我が執筆者は暇乞いをする。 46州の旅行の報道を含めて5年経って、このLexingtonの記事はアメリカの政治に対しての幾つかのお別れの考えを提示する。

Our columnist bids farewell
After five years, which included reporting trips to 46 states, this Lexington offers some parting thoughts on American politics
Sep 7th 2017


bid farewell:いとまを告げる

AS LEXINGTON writes this, his 244th and final column on America, a black-and-white photograph looks down from an office wall. Taken in New York in about 1940, it shows your columnist’s late father, then a serious young man in his 20s, hard at work for a British government agency tasked with bringing America into the second world war. This mission involved both appeals to high-minded principle and to sentiment—tales of British civilian pluck were a staple—to counter the rhetoric of the America First Committee and other isolationists. 

Taken in:訪れる
late father:亡き父
pluck:(危険困難に立ち向かう)勇気(courage); 決断力

During two postings to Washington, DC, this Lexington has tried to remember that history lesson. America remains an indispensable nation. But understandably, the will to bear that burden cannot be taken for granted. For Americans to remain open to the world, at once leading and profiting from a post-war order that their country in large part designed, both heads and hearts must be won. With each new generation, that work needs repeating. 


Enter President Donald Trump. A natural demagogue, he spotted how, after years of the war on terror, America was weary of trying to fix an ungrateful world. He grasped how, at home, millions could conceive of no benign explanation for economic and social changes that worried or disgusted them, and heard no argument from the two main parties that reassured them. He sensed that voters are more than adding machines, weighing the costs and benefits of this stale tax plan or that tired promise of help. He won in part by understanding how much people need to feel that they are useful, respected and heeded. A better man than Mr Trump could have done great things with that insight. 


In years of reporting from a total of 46 states, a handful of encounters stand out. They showed how, when Americans think they are arguing about points of ideology or fact (or confected para-facts), they are often wrangling about who is a good person, with a right to be heard. 


Take the wilds of eastern Oregon, where ranchers spent the Obama era fearing that vast tracts of the Owyhee Canyonlands would be declared a national monument, exposing them to lawsuits from eco-absolutists bent on banning cattle from public lands. In early 2016 armed anti-government militants occupied a wildlife refuge to challenge the federal government’s right to own land at all. Visiting a few months later, Lexington heard much technical talk about water rights and grazing permits. 

wildlife refuge:野生生物の保護区
grazing permits:牧草地の許可

But deep down this was a scrap about whether ranchers and miners whose great-grandfathers toiled to tame the sagebrush steppes are trustworthy stewards of the land. That row pits the old West against the new West of hikers and environmentalists, or, as one academic puts it, folk with gun racks against those with bike racks. The ranchers, meanwhile, challenged the standing of the cowboy-hatted anti-government zealots claiming to speak for Oregon. A young farmer noted that most came from out of state, adding: “Those people look like us, but aren’t us.” 

trustworthy steward:信頼できる管理人

Partisans on the left sometimes scoff at conservatives ascribing voter anger to “economic anxiety”, arguing that this is really prejudice at work. In real life, differing forms of anxiety cannot easily be separated. In 2012 the state of Wisconsin commissioned a scientific report into why middle-aged men were buying fewer licences to hunt deer. That sounds a dry premise. But tugging at that thread unravelled a vast, tangled skein of male angst. With women gaining economic and social power, the study found, men feel less able to head to the woods for a week’s deer camp, supremely confident in their authority as breadwinners. To be good fathers, they feel less able to skip children’s sports. “The ladies all hollered at me,” one research subject recalled after a deer-related conflict, in tones of baffled hurt. 

dry premise:結果が得られない根拠

Mr Trump did not invent partisan divisions. The 2012 presidential elections, a joyless slog, saw President Barack Obama traduce the Republican candidate, Mitt Romney as a heartless plutocrat and thus “not one of us”. Republicans leant heavily on slogans that lauded hard-working, taxpaying “makers” and scorning welfare-collecting “takers”. Millions of voters were willing to believe that Democrats won office by giving free stuff to the lazy on their dime. But they also growled that Republicans were the party that looked out for bosses, not them. A machine repairman from Waukesha, Wisconsin, encountered during a factory visit by Mr Obama after his re-election, summarised, brilliantly, his moral code of work. “People ought to get off their duffs and get a job, but I’d like it to be a job that pays well,” he explained. He trusted neither party to deliver this package in its entirety.

