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UK ElectionsNigel Farage injured in plane crash on election day
ANOTHER ATTEMPTED ASSASSINATION by PLANE CRASH, like Poland?
And on election day - more volcanic ash grounds more planes? hmmmm
May 6, 2010
The former UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage said he was "lucky to be alive" after his plane crashed in Northamptonshire.
The aircraft came down at Hinton-in-the-Hedges Airfield near Brackley.
Mr Farage is being treated at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for broken ribs and other minor injuries. Pilot, Justin Adams, is also in hospital.
It is thought the aircraft came down when a trailing campaign banner became entangled.
Party leader Lord Pearson said Mr Farage had been visited by his wife in hospital.
He said: "Despite being in considerable pain, we deduce that Nigel is back to something like his normal form.
"We also understand that the injuries to the pilot, Justin Adams, may be less serious than previously feared though we have been unable to speak to his family.
"It is clear that both men had a remarkably lucky escape."
A spokesperson for UKIP said "it was unlikely Mr Farage would be discharged from hospital today".
He added: "He (Mr Farage) suffered facial cuts and bruises and injuries to his chest and there might be some damage to his ribs."
A consultant at the hospital is reported to have told a UKIP press officer that Mr Farage may also have suffered a chip to his spine.
Chris Adams, UKIP parliamentary candidate for Aylesbury, earlier said Mr Farage had been "in and out of consciousness" and had been X-rayed
but the press officer later said they had been told he was conscious throughout the crash and rescue.
We've had unconfirmed reports that either the banner got snagged up, or there were cross-winds and it was an unfamiliar airfield to the pilot
The aircraft was due to circle over Buckingham, where Mr Farage is standing as a candidate, trailing a banner, a UKIP spokesman said.
Mike Jose, Mr Farage's assistant, said they had previously flown the plane and banner over the constituency without any problems.
Surveying the mangled metal of the aircraft, Det Ch Insp Martin Kinchin, of Northamptonshire Police, said: "I think you can make your own judgment as to how lucky they were.
"The people inside the plane were lucky to come out with not very serious injuries."
Describing how the crash happened, he said: "It is our belief that the plane had recently taken off from here and was manoeuvring back to the airfield."
When asked if the UKIP banner had become tangled in the aircraft, causing the crash, he said it was too early to speculate.
The white banner, which landed several hundred metres from the plane, had been attached to it previously, he confirmed.
A UKIP spokesman said the pair were trapped in the plane hanging upside down after the crash, but were "talking, conscious and breathing" during the rescue operation.
Mr Adams, who is also Mr Farage's campaign manager, said: "Apparently the plane nose-dived. We had a banner attached to the back of the plane which basically got wrapped around the tail.
"The pilot had sent out a May Day signal and it basically crash dived. It's all a bit of a shock, especially on polling day."
The airfield has now been closed and the crash is due to be investigated by the Air Accident Investigation Branch, Northamptonshire Police said.
The aircraft, a PZL-104 Wilga 35A, is a Polish fixed-wing aircraft which is reportedly owned by Sky Banners, in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.
Mr Farage is a Member of the European Parliament, representing South East England.
UK Elections 2010UK Elections 2010
Conservative leader David Cameron said it was "clear" that Labour had lost their right to power, after the Tories gained the most seats in the election.
He promised to act in "the national interest" to bring "strong, stable, decisive and good" leadership, as the UK appeared set for a hung parliament.
The Tories have 299 seats and Labour have 253 MPs, with 17 seats to declare. In all 326 are needed for a majority.
Mr Cameron is to set out at 1430 BST how he intends to form a government.
The Conservative Party said his statement would outline his plans to create an administration which was "strong and stable, with broad support, that acts in the national interest".
Mr Cameron held his seat of Witney in Oxfordshire with 33,973 votes, gaining an increased majority and achieving a 6.3% swing from the Lib Dems.
Conservative David Cameron is UK's New Prime Minister Conservative David Cameron is UK's New Prime Minister
PM Gordon Brown resigned
May, 2010 IsraelNationalNews
Conservative leader David Cameron has become Britain's new prime minister, following a decision overnight by Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown to tender his resignation to the Queen.
