I'm a little confused about what you're asking... nightclubs that serve food? Or nightclubs that ID minors?
The thing about pubs, nowadays, what you said is true, and especially since the economic downturn. Most pubs serve food otherwise they just wouldn't survive. However, going back even ten years or so, there'd still be a fair few pubs that didn't serve food, didn't allow children past a certain time, or at all.
However, I first went into a pub on my own when I was about ten or so (around 2000), so pubs did allow children in (we only went in to get chips at lunchtime when we helped at the riding school) but going back a few decades, that would never have happened. My dad always used to tell us about how he didn't set foot in a pub until he was either 16 or 18, can't remember which. He was born in 1960, so if you're setting your story around that sort of time, serving food in pubs to minors was probably not done.
I guess, I should broaden my question:
Tell me more about nightclubs in Britain, particularly ones aimed at homosexuals around the time that homosexuality got decriminalized.
I realized that I'm writing a Marauders in school-era story that centers on a chance encounter between two wizards at some kind of gay nightclub or bar, and that depending on the laws regarding both the advertisement of these kinds of places before homosexuality got decriminalized and underage patrons (one character is 16, but he is a pureblood, I could see him having a fake) that I may need to change details to make the story make sense.
Aida-I think it depends on how you see the wizarding world as viewing homosexuality. If you see them as legalising it around the same time as in the Muggle world-so late sixties--well at this time any gay nightclub would be illegal. I don't *think* there was much of a gay nightclub scene because it was so dangerous. Heaven, which was a pretty famous gay nightclub (it still exists but is not branded as being a gay nightclub anymore) opened in the late seventies I think. Prior to the rise of a gay scene, I think it was more public toilets and parks--though I only know this from literature/ films of the period.
However because you can change the 'rules' for the Wizarding world, since there's no mention of them in canon, you have a lot freer rein, I think.
I hope that helped a bit.
I know I should prolly know this having gone to school for nine years, almost.
Could someone please explain parliament to me, using lots of simple terms? Pleaseee?
Um, not without you saying what you need to know. It can be complicated.
Basically we vote in our local MP's (Member of Parliament) and the party who has the biggest number of MPs is the ruling party. There needs to be a majority and if they don;t get a clear majority they form a coalition with another party (we have one here at the moment).
what do you need specifically, though?
I'm going to assume that you're American, Lily, (sorry if you're not, I don't remember) so I'll be answering this as an American who studies political science and international relations. If I get any detail wrong, British people on the boards, please correct me.
First, the British Parliament is divided into two Houses like the American Congress. They have a House of Lords and a House of Commons, we have a Senate and a House of Representatives. The House of Lords no longer have much bearing in modern British politics, so we can probably for this discussion safely ignore them. If you must know, they are appointed into the House of Lords and serve as the highest court in the land (roughly analogous to the Supreme Court).
Like the American House of Representatives, the House of Commons is based on district elections. Every Member of Parliament (MP) represents a specific area, and the candidate with the most votes from a specific area gets to represent that area - just like the American House of Representatives. David Cameron represents Witney like Nancy Pelosi represents San Francisco.
Alright, here's where it gets a little trickier.
The British Parliament is what political scientists call a "unitary" system - all the branches of government are in the Parliament. Where in the US, we have the legislature (Congress), the executive (the president) and the judiciary (the Supreme Court) be separate bodies that we elect separately (except the Supreme Court which we don't elect at all), the British have all three of these in the Parliament. The House of Lords is basically like the Supreme Court. The House of Commons combines the executive (the Prime Minister) with the legislative (the rest of the people in Parliament).
So, after an election, if one party in the British Parliament has a majority, then they form the government. The head of that party becomes the Prime Minister, and they get to fill the other Ministers positions as well. The Speaker of the House in the US, is the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives. So currently it's John Boehner - House Republican Leader and therefore Speaker of the House. If the Democrats win back a majority in the next election, the Speaker of the House will be Nancy Pelosi again. The Prime Minister is selected in the same way, but s/he has the authority of the President. If Labour gets a majority of seats in the next election, then Ed Milliband will become Prime Minister - he is currently the head of the Labour Party, an elected Member of Parliament and Labour's "shadow Prime Minister".
If after an election, no one party has a majority of seats, like what happened last time, then the big parties get together and try to form a majority. They call this a "coalition government". The Conservatives had the Most seats, but they did not have 50+1% of the seats. So the moderate Liberal Democrats joined the Conservatives to form a majority of seats and make the government.
So when the media refers to "the government" they mean the party or parties who hold the majority in the House of Commons. When they refer to "the shadow government" they mean the parties that do not hold a majority in the House of Commons - i.e. the leaders of the Labour party.
