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Guide to all the weird and wonderful British Political Parties

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Hi everybody, this is the more boring part of the web page! This is a guide (not made by me) about the weird and wonderful world of British Political Parties! This is just if you are interested. If you have a opinion you would like to share with everyone or want to tell me what you think, You know the address (ajj858@aol.com) thanks alot! AJ

ACMFTP Anti-Common Market Free Trade Party

A small party which opposed EC membership from a right-wing point of view. It contested a few seats in byelections in 1979-83. In 1982 it changed its name to the Free Trade Anti-Common Market Party. No seats have been contested since 1983.

Highest vote: D.W. Bundy (Hertfordshire, South-West, 1979(13/12)) - 288 votes, 0.8%.

APNI Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's centre party, allied to the Liberal Democrats in Great Britain. It was founded in April 1970 and is fairly rare in Northern Ireland politics in being non-sectarian, and unlike the SDLP, not on any particular side over the constitutional issue. The Party has had one MP though only through defection - Stratton Mills joined in 1972 but retired in 1974. The Party leader is Dr John Alderdice, a 41 year old psychiatrist and Belfast City Councillor.

Address: 88 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HE. Web site: http://www.unite.net/customers/Alliance Highest vote: Dr. J.T. Alderdice (Belfast, East, 1987) - 10,574 votes, 32.1%.

BNP British National Party

The BNP was formed in 1982 from a split in the National Front, led by John Tyndall. Its political stance is far right and the group has been linked to the group 'Combat 18' (the first and eighth letters of the alphabet being Adolf Hitler's initials). The BNP has elected one councillor, Derek Beackon, for Millwall Ward of Tower Hamlets Borough from 1993-4. Their headquarters was set up in Welling, south-east London in 1992 without planning permission, claiming to be a bookshop.

Address: 154 Upper Wickham Lane, Welling DA16. Web site: http://www.webcom.com/bnp/ Highest vote: J.H. Tyndall (Barking and Dagenham, Dagenham, 1994(9/6)) - 1,511 votes, 7.0%.

C The Conservative and Unionist Party

The Conservatives are the largest political party in the UK. The origins of the party are back in the late seventeenth century when a group of people supporting the Duke of York's claim on the throne were given the nickname 'Tories' (an anglicised form of the Irish gaelic word 'Toraidhe', meaning pursuer). They later became a political opposition to William and Mary's supporters, the Whigs. In 1830 at the suggestion of J.W. Croker MP, the party changed its name to Conservative.

The party absorbed the breakaway Liberal Unionists in 1912 and the Liberal Nationals in 1948, but its Northern Ireland branch separated in 1972. Pressure by grassroots activists forced the central party headquarters to set up a separate organisation there but this new group is finding it difficult to attract many votes - especially after the loss of its popular leader who has retired from politics.

The politics of the Conservative Party are those of the broad right wing. The party has been in government for much of the twentieth century up to the present day, but has been losing support in recent byelections and may face an uphill struggle to be re-elected. The current leader is Rt. Hon. Iain Duncun-Smith, MP.

Address: Conservative Central Office, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3HH. Web site: http://www.conservative-party.org.uk Highest vote: E.E. Gates (Lancashire, Middleton and Prestwich, 1940(22/5)) - 32,036 votes, 98.7%.

CNP Cornish National Party

The Cornish National Party was founded in 1975 by John Whetter, formerly the leader(?) of Mebyon Kernow. Unlike Mebyon Kernow (qv) the Cornish National Party seeks independence. Whetter has been its only candidate and he only stood in the 1979 and 1983 general elections.

Highest vote: J.C.A. Whetter (Cornwall, North Cornwall, 1983) - 364 votes, 0.7%.

Com Communist Party of Great Britain

Founded in 1920, the Communist Party of Great Britain failed to survive the collapse of the Soviet bloc. The party had the official approval as the British representative of the Third International, and until 1924, Communist candidates could and did receive Labour Party endorsement. It also had a well-distributed newspaper, the Daily Worker (from 1966, the Morning Star).

The party had some early and localised electoral success, and won two seats in the 1945 election (the coal-mining seat of West Fife, and Mile End in the bomb-damaged East End) but their support faded with the Cold War. The last good performance by a Communist was clearly a personal vote for Jimmy Reid, leader of the Upper Clyde work-in, in the February 1974 General Election.

As a result of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the party reorganised and renamed itself 'Democratic Left'. The Morning Star and some of its supporters founded the Communist Party of Britain (qv), and another group refounded the Communist Party of Great Britain (qv).

Democratic Left publishes 'New Times' and advocated tactical voting against Conservative candidates in 1992, not putting up any candidates of its own. Nina Temple is the General Secretary.

Address (for Democratic Left): 6 Cynthia Street, London N1 9JF. Highest vote: S. Saklatvala (Battersea, North, 1924) - 15,096 votes, 50.9%.

