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From the Conservative Party From the Labour Party Manifesto Manifesto
The National Health Service: "Because we have created a sound economy, we are in a position to spend more than ever before on the National Health Service." Defence: "We will keep the nuclear deterrent and invest in a new nuclear system with Trident." Unemployment: "As long as we continue with our successful policies for a sound economy and more training schemes, unemployment will fall to acceptable levels."
The National Health Service: "We will spend more money on the NHS and recruit more staff.
Defence: "We will ban all nuclear weapons on British soil."
Unemployment: "We will increase expenditure on civil works, more training schemes and more jobs in the state sector, creating a million jobs in the next two years."
Taxation: "We will raise taxes to fund our plans for reducing unemployment." Education: "We will spend more on equipment and reduce class sizes. Teachers will regain the right to strike."
Taxation: "We wttl continue to cut
Education: "We will set a basic
syllabus with new examinations and
tests to ensure that our children are
Priorities: "The most important
problem facing the next government
of Britain is to ensure the continued
growth of the economy."
TASK 9. Answer the questions.
1. In 1987 which of the biggest British political parties supported the following policies?
a) a ban on nuclear weapons;
b) cuts in taxation;
c) a basic national education syllabus;
d) more jobs in the state sector;
e) an increase in taxation.
2. How is the date of a British general election decided?
TASK 10. Work in pairs and discuss the following question.
If you were a British voter, which party do you think you would vote for and why?
TASK 1. Read the texts.
UnitV THE ROYAL FAMILY
"Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith."
/The Queen is the official Head of State and, for many people, a symbol of the unity of the nation. For a thousand years England (and later the whole of the United Kingdom) has been united under one sovereign, a continuity broken only after the Civil War, by the republic of 1649 to 1660. The hereditary principle still operates and the Crown is passed on to the sovereign's eldest son (or daughter if there are no sons).
The Queen has a central role in state affairs, not only through her ceremonial functions, such as opening Parliament, but also because she meets the Prime Minister every week and receives^copies of all Cabinet papers.
ki However, she is 'expected to be impartial or
"above politics", and any advice she may offer the Prime Minister is kept secret.
Functions of the Sovereign:
- opening and closing Parliament;
- approving the appointment of the Prime Minister;
- giving her Royal Assent to bills;
- giving honours such as peerages, knighthoods and medals;
- Head of the Commonwealth;
- Head of the Church of England;
- Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
The Royal Family
v ) С1 С *"
Many members of the Royal Family'undertake official duties in Britain ana abroad. Their various responsibilities reflect tradition, their own personal interests and Britain's former imperial status. For example, among her many titles the Princess Royal (Princess Anne) is Chancellor of the University of London, Colonel-in-Chief of eleven Army regiments, including the 8th Canadian Hussars and the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps, and President of the Save the Children Fund, for whom she has travelled widely.
The Royal Family's money comes from two sources government funds and their own personal wealth, which is considerable. On the one hand the Queen is certainly one of the richest women in the world, while on the other her power is limited by the fact that so many of her expenses are paid for by government money. Parliament has had effective control of the monarch's finances since the seventeenth century.
TASK 2. Look at the chart
The Royal Family
Numbers show order of succession to the Crown
TASK 3. Answer the questions
1. What powers does the Queen have in government?
2. Who is next in line to the British crown after Prince Charles?
3. How can Parliament control the Royal Family?
4. What connections can you find between the Royal Family and the world outside Britain?
5. Which member of the Royal Family has the highest number of public engagements?
TASK 4 Read the text.
The Queen is really a figurehead representing the country, but she has the power to prevent any politician from establishing a dictatorship. The Queen and her family are a symbol that people can identify with. The British public is obsessed with the details of the royal family life, and when people feel that the Queen has problems with her children, or her sister, they see her as a "real person" with the same worries and anxieties as themselves.
The monarchy has not always been popular. During the late 19th century there was a growing republican sentiment, but the personality and family image of the Queen, her father and grandfather have removed that feeling. The Queen is probably the wealthiest woman in the world, most of the money coming from family investments rather than the state. Her state salary (the Civil List) pays for her servants and transport. In recent years the Queen has become a roving ambassador for Britain, and if we calculate the increase in trade after a royal visit abroad, the nation probably makes a profit from her activities, and that does not take into account the income from tourism in Britain generated by the monarchy and great state events such as royal weddings.
Just how popular is she? In the late 1980s a newspaper conducted an opinion poll. People were asked, "If there were no monarchy, who would you vote for as President?" More than 80 per cent chose the Queen. Prince Charles came second, closely followed by his father, Prince Philip. The prime minister of the day was the fourth - with 2 per cent of the votes.
TASK 5 Explain the meanings of the following words and expressions.
- a figurehead;
- obsessed with;
- a growing republican sentiment;
- a roving ambassador;
- an opinion poll.
