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LESSON 12 POLITICAL PARTIES AND TRADE UNIONS The existence in Britain of organized political parties each laying its

own policies before the electorate has led to well-developed political divisions in Parliament. The party system has existed in one form or another since the seventeenth century, and began to assume its modern shape towards the end of the nineteenth century. Whenever there is a general election (or a by-election) the parties may put up candidates for election. The electorate then indicates, by its choice of candidate at the poll on election day, which of the opposing policies it would like to see put into effect. The candidate who polls the most votes is elected: an absolute majority is not required. Such an electoral system is called the majority system, which is unrepresentative and undemocratic because it gives predominance to the most powerful parties the Conservative and Labour parties. These parties as a rule control Parliament. In this context there is a two-party system in Britain. The Conservative and Labour parties share power, they control the state mechanism, only these two parties have access to the management of the state, though in reality there exist other parties. However, in recent years new trends are becoming more noticeable. These changes which occurred under the pressure of the working people, disappointed with the existing state mechanism, make it more complicated for the two main parties to dominate the political scene. A reflection of the tendency is the fact that more votes are given to the other political parties. The modern party system in Britain is a result of the Industrial Revolution which took place in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the emergence of new classes on the political scene the capitalists and working class, the organized political struggle of the working class. The Industrial Revolution brought into being the industrial proletariat and with it the fight for civil and political rights, trade-union organization and the right to vote. Under such conditions the ruling-classes found it necessary to create political organizations which were intended to defend their class interests. This in its turn led to the emergence of the Conservative and Liberal parties in the nineteenth century as parties of the propertied classes. By the end of the nineteenth century, both major political parties had become organized on a nationwide basis with election agents, constituency organizations and a London headquarters. In Parliament, the two-party system which had been emerging from the end of the eighteenth century was
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given formal acknowledgement when the House of Commons was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the old one in 1834. A new chamber was provided with two sets of benches, one for an administration party, one for an opposition party. Political struggle led to the formation of the Labour party in 1900 and to the foundation of the Communist party in 1920. The Conservative party. The Conservative party of Great Britain (the official name The National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations) was officially organized in 1867 on the basis of political groups of the English landed aristocracy. The origins of the party go down to the 17th century, when it was called the Tory party. The Tories (formed in 1679) staunchly supported the claims of monarchy. 'Tory' was initially a derogatory nickname, meaning an Irish bandit. In the course of its evolution in the 19th century the Conservative party became the main party of British top monopoly capital. It is also supported by the top military clique and bureaucracy, partially by bourgeois intellectuals, the well-paid employees and the labour aristocracy. Supported and financed by the clique of company directors, aristocrats, big business politicians the party is an advocate of capitalism and inperialism, openly defending capitalist exploitation at home and abroad. Its home policy is aimed at the limitation of trade union rights, prohibition of strikes, suppression of basic rights of the working class. The foreign policy of the Conservatives is likewise motivated by the interests of the British ruling class. The Conservative party has no official permanent programme. On the eve of general elections the party issues a pre-election manifesto which states the main aspects of the home and foreign policies of the future Conservative government if the party wins the elections. However, it is necessary to emphasize the point that there is always a great gap between the pre-election promises and their actual implementation when the party comes to power. Being a party of 'big business' the party always reduces state allocations for social security, gives priority to private enterprise by slashing funds for the nationalized sector of the economy, introduces taxation profitable for the big companies. The activity of the party is marked by further offensive of the monopolies on the social and economic rights of the working people, the anti-trade union measures, violations of basic human rights, especially in Northern Ireland. Structurally the party consists of 650 local associations, each one covering an electoral constituency. One should remember that the House of Commons is
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formed by the deputies who have won majority in each of the 650 constituencies of Great Britain. The Conservative party has no official membership, no membership cards and party dues. Formally the highest organ in the party is the annual conference. However, actual power is concentrated in the hands of the leader of the party. The leader is not elected by the annual conference, but by the MPs sitting in Parliament on behalf of the Conservative party the so-called parliamentary party. The leader personally appoints the holders of the key positions in the central office. The decisions of the annual party conference and of the various organs of the party (the executive organ of the party in between the party conferences) are conveyed to the leader so that he may be kept constantly aware of the moods and opinions of the party members, but the leader is in no way bound by these resolutions. Pronouncements of party policy are the responsibilities of the leader. The leader may not even attend the annual conference except to deliver a speech at the end of the conference which is not open to discussion. Thus the relations between the ordinary members and the party leadership can only be described as undemocratic. The party issues its own paper Newsletter, the official journals of the party are Time and Tide, Politics Today. However, one should remember that the majority of the British press supports the Conservative party. The papers and journals are owned by the big monopolies. The former Liberal party. The Liberal party of Great Britain existed since 1832, though it was finally organized in 1877. The history of this party is closely associated with the Whig party, which emerged in 1679. Initially the Whigs voiced the interests of the financial and the trading bourgeoisie. The party was opposed to the policy of Charles II who tried to restore the absolute powers of monarchy after the bourgeois revolution (164060). The Whig leaders headed by the Earl of Shaftesbury and his followers in the Green Ribbon club attempted to exclude Charles's Catholic brother, later James II, from succession to the throne. As a result, they became associated with the cause of the opponents of the regime and the defence of the liberties of the subject and parliament against the threat of monarchical absolutism. The term 'Whig', from 'whiggamore (cattle-drover), began as a term of abuse used by opponents. In the nineteenth century the Whigs served as a nucleus in the formation of the Liberal party. The middle and petty bourgeois intellectuals formed the social basis of the party.
