of the 198th training facility for the Ukrainian Navy, Military Unit A3163, Nikolayev. This training includes deep-sea subversive techniques, among other things. The minesweeper personnel that was sent to Ukraine were taught by the British in the months of August 2022 and September, the ministry reported.[78]

Depleted uranium dirty nuclear weapons

Sunak delivered depleted uranium shells - essentially dirty nuclear weapons - to the fascist dictatorship of Volodymyr Zelensky.[79]

On March 20, 2023, it was announced the UK was supplying nuclear weapons to Ukraine.[80]

On January 25, 2023, Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control, warned:

“We know that Leopard 2 tanks, as well as Bradley and Marder armored fighting vehicles, can use depleted uranium shells, which can contaminate terrain, just like it happened in Yugoslavia and Iraq...If Kiev were to be supplied with such munitions for the use in western heavy military hardware, we would regard it as the use of ‘dirty nuclear bombs’ against Russia, with all the consequences that entails.”

Depleted uranium is a very dense metal, ideal to be used on projectiles because of its mass, and also because it ignites at around 600 degrees Celsius; it can penetrate an armoured vehicle and incinerate the crew once it enters the cabin. As a block or a projectile, the material can be handled with no health consequences, but when it ignites or explodes, it's turned into dust, then, it can be inhaled or ingested by live creatures and it wreaks havoc in the internal organs, creating a very large number of cancerous lesions and genetic malformations.[81] That is why it is considered a very dangerous polluting material, same as a dirty bomb.

The use of depleted uranium shells was developed by the United States in the 1980s. The Russian military made the decision at that time not to follow suit and compete by developing depleted uranium as a battlefield weapon because of its long lasting environmental and health effects. Existing tactical nuclear weapons were considered a sufficient deterrent to what is essentially a nuclear dirty bomb used by NATO and the United States.

On March 20, 2023, Annabel Goldie, the British Minister of State for Defence, declared that her country would provide depleted uranium munitions to the Kyiv regime.[82] In response, President Vladimir Putin reported on March 25 that the decision had been made to deploy a tactical nuclear weapon on the territory of Belarus by July 1, 2023, to reduce flight time against NATO aggressors. Reduced flight time, if even by a few seconds, is an important consideration in the age of modern missile defense.

Prevailing winds after the release of gamma radiation from British depleted uranium shells in NATO occupied Ukraine.

On May 2, 2023, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., tied for the lead in the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination,[83] warned:

"In another reckless escalation, Britain has confirmed delivery of depleted uranium munitions to Ukraine. DU munitions should be banned. They partially vaporize on impact, poisoning the environment with uranium dust that causes cancer and horrific birth defects."[84]

On May 13, 2023, a series of explosions at the Khmelnytsky ammunition storage depot in western Ukraine led to a significant increase in gamma radiation levels,[85] suggesting the release of depleted uranium dust into the air posing severe risk to public health. The resultant fire was remotely extinguished by robots. Depleted uranium munitions, while typically emitting minimal gamma radiation, are known to pose risks when a large stockpile is destroyed, as in the Khmelnytsky incident.

The effects of gamma radiation can be particularly detrimental to cellular structures and DNA/RNA molecules, with an extended range of damage in fluids such as gas or liquid. The British Department of Defense (DoD) confirmed that it provided depleted-uranium tank rounds to the Ukrainian armed forces. Reports indicate that the detonated warehouse in Khmelnytsky contained a substantial quantity of depleted uranium shells, causing alarm among locals and prompting residents to evacuate nearby areas. Yuri Kot, a political scientist, has stated that his sources confirm the presence of a large stockpile of depleted uranium shells in the destroyed Khmelnytsky warehouse.

Following the explosions, gamma radiation levels in Khmelnytsky have rose steadily. This surge is particularly concerning as depleted uranium typically emits only a low dose of gamma radiation, suggesting the destruction of a significant quantity of munitions and the release of uranium dust into the surrounding environment.

