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《经济学人》:捉摸不透的财政大臣

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The inscrutable chancellor捉摸不透的财政大臣The Osborne identity奥斯本身份之谜

As he prepares for his second budget, the chancellor of the exchequer remains a mystery to many in Westminster
奥斯本正酝酿上任后第二份财政预算,对于西敏斯特的众议员来说,这位财政大臣依旧是个谜。

NO OTHER office of state carries the mystique of chancellor of the exchequer, a job that comes with almost prime-ministerial power but only a rare duty to enter the spotlight. The next of these occasions comes on March 23rd, when George Osborne delivers his second budget. Coalition government has left him even less visible, and less understood, than he might have been: Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister, has become the second face of the coalition, alongside David Cameron, the prime minister.

没有其他的政府职务会比财政大臣一职更为神秘。财政大臣一职虽权比首相但是很少抛头露面。而这样的情况将在3月23日再次得到印证,届时,奥斯本将公布他的第二份财政预算。由于政府是联合执政,这让本来让人捉摸不透的他变得愈发神秘,愈发不为人所知。代表自民党的副首相尼克克莱格成了执政联盟的“二把手”,仅次于首相卡梅隆。

Mr Osborne’s elusiveness would matter less, were the gap between his public profile and his influence smaller. His plan virtually to eliminate the structural deficit in this parliament is the government’s main task; the parallel project to reform the public services takes place within budgetary limits set by him. But his sway extends beyond the Treasury, where his seriousness and technical command have surprised civil servants who expected the neophyte of popular pre-general election caricature. Mr Osborne also does much of the government’s political thinking. He is often the dominant voice in the kind of strategy meetings—many of which Mr Cameron lets him chair—in which he first shone as a young adviser in the 1990s.

如果奥斯本先生的公共形象和他的影响力没有如此显著的差异的话,他的不为人知也就不那么重要了。但是他提出的计划事实上是要在本届议会中通过一项消除结构赤字的提案,而这恰好是政府的主要任务。同时开展的公共服务改革项目也在他制定的预算限制内进行。在财政部,他以严肃的作风和专业的指令让众多公务员大吃一惊,他们原以为他只是一个初出茅庐,在预选中大受欢迎的政治新手罢了。但是他的影响并不仅限于财政部内。同时,许多政府的政治决策也是由他在运筹帷幄。他的声音主导着这类政策会议——其中的许多会议卡梅隆交由他来主持——早在90年代时,他就以年轻的顾问的形象首次在这类会议中脱颖而出。

He had few allies in the Conservative Party in opposition, but a support base is now growing under him. His special advisers are the best in the government. There are “Osbornite” MPs, such as Matthew Hancock and Greg Hands. His stock has risen on his party’s right: many who once mistrusted his desire to move the Tories to the centre ground now see him as a more vigilant guardian of Tory views in the coalition than Mr Cameron.

在保守党内部他没什么盟友,但是越来越多的人支持他。他的特别顾问都是政府里的精英。还有一些“奥斯本方阵”的议员,譬如马修汉考克和格雷戈汉斯。同时他也获得更多右翼人士的青睐:很多人曾怀疑他希望保守党逐渐走向中间路线的动机,但现在他们认为他在执政联盟中能比卡梅隆更忠诚地捍卫保守党的观点。

None of this means that Mr Osborne is the “real” prime minister, as some maintain. Mr Cameron’s decisions ultimately carry the day. Neither is their relationship anything like as fraught as that between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Mr Osborne is ambitious but knows that any opportunity to lead his party or country is years away. He also knows that, as our pre-budget opinion poll demonstrates (see article), voters are yet to warm to him.

但是也有人认为,这一切并不意味着奥斯本就是“真正”的首相。说到底,还是卡梅隆说了算。而且他们之间的关系完全不似戈登布朗和托尼布莱尔之间那样令人担忧。奥斯本先生虽踌躇满志,但是他明白还要过几年才能有机会担任党魁或者国家元首。同时他清楚的知道,正如《经济学家》在预算公布前开展的民意测验所显示的那样,选民们对他还是不感冒。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
soften ['sɔfn]

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v. (使)变柔和,(使)软化

 
rare [rɛə]

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adj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的
ad

 
mystery ['mistəri]

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n. 神秘,秘密,奥秘,神秘的人或事物

 
rural ['ru:rəl]

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adj. 农村的

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grasping ['grɑ:spiŋ]

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adj. 贪心的,贪婪的 adj. 抓的,紧紧抓住的 动

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strategy ['strætidʒi]

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n. 战略,策略

 
contrast ['kɔntræst,kən'træst]

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n. 差别,对比,对照物
v. 对比,成对照<

 
base [beis]

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n. 基底,基础,底部,基线,基数,(棒球)垒,[化]碱

 
abstract ['æbstrækt]

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n. 摘要,抽象的东西
adj. 抽象的,理论

联想记忆
identity [ai'dentiti]

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n. 身份,一致,特征

 


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