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Before the First World War it was second only to the Conservatives in political and social influence. Quite often did the Liberals hold office. However, due to the intensification of class struggle and a split among the Liberals the party's influence declined. Having suffered several defeats at the parliamentary elections in the twenties the party could not restore its former prestige. To a great degree the newly formed Labour party won the votes of the former Liberal supporters. The results of the general elections of 1979 and 1983 indicated a marked growth of influence of the Liberals, though in 1987 they suffered a setback. They formed an alliance with the Social Democratic party which emerged in 1981 as a result of a split in the Labour party. In 1988 the Liberals and Social Democrats formed a united party under the name the Social-Liberal Democratic party or just the Democrats. This event highlighted the formation of a new political party in Great Britain which claimed to have a membership of about one hundred thousand supporters. The party was set to take a centrist stand in the political spectrum of Great Britain. Its political platform remains vague reflecting a diversity of views of the members of the two former parties. In the political system of Great Britain the Democrats hope to fill the gap which exists between the Conservatives and Labourites. The Labour party. The Labour party was established in 1900 on the initiative of the trade unions and several socialist organizations (the Independent Labour party, the Fabian Society and Social-Democratic Federation). The main aim was to win working class representation in Parliament. This was initially reflected in the name of the party Labour Representation Committee. In 1906 this Committee officially adopted the title of the Labour party. The Labour party is a classical party of social-democratic reformism. Up to 1918 the party had no clear-cut programme. Though the Labour party proclaims that socialism is its aim, its concept of socialism is anti-Marxist. In all the years of the Labour party's existence, the conflict between working class politics and the policies of the leadership, reflected in the struggle between right and left in the movement, has always been inherent in the Labour party. The Labour party has always been an association of different class elements the working class and groups of the petty bourgeoisie. The working class mass organizations, the trade unions provided the main body of the membership and the finance. The reformist politicians in alliance with the right-wing trade union leaders formed the right-wing leadership. The party has no long term political programme which would determine the final aims
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and means to achieve them. Instead the party endorses current political issues containing measures, which the future Labour government intends to implement if the party takes office as a result of a majority in the general elections. The home policy of the Labour party is based on the principles of reformism. However, the Labour party politicians acknowledge the necessity of carrying out limited socio-economic reforms. In this context they favoured nationalization of the economy (i. e. greater state control of the economy), a state-run health and educational system, some improvements in social security, better housing, etc. In foreign policy the Labour party leadership firmly supports NATO, military, political and economic cooperation with the USA. At the same time the Labour party politicians display flexibility and in their policy statements support peace, detente, arms control, an improvement of relations with the Soviet Union and other socialist states. The most important development in British politics in recent years has been the growing strength of the militant section of the labour movement reflected in the growing influence of the left wing in the Labour party. Under the pressure of the left-wing positive changes were introduced concerning the election of the leader of the party and the selection of Labour MPs. If in the past the leader of the Labour party was elected by members of the so-called Parliamentary Labour party (that is Labour MPs), now according to the new rules, the leader of the party is elected by a college of electors including representatives of three bodies the trade unions, local organizations and the Labour Parliamentary party. These rules provided wider opportunities for the rank-and-file members (in the trade unions, local organizations of the party) to have a greater say in the election of the leader and in the nomination of candidates of the Labour party to represent it in Parliament. The positive changes in the constitution of the party carried out under the pressure of the working class infuriated the right-wing members. In protest some right-wing politicians left the Labour party in 1981 and formed another party known as the Social-Democratic party (SDP). The latter formed an alliance with the Liberal party and the two parties acted together in one bloc in the elections of 1983 and 1987. In 1988 the two parties finally merged together under the name the Social-Liberal Democratic party. The split in the Labour party revealed new important developments in the labour movement. There are about 7.3 mln members in the Labour party, of which over 600 thousand are individual members and more than six million collective members. The latter as members of trade unions, cooperative
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organizations and other institutions which are incorporated in the Labour party automatically become its members. Local party organizations which exist in most of the electoral constituencies form the basis of the party. The annual conference which elects the National Executive with 25 members is the highest organ of the party. The Executive is responsible for the everyday affairs of the party outside Parliament. The leader of the party, his deputy, the treasurer, the Chairman of the party and the general secretary are all members of the National Executive. Debates at annual Labour party conferences are mainly based on resolutions or policy statements from the Executive, and resolutions from the local organizations of the party. Resolutions from trade unions are generally few in number. As has been noted there is a constant struggle between the right and left wings in the party. The general trend is such that the right wing has a majority among the members of the Parliamentary party, whereas the left wing exerts greater influence in the National Executive. The Labour party is a member of the Socialist International (an international organization which unites socialist and social-democratic parties). The headquarters of this organization is situated in London. The Labour party politicians strive to play a leading role in this world organization. Between the two World Wars the Labour party grew to supplant the Liberals as the major opposition to the Conservatives, they formed minority governments in 19234 and 192931, and came to power under Clement Attlee in the landslide victory of 1945. In the post-war period the Labour party was in office in 194551, 196470, 19749. When in opposition, the party elects by secret ballot the 'shadow cabinet' to guide the activity of the Labour faction in the House of Commons. The 'shadow cabinet' includes the leading politicians of the Labour party. The Labour party issues its weekly paper Labour News. As regards some minority parties which are represented in Parliament one should note that the interwar years saw the establishment of the Welsh Nationalist Party (1925), which voices the interests of the Welsh population, and the Scottish Nationalists (1934). After 1945 further minority parties were born, such as the extremely reactionary, anti-immigrant National Front, and the conservationist Ecology Party. Trade Unions. In nearly all industries and occupations some workers (and in some industries nearly all workers) are organized into trade unions. They have grown up gradually and independently over many years and, consequently, their form and organization vary considerably, as do their