leant:lean 気持ちが傾く
on someone's dime:(人)の負担で
moral code of work:仕事の道徳規範
Get off your duff:さぼるな
in its [their] entírety:全体として, そっくりそのまま

Deadbeats v deplorables
A focus group of Trump supporters in December 2015 offered early clues that the businessman had found a way to escape voter distrust of traditional politicians. His backers spent three hours excusing their hero of each contradiction or untruth alleged by his foes. In part, this reflected their liking for certain policies: the proposed ban on Muslims, or the border wall. But an unforgettable moment came when the Trump fans were asked about Barack Obama, and responded with furious, vitriolic resentment. Everything we are good at in America, Mr Obama tells us it is a bad thing, said a woman. Another disgustedly compared the then-president to “a disappointed parent”. With Mr Trump, it was the opposite. His supporters basked in his approval. He was a fantastically successful man, who validated how they saw the world. 

Deadbeats:(仕事も将来の展望もない)怠け者, つまらないやつ.
provide an early clue to:〜への早期の手掛かりになる[を与える]
disappointed parent:失望された親

There are plausible scenarios in which Mr Trump, a cynical and undisciplined bully, brings catastrophe to the country that Lexington was raised to love, and where both his children were born. For now consider a disaster that is already certain. Mr Trump has a rare understanding of how change has left millions feeling disrespected, abused and alienated from mainstream politics. Alas, he has used that gift only to divide his country, for selfish ends. This is a tragic waste. 

for selfish ends:自分勝手に



swingby_blog at 23:11コメント(0) 



Aug 31, 2017 | 08:00 GMT
There's No Need to Panic Over the Mexico Travel Warning
By Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor


There's No Need to Panic Over the Mexico Travel Warning

VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
Mexican federal police patrol the beach in Cancun, a resort town rarely touched by violence. But recent drug cartel battle there have resulted in spillover violence that left some tourists dead.
(STR/AFP/Getty Images

Mexican federal police patrol the beach in Cancun, a resort town rarely touched by violence. But recent drug cartel battle there have resulted in spillover violence that left some tourists dead.(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Travelers who keep an eye on U.S. State Department warnings may know by now that the department has issued cautions for the Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur. The addition of those states to the government's periodic updates of travel dangers caused a significant stir, largely because they are the homes to two of Mexico's most popular resorts: Cancun and Cabo San Lucas. 

by now:今までに

It is not surprising that these states were included in the warning, which was issued Aug. 22. As Mexico's powerful drug cartels have splintered, a spiral of crime and violence has enveloped all parts of the country, to include its storied resorts. However, I believe that by understanding what drives the violence, and the types of the incidents that result, companies operating in Mexico and travelers to the country can avoid most of it. 


Cartel Balkanization and the Spread of Violence
For well more than a decade, Stratfor has kept an eye on Mexico's powerful drug-trafficking cartels. And as larger cartel groups collapsed, and smaller, competing factions arose, we have written extensively about the problems spawned by the process. The larger cartels have traveled that course since the late 1980s, but as their balkanization accelerated over recent years, violence has spiked. 


Before they broke up, the larger cartel organizations controlled significant territory and wielded immense power. In the early 1980s, two trafficking organizations dominated Mexico. The Guadalajara cartel controlled smuggling corridors (or plazas) into the United States from Tijuana, on the Pacific Coast, to Juarez, across the border from El Paso. The Gulf cartel ran the plazas stretching along the Texas-Mexico border from Piedras Negras to Matamoros.

immense :巨大な

The breakdown of Mexico's drug cartels

The breakdown of Mexico's drug cartels
Shortly after the Guadalajara cartel collapsed in the late 1980s, tensions began to flare among its successor organizations — the Sinaloa cartel, the Arellano Felix Organization (Tijuana cartel) and the Carrillo Fuentes Organization (Juarez cartel) — as each fought for a bigger piece of the narcotics profit pool and sought to control smuggling corridors. Sinaloa, whose initial effort to take control of Tijuana had failed, turned its sights on Nuevo Laredo following the March 2003 arrest of Gulf cartel leader Osiel Cardenas Guillen, sparking a major conflagration there. After being rebuffed in Nuevo Laredo, Sinaloa made successful pushes to assume control of Juarez and Tijuana. Each of these offensives brought major spikes in violence. 


