The British democratic system depends on political parties. At one time there were two parties: Conservative and Liberal. The Conservative (or Tory) started аs Royalists in the 17th century. By the end of the 19th century the big landowners, the bankers and the industrialists had united. The Liberals began their activities as THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. anti-Royalists in the 17th century. In the early 19th century they represented the small industrialists. They remained strong up to the end of World War I. Lloyd George, their leader, was Prime Minister. Then they faded out. Now the Liberal Party is small, and its relations with THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. the Conservative and Labour parties are complex. But during the first half of the 20th century the Labour Party arose to represent the interests of the working class. Despite its many and courageous fights, it soon came under the influence of imperialist ideas. The two main parties are now THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Conservative (sometimes called "Tory") and Labour.

When one party wins more seats than the others, it forms the Government, the others are in opposition. In 1981 there was a split in the Labour Party and the Social Democratic Party was formed. After disappointing election results in 1988, the Social THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Democratic Party merged with the Liberals to form a centre called the Social Democratic and Liberal Party(SDLP). But some Social Democrats continued on their own. Northern Ireland hаs its own political parties. The largest is Ulster Unionist Party which supports Northern Ireland's union with Britain. In recent years THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. nationalist movements in Scotland and Wales have produced parties which fight for their own special interests; the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) and the Welsh Nationalist Party.

The Communist Party of Great Britain arose out of the workers' struggles during World War I in 1920. Its former chairman Harry Pollitt, was the THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. leader of the "Hands off Russia" movement. Between the two world wars the Communist Party led the movement for disarmament and for Collective Security against fascist aggression.

It also led the workers' struggles for better living conditions and against unemployment. The Communist Party is rather small. But where its policy THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. is known or where individual communists are known it gets support.

The United Kingdom is divided into 650 areas called constituencies. Some constituencies have a much larger voting population than others. Each constituency returns one Member of Parliament. Before an election a candidate is chosen by the THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. local members of a party: if there is not enough local support for a party, it may decide not to have a candidate. But the two main parties almost always fight the election in every constituency. Candidates who are independent of a political party can also seek election but THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. they rarely get a seat in Parliament. Elections in Britain are decided on a simple majority in each constituency - the candidate with the most votes is elected. And the party with the most elected members wins the election. So the number of seats in Parliament held by each political party is not THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. directly related to the total number of votes it receives.

(Life in Britain. English Language Text Books for Foreigners. 1988. Heinemann)

Пояснение к тексту

constituency - избирательный округ

Слова и выражения для активного усвоения

to depend on – зависеть

activity – деятельность

to represent - представлять

split – раскол

influence – воздействие

to merge – соединяться

to support – поддерживать

recent – недавнешний

to arise - появляться, происходить

to lead THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. - управлять, возглавлять

struggle - борьба

disarmament – разоружение

election – выборы

to vote-голосовать

voting - голосование, выборы

Questions to the text.

1. What does the British democratic systems depend on?

2. What political parties of Great Britain do you know?

3. Is there any difference between the Conservative and the Labour parties?

4. What party forms the Government?

Text 6.


(Part I).

London THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. is situated about 40 miles (about 64 kilometers) from the mouth of the River Thames. It is divided into two unequal portions by the river.

London is the heart of Britain. It is not only Britain`s capital, it is the country's largest city, the most important seaport THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN., and the financial and business centre. London is also Britain's cultural centre: the place with the most theatres, cinemas, concert halls and museums; in addition, it is the country's TV production centre.

The City is the oldest part of London. It has a history going bасk to THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. at least 43 A.D. and the Romans.

The City has its own Lord Mayor, its own style of government, a system little changed since the Middle Ages, and its own police force.

There one can find St. Paul's Cathedral, the Central Criminal Court, the fish market. The centre of the THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. City is a crossroads, a meeting of seven streets, where the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Mansion House stand.

Now about half a million people work in the City during the day. At night it is almost deserted: not many people live in the THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Square Mile nowadays. These are caretakers of office blocks, the choirboys and clergy of St. Paul's Cathedral.

One of the famous sights of London is the Tower, It was erected by William the Conqueror in the eleventh century. He wanted to impress the brave Saxons and to guard THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. the river approaches to London. For hundreds of years the Tower of London has served as a fortress, a royal palace, a state prison and a mint.

Visitors can see the exact spot where many nobles were executed. There were so many it is difficult to count them. Queen Elizabeth I was THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. sent here by Mary Tudor. In the fifteenth century the children of King Edward IV were strangled here. Henry VIII sent to the Tower two of his wives, they were beheaded. The Tower ravens are part of the legend ofthe Tower. A curious superstition dating from the time of THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Charles II prophesies that when there are no longer any ravens in the Tower the British Commonwealth will fall. The ravens are fed twice a day; they are under special café of the Raven Master.

It should be mentioned that the Tower is a museum now with the exhibition THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. of Crown Jewels in the Underground Jewel House. The Tower is guarded by the Yeoman Warders, the famous "Beefeaters" dressed in traditional medieval clothes. The Warders make the historic place look still more fantastic and theatrical. "Beefeater" is a nickname of a Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. /in the sense "one who eats beef" or "one who is well fed"/.

If the City may be called the commercial heart of London; Westminster is the centre of administration. We can see the Houses of Parliament here - the building in London in which the House of THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Commons and the House of Lords assemble. The modern buildings stand on the site of the Royal Palace of Westminster, which was built by Edward the Confessor in the 14th century. The Palace was badly damaged by fire in 1834 and all that could be saved was Westminster Hall. The present THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Houses of Parliament were built on the site between 1840 and 1867 from designs by Sir Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin. The House of Commons was bombed during the Second World War but was completely rebuilt by 1950. The Houses of Parliament stand on Parliament Square. Westminster Abbey is opposite the Houses of THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. Parliament. Westminster Abbey is a fine English church where almost all the English sovereigns have been crowned since the 11th century. Westminster maintains this tradition established by William the Conqueror. The ritual was the same in essentials when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in I953. Westminster Abbey is well THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN.-known for its Poet's Corner where mаnу writers and poets are buried, or where the monuments to them are raised. Among those buried here are Chaucer (1340 - 1400), Dickens (1812 -1870), Hardy(1840 - 1928) and Kipling (1865 - 1936).

G.D. Tomaknin. Зарубежные языки в школе, № I, 1988.

Пояснения к тексту

Lord Mayor - лорд-мэр /титул главы муниципалитета THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. неких больших городов Великобритании, а так же английского Сити/

St. Paul's Cathedral - собор Св.Павла

Central Criminal Court - Центральный Уголовный трибунал

Royal Exchange- Царская биржа

Mansion House - официальная резиденция лорд-мэра

Square Mile - "Квадратная миля" /Английский Сити/

William the Conqueror - Вильгельм Завоеватель

crown jewels - царские регалии

Yeomen-Warder - страж английского Тауэра

Westminster - Вестминстер

Edward THE PARTY SYSTEM OF GREAT BRITAIN. the Confessor - Эдуард Духовник

Westminster Abbey - Вестминстерское аббатство

Слова и выражения для активного усвоения

important - принципиальный

in addition to - в дополнение

meaning - значение

to restrict - ограничивать

to include - включать

one can - можно

care- taker - охранник

sights - достопримечательность

to impress - создавать воспоминание

fortress - крепость

prison - кутузка

to mention - упоминать

to guard -. охранять

to damage - повреждать

design.- план, проект

church - церковь

sovereign.- монарх

Questions to the text

1. Where is London situated?


3. What famous sights in London do you know?

4. Is Westminster the commercial heart of London?

Text 7