Com L Communist League

A small splinter group from the Communist Party of Great Britain (qv) which appeared early in its collapse. They fought three seats in the 1992 election.

Address: 47 The Cut, London SE1 8LF. Highest vote: A. Buchanan (Manchester, Central, 1992) - 167 votes, 0.5%.

Cor P Corrective Party

Was formed in 1988 by Lindi St.Clair, aka Miss Whiplash after her political clients had suggested she called for legal brothels heself because they were too embarassed to do so. The main policies of the party challenge the UK's archaic taboo and call for the UK's sex laws to be brought in line with mainland European countries where Brothels and Pornography are tolerated and controlled.

There are other policies too, like, Legalize Cannabis, and Quadruple Wages for the Military. (We think it's criminal that our soldiers for example go to war and get killed for say 100pw). Further, they can go to war and get killed yet they cant buy sexual services or read porn mags!

We have stood for 10 byelections and 1 Euro election (11 in all). Highest vote, surprisingly was Eastbourne a town renowned for elderly folk. Lowest vote was Vale Of Glamorgan (35 votes). We are sure the votes vere miscounted as we saw more than that when we monitored the count!

In 1992 the party leader, Lindi St.Clair, was about be bankrupted for 112,000 tax on prostitution earnings and this forced her out of the general election because, a) she had no money left for the 50 deposits needed (25,000), and b), bankrupts are banned from standing. Only ONE Corrective Candidate stood, who raised his own deposit, and that was in Vauxhall (I think - dont have my map at time of writing).

During Lindi's actual bankruptcy (May 1993-May 1996) the Corrective Party went on 'hold' and temporarily ceased to function, but now Lindi is discharged she is steadily gathering old and new activists and raising cash to get the party back into the political arena.

We are hoping to fight the Beckenham byelection, this time we won't be so diplomatic and will call ourselves the CORRECTIVE - LEGALIZE BROTHEL party.

Statement above supplied by the Corrective Party.

Address: 116 Eastcombe Avenue, London SE7. Highest vote: Miss L.C.L.L-R. Whiplash (Eastbourne, 1990(18/10)) - 216 votes, 0.5%.

CPB Communist Party of Britain

This is one of the larger groups which split from the Communist Party of Great Britain (qv) in the early 1990s, mainly because it retained the allegiance of the newspaper the 'Morning Star'. It has not fought parliamentary elections.

Address: 3 Ardleigh Road, London N1.

CPGB Communist Party of Great Britain (post-1992)

Founded from the remnants of the original Communist Party of Great Britain (qv), this is a small group which has localised strength in Brent and Rhondda. The party fought four seats in the 1992 General election, and the 1993 Newbury byelection.

Address: BCM Box 928, London WC1N 3XX. Highest vote: M.W. Fischer (Mid Glamorgan, Rhondda, 1992) - 245 votes, 0.5%. Website: http://www.duntone.demon.co.uk/CPGB/

FP Fellowship Party

This Party was founded in 1955 in Woolwich, by Ronald Mallone, a lecturer in English language and liberal studies. Its policies are pacifist and internationalist. Mallone, who is now 80, remains the leader.

Highest vote: R.S. Mallone (Greenwich, 1971(8/7)) - 792 votes, 3.6%.

GP Green Party

The first showing of the principal British political representatives of the environmental movement was in 1974 when the 'People Movement' nominated several candidates on a policy of return to agrarianism. In 1975 they reorganised as the Ecology Party and moved to a policy of concern for the environment generally. They changed their name to the Green Party on 21st September 1985 after a steady advance in popularity.

They were catapulted to national attention in the early summer of 1989 when they announced what looked like the risky strategy of contesting every seat at the European Parliament elections of that June; in a few weeks they built up a considerable following and eventually polled 15% of the vote - most of which seems to have come from former Alliance voters disillusioned with their party's then-current disorganisation.

The party had fallen back out of the national poll ratings by the end of 1990 and suffered from splits in the early 1990s, but it did begin to win a firm base of support in local elections, particularly in Stroud and the student wards of Oxford. The 1996 local elections were good for the party - it gained four seats. The party seems to be moving more into the European mode of being a more left-wing alternative to the mainstream social democratic parties. The party does not have a single leader but does issue a list of a designated national speakers of whom Jean Lambert is the most frequently quoted.

Address: 1a Waterlow Road, London N19. Web site: http://www.greenparty.org.uk/ Highest vote: H. Bewley (Lambeth, Vauxhall, 1989(15/6)) - 1,767 votes, 6.1%.

ICP International Communist Party

Another group which split from the Communist Party of Great Britain (qv).

Highest vote: D. O'Sullivan (Newham, Newham North West, 1992) - 100 votes, 0.4%.

IFM Irish Freedom Movement

The Irish Freedom Movement contested the City London and Westminster South in 1992, against the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Brooke. The group is a front organisation for the Revolutionary Communist Party (qv).

