05 2009

Daily Quote: dark side of the moon

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G20伦敦峰会在伦敦东郊的ExCel会议中心举行。这里是原来的伦敦港口码头(Dockland),已经离伦敦市中心很远了,周围也很荒凉。《卫报》记者Simon Hoggart 在他的文章中把这个地方形容为 dark side of the moon – 无人居住,不见天日。

This summit took place on the dark side of the moon.

We…were ushered into a series of buses, swept past driverless trains, deserted roundabouts, abandoned building sites, empty docks, with not a single human being visible except for groups of police, holding back nobody.

《泰晤士报》记者 Ann Treneman (她和 Simon Hoggart 一样,正职都是“议会写生员” – parliament stretch writer,专门描写议会活动的) 没有直接写会议中心周围的景物,而是说:

The best way to explain the ExCel centre is to imagine a giant tin can on its side. We could not see out, which, given the view, may not have been such a bad thing.

举行多边首脑峰会时,选择偏远、交通不便的会址,然后在离会场很远的地方就设立警戒线,挡住示威者,已经成为主办方惯用的手段。

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30 2009

Daily Quote: student politics

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英国众议院每周三中午有30分钟的 Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQ – 我过去曾用过“首相提问时间”和“首相答问时间”两种译法,显然后者更好)。现在的趋势,根据一些议会专门报道议会辩论的记者(他们的职业称呼是 sketch writer – 议会写生员),似乎是越来越粗鲁没礼貌。原因是工党首相布朗(Gordon Brown)容易动怒又不会开玩笑骂人,而保守党领袖卡梅伦(Cameron)倒是严辞锋利,但为了避免显得夸夸其谈太轻飘,不得不时时做出激愤状。两人你来我往谁也收不住,有时弄得大家都下不了台,身后的议员们就表现得像是一群看人打架在一边拍手叫好的看客,常常裁判--Common Speaker (众议院主席)不得不介入拉架。所以本周三双方互骂对方 student politics 就显得挺应时:

The Prime Minister tried to be rude in return by accusing Mr Cameron of playing “student politics“, but the Tory leader batted this straight back: “Mr Speaker, only one of us was a student politician and he’s never grown out of it.”

Mr Brown was obsessed by student politics at Edinburgh: Mr Cameron kept out of student politics at Oxford.

Andrew Gimson on Telegraph: Sketch: Gordon Brown feels the pain of creating a brave new world

《泰晤士报》上的 Ann Treneman 则更多地感叹在世界经济危机面前,别人都团结一致,英国的议员们却东奔西散:

Student politics? We should be so lucky. This may even be sub-playground. I have seen pre-schoolers behave better. What is strange is that, in the country, the recession has brought us together. As a people, we are hunkering down, trying to ride it out. But, at Westminster, the recession has driven our politicians farther apart. Now, as surreal as a dream, they are screaming into the wind across an ever-growing abyss.

Ann Treneman on the Times: No end in sight to Gordon Brown’s global nightmare

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05 2007

Daily Quote: Soundbite cluster bomb

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After the loss of election in England, Scotland and Wales of various degress, the retiring Tony Blair was seen being interviewed in some nondescriptive office, with a mug of tea in hand. The Times’s Ann Treneman wrote:

Mr Blair, who denies he is in denial, denied things were so bad. Then, casually, he dropped his soundbite cluster bomb. “It’s been a dreadful set of results for the Liberal Democrats,” he said chattily. “And the Tories have not broken through, particularly in the northern cities.” Within seconds, this was being flashed up as BREAKING NEWS. The mug had struck again.

Soundbite is a weapon a politican must master.

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