After Boris Johnson’s resignation, the UK’s new Prime Minister is Liz Truss. There’s a lot going on in the country at the moment, and today we investigate what kind of leader she will be and what kind of history she has. So let’s have a conversation about British politics while you do your English listening practice.
Liz Truss is the new British Prime Minister, and she has a lot to deal with; Brexit negotiations, Ukraine, and energy prices (Which have gone crazy!). Join us as we talk about what type of leader she will be and what kind of history she has.
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As always with our English lessons, we make them interesting to keep you engaged in the lesson. Listening to today’s English conversation is going to help your English language learning, you're going to be improving your English comprehension, your vocabulary. You might learn new English phrases, grammar or just something about British culture and the way an English native speaker would talk in an everyday conversation.
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Hi there. Today let's cover some more UK news. We have a new Prime Minister. There is lots of change in the UK at the moment. So Boris Johnson is out and Liz Truss is in. So what kind of Prime Minister do we think she's going to be? What does she support? What's her history? What are her policies? Let's have a look at that today while you do your English language listening.
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So British politics usually stops over the summer because parliament closes down. But it's been stopped this summer because Boris Johnson agreed to step down. And the new Leader of the Conservative Party has been elected by the Conservative Party members. So the Conservatives are the party in power at the moment, the ones with the majority, the ones with most of the vote. And Conservative Party members have elected their choice to lead the party. And this person also automatically becomes Prime Minister.
A number of people have commented to me that they don't think it should work this way. They would prefer a General Election, rather than a few Tory Party members appointing our new Prime Minister. But that's the way it works and that's what's happening. So Liz Truss. Liz, L I Z is of course short for 'Elizabeth', the same name as our Queen, of course. No longer with us. Liz Truss is 47 years old. She was born in Oxford and she went to school in Leeds in Yorkshire. That's a town in the north of England. She also spent time living in Scotland as well. So for university, Liz Truss went to Oxford, one of the top two and most prestigious universities in the UK. One is Oxford University, the other is Cambridge University, of course. So clearly she did well academically. 'Academically' means 'in her studies'. And typical of many of our Members of Parliament, she studied PPE at Oxford. PPE is Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Very suitable subjects, I guess, for someone who's going to be a Member of Parliament. However, I quite like our MPs to have done some other job first, not just to be 'career politicians', as we say. And indeed, after Liz Truss graduated from Oxford University, she became an accountant and she worked for Shell, as in the oil company and then for Cable and Wireless. Here, she met her husband, Hugh O'Leary who is also an accountant.
Boris Johnson could be said to come from a very 'upper middle class' family. This isn't true for Liz Truss. Her father was a professor of mathematics and her mother was a nurse and she was one of four children - she has three brothers. But it was also a very political family. They marched in protest against Margaret Thatcher and against the nuclear warheads being installed at Greenham Common in the 1980s.
Liz Truss is known within her family for being 'opinionated'. Other words cited in an article by the BBC - she's quick, quick-minded, very determined. But flexible. And she is flexible, I guess, because originally she was a member of the Liberal Democrat Party. And then she became an MP for the Conservative Party in 2010. So as a child, she marched against Margaret Thatcher, so she was really quite on the left wing with her family to begin with. But where she sits now, she's regarded as being on the right wing of the Conservative Party, so quite a move.
What policies are we likely to see under Liz Truss, under her leadership? A policy, P O L I C Y in this context means 'What are her ideas, her plans, her strategies? What measures is she likely to implement?'
Her number one task, I suspect, will be to find a way of softening the energy crisis. People are scared at the moment. How much is their gas and electricity going to cost them next year? During this winter, when we need the heating on - 'cause it's cold in the UK, in the winter. So she will be putting in place measures to help with oil, gas, electricity, petrol prices, I suspect. That will be number one priority.
Digital art of PM Boris Johnson thrown onto a rubbish tip. British history is full of unexpected events, and today we investigate what kind of leader, Liz Truss, the new Prime Minister will be.
She's also known for wanting low taxation and 'small government'. This means that she intends to reduce the amount of tax that we pay. Rishi Sunak, the other candidate, would've been someone who wanted to raise taxes, mindful of our deficit and our debt, given all the expenditure during the COVID 19 pandemic, of course.
'Small government' - what does that mean? It means that Liz Truss believes in free markets, less dependency upon the state to provide things for people, less 'state interference' if you like, would be the term. The downside, of course is more borrowing, at least in the short term. So more debt, which is perhaps problematic. Debt, D E B T is 'what you owe'. And we owe a serious amount of debt already in this country, so that may not be entirely fair on future generations. They're the ones who are gonna have to pay this debt.
Liz Truss originally voted to remain in the European Union in 2016, but now she's 'a keen Brexiteer'. So once again, she's changed her mind. I can see that she's 'flexible'.
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She's also suggested once again, that she may agree to fracking. That's going to be an unpopular thing, I think. The verb 'to frack', F R A C K - that's 'the mining of shale gas'. So something that was abandoned because it was damaging to the environment, perhaps even created small earthquakes, it's believed. And because of the current energy crisis, we're going back to that. So fracking will be a controversial policy if that's what she goes for.
It seems that she might be quite a controversial Prime Minister, all told. But let's see what she does. I'm sure I will be talking once again about Liz Truss. So listen to this podcast a number of times and use it to help your English vocabulary, your English, grammar, your English understanding.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye
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