Dosimetric patrols in the city conducted radiation background measurements in uncharacteristic locations. Previous measurements were concentrated around the Khmelnytsky Nuclear Power Plant but were expanded to cover the regional center, western regions of the area, and Ternopil. The prevailing wind direction, blowing northwest at the time of the explosions, raised concerns about the spread of radioactive particles to Warsaw, Berlin, and Prague.[86]

Residents were in a panic and began gathering their belongings and leaving the affected areas, including Khmelnytsky, Lviv, and Ternopil.[87]

WaPo blames UK & US for Ukraine's defeat

See also: 2023 Ukraine summer counteroffensive‎‎
Ukraine's 2023 battle plan to split the Russian forces in half modelled after Gen. Sherman's March to the Sea in the American Civil War.
Destroyed German Leopard 2 tanks and American Bradley Fight Vehicles on what the Russians called Bradley Square.
Territory gains and losses, Jan.1 -Sep. 28, 2023[88]

In December 2023 the Washington Post released a two-article series, Miscalculations, Divisions Marked Offensive Planning By U.S., Ukraine and In Ukraine, A War Of Incremental Gains As Counteroffensive Stalls. It dispenses equal blame on the US and UIK planning of the whole mess and the Ukrainian execution of it:[89]

Miscalculations, divisions marked offensive planning by U.S., Ukraine

Ukrainian, U.S. and British military officers held eight major tabletop war games to build a campaign plan. But Washington miscalculated the extent to which Ukraine’s forces could be transformed into a Western-style fighting force in a short period — especially without giving Kyiv air power integral to modern militaries.

U.S. and Ukrainian officials sharply disagreed at times over strategy, tactics and timing. The Pentagon wanted the assault to begin in mid-April [2023] to prevent Russia from continuing to strengthen its lines. The Ukrainians hesitated, insisting they weren’t ready without additional weapons and training.

U.S. military officials were confident that a mechanized frontal attack on Russian lines was feasible with the troops and weapons that Ukraine had. The simulations concluded that Kyiv’s forces, in the best case, could reach the Sea of Azov and cut off Russian troops in the south in 60 to 90 days.

The United States advocated a focused assault along that southern axis, but Ukraine’s leadership believed its forces had to attack at three distinct points along the 600-mile front, southward toward both Melitopol and Berdyansk on the Sea of Azov and east toward the embattled city of Bakhmut.

The U.S. intelligence community had a more downbeat view than the U.S. military, assessing that the offensive had only a 50-50 chance of success given the stout, multilayered defenses Russia had built up over the winter and spring.

[...]

As the expected launch of the offensive approached, Ukrainian military officials feared they would suffer catastrophic losses — while American officials believed the toll would ultimately be higher without a decisive assault.

And from the second part:

In Ukraine, a war of incremental gains as counteroffensive stalls

Seventy percent of troops in one of the brigades leading the counteroffensive, and equipped with the newest Western weapons, entered battle with no combat experience.

Ukraine’s setbacks on the battlefield led to rifts with the United States over how best to cut through deep Russian defenses.

The commander of U.S. forces in Europe couldn’t get in touch with Ukraine’s top commander for weeks in the early part of the campaign amid tension over the American’s second-guessing of battlefield decisions.

Each side blamed the other for mistakes or miscalculations. U.S. military officials concluded that Ukraine had fallen short in basic military tactics, including the use of ground reconnaissance to understand the density of minefields. Ukrainian officials said the Americans didn’t seem to comprehend how attack drones and other technology had transformed the battlefield.

Foreign relations

The United Kingdom is a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and historically it has been one of NATO's major European maritime, air, and land powers. However, in February 2023, after a United States general warned that the British army was no longer a top-level fighting force, Louise Jones who is head of intelligence at McKenzie Intelligence Service, indicated that the British military is no longer a tier 1 military due to its underfunding relative to the investments that other comparable countries have made to their militaries and that the UK would be flattering itself if it thinks it has a tier 2 military.[90]

Indians found Western propaganda during the Russo-Ukraine war highly offensive and racist. In this cartoon from the UK tabloid The Economist, NATO powers attempted to intimidate India to sign on to condemnation of Russia for the false flag Bucha massacre of civilians committed by MI6 and the Security Service of Ukraine.[91]

The Tasmin News Agency reported on January 08, 2023:

About 40,000 of the UK military’s 145,000 personnel have been officially classified as dangerously overweight or obese over the past five years, according to Ministry of Defense (MoD) statistics as cited by a British media outlet.

