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More questions for people from the UK


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted April 20 2009 - 07:36 AM

1. Does the Prime Minster and/or the Queen have the power to pardon prisoners? Is this done often?

2. Do most Northern Ireland protestant's ancestry originate from Scotland?

3. Is St. Patricks day celebrated anywhere in the UK?

4. Since Birmingham is the 2nd biggest city in England - why is their football team so poor?

5. Is there a movement in the UK to abolish the monarchy? I remember reading that there was in the 70's and 80's - I just want to know if there is one now.

[NOTE*: I'm not looking for some sort of political argument here, just some straightforward answers. Thanks.]

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted April 20 2009 - 09:51 AM

In Re #5:

There's a Republican Party in the UK but it's not clear how much influence they hold right now. Republic | Campaigning for a democratic future In this context "Republican" isn't interpreted as a conservative party but rather an anti-monarchy party.

Several serious journalists have written on the topic of a British republic, e.g. the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland. His book, Bring Home the Revolution, is a good read.

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My own book, currently in progress, ends the monarchy in a dignified and reverent manner.
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#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted April 20 2009 - 11:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
...
4. Since Birmingham is the 2nd biggest city in England - why is their football team so poor?

...

[NOTE*: I'm not looking for some sort of political argument here, just some straightforward answers. Thanks.]
Well, the second largest city in the States does not even a football (Amereican-style) team
¡Time is not my master!

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted April 20 2009 - 02:22 PM

Yes, but according to no less an authority than Winston Churchill the Messiah was born in Birmingham. Posted Image
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#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted April 20 2009 - 04:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
4. Since Birmingham is the 2nd biggest city in England - why is their football team so poor?

Birmingham has two football clubs: Birmingham City, and Aston Villa. Villa are presently fifth in the Premier League, so I wouldn't say they are poor: earlier this season they were fourth, sitting in the final Champions' League qualifying spot, but Arsenal have since overhauled them and the current top four (with about 6 games left to play this season) is status quo again as per the last 4 years. The same four clubs have finished in the top 4, which gains them entry to the lucrative European Champions' League -- yes it's a misnomer now...

Aston Villa are historically a very successful team, having won seven league titles and one European Cup in their history, but five of those titles were won in the 19th Century, and the last title was in 1981, following which they went on to win the European Cup the following year, back when only actual champions entered the European Cup. Those 7 championships place them 5th on the list of English clubs with the most titles.

#6 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted April 20 2009 - 05:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lew Crippen
Well, the second largest city in the States does not even a football (Amereican-style) team
Yes they do. They are the University of Southern California! Go Trojans!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yee-Ming
Birmingham has two football clubs: Birmingham City, and Aston Villa.
I didn't know Aston Villa was from Birmingham.

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   Kevin Hewell

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Posted April 20 2009 - 06:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
Go Trojans!

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#8 of 16 OFFLINE   Marianne

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Posted April 21 2009 - 06:42 AM

3. Is St. Patricks day celebrated anywhere in the UK?

Not to the same degree as it is in the USA. I guess that's because of the large number of immigrants to the US from Ireland in the past.

But I did find this:

http://www.london.go.../stpatricksday/

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Marianne

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Posted April 21 2009 - 06:48 AM

1. Does the Prime Minster and/or the Queen have the power to pardon prisoners? Is this done often?

The following is taken from wiki (so it must be true!): Pardon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United Kingdom

The power to grant pardons and reprieves is a royal prerogative of mercy of the monarch of the United Kingdom. It was traditionally in the absolute power of the monarch to pardon and release an individual who had been convicted of a crime from that conviction and its intended penalty. Pardons were granted to many in the 18th century on condition that the convicted felons accept transportation overseas, such as to Australia. The first General Pardon in England was issued in celebration of the coronation of Edward III in 1327. In 2006 all British soldiers executed for cowardice during World War I were pardoned, resolving a long-running controversy about the justice of their executions. (See Armed Forces Act 2006, [1].)

