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大英帝国|《经济学人》:失去欧洲的英国,是没有方向的英国

2017-01-13 从余启 我与我们的世界 我与我们的世界

欢迎打开“我与我们的世界”,从此,让我们一起“纵览世界之风云变幻、洞察社会之脉搏律动、感受个体之生活命运、挖掘自然之点滴奥妙”。

我与我们的世界,既是一个“奋斗”的世界,也是一个“思考”的世界。奋而不思则罔,思而不奋则殆。这个世界,你大,它就大;你小,它就小。

欢迎通过上方公众号名称打开公众号“查看历史信息”来挖掘往期文章,因为,每期都能让你“走近”不一样的世界、带给你不一样的精彩


本期导读:去年英国公投决定脱欧,向国际社会仍下一枚震撼弹。英国首相梅姨曾誓言要在今年3月底启动脱欧谈判,因此,按照计划,英国政府将会于三个月内启动《里斯本条约》第50条,正式向欧盟提交退出申请。


距离英国启动脱欧程序不到三个月之际,被视为脱欧谈判关键人物的英国驻欧盟大使罗杰斯近日突然宣布辞职,震惊整个英国政坛。罗杰斯离职时指英国政府思路混乱,迟迟不能设定与欧盟谈判的目标


英国首相梅姨在罗杰斯闪辞后不到24小时,即宣布任命资深外交官巴罗出任英国驻欧盟大使,试图以此举平息有关她对英国脱欧毫无计划的指责,并向外界展示她仍掌控大局,脱欧计划并不如外界所称的陷入真空。


屋漏偏逢连夜雨。英国首相梅姨所属的保守党的主要金主库克7日警告,如果英国政府在脱欧后一并退出欧洲单一市场,他将停止金援保守党。梅姨所掌舵的大英帝国该何去何从,全世界的眼睛都在目不转睛地盯着看



British politics

英国政情

Theresa Maybe, Britain’s indecisive premier

英国首相梅姨,没主意的梅姨


After six months, what the new prime minister stands for is still unclear—perhaps even to her

六个月过去了,英国新首相的政策方向依然不明朗,或许,她自己也不知道该咋办。


WITHIN hours of the Brexit referendum last summer David Cameron had resigned, and within three weeks Theresa May had succeeded him as prime minister. The speed of her ascent to power, on July 13th 2016, without a general election or a full-blown Tory leadership contest, meant that Mayism was never spelt out in any manifesto or endorsed by the electorate. Yet the new prime minister soon made clear the scale of her ambitions for Britain. Not only would she make a success of Brexit, she would also set in motion a sea-change in social mobility to correct the “burning injustices” faced by the downtrodden, and reshape “the forces of liberalism and globalisation which have held sway...across the Western world.” Her allies talked of an epochal moment, comparable to Margaret Thatcher’s break with the past in 1979. The feeble condition of the Labour opposition gave Mrs May control of a one-party state. As for her mandate, she cited the referendum: a “quiet revolution” by people “not prepared to be ignored any more”. 

去年夏天,英国脱欧公投结果出炉后没几个小时,卡梅伦就辞去了首相职位,三周没过,梅姨就继任成为了英国的新首相。梅姨于2016年7月13日疾速攀至权力之巅,既没举行全国大选,党内竞争也没彻底展开,这也就意味着,梅姨主义既没向国民详细阐述,也没经过选民的挑拣。不过,梅姨一上台,很快就向国民传达了她的壮志雄心,不仅会让英国胜利脱欧,还会让社会流动性发生沧海桑田式的改变,以对权益遭践踏的人们所面临的“极端不公”进行校正,并会对“在西方世界起主导作用的自由主义和全球化力量”进行重塑。梅姨的支持者大谈,这是划时代的一刻,堪比撒切尔夫人1979年与过去的诀别。议会反对派工党势力单薄,这相当于赋予了梅姨以一党体制的管控权。对于自己所担负的重任,梅姨称,脱欧公投是人民进行的一场“无声的革命”,人民的声音“决不容再被忽视”