Only vote: A. Farrell (Cities of London and Westminster, City of London and Westminster South, 1992) - 107 votes, 0.3%.

IPB Islamic Party of Britain

This party was founded in 1990 as a partial result of the controversy over the book "The Satanic Verses" when the (usually) Labour MPs in areas with a large islamic population tended to defend Salman Rushdie. The party is based in Bradford and its leader is an English convert, Daud Pidcock (who has changed his first name from David).

Web site: http://www.muslims.net/islamparty/islamparty.htm Highest vote: D.M. Pidcock (Bradford, North, 1990(8/11)) - 800 votes, 2.2%.

L Liberal Party

The oldest political party in Britain has seen some radical changes recently. Formed originally from the supporters of William and Mary, and calling themselves 'Whigs', in the early to mid nineteenth century opponents took to calling them 'Liberals' to imply laxity of values. Progressively this insult was adopted and proclaimed by its targets. The Liberal Party was in office for much of the late nineteenth century under Gladstone but his adoption of Irish home rule led to a split; a second split occurred between supporters of Asquith and Lloyd George from 1916.

The rise of the Labour Party presented the Liberals with problems. Initially they gave Labour a toe-hold, a secret non-opposition pact being signed before the 1906 election. In 1924, with Labour having more seats than the Liberals but fewer than the Conservatives, Asquith supported Labour Ministers into office only to turn against them a few months later - thereby incurring the wrath of moderate supporters of both sides and relegating the party to third fiddle from there on.

A modest revival started in the late 1950s and there were upturns in the early 1960s and mid-1970s which ratcheted up support. In 1981, a split in the Labour Party prompted the Liberals to form an electoral Alliance with the breakaway Social Democratic Party which proved successful in attracting more votes but not in taking second place in the subsequent 1983 election. The two parties merged in 1988 to become known, eventually, as the Liberal Democrats (qv); a minority of members disagreed and are continuing to organise under the original name.

Address: Pine Grove Centre, 1a Pine Grove, Southport PR9 9AQ Web site: http://www.libparty.demon.co.uk Highest vote: Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George (Carnarvon District, 1918) - 13,993 votes, 92.7%.

Lab Labour Party

The principal British representative of democratic socialism on a western European model. The Labour Party was founded on 27th/28th February 1900 by a special conference of the Trades Unions Congress, originally intended just as a pressure group to make sure the other parties adopted policies in support of labour. It was called the Labour Representation Committee until after the 1906 election and did not adopt a socialist policy until the new constitution was adopted in 1918.

Labour profited immensely from the splits of the Liberal Party in the 1920s, governing for a few months in 1924 and topping the poll in 1929 only to suffer a split itself when the Prime Minister and several senior Ministers founded 'National Labour'.

At the end of the second world war in 1945 Labour won a landslide General election victory and implemented a massive program of national- isation which set the tone for the post-war consensus which did not end until the Thatcher government. Labour was in government during most of the 60s and 70s under Harold Wilson but lost power in 1979 and succumbed to left-right infighting and a breakaway by the Social Democrats (qv) on the right.

Labour managed to save second place at the 1983 election and rebuilt under the Kinnock leadership but suffered two blows in the 1990s - the failure to defeat the Conservatives in the 1992 election, and the early death of leader John Smith in 1994. The new leader, Tony Blair, has embarked on what seems an electorally successful path of creating 'new Labour'.

Address: John Smith House, 150 Walworth Road, London SE17 1JT. Web site: http://www.poptel.org.uk/labour-party/ Highest vote: J. Milner (Leeds, South-East, 1929(1/8)) - 11,804 votes, 95.8%

Lab/Co-op Labour Party/Co-operative Party joint candidate

The Co-operative Party has been affiliated to the Labour Party (qv) since 1918 in one form or another. The party maintains a separate existence in organisation but the number of candidates is limited to thirty and the party issues no separate manifesto.

Address: Victory House, Leicester Square, London WC2H 7LE.

L Dem Liberal Democrat

The Liberal Democrats were formed, originally under the name 'Social and Liberal Democrats', from a merger between the Liberal Party (qv) and the Social Democratic Party (qv) in 1988. They are the third largest British political party and have a centrist stance. One of the major issues to concern them is electoral reform - they suffer in general elections because their support is spread to evenly and they have few pockets of lots of support. The current leader is Paddy Ashdown.

Address: 4 Cowley Street, London SW1P 3NB. Web site: http://www.libdems.org.uk Highest vote: D.D. Rendel (Berkshire, Newbury, 1993(6/5)) - 37,590 votes, 65.1%.

MK Mebyon Kernow (Sons of Cornwall)

Mebyon Kernow are not a Cornish nationalist party. They seek to promote Cornish unity and the use of the Cornish language but do not want seperation from the UK. Membership is open to all Cornish people and at one stage, a majority of Cornish MPs were members. The party has ceased contesting parliamentary elections but still fights local elections.

