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【每日晨读】经济学人GRE双语阅读 英国政界派系林立谁主沉浮

2018/02/15 00:00  互联网
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Britain Politics——Tribes of Tories

英国政治:托利党的派系纷争

The Conservative Party increasingly resembles a patchwork of pressure groups. That is a bad sign for its leader

保守党越来越像压力团体一锅烩,党魁遭遇坏势头

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UNION bashing, tough talk on welfare and short shrift for criminals—in many ways it was a conventional Conservative Party conference. But away from the main stage, in gatherings of MPs and grassroots activists, the conference buzzed with big ideas. “We are skeptical of politics driven by focus groups,” asserts Kwasi Kwarteng, a Tory MP. With four other members of the Free Enterprise Group, Mr Kwarteng has just published a tract of radical free-market policies designed to shift opinion. His was not the only outfit aiming to cause a stir. In his closing speech, David Cameron tried to define what the Conservative Party stands for (see Bagehot).At times it felt as if everybody else at the conference was trying to do the same.

抨击欧盟,激烈地讨论福利问题和罪犯临刑前短暂忏悔问题——从许多方面看这都是一次传统的保守党会议。但是,远离主会场的下议院议员及草根活动家却兴奋地谈论着一些好点子。托利党议员Kwasi Kwarteng断言,“我们对由焦点群体控制的政治抱怀疑态度”。他和其他四位自由企业派的成员刚刚公布了一系列旨在改变舆论的激进的自由市场政策。他不是唯一一位企图用一套理论引发轰动的人。大卫·卡梅伦在总结陈词里就尝试定义保守党的主张。有时候给人的感觉是,会议里的所有人似乎都在竞相做同样一件事情。

Pressure groups of Tory politicians and activists are multiplying. Conservative Voice, launched in September to champion traditional policies on crime, immigration and jobs, now claims thousands of supporters. Bright Blue campaigns for “progressive conservatism” and pushes causes such as environmentalism and international development. MPs representing marginal constituencies last year formed The Forty to devise strategies for the 2015 election. And soon. Pamphlets and books are whizzing off the presses.

托利党政客和活动分子组成的压力集团越来越多。九月份成立的“保守之声”维护传统的犯罪、移民、及就业政策,现在拥有成千上万的支持者。“亮蓝”派为“进步的保守主义”奔走呼号,极力宣传环境保护主义及国际发展等事业。去年,代表“边缘选区”的议员成立了“四十”派,为2015年的选举出谋划策。各种团体名目繁多,不胜枚举。宣传书册铺天盖地从出版社涌出来。

Five strains of thought can be detected. First come the two, subtly different, varieties of David Cameron’s “modernizing” project, which seeks to anchor the party in the electorally decisive centre ground. Cautious reformers, including the prime minister himself, are at home in modern Britain but nostalgic about traditional institutions. Radical reformers, including George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and much of the 2010 intake of MPs, are more socially and economically liberal, and often more urban.

可以看出有5股思想包含其中。一是大卫·卡梅伦的“现代化”设计的两种差别甚微的变体。“现代化”改革力求将保守党的政治立场锁定在中间位置,以确保选举中的优势。包括首相在内的谨慎改革派虽精熟于现代英国政治,却对传统制度念念不忘。包括财政大臣乔治·奥斯本及许多2010年当选的议员在内的激进改革派则对社会及经济持更自由的观点,且通常更倾向城市。

Three other strains are less influential. The pitiful remnants of the party’s once-strong leftwing, economically interventionist and relaxed about Europe, huddle around the Tory Reform Group. Better represented among the party grassroots are the social conservatives and the libertarians. The former, mostly close to the Cornerstone Group, were out in force at an anti-gay-marriage rally on the conference fringe. The latter are defined by hawkish views on taxes and foreign policy.

其他三股思想的影响力稍弱。保守党内曾强势一时的左翼力量余部主张经济干预,并对欧洲态度相对宽松,抱团支持托利改革派。党内底层成员中占主流地位的是社会保守主义者和自由论者。前者基本上与基石派相似,曾在会议外围大搞反同性恋结婚游行。后者则被认为在税收和对外政策上持有鹰派观点。

The Tory tribes are particularly vivid and noisy these days. Public disagreement between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats at the heart of the coalition government, as well as a widespread belief among Tory MPs that Lib Dems are steering the ship, has made dissent seem more acceptable. One senior Liberal Democrat compares coalition to an X-ray machine: it exposes the fractures beneath a party’s skin. Coalition also diminishes Mr Cameron’s powers of patronage, such as cabinet seats, with which to buy off agitators. The tribal gatherings are outlets for energy that, in past Conservative administrations, was channeled into government business.

托利众派最近尤为活跃喧闹。保守党和自由民主党在联合政府的核心问题上公开不和,托利党议员也普遍认为自由民主党在掌舵,这就使异议看起来更可以接受。一位老资格自由民主党员将联合执政比作一台X光机:它暴露了一个党内部的裂痕。联合执政还侵蚀了卡梅伦的任免权,比如用来收买政治煽动者的内阁席位。过去保守党一党执政时期,各方力量都被调拨到政府事务中去,而现在,派系分化倒成了这些力量的宣泄口。

And there is a lot of energy in the party these days. The Tories’ 2010 intake, which makes up48% of the parliamentary party, contains fewer intellectually mediocre patricians than its predecessors. Many new MPs have extensive professional experience outside politics. Before the last general election Mr Cameron meddled with candidate-selection procedures to enhance social and ethnic diversity. In the process he produced a more independent, opinionated crop of Tory MPs.