1.indecisive [ɪndɪ'saɪsɪv] adj. 犹豫不决的;非决定性的

2.ascent [ə'sent] n. 上升;上坡路;登高

3.spell out清楚地解释; 详细说明

4.manifesto [mænɪ'festəʊ] n. 宣言;声明;告示;vi. 发表宣言

5.downtrodden ['daʊntrɒd(ə)n] adj. 被践踏的,被蹂躏的;受压迫的

6.sway [sweɪ] vt. 影响;统治;使摇动;vi. 影响;摇摆;n. 影响;摇摆;统治

7.hold sway有支配(…的)权力;有左右(…的)力量

8.feeble ['fiːb(ə)l] adj. 微弱的,无力的;虚弱的;薄弱的

9.mandate ['mændeɪt] n. 授权;命令,指令;委托管理;受命进行的工作;vt. 授权;托管


Yet after half a year in office there is strikingly little to show for this May revolution. The strategy for Brexit, which is due to be triggered in less than three months, remains undefined in any but the vaguest terms, and seems increasingly chaotic. At home, the grand talk about transforming society and taming capitalism has yielded only timid proposals, many of which have already been scaled down or withdrawn. The growing suspicion is that the Sphinx-like prime minister is guarded about her plans chiefly because she is still struggling to draw them up.

不过,半年过去了,针对发酵于去年五月的那场革命,梅姨至今也没拿出自己的回应方案。启动英国脱欧进程已剩不到三个月的时间,而脱欧方案至今不但仍模糊不清,而且越来越显现出手足无措的迹象。英国国内,之前针对改善社会、改进资本主义的高谈阔论,最终出来的都是些不痛不痒的解决方案,而且其中还有很多,不是已被再次瘦身,就是已被彻底取消。越来越让人怀疑,谜一样的梅姨,之所以对自己的脱欧方案慎之又慎,主要原因在于,她自己也不知道该如何是好。


1.yield[jiːld] vt. 屈服;出产,产生;放弃;vi. 屈服,投降;n. 产量;收益

2.timid ['tɪmɪd] adj. 胆小的;羞怯的

3.Sphinx [sfɪŋks] n. 斯芬克斯(带翼的狮身女怪,传说常叫过路行人猜谜,猜不出者即遭噬食);狮身人面像;谜一样的人

4.guarded ['gɑːdɪd] adj. 谨慎的;被监视着的;警戒着的;被看守著的;v. 保卫,看守(guard的过去式)


The emperor’s new trousers

皇帝的新裤子

Mrs May built a reputation for dogged competence during six years at the Home Office, a tricky beat that has wrecked many political careers. She skillfully survived the Brexit referendum despite backing the losing side. In the abbreviated Conservative leadership race she stood out as the only grown-up; few Tories regret plumping for her over the unprepared and unserious other contenders. In negotiating Brexit, the hardest task for any prime minister since the second world war, she faces a powerful drain on political capital and governmental capacity. Half the country is against the idea and the rest may sour once its drawbacks materialise. Most of the civil servants implementing Brexit think it a mistake. If Britain’s next few years will be about avoiding traps, then the wary tenacity of Mrs May could be just what the country needs.

梅姨顽强能干的政治声誉,主要是在内政部的六年间积累起来的,内政部工作的棘手程度,断送了很多政界人士的政治生涯。面临脱欧公投,而梅姨却巧妙地生存了下来,尽管她支持的是留欧。在保守党那紧张短促的领导人竞选中,梅姨以成熟稳健的风格鹤立鸡群,鉴于其他竞争者不是准备不够充足就是态度不够严肃认真,几乎没人后悔选她。将要上演的脱欧谈判,任务强度之艰难,二战后任何一位英国首相都没遇到过,对于梅姨来讲,她面对政治资源短缺、政府能力匮乏的难题。几乎一半的英国民众不支持脱欧,剩下的脱欧支持者们,等脱欧弊端彻底显现后,或许也将追悔莫及。落实脱欧工作的政府人员,也大多认为,脱欧就是个错误。若要说英国随后几年最重要的任务是避免落入各种深渊,那么梅姨谨慎小心的秉性正是英国所需要的。


1.dogged ['dɒgɪd] adj. 顽强的;顽固的;vt. 跟踪;尾随(dog的过去式)

2.beat: a regular route for a sentry, police officer, or reporter

3.plump[plʌmp] vt. 使丰满;使鼓起;突然放下;adv. 沉重地;突然地;vi. 变丰满;鼓起;adj. 圆胖的,丰满的;鼓起的;n. 扑通声

4.tenacity [tɪ'næsɪtɪ] n. 韧性;固执;不屈不挠;黏性


Yet caution has started to look like indecision. Her most senior official in Brussels has just resigned, saying that the government does not have a clear Brexit plan. After six months it is hard to name a single signature policy, and easy to cite U-turns. Some are welcome: a silly promise to put workers on company boards, for instance, was abandoned; a dreadful plan to make firms list their foreign employees lasted less than a week; and hints at curbing the Bank of England’s independence were quietly forgotten. Selective “grammar” schools will be resurrected—but only on a small scale, and perhaps not at all, given how many Tory MPs oppose the idea. Other reversals smack of dithering. The construction of a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point was put in doubt, then given the go-ahead; a new runway at Heathrow airport was all but agreed on, then deferred until a parliamentary vote next year. “Just-about-managing” households were the prime minister’s lodestar for a week or so, then dropped. So were suggestions that Britain would seek a transitional deal with the EU after Brexit—until they were recirculated a few weeks later when Mrs May apparently changed her mind once again.