As the cycle of splintering and violence deepened, each major cartel crumbled into smaller, competing organizations. By 2015, the once-mighty cartels were but shadows of their former selves. This increased violent competition from remnant groups, spreading the mayhem within the territory the large cartels once controlled along more points of competition. 

shadow of one's former self:《a 〜》昔の面影

The Gulf cartel, which once held sway over Quintana Roo, viewed the state's resorts as places to launder money and make some profit selling drugs to holidaymakers. But its control began to slip after Los Zetas broke away from the larger group in 2010. Two years later, Los Zetas itself fractured. The gangs that were left began to battle over the territory. Most of the time, their fights involve only other cartel members. Occasionally, a police operation directed against a cartel figure will result in a firefight, or spark retaliation against the police. 

hold sway over:〜を支配する

Such violence generally does not spill over into the popular resort areas, but that's not always the case. In January, Los Zetas gunmen targeted a Gulf cartel figure they thought was attempting to move in on their turf. The gunbattle that ensued at the Blue Parrot nightclub in Playa del Carmen killed one Italian and two Canadian tourists. A U.S. tourist died in the stampede of clubgoers trying to escape the gunfire. Two other Americans were wounded but survived. 


Baja California Sur is caught in a similar predicament. For years, Cabo was considered one of the safest places in Mexico. The Sinaloa cartel's dominance in the region kept violence at bay. However as it has fragmented, one splinter group in particular, the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, began to press its parent organization hard. Nueva Generacion has teamed with the remnants of the Arellano Felix Organization to push back against Sinaloa in Tijuana and with the Carillo Fuentes Organization to contest Sinaloa control of Chihuahua state and the Juarez plaza. 

predicament:(どうしてよいかわからないような)困難な状況; (特定の)状況, 境遇
contest :得ようと争う

Another battleground between Nueva Generacion and Sinaloa is Baja California Sur. As is the case with other smuggling corridors, the Baja Peninsula route to Tijuana is a point of contention. In addition, both groups want the opportunities for money laundering and retail sales offered by the resorts. As in Quintana Roo, most of the violence is limited to inter-cartel fights with occasional flare-ups after police operations, but in large part, it remains outside of the resort areas. 


Mexico certainly has serious security problems, but tourists and expats who practice good situational awareness and employ commonsense security measures can avoid most of them. 

Splinter Criminal Groups Branch Out
The smaller criminal groups that split off from Mexico's cartels are simply unable to conduct the types of transnational narcotics production and smuggling operations on the scale that the larger groups can. As a result, the smaller groups have turned to other illicit means to make money, including extortion, oil theft, cargo theft, kidnapping and carjacking. 


In addition to increasing criminal activity, cartels also erode general security in the places where they operate, degrading the security infrastructure tourists and corporations depend on. Government corruption is rampant, for instance, and law enforcement agencies are frequently targets of bribery, cartel infiltration and violence. Indeed, many municipal police departments have been outright disbanded and replaced by military personnel or federal police. As federal, state and municipal law enforcement focus their efforts on combating drug cartels, unaffiliated local gangs find more room to operate. These gangs present many of the same security concerns as the cartel splinter groups, including murder, extortion, carjacking, sexual assault, kidnapping and gun violence. 


Several companies with Mexican operations have reported significant spikes in cargo theft in recent months, and, from anecdotal reports, extortion attempts also appear to be increasing in many parts of the country, including in both Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo. Many times, local criminals who try to extort victims or conduct virtual kidnappings will pretend to be from a cartel group in an effort to force compliance from victims. This can make it fairly difficult to distinguish cartel crimes from those committed by unaffiliated criminals. 

force one's compliance with:〜に…の順守[への服従]を迫る[強いる]

Unfortunately, police corruption also frequently affects corporations and tourists, and visitors shouldn't expect law enforcement officers in Mexico to behave as their counterparts do in the United States, Canada or Europe. Expatriates and tourists have been shaken down for bribes, assaulted and even kidnapped or raped by police officers. 