TASK 6 Listen to the interview and then read the tapescnpt
When it comes to selling newspapers, nothing increases the circulation figures more than a right royal scandal. There's no doubt about it. The British public are
fascinated by their figureheads. In fact, most people seem to feel quite strongly about the royal family, one way or another.
I spoke to Patrick Orman Ward from England and Jean O'Sullivan from Ireland about their feelings for the British monarchy. First, I asked Patrick if the royal family was important to him.
It's not important to me, personally, but I think it's important to the social structure of British society. And I think it's important also to the political structure of British society.
Why? They're apolitical, it's a hereditary institution, in what way is it important to the political structure?
Exactly. It's hereditary, OK, but it's, you say apolitical but in fact not apolitical. The British constitution is a very difficult constitution, because it doesn't exist. It exists by, through history, basically, through acquired points of reference, through acquired gentlemen's agreements, if you like. What is important about the royal family is that it's a figurehead, and, like other figurehead institutions, it performs a useful socio-political role.
But isn't it much better to have somebody elected which comes from the people, than somebody who simply inherits the title who could and has often been in English history somebody of dubious ancestry who is half-mad and who is not even English anyway?
Half-mad, yes, often; not even English, absolutely. I don't think that's important, in absolute terms. When, you know...let's face it - not English? What is English? I call myself an Englishman and I'm a quarter Dutch. The English Royal Family,after all, have German origins, yes, but they've been in England for, for, for five generations. Anybody who can count back five generations and be completely English is indeed very unusual and rare.
Its important function, its important role, is to, is to represent the state. And symbolically. To say that it, perhaps it's better to have somebody elected from the people, yes, but it's not part of British social tradition.
But the quality of the people produced, I mean, maybe we're lucky, maybe Prince Charles is going to be a wonderful king, but somewhere it's described that it's a very, the royal family is a very average, middle-class family, doing a boring job very well. Would you agree with that definition?
Yes, insofar as I think they are average in their talents, I think they are middle class in their aspirations, in their, in their tastes, let's say, doing a difficult job very well, yes, I think so, too. I, personally, would not like to do that job.
And Jean, would you like to do the job of a member of the royal family?
I certainly wouldn't mind being the Queen. She is the single largest landowner in all of Britain. And they have vast wealth, they own great estates, and at the same time they manage to take a goodly slice of the taxpayer's money. And I don't think that the expense is justified in keeping this family up just for show.
Their role to me is very mystifying; I can't understand why people want to read about Diana going to discos and Fergie taking flying lessons, and yet they seem to have this fascination for the British general public.
Why? Now, why is this? Why, why are people so fascinated by images of the royal family in the press?
I'll tell you my theory about the royal family. I think they are there to distract people from the social ills of present-day Britain. I think that when the unemployment level climbs to an unacceptable figure, the royal family will do something to distract. The Queen will abdicate; something will be done. There'll be a wedding; there'll be another baby. There's always something to keep the proletariat happy.
TASK 7. Answer the questions.
Obviously Patrick and Jean have very different opinions about the British royal family. How much did you understand of what they said?
What is important about the royal family is that it's a figurehead.
Did he mean:
a sign? a symbol?
And now see what Jean said:
I certainly wouldn't mind being the Queen. She is the single largest landowner in all of Britain. And they have vast wealth, they own great estates, and at the same time they manage to take a goodly...of the taxpayers' money.
What word is used to describe the royal family's share of the taxpayers'
a portion? If you have great estates, do you have:
a lot of land?
a lot of businesses? And if you have vast wealth, do you have:
a lot of money?
a lot of free time?
Now see what Jean said:
I don't think that the expense is justified in keeping this family up just fo£
Does "for show " mean: to entertain?
for appearances, to make an impression? Does "justified" mean: explained? proved to be right?
TASK 8. Find in the tapescript the English equivalents for the words and expressions below.
- сомнительное происхождение;
- деньги налогоплательщиков;
- пороки общества;
- выбранный из народа;
- отрекаться от престола.
TASK 9. Answer the questions.
\. Why does any information published about the royal family increase the circulation figures?
2. What makes the Britishers feel so strongly about the royal family?
3. How can you explain the fact that their opinions tend to be quite opposite? What social groups tend to favour the Queen and the royal family? Why?
TASK 10. A. List four countries which have monarchies.
B. Which of these adjectives do you associate with the British monarch •
ostentatious; greedy; modest; vulgar; hard-working; lazy; wealthy; dignified; popular.
TASK II. Listen to the tape. In this tape the speaker tells us avout his attitudes to the British monarchy.
TASK 12. Answer the questions
1. Does the speaker approve:
a) of the British monarchy?
b) of monarchies in general?