Highest vote: C.F. Murley (Cornwall, St. Ives, 1979) - 1,662 votes, 4.0%.

MLP Moderate Labour Party

The Moderate Labour Party turned up in 1987 fighting to marginal northern constituencies (Batley and Spen, Mansfield) in which a left- wing Labour candidate had been selected. The setting up of the party was prompted by the NUM strike of 1984-5. In Mansfield their candidate nearly split the Labour vote enough to allow the Conservative to win.

Highest vote: B. Marshall (Nottinghamshire, Mansfield, 1987) - 1,580 votes, 3.0%.

M Lab Militant Labour

In 1964 an organisation called the Revolutionary Socialist League was set up with the intention of entering the Labour Party and forcing the Labour Party to adopt Revolutionary Socialist League policies. The RSL was known popularly as the 'Militant tendency' and published a newspaper by that name. In 1982 the Labour conference determined that members of Militant were not eligible for Labour membership and a process of expulsion of those Militant members was begun.

Militant had infiltrated the Labour Party to such an extent by this time that Liverpool MBC was run by them, and five Labour candidates at the 1983 election (two of whom won) were members of the tendency. A third MP joined in 1987 but died in 1990; the two others were expelled in 1991.

In 1992 the Militant leadership expelled their guru, Ted Grant, and ended his policy of entrism. Scottish Militant Labour (qv) nominated a candidate in the general election of that year who performed well, and the England and Wales parts launched Militant Labour as a separate party in 1993.

The policies of Militant are those of the far left. Militant's original scepticism about social reform has disappeared and the party is now becoming one more of the '57 varieties' of hard left politics.

Address: Petrol House, Hepscott Road, London E9. Highest vote: Have not so far contested a Parliamentary election.

MRLP Monster Raving Loony Party

The full name of this party is 'The Official Monster Raving Loony Party'. It was set up in 1983 by David Sutch, a rock musician who had been contesting elections since 1963. The efforts of this party to liven up elections are greatly appreciated by many; its main political effect has been to beat the SDP in the first 1990 Bootle byelection - which finally convinced SDP leaders that there wasn't much point in continuing the party. David Sutch has changed his christian names from David Edward to Lord David in order to incorporate his mock title.

Web Site: http://www.raving-loony.pv.org/ Highest vote: L.D. Sutch (Rotherham, 1994(5/5)) - 1,114 votes, 4.0%.

Nat Party National Party

The National Party was originally formed as the National Front Constitutional Movement, one of the groups which split from the National Front (qv) in the early 1980s. Unlike the others it did not join with John Tyndall's leadership and maintained a separate existence in fighting the 1983 elections, and the 1984 Enfield Southgate byelection.

Highest vote: B.F. Franklin (Barnet, Hendon North, 1983) - 194 votes, 0.5%.

NB New Britain

This is a small far right political group, probably a revival of a mid-70s New Britain Party which was founded by Dennis Delderfield.

Address: Suite 23, Salisbury House, London Wall, London EC2M 5QQ. Only vote: M.H. Nattrass (Dudley, West, 1994(15/12)) - 146 votes, 0.3%.

NCP New Communist Party

Founded in 1977 when the "British Road to Socialism", the programme of the Communist Party of Great Britain, moved away from the Marxist-Leninist philosophy of the Party. It publishes the weekly The New Worker which will have acheived 1000 issues in early May 1998. The NCP is known as the New Communist Party of Britain NCPB internationally and has friendly relations with most Communist parties around the world.

It does not stand in elections, and always calls for a Labour vote.

Address: PO Box 73, London, SW11 2PQ Website: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2853/

ND National Democrats

The National Democrats is the new name for the National Front. The party was originally formed in 1966, a result of a merger of the League of Empire Loyalists and the (first) British National Party. The Greater Britain Movement joined the next year.

National Front politics are far right, nationalistic, and racist. The party advocates repatriation of all coloured immigrants, and any white spouse of a coloured immigrant. Economically it is protectionist and supportive of greater power for employers against employees.

The NF has suffered from several splits. In 1974 John Kingsley Read managed to oust John Tyndall as leader, but found himself frustrated by the courts who declared it illegal; he left and founded the National Party (qv). In the early 1980s, with the NF suffering a twin blow from the conventional right soaking up its support and mass popular opposition through the Anti-Nazi League, the party split. A large proportion followed John Tyndall into what eventually became the (second) British National Party (qv); a smaller group founded the 'National Front Constitutional Movement'.

In 1987 the NF stood no candidates, citing the deposit increase as the reason, though electoral unpopularity was probably the key factor. They stood 14 candidates in 1992 but failed to poll more than 1.2% in any constituency. In 1996 they renamed themselves the 'National Democrats'; what difference this marked in policy is yet to be determined. There is a small group still using the old name.