这几年,保守党内部出现了很多股力量。2010年入党的人占议会人数的48%,与前几届相比,资质平庸的贵族成员比例下降。许多新议员除了有政治知识,还具有广泛的专业经验。上次大选之前,卡梅伦还调整议员候选人选举程序,以提高社会及种族多元性。在此过程中,他制造了一个更独立、更固执的托利议员团体。

The broadly loyal culture of the party means its tribes are not nearly as dangerous as they might seem. Whereas Labour periodically breaks into warring dogmatic factions, Conservatives are generally united by a broad set of common principles—including a skeptical attitude to grand political schemes. One trenchant backbench critic acknowledges that many Tory MPs “usually follow the prevailing pattern”. Even on Europe, a topic that has caused infighting in the past, there is little sign of factionalism. The party is almost uniformly Eurosceptic, although some are hotter than others and there are differences over the timing of any referendum on the EU.

保守党广泛的王室情结意味着其各派系并不像表面上看起来那么危险。与工党时不时就发生分裂,派系之间明争暗斗、唇枪舌剑相比,保守党各派系靠一整套共同原则——其中包括对宏大政治蓝图的怀疑态度——总体上保持着团结。一位后座议员兼批评家一针见血地指出,许多托利党议员“一般都会遵循眼下流行的观点”。即便是欧洲这个在过去挑起内斗的问题,都鲜有激起派系冲突的迹象。尽管有些派系在这个问题上会比其他派系更为激进,并且对何时就欧洲问题举行公投的时机存在分歧,但保守党内几乎整齐划一地持欧洲怀疑论。

Yet the tribes are important, and revealing of the Conservative Party’s state. Tim Bale, author of two books on the party after 1945, notes that cliques have previously shifted the entire Conservative encampment. In the 1950s the One Nation Group swung the party behind a mixed economy. Under Margaret Thatcher, cerebral MPs around the Centre for Policy Studies led it the other way. Mr Cameron rose to the leadership on the shoulders of a small number of young, ambitious modernizers.

然而,各派系都很重要,并且体现了保守党的状态。蒂姆·贝尔——著作了两本讲述1945年后的保守党的书籍——指出,派系分化已经改变了整个保守党阵营。20世纪50年代时,一国保守主义派使整个保守党追随混合经济,玛格丽特·撒切尔执政时,政策研究中心的理智的议员改变了这一方向。卡梅伦则是在一小撮年轻又雄心勃勃的现代主义者的支持下赢得领导权的。

Successful cliques have several things in common. They tend to have a succinct analysis of how and why the party needs to change. They have a knack for PR and a strong grasp of the prevailing mood. They know that they have to say something repeatedly before the party—let alone the country—will listen. They have an electoral strategy.

成功的派系有几点相同之处。他们会对党为何以及如何发生改变进行简要的分析,有处理公共关系的技巧并对当下流行观点有深刻的了解,知晓他们必须重复地讲述某些事情直到党乃至整个国家都会听他们的,此外,他们还有一套选举策略。

At present the radical modernizers are best placed to steer the party. The Free Enterprise Group, seen as their vanguard, has a simple message: government should remove barriers in the way of business. Dominated by media-savvy professional types, it knows how to communicate this mantra. It has Mr Osborne’s ear, as well as some support from other tendencies in the party. It seems to be swaying the leader: Mr Cameron’s speech this week was big on business-worship.

眼下正是激进现代主义派领导保守党的最佳时机。被视作其先锋的自由企业派传递了一个简单的信息:政府应该为商业发展扫清道路。自由企业派擅长媒体专业用语,知道如何传达这一准则。它在奥斯本那儿说得上话,又有党内其他派系的支持。它似乎能影响领导人:卡梅伦本周的演讲就充满商业崇拜气息。

In many ways the ferment within the Conservative Party is beneficial. One new centre-left MP praises a fine “buffet” of different approaches; a backbench grandee talks of the value of “safety valves” on hot issues. There is a refreshingly relaxed view towards rival philosophies, which was notably absent from the Labour Party when it was in power. A combination of loyalty and flexibility has served the Conservative Party well in the past.

从许多方面讲,保守党的内部纷争是有利的。一位新中左议员赞其为提供不同点子的精致“自助餐”;一位后座政要称其在热点问题上起到了“安全阀”的重要作用。一种对待不同信条的观点出现了,其轻松感令人耳目一新,这是工党执政时期明显缺乏的。忠诚和灵活的结合使保守党在过去表现地可圈可点。

Yet the growing din of opinionated voices is a bad sign for the leadership. It is no coincidence that several new groups have appeared recently, at a time when the government has tripped over health reform, deficit reduction and constitutional change and the Conservative Party has fallen further behind Labour in opinion polls. The absence of a clear direction from the top of the party has created a space into which alternative proposals are pouring. The party as a whole is fizzing because 10 Downing Street is not.

然而,各方固执己见的声音越闹越大对保守党的领导地位不是个好兆头。近期几个新派系的出现,政府在医疗改革、削减赤字及修改宪法上面摔了跟头,保守党民调支持率远远落后于工党,这些完全不是巧合。党的领导层缺乏一个明确的思想路线,留下一个缺口,使得不同政见蜂拥而入。保守党上下吵得热火朝天,皆因唐宁街10号风平浪静。

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