добавить свой файл
  1 ... 2 3 4 5 ... 50 51

LESSON 2. Government and politics

Grammar: Имя существительное. Род,число и падеж существительных. Артикль.

Phonetics: Понятие гласных и согласных звуков.

Before you read text 2 see if you know answers to the following questions.

  1. What type of state is the UK?

  2. Who is the Head of State?

  3. Who appoints the Prime Minister?

  4. What is the Commonwealth?

  5. Who is the Head of the Commonwealth?

  6. What is the role of the British Parliament?

  7. What parts does British Parliament consist of?

  8. Which of the chambers is elected?

  9. What is the role of each chamber in law-making?

  10. Who becomes the Prime Minister?

  11. Who is the Speaker?

  12. What is “Shadow Cabinet”?

  13. What are the main political parties in the United Kingdom?

  14. What are the powers of the Queen?

1. Read the text “ POLITICAL SYSTEM OF THE UK” and translate it into Russian.

The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state; the monarch of the UK also serves as head of state of fifteen other Commonwealth countries, putting the UK in a personal union with those other states. The Crown has sovereignty over the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey. Collectively, these three territories are known as the Crown Dependencies, lands owned by the British monarch but not part of the United Kingdom. They are not part of the European Union. However, the Parliament of the United Kingdom has the authority to legislate for the dependencies, and the British government manages their foreign affairs and defense.

The UK has fourteen overseas territories around the world, the last remaining territories of the British Empire. The overseas territories are not considered part of the UK, but in most cases the local populations have British citizenship and the right of abode in the UK. This has been the case since 2002.

The UK has a parliamentary government based on strong traditions: the Westminster system has been emulated around the world — a legacy of the British Empire.

The UK's constitution governs the legal framework of the country and consists mostly of written sources, including statutes, judge made case law, and international treaties. As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and law considered to be "constitutional law," the British Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament and thus has the power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change. The United Kingdom is one of the three countries in the world today that does not have a codified constitution (the other two being New Zealand and Israel).

The position of Prime Minister, the UK's head of government, belongs to the Member of Parliament who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons, usually the current leader of the largest political party in that chamber. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are formally appointed by the Monarch to form Her Majesty's Government. Though the Prime Minister chooses the Cabinet, and by convention HM the Queen respects the Prime Minister's choices. The Cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the Prime Minister's party in both legislative houses, and mostly from the House of Commons, to which they are responsible. Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and Cabinet, all of whom are sworn into Her Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, and become Ministers of the Crown. "The Rt Hon" Gordon Brown MP, leader of the Labor Party, has been Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service since 27 June 2007.

The Parliament of the United Kingdom that meets in the Palace of Westminster is the ultimate legislative authority in the United Kingdom. It has two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords, and any Bill passed requires the assent of HM the Queen to become law. A devolved parliament in Scotland and devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, and Wales were established following public approval as expressed in referenda, but these are not sovereign bodies and could be abolished by the UK parliament.

For elections to the House of Commons, the UK is currently divided into 646 constituencies, with 529 in England, 18 in Northern Ireland, 59 in Scotland and 40 in Wales, though this number will rise to 650 at the next General Election. Each constituency elects one Member of Parliament by simple plurality. General Elections are called by the Monarch when the Prime Minister so advises. Though there is no minimum term for a Parliament, a new election must be called within five years of the previous general election.

The UK's three major political parties are the Labor Party, the Conservative Party, and the Liberal Democrats, winning between them 616 out of the 646 seats available in the House of Commons at the 2005 general election. Most of the remaining seats were won by parties that only contest elections in one part of the UK such as the Scottish National Party (Scotland only), Plaid Cymru (Wales only), and the Democratic Unionist Party, Social Democratic and Labor Party, Ulster Unionist Party.