Address: PO Box 2269, London E6. Web site: http://www.netlink.co.uk/users/natdems/ Highest vote: M.G.A. Webster (West Bromwich, 1973(24/5)) - 4,789 votes, 16.0%.

NHSSP National Health Service Supporters Party

The NHS Supporters Party is the archetype of the failed single issue party. It was founded in the aftermath of the 1989 Vale of Glamorgan byelection by Dr. Christopher Tiarks, who had stood as an 'Independent - Protect the Health Service' candidate and polled a fairly healthy 847 votes. The party announced plans to fight fifty, possibly one hundred, marginal Conservative seats at the next general election and appealed for support. However, at the next byelection (in Mid-Staffordshire), the party's candidate came ninth in the poll and barely made three figures. The party swiftly lost momentum and disappeared entirely.

Only vote: Dr. C.A. Abell (Staffordshire, Mid-Staffordshire, 1990(22/3)) - 102 votes, 0.2%.

N Lab P National Labour Party

The name of this small party is somewhat misleading. It is in fact a party of the far right. It appears to have split from the National Front in the early 1980s.

Highest vote: J.W. King (Kent, Ashford, 1983) - 456 votes, 1.0%.

NLP Natural Law Party

The Natural Law Party was founded within a few days of the 1992 General Election by followers of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who promotes Transcendental Meditation as a basis of world harmony. The party emerged from nowhere to fight nearly half of all seats, claiming to have selected candidates as a result of psychometric tests. Late in the campaign it claimed to have abandoned its own election and formed an alliance with all parties opposed to single-party rule.

Most people treated the NLP as a bit of light relief especially when they practiced 'Yogic Flying' (involving bouncing up and down with folded legs) and claimed to be able to eliminate taxes. Their candidates in general polled derisory votes but they have continued to fight byelections. The Party leader is Dr. Geoffrey Clements.

Address: Mentmore Towers, Leighton Buzzard, Mentmore, Buckinghamshire LU7 0QH. Web site: http://www.u-net.com/~natlaw/ Highest vote: A. Groucutt (Warley, East, 1992) - 561 votes, 1.5%.

PAL Party of Associates with Licensees

This Party represented the interests of landlords of public houses. It fought Finchley against then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1983.

Only vote: B.C. Wareham (Barnet, Finchley, 1983) - 27 votes, 0.1%.

PC Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales)

Plaid Cymru was founded in 1925 and rapidly found a toehold in the heavily Welsh-speaking north-west corner of Wales, displacing the Liberals and Labour. The first seat was won in a 1966 byelection in Carmarthen after the death of Lady Megan Lloyd George; the winner was Gwynfor Evans who had President of Plaid Cymru since 1945.

Plaid Cymru does not seek outright independence for Wales, unlike the Scottish National Party (qv) for Scotland. Plaid does want more recognition for the Welsh language and a strong measure of devolution. Its policies are in general left-wing.

Plaid Cymru has now built up its tally of seats to four, all on the west and north-west coast. Two of the seats now look safe. The current leader is Dafydd Wigley, MP.

Address: 51 Cathedral Road, Caerdydd, Cymru CF1 9HD. Web site: http://www.plaid-cymru.wales.com Highest vote: D.W. Wigley (Gwynedd, Caernarfon, 1992) - 21,439 votes, 59.0%.

Rainbow Rainbow Alliance

As the name suggests the Rainbow Alliance is not one single party but a loose association of several groups on the fringe of politics. Some are less than serious. The party has fought several byelections, sometimes nominating more than one candidate in the same election. In the 1992 election it sponsored three fringe candidates in Hampstead and Highgate. The unofficial leader is George Weiss.

Highest vote: R.C. Sidwell (Derbyshire, West Derbyshire, 1986(8/5)) - 348 votes, 0.7%.

Rev CP Revolutionary Communist Party

This is a party of the ultra-left but not one of the '57 varieties'. RCP politics are complicated by a desire by the party's leadership to always have a distinctive stance. Sometimes this can be refreshing; at other times, infuriating. The RCP opposes restrictions on freedom of speech, including on racists (vehemently opposing the SWP front Anti- Nazi League on this); it opines that AIDS poses no threat to straight people, and it supports a generally pro-Serb line on the Yugoslav wars. The RCP also fights elections occasionally. In 1987 its candidates used the name 'Red Front'. The party publishes 'Living Marxism'.

Address: BM RCP, London WC1N 3XX. Web site: http://www.junius.co.uk/ Highest vote: D.P. Hallsworth (Merseyside, Knowsley North, 1986(13/11)) - 664 votes, 2.1%.

RLGGP Raving Loony Green Giant Party

A result of a split in the Monster Raving Loony Party (qv). The Raving Loony Green Giant Party is led by Stuart Basil Fawlty Hughes.

Highest vote: S.B.F. Hughes (Devon, Honiton, 1992) - 1,442 votes, 2.3%.