The statistics also revealed that 5,200 obese or overweight British servicemen have been medically discharged since 2010, with scores of soldiers suffering from Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, Sputnik reported.

The heaviest soldier, who was sacked from the army after failing mandatory fitness tests, weighed more than 420 pounds (over 190 kg).

Over 850 troops have reportedly been prescribed diet pills since 2014, while 60 others have had liposuction surgery to tackle the problem.

This came as a MoD spokesperson claimed that “personnel can have multiple causes listed in a medical discharge, so may not have been discharged specifically for weight related issues.”[92]

The United Kingdom was a member of the European Community (now European Union) from 1973 to 2020. In the United Nations, the United Kingdom is a permanent member of the Security Council. The U.K. held the Presidency of the G-8 during 2005; it held the EU Presidency from July to December 2005.

The British Armed Forces are charged with protecting the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, promoting Britain's wider security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. The 37,000-member Royal Navy, which includes 6,000 Royal Marine commandos, is in charge of the United Kingdom's independent strategic nuclear arm, which consists of four Trident missile submarines. The British Army, consisting of approximately 99,200 personnel, the Royal Air Force, with 42,000 personnel, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, are active and regular participants in NATO and other coalition operations. Approximately 9% of the British Armed Forces is female, and 4% of British forces represent ethnic minorities.

In May 2021 the UK announced a plan to slash 9,500 soldiers from the British Army from 82,000 to just 72,500.[93] On June 28, 2022 Chief of General Staff General Patrick Sanders said at a RUSI conference: “The war in Ukraine reminds us of the utility of Land Power: it takes an army to hold and regain territory and defend the people. It takes an Army to deter. If this battle came, we would likely be outnumbered at the point of attack and fighting like hell […] You can’t cyber your way across a river. No single platform, capability, or tactic will unlock the problem.”

An email sent from Hunter Biden to his business partner Devon Archer on April 13, 2014 contained information from a classified U.S. State Department memo one week before Joe Biden visited Ukraine to meet prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The email predicted an escalation of Russia’s “destabilization campaign, which could lead to a full scale takeover of the eastern region, most critically Donetsk":

“The strategic value is to create a land bridge for RU to Crimea. That won’t directly affect Burisma holdings but it will limit future UK exploration and utilization of offshore opportunities in particular.

It will also result in further destabilization of UK nationally and for whatever govt is in power. And the US will respond with even stronger sanctions. Those sanctions will threaten the tenuous support of the EU which does not have the political will to incur steep energy price increases.”[94]

Pakistan

The Pakistani ISI maintains extensive ties with British intelligence services. [95] Additionally, the UK hosts dozens of Pakistan Army officers on training courses each year, including at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. [96]

Iraq

The U.K. was the United States' main coalition partner under the designation Operation TELIC. Under UN Security Council Resolution 1483, the U.K. also shared with the United States responsibility for civil administration in Iraq and was an active participant in the Coalition Provisional Authority before the handover of Iraqi sovereignty on June 28, 2004. Britain's participation in the Iraq war and its aftermath remains a domestically controversial issue.

Iraqi oil supply was considered to be 'vital' to British interests. The British Government saw Iraqi oil as "vital" to the UK's long-term energy security, and the effective privatisation of its oil industry was central to the post-invasion plan for the country, according to previously unseen Whitehall documents. [1] The Independent.

The Iraq Inquiry is conducted to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict; the inquiry is concerned over Mr. Blair's evidence on the legal advice he received before agreeing to join the invasion, and the timing of the decision to go to war. [2] The Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot (1939) was Staff Counsellor to the Security and Intelligence Agencies (1999-2004) and the National Criminal Intelligence Service (2002–06).

Afghanistan

See also: Rape of Afghanistan
Reuters from 2010. UK pulled out after the country was destroyed with delivering freedom or democracy.[97]

Britain stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., and its military forces were part of the coalition force in Afghanistan. The British force in Afghanistan were at 9,000 in late 2009 and rose by an extra 500 troops in 2010. British forces were primarily based in the Helmand region, where they were on the front line in the war against continued Taliban terrorism. In addition, Britain contributed more than £500 million to Afghan reconstruction—the second-largest donor after the U.S.