Cameron is the youngest prime minister in 200 years of Britain's history.
Liberal-Democratic leader Nick Clegg agreed to join Cameron in forming a coalition government, thereby locking the Labour party out of the loop for the first time in more than a decade.
It has been 13 years since the Conservatives were last in power – and the party's re-entry was secured through the first coalition government the country has seen since World War II.
Each side will be required to make concessions, coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum on most issues ranging from national security to immigration.
The two parties also disagree on Israel, with the Tories more conciliatory, if not at least somewhat supportive of the Jewish State, as opposed to the Liberal Democrats, who at times have expressed outright hostility.
The developments are viewed with caution by Jerusalem in light of the fact that the leftist Liberal Democrats are strong supporters of the Palestinian Authority.
Clegg last year called on the British government and the European Union to suspend arms sales to Israel during the IDF's counter terrorism Operation Cast Lead.
It is likely that Clegg will take control of the Foreign Office, given that Cameron's majority in the House of Commons was created with the 57 mandates provided by the Liberal Democrats.
The Conservative party had only 306 seats, 20 short of an absolute majority.
Trouble for Israel?
Clegg supports the idea of a European Union arms embargo against Israel until the Jewish State allows traffic to flow unrestricted between its own civilian population and Hamas-ruled Gaza.
He also endorsed the UK-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign's proposal the EU should suspend existing trade agreements with Israel.
Equally disturbing, a roaring majority of the members of his Liberal Democratic party sponsored a motion in the House of Commons to
“oppose any legislation to restrict the power of the UK courts” over universal jurisdiction.
The legislation would have closed a loophole in the current "universal jurisdiction" law that has allowed UK courts to prosecute Israeli officials for alleged crimes at the behest of Palestinian Authority supporters.
Last year such a situation did indeed develop, and a warrant was issued for the arrest of then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.
Then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown had promised to “do what he could” to amend the legislative loophole that had allowed the British court to issue a
warrant for the arrest of one of Israel's top leaders – but his words never translated into action, and the loophole still stands.
Clegg has also pushed for a closer relationship with the rest of Europe, and a distancing of what he has called Britain's “slavish” relationship with the United States.
It is likely that Clegg may choose to refuse further military support to the U.S. in Afghanistan and/or Iraq. At a news conference barely two weeks ago, Clegg told reporters,
“We cannot leave it to the United States to exert influence in the Middle East.”
Difficult Times Ahead
Cameron focused in his first speech to the country on the need to build unity, and on the “difficult decisions that we have ahead.”
He acknowledged the fact that the country had a “hung Parliament” and noted the “deep and pressing problems, a huge deficit, deep social problems and a political system in need of reform.”
For those reasons, he said, he was forming a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
“Nick Clegg and I are both political leaders who want to put aside party differences and work hard for the common good and for the national interest,” he said.
“This is going to be hard and difficult work. A coalition will throw up all sorts of challenges, but I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs.”
David Cameron, new UK prime ministerDavid Cameron new UK prime minister
11 May 2010 He may speak the language of modernity and change, but in many ways Britain's new prime minister David Cameron is a throwback to an earlier era of Conservative leaders.
Not only is he the first former pupil of Britain's top private school, Eton, to hold the office since the early 1960s, he can also trace his ancestry back to William IV, making him a distant relative of the Queen.
Mr Cameron has never made any secret of his privileged background, but he has also sought to cultivate a fresh, unstuffy image.
At 43, he is the youngest prime minister since Robert Banks Jenkinson, the 2nd Earl of Liverpool in 1812. He is six months younger than Tony Blair when he entered Downing Street in 1997.
Like Mr Blair, he has a young family and an informal, self-consciously modern approach to politics.
Blair arrived at Number 10 with a guitar case in hand. Mr Cameron has his cycling helmet on his handlebars and fondness for indie rock.
Yet despite opening himself up to the TV cameras like few other British political leaders, Mr Cameron is still something of an unknown quantity.
VERY NICE ARTICLE Here
David Cameron coalition team in first cabinet meeting May 13
England: Gay marriage is set to become law after clearing the House of Lords.