SDLP Social Democratic and Labour Party

The SDLP is the main constitutional nationalist party in Northern Ireland. It was founded in 1970 from a merger between various other groups, principally the Republican Labour Party led by Gerry Fitt who became the new party's leader. But Fitt fell out with the party and left it in 1979; the leader since then has been John Hume, since 1983 the MP for Foyle. The party gained seats slowly in the 1980s, finishing by taking Belfast West from Sinn Fein (qv) President, Gerry Adams. John Hume has received many plaudits for his work for peace in Northern Ireland by attempting to bring the more violent nationalists into the political process.

Address: 611c Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7GT. Web site: http://www.sdlp.ie/sdlp/ Highest vote: J. Hume (Foyle, 1992) - 26,710 votes, 51.5%.

SDP Social Democratic Party

The SDP was founded in 1981 by four ex-Labour Cabinet Ministers, with the intention of establishing a centrist party and leaving the Labour Party on the left-wing fringe. It eventually attracted 27 Labour MPs to defect, and one Conservative, and formed an electoral alliance with the Liberal Party (qv) under which the two parties fought on a common list of candidates under a single manifesto. After some considerable byelection success, the rising popularity of Margaret Thatcher prevented a general election breakthrough and the Alliance failed to secure second place.

The 1987 general election was something of a farce due to the presence of two leaders (David Steel of the Liberal Party, David Owen of the SDP). After the election pressure grew for the two parties to merge under a single leader, pressure which was unsuccessfully resisted by David Owen. Owen refused to join the new merged party which turned into the Liberal Democrats (qv) and continued on under the SDP banner.

Despite some success in the Richmond byelection of 1989 (when the SDP candidate won a strong second place), the Owenite rump failed to attract much support. The end came in the first Bootle byelection of 1990, when the Monster Raving Loony Party (qv) polled more than twice as many votes. Owen decided to wind up the national party organisation and the two MPs sat as Independent Social Democrats. Some candidates and local organisation remains to this day.

Highest vote: R.A.R. Maclennan (Highland, Caithness and Sutherland, 1987) - 12,338 votes, 53.6%.

SF Sinn Fein (Ourselves Alone)

Sinn Fein were founded in 1908 by Arthur Griffith who felt that the cause of self-government for Ireland could better be achieved if Irish MPs were to ignore Westminster and instead form a government in Ireland. The Irish Nationalists supported the UK government in the First World War which helped Sinn Fein gain strength; the UK government's reaction to the 1916 Easter Rising (hanging fourteen of its leaders) also increased Irish grievances and Sinn Fein support such that in 1918 they won a clear majority of Irish seats and led the successful struggle for Home Rule.

Sinn Fein was late in reappearing during the recent Irish troubles. The provisional part of the Irish republican movement did not contest elections until the 1981 hunger strikes when Bobby Sands won the Fermanagh and South Tyrone byelection as an 'Anti-H Block' candidate; after his death, Owen Carron held the seat until 1983; Gerry Adams also held Belfast West from 1983 to 1992 and is the President of the Party.

Address: 51/53 Falls Road, Belfast Web site: http://www.serve.com/rm/sinnfein/index.html Highest vote: J. McBride (Mayo, West, 1918) - 10,195 votes, 86.7%.

SML Scottish Militant Labour

Scottish Militant Labour was launched in 1992, the first part of Militant to abandon the policy of entrism and fight elections on its own. It fought one seat in the 1992 election, Glasgow Pollok, where the candidate was the charismatic organiser of the Scottish Anti-Poll Tax Union, Tommy Sheridan, at the time serving a term of imprisonment in HMP Saughton, Edinburgh. Despite the party's extremist image and imprisoned candidate, they polled well and came in second place. The party has since fought several local elections and won some seats in Glasgow.

Only vote: T. Sheridan (Glasgow, Pollok, 1992) - 6,287 votes, 19.3%.

SNP Scottish National Party

The Scottish National Party is the result of a 1934 merger between the National Party of Scotland (founded 1928) and the Scottish Party (founded 1932). Unlike Plaid Cymru (qv) its initial success was slow, though the party did take advantage of the electoral truce to win a seat at the end of the war. The first seat won in peace-time was Hamilton, won by Winnie Ewing in a 1967 byelection; Donald Stewart won Western Isles in the 1970 general election.

The party was boosted by the discovery of North Sea Oil. The slogan 'It's Scotland's Oil!' was a potent one and the SNP won 7 seats in the February 1974 election (increased to 11 in October). The SNP threat seemed to persuade the other parties of the need for devolution, but when the referendum of March 1979 provided an insufficient majority by the rules, the SNP switched away from the Labour government and voted it down - provoking an election in which all but two of their MPs were defeated.

The SNP has managed to build back some of its support but not yet to the level it used to have. It is a firm advocate of Independence for Scotland within the European Union.