Unlike the American system, where we get dark horse candidates for President with some frequency (who knew that either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich would still be so far along in the process?) the political parties in Britain have a more structured system. Everyone knew that if the Conservatives won a majority that David Cameron would become Prime Minister, and who the various other ministers would be - this is generally established well in advance of the election.
The other major difference from the American system is that an MP does not have to be originally from an area to represent it in the Parliament. The top politicians in the British system have "safe" seats - ones that can be guaranteed to vote for that party. Nancy Pelosi is highly unlikely to ever get voted out of the House of Representatives since she represents San Francisco, and it's been many decades since Baghdad by the Bay sent a Republican to the House of Representatives, but she is From SF. It has happened before that a leader of either party in the House or Senate has been voted out in their home district, which causes a shuffle in the House or Senate leadership. This is pretty much guaranteed to Not happen in the British system.
Just to sort of add/correct Adia on coalition type stuff... it actually doesn't have to be the big parties that combine to form a government. I remember all the discussion after the election about 'what if' the Lib Dems didn't support the Conservatives. The news channels were speculating about who else they could have joined with to gain the majority, and several smaller parties were mentioned, like Plaid Cymru, the Welsh party, and other small ones that I can't remember the names of anymore. So it doesn't matter which parties join together as long as someone has the required seats.
Also, after the 2010 election, as nobody had the clear majority, Gordon Brown, the head of the Labour party who were in power, was given the opportunity to try and form a government first, even though Labour had won fewer seats than the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats came out and said that they would support the Conservatives, which made it near impossible for Labour to make up the required number of seats, so Gordon Brown officially informed the Queen that he could not form a government, and so the opportunity was given to David Cameron.
I may have got several things wrong here, I've never studied politics and what I know was learned from watching all the post-election drama, but I think I've got the gist of things.
Back, although me and Aida are apparently the only British-disabled members of MNFF...
Could someone –anyone!- give me details about adoption processes in the UK? I’ve googled but the information given is not very useful, and I was wondering how you give someone up for adoption in the UK.
More specifically, would it be possible for wizard A to rush into an orphanage [because wizards are just awesome like that] and hand over the baby?
ALSO. Before I forget—
Could someone give me a brief summary of British schools? A list corresponding to the grades would be lovely, hehehe.
Can't help you out with adoption, but I can help you out with schools!! Although, I will first say that they're not really called 'Orphanages' anymore - abandoned children are usually taken care of by Social Services, but I'll let someone else give more info on that, because I'm not that knowledgable.
Onward to schools!
We have Primary schools and Secondary schools: Primary schools are for children aged 4-11, and Secondary schools are for ages 11-18. The year systems with corresponding ages go like this:
Reception - ages 4-5
Year 1 - ages 5-6
Year 2 - ages 6-7
Year 3 - ages 7-8
Year 4 - ages 8-9
Year 5 - ages 9-10
Year 6 - ages 10-11
Year 7 - ages 11-12
Year 8 - ages 12-13
Year 9 - ages 13-14
Year 10 - ages 14-15
Year 11 - ages 15-16
Year 12 - ages 16-17
Year 13 - ages 17-18
Years 12 and 13 are often collectively referred to as 'Sixth Form', which dates back to the older system.
In Years 10 and 11, students prepare for and take exams in their GCSEs (which are basically OWL level); in Year 12 they take their AS Levels; and in Year 13 they take their A Levels.
But, students can drop out at the end of Year 11. They don't have to do any more education, but most do more vocational courses, for example catering, animal management, hair and beauty etc.
When taking GCSEs, students take exams in English, Maths and the three Sciences, but can choose three or four subjects to 'specialise' in. They also have to continue with subjects like IT (that's just Computers), RE (Religious Education) and PE (Physical Education), but these aren't always examined.
For AS Levels, students choose four subjects to study, which can be anything, and at the end of the year they drop one and continue on to complete their A Levels in three subjects. For example, I studied English, History, Art and Biology at AS Level, and then dropped Biology after my first set of exams to focus on the other three in my final year.
Hope that helps and wasn't too confusing!!
Just to add:
Those in the class of 2013 (those who leave high school) now have to stay in education until they're 18. Also the government have introduced something called the English Baccalaureate which means if you get C-A* in English, Maths, Science, a language and in either Geography and History, you get a separate qualification.
Another thing is that not all high schools have a 6th form and you have to go to a college to take AS and A-levels. Now if you want to get really complicated, there are a handful of schools in England, my own included, that have a slightly different GCSE system. I won't explain it now incase it confuses you further but if you want to know about it I'll be happy to explain.
Speaking of school, it is nearly 8:20 and I'm not ready yet but I hope this helps =)