7/15/13 The Queen is expected to be asked to give her approval to the Bill – one of the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign – by the end of this week. It opens the way for the first legally recognised same-sex weddings to take place in England and Wales by next summer and brings the centuries-old understanding of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman to an end.
Queen gives royal assent to same-sex marriage legislation; gay marriage now legal in England and Wales - @TelegraphNews
Seriously, what is really a "conservative" nowdays? By the world's standards, that is...
Gay Marriage Becomes Legal In The UK Because Conservative David Cameron Had The Guts
To Stand Up To His Own Party Double-Cross His Own Party
David Cameron speaking during a Gay Pride reception at 10 Downing Street in June 2010
Today marks the day that gay marriage officially became legal in the United Kingdom, as the Queen gave royal assent to laws passed by parliament.
For supporters of gay marriage, it's a great day. The U.K. joins the short list of countries around the world that allow same sex marriage. But to anyone who's followed the legal process, there's another interesting factor: The leader of the U.K.'s right wing party, David Cameron, was a vocal supporter the bill.
Cameron did this at the risk of alienating his own party. It's a depressingly hard situation to imagine happening in the United States.
Cameron's coalition government — formed from his own Conservative Party and Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats — announced they would start a formal consultation on how to implement equal marriage for same sex couples back in 2011. Cameron supported the plans, and it appears to have been a personal issue to him; back in 2007, before he was Prime Minister and when he had been party leader for just two years, he said this to an audience of Conservative Party members:
"There's something special about marriage. It's not about religion. It's not about morality. It's about commitment. When you stand up there, in front of your friends and your family, in front of the world, whether it's in a church or anywhere else, what you're doing really means something. Pledging yourself to another means doing something brave and important. You are making a commitment. You are publicly saying: it's not just about me, me me anymore. It is about we - together, the two of us, through thick and thin. That really matters. And by the way, it means something whether you're a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and another man. That's why we were right to support civil partnerships, and I'm proud of that."
Civil partnerships — a legal marriage in all but name — had become legal in the U.K. in 2005 under Tony Blair's government, but even in 2007 people took this statement as showing an ambition for something more from Cameron. Before the 2010 election, the Conservatives clearly told voters they would "consider" gay marriage.
Cameron's personal support of gay marriage wasn't with the support of his party. Even polls from 2013 show a slim majority against gay marriage from Conservative voters. When the government's gay marriage bill had its second reading (which is the first time a proposed bill is voted upon by the House of Commons) it passed 400 to 175. However, 134 Conservative Party members voted against the bill — and just 126 voted for. Later, Tory MPs tried to ruin the bill by adding a "wrecking amendment," and the government bill was only saved by the intervention of the left wing opposition Labour Party.
The issue, alongside European Union membership, soon became an issue that Conservative grassroots activists used to attack Cameron, who is seen by some as part of a cosmopolitan urban elite that is out-of-touch with many middle-class, rural Conservative voters. Cameron has largely kept his cool, however — throughout the bill's progress, he has said he is "proud" of the bill, and he appears confident that he will be on the right side of history, even at the risk of alienating his own supporters.
Contrast this situation with the United States. In the 2008 and 2012 Republican caucus, the only "semi-major" candidate who didn't openly oppose gay marriage was Ron Paul, who said the government should stay out of the debate. Last month Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became just the third senator to support same sex marriage.
Of course, there are a lot of cultural and political differences that make comparing the U.K. and the U.S. a little tricky, but it still raises the question: Could a Republican 2016 candidate battle their own base like Cameron did? Last year a memo circulated by Jan van Lohuizen, a respected Republican pollster, advised GOP insiders that the Republican party needs to update its rhetoric on gays and lesbians. As Andrew Sullivan pointed out at the time, one key point advised Republican candidates to push for gay marriage based on the "conservative nature of gay marriage, to say how it encourages personal responsibility, commitment, stability and family values." That certainly sounds a lot like Cameron's blueprint.
David Cameron: 'I want to export gay marriage around the world'
David Cameron has said he wants “to export” gay marriage around the world.
The Prime Minister spoke of his pride at legalising same sex marriage, just a year after explicitly giving a personal guarantee to do it by 2015 to a reception for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans-sexual community at 10 Downing Street.