Vocabulary on the text

abode, nпребывание, проживание (Syn: stay); place of abodeместожительство, место жительства

vаннулировать, отменять, упразднять

nодобрение; благоприятное мнение; public approval — общественное одобрение (Syn: approbation); (Ant: disapprobation, disapproval)

n(Assembly) Ассамблея (наименование законодательного органа в ряде штатов) legislative assembly — законодательное собрание; National assembly — национальное собрание

v1) (to) а) быть членом (клуба, организации, группы) б) быть частью (чего-л.) 2) (to/under/with) иметь отношение к (чему-л.), принадлежать к (какому-л. классу)

citizenship, nгражданство (Syn: nationality)

codify, vсистематизировать, приводить в систему (Syn: systematize, classify)

constituency, nизбирательный округ (представлен в палате общин одним депутатом)

contest, vсостязаться, соревноваться; соперничать; оспаривать (приз, награду) (Syn: compete)

convention, nобычай, традиция, правила поведения (Syn: tradition, custom, usage)

dependency, nзависимая страна, зависимая территория; колония (Syn: colony) overseas, adj.заморский, заокеанский; заграничный

devolve, v1) передавать (права, полномочия) 2) переходить к другому лицу (о должности, обязанностях, имуществе)

elect, v1) избирать (голосованием) (Syn: choose) 2) выбрать (из некоторого числа)

emulate, vимитировать, копировать, подражать (Syn: imitate, copy)

executive ‒ 1. n 1) а) (the executive) исполнительная власть б) орган исполнительной власти (Syn: performer) 2) лицо, занимающее руководящий пост в структурах исполнительной власти; (Executive) глава исполнительной власти.

2. adj. исполнительный

exercise, vиспользовать, осуществлять, проявлять, применять

framework, nструктура, строение (Syn: structure)

judge, nсудья

legacy, nнаследство; наследие

legal, adj.правовой, юридический; судебный legal system — законодательство (Syn: lawful, juridical, juristic)

legislative, adj.1) законодательный 2) введённый законом, назначенный законом

majority, n1) большинство to get/receive/carry/gain/win the/a majority — получить большинство; to have/hold the/a majority — иметь большинство; to win by an overwhelming majority — победить подавляющим большинством голосов (Ant: minority) 2) партия или политическая группировка, составляющая большинство в парламенте

privy, adj.(to) посвящённый (во что-л. секретное), осведомлённый (о чём-л. тайном); причастный (к чему-л.) Privy Council ‒ Тайный совет

referendum, n ‒ (pl. referenda); референдум, всенародный опрос to conduct/hold a referendum — проводить референдум

serve, vслужить, работать, состоять на службе.

sovereignity, nсуверенитет

statute, nзакон, законодательный акт парламента; статут (Syn: law, decree)

swear, v ‒ (into) присягать, давать присягу

term, nсрок, определённый период; длительность, продолжительность term of office — срок полномочий (президента, сенатора и т. п.) (Syn: period, duration, length of time)

treaty, nдоговор, соглашение, конвенция (Syn: contract, agreement, pact)

ultimate, adj.первичный, первоначальный, исходный, основной (Syn: basic)

be appointed ‒ назначаться

be drawn from ‒ избираться из

be responsible for ‒ 1) быть ответственным за что-л. 2) быть инициатором, ав

become law ‒ становиться законом

case law ‒ прецедентное право

have the authority ‒ иметь полномочия

obtain the confidence ‒ приобретать доверие

personal union ‒ личная уния

require the assent ‒ требовать одобрения (санкции)

тором чего-л.

Phonetic exercises

2. Pronounce the following verbs. Mind the pronunciation of endings a) –(e)s; b) –ed.

a) [z] [s] [iz]

to serve – serves to emulate – emulates to rise – rises

to own – owns to consist – consists to establish – establishes

to belong – belongs to drop – drops to manage – manages

to require – requires to pass – passes
b) [d] [t] [id]

to own – owned to abolish – abolished to appoint – appointed

to obtain – obtained to force – forced to divide – divided

to base - based to finance – financed to support – supported
3. Pronounce the following words paying attention to short and long vowels.

