Let's get straight to the point, Politics. It may not be something that will interest many of you, or even myself, but I will need to get to grips with UK politics. When finding new stories I will be chatting to councillors, so I better get my head around the facts first.

L o c a l  P o l i t i cs
The set up to UK government is confusing, even to those who live here. When talking about local politics you just generally think of your county council, but actually I have learnt there are two tiers.

The highest tier in local politics is the County Council
The second tier is the District Council and City council.
They are both on a par and are Unitary authority

Representatives in the County Council are councillors elected by constituencies.

The Cabinet are high ranking members of the government/
Civil Servants are not elected, they have neutral political opinion (whereas councillors have a political view)

N a t i o n a l   P o l i t i c s

Journalists are known as the 'Fourth Estate' they have the privilege to report from court and in parliament this 'Qualified Priviliege' is thanks to John Wilkes
John Wilkes, his statue is in Fleet street

John Wilkes is a hero to Journalists. He was the mayor of London and a member of parliament, elected three times from prison.
He founded the paper, The North Briton and established the privilege for Journalists to report from court.

When reporting from Parliament it is Statutory Qualified Privilege.
A Journalist can say anything they want about members of the parliament as long as it is 'Fair Comment' but you cannot talk about their private lives.

Cartoonist Steve Bell does this brilliantly through the use of comical cartoons.

Fair Comment: it must be supported by the facts, honestly held, in public interest and not malicious.

BUT on TV and radio you must have balance under the Representation of the People and Broadcasting act. Breaking RPA is a criminal act. However Newspapers are not always balanced, and they do not need to be.

Rules of Privilege
- You can report anything from parliament
Occasionally there have been occasions where MP'S have chosen to break the privilege for example this happened in the Ryan Giggs' case.

Voting in the commons
Division Parties try to control the way in which MP's vote through Whipping unless there's a free vote.
Whipps: A party that ensures party discipline.
A free vote: Beyond party politics

Mp's-Cabinet-Shadow Cabinet- PMQ
Prime ministers questions is an event every Wednesday where the leader of the opposing party asks the Prime Minister questions.

H o u s e    O f    L o r d s
All new law's have to be approved by both the Houses' of Parliament ( except tax raising measures which are for MP's alone)
-Peers are not elected
-They are not paid salary, they can only claim expenses
-Do not represent a constituency
-Not allowed to vote on changes to taxation and finance

Lords never have the final word, though the government may choose to compromise

A new law begins as a green paper it comes back as a white paper that will be submitted to Parliament, the white papers first goes to:
First reading
Committee State
Report State
Third Reading
House Of Lords
Consideration of Lords amendments
Royal Assent any constitutional monarch formally approves an act of his or her nation's parliament, making it a law.

Hansard is the official report of the proceedings of parliament, published daily.

Party Funding
In history people would become part of political parties but it is no longer the case. The parties need to get money and party membership has fallen dramatically. So parties rely heavily on wealthy donas, such as Lloyd George. In the UK political parties need money.

Well that's all about politics for now...
I hope I've made this interesting for you. The notes should help me greatly!

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