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经济学人:英国政坛 饱受压迫的工党

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Politics

英国政坛
Downtrodden Labour
饱受压迫的工党
Why Conservatives are talking up a Labour-SNP coalition
保守党吹捧工党和苏格兰国民党联盟的原因
My wee prime minister
我的迷你首相
SPRING is in the air in Westminster and the Conservatives are upbeat. Having lagged behind the opposition Labour Party in polls for most of the past five years, they are now narrowly ahead two months before the general election. The Tories'clear messages on the economy mainly account for these green shoots (see Bagehot). But an additional explanation is emerging 400 miles to the north: the rise of the secessionist Scottish National Party (SNP).
韦斯特敏斯特宫的春天近在眼前,保守党也很欢乐。连续五年的民调都落在对手工党之后,终于在大选前两个月有了微弱的胜出。保守党在经济上明确引导是最近经济萌芽的原因。(见白芝浩专栏)但在英国以北400英里的地方还有一个额外的解释:崇尚独立的苏格兰国民党的兴起。

Since the 1980s Scotland has been Labour’s granite-like electoral base. Though often run by Scots, the party hardly had to think about the country north of Hadrian’s Wall. When the SNP failed last year to win a referendum on Scottish independence, Labour expected it to fall apart, remembers one shell-shocked former staffer. Instead the opposite happened. The SNP has hoovered up the sprawling, leftish Yes (to independence) movement and turned it into a campaigning machine. The party’s membership has grown from 26,000 to 100,000 in six months. Polling published by Lord Ashcroft, a Tory peer, on March 4th suggests that it is on track to take most of Labour’s 41 seats in Scotland, including some of its oldest strongholds.

自上世纪八十年代起,苏格兰就是工党坚定不移的选民基地。虽然这个党派是由苏格兰人领导,但很少关注哈德良长城以北的国土。去年,苏格兰国民党在苏格兰独立的公投中败北,工党就开始期待其会分裂,将其视为已战斗疲劳的前职员。可苏格兰国名党不仅没有四分五裂,反倒吸纳了周边杂乱无序的区域,同意了左翼独立运动,并且将其变为一个竞选机器。六个月间,党派成员从2.6万人增长到10万人。保守党人阿什克罗夫特勋爵在3月4日发布的民调显示,该党要获得工党在苏格兰41个席位中的大多数指日可待,包括一些资历深厚的据点。
This helps the Tories in several ways. The first is practical: Labour must divert scarce campaigning resources north to fight for once-safe Scottish seats. The second concerns electoral arithmetic. Even if no party emerges from the election with a majority, as looks likely, the one with the most votes will enter coalition talks with momentum and authority. Nick Clegg, the leader of the centrist Liberal Democrats, says that he will speak to the biggest party first—as he did in 2010, when he formed a coalition with David Cameron’s lot. The fewer seats Labour wins, the better the Tories'chance of being in that position and thus of holding power.
这点在很多方面都对保守党颇有助益。第一点非常实际:工党必须把少的可怜的竞选资源转移到北部,以竞争安全的苏格兰席位。第二点则是选举的票数。即使没有党派在选举中赢得大部分支持率,看起来,获得大部分选票的党派,将会加入与权力当局的联盟商谈中。中立的自民党人尼克·克雷格称,他会先与最大的党派商谈,正如他在2010年与戴维·卡梅伦的阵营联合那样。工党赢得的席位越少,保守党占据优势进而掌权的可能性就越大。
But the main reason for Conservative cheer is that the nationalists'rise may force Labour to seek an accommodation with the SNP. The latest projection by Election Forecast, a group of political scientists, suggests that Mr Miliband will lack the numbers to govern without the backing (or, at least, tolerance) of the party’s MPs. Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP’s leader, appears to be preparing for such an arrangement: she has assured Scottish voters that her party will never prop up the Conservatives, and on March 6th confirmed that its opposition to Britain’s nuclear deterrent would not block a deal with Labour.
但保守党高兴的主要原因是,民族主义者的发展可能会迫使工党寻求与苏格兰国名党的和解。由一群政治研究学者组成的选举预测组织发出的最新预计显示,如果米利班德失去了工党议员的支持(或说至少是忍耐),他将很难以这么少的人数来掌管工党。苏格兰国民党的领导人尼古拉·斯特金似乎正为这样的安排做准备:她安抚苏格兰选民称,她领导的政党绝不会支持保守党,并在3月16日证实,苏格兰国民党对于英国核武器威慑的反对,并不会阻断其与工党的协定。
Tory strategists believe that the prospect of a Labour government reliant on the support of MPs who would shatter the United Kingdom horrifies the English. They are gleefully talking up a Labour-SNP deal in the hope that it will cost Labour votes south of the border. In February Mr Cameron claimed that the two leftish parties were “halfway up the aisle” and preparing for “a honeymoon in North Korea”. On billboards in English marginal constituencies a Conservative poster depicts a huge Mr Salmond with Mr Miliband in his pocket.
保守党的谋士认为,工党的前景需得依靠广大议员的支持,这些议员能够不再让英国国民再害怕英国政府。保守党议员兴高采烈地谈论工党与苏格兰国民党的联合,希望这样的联合会消耗国境线以南的工党选票。今年二月,卡梅伦声称,这两个左翼政党只是“路才走了一半”,而且是准备“在朝鲜度蜜月”。英国边境选区的一个广告牌上贴了一张保守党海报,上面画的是一个巨大的萨尔蒙德把米利班德装进了口袋里。
Tactically, this is smart. Labour frontbenchers wriggle when asked about the SNP, denying that a deal is “on the agenda” but refusing to rule it out. Yet the Tories'ruse could backfire. Humza Yousaf, an SNP bigwig, claims that Mr Cameron’s theatrics will “only increase our support in Scotland”. He has a point. Last September the prime minister begged the Scots to stay, saying that he would be “utterly heartbroken” if they seceded. Yet his recent attacks on the SNP can only strengthen the nationalists'claims that the English and the Scots are better off apart. Mr Cameron may protest that he is merely trying to win a second term. But at what cost to the union?
在策略上,这点非常聪明。当被问及苏格兰国民党时,工党的前座议员,都顾左右而言他,否认这个交易“已经提上日程”,同时又拒绝排除这样的可能性。然而保守党的计策也可能事与愿违。苏格兰国民党的要员胡扎·尤萨夫声称,卡梅伦的表演“只会提高我们在苏格兰的支持率”。他说得不无道理。去年九月,首相请求苏格兰人留下,他说,如果苏格兰脱离,他会“彻底心碎了”。但他最近对于苏格兰国民党的打击,只能加强民族独立者对于英国苏格兰最好分开的宣言。卡梅伦也许会抗议道,他只是想连任。但是这对联盟而言要消耗多少呢?译者 周雨晴 校对 王颖
译文属译生译世
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arrangement [ə'reindʒmənt]

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