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traditions. Trade unions may be organized either by occupation (for example, they may recruit clerks or fitters wherever employed) or by industry. Some are based on a combination of both principles. In the past in some firms membership of the relevant trade union was required by agreement between the employer and union ('closed shops'). This principle was abolished by the Conservative government. The total membership of British trade unions is 11.1 million. There are about 480 unions, but nearly 80 per cent of all trade unionists were in the 26 largest unions, each with a membership of 100,000 or over, while only 0.6 per cent were in the 263 smallest unions with under 1,000 members each. In Britain the national centre of the trade union movement is the Trades Union Congress (TUG), which was founded in 1868. The TUC's objects are to promote the interests of the affiliated organizations and to improve the economic and social conditions of working people. Its affiliated membership comprises 108 trade unions which together represent about 10 mln work-people. The TUG deals with all general questions which concern trade unions both nationally and internationally and gives assistance on questions relating to particular trades or industries. The annual Congress convenes in September to discuss matters of concern to trade unionists and to employees in general. It elects a General Council which represents it between Congresses and is responsible for carrying out Congress decisions watching economic and social developments, providing educational and advisory services to unions and presenting to the government the trade union viewpoint on economic, social and industrial issues. When the Conservative party came to power in 1979 it, in full conformity with the interests of 'big business' began to carry out an anti-working class policy aimed at neutralizing trade union activities. Within this context the Conservative government passed through Parliament two employment acts in 1980 and 1982 and in 1984 the anti-trades union act. These acts were an open challenge to the whole trade union movement. According to the first two acts political strikes were banned, as well as solidarity strikes. Picketing was also limited. The 'closed shop' principle which required that all workers at a plant or enterprise should be trade union members was also abolished. The latter was intended to hinder trade union activity. The 1984 Trades Union Act gave the government a free hand to intervene in the internal life of trade unions. The Act demanded a secret ballot by mail of every trade unionist on matters related to starting or prolonging a strike. Such a move was
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intended to break up trade union solidarity and nullify decisions taken by general meetings of trade unionists. Another act was set to deprive the workers of elementary labour rights, in particular, it entails prohibiting financial support rendered by one union to another involved in a labour dispute. The 119th Trades Union Congress held in 1987 unanimously condemned the moves of the Tory government stating that with their adoption labour conditions in Britain would become inferior to those existing in other West-European countries. Despite such adverse conditions aggravated by a hostile political, economic and psychological climate created by the capitalist mass media and mass unemployment the trade unions vigorously reject government policies and are bent to challenge the onslaught of the monopolies and the Tory government. GOVERNMENT Parliamentary government based on the party system has been established in Britain over the past 100 years. Even as recently as the early nineteenth century there was no clear-cut division in the House of Commons along modern party lines. Lords Commons British government. The party which wins most seats (but not necessarily most votes) at a general election, or which has the support of a majority of the members in the House of Commons, usually forms the government. On occasions when no party succeeds Government in winning an overall majority of seats, a minority Government or a coalition may be formed. The leader of the majority party is appointed Prime Minster by the Sovereign, and all other ministers are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The majority of ministers are members of the Commons, although the Government is represented by some ministers in the Lords. The composition of the Government can vary both in the number of ministers and in the titles of some offices. The leading position in the Cabinet came naturally to be associated with the Treasury, and the name 'Prime Minister' was first applied to those who held office as Lord Treasurer or, after 1714, First Lord (commissioner) of the Treasury. The Treasury had, as it still has, a predominant part in the Government for the simple reason that it controlled the national purse. Hence the Prime Minister today is also, by tradition, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service. The head of the Government became known as the Prime Minister during the eighteenth century, though the monarchs provided the key to
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executive power. Since the late nineteenth century the Prime Minister has normally been the leader of the party with a majority in the House of Commons. The monarch's role in government is virtually limited to acting on the advice of ministers. The Prime Minister informs the Queen of the general business of the Government, presides over the Cabinet, and is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministers. The Prime Minister's other responsibilities include recommending to the Queen a number of important appointments. Recommendations are likewise made of the award of many civil honours and distinctions, etc. Ministers in charge of Government departments, who are usually in the Cabinet, are known as 'Secretaries of State' or 'Ministers', or may have a traditional title, as in the case of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Postmaster General, the President of the Board of Trade. All these are known as departmental ministers. The holders of various traditional offices, namely the Lord President of the Council, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Lord Privy Seal, the Paymaster General (and from time to time Ministers without Portfolio), may have few or no departmental duties and are thus available to perform any special duties the Prime Minister may wish to give them. The Lord President of the Council, for example, is responsible for coordinating the presentation of information on government policies, and the Lord Privy Seal is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Civil Service. The Lord Chancellor (the Speaker of the House of Lords) holds a special position, being a minister with departmental functions and also head of the judiciary in England and Wales. Ministers of State (non-departmental) work with ministers in charge of departments with responsibility for specific functions, and are sometimes given courtesy titles which reflect these particular functions. More than one may work in a department. Junior ministers (generally Parliamentary Secretaries or Under-Secretaries of State) share in parliamentary and departmental duties. They may also be given responsibility, directly under the departmental minister, for specific aspects of the department's work. The largest minority party becomes the official opposition, with its own leader and its own 'shadow cabinet' whose members act as spokesmen on the subjects for which government ministers have responsibility. The
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members of any other party support or oppose the Government according to their party policy being debated at any given time. The Government has the major share in controlling and arranging the business of the House. As the initiator of policy, it dictates what action it wishes Parliament to take. A modern British Government consists of over ninety people, of whom about thirty are heads of departments, and the rest are their assistants. Until quite. Paymaster General Secretary to the Treasury Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Lord Chancellor Prime Secretary of State for Employment Secretary of State for Energy Cabinet Ministers chosen from both Houses of Parliament by the Prime Minister Secretary of State for Industry Secretary of State for Trade; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Chancellor of the Exchequer; Secretary of State for Wales Secretary of State for Social Services ; Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords;Secretary of Stale for Defence Secretary of State for Scotland Secretary of State for Education and Science Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary); Secretary of State for the .Environment Secretary of State for the Home Department (Home Secretary) Lord Privy Seal Secretary ol State for Northern Ireland The Cabinet. recent times all the heads of departments were included in the Cabinet, but when their number rose some of the less important heads of departments were not included in the Cabinet. The Prime Minister decides whom to include. The Cabinet is composed of about 20 ministers and may include departmental and non-departmental ministers. The prime ministers may make changes in the size of their Cabinet and may create new ministries or make other changes. The Cabinet formed by Margaret Thatcher in 1979 consisted of 22 persons including herself. The origins of the Cabinet can be traced back to the informal conferences which the monarch held with leading ministers, independently of the Privy Council, during the seventeenth century. After the Sovereign's withdrawal from an active role in politics in the eighteenth century,, and the development of organized political parties the Cabinet assumed its modern form.

