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Our New Government

So we’ve now had a coalition government for two weeks, which means that the government is made up of more than one party. Those of you who followed the election will know that the results were very close (Conservative 306 seats, Labour 258 seats, Liberal Democrats 57 seats with the others getting 28 seats) which means with no overall majority for the Labour or Conservative party, the Liberal Democrats were put into the interesting position of being able to decide which party they would most benefit working with.

After a week of toing and froing Nick Clegg chose to work with David Cameron, a decision which many fear will be doomed to failure as their policies have been as different as chalk and cheese in the past!

Today, in the Queen's speech, she announced the ambitious legislative programme put forward by the new coalition government which they hope to achieve over the next 18 months. These are the keys points, obviously the main priority is to reduce the deficit (which Cameron points out is bigger than Greece's). They also aim to promote energy efficiency, give more power to local councils and open more schools. Additionally, they'll introduce a referendum to change to the alternative vote for the whole of the UK and parliamentary reform, introducing fixed term elections every 5 years. And just to add insult to injury the unpopular ID cards that Gordon Brown's Labour government hoped to introduce, have been scrapped.

This is a new and potentially difficult period for British Politics with Harriet Harman (the Caretaker Labour leader) watching and waiting for the 'happy couple' to make their first mistake...I, for one, will be watching this space with interest.


  • to to and fro - Continuous movement from place to place
  • doomed to failure Sure to fail
  • as different as chalk and cheese Complete opposites
  • a referendum - People vote to make a decision about subject
  • the alternative vote - a ranking system of voting
  • add insult to injury - to make something that is already bad, worse
  • to scrap to get rid of something
  • caretaker Labour leader a temporary leader until another one is chosen

Written by Heather, on of our trainers at The London School of English.

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