不过,那份谨慎小心已开始越来越趋向于谨小慎微。英国驻欧盟总部布鲁塞尔的最高级别官员最近也辞职了,称英国政府没有一套清晰的脱欧方案。六个月过去了,到现在看不到一项具有确定性的政策,而一百八十度大转弯的现象却屡见不鲜。其中有些是应该受到欢迎的,比如,曾承诺要求公司董事会纳入工人的愚蠢做法已被取消,要求公司对所雇用的外国员工予以一一列明的愚昧计划持续不到一周就结束了,试图对英国央行独立性进行限制的想法最后也不了了之。精挑细选的一些“文法”学校将会重建,不过规模要小很多,而且很可能,最后根本不会重建,主要考虑到很多保守党议员都反对这个想法。其他方面的政策也都是折腾来折腾去。欣克利角新建核电站项目被叫停,然后又开绿灯放行;希斯罗机场新建跑道项目进展顺利无阻,忽然被暂缓执行,要明年议会投票决定;“勉强度日”家庭在首相案头名列头等大事,持续约有一周左右,随后就不见了踪影;有建议称,英国应在脱欧后与欧盟达成意向过度协议,这个想法连续几周到处传送,直到梅姨明确表示,她的主意又进行了变更。


1.dreadful ['dredfʊl] adj. 可怕的;糟透的,令人不快的

2.resurrect[rezə'rekt] vt. 使复活;复兴;挖出;vi. 复活

3.smack [smæk] n. 滋味;少量;海洛因;风味;vt. 掴;用掌击;vi. 用掌击;带有…风味;adv. 猛然;直接地

4.dither ['dɪðə] n. 发抖;递色;[电子] 高频脉动;vi. 踌躇;发抖;犹豫

5.defer[dɪ'fɜː] vi. 推迟;延期;服从;vt. 使推迟;使延期

6.lodestar ['ləʊdstɑː] n. 北极星;目标;指导原则(等于loadstar)


The cause of this disarray could be that Mayism itself is muddled. While vowing to make Britain “the strongest global advocate for free markets”, the prime minister has also talked of reviving a “proper industrial strategy”. This is not about “propping up failing industries or picking winners”, she insists. Yet unspecified “support and assurances” to Nissan to persuade the carmaker to stay in Sunderland after Brexit amount to more or less that. Her enthusiasm for trade often sits uncomfortably with her scepticism of migration. Consider the recent trip to India, where her unwillingness to give way on immigration blocked progress on a free-trade agreement.

之所以如此杂乱无章,原因或许在于,梅姨主义本身就是一团糟。梅姨一方面高呼让英国成为“捍卫自由市场的全球领导者”,另一方面也大谈重拾“恰当的产业战略”,并坚称,这不是要“支持落后产业或有意偏袒某方”。不过,向日产提供的不明不白的“支持和保证”以让该汽车厂商在脱欧后留在英国的做法,也与那样的做法已经没什么区别了。梅姨对贸易热情有加,但同时也对移民问题忧心忡忡。梅姨最近的印度之旅,正是她在移民问题上拒绝让步,阻碍了英印在自由贸易协议方面取得进展。


1.disarray [dɪsə'reɪ] n. 无秩序;杂乱;衣冠不整;vt. 使混乱;弄乱;使脱去衣服

2.muddle['mʌd(ə)l] vt. 混合;使咬字不清晰;使微醉;n. 糊涂;困惑;混浊状态;vi. 胡乱思考;糊里糊涂地行事

3.advocate ['ædvəkət] vt. 提倡,主张,拥护;n. 提倡者;支持者;律师

4.prop [prɒp] n. 支柱,支撑物;支持者;道具;(橄榄球中的)支柱前锋;vt. 支撑,支持,维持;使倚靠在某物上


A citizen of nowhere

迷失航向的大英帝国

There is one lesson in the overdone comparison of Mrs May to Thatcher. The woman who really did transform Britain had a shambolic first term; privatisation and union reform, with which she is now associated, did not really get going until after 1983. Angela Merkel also made a shaky start as Germany’s chancellor. Mrs May could yet find her feet—and given the state of Labour, she will have time to do so, if Brexit does not provide her own party with a reason to oust her.