There are significant procedural differences in the present use of the royal pardon, however. Today the monarch may only grant a pardon on the advice of the Home Secretary or the First Minister of Scotland (or the Defence Secretary in military justice cases), and the policy of the Home Office and Scottish Executive is only to grant pardons to those who are "morally" innocent of the offence (as opposed to those who may have been wrongly convicted by misapplication of the law). Pardons are generally no longer issued prior to conviction, but only after conviction. A pardon is no longer considered to remove the conviction itself, but only removes the penalty which was imposed. Use of the prerogative is now rare, particularly since the establishment of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which provide a statutory remedy for miscarriages of justice.

To this end, the granting of pardons is very rare and the vast majority of recognised miscarriages of justice were decided upon by the courts. During the Birmingham Six controversy, then Home Secretary Douglas Hurd stressed that he could only make the decision for a pardon if he was "convinced of innocence", which at the time he was not[1].

One notorious recent case was that of the drug smugglers John Haase and Paul Bennett. They were pardoned in July 1996 from 18-year sentences, having served ten months, on the advice of then Home Secretary Michael Howard[2]. This was intended to reward them for information they gave to the authorities, but there was speculation about Howard’s motives[3]. In 2008, they were given 20 and 22-year sentences after it was found that their information was unreliable.

In 1980, the Home Secretary William Whitelaw used the perogative to free David Cooper and Michael McMahon, two "murderers" convicted on poor evidence, after the courts refused to.[4] They died in the 1990s, and were fully cleared posthumously.[5]

According to the Act of Settlement a pardon can not prevent a person from being impeached by Parliament, but may rescind the penalty following conviction. In England and Wales nobody may be pardoned for an offence under section 11 of the Habeas Corpus Act 1679 (unlawfully transporting prisoners out of England and Wales).

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Marianne

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Posted April 21 2009 - 06:53 AM

2. Do most Northern Ireland protestant's ancestry originate from Scotland?

According to the following from wiki the protestants in Northern Ireland came from both England and Scotland.

Northern Ireland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The area that is now Northern Ireland has had a diverse history. From serving as the bedrock of Irish resistance in the era of the plantations of Queen Elizabeth and James I in other parts of Ireland, it became the subject of major planting of Scottish and English settlers after the Flight of the Earls in 1607 (when the Gaelic aristocracy fled to Catholic Europe)."

#11 of 16 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted April 22 2009 - 04:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
I didn't know Aston Villa was from Birmingham.
The name wouldn't suggest it, though I believe Aston is a specific area in Birmingham. Hence also, Aston Martin, the car-maker (or at least I assume so, since the factory is in Birmingham). So if you don't follow English footy closely, no reason you would know. Conversely, did you know London has 5 Premiership clubs? Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham, and none of them have the word "London" in their names. And there are several more London clubs in the lower divisions.

Whilst US professional sports teams mostly carry the name of a city, or even state, given that there are so many English football clubs, many are named after smaller places, areas or suburbs, which wouldn't be known to foreigners. IIRC only three professional clubs are not actually named after any place at all: Port Vale (oddly, since it does suggest a port town, but it is located inland anyway), Queens Park Rangers, and Arsenal.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Jason L.

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Posted April 22 2009 - 06:49 PM

Where is Andrew Markworthy when I need him?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yee-Ming
The name wouldn't suggest it, though I believe Aston is a specific area in Birmingham. Hence also, Aston Martin, the car-maker (or at least I assume so, since the factory is in Birmingham). So if you don't follow English footy closely, no reason you would know. Conversely, did you know London has 5 Premiership clubs? Arsenal, Chelsea, Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham, and none of them have the word "London" in their names. And there are several more London clubs in the lower divisions.

Whilst US professional sports teams mostly carry the name of a city, or even state, given that there are so many English football clubs, many are named after smaller places, areas or suburbs, which wouldn't be known to foreigners. IIRC only three professional clubs are not actually named after any place at all: Port Vale (oddly, since it does suggest a port town, but it is located inland anyway), Queens Park Rangers, and Arsenal.

Even though Charlton isn't in the Premier Leauge now, they are another London club. I had this discussion a little while back with someone from the UK - how every club is named after a town or section of a town. I said Arsenal. He said Arsenal was a section of London, as their is a tube stop named Arsenal. I said Wolves, but there is a Wolverhampton.