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AN Antrim AR Armagh B Borders BD Bedford BE Berkshire IOW BK Buckinghamshire K C Central Hertford Humberside Hereford & Worcester Isle of Wight Kent Lothian Lancashire Londonderry Leicestershire Lincoln Merseyside Mid Glamorgan Northumberlan Norfolk Nottinghamshir Northampton N.Yorkshire Orkney Oxfordshire Powys Strathclyde Salop 5. Glamorgan Shetland Somerset Surrey Staffordshire Suffolk S.Yorkshire Tayside Tyne & Wear Tyrone Warwick W. Glamorgan Western Isles W. Midlands W.Sussex Wiltshire CA Cambridgeshire CH Cheshire CL Clwyd CO Cornwall CU Cumbria CV Cleveland D Durham DE Derbyshire DG Dumfries (Galloway DO Down DR Dorset DV Devon DY Dyfed E Essex ES E. Sussex F Fife FE Fermanagh G Grampian GC Gloucester GL Greater London GM Greater Manchestei GT Gwent GW Gwynedd H Highland G Aberdeen Stonehaveru /'Perth, A\loa Ki" Stirling Omagh . TV V F E , Enniskjller Hunting IT/ CA Northamoton Cambr The Cabinet as such is not recognized by any formal law, and it has no formal powers but only real powers. It takes the effective decisions about what is to be done. Its major functions are: the final determination of policies, the supreme control of government and the coordination of government departments. More and more power is concentrated in the hands of the Cabinet, where the decisive role belongs to the Prime Minster, who in fact determines the general political line of this body. The Cabinet defends and encourages the activity of monopolies and big business, does everything to restrain and suppress the working-class movement. Administratively the United Kingdom is divided into 72 counties (1974) and over 80 city-counties. The latter are situated on the territory of the counties, but are administratively independent. The County Council is the most important unit of local government. It is in charge of the county as a whole. Nobody can plan anything shopping centres, factories, parks, etc., without the permission of the County Council. Its other responsibilities include: local roads, transport, the police, the fire service, education, etc.
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Each county is divided into districts of between 60,000 and 100,000 people. The District Councils are responsible for housing, keeping the district clean, inspecting the food shops, employing the dustmen, etc. County and District Councils are run by part-time unpaid councillors, who are elected in the same way as MPs. Most of them represent a political party, and the government is not pleased if the opposition party gets control of the majority of local councils. The councillors appoint from among themselves the committees, who run the different departments. They also appoint paid full-time officials. The head of each county council and district council is appointed every year by the councillors. Some districts have the ceremonial title of borough, or city. In boroughs and cities the chairman is normally known as the Mayor (in the City of London and certain other large cities, he or she is known as the Lord Mayor). The money the councils need comes from the rates, a local tax paid by all owners of houses or land. The amount paid depends on the value of the property. The councils also get a grant from the Treasury. The government never refuses to give this grant because it disapproves of a council's politics, but it may hesitate if it feels the money is being spent unwisely. Local councils normally have a finance committee to keep their financial policy under constant review. Progress Test Questions and Assignments When did the party system emerge in Britain? What contributed to the domination of the two largest parties in Britain? Comment on the new observed tendencies in the political life of contemporary Britain as regards the activities of other parties. 1 232 State System 4 Expand on the role, platform, influence, policies and structure of the main political parties of Britain. Give a detailed account of the role and structure of the trade unions in Britain today. Outline the composition of the Government referring to the main functions of the Prime Minister and other ministers. What is meant by 'official opposition'? Describe the origin, development and present-day character of the Cabinet, examining the reasons for the growth of its powers.