2. How does he compare monarchs and presidents?
3. Which monarchies does he praise? Why?
4. Does he feel sorry for the British Royal Family?
5. How does he compare monarchs and "soap operas" (popular television dramas)?
6. Which of the adjectives in TASK 10 does he associate with the British monarchy? Is your own list different?
TASK 13. Listen again and complete the quotations from the tape.
a) I used to............royal families in general.
b) I think now I...............the idea of a royal family.
c) I...............them personally, if you like.
d) I think I would...............a monarchy of the sort you find in
other countries in Northern Europe.
TASK 14. Answer the questions.
1. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of having a monarchy?
2. Would you exchange lives with a member of the British Royal Family? Why (Why not)? If so, which member would you swoop with?
TASK 1. Explain the meanings of these expressions from the unit. Make one sentence from each set of words, using them in any order, to describe the British system.
TASK 2. Turn the following nouns into adjectives.
TASK 3. Complete the following text with the words and expressions from the box and translate them into Russian
cabinet; alliance; coalition; majority;
right-wing; prime minister; split; left-wing; opposition; one-party states.
In most countries, except (a) political parties. The one with the (b)
____, there are several different
____of seats normally forms the
government, and the parties which are against the government are called
(c)_______. Sometimes no single party wins enough seats, and several
parties must combine together in a (d)_______to form a government. The
principal ministers in the government from a group are called the
(e)_______. The leader of this group, and of the government, is the
(f)________. Of course, there are many different kinds of parties and
governments. A socialist or communist party is often described as
. A conservative party on the other hand, is usually said to be . Political situations are always changing. Sometimes in a party
or between two parties there is a big argument or deep difference of opinion.
This is called a (i)_________. When, on the other hand, two parties work
together, this is sometimes called an (j)________.
TASK 4 Explain the difference between
(a) pro- and anti-
(b) an election and a referendum
TASK 5. Complete the following sentences with the words from the box.
(a) I voted________
(b) Put your voting papers
the Liberal candidate.
________the ballot box.
(c) He's very right-wing, so he's_____
(d) She belongs________the Communist Party.
(e) The Liberals formed an alliance________the Social Democrats.
(f) There's a split
(g) There's a split
the two parties. _the party.
TASK 6. Complete the following text with the words and expressions from the box.
proportional representation; Member of Parliament; call an election; House of Commons; stand for election; General Election;
polling day; canvassing; secret ballot; constituents; constituencies; polling stations
by-election; eligible; campaigns; turn-out.
Middleford. Election Result. No. of registered voters: 100,000
Mr G. Smith (Labour) Mrs R. Green (Conservative) Miss L. Jones (Independent) Mr W. Woods (Communist)
30,000 votes 25,000 votes 10,000 votes 5,000 votes
A (a)______has just taken place all over the United Kingdom. These
must take place every five years unless the Prime Minister decides to
(b)_______earlier. Above is the result in Middleford, one of the
approximately 650 (c)_______into which the country is divided for this
purpose. (d)________was last Thursday, when the election
(e)_______and door-to-door (f)_______stopped and the people of
Middleford went to the (g)_______to make their choice, in a
____________ ---- —-" «•Aivyxuv, in a
_, from the four candidates (anyone over the age of 21 can
__. Voting is not compulsory and the number of people
to vote in Middleford (everyone over 18) was 100,000, so the
was 70 per cent. Now Mr Smith will become the
_____for Middleford, which means he will represent the people of
Middleford in the (m)________in London. If he should die or be forced to
give up his seat, the people of Middleford will have to vote again, in a
(n)______to replace him. It is a very simple system and Mr Smith will try
to represent all his (o)_______fairly, whether they voted for him or not.
However, the fact remains that most voters in Middleford voted for candidates (and parties) other than Mr. Smith, and their votes are now lost. It is seats which are important in Parliament, not votes, and it is easy to see why smaller parties
would like a system of (p)_______, in which the number of votes they won
was reflected in the number of seats they received in Parliament.
Just for Fun
Here are some more facts about the Queen and her family.
The Queen meets thousands of people every year. She has to shake hands with each of them, and she has to find something interesting to say. If you meet the Queen you should call her "Your Majesty", then "Ma'am". The other Princes and Princesses are "Your Highness", then "Sir" or "Madam". When she wants to end a conversation, she takes a half step backwards, smiling broadly, then moves on.
Here are some favourite royal conversation starters.
1. "How long have you been waiting?" (The Queen).
2. "What exactly are you doing?" (Prince Charles).
3. "How long have you been working here?" (Princess Anne).
4. "Keep you busy, do they?" (Prince Charles).
5. "What's your job?" (Prince Philip).
At the reply: "I'm a postman," he will say "Oh, you're a postman, are you?"
6. "Where have you come from?" (The Queen).
7. "Pay you enough, do they?" (Prince Charles).
8. "Have you done this sort of thing before?" (Princess Anne).
How would you start a conversation with Her Majesty?
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