One thing I don't get - why do they call Portsmouth "Pompei".

#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Marianne

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Posted April 23 2009 - 02:53 AM

It is "Pompey" not "Pompei"

Quote:
WHY IS PORTSMOUTH KNOWN AS POMPEY ?

* Legend has it that a snoozing, drunken sailor interrupted a lecture on the Roman Empire given by naval temperance worker, Dame Agnes Weston founder of the Royal Sailors Rests, 'aggie weston's'.

Upon hearing that an emperor of that name had died, the sailor shouted out 'Poor old Pompey', the name then stuck and moved into common usage.

* More reliable evidence records a group of Portsmouth-based sailors, who scaled Pompey's Pillar near Alexandria, Egypt, in 1781 and became known as the 'Pompey Boys'.


* Portsmouth has been a port since Roman times, with nearby Portchester as a Roman military base.

When the port started to be developed locals nicknamed it Pompey, because Pompeii was well known for its Roman ruins.

* The pomp and ceremony connected with the Royal Navy at Portsmouth led to the adoption of the nickname, Pompey.


* Bombay was part of the wedding gift of Catherine of Braganza to Charles II.

Portuguese seaman saw a resemblance between the two ports and may have called Portsmouth 'Bom Bhia' which became Anglicised to Pompey.

* A drunkards slurred pronunciation of Portsmouth Point (where there are many taverns popular with sailors)


* Ships entering Portsmouth harbour make an entry in the ships log Pom. P. as a reference to Portsmouth Point (this being too long).

Navigational charts also use this abbreviation.

* La Pompee was a captured French ship moored in Portsmouth harbour and used for accommodation, (captured 1793 and broken up 1817). There is a Yorkshire term pompey for prison or house of correction.


* Volunteer firemen in the eighteenth century (known as pompiers) exercised on Southsea Common.


#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Marianne

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Posted April 23 2009 - 03:09 AM

Arsenal FC take their name from The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London.

Royal Arsenal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
The Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, originally known as the Woolwich Warren, carried out armaments manufacture, ammunition proofing and explosives research for British armed forces. It was sited on the south bank of the River Thames in Woolwich in south-east London, England. It was formally established as an Ordnance Storage Depot in 1671.

In 1886 workers at the Arsenal formed a football club initially known as Dial Square after the workshops in the heart of the complex, playing their first game on 11 December (a 6-0 victory over Eastern Wanderers) in the Isle of Dogs. Renamed Royal Arsenal two weeks later (and also known as the 'Woolwich Reds'), the club entered the professional football league as Woolwich Arsenal in 1893. Today it is known simply as Arsenal F.C., having moved to north London in 1913. Royal Ordnance Factories F.C. were another successful team set up by the Royal Arsenal but only lasted till 1896.


#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted April 23 2009 - 04:37 AM

From the Aston Martin website:
Quote:
Bamford Martin. It doesn’t have quite the right ring to it, yet if things had been just a little different, that is how we would know this most British of performance sports cars.

It was back before the Great War that Robert Bamford and Lionel Martin joined forces to sell Singer cars, and to prepare them for hill climbing and racing. Successfully too: it was Martin’s performances with these cars at the hillclimb course in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire that was to provide the inspiration for a name when the pair started making their own car.

So Aston Clinton is in Buckinghamshire, which is closer to London than to Birmingham.
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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted April 23 2009 - 05:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason L.
I had this discussion a little while back with someone from the UK - how every club is named after a town or section of a town. I said Arsenal. He said Arsenal was a section of London, as their is a tube stop named Arsenal.

It's the other way around: the Tube station is named after the club. It was originally called Gillespie Road, and indeed to this day the old name still appears there as a mosaic in the tiles of the walls, from 1930 or earlier. When Arsenal (the club) became successful in the 1930s, their then manager Herbert Chapman was able to persuade London Underground to rename the station in 1932, and this is unique. There may be instances of other stations whose names are the same as a football club (e.g. West Ham, maybe Wimbledon), but those were named after the place, not the club.


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