Democrat socialist leader Joe Biden of the United States assured key allies at the June 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall that he would maintain enough of a security presence in Afghanistan to ensure they could continue to operate in the capital following the main U.S. withdrawal. Biden promised Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leaders that “critical U.S. enablers” would remain in place to keep Kabul safe following the drawdown of NATO forces. British officials determined the U.S. would provide enough personnel to ensure that the U.K. embassy in Kabul could continue operating.

But the withdrawal of U.S. forces saw the Afghan government collapse as Taliban fighters raced across the country, culminating in scenes of chaos at Kabul’s airport. The British embassy was evacuated. The UK foreign minister faced calls to resign over the inability to extract people on the ground, Bloomberg reported.[98]

The circumstances surrounding the U.S. withdrawal served as a wake-up call to the anti-Trump elements in Great Britain who colluded with fake news mainstream media outlets, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and the U.S. intelligence community to interfere in American elections and sabotage the presidency of Donald Trump, of the reluctance of Washington to operate as a global policeman. During the Rape of Afghanistan, Biden ignored UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's frantic phone calls for 36 hours.[99] According to the U.K . Telegraph,

KabulHasFallen.png
“Joe Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal was condemned as “catastrophic” and “shameful” on Wednesday as the Houses of Parliament delivered an unprecedented rebuke to a US president. MPs and peers from across the political spectrum, including Boris Johnson, put some blame for the Taliban’s takeover and the chaos that followed on Britain’s closest ally. Mr Biden was accused of “throwing us and everybody else to the fire” by pulling out US troops, and was called “dishonourable” for criticising Afghan forces for not having the will to fight. Former defence chiefs who led British troops in the Middle East were among those to speak out, while there were warnings that the West’s withdrawal would embolden Russia and China.

[…] Labour MP Chris Bryant called Mr Biden’s remarks about Afghan soldiers “some of the most shameful comments ever from an American president”. Khalid Mahmood, a Labour MP and former defence minister, said: “The Biden government have just come in and, without looking at what is happening on the ground, have taken a unilateral decision, throwing us and everybody else to the fire.” [100]

Ben Wallace, UK defence secretary, broke down in tears saying, “some would not get back” from Afghanistan. “It’s sad. Twenty years of sacrifice is what it is."[101] Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab concluded that Britain would have to turn to Russia and China to assist with exercising a "moderating influence" over the Taliban despite a deep mistrust of both regimes. Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee Tom Tugendhat wrote,

Sunday Mirror, August 22, 2021.[102]
"The fall of Kabul is the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez. The operation to seize the canal in 1956 symbolised the end of Britain’s global ambition and refocused us on Nato and alliances. It showed conclusively that the US could limit our actions and change our policy. The fall of Kabul will be remembered for similar reasons: not just its abject failure, but also because it revealed the nature of US power and our inability to hold a separate line. The redeployment of 2,500 US troops, half as many as it takes to crew a carrier, ended 20 years of British effort in Afghanistan and left thousands of British citizens under Taliban jurisdiction....The longer-term question is: what next? Is Britain’s foreign policy achievable given the past week? What are the implications for our alliances?...just like in Suez, we need to reset to make sure that a false narrative does not grow, and that means commitment. Cuts to overseas engagement, whether defence, diplomacy, aid or trade, will look different today from how they did a week ago...." [103]

Former Tory prime minister Theresa May said "What does it say about NATO if we are entirely dependent on a unilateral decision taken by the United States? ... Did we feel we just had to follow the United States and hope that on a wing and a prayer it'd be all right on the night?" Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair slammed Biden's "imbecilic" retreat.[104] Blair said the "deep politicisation" of US foreign policy was "visibly atrophying" American influence, and claimed the debacle over the withdrawal risked Britain being relegated to the "second division" of global powers.

