SOMETIMES people seem to regard their old arguments rather like family heirlooms. They treasure them and polish them even though the world has moved on. Something like that seems to have been behind the curious events in Carfin, a Lanarkshire village, over the past few days.
The controversy began when Bertie Ahern, the Irish taoiseach (Prime Minister), cancelled a visit he was due to make to Carfin on February 11th to unveil a memorial to Irish immigrants fleeing the Irish famine of the 1840s. It turned out that the local MP, Frank Roy, had advised the taoiseach to stay away as his presence might have provoked sectarian violence in the wake of the "old firm derby" (a football match) between Glasgow rivals Celtic and Rangers. In the past this match has resulted in violence, as Scotland's two biggest football clubs stand proxy for the local Catholic and Protestant populations.
But Mr. Roy's constituents were so outraged at being depicted as senseless religious bigots by their own MP that he felt obliged to resign his unpaid government post as parliamentary private secretary to the Scottish secretary. And the men and women of Carfin would seem to have been vindicated by events. There were only 16 arrests in the ground after the match, but none in Carfin, where disappointed Rangers fans drowned their sorrows perfectly amicably side by side with Celtic fans celebrating their team's 1-0 win.
Maybe Mr. Roy should have got out and about a bit more. Then he would have realised how times have changed. Historically, religious sectarianism has certainly been rife in Lanarkshire, and Ireland's marching season of parades by northern Orangemen and southern Hibernian orders are still paralleled in the county today. But the economic and social inequalities which gave this division a vicious edge (Orange-dominated trade unionism kept Catholics out of better- paid skilled jobs) have long gone, together with the mining and steel industries that sustained them.
These days there are more Muslims in and around Carfin, a predominantly Catholic village, than there are Protestants. The Church of Scotland sold its Kirk in the village a decade ago: it is now a mosque. The Protestant congregation has lacked a minister for nearly two years and is down to about 70 souls, easily out-numbered by the 400-500 Muslims who attend prayers in Carfin every Friday. For it is Islam that is the big growth religion in Lanarkshire just now. The county's Muslims have outgrown the Carfin mosque and have raised 2m for a new one. They have set up mosques in two other towns and are looking for a site in a third.
But as the old sectarianism dies out, is it being replaced by a new sort of bigotry? Ghulam Siddiquie, a spokesman for Lanarkshire's Muslims, says that the local people are very helpful in trying to stamp out racism. But anger still smolders at the bungled investigation and prosecution of the white men believed to have murdered a Sikh, Surjit Singh Chhokar, in a stabbing in a street near Wishaw in 1998. The new wave of immigration has brought with it its own problems, more familiar to the inner cities of England than the historical divisions of Belfast.
31. Why did the Irish taoiseach cancel a Carfin visit?
A Because he was stopped by the stubborn secretary.
B Because his presence would provoke a violence.
C Because the local football match resulted in violence.
D Because the local residents didn't like him.
32. The Rangers fans and Celtic fans performed _____when the match over.
33. The sentence "Maybe Mr. Roy should have got out and about a bit more?" means
A Mr. Roy should attend the Ireland's marching of parades
B Religious sectarianism in history has been gradually vanishing.
C Mr. Roy should get out of the door and communicate with people.
D Times changed and Mr. Roy should clean his mind.
34. The last sentence implies
A more and more Muslins bring new problems.
B England's sectarianism is spreading.
C the immigration of people of other religions is destroying the inner balance of England.
D Northern Ireland now has the religious problems, but England has others.
35. From this passage, the author's real meaning of the 1st sentence is
A as time changes, so should the arguments
B the world goes on, the old arguments seem too old.
C the old arguments are vanishing in the current society.
D a lot of people like to listen and spread the old argument.
WHAT an elegant party! The Press Complaints Commission's glittering bash this week to celebrate its tenth anniversary was the nearest London gets to high society. In a gathering too close to parody for comfort, the PCC succeeded in bringing together Prince William, the heir to the throne, his father, Prince Charles, the royal mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles, as well as pop stars, super- models, cabinet ministers, senior civil servants and other wannabes.
The one thing this disparate bunch had in common was that most of them had sought the protection of the PCC over the past decade. Their principal tormentors, the editors of the nation's tabloid newspapers, were there in force to greet their victims, so it was not surprising that a certain frisson swirled around the party.
That so many prominent glitterati turned up to devour the PCC's canapé and rub shoulders with the royals is, no doubt, a triumph for its chairman, Lord Wakeham. He can fairly claim to have restored confidence in self-regulation and saved the press from privacy legislation. A skilled political fixer, he has used his chairmanship to pressure the press barons such as Rupert Murdoch into corralling their editors.
The code of conduct, drawn up by a panel of editors, is generally observed. Press standards have improved and complaints have fallen by nearly a third over the past five years. The industry, which not so long ago was said to be "drinking in the last-chance saloon", with self-regulation in terminal disrepute, is grateful.
The party was meant to celebrate this success. The soap stars and the models, judging by the amount of drink going down their throats, certainly enjoyed themselves, as did the editors. But whether Prince Charles and Prince William were wise to associate themselves with this lot is doubtful. "Never sup with the enemy" is a good motto. At least the royals could tell who to avoid because all the guests had name tabs.
Lord Wakeham, who helped get rid of Lady Thatcher without her even knowing, is a skilled operator. But this lavish party has given an opening to those critics who claim he is too close to the industry and too protective of the powerful. "We're here to protect the vulnerable" was the slogan of a big banner that greeted the guests. That was not the main impression the evening made on the minds of those who staggered out of the grandeur of Somerset House, high on champagne and celebrity. The truly vulnerable were nowhere to be seen.
36．The party was so elegant, because
A. Price William was there
B. PCC succeeded in bringing together so many personalities
C. PCC was celebrating
D. It was too close to parody
37. "Drinking in the last-chance salon"(line 4, Para 4) denotes
A there was only once saloon held by the PCC in the last 5 years.
B the industry had got a lot complaints from high society.
C press standards was not actually revived by Lord Wakeham self-regulation.
D the PCC has ever in a very dangerous state of going bankrupt.
38. The purpose Lord Wakeham holding this party is to
A celebrate its revival from the despair
B protect the high society big shots.
C self-regulate and improve standards.
D revive the PPC and seek the confidence.
39. From the text, we can see Lord Wakeham is not
40. Which one isn't true about this passage?
A The author is sarcastic with the banquet slogan.
B The attendants of the party were satisfied with this gathering.
C The PPC can protect the big ones' benefits.
D The PPC is actually the tongue of politics.