Mr Cameron told guests at the same reception one year on that Britain was now “the best place to be gay, lesbian or transgender anywhere in Europe”.
He added: “That is a great achievement. That’s not my measure; that is an internationally recognised measure. But there’s still a lot more work to be done.”
Thanking the ministers and civil servants who helped to pass the legislation into law despite objections from the Tory Right, he said: It’s been a real pleasure to work with you and to deliver this landmark social change for our country, which to me still comes back to the simple word of commitment.”
He said that he wanted to "export" same sex marriage around the world so other countries could follow suit.
He said: “I’ve told the Bill team I’m now going to reassign them because, of course, all over the world people would have been watching this piece of legislation and we’ve set something, I think, of an example of how to pass good legislation in good time.
“Many other countries are going to want to copy this. And, as you know, I talk about the global race, about how we’ve got to export more and sell more so I’m going to export the bill team. I think they can be part of this global race and take it around the world.”
In his speech he told guests four times how proud he was to have been Prime Minister when same sex marriage was legalised in Britain, describing the process of legalising gay marriage as "a long, tortuous parliamentary process".
He said: “I’m personally proud of this. I think I’m probably the only Conservative Prime Minister who’s taken this step, but I’m very proud to have taken it. I think it’s a really good step, and thank you for helping me to stick with the plan and get it done so quickly.”
Mr Cameron said the move was as important to homosexual people and their parents.
He said: "A mum came up to me the other day in the street in my constituency and said, ‘Why I’m so pleased about this is that I’ve got a straight son and a gay daughter, and I now know I’m going to be able to go to both of their weddings, and that makes me really happy'."
During the event Mr Cameron, together with his team of ministers behind the legislation, signed a copy of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
Among the guests were television presenter Clare Balding, and her partner Alice Arnold, a former BBC Radio Four newsreader. Other MPs and ministers who attended included Crispin Blunt and Alan Duncan.
Miss Arnold and Miss Balding are expecting to get married when the law finally allows. Afterwards, Miss Balding told The Daily Telegraph: “It was great – a very good speech by the Prime Minister. He said that he had delivered on a promise and he was very proud to have done so.”
Asked when she would “tie the knot”, Miss Arnold told The Daily Telegraph: “I expect so – not soon but we are not able to yet. You can rest assured that whenever we will keep it will be very quiet.”
Gay couple to sue church over gay marriage opt-out
Wealthy gay dad, Barrie Drewitt-Barlow, says he and his civil partner Tony will go to court to force churches to host gay weddings.
He told the Essex Chronicle that he will take legal action because “I am still not getting what I want”.
A Government Bill legalising gay marriage passed Parliament recently but it included measures to protect churches from being forced to perform same-sex weddings.
Mr Drewitt-Barlow said: “The only way forward for us now is to make a challenge in the courts against the church.
“It is a shame that we are forced to take Christians into a court to get them to recognise us.”
He added: “It upsets me because I want it so much – a big lavish ceremony, the whole works, I just don’t think it is going to happen straight away.
“As much as people are saying this is a good thing I am still not getting what I want.”
The gay couple shot to fame in 1999 when they became the first British same-sex couple to be named on their children’s birth certificates.
They entered a civil partnership in 2006, and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow has reportedly donated around £500,000 to groups lobbying for same-sex marriage.
Last year the Church of England warned that the Government’s plans to redefine marriage could trigger legal problems and end the 500-year link between church and state.
In January this year a leading lawyer cautioned that the plans left the Church of England open to legal challenge.
The Prime Minister was sent a copy of the legal opinion by Lord Carey, a former Archbishop of Canterbury.
In June 2012 Crispin Blunt MP, who was then a Justice Minister, admitted that the Government’s plans could lead to legal issues.
He said the Government is “seeking to protect, indeed, proscribe religious organisations from offering gay marriage”, but he continued: “That may be problematic legally”.
Macmillan Dictionary revises definition of marriage to include same-sex couples
Update reflects new law on gay marriage
The online dictionary Macmillandictionary.com has become the first UK dictionary to revise its definition of marriage to reflect the change in the law allowing same sex couples to marry.