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Discuss the administrative divisions of the United Kingdom, the structure of the local government and its major functions. Write an essay on the dominating role of the two largest parties in Britain. n the The first requirement for an understanding of contemporary economic and social life is a clear view of the relation between events and the ideas which interpret them... Economic, like other social life, does not conform to a simple and coherent pattern . /. K, Galbraith THE PLACE OF BRITAIN IN THE WORLD ECONOMY W ithin the system of contemporary Great Britain has lost its former position as the leading industrial nation of the world. A pioneer in the Industrial Revolution, the former 'world workshop', Britain today is fifth in size of its gross domestic product (GDP) and twenty-third in terms of GDP per head among the capitalist countries of the world. As a result of World War I the country lost its monopoly in world trade. Today Britain accounts for only 5 6 per cent of world trade among capitalist countries. After World War II Britain lost its colonial empire. In this respect British imperialism was deprived of its most important advantages the profits and superprofits which it derived from its former colonial possessions. As regards the rate of development of state monopoly capitalism the country continued to lag behind its main capitalist rivals. After World War II Britain experienced an accelerated growth of monopolies and their subsequent mergers. The export of capital abroad continues to be a major factor in its development. In terms of foreign investment Britain was second only to the United States. However, unlike the past the bulk of foreign investments is directed not to the extracting industries of her former colonies but mainly to the manufacturing industries of West European countries. The most significant change in Britain's trading patterns took place after 1973 when the country joined the European Economic Community. Between 1972 and 1980 the proportion of Britain's exports going to the Commonwealth countries (former possessions of Great Britain) fell from 18 per cent to 12 per cent while that going to other Community countries rose from 31 per cent to 43 per cent. Moreover, this tendency continues to grow.
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The monopolies in the country lay special emphasis on the development of such branches of the manufacturing and chemical industries which require high-skilled labour. Manufacturing and other production industries, facing strong competition in overseas markets from newly industrialized as well as from other developed capitalist countries, have undergone considerable reorganization to improve competitiveness. A number of industries such as aerospace, chemicals, oil, gas, electronics, biotechnology have gained strength while textiles and some other traditional industries, including steel and shipbuilding, have contracted. As the development of the new industries does not compensate the decline of the traditional old industries there is a marked growth of mass unemployment in the country. The British economy is primarily based on private enterprise. However, some industries were nationalized after World War II. This was typical nationalization carried out on capitalist lines. There are some nationalized industries, accounting for about 3.8 per cent of all employees, while the nationalized sector as a whole accounts for about 5.7 per cent of GDP. Part of public transport, the power industry, the coal mines, some steel, manufacturing plants are managed by the state. The atomic industry is also within the public sector. The national economy of Great Britain is vitally dependent on foreign trade. Moreover, this dependence is growing in recent years. About a third of the industrial products of the country is exported. With the loss of the colonies the economy has become extremely vulnerable to balance-of-payments problems. The typical pattern of Britain's overseas trade has been a trade deficit (when imports of products exceed in value the exports of the country). This has a negative influence on the development of the country and especially on its finances. However, the trade deficit is often offset by a surplus on so-called invisible trade due to the earnings of the country from international travel, shipping, tourism and financial services. In the 1980s earnings from invisibles comprised about 35 per cent of Britain's earnings. The contribution made by invisibles is largely a reflection of Britain's position as a major financial centre of the capitalist world. The financial institutions of the City of London provide worldwide financial services. Agriculture supplies nearly two-thirds of the country's food and employs about 2.5 per cent of Britain's employed labour force. More than two-thirds of the arable land and pastures belong to the landlords. Middle and small-scale holdings give the bulk of the agricultural produce. These holders rent the land and employ agricultural workers. Technological
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progress in agriculture has enhanced class differentiation in agriculture as a result of which more than half of the holders of small-scale farming units were ruined in the last two-three decades. The structure of the economy has experienced serious changes which are quite common for all developed capitalist countries: there has been a decline in the relative importance of manufacturing and a rise in that of services. The share of industry in the GDP is 11 times more than that of agriculture. The general location of industry has changed little in recent years. As before, four-fifths of industrial and agricultural production is concentrated in England. Simultaneously, in the national outlying regions of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the rate and level of the development of industry, as well as the average earnings of the population are obviously lower than in England. In the postwar years this gap between England and the outlying regions has increased, because of the decline of the traditional industries such as coal-mining, ferrous metallurgy, textiles, which are heavily concentrated ia Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Special regional development programmes were formulated for the so-called 'depressed' regions, however, these plans were implemented (at a very slow pace. Despite government policies there has been a marked growth of concentration of industry in the traditional industrial regions, especially in South-East England, because the South has the advantages for the location of modern industry. The coastal areas have also experienced a growth of industry, as well as the small towns. In planning the new towns the aim is to relieve the over-populated areas and to spread the people and industry more evenly. Thus the pattern, especially in the South-East, is characterized by the growth of so-called satellite towns which are closely connected with the main city of the region or the metropolis. Eventually, as a result of this development the conurbations also grow in size. Progress Test Questions and Assignments What is Britain's place in the world capitalist economy as regards her GDP? Name the two most important features of British imperalism Give a brief account of the changes which have taken place in the country after World War II. How would you explain the reasons of the growth of mass unemployment? Relate the social structure of British agriculture. Give a brief account of the shifts in specialization of industry. CHIEF INDUSTRIES
