The UK is a leader in theater art with a long
and rich dramatic tradition. In London alone there are
hundreds of theaters. The Shakespeare Globe Theater was
built in 1997 according to ancient tradition to recreate
the Shakespeare scene that existed in the 17th century.
In Edinburgh, a large theater festival is held annually.
The early highlights of British literature include
the historical epic Beowulf
(probably from the 7th century), Geoffrey Chaucer's
Canterbury Tales and William
Shakespeare's Drama. The first modern novel Pamela was written by Samuel Richardson
1740-1741. The following century featured writers such
as Charlotte and Emily Brontė, Jane Austen, George
Eliot, Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens.
Latest population statistics of United Kingdom, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Of the 20th century authors, Joseph Conrad, Virginia
Woolf, EM Forster, George Orwell, Graham Greene and
William Golding are among the most prominent. In recent
years, the playwright Harold Pinter (2005) and novelists
VS Naipaul (2001), Doris Lessing (2007) and Kazuo
Ishiguro (2017) have been awarded the Nobel Prize in
literature. Among a younger generation of writers are
Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, Margaret Drabble, A. L.
Kennedy, Monica Ali, Zadie Smith and Jeanette Winterson.
Children's book author JK Rowling has reached many
readers with the books about the sorcerer boy Harry
From the 1960s Britain became known for its rock and
pop music with groups such as the Beatles, Rolling
Stones and The Clash. Other big names in popular music
are P J Harvey, Adele and Amy Winehouse.
The state support for the visual arts mainly goes to
the purchase of works of art for public museums and
galleries. The British capital is also a center for the
international art market. Well-known art dealers are
Sotheby's and Christie's.
Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of United Kingdom. Artists and albums are also included.
The greatest names in art life are the painters John
Constable, William Turner and Francis Bacon, the
sculptor Henry Moore and the architect and designer
William Morris. Tracey Emin, Lucian Freud and Damien
Hirst are among the most talked about artists of recent
Freedom of the press and opinion prevails.
The British press is characterized by great liberality.
However, its freedom is limited by strict laws such as
slander and breach of confidentiality. For example, the
media may not publish information that may affect legal
processes. There are laws that prohibit the publication
of secret material that may threaten national interests.
In Reporters Without Borders' ranking for 2019, the
UK ranked 33 out of 180 countries, which was an
improvement over the previous year. In 2010, the country
was ranked 19, but slipped after that down the list.
This is largely due to a new law of 2016, the
Investigatory Powers Act, which means that the police
and the security service without any legal
investigation, or that the person involved in the
detention can monitor everyone, including journalists,
communication via computers and telephones.
Reporters Without Borders has also criticized the
authorities' intervention against the Guardian in 2013.
Among other things, the magazine was forced to destroy
hard drives containing documents leaked to American
media by Edward Snowden, which showed how the NSA signal
authority in the US and its British counterpart GCHQ
mass-monitored telecommunications and internet
In August 2018, two journalists were arrested in
Northern Ireland, Trevor Birney and Barry McCaffrey, and
the police seized their investigative material. They
were charged with disseminating secretly stamped
information from the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman
on how the then RUC police department handled the
investigation into the murders of six Catholics in
Loughinisland in 1994. The criminal investigation
against journalists drew sharp criticism from press
freedom organizations, and in June 2019 it was shut
In 2011, it was revealed that newspapers hacked into
and intercepted a large number of private individuals'
phones. The government appointed an inquiry that the
following year recommended that new laws be enacted to
deal with press ethical issues and that a new
independent body should be created with the right to
fine those who violated the rules. There was no
legislation, but a royal treaty that laid down the
guidelines, and it would be voluntary to join the new
press committee. However, most of the press chose to
form their own press ethical organization IPSO. However,
it has received criticism for being toothless, and a
competing group, Impress, was founded in 2016.
The daily newspapers are largely owned by a number of
large media companies, not least the American News
Corporation owned by Rupert Murdoch. In order to prevent
the emergence of monopoly, there is a rule that a media
company must have the government's permission to acquire
a newspaper that is published in more than half a
million copies. Laws also control how much of a radio
and TV company a newspaper group can own.
None of the major newspaper groups have any direct
connection to a political party. However, media magnates
such as Rupert Murdoch, who owns, among other things,
the country's largest newspaper Sun, have a great
Over 1,000 daily and weekly newspapers are published
in the UK. The biggest quality newspapers are the
conservative Daily Telegraph and the Times, the Left
Liberal Guardian and the Financial Times. Since spring
2016, Independent has only been released online. Tabloid
magazines such as Sun, Mirror and Daily Star often
contain sensation-oriented material. In addition, there
are Daily Mail and Daily Express that are placed between
these two groups and are called mid-market newspapers.
They include Metro free magazine.
