ジョーコックスの殺害 世話やきの代償(2)

That is a reminder of the dangers MPs face daily; the price they pay for listening to their constituents and making themselves so approachable. A report cited by the Guardian just in January documented the abuse to which parliamentarians are routinely subjected. Of the 239 MPs surveyed, 192 said they had experienced “aggressive or intrusive behaviour”, 43 that they had been subjected to attacks or attempted attacks, 101 that they had received threats of harm. Reports included accounts of being punched in the face; of being hit with a brick; of their children being told that they would be killed; of having petrol poured through the letter box. The authorities were already trying to improve security for MPs when yesterday’s attack took place. Fresh safety advice has now been issued. 

abuse :悪口・暴力

It is their very visibility to their constituents—that noble hallmark of the British system—that makes MPs targets for loners, extremists and the furious. The lurid rantings of such people regularly make it into parliamentary mail bags, as I have witnessed both working in one MP’s office and visiting dozens of others as a journalist. In one I was shown a thick wad of paper from one constituent, perhaps one hundred pages thick, filled with dense, spidery, scatological fantasies of violence and destruction. It was not untypical, I was told. 

mail bag:郵便袋

The abuse is not confined to the deranged. It arises in an environment in which the stereotype of the lazy, venal, self-serving MP is depressingly widely accepted. This has deep roots in Britons’ ancient scepticism of authority. Yet particularly since the 2009 expenses scandal, when a handful of (frankly rather minor) scoundrels gave the decent majority a bad name, this has curdled into something darker, something nastier. In the heat of the EU referendum campaign I have attended a series of events (for the Leave side, it must be said) at which placid, middle-class Middle England types have parroted not just the usual gormless claims about MPs (“They’re all the same”, “They’re all in it for themselves”) but have tipped into outright conspiracy theorising. Britain is not a democracy, its politicians are just puppets for shadowy corporate and foreign forces, they are traitors. 

self-serving :私欲に走る
tipped into:タレコミをする・傾ける

Such was the febrile atmosphere in which Ms Cox was slain. It is too early to say whether it was a big-P “political” act; early reports claim Mr Mair shouted “Britain First” and has links to far-right groups. But irrespective of what investigators discover about the causes of the murder, yesterday’s ghastly incident is unequivocally political in at least one respect: it took place as a hard-working, public-spirited MP was among her constituents, serving them, trying to make their lives better; yet in a society in which such efforts go scandalously overlooked. 

slain:殺害する slay

Were it not for its frightening underside, the popular view of politicians would be laughable in its utter inaccuracy. Britain is one of the least corrupt countries in the world; its politicians are probably cleaner and more accountable than those in any European country outside Scandinavia. MPs are not well paid compared with other parliamentarians and other professionals in the public service. Most work spectacularly long hours, spend chunks of most weeks in what amount to glorified student digs in London, have little time for their families. Why? There is a dose of ego in the equation, of course. But far more prominent is a genuine commitment to the public good, a desire to do something positive and meaningful. The quest to “give something back” is no less sincere and important for being cliched. 

chunks of:たくさんの
student digs:ガリ勉家
in the equation:等式の中に
no less:確かに

And yes, it is healthy for citizens to hold their representatives to account, to interrogate and challenge, to adopt a sceptical attitude towards the decisions they take and to boot them out when they fail. But Britain in 2016 has gone far, far beyond that. A country so intensely suspicious about its leaders, so wide-eyed in its willingness to believe the worst, so thirsty for proof of betrayal and decadence, is not a country in a good place. 

boot them out:クビにする
gone far beyond:大きくそれる



swingby_blog at 04:49コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


ジョーコックスの殺害 世話やきの代償

Jo Cox’s murder
The price of caring
Jun 17th 2016, 11:57 BY BAGEHOT


SOME reports have it that Thomas Mair, the 52-year-old man arrested for yesterday’s fatal attack on Jo Cox, a Labour MP, was waiting for her outside the Yorkshire library where she was holding a constituency surgery. Whether or not this turns out to have been the case, her murder is a stark illustration of the risks MPs take by making themselves so available to their constituents. 