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As in other developed countries, manufacturing plays a vital role in the economy, as well as energy production. The first public supply of electricity was in 1881. In 1948 all municipal and private undertakings in Great Britain were acquired under the Electricity Act 1947 and vested in the British Electricity Authority. Electricity is mainly generated by conventional steam power stations, gas turbines and oil engines (about 80 per cent). Nuclear plants make up about 18 per cent of the electricity generated, while the share of hydro-electric plants is only a little more than 1 per cent. The conventional steam power stations are numerously located in Midland England and in the South-East. The major hydro-electric power stations are operating in Scotland because of the available water resources. In electricity production (300,000 million kilowatt hours) Britain is far behind the United States of America and Japan whereas the gap between the Federal Republic of Germany and Britain is comparatively smaller. Much attention is being paid to the development of nuclear power. In 1956 the country's first large-scale nuclear power station, at Calder Hall (Cumbria), began to supply electricity to the national grid. The latter began to operate in the 1930s. There are 20 nuclear power stations in operation which feed electricity to the national grid. Manufacturing plays a vital role in the British economy. It accounts for some 24 per cent of the GDP; about 24 per cent of the employed labour force is engaged in manufacturing; 75 per cent of the visible exports of the state consists of manufactured or semi-manufactured goods. Recently there has been an accelerated growth of progressive sectors of the engineering and chemical industries, whereas the traditional industries of the economy such as ferrous metallurgy, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding, textiles and related industries have suffered a decline. This has been reflected in the exports of the country: growth in output and exports was strongest in chemicals and electrical, electronic and instrument engineering. Most manufacturing is in the hands of private enterprise. The greater parts of the iron and steel and shipbuilding industries are nationalized. These industries are in serious decline not only due to the fall of demand both at home and abroad, but also due to the hostile attitude of the Conservative government, which exerted every effort to reduce the extent of state ownership of industry. Margaret Thatcher's policy of privatization stimulated the development of private enterprise in industry: 57 per cent of
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engineering, metals and vehicle manufacturing was controlled by the largest companies. In general the British industry, manufacturing included, is facing serious difficulties. Tough foreign competition on the world markets adds up to these difficulties. Metals (iron, steel and non-ferrous industry). Although Britain's largest manufacturing industry is the iron and steel industry, aluminium and other non-ferrous metals are also important products. Once the world's greatest producer of steel, today the annual output is 15 million tonnes well behind the USA, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and Italy, and that of pig-ir'on about 10 million tonnes. The main steel producing areas are Yorkshire and Humberside (35 per cent of crude steel output), Wales (26 per cent), the Northern region (16 per cent), Scotland (11 per cent) and the West Midlands (5 per cent). High quality ores are imported from Canada, Sweden, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, Venezuela and other countries. With the growing dependence on imported ores, coastal locations of the steel industry were developed. Moreover, these developments took place at the expense of some inland centres. Nevertheless, some like Sheffield have retained their existence by concentrating on high grade alloy steels made by the electric arc process. Britain's non-ferrous metal processing and fabricating industry is one of the largest in Western Europe. Its major products are aluminium, secondary refined copper, lead and primary zinc. More than half of the industry was concentrated in the Midlands. Other centres include South Wales, London. Tyneside and Avonmouth, where a zinc smelter of some 100,000 tonnes capacity operates.

BRANCHES OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY Ferrous metallurgy Non-lerrous metallurgy Machine-building and metal-working Chemical Oil-refining Woodwork Paper-making and printing Pottery and glass-work
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Textile Clothing Footwear Food Miscellaneous Tyneside Newcastle Sunderland Teesport

ENTRES OF MANUFACTURING IDUSTRY lumber of employed, thousand) 500-700 MERSEYSIDE Liverpool over 1.000 Immingham150-200 'Grimsby300-400 'Sheffield 100-150 fANCHlSTER 150-200 Nottingham 50-75 Leicester 75-100 Cheste Stoke-on-Trent Norwich's Peterborough ^B^fln Great-Yarmouth Chellenha Gloucester Milford-Haven < Pembroke Superconurbations LONDON Hastings '(of over 1 million) Southampton Fawley Portsmouth The mechanical engineering industry manufactures all types of nonelectrical machinery, machine tools, industrial engines, etc. Over half the industry's production is for the home market. The electrical and electronic engineering industry is engaged in manufacture and installation of a wide variety of equipment, including all types of power generation, transmission and distribution equipment, motors, telecommunications and broadcasting equipment, electronic equipment and systems, etc. Electronics is one of the most important sectors of British industry, which is developing fast and wide. In spite of government incentives the majority of high technology industries have not been attracted to declining industrial areas, such as Wales, North England, Scotland, etc. Instead they were located in the more prosperous southern region of Britain where the industrial base has been less severely