Address: 6 North Charlotte Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JH, Scotland. Web site: http://www.snp.org.uk Highest vote: D.J. Stewart (Western Isles, 1974(F)) - 10,079 votes, 67.1%.

SPGB Socialist Party of Great Britain

The Socialist Party is distinctive among the far left in having a long heritage - it was founded in 1904. It also has a belief in the parliamentary road to socialism and so contests a few elections on occasion. It publishes the 'Socialist Standard' which has unusually good distribution.

Address: 52 Clapham High Street, London SW4. Highest vote: J.L. Read (Bethnal Green, 1959) - 899 votes, 2.4%.

SWP Socialist Workers' Party

The demonstrators' friend, the SWP were formed in the mid 1970s from a group called the 'International Socialists' who had printed the newspaper 'Socialist Worker'. The SWP are the archetypal far left group, always taking part in any people's struggles that may be going on and usually attempting to take them over. The SWP forms many front organisations to do this, principally the Anti-Nazi League, which are effectively there just to recruit members into the main party.

The SWP has given up on elections since doing very badly in them in the mid-70s.

Address: PO Box 82, London E3. Highest vote: D.W. Hayes (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central, 1976(4/11)) - 184 votes, 1.9%.

TWP The Worker's Party [NI]

The Workers' Party is the last remnant of 'Official Sinn Fein' - the organisation from which provisional Sinn Fein split in the early 1970s. It was allied to the 'Official IRA' which had a ceasefire. The party proceeded to change its name to 'Republican Clubs - The Workers' Party' and eventually 'The Workers' Party'. The party is left wing and supports Irish nationalism.

Web site: http://www.workers-party.org Highest vote: T. French (Upper Bann, 1986(23/1)) - 6,978 votes, 19.2%.

UDUP Ulster Democratic Unionist Party

The Democratic Unionists are the more hardline of the two main Unionist parties. The party was founded by Rev. Ian Paisley in 1970 under the name Protestant Unionist, changing its name in 1971. The party advanced in strength in the 1970s and now has three seats.

Address: 296 Albertbridge Road, Belfast BT5 4GX. Web site: http://www.dup.org.uk Highest vote: Rev. I.R.K. Paisley (North Antrim, 1986(23/1)) - 33,937 votes, 97.4%.

UPUP Ulster Popular Unionist Party

This is a small party formed by supporters of James Kilfedder, independent Unionist MP for North Down from 1975 until his death in 1995. Shortly after his 1979 victory over official Unionist challenge he set up the Ulster Progressive Unionist Party, but changed its name when he discovered that the same name was used by a fringe party allied to loyalist terrorists. The party, as well as sponsoring Kilfedder himself, also fought local elections in North Down.

Highest vote: J.A. Kilfedder (North Down, 1986(23/1)) - 30,793 votes, 79.2%.

UU Ulster Unionist Party

The Ulster Unionists were until the early 1970s the official branch of the Conservative and Unionist Party in Northern Ireland, until the dissolution of Stormont forced them apart and the Unionists went on their own. The Unionists are Northern Ireland's largest party though they have suffered from divisions (the rise of the Democratic Unionists) and the deliberate imposition of a proportional system for local elections. Under James Molyneaux' leadership (1979-95) they did not take such a dynamic role but the new leader David Trimble is attempting to take Unionism forward into the twenty-first century.

Address: Unionist Headquarters, 3 Glengall Street, Belfast BT12 5AE. Web site: http://www.uup.org/ Highest vote: Rt. Hon. J.D. Taylor (Strangford, 1986(23/1)) - 32,627 votes, 94.2%.

UKIP United Kingdom Independence Party

The UKIP was founded as the Anti-Federalist League by Alan Sked, a former Liberal academic. The Party opposes all further European integration and seeks British withdrawal from the EU. The party changed its name in early 1994 to the United Kingdom Independence Party shortly before the 1994 European elections. It has seen some electoral success in byelections.

Address: 80 Regent Street, London W1R 5PF. Web site: http://www.btinternet.com/~ukip/ukiphp.html Highest vote: A.L.W. Smith (Staffordshire, South East Staffordshire, 1996(11/4)) - 1,272 votes, 2.9%.

WFLOE Women for Life on Earth

Women for Life on Earth were the original group which organised the Greenham Common picket. In the 1983 election they joined with the Ecology Party (later the Green Party, qv) to nominate some candidates jointly and some on their own.

Highest vote: Ms. R. Johnson (Oxfordshire, Henley, 1983) - 517 votes, 1.1%.

Wk P Worker's Party (on mainland)

This appears to be a small left-wing group which fought a few elections. The last contest was in the 1983 general election.

Highest vote: D.P. Roberts (Leicester, South, 1983) - 161 votes, 0.3%.

WR Wessex Regionalist

The Wessex Regionalists were formed by Alex Thynn, then Viscount Weymouth and now the Marquess of Bath. The party was similar to the cornish Mebyon Kernow in seeking an increased regional identity for the westcountry but not independence.

