Today's lesson focuses on practicing your English speaking. We use that tried and tested formula, pick a topic everyone is talking about in the UK right now and talk about it using everyday English. All you have to do is listen and learn.
Well, the election results are in, I was wrong; I thought the country was still 50/50 on leaving or remaining in the EU. However the voters made is very clear, the UK will get on with leaving the EU as quickly as is possible.
Finally, a clear choice of direction for the UK and finally the news can move onto something else. It has been so boring to hear the same Brexit discussion on the news for 3+ years. Suddenly people are talking about nurses salaries and president Trumps impeachment.
It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.
⭐ Winston Churchill
Hi there and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. If you want to improve your English speaking, improve your spoken English, then why not buy our 500 words course – the Most Common 500 Words in English? You’ll find this English speaking course available on our website at adeptenglish.com. If you already know the basics of English, perhaps from school or college, but you find it difficult to understand English and you struggle even more to speak English or join in English speaking conversations, then the Most Common 500 Words course will help you.
You’ll improve your understanding and move it towards being more automatic and this in turn which mean when you want speak, the words will come more automatically too, so your English speaking will improve through listening and through knowing the 500 Most Common Words really, really well. Your English speaking practice will then be so much easier.
So, we had our election last week in the UK and the result was an overwhelming win for Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party. Although the Conservative Party had looked favourites to win early on, towards the actual election date, the gap narrowed – the other main party, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party looked as though they might catch up, they might secure as many votes as the Conservatives. There were a lot of people, most of them young and therefore more likely to be Labour supporters, who registered to vote, right at the last minute, just before the election happened. So the outcome of the election, the result seemed very uncertain and the possibility of what we call ‘a hung parliament’ seemed quite great. ‘A hung parliament’ means that no one party has an overall majority, no one party has enough to vote out everybody else, or vote against everybody else. Sometimes a ‘hung parliament’ can have a really good effect, because it ensures that different political parties are forced to work together, they have to work together. Sometimes that can be good.
Better off in or out daily newspaper headline, as the UK finally decides which direction to take after the Brexit vote, used in a speaking English lesson article.
But the problem in the UK, has been that for three years, nobody has been able to agree on Brexit – so a ‘hung parliament’ right now, after this election could have meant that the arguing just carried on, perhaps for another three years. Who knows? I think whichever side of the debate you are on, noone wants that!
The scale of the Conservative win is quite remarkable. 365 parliamentary seats to Labour’s 203, even though there are lots of people who dislike Boris Johnson. Here’s that favourite phrase again – ‘he’s Marmite’, meaning people either love Boris or they hate him. One or the other. But despite this, the Conservatives did very well. Which I guess means the UK at least now knows what direction it’s going in, even if many people are still very sad to leave the EU. So the success of the Conservative Party is remarkable too, given that the country is still split, 50-50% on Brexit and that Boris Johnson now will have the support in parliament, to lead Britain out of the EU.
But for the Labour Party, there must be a rethink. Jeremy Corbyn has already said that he will step down – that means he’ll stop being leader of the party. And therefore a new leader will perhaps give the party a new direction. It needs one and it’s possible that people’s distrust of Jeremy Corbyn was one of the reasons why they didn’t win votes. For example, he is seen as not properly dealing with anti-Jewish feelings in the party – he’s not reacted strongly enough to anti-semitism. The Labour Party also tried to be neutral on Brexit, saying that it would be ‘led by the people’, which could have meant another vote on Brexit. It’s possible that traditional Labour voters didn’t like this approach.
The Labour Party also promised all kinds of things during this election. They were going to spend lots and lots of money on projects like offering free broadband, fast internet connection to every home in the UK. They were promising to make all the buses in the UK electric, which may have helped the environment, but which would have cost a fortune, a lot of money. They also had a policy of buying back into government ownership lots of our infrastructure. This is called nationalisation or perhaps re-nationalisation.
The word ‘infrastructure’ means transport, essential supplies like water, gas, electricity, roads. And ‘nationalising them’ means that you take them into public ownership, you...it means that the government owns them, rather than private companies running them. So Labour would’ve taken back into government ownership or renationalised the water companies, the mail or post – all the letters and parcels, the railways – all the trains and energy distribution – all our gas and electricity would’ve been operated by government, like it used to be years ago. It is difficult to calculate the cost of all this, but it would have cost a lot! Billions of pounds. Perhaps this was what made people decide not to vote Labour.
I think the other problem was that the Labour Party expected support automatically from the regions, the areas of the UK which traditionally are Labour voters. But this didn’t happen. It didn’t happen in the north of the country. And actually much of the north voted Conservative, which is a really, really unusual thing to happen! If you come from the north of the UK, voting Conservative is just something that you don’t usually do! People remember Margaret Thatcher and just say ‘Ugh, no! I’d never vote Conservative’. But this time they did vote Conservative! And in Scotland, where historically Labour was popular, Labour lost so many seats to the Scottish Nationalists, the SNP, who want Scotland to be an independent country, not in the UK any more.
So I hope that all of this will mean that the Labour Party have a big rethink. That they work out what wasn’t popular, what things meant that voters were turned off from voting Labour. They have time to do this now – it will be quite a few years before there is another election. And it’s really important that they do this. The UK parliament, it needs a strong, trustworthy, viable party in opposition. Having the Conservative Party in command, unchecked, unopposed might mean that the arguments around Brexit are finally reduced, but it isn’t necessarily a good thing. So come on Labour Party, sort yourselves out!
So there you are – a bit of British politics for you, at the same time helping you to learn English speaking and improve your spoken English. How to practice in a non-English speaking country? Use Adept English.
Enough English speaking for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.