[ɔ:] source, authority, law

[ɔ] confidence, monarchy, common, foreign

[a:] parliament, part

[ʌ] country, current, government, ultimate, judge

[i:] Queen, leader, previous

[i] kingdom, simple, minimum, signature

[u:] statute, choose, approval

4. Pronounce the following words. Explain the use of the sounds [s] or [z].

Serves, dependencies, position, those, system, assemblies, states, rises, consists.
5. Pronounce the following words. Explain the use of the sounds [g] or [dʒ].

Legislate, government, legacy, to govern, judge, to manage.
Grammar exercises

6. Translate the following word combinations into Russian.

The UK’s Constitution; the UK’s head of government; Her Majesty’s Government; the Prime Minister’s choices; members of the Prime Minister’s party; Her Majesty’s Most Honorable Privy Council; the UK’s three major political parties; the King’s powers; Britain’s 1-st constitutional monarch; without Parliament’s approval; St. George’s Cross.
7. Use the Possessive Case.

  • the head of the state;

  • the monarch of the United Kingdom;

  • the authority of the Queen;

  • the Parliament of the United Kingdom;

  • the position of the Prime Minister;

  • territories of the British Empire;

  • the National Party of Scotland;

  • a legacy of the British Empire.

8. Write the plural of the following nouns. Mind the spelling.

Country, source, election, hair, territory, judge, house, oversea, authority, difference, woman, half, boundary, lowland, foot, valley.
9. Fill in the blanks with the articles where necessary.

1). … British Parliament is … oldest in … world. It originated in … 12-th century. … British Parliament consists of … House of … Lords and … House of … Commons and … Queen as its … head. … main functions of … Parliament are: to pass laws; to provide, by voting taxation, … means of carrying on the work of government. … House of … Commons plays … role in law-making. Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years and it is … Prime Minister who decides on the exact day of … election. … leader of … party which wins … majority of seats usually becomes … Prime Minister. … Prime Minister’s Office is situated at … 11 … Downing Street.

2). … United Kingdom of … Great Britain and … Northern Ireland is situated on … British Isles. … British Isles consist of two large islands, Great Britain (GB) and Ireland, and about five thousand small islands.

… UK is made up of four countries: … England, … Scotland, … Wales and … Northern Ireland.

… British Isles are separated from … European continent by … North Sea and … English Channel. … western coast of … GB is washed by … Atlantic Ocean and … Irish Sea.

… surface of … British Isles varies very much. … north of … Scotland is mountainous and is called … Highlands, while … south, which has beautiful valleys and plains, is called … Lowlands.

There are … lot of rivers in … GB, but they are not very long. … Severn is … longest river, while … Thames is … deepest and … most important one.
10. Insert prepositions.

The Prime Minister is usually the leader … the party that has a majority … the House of Commons. All the affairs of the state are conducted … the name of the Queen (or King), but really the Prime Minister is responsible … every measure submitted … Parliament. He is the virtual ruler of the country, presiding … the meeting of the Cabinet, which are always secret. Unless there is a Coalition Government, the members of the Cabinet belong … one party only.

When once a party has won a majority of votes, it forms the Government, and may hold office … five years, unless it is defeated … the Opposition on some important Bill, or unless it decides to "appeal … the country" and to have another general election. The British Government consists … the Prime Minister and other Ministers. The Cabinet meets … №10 Downing Street, the official residence of the Prime Minister. The Members of the Cabinet introduce legislation, control finance, arrange the time-table of the Houses of Parliament, conduct foreign affairs, dispose military forces and exercise control … every department of administration.

Vocabulary and Comprehension Exercises
11. Give Russian equivalents.

Constitutional monarchy, the Commonwealth, to have the authority, legal framework, treaty, to pass the law, codified Constitution, the House of Commons, the Cabinet, to be responsible for, Privy Council, legislative authority, to require an assent, to become law, simple plurality, to call a new election, constituency, to exercise power.
12. Give English equivalents.

Гражданство, править, договор, отменять, назначаться, отвечать за что-либо, исполнительная власть, юридическая власть, законодательная власть, становиться законом, одобрение, выбирать, большинство, срок, конституционная монархия, управлять внешними связями и проблемами обороны, основанный на традициях.
13. Match the word with its description.