China

On June 13, 2024 the Embassy spokesperson for the Peoples Republic of China in London issued a statement that read in part:

"The relevant sanctions by the UK are a unilateral action with no basis in international law...We are firmly opposed to it and have made solemn representations to the UK side...The UK government, in disregard of public opinion at home and in the world, has been fueling the tension...This has contributed to the protracted war and sufferings and made peace even more elusive...Instead of reflecting on its own egregious behaviour, the UK has framed charges to sanction entities of China and other countries...This fully exposes the hypocrisy on the part of the UK.[105]

Israel

Britain has shown a greater willingness than the United States to criticize the Israelis over settlements and what some call the disproportionate responses to provocations from Gaza and southern Lebanon. (Jewish Labour MP Gerald Kaufman is among the most vocal.) Like his predecessors, both Labour and Conservative, former Foreign Secretary Milliband has been unequivocal: "Settlements are illegal under international law," he told Parliament in 2008; "They are a major blockage to peace in the Middle East on the basis of a two-state solution." His successor William Hague, on 20 March 2011, "expressed our serious concern over the recent announcement of 400 new housing units in the West Bank. Continued settlements run contrary to peace.” A BBC poll in March 2011 found that 14% of British subjects have a generally positive opinion of Israel while 66% have a generally negative opinion.

Relations with the United States

The United Kingdom is one of the United States' closest allies, and British foreign policy emphasises close coordination with the United States. Bilateral cooperation reflects the common language, ideals, and democratic practices of the two nations. Relations were strengthened by the countries' alliances during both World Wars, and its role as a founding member of NATO, in the Korean conflict, in the Persian Gulf War, and in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The United Kingdom and the United States continually consult on foreign policy issues and global problems and share major foreign and security policy objectives.

The United Kingdom is the fifth-largest market for U.S. goods exports after Canada, Mexico, Japan, and China, and the sixth-largest supplier of U.S. imports after Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany. U.S. exports of goods and services to the United Kingdom in 2006 totaled $92 billion, while U.S. imports from the U.K. totaled $93 billion. The United States has had a trade deficit with the United Kingdom since 1998. The United Kingdom is a large source of foreign tourists in the United States. In 2005, 3.4 million U.S. residents visited the United Kingdom, while 4.2 million U.K. residents visited the United States.

The United States and the United Kingdom share the world's largest foreign direct investment partnership. U.S. investment in the United Kingdom reached $324 billion in 2005, while U.K. direct investment in the U.S. totaled $282 billion. This investment sustains more than 1 million American jobs.

Economy

London's financial center.

Britain has been hard hit by the Recession of 2008, with its major banks taken over or subsidized by the government. Real gross domestic product declined by 4.6% in 2009, and is expected to rise by 0.6% before 2010 and probably will continue to increase by 1% in 2011.

Britain has the sixth-largest economy in the world, and the second largest economy in Europe. It is a major international trading power. A highly developed, diversified, market-based economy with extensive social welfare services provides most residents with a high standard of living. Unemployment and inflation levels are amongst the lowest within Europe.

Since 1979, the British Government has privatised most state-owned companies, including British Steel, British Airways, British Telecom, British Coal, British Aerospace, and British Gas, although in some cases the government retains a "golden share" in these companies. The previous Labour government continued the privatisation policy of its Conservative predecessor, particularly by encouraging "public-private partnerships" (partial privatisation) in such areas as the London Underground. The economy of the United Kingdom is now primarily based on private enterprise, accounting for approximately four-fifths of employment and output.

London ranks alongside New York as a leading international financial centre. London's financial exports contribute greatly to the United Kingdom's balance of payments. Ratings agencies rank the United Kingdom's banking sector as one of the strongest in the world and its banks are amongst the most profitable in the G-8. It is a global leader in emissions trading and is home to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). It is also a government priority to make London the leading center of Islamic finance.

Britain a significant European energy exporter. It is also one of the world's largest energy consumers, and most analysts predict a shift in U.K. status from net exporter to net importer of energy by 2020, possibly sooner. Oil production in the U.K. is levelling off. While North Sea natural gas production continues to rise, gains may be offset by ever-increasing consumption. North Sea oil and gas exploration activities are shifting to smaller fields and to increments of larger, developed fields, presenting opportunities for smaller, independent energy operators to become active in North Sea production.

Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, 2009.
  • GDP (at current market prices, 2007 est.): US$1.93 trillion.
  • Annual growth rate (2009 est.): -4.6%
  • Per capita GDP (2006 est.): US$31,800.
  • Natural resources: Coal, oil, natural gas.
  • Agriculture (1.1% of GDP): Products—cereals, oilseed, potatoes, vegetables, cattle, sheep, poultry, fish.
  • Industry: Types—steel, heavy engineering and metal manufacturing, textiles, motor vehicles and aircraft, construction (5.2% of GDP), electronics, chemicals.
  • Trade (2006 est.): Exports of goods and services—US$468.8 billion: manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals; food, beverages, tobacco. Major markets—U.S., European Union. Imports of goods and services—US$603 billion: manufactured goods, machinery, fuels, foodstuffs. Major suppliers—U.S., European Union, Japan.

Economic History

In 1960, the United Kingdom had the fourth-largest economy, with a GDP of $75 billion.[106] In 1965, the UK got surpassed by France, getting to fifth place, with a GDP of $100 billion. In 1970, the fast-growing Japanese economy surpassed the UK, bumping it to 6th place. In 1975, the UK got $240 billion, in 1980 it got $540 billion, and in 1985, the UK declined slightly to $535 billion. But the top 6 stayed the same, the United States, Soviet Union, Japan, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. In 1990, Italy humiliated the UK, by putting the UK at 7th, despite booming to $1.1 trillion. In 1995, the UK grew to $1.325 trillion, bumping both Italy's curving economy and Russia's collapsing economy. In 2000, the UK went to $1.445 trillion, surpassing its longtime-rival-but-ally France, thus getting to 4th. In 2005, the UK boomed to $2.5 trillion dollars, keeping its 4th. In 2010, the UK declined to $2.25 trillion, getting bumped to 6th. In 2015, however, the UK got to $2.863 trillion, surpassing France again. In 2020, the booming Indian economy surpassed the UK, with $2.8 trillion (a small decline), bumping it to 6th.

Currency

The currency of the United Kingdom is the Pound Sterling, commonly called Pound and written £ or GBP, divided into 100 New Pence (now commonly just called pence or 'p'). Traditionally the UK had a complicated triple currency structure of 20 shillings to the Pound and 12 "old pence" (represented by a "d" from the Roman denarius) to the shilling, making a total of 240 pence to the Pound. This system was abandoned in 1971 due to difficulties with computerised accounting systems, in favour of the current decimal system.

The UK has never joined the Euro zone.

History

Stonehenge.

The Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD and most of Britain's subsequent incorporation into the Roman Empire stimulated development and brought more active contacts with the rest of Europe. However, there was no permanent Roman imprint apart from roads and locations for cities. As Rome's strength declined, the country again was exposed to invasion—including the pivotal incursions of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes in the fifth and sixth centuries AD—up to the Norman conquest in 1066. Norman rule effectively ensured Britain's safety from further intrusions; certain institutions, which remain characteristic of Britain, could develop. Among these are a political, administrative, cultural, and economic centre in London; a separate but established church and distinctive and distinguished university education.

Union

Both Wales and Scotland were independent kingdoms that resisted English rule. The English conquest of Wales succeeded in 1282 under Edward I, and the Statute of Rhuddlan established English rule 2 years later. To appease the Welsh, Edward's son (later Edward II), who had been born in Wales, was made Prince of Wales in 1301. The tradition of bestowing this title on the eldest son of the British Monarch continues today. An act of 1536 completed the political and administrative union of England and Wales.

While maintaining separate parliaments, England and Scotland were ruled by the same king beginning in 1603, when James VI of Scotland succeeded his cousin Elizabeth I as James I of England. In the ensuing 100 years, strong religious and political differences divided the kingdoms. Finally, in 1707, England and Scotland were unified as Great Britain, sharing a single Parliament at Westminster.

Ireland's invasion by the Anglo-Normans in 1170 led to centuries of strife. Successive English kings sought to conquer Ireland. In the early 17th century, large-scale settlement of the north from Scotland and England began. After its defeat, Ireland was subjected, with varying degrees of success, to control and regulation by Britain.