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affected by the recent recession and where unemployment is lower than the national average. The Thames Valley between London and Bristol is a leading area with a major concentration of high technology industries called the 'Sunrise Strip'. Another area is situated near Cambridge. Of the engineering industry instrument engineering is a particularly important sector. The motor vehicle is the largest single manufacturing industry in Britain and, in spite of its recent decline, is still a major exporting industry. The Midland centres are the most significant and the factories in the Birmingham/Coventry area have continued to grow. The industry is also concentrated in the London area where large assembly plants were built in Oxford, Luton and Dagenham. Since the late 1950s major development took place on Mer-seyside (near Liverpool) and in Scotland. Output of cars and commercial vehicles is dominated by four large monopoly groups: Rover, Ford, Vauxhall and Peugeot Talbot (formerly Chrysler), which account for over 96 per cent of car production in the country. American capital is deeply involved in the industry, especially in the Ford and Talbot companies. About 50 per cent of capital investments in the motor industry belong to American companies. Since the late 1960s the motor industry has been beset by a number of serious problems. Competition from other countries such as the USA, West Germany and Japan has increased to such an extent that imported cars take up more than half of the home market. Production has fallen by fifty per cent since 1972. In the mid1980s Britain annually produced about a million cars and commercial vehicles. Britain is a major producer and exporter of agricultural tractors, especially of wheeled tractors. Birmingham and Coventry are major centres of the tractor industry. Britain's aerospace industry is one of the largest and most comprehensive in Western Europe. The products of the industry include civil and military aircraft, helicopters, aero-engines, guided weapons, hovercraft and space vehicles, supported by a comprehensive range of aircraft and airfield equipment and systems. The main British airframe manufacturer is British Aerospace (BAe). It is partially owned by the Government. The other major companies are Rolls-Royce and Short Brothers. Rolls-Royce is responsible for almost the entire output of aero-engines in Britain: it is one of the three leading aero-engine manufacturers in the Western world. Short Brothers, which is based in Belfast, produces airliners, airframe components and missiles. Britain has a long established tradition for shipbuilding. Naval
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shipbuilding and the construction of vessels and structures connected with offshore oil production are important sectors of the industry. Though modernization has taken place in the major ship yards situated in Clydeside, North-East England (the Tyne, Tees and Wear area), Merseyside, Barrow (North-West England) and Belfast, the industry faces serious problems. Output has declined alarmingly and many jobs have been lost. The chemical industry. The manufacturing of all kinds of chemicals, soap, detergents, dyestuffs, lubricating oils and greases, fertilizers and mineral oil refining are included within this group of industries. The chemical industry is developing intensively and accounts for about 16 per cent of British manufacturing exports, placing the country among the major chemical exporting nations of the world. The largest British chemicals group, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), is the fifth largest chemicals company in the capitalist world, accounting for some 25 per cent of production in Britain. Western Europe is the major export market. /The largest concentration of the heavy chemical industry is in the south Lancashire north Cheshire area, where the saltworking districts together with supplies of limestone from the southern Pennines and coal from the Lancashire coalfield provide an ideal location. The most important centre of the industry in this area is Warrington. Other heavy chemical areas are centred on Teesmouth and the West Midlands. Increasingly the industry is becoming associated with the petrochemical industry, which is the manufacture of by-products from crude petroleum. With the development of offshore oil production new major centres of the industry emerged at Newcastle and Grangemouth in Central Scotland. The textile industry. The major breakthrough in the textile industry in Britain came with the Industrial 'Revolution, when Lancashire and Yorkshire became the pre-eminent centres for cotton and woollen manufacturing respectively. The location of the woollen industry in West Yorkshire was influenced by the presence of extensive supplies of soft water, originally used as power but also important in the processing of the wool; the presence of the coalfield, later used as a source of power; and the use of the Pennines to raise large numbers of sheep to provide raw materials. Unlike the woollen industry, cotton manufacturing had little importance before the Industrial Revolution. Since the raw materials had to be imported and since water was required in the processing of cotton and coal was required as a fuel, Lancashire was best suited for the industry to develop.
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The development of Liverpool as a port importing the cotton from North America, and the improvement of transportation enhanced the importance of the Manchester region as the main centre of cotton manufacturing. The development of this industry is closely associated with the infamous slave trade, from which the merchants of Liverpool derived tremendous profits. The historical branches of the textile industry, based on the nuUiral fibres of cotton and wool, linen and jute, have retained their separate identities but the boundaries between them are becoming blurred with the increasing use of man-made fibres. The textile and clothing industries in Britain are experiencing difficulties because of increased competition of other countries. Leather and footwear industry. The British leather and leather footwear industries are among the most important industries and Great Britain is the world's largest exporter of both leather and leather footwear. Despite the growing use of rubber and of plastics and other synthetic materials in clothing, footwear and personal articles, leather possesses such qualities which enable it to hold its own. About 200,000 persons are employed by the leather and footwear industries which produce over 200 million pairs of boots and shoes. Leather and leather footwear factories are scattered throughout the country, the main regions and centres being Midland England, London, Bristol. The food, drink and tobacco industries. Britain has a large and sophisticated food processing industry and processed foods have accounted for a growing proportion of total domestic demand for food in recent decades, though the rate of growth has slowed since the early 1970s. The food industry is developed all throughout the country. Other manufacturing industries. Based on si fficient indigenous resources of its kind the country has a well developed industry producing bricks, fireclay and refractory goods. Peterborough situated south of the Wash is a leading centre of the brickmaking industry. The Thames estuary is the country's leading area for cement manufacture. Cement is one of the chief exports from the port of London. The pottery industry is centred largely in the Potteries in Staffordshire and it supplies almost all home needs for domestic and industrial pottery. The Potteries are situated at the south-west tip of the Pennines. This district of the Midlands is named after its chief industry.