1. the Union Jack

a. a parliamentary monarchy.

2. the Commonwealth

b. the leader of the party that has a majority in the House of Commons.

3. The Prime Minister

c. a non-elected hereditary chamber with an overwhelming permanent Tory majority.

4. Shadow Cabinet

d. a council of discussion of the party in Opposition

5. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

e. the flag of the United Kingdom

6. The House of Lords

f. an association of former members of the British Empire and Britain founded in 1949.

14. Answer the questions. Use the following expressions to begin your answer.

The text tells the reader that…

I think…

I suppose…

If I got it right…

It seems to me that …

In my opinion …

  1. What type of political system is the UK?

  2. How many states does the Commonwealth include besides the UK?

  3. How many overseas territories does the UK have?

  4. Which countries don’t have a codified constitution?

  5. What is the ultimate legislative authority?

  6. Where does the Parliament meet?

  7. How many houses are there in the British Parliament?

  8. How are the members to the House of Commons elected?

  9. When are general election called?

  10. Who is the Prime Minister?

  11. How is the Cabinet formed?

  12. Who is the present Prime Minister in the country?

  13. How many major political parties are there in the UK?

  14. What are the legislative and executive branches represented by the UK?

15. Complete the sentences using the information of the text.

1. The UK is a … .

2. The Queen is also … .

3. The UK parliamentary government is based on … .

4. The UK does not have … .

5. The Prime Minister … .

6. The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are appointed … .

7. The parliament meets … .

8. The parliament consists of … .

9. Any Bill requires … .

10. General Election is held … .

11. Parliament term is … .

12. The political parties … .
16. Agree or disagree with the following statements using the expressions.

I (quite) agree (with you). I don’t think so.

I think so too. I don’t agree.

Certainly! I think you are mistaken.

  1. The UK is a democratic state.

  2. The head of the state and the Commonwealth is Queen Elizabeth II.

  3. The Crown Dependencies are the lands owned by the monarch and which are the part of the UK.

  4. The UK constitution consists of many written documents, such as statutes, treaties and others.

  5. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party which obtained the majority in the House of Commons.

  6. The Parliament of the UK meets at 10 Downing Street.

  7. The Parliament consists of the members of the House of Commons who are elected every two year.

  8. John Major is the present Prime Minister in the country.

  9. The UK is divided into 646 constituencies for elections.
  10. There are two main political parties in the UK: the Labor party and the Liberal party.

  1. Arrange the sentences according to the text.

  1. The Cabinet and the Prime Minister represent the executive power in the country.

  2. Besides them there are many other parties but they don’t have enough representatives in the House of Commons.

  3. The House of Commons is an elected body for which the UK is divided into 646 constituencies.

  4. The UK is a constitutional monarchy.

  5. There are 3 main political parties in the country: Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats.

  6. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of the state.

  7. The UK does not have a codified Constitution.

  8. There are three territories known as Crown Dependencies besides 15 Commonwealth countries.

  9. The Prime Minister is the head of the party which has the majority in the House of Commons.

  10. There are two houses in the Parliament of the UK, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

  11. The Members of Parliament are elected for 5 years.

  12. The government bases on the Westminster System.

  1. Fill in the chart.


The Legislative Power

The Executive Power

The Judicial Power



19. a) Make written translation of the text. Make use of the words given after it.
On the blessing of monarchy

The British monarchy. The sedate and dignified guards in red uniform, wearing black turban-like fur hats standing stock-still by Buckingham Palace, the Queen's main residence. The Queen stately visit to the inauguration ceremony of a Parliamentary session, with the traditional cuirassier mounted soldiers in glinting armor following the gilded coach upon prancing horses. The dismal Tower, the famous fortress-cum-prison, where some claimants to the throne used to languish, where Count Earl of Essex, and Anne Boleyn, the first wife of King Henry VIII, and some other notables were once beheaded. One cannot very well imagine the United Kingdom without the Royal palace and its trappings, and without the Gothic-style Westminster Abbey, the Parliament building on the Thames River. But all that is not just picturesque scenery, simply a tourist attraction, and those landmarks are not only relics of history. The monarchy is deeply rooted in country's life and politics, and in the mentality and psychology of its citizens.