The largest daily newspapers in Scotland are the
Scotsman and the Herald. In 2014, The National, a new
Scottish daily, launched the idea of an independent
Scotland. This has happened since traditional media has
received sharp criticism among the independence leavers
about bias in its monitoring of the referendum that
year. In Wales, the Western Mail and South Wales Echo
are the largest, and in Northern Ireland the Belfast
Telegraph, Irish New and News Letter.
In addition, there are a number of regional morning,
evening and Sunday newspapers. The leading political
journals include Economist, New Statesman and Spectator.
Declining editions, a failing advertising market and
the difficulty of paying for online publications cause
many newspapers to have financial problems.
There are both state and independent radio and TV.
The State BBC broadcasts TV in several channels. These
are financed with license fees and state funds. However,
the BBC is increasingly pressured financially. In 2015,
the government decided that everyone over 75 years
should not have to pay TV license and that the cost of
this should be borne by the BBC. The media company's
agreement with the state was renewed in 2016, but the
fears that the government was trying to increase its
influence over the BBC were not met.
The terrestrial TV channels are Independent
Television (ITV / Channel 3), Channel 4 and Five. In
Wales, the company sends S4C on Kymrisk. In addition,
pay-TV channels are available. The BBC World Service
radio station broadcasts around the world in a variety
of languages. BBC Radio operates five nationwide and
some 40 regional channels. There are also hundreds of
independent local and regional radio channels.
FACTS - MASS MEDIA
Percentage of the population using the
95 percent (2018)
Number of mobile subscriptions per 100
Compensation for tortured Libyans
Libyan Sami al-Saad and his family are awarded over £ 2 million in damages
for being arrested in Hong Kong and brought to Libya with the help of British
(and US) agents. Sami al-Saad was jailed in Tripoli and tortured. The government
paid the money, but acknowledged no responsibility. The role of the British
intelligence service MI6 was revealed in documents discovered after the fall of
the Gaddafi regime in 2011.
Plans to introduce same-sex marriage
Cameron and a number of other leading conservative politicians express their
support for same-sex marriage. Plans are underway to submit a new bill on this
in 2013. Conservative members have been given the right to vote as they please,
but it is likely that the proposal will be passed with the help of Labor and
Liberal Democrats. The issue creates tension within the Conservative Party, as
many members fear that they will lose votes, especially from older voters.
The economic problems continue
According to OBR (Office of Budget Responsibility), the independent agency
that makes forecasts for the government, the economy will shrink by 0.1 percent
in 2012. Osborne again points out that the state budget will not be in balance
until 2016-2017, a year later than planned.
Strong criticism of the press in Leveson's report
Judge Brian Leveson presents his final report on the British press. Harsh
criticism is directed at parts of the press (and then not just News of the
World) who, according to Leveson, behaved as if there were no ethical rules and
who, through their actions, "destroyed" the lives of innocent people. Criticism
is also directed at politicians from all parties who are considered to have had
too close relations with the press. In the report, which is over 2000 pages,
Leveson recommends, among other things, that new laws be passed to regulate the
British press. He also wants a new independent body to be created to ensure
compliance with the press ethical rules and to impose sanctions on those who
violate the rules (up to a million pounds). Its members should not be allowed to
be active in the newspaper industry, belong to the government or sit in
parliament. Cameron is in favor of most proposals, but opposes legislation to
regulate the press. A line that has strong support in the newspaper world.
No to women who are bishops in the Anglican Church
The General Synod of the Church of England votes against allowing women to
become bishops. The proposal does not go through, even though it is supported by
a clear majority within the Synod, because of opposition from church members.
Archbishop Rowan Williams regrets this. So does Prime Minister Cameron. Even
before, there is a conflict between the Anglican Church and the government that
wants to introduce marriage to people of the same sex, something a majority
within the church opposes.
Labor promises wages to live on
Labor is launching a campaign calling for all wage earners to receive a
salary they can live on, which should be higher than today's minimum wage of
just over £ 6 (those under 21 get less than that).
The government loses EU vote in the lower house
Cameron is hard pressed for EU policy. He has said he does not intend to
approve any increase in the EU's long-term budget, but suffers a defeat in the
House of Commons at the end of October, when 53 Conservative members vote with
Labor demanding it be cut. The opposition's proposal wins by 307 votes against
294 for the government side. However, the change is not binding on the
government. The European Commission has proposed a 5 percent increase for the
years 2014-2020, compared to the previous period. The government is accused from
several quarters of not having contact with reality. This impression was
reinforced by several minor events. A minister is forced to resign after
quarreling with police outside the prime minister's residence at 10 Downing
Street (where he must have called them "underclassmen" and "idiots").
The economy is growing again
Statistics show that the UK economy has started to grow again. During the
third quarter, GDP rose by 1 percent.