MP:the Member of Parliamentの略で、議会の構成員
constituency surgery:選挙民との面談
been the case:事実かどうか
stark illustration:厳しい実例

What is under-appreciated in Britain is how special this is. I have complained about First Past the Post (FPTP) in the past. But it is undeniable that it makes politicians more personally responsible to their constituents. In proportional systems some or all MPs have no specific loyalty to a particular, narrow geographical area. By contrast all Britons have a representative whose job it is to voice their interests and those of their neighbours. Moreover, most of those representatives give their constituents a degree of access unparalleled in other countries. 

first-past-the-post system: 〈英〉小選挙区制  first past the post 先着順  小選挙区制◆英の選挙の制度。最も多数の投票数を得た者が当選する
proportional representation: (選挙の)比例代表制 

During election campaigns, they will typically go door-knocking (on the continent street stalls and rallies are preferred). Between elections, most hold regular surgeries, like the one outside which Ms Cox was attacked yesterday. Constituents can attend these—sometimes simply turning up on the day and waiting in line—to raise their opinions, concerns and problems. Subjects range from badger culls and foreign policy to abusive neighbours and violent crime. Often these occasions function as the public-service-of-last-resort: a final hope for citizens who feel ignored or let down by, say, the police, the National Health Service or the local council. People driven to desperation can act in desperate ways. Yet most MPs continue to hold their surgeries regularly, and publicise them widely. 

street stalls and rallies:露天や集会
Badger Cull:アナグマ狩り イギリスで、ウシ型結核菌を媒体する野生動物で、感染源として非難されるのが、バジャー(Badger:アナグマ)です。 このため、この10年で、約11,000頭の野生のアナグマが殺されてきたそうですが、これが牛の結核の蔓延を直接的に防ぐことになるのか、答えはまだはっきり出ていないらしいです。 
let down:見捨てる

The cynical response is to claim that they do so only to secure re-election. Not so. Studies have suggested that time spent in these meetings would be more fruitfully used (in electoral terms, at least) canvassing swing voters, or nurturing journalists. Often surgeries are dominated by repeat visitors, those at the juncture of multiple social fractures (poor health, crime, poverty) who are unlikely to vote come election time and may not even know which party their MP represents. 

cynical :ひねくれた
canvassing :勧誘して回る
multiple social fracture:輻輳した社会的な破壊

Moreover, one of the other traits of FPTP is that it creates safe seats. There are plenty of MPs who, frankly, could ignore their constituents and still win elections. Practically none do. I witnessed this a couple of years ago when working on an article about the role of surgeries. First I spent a day with Jacob Rees-Mogg, who represents a corner of Somerset where they virtually weigh the Tory vote. But it is not without its social problems. And although Mr Rees-Mogg has a reputation for being a rather grand, fogeyish type, I was profoundly impressed watching him respond as his voters unburdened their woes on him. From volcanic disputes between neighbours to a constituent with a long-term health problem (who suffered a sort of fit during the meeting) and a woman reduced to tears by debt problems, he offered each sensitive, practical and informed advice and explained what he and his office could do to help. 

a sort of fit :ある種の適合・かみ合い

Then I sat in on a surgery with Rushanara Ali, the Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. This too was—and is—an extremely safe seat. Yet in a run-down council building she dealt with a long series of terrible accounts of bureaucratic indifference and institutional failure (many concerning the immigration system) with calm professionalism, switching between Bengali and English often within conversations with the same family. Her temporary office was protected by a punch-code lock while—if I remember correctly—a security guard stood outside. Only a couple of years previously Stephen Timms, the MP for nearby East Ham, had been stabbed in the abdomen at one of his surgeries. 

punch-code lock:暗証番号を打ち込むような鍵



swingby_blog at 06:20コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


倒れてはいるが消滅してはいない。 最新情報 リビアでのイスラム国との戦い

Down but not out
All latest updates
Fighting Islamic State in Libya
The battle for Sirte
Jun 17th 2016 | CAIRO | Middle East and Africa

最新情報 リビアでのイスラム国との戦い

FOR a wonderful few days, it seemed that Libya’s new Government of National Accord (GNA), headed by Fayez al-Serraj, the prime minister, was on the verge of a momentous victory last week. Forces aligned with Mr Serraj had driven the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) back over 100 miles. They then captured the airport and seaport of Sirte, the group’s stronghold and the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi, the Libyan dictator overthrown (and killed) in 2011. The jihadists were pinned down in the city centre. “The operation will not last much longer,” said Muhammad Ghassri, the GNA’s spokesman, on June 9th. 