Queen Victoria, by Sir Francis Grant.

The legislative union of Great Britain and Ireland was completed on January 1, 1801, under the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (normally shortened to "Great Britain" or "Britain"). However, armed struggle for independence continued sporadically into the 20th century. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 established the Irish Free State, which subsequently left the Commonwealth and became a republic after World War II. Six northern, predominantly Protestant, Irish counties have remained part of the United Kingdom.

British Expansion and Empire

The British Empire was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. It was a product of the Age of Discovery, which began with the maritime explorations of the 15th century, that sparked the era of the European colonial empires. By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population.[107] It covered about 36.7 million km² (14.2 million square miles),[108] about a quarter of Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, it was often said that "The empire on which the sun never sets|the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous colonies or subject nations.[109]

Begun initially to support William the Conqueror's (c. 1029-1087) holdings in France, Britain's policy of active involvement in continental European affairs endured for several hundred years. By the end of the 14th century, foreign trade, originally based on wool exports to Europe, had emerged as a cornerstone of national policy.

During the five decades following World War II, most of the territories of the Empire became independent. Many went on to join the Commonwealth of Nations, a free association of independent states.[110] Some have retained the British monarch as their head of state to become independent Commonwealth realms.

Sea Power

The foundations of sea power were gradually laid to protect English trade and open up new routes. Defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 firmly established England as a major sea power. Thereafter, its interests outside Europe grew steadily. Attracted by the spice trade, English mercantile interests spread first to the Far East. In search of an alternate route to the Spice Islands, John Cabot reached the North American continent in 1498. Sir Walter Raleigh organized the first, short-lived colony in Virginia in 1584, and permanent English settlement began in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia. During the next two centuries, Britain extended its influence abroad and consolidated its political development at home, as the Royal Navy dominated the seas.

Industrial Revolution

See also: Victorian era
Bradford Industrial Museum.

Britain's industrial revolution greatly strengthened its ability to oppose Napoleonic France. By the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Britain was the foremost European power, and its navy ruled the seas. Peace in Europe allowed the British to focus their interests on more remote parts of the world, and, during this period, the British Empire reached its zenith. British colonial expansion reached its height largely during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Queen Victoria's reign witnessed the spread of British technology, commerce, language, and government throughout the British Empire, which, at its greatest extent, encompassed roughly one-fifth to one-quarter of the world's area and population. It is controversial whether British colonies accelerated or slowed Britain's economic growth, for its growth rate fell below nations without empires, especially the U.S. and Germany. Democracy came in fits and starts in a series of reforms that finally, by the 1920s, allowed all adults to vote.

End of Empire

See also: Collapse of the British Empire

By the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901, other nations, including the United States and Germany, had developed their own industries; Britain lost its comparative economic advantage, and the ambitions of its rivals had grown. The UK joined world war I because of the invasion of Belgium, and subsequently began World War II after the invasion of Poland. The losses and destruction of The First World War, the Great Depression of the 1930s, the independence of the Dominions, and decades of relatively slow growth eroded the Britain's preeminent international position of the previous century.

Nationalism became stronger in other parts of the empire, particularly in India and Egypt.

In 1926, Britain granted Australia, Canada, and New Zealand almost complete autonomy as "dominions"; beginning with the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the remainder of the British Empire was almost completely dismantled by the 1960s.

David Cameron became Prime Minister on May 11, 2010, after Gordon Brown resigned, and led a Con-Dem coalition in 2010.[111] In 2015, a general election was called[112] and Cameron's Conservative Party won a majority of seats, against all odds.[113] It must be noted that despite its name, many supporters of the European Union and homosexual "marriage" are members of the Conservative Party.