Ready for referendum in Scotland
In the middle of the month, Cameron and Scotland's Prime Minister Alex
Salmond agree on the basic conditions for a referendum on Scottish independence
Success for the UK at the London Olympics
The Summer Olympics will be held in London between July 27 and August 12.
Prior to the Olympics, it should be noted that a company responsible for
security has failed to employ all the personnel needed. But the event is a huge
success and the host nation UK is doing exceptionally well and is in third place
in the medal league after the US and China. The Olympics will also be an arena
where London's mayor, the colorful and popular Boris Johnson, gets a lot of
attention, sparking speculation that he plans to try to take over the party
leadership post in the Conservative Party from Cameron.
Julian Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy
Julian Assange, one of the founders of the whistleblower organization
Wikileaks is seeking political asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London since the
Supreme Court rejected his appeal against being extradited to Sweden. In doing
so, he violates the terms of the bail granted in the United Kingdom. Basically,
there is a fear that he will eventually be extradited to the US and prosecuted
for Wikileaks publishing leaked videos, documents and diplomatic mail that
reveal, among other things, abuses that the US military has committed in Iraq
Cameron wants to save on welfare
In an interview in the Daily Mail magazine in late June, Cameron announces
that the Conservative Party plans to make major new cuts to the welfare system.
He talks about coming to terms with what he calls "a culture of rights" within
the system, but admits that several of the savings will not be possible as long
as the conservative governing coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Social
grants with more than three children will lose benefits and housing subsidies
for people under 25 will be abolished (however, it is unclear if this applies to
everyone). In order to receive a job search grant, a person must show that he /
she is actively seeking work. Anyone who has not received a job within two years
must instead do "community service" in order not to lose all contributions.
Cameron hears about media scandal
During the spring, the Leveson investigation continues to hear people about
the eavesdropping business that flared up the year before (see July 2011
and June 2012). Several top politicians are heard,
including former prime ministers John Major and Gordon Brown (before that Blair
has also been interrogated). Major reveals that Rupert Murdoch tried to
influence the then Conservative government's European policy in exchange for
pledge of support from the Murdoch Group's newspapers. Prime Minister Cameron is
also called for questioning. Great attention is paid to Cameron's private
friendship with Rebekah Brooks, who held a high position within the group.
Brooks has been arrested in connection with the scandal and is accused of trying
to hide evidence of telephone interception by police. Labor accuses Minister of
Culture Jeremy Hunt of lying to the House of Commons about his role when
Murdoch's News Corporation Group 2011 proposed to take over the entire pay-TV
channel BSkyB. Labor wants Hunts behavior to be investigated,
Party for the Queen
Queen Elizabeth celebrates 60 years on the throne, and the British get an
extra day off to celebrate it.
Success for Labor in local elections
Local elections in England, Wales and Scotland will be a clear success for
Labor, which wins 838 new municipal terms and takes the upper hand in Cardiff
and Birmingham, among others. Labor is particularly good for Labor in Wales,
where the party gets its best result since 1996. The major loser becomes the
Liberal Democrats who lose power in their stronghold in Cambridge. Ukip notes a
success with 13 percent of the vote in England, but it gives only five new
municipal mandates. The turnout is low, almost every third voter has voted.
Several cities Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Bradford,
Coventry, Wakefield, Leeds and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, vote no to introduce direct
mayor elections. Only Bristol votes yes. In Scotland, both the SNP and Labor are
progressing, while the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats are losing
mandate. In most municipalities there is no clear majority, much because
Scotland uses a different, proportional, electoral system. The only major
success for the Conservative Party is that Boris Johnson, with a slight margin,
is re-elected as mayor of London, but the victory margin is just under three
percent to Labor candidate Ken Livingstone.
Clear sign for expulsion of Islamist preacher
The European Court of Justice gives Britain the right to expel the militant
Muslim preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri to the United States, where he is charged
with terrorist offenses. He is accused, among other things, of supporting the
al-Qaeda terrorist network and of being involved in a hostage frame in Yemen in
1998, where 16 Westerners were captured. He is also accused of participating in
and organizing a terrorist training camp in the US state of Oregon. The United
States requested him extradition as early as 2004. In 2006, he was sentenced to
seven years in prison in the United Kingdom for incitement to murder following
statements he made as an imam at the Radical Mosque in Finsbury Park in London.
(Hamza is deported to the United States in October 2012).
Osborne announces new cuts
Among other things, Minister of Finance Osborne cuts child allowances for
those who earn the most, and reduces the contributions for many pensioners. At
the same time, the income tax for high-income earners (those who earn more than
£ 150,000 a year) is reduced from 50 to 45 percent. Instead, Osborne hopes to
raise money through a new 7 percent tax on sales of properties worth over £ 2