把梅姨比作撒切尔夫人,这个对比做得有点过,主要是忽略了一点。给英国带来真正变化的撒切尔夫人,在混乱无序中开启了她的第一个任期。私有化与工会改革(梅姨的工作计划中也有),直到1983年后才真正开始进行。默克尔任德国总理之初,面对的情况也杂乱无章。当下,梅姨也还没站稳脚跟,不过,鉴于工党的状况,梅姨有足够的时间来稳固自己,如果脱欧进程不出什么岔子从而使她没被自己的党抛弃的话


1.shambolic [ʃæm'bɒlɪk] adj. 大混乱的;无组织的

2.oust [aʊst] vt. 驱逐;剥夺;取代


Yet Mrs May could turn out to resemble another, less obvious predecessor: Gordon Brown. He, too, was thin-skinned. Like her, he moved into Downing Street without an election, in 2007. He also started with a fearsome reputation and big promises. And when it became clear he had little idea what to do with the job he had so coveted, he flopped. The financial crisis paralysed his government because of his desire to micromanage every decision.

不过,梅姨最终可能与另外一位不那么显眼的前任会更像,即戈登·布朗。布朗脸皮也比较薄、比较敏感。与梅姨相似,布朗2007年入住唐宁街也没经过大选,刚开始时声誉不是一般的高,做出的施政承诺也不是一般的宏大。布朗对首相职位是如此垂涎,但后来却对所需要做的工作知之甚少,最后不得不主动辞职告吹。金融危机也让布朗政府雪上加霜,主要是因为布朗对每项决策总是谨小慎微、小打小闹。


1.thin-skinned ['θin'skind] adj. 敏感的;皮薄的;脸皮薄的

2.fearsome ['fɪəs(ə)m] adj. 可怕的;害怕的;极大的

3.covet['kʌvɪt] vt. 垂涎;觊觎;vi. 垂涎;觊觎

4.flop[flɒp] vt. 笨拙地抛下;扑通放下;拍(翅);vi. 失败;扑拍;扑通落下;笨重地摔;n. 失败;砰然落下;拍击声;adv. 扑通一声;恰巧


There is more than a little of this in Mrs May. One person can just about run the Home Office single-handed. But being prime minister requires delegation—especially when Brexit looms so large. Care for the elderly is fraying. The National Health Service is running out of money. A housing shortage is worsening. Scotland and Northern Ireland are raising awkward constitutional questions. As long as every proposal has to be pored over by the prime minister, radical decisions of the sort needed to solve these problems will not be taken. To get a grip on Britain, Mrs May must learn to loosen hers.

在梅姨身上,那样的特点只多不少。对于内政部事务来说,一个人单打独斗或许没什么问题。但作为国家首相,需要的却是一个团队,特别是像应对英国脱欧这么庞大的任务时。养老服务状况堪忧,国民健康服务体系入不敷出,住房问题日益恶化,苏格兰与北爱尔兰又开始闹独立。需要首相进行考虑予以决定的问题,都是需要进行果断决定的问题,但最终却都没见有什么果断决定做出。要管制好国家,梅姨必须学会放松对权力的管制


1.loom[luːm] n. 织布机;若隐若现的景象;vi. 可怕地出现;朦胧地出现;隐约可见;vt. 在织布机上织

2.fray[freɪ] n. 争论;打架;磨损处;vt. 使磨损;变得令人紧张、急躁;vi. 被磨损

3.pore [pɔː] vi. 细想;凝视;熟读;n. 气孔;小孔;vt. 使注视


For this, she must decide what the grand promises of her government actually amount to. The need for every policy to be agonised over in Downing Street, the secrecy over Brexit and the silence on the government’s broader plans for Britain all point to the same problem: Theresa Maybe does not really know what she wants.

若想实现这个,梅姨必须决定,她所领导的英国政府在现实层面上能为国民带来些什么。需要认真面对的决策堆积如山,脱欧方案至今仍朦朦胧胧,整个国家的发展规划也混沌不清,所有这些,都直指同一个问题:梅姨自己也不知道该怎么办




往期精彩:


英欧离婚|《经济学人》:走到一起不容易,分起手来更麻烦,且行且珍惜

东亚局势|《全球脑库》:特朗普时代的日本,将会兴什么风、作什么浪?

财富世界|《2016年全球财富报告》:财富往哪里流,有它自己的规律

诗图一家|《一路行,一路思》:生活的意义,在于跳动着的心脏以及思考着的大脑


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