Highest vote: T.M. Thatcher (Wiltshire, Westbury, 1979) - 1,905 votes, 3.0%.

WRP Worker's Revolutionary Party

The Worker's Revolutionary Party stands out from the '57 varieties' of far left parties mainly through celebrity backing in the shape of Corin and Vanessa Redgrave. They stood as candidates in the 1974 and 1979 elections which led to increased publicity for the party (all newspapers except the Daily Express had a photograph in February 1974). The WRP fought sixty seats in the 1979 election but polled poorly and declined swiftly afterwards.

Highest vote: Miss V. Redgrave (Newham, Newham North East, 1974(F)) - 760 votes, 1.7%.

21st CP Twenty First Century Party

The Twenty-First Century Party was founded in 1992 by Colin Palmer, a student, to campaign for increased spending on events to mark the turn of the millennium. Palmer has since bought a Lordship of the Manor and refers to himself as Lord of Manton.

Highest vote: C.R. Palmer (Dudley, West, 1994(15/12)) - 55 votes, 0.1%.

This was a few extra things that i have found that are political.

Subject: the truth about profiling--- To ensure we Americans never offend anyone - - - particularly fanatics intent on killing us - airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. They will continue random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, Secret Service agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal Of Honor winning former Governors.

Let's pause a moment and take the following test:

1. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped & massacred by: (a) Olga Korbut (b) Sitting Bull (c) Arnold Schwarzenegger (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

2. In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by: (a) Lost Norwegians (b) Elvis (c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

3. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by: (a) John Dillinger (b) The King of Sweden (c) The Boy Scouts (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

4. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by: (a) A pizza delivery boy (b) Pee Wee Herman (c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

5. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked, and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard by: (a) The Smurfs (b) Davy Jones (c) The Little Mermaid (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

6. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, & a U.S. Navy diver was murdered by: (a) Captain Kid (b) Charles Lindberg (c) Mother Teresa (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

7. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by: (a) Scooby Doo (b) The Tooth Fairy (c) Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid who had a few sticks of dynamite (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

8. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by: (a) Richard Simmons (b) Grandma Moses (c) Michael Jordan (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

9. In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by: (a) Mr. Rogers (b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems (c) The World Wrestling Federation to promote its next villain: "Mustapha the Merciless" (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40

10. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked & destroyed & thousands of people were killed by: (a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd (b) The Supreme Court of Florida (c) Mr. Bean (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

11. In 2002 the United States are fighting a war in Afghanistan against: (a) Enron (b) The Lutheran Church (c) The NFL (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

12. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by: (a) Bonny and Clyde (b) Captain Kangaroo (c) Billy Graham (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 & 40.

Hmmm . . . nope, no patterns anywhere to justify profiling.

This was sent to me by my darling amy :D

In 1994, a New Mexico jury awarded $ 29 million U.S. in damages to 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who suffered third-degree burns to her legs, groin and buttocks after spilling a cup of McDonald's coffee on herself. This case inspired an annual award - The "Stella" Award - for the most frivolous lawsuit in the U.S. The ones listed below are the 2000 Stella Award candidates.

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January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amuck inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving little brat was Ms. Robertson's son.

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June 1998: 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000 and medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car, when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

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October 1998: Terrence Dickson of Bristol, Pennsylvania was leaving a house he had just finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, because the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation. Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. Mr. Dickson sued the homeowner's insurance, claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars.

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October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock Arkansas was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbor's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard, as was Mr. Williams. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

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May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber C Larson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania $113,500 after she slipped on a soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend a moment earlier during an argument.

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December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighboring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the ladies room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000 and dental expenses.

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A man, was stopped by police in Vermont. After running his name, it came back that there were warrants for his arrest from Florida. Before the police could arrest him, he fled into a nearby forest (in the middle of winter). The police searched for him, but were unable to find him. Three days later, the suspect turns himself in to the police and was taken to the hospital with frostbite. He ended up having several fingers and toes amputated. He is now suing the police. Why? The police didn't look for him hard enough! He stated in an interview, 'If they had searched harder, they would've found me'. He's accusing the police of dereliction of duty leading to his loss of limbs.

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Mr Merv Grazinski of Oklahoma City. In November 2000 Mr Grazinski purchased a brand new 32 foot Winnebago motor home. On his first trip home, having joined the freeway, he set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the drivers seat to go into the back and make himself a cup of coffee. Not surprisingly the Winnie left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Mr Grazinski sued Winnebago for not advising him in the handbook that he couldn't actually do this. He was awarded $1,750,000 plus a new Winnie. (Winniebago actually changed their handbooks on the back of this court case, just in case there are any other complete morons buying their vehicles.)

and you wondered how OJ got off...

Email: Ajj858@aol.com