Government of National Accord:国民合意の政府
on the verge of:今にも〜しようとして
aligned with :連携した
pinned down:身動きできなくする

But up to that point, IS had not put up much resistance. Now the jihadists are hitting back in an attempt to retake the port and other areas. Hundreds of its fighters, many from abroad, remain holed up in Sirte. The GNA’s offensive has stalled. Its forces, made up mostly of militias from Misrata, in the west, have thus far shown a willingness to take casualties. More than 100 of their men have died and some 500 have been injured. But in order to clear Sirte of jihadists, more sacrifice will be needed. 

put up:企てる
holed up:潜伏する
take casualties:死傷者を出す

The fighting has certainly hurt IS, which had used its control of roughly 180 miles (290km) of coastline around Sirte to bring in supplies and new recruits. It has now lost almost all of that territory—the latest in a string of setbacks for the jihadists. In February militias backed by American air strikes destroyed its base in Sabratha, in the west. Last year local forces kicked it out of Derna, in north-east Libya. The group’s collapse has led some to doubt previous estimates that it had some 6,000 fighters in Libya, which was seen as a growing jihadist hub. 

used its control:その支配力を利用してきた
setbacks for:痛手を与える

Many of the group’s leaders are thought to have slipped out of Sirte and gone south. The GNA had threatened its offensive for weeks, so the jihadists knew it was coming. Though aided by American and British soldiers, who are helping with logistics and intelligence, the GNA’s forces failed to secure all of the routes out of Sirte. That would have needed better co-ordination with local militias. “Even if Sirte is liberated, that does not mean that IS is gone from Libya,” says Jason Pack of Eye On ISIS in Libya, a monitoring service. 

 it was coming:いよいよ

The offensive may also be intensifying rivalries in Libya, which has been mired in a hot and cold civil war for over two years. The two-month-old GNA, which is backed by the UN and based in Tripoli, the capital, has largely displaced the former government in the west. But it still has not won the support of a rival government in the east. The Libyan National Army, which is led by Khalifa Haftar and aligned to the eastern government, has not participated in the battle for Sirte. The parliament in the east, which must approve the UN-sponsored agreement creating the GNA, says it will vote on the deal—a promise it has made before. 

vote on the deal:取引に賛成投票をする

The GNA’s quick advance has, for now, weakened Mr Haftar’s claim to be the West’s best hope of defeating Libya’s jihadists. He looms over the eastern government and is often considered a spoiler of efforts to unify the country. Some say he is losing recruits to the GNA. But it too has been exposed. Its fighting force, drawn from the western town of Misrata, is much the same as the one that backed the old western government and battled Mr Haftar. “It is not a unity government, just a rebranding of Misratan militias,” says Mr Pack. Their loyalty can be fickle. Last year they fought another militia that is now attacking IS from the east. 

looms over :ぼんやりと現れる

Despite controlling state institutions, such as the central bank and the national oil firm, the GNA has struggled to establish its authority. It has also been reluctant to assert it in some areas, so as to avoid fuelling separatist sentiment in the east. The offensive against IS, if successful, may rally more Libyans to its side. The UN also hopes to give it a boost: on June 14th the UN Security Council authorised a European naval mission to enforce an arms embargo on Libya. 

But there is also now the risk of the jihadists resorting more to terrorism, as they have done elsewhere in the region. An attack in Tripoli or on state infrastructure could quickly undermine the gains the GNA has made. IS was able to gain ground in Libya because a lack of unity led to chaos. That underlying problem still has not been solved. 

resort to:に訴える



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イギリスのEU国民投票 分裂すれば倒れる EUを離れる投票はイギリスとヨーロッパの双方の威信を低めてしまうだろう。(3) 公的資金に対しての騒動が東京都知事を倒した。

Some Britons see this as a reason to get out, before the doomed edifice comes tumbling down. Yet the idea that quitting would spare Britain is the greatest illusion of all. Even if Britain can leave the EU it cannot leave Europe. The lesson going back centuries is that, because Britain is affected by what happens in Europe, it needs influence there. If Germany is too powerful, Britain should work with France to counterbalance it. If France wants the EU to be less liberal, Britain should work with the Dutch and the Nordics to stop it. If the EU is prospering, Britain needs to share in the good times. If the EU is failing, it has an interest in seeing the pieces land in the right place. 

land in:着地する

Over the years this newspaper has found much to criticise in the EU. It is an imperfect, at times maddening club. But it is far better than the alternative. We believe that leaving would be a terrible error. It would weaken Europe and it would impoverish and diminish Britain. Our vote goes to Remain. 

maddening :腹立たしい


A spending scandal in Tokyo
Another one bites the dust
A row over public funds topples Tokyo’s governor
Jun 18th 2016 | TOKYO | From the print edition


AN ITALIAN meal costing \80,000 ($752). Mystery novels, comic books, Chinese silk shirts and a holiday for his family. Antique art. The most expensive suite at the five-star Conrad London St James hotel. These were some of the uses to which Yoichi Masuzoe put public funds when he was governor of Tokyo. 