According to the British Constitution, never recorded in a single volume, in its entirety,(it is in effect a code of fundamental acts of Parliament beginning with the Great Charter, or the Magna Carta, of 1215) the Queen of England is officially not only the Head of State but is also the protector of the Church of England. Furthermore, she is the supreme Commander-in-Chief of the country's Armed Forces.

Formally, a king, or a queen, has the right to dissolve Parliament and appoint a Prime Minister. (Incidentally, they have never once exercised that prerogative.) It goes without saying that real power is exercised by the Parliament and the government.

But it would be a mistake to dismiss the real-life impact exerted by the Crown on society's political and moral climate.

Possessing untold wealth, and maintaining extensive links and connections in the country's highest circles, and disposing of endless information (Buckingham Palace regularly receives top-secret government documents),the Queen and the members of the Royal family exert a tangible (if imperceptible) influence on the shaping and formulation of both foreign and domestic policies.

(MN, №1, 1994)
Anne Boleyn — Анна Болейн (вторая жена английского короля Генриха Восьмого, мать королевы Елизаветы Первой; казнена по обвинению в супружеской неверности)

stock-still ‒ 1. (совершенно) неподвижный, недвижимый, без движения (Syn: quite motionless, stone-still) 2. (совершенно) неподвижно; как столб to stand stock-still — стоять не шелохнувшись

languish – томиться; to languish in jail — томиться в тюрьме

dispose – располагать

imperceptible – незаметный
b) Answer the questions.

1. What is the Queen's main residence?

2. What symbols of monarchy are mentioned in the text?

3. What are the duties of the Queen (or the King)?

4. Whom does the real power belong to?

5. What is the role of the monarch in the country?
20. Translate into English.

1. Полное официальное название страны — Соединенное Королевство Великобритании и Северной Ирландии. Ее территория — 242,5 тыс.кв.км. Население — 58,4 млн. чел. Столица — Лондон. Государственный язык — английский.

2. Население страны составляют англичане — 78%, шотландцы — 9%, ирландцы — 5%, валлийцы — 1,5%.

3. Государственный строй - парламентская монархия. Глава государства - королева Елизавета II (с 6 февраля 1952 года, династия Виндзоров). Законодательным органом является Парламент. Он состоит из Палаты лордов и Палаты общин. Правительство формируется лидером партии, получившей на выборах большинство мест и/или пользующейся поддержкой большинства депутатов в Палате общин; состоит из членов кабинета, министров, не входящих в состав кабинета, и младших министров (всего около 100 чел.). Монарх, не имеющий законодательной власти, выполняет представительские функции.

4. Королева Виктория правила страной дольше всех монархов. Ее правление длилось 64 года.

5. Букингемский дворец является официальной резиденцией королевы.
Do you know that:

  • The British Constitution isn't set out in a single document. Instead it is made up of a combination of laws and conventions. A thousand years ago the Anglo-Saxon kings consulted the Great Council before taking important decisions. Between 1066 and 1215 the king ruled alone, but in 1215 the nobles forced King John to accept Magna Carta, which took away some of the king's powers. In later centuries this was seen as the 1st occasion on which the king was forced to take advice. In 1264 the 1st parliament of nobles met together. Since then the British constitution has grown up slowly as the result of countless Acts of parliament. Then, parliament invited William and Mary to become Britain's 1st constitutional monarchs. A constitutional monarch is one who can rule only with the support of parliamentary. The Bill of Rights was the 1st legal step towards constitutional monarchy. This Bill prevented the monarch from making laws or having an army without Parliament's approval. Since 1689 the power of parliament has grown, while the power of the monarch has become weaker.