The United Kingdom (UK) website Fife Today reported in on July 27, 2022 on the UK's road repair crisis: "Over 1.5 million potholes were reported across the country, but the AA says the actual number is likely to be much higher as the figure does not include pothole on motorways and major roads, and many go unreported."[114] In 2018, UK roads ranked were ranked 27th in the world which was a ranking below Chile and Cyprus.[115]

See also

External links

Notes

  1. Hanson, Victor Davis (September 12, 2019). Victor Davis Hanson: Britain's got one last chance to reembrace free-market democratic world it helped create. Fox News. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
  2. Nato allies urge rethink on alliance after Biden’s ‘unilateral’ Afghanistan exit, Financial Times, Helen Warrell in London, Guy Chazan in Berlin and Richard Milne in Stockholm AUGUST 17 2021.
  3. Tom Tugendhat on Afghanistan: Six decades after Suez, we remain impotent in the face of US policy, August 16 2021, The Times. "The fall of Kabul is the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez. The operation to seize the canal in 1956 symbolised the end of Britain’s global ambition and refocused us on Nato and alliances. It showed conclusively that the US could limit our actions and change our policy. The fall of Kabul will be remembered for similar reasons: not just its abject failure, but also because it revealed the nature of US power and our inability to hold a separate line. The redeployment of 2,500 US troops, half as many as it takes to crew a carrier, ended 20 years of British effort in Afghanistan and left thousands of British citizens under Taliban jurisdiction....The longer-term question is: what next? Is Britain’s foreign policy achievable given the past week? What are the implications for our alliances?...just like in Suez, we need to reset to make sure that a false narrative does not grow, and that means commitment. Cuts to overseas engagement, whether defence, diplomacy, aid or trade, will look different today from how they did a week ago...." Tom Tugendhat is Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.</small</span> </li>
  4. From 1801 to 1927 the official name was The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
  5. Alan MacColl, "The Meaning of 'Britain' in Medieval and Early Modern England." Journal of British Studies 2006 45(2): 248-269
  6. This same melody is also sung by American schoolchildren (with different words) as "My Country, 'Tis of Thee".
  7. Quarter of a million children enter secondary school without basic maths and English, The Guardian, 2023
  8. Times Educational Supplement
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  13. Church growth is not just for Evangelicals
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  15. London Churchgoing and Other News
  16. London Churchgoing and Other News
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  18. I'm not surprised Evangelical Christianity is on the rise by Ed West, The Telegraph, December 14th, 2009
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  22. FactCheck: will Britain have a Muslim majority by 2050?
  23. Islamist Terrorism in the UK: An In-Depth Analysis
  24. What Islam Isn't
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  60. Andromeda11711 tweet, Jun 18, 2023:💥 "I know for a fact that the war could have been stopped back in March." Ukrainian journalist Diana Panchenko on the Istanbul peace treaty: "A man from Zelensky's inner circle told me: 'We just got rid of the Russians in March. He bragged about it... Friends, I know them all personally. They are ruled by sociopaths. They don't understand the consequences. Yesterday, Putin gave the Kiev regime a real knockout blow. Imagine Zelensky beating his chest and assuring the Ukrainians that there are no agreements with Russia. That's exactly why the Bucha fake was staged: the Kiev regime needed to show that the Russians hadn't left on their own, but that the Kiev region had supposedly been liberated by the Ukrainian military. The provocation in Bucha was necessary to falsify the reason for the rejection of the agreements by making a fuss in the Western media. Britain, China, the USA, Turkey, France and Belarus were listed as security guarantors for Ukraine in the Istanbul Treaty, which Ukraine did not want to fulfil. Of course, Zelensky was forbidden by Washington and London to comply, but in this situation it does not matter, because it was Ukraine that violated the treaty. Yesterday's statement by Vladimir Putin completely destroys the myth of Ukraine's independence in decision-making and clearly shows the people of Ukraine what Zelensky got them into: he had an opportunity to avoid a disaster. There would have been no deaths or destruction. A viable Ukrainian economy would have been preserved. No one would have interfered with Ukraine's "independence"! But it was the Kiev regime that dragged Ukraine into a major war, and it can no longer stop what is happening. https://t.me/ukraine_watch/4397
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  111. Under the provisions of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 (c. 14), parliamentary elections in the UK must be held every five years, beginning in 2015. The Act received Royal Assent on 15 September 2011. Fixed-term Parliaments, where general elections ordinarily take place in accordance with a schedule set far in advance, were part of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement which was produced after the 2010 general election.
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  115. </ol>