At first Mr Masuzoe tried to apologise his way out of a scandal that gripped the city for weeks and filled the galleries of the Metropolitan Assembly, the city’s parliament, with annoyed Tokyoites. The spending was not illegal, but a looming no-confidence motion in the Diet and warnings that he could hurt the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in impending upper-house elections prompted Mr Masuzoe to resign on June 15th. The LDP may be relieved, but his resignation is yet another embarrassment for the city as it prepares to host the Olympics in 2020. 


He is the second consecutive LDP-backed governor to quit amid a row over money. Mr Masuzoe’s predecessor, Naoki Inose, resigned after the propriety of a \50m loan he received from a medical institution was challenged. Ironically, Mr Masuzoe, a TV commentator and ex-cabinet member, entered office promising to run a clean administration and to restore the city government’s tainted reputation ahead of the Olympics. 


Koichi Nakano, a political scientist at Sophia University in Tokyo, said that had Mr Masuzoe remained in office, it would have “drawn more attention to the sort of old-fashioned money politics represented by the LDP, and they could have suffered” at the ballot box. 

To the ire of many Tokyoites, Mr Masuzoe’s spendthrift ways will now trigger another city election this summer, projected to cost around \5 billion. His resignation complicates the city’s preparation for the Olympics. Three years ago the Japanese capital’s reputation for efficiency and its residents’ enthusiasm for the Games gave Tokyo’s bid an edge over rival applications from Madrid and Istanbul. 

give ~ an edge: (人)を優位に立たせる

But the Olympic plans have been plagued by cost overruns and administrative bungling. Japan’s Olympic committee has been ensnared in a bribery investigation. The design for the Olympic stadium was scuppered last year by criticism that it was too grandiose and environmentally destructive. Mr Masuzoe and the central government fought bitterly over the city’s share of the price tag. He memorably compared the central government’s bland reassurances that the preparations were going swimmingly to Japan’s Imperial Army insisting that it was winning the second world war. 

bland reassurance:当たり障りのない安心感

Among the candidates being touted as his successor is Yuriko Koike, a female LDP legislator who previously served as defence and environment minister. Kenji Utsunomiya, a former head of Japan’s bar association, is also expected to make a bid, as will others. But the appeal of overseeing an economy larger than the Netherlands’ could quickly fade if Olympic preparations continue to go awry. 

go awry:予定通りにいかない



swingby_blog at 06:27コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


イギリスのEU国民投票 分裂すれば倒れる EUを離れる投票はイギリスとヨーロッパの双方の威信を低めてしまうだろう。(2)

The pandering has been still more shameless over immigration. Leave has warned that millions of Turks are about to invade Britain, which is blatantly false. It has blamed strains on public services like health care and education on immigration, when immigrants, who are net contributors to the exchequer, help Britain foot the bill. It suggests that Britain cannot keep out murderers, rapists and terrorists when, in fact, it can. 

foot the bill:勘定を払う

Britons like to think of themselves as bracingly free-market. They are quick to blame their woes on red tape from Brussels. In reality, though, they are as addicted to regulation as anyone else. Many of the biggest obstacles to growth—too few new houses, poor infrastructure and a skills gap—stem from British-made regulations. In six years of government, the Tories have failed to dismantle them. Leaving the EU would not make it any easier. 


How to make friends and irritate people 
All this should lead to victory for Remain. Indeed, economists, businesspeople and statesmen from around the world have queued up to warn Britain that leaving would be a mistake (though Mr Trump is a fan). Yet in the post-truth politics that is rocking Western democracies, illusions are more alluring than authority. 

in the post-truth politics:真実を失った政治において

Thus the Leave campaign scorns the almost universally gloomy economic forecasts of Britain’s prospects outside the EU as the work of “experts” (as if knowledge was a hindrance to understanding). And it dismisses the Remain camp for representing the elite (as if Boris Johnson, its figurehead and an Oxford-educated old Etonian, personified the common man). 