    • Magna Carta. Великая хартия вольностей (грамота, подписанная в 1215 королём Иоанном Безземельным [John "Lackland"] под давлением восставших баронов; ограничивала королевскую власть и предоставляла более широкие права крупным феодалам; основной массе английского народа - крепостному крестьянству - не дала никаких прав; наряду с актами составляет статутарную основу английской конституционной практики; хранится в Гилдхолле [guildhall)]

    • Bill of Rights. Билль о правах (1689; был направлен против восстановления абсолютизма; юридически оформил итоги "Славной революции" [Glorious Revolution]; значительно ограничив власть короны [Crown)] и гарантировав права парламента [Parliament], заложил основы английской конституционной монархии; наряду с актами составляет статутарную основу английской конституционной практики;

    • Habeas Corpus Act. Закон о неприкосновенности личности (предписывает представление арестованного в суд в течение установленного срока для надлежащего судебного разбирательства и установления законности ареста); наряду с актами составляет статутарную основу английской конституционной практики. Принят в 1679;

    • Petition of Right. Петиция о праве (была представлена палатой общин [House of Commons] королю Карлу I [Charles I] и утверждена им в 1628) требовала значительного ограничения королевской власти; закрепляла роль и права парламента и судов; программный документ буржуазии в канун Английской буржуазной революции [English Revolution 1640-53]; ограждала собственность буржуазии от посягательств абсолютизма. Наряду с актами составляет статутарную основу английской конституционной практики
    • Statute of Westminster. Вестминстерский статут (1931; акт парламента [Parliament] о правовом положении британских доминионов [dominion] и их взаимоотношениях с Великобританией; подтвердил полный суверенитет доминионов, однако фактически сохранил контроль Великобритании над их внешней политикой; наряду с актами составляет статутарную основу английской конституционной практики;

  • Parliamentary procedure is based on forms and rules and one of them is introducing a Bill. There are two main stages in the life of a Bill: the period of preparation before it is published or introduced into Parliament; and its subsequent progress through Parliament. Every Bill has three reading. After the third reading the Bill goes before the House of Lords and if the Lords agree to the Bill, it will be placed before the Queen for signature. Only then it becomes an Act of Parliament.

  • Symbols

  • The flag of the United Kingdom is the Union Flag. It was created by the superimposition of the flags of England (St George's Cross) and Scotland (Saint Andrew's Cross), with Saint Patrick's cross, to represent Ireland, being added to this in 1801. Wales is not represented in the Union Flag as Wales had been conquered and annexed to England prior to the formation of the United Kingdom. However, the possibility of redesigning the Union Flag to include representation of Wales has not been completely ruled out.

  • The national anthem of the United Kingdom is "God Save the King", with "King" replaced with "Queen" in the lyrics whenever the monarch is female. The anthem's name, however, remains "God Save the King".
  • Britannia is a national personification of the United Kingdom, originating from the Roman occupation of southern and central Great Britain. Britannia is symbolized as a young woman with brown or golden hair, wearing a Corinthian helmet and white robes. She holds Poseidon's three-pronged trident and a shield, bearing the Union Flag. Sometimes she is depicted as riding the back of a lion. At and since the height of the British Empire, Britannia has often associated with maritime dominance, as in the patriotic song "Rule, Britannia!".

  • The lion symbol is depicted behind Britannia on the 50 pence piece and one is shown crowned on the back of the 10 pence piece. It is also used as a symbol on the non-ceremonial flag of the British Army.

  • The bulldog is sometimes used as a symbol of the United Kingdom and has been associated with Winston Churchill's defiance of Nazi Germany.

21. Ask your friend,

  • знает ли он;

  • знает ли он, почему;

  • знает ли он, из скольких частей;

  • знает ли он, сколько;

  • знает ли он;

  • что он знает о.

22. Review the information you’ve got from Lesson 2. Summarize it using the suggested words and word combinations.

The head of the state, the British Commonwealth, the powers of the Queen, to pass laws, to obtain the confidence, to be appointed by the Monarch, to be exercised by, to be the leader, legislative authority, an elected House of Commons, an appointed House of Lords, major political parties, to be set out in a single document, to accept Magna Carta, the Union Flag.

<< предыдущая страница   следующая страница >>