Talking to my Dad about the results of the UK’s general election on 8 June 2017.
The story of British politics continues in this episode as I talk to my Dad about the most recent developments, specifically the results of the snap general election which took place on 8 June.
A general election is when all the MPs in the UK’s House of Commons are chosen by voters across the country. The party with the highest number of MPs wins the right to form a government. The leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister, the leader of the country.
At the moment our PM is Theresa May of the Conservative party and she called this election just 5 or 6 weeks in advance. I talked about it to my Dad last month. Her reason for doing it was to make sure she had a proper mandate from the people before beginning the brexit negotiations.
Everyone expected the Tories to win a bigger majority and for Labour to lose miserably.
But the results were quite surprising.
Here’s a very quick summary. http://www.bbc.com/news/election/2017/results
It’s a hung parliament. No party won enough seats to gain an overall majority.
The main parties are Conservatives and Labour.
Conservatives lost 13 seats. They now have 318.
Labour gained 30. They now have 262
This is a huge failure for the Conservatives.
SNP lost 21 seats. This is significant because they won so many in the last election and the SNP are all about gaining Scottish independence.
UKIP are out completely – they lost their single seat. They were the party campaigning for the UK to leave the EU and the immigrants to leave the UK.
Since the Tories are the incumbent party they get the first opportunity to try and form a government by making a deal with one of the other parties.
That’s the position at this moment. We’ll expand on it during our conversation but the words turmoil and disarray are again being used to describe the messy and complicated condition of politics in the UK today.
So let’s talk to my Dad – the professor of broadcast journalism and former BBC news man, for some much needed clarity on this whole subject in order to find out what happened, what it all means, how Northern Ireland and Scotland are involved and how this all relates to the ongoing story of Brexit.
As ever, watch out for all the key language as it appears. There is a lot of political language in this episode, which applies mainly to political systems in the UK but also could be used to talk about politics and international relations in other countries. Also, there are the usual fixed expressions, idioms and phrasal verbs that you normally find in any natural conversation.
Remember that in episode 352 of this podcast (nearly 100 episodes ago) I explained some key concepts and vocabulary related to this whole subject. So if you need some clarification and you want a reminder of some of the important words and terms relating to all of this, check out episode 352 in the archive.
But now, let’s hear from my Dad, Rick Thompson about the current state of politics in the UK, just after last week’s snap general election.
So there you are. I hope it’s all a little bit clearer now, but equally it might even be more complicated!
It is a complicated situation but I hope you agree that we’re quite lucky to be able to listen to my Dad talking about it in his typically lucid and articulate way.
Don’t forget that you can listen to previous episodes of this podcast in which I have gone into detail about the language of politics in the UK.
Episode 352 goes into detail about the vocabulary of Brexit and you can listen to that one again in order to learn some of the key language of this subject.
Also you can listen to episode 82 from way back in January 2012 when I did an episode about voting, elections, politics and government in the UK, in which I explain and teach all the essential language you need to talk about the political process and also you can listen to a funny sketch about a general election.
That’s it for now. As ever, I remind you to join the mailing list which will mean you get an email in your inbox whenever I post new content here.
That’s new episodes of the podcast but also I sometimes post something when I’ve been featured on someone else’s podcast and recently I was invited to talk on the English Across the Pond podcast, The Earful Tower podcast and the Rock n Roll English podcast. If you’re signed up to the mailing list you will get notified of those things and will easily be able to listen to those fun conversations I’ve had and find out about some other people’s podcasts that you might not know about.
I’m going to end this episode after the jingle by playing you parts of the speeches by Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn in the first session of Parliament since the election results came out.
Listen carefully to the voices of the PM and opposition leader as they make statements about the results and about the democratic process in Parliament over the coming months.
The cheering and jeering sounds you hear in the background are all the other MPs sitting in the House of Commons. It’s quite normal to hear them all shouting and cheering in agreement, or heckling and laughing at people they don’t agree with. I wonder if the parliament in your country is as loud and boisterous as it is in the UK.
So thanks for listening, and keep on listening after the jingle if you’d like to hear the words of Prime Minister Theresa May and leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn. (Image below, BBC.com)