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Paper and board manufacture. In the 1980s there were about 130 paper and board mills in the country. The industry is well in the hands of the most influential monopoly groups. Paper manufacturing is one of the main industries beside the Thames estuary. This region is favourable for the development of the paper industry, because of the despatch of paper to London. Paper manufacture, printing and publishing are also developed in Edinburgh, a university city, closely associated with education, as well as administration, banking and insurance. 242 National Economy Progress Test Questions and Assignments List the main sources of electricity supply in the country. Compare electricity production in Great Britain and other developed countries. What is the role played by manufacturing in the development of the economy? Describe the role of private enterprise in Britain's industry. Relate the main problems facing the steel industry in the country. List the main branches of engineering in Britain and describe their development. Nate the most important centres of the chemical industry and their specialization. List the other industries of Great Britain. Expand on their role. AGRICULTURE Agriculture, one of Britain's most important industries, supplies nearly twothirds of the country's food, directly employs about 2.5 per cent of the working population. However, its share of the gross domestic product is less than 3 per cent the lowest figure among the developed capitalist countries. British agriculture is efficient, for it is based on modern technology and research. Nearly 80 per cent of the land area is used for agriculture, the rest being mountain and forest or put to urban and other uses. Although the area for farming is declining by about 20,000 hectares a year to meet the needs of housing, industry and transport, the land in urban use is less than a tenth of the agricultural land. There are 12 million hectares under crops and grass. In hill country, where the area of cultivated land is often small, large areas are used for rough grazing. Soils vary from the poor ones of highland Britain to the rich fertile soils of low-lying areas in the eastern and southeastern parts
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of England. The cool temperate climate and the comparatively even distribution of rainfall contribute favourably to the development of agriculture. Most of the land is owned by big landlords. Farmers rent the land and hire agricultural workers to cultivate it. Part of the land belongs to banks, insurance companies. There are about 254,000 farming units, of which about a half are able to provide fulltime employment for at least one person and account for over 90 per cent of total output. About 30,000 large farms (over 40 hectares) account for about half of total output. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland output from small-scale holdings (under 20 hectares) is more significant than in the rest of Britain. In general small farms dominate in the country. This is vividly seen from the following table: Size of Farms as a Percentage of Total Number of Farms Over Under 2 Hect 2-20 20-40 40-120 120 15.1 37.3 19.8 17.7 Hect 10 Agriculture 243 However, due to tough competition, the number of small farms under 20 hectares is decreasing. Britain produces nearly two-thirds of its total food requirements compared with some 46 per cent in 1960. Percentage Home production of the principal foods is shown as a percentage by weight of total supplies in 1989 in the following table: Food product 99 100 66 112 58 131 Meat Eggs Milk for human consumption Cheese Butter Sugar Wheat
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Potatoes for human consumption As seen from the table Britain is self-sufficient in milk, eggs, to a very great extent in meat, potatoes, wheat. However, she needs to import butter, cheese, sugar and some other agricultural products. 60 per cent of full-time farms is devoted mainly to dairying or beef cattle and sheep. This sector of agriculture accounts for three-fourths of agricultural production in value. Sheep and cattle are reared in the hill and moorland areas of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and northern and south-western England. Beef fattening occurs partly in better grassland areas, as does dairying and partly in yards on arable farms. Pig production is carried on in most areas but is particularly important in eastern Yorkshire and southern England, north-east Scotland and Northern Ireland. In the late 1980s there were about 12.2 million head of cattle, about 8 million pigs and 38.7 million head of sheep. The picture of British farming is given in the map. As seen from the map there are three main types of farming: pastoral, arable, mixed. Arable farming takes the lead in the eastern parts of England and Scotland, whereas in the rest of the country pastoral and mixed farming are prevalent. Besides the three above mentioned types of farming there is another type of farming crofting which is still practised in the remote areas of northern and western Scotland. This pattern of cultivating a small area of land around the farm (the infield) and maintaining a much larger area of rough pasture for stock rearing (the outfield) is typical of crofting communities in Scotland and shows a clear adaptation to a difficult environment. There has been a great decline in crofting and it has virtually disappeared from large areas of the Highlands. As regards the cereals wheat takes the lead. It is cultivated on over 40 per cent of the total cropland with an average annual yield of 12 million tonnes. The crop is mainly concentrated in the eastern parts of the country. Barley follows next covering about 40 per cent of the total cropland with an average annual ARABLE FARMING SPECIALISED CROPS: FRUIT AND VEG. MIXED FARMING WITH DAIRYING MIXED FARMING WITH LIVESTOCK HILL FARMING-MAINLY SHEEP 100km yield of 92 million tonnes. Barley like wheat prevails in the eastern parts of England, especially in East Anglia and in the south-east, as well as in
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Central Scotland. Cropland used for oats has been reduced to about 2 per cent. The crop is cultivated mainly in the western and northern parts of England. The potato crop is widespread all throughout the country. Large-scale potato and vegetable production is undertaken in the eastern and south-eastern parts of England, around the rivers Thames and Humber and in South Lancashire. Sugar from home-grown sugar beet provides about 55 per cent of the requirements, most of the remainder being refined from raw sugar imported from developing countries. Sugar beet covers about 4 per cent of the total cropland. The land utilized for horticulture is about 251,000 hectares of which vegetables grown in the open, excluding potatoes, cover about 73 per cent, fruit more than 20 per cent, flowers less than 5 per cent and protected crops (those grown under glass or plastic) less than 2 per cent of the land used for horticulture. Britain's second major source of food is the surrounding sea. The fishing industry provides about 70 per cent of British fish supplies, and is an important source of employment and income in a number of ports, especially those situated on the North Sea shore. In the 1980s there were about 17,000 fishermen in regular employment. The average annual landings of fish by British ships are about 783,000 tonnes. This marks a massive decline from landings earlier in the century and reflects the crisis which afflicts the industry. Today the major fishing ports are Grimsby, Hull on the North Sea coast of England, Peterhead and Aberdeen in eastern Scotland and Ullapool in the north. Forestry. Woodland covers an estimated 2.2 million hectares, about 9 per cent of the total land area of the country, 43 per cent is in England, 43 per cent in Scotalnd, 11 per cent in Wales and the remainder in Northern Ireland. The Forestry Commission is the national forestry authority in Great Britain and is responsible for timber production and forestry policy which includes wildlife conservation, the landscaping of plantations, and the provision of facilities for recreation. It complies with the directions given by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Britain imports over 90 per cent of its timber needs, mainly from Scandinavia and the Soviet Union. Private woods comprise 56 per cent of the total forest area in Great Britain. Progress Test Questions and Assignments What is the role of agriculture in the life of the country? Examine the table giving the size of farms. Say what type of farms prevails in the country. How well is the country supplied with various agricultural produce?
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Name the main types of farming. Describe their role and territorial specialization. What is meant by crofting? Explain the importance of fishing for Britain. Describe the pattern of forestry in Britain.

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