common man:大衆

The most corrosive of these illusions is that the EU is run by unaccountable bureaucrats who trample on Britain’s sovereignty as they plot a superstate. As our essay explains, the EU is too often seen through the prism of a short period of intense integration in the 1980s—which laid down plans for, among other things, the single market and the euro. In reality, Brussels is dominated by governments who guard their power jealously. Making them more accountable is an argument about democracy, not sovereignty. The answer is not to storm out but to stay and work to create the Europe that Britain wants. 

storm out :飛び出す

Some Britons despair of their country’s ability to affect what happens in Brussels. Yet Britain has played a decisive role in Europe—ask the French, who spent the 1960s keeping it out of the club. Competition policy, the single market and enlargement to the east were all championed by Britain, and are profoundly in its interests. So long as Britain does not run away and hide, it has every reason to think that it will continue to have a powerful influence, even over the vexed subject of immigration. 


True, David Cameron, the prime minister, failed to win deep reform of Britain’s relations with the EU before the referendum. But he put himself in a weak position by asking for help at the last minute, when governments were at loggerheads over the single currency and refugees. 

at loggerheads:と対立して



swingby_blog at 08:40コメント(0)トラックバック(0) 


イギリスのEU国民投票 分裂すれば倒れる EUを離れる投票はイギリスとヨーロッパの双方の威信を低めてしまうだろう。

Britain’s EU referendum
Divided we fall
A vote to leave the European Union would diminish both Britain and Europe
Jun 18th 2016 | From the print edition 

United we stand, divided we fall.」の意味 《団結すれば立ち、分裂すれば倒れる》


THE peevishness of the campaigning has obscured the importance of what is at stake. A vote to quit the European Union on June 23rd, which polls say is a growing possibility, would do grave and lasting harm to the politics and economy of Britain. The loss of one of the EU’s biggest members would gouge a deep wound in the rest of Europe. And, with the likes of Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen fuelling economic nationalism and xenophobia, it would mark a defeat for the liberal order that has underpinned the West’s prosperity. 

at stake:危うくなって・問題となって
do grave and lasting harm :重大なかつ永続した被害をもたらす
likes of:のような人
liberal order:自由主義の秩序

That, clearly, is not the argument of the voices calling to leave. As with Eurosceptics across the EU, their story is about liberation and history. Quitting the sclerotic, undemocratic EU, the Brexiteers say, would set Britain free to reclaim its sovereign destiny as an outward-looking power. Many of these people claim the mantle of liberalism—the creed that this newspaper has long championed. They sign up to the argument that free trade leads to prosperity. They make the right noises about small government and red tape. They say that their rejection of unlimited EU migration stems not from xenophobia so much as a desire to pick people with the most to offer. 

As with:と同様に
sovereign destiny:主権を有する運命
stem from:から生じる
not~so much as:ほど〜ではない
not from xenophobia so much as a desire to pick people with the most to offer:最も提供を受けたい人材選びたいという願望を持つほど外国人嫌いではない

The liberal Leavers are peddling an illusion. On contact with the reality of Brexit, their plans will fall apart. If Britain leaves the EU, it is likely to end up poorer, less open and less innovative. Far from reclaiming its global outlook, it will become less influential and more parochial. And without Britain, all of Europe would be worse off. 

On contact with:に触れて・を介して
fall apart:決裂する・バラバラに成る
worse off:暮らし向きがより悪い

Start with the economy. Even those voting Leave accept that there will be short-term damage (see article). More important, Britain is unlikely to thrive in the longer run either. Almost half of its exports go to Europe. Access to the single market is vital for the City and to attract foreign direct investment. Yet to maintain that access, Britain will have to observe EU regulations, contribute to the budget and accept the free movement of people—the very things that Leave says it must avoid. To pretend otherwise is to mislead. 

pretend otherwise:そうでないと偽る

Those who advocate leaving make much of the chance to trade more easily with the rest of the world. That, too, is uncertain. Europe has dozens of trade pacts that Britain would need to replace. It would be a smaller, weaker negotiating partner. The timetable would not be under its control, and the slow, grinding history of trade liberalisation shows that mercantilists tend to have the upper hand. 

grinding :過酷な
upper hand :優勢

Nor is unshackling Britain from the EU likely to release a spate of liberal reforms at home. As the campaign has run its course, the Brexit side has stoked voters’ prejudices and pandered to a Little England mentality (see article). Despite Leave’s free-market rhetoric, when a loss-making steelworks at Port Talbot in Wales was in danger of closing, Brexiteers clamoured for state aid and tariff protection that even the supposedly protectionist EU would never allow. 

a spate of:一連の
stoked :煽る



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