The definition of "marriage" now reads: "The relationship between two people who are husband and wife, or a similar relationship between people of the same sex," with the second clause newly added.
The revision follows the marriage (same sex couples) bill through its crucial reading in the House of Lords on 15 July and accompanies other changes in a significant update to the dictionary. One that is likely to offend grammar purists is the inclusion of "of" as a preposition for use with "bored", as in "bored of".
Macmillandictionary.com editor-in-chief Michael Rundell said the change to the definition of "marriage" might suggest a future redefining of the terms "husband" and "wife". "In a same sex relationship two men are probably not going to refer to themselves as 'wife', but if it's two women, they might, so we need to keep an eye on that."
The Macmillandictionary.com definition of wife is "the woman that a man is married to", and husband is "the man that a woman is married to".
Changes to the official definitions of words are guided by analysis of their usage. "We have a corpus of two billion words, a huge collection of text including books, magazines and recorded speech, which we analyse in great detail to understand frequent and common usage," Rundell said.
The construction "bored of" was now used by "most younger people", he said, adding, "statistically, it's about equally as common as 'bored with'. It will upset some traditionalists, but it's not our job to say we don't like it, or we don't approve".
However the Oxford English Dictionary (OED.com), whose dictionary definitions already include references to same sex marriage, said it "would continue to monitor the way in which the word marriage is used", adding that "dictionaries reflect changes in the use of language, rather than changes in law".
The OED definition of "marriage" is "the condition of being a husband or wife; the relation between persons married to each other; matrimony", with a supplementary line which says "the term is now sometimes used with reference to long-term relationships between partners of the same sex".
Its definitions of husband and wife are set to be revised as part of an ongoing programme, but for now remain less than up-to-date.
The definition of "husband" reads: 1. "The master of a house, the male head of a household." And 2. "A man joined to a woman by marriage. Correlative to wife."
While "wife" reads: 1. "A woman: formerly in general sense; in later use restricted to a woman of humble rank or 'of low employment' (Johnson), esp. one engaged in the sale of some commodity." And 2. "A woman joined to a man by marriage; a married woman. Correlative to husband."
Macmillandictionary.com is an online publication that introduces updates "several times a year", the most recent being a significant revision including technology-driven changes to existing definitions and the addition of new words.
The word "meeting" is defined as "an occasion when people gather to discuss things and make decisions, either in person or using phones, the internet etc", and "camera" is "a piece of equipment used for taking photographs, either as part of a mobile device or as a separate item".
UK Prime Minister Cameron loses Syria war vote
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a vote endorsing military action against Syria by 13 votes Thursday, a stunning defeat for a government which had been poised to join the U.S. in strikes to punish Bashar Assad's regime for an alleged chemical weapons attack this month.
Cameron's nonbinding motion was defeated 285-272 and he conceded after the vote that "the British Parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action."
The prime minister said in terse comments while he believes in a "tough response" to the use of chemical weapons, he would respect the will of the House of Commons.
At the start of the week, Cameron had seemed ready to join Washington in possible military action against Assad over the alleged chemical weapons attack. But the push for strikes against the Syrian regime began to lose momentum as Britain's Labour Party — still smarting from its ill-fated decision to champion the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — announced its opposition to the move.
Cameron gave concessions, promising to give the U.N. inspectors time to report back to the U.N. Security Council and to do his outmost to secure a resolution there. He also promised to give lawmakers a second vote in a bid to assuage fears that Britain was being rushed into an attack on Assad.
In the end, it wasn't enough to dispel lingering suspicions that what was billed as a limited campaign would turn into an Iraq-style quagmire.
Tony Travers, the director of the government department at the London School of Economics, said Cameron had clearly miscalculated when he brought Parliament back early from its summer recess. He said the move had been unpopular even within Cameron's Conservative Party.
"Clearly this will be seen as a defeat, it suggests he got the politics wrong, both with the opposition and with some members of his own party," Travers said. "It's not great, it's not brilliant, nor is it the end of the world for him. He's lost votes before. It doesn't necessarily stop them taking further action, but they are going to have to start again really."
He said there was "not a lot" of public support for British military activity in Syria.