Some analysts advise against travel to Mexico because of all these issues, but Stratfor does not assess the situation as that severe at this point. Mexico certainly has serious security problems, but tourists and expats who practice good situational awareness and employ common sense security measures can avoid most of them. The chances of encountering trouble increase greatly after dark. As in the United States and other countries, certain sections of cities are more prone to crime than others and should be avoided, especially after dark. 


Many of the people who wind up being victimized by criminals (or the police) in Mexico have either been drinking irresponsibly, using drugs, or have visited shady clubs or bars where drugs are sold – and which criminals or cartel figures frequent. Unfortunately, many tourists and expats have this strange expectation that they can get drunk and stupid in Mexico without a problem, when in reality, they should exercise the same caution they would if they were in Chicago, Baltimore or any other large city in the world. 

wind up:(意に反して)結局…することになる

In security, an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure, and by taking some simple preventative measures, a vacation or business trip to Mexico can be fun and safe. 




swingby_blog at 20:56コメント(0) 


ケニヤの最高裁は大統領選挙を取り消す。 この仰天するような決定によって、次の投票が60日以内に行われなければならない。

Kenya’s high court annuls the presidential election
An astonishing decision means another vote must be held within 60 days
Sep 1st 2017


High Court:《米》〔州の〕最高裁判所◆【同】Supreme Court 〔イングランドとウェールズの〕高等法院◆【同】the High Court of Justice


IN KENYA, as in many African countries, when government spokesmen say that the judiciary is independent, foreigners tend to be sceptical. They may be less so in future. On September 1st the supreme court in Kenya ruled that the country’s disputed presidential election, which took place on August 8th, will have to be held again within 60 days. The decision could prove to be a watershed in Kenya’s development into a functioning, modern democracy. But in a country where elections are hard-fought and the results usually disputed, sometimes violently, it could equally herald a new round of uncertainty and chaos. 


The court’s complete ruling has not yet been released. But the panel of judges did not decide that Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent and apparent winner, actually lost. Nor have they endorsed the opinion of Raila Odinga (pictured), Mr Kenyatta’s opponent in the election, that the vote was “hacked” and that the official results were phoney. Instead, the judges seem to have been persuaded that irregularities in the transmission of the results from polling stations to the electoral commission were important enough that the exercise should be repeated. 


What happens now is anyone’s guess. The result could be “anarchy”, says Michael Chege of the University of Nairobi. At a cost of $500m, the election in August was one of the most expensive, not just in Africa, but anywhere. It involved hundreds of thousands of temporary workers. The government will have to find the money to repeat it. The electoral commission will also have to do a better job than last time—or else risk facing a second disputed result in a year. New lawsuits, disputing races for senate seats and county governors, could also lead to new elections. 


or else:あるいは、さもないと


The economy is likely to suffer, says Faith Mwangi of Exotix, an investment firm. In the run-up to the vote, firms held off on investing, adopting a “wait and see kind of approach”, says Ms Mwangi. That will continue for at least two more months. The Nairobi Stock Exchange fell sharply after the court’s decision, while the Kenyan shilling weakened slightly. 

held off:延期する

In the end, though, the vote many not change the outcome. True, Mr Odinga’s supporters will be jubilant at the decision. And they may be more enthused to vote in the next election. But support for Mr Odinga is more marginal than that for Mr Kenyatta. Mr Odinga may also have made himself less popular with swing voters over the past few weeks, says Mr Chege. His team has talked wildly about “divorce” and “secession” from Kenya. Being forced to fight a gruelling campaign all over again could also win sympathy for Mr Kenyatta. 


Despite its flaws, the overturned election was probably one of Kenya’s most credible. In contrast to previous votes, violence was relatively limited. Expensive electronic equipment was used to check voters against a biometric database and to stop vote totals from being padded. It broadly worked. International observers gave the election generally positive reviews. So there is concern that, if Mr Odinga loses again, his supporters still will not accept the result. But if Kenyans see the next election as free and fair, regardless of the outcome, it could herald a new faith in the country’s institutions. That would make future elections less chaotic and controversial. Despite the short-term disruption, it would be worth it. 


biometric :身体特徴を記録した




swingby_blog at 20:45コメント(0) 

アメリカには給与上昇の謎があるのか。 給与が上昇しないのは経済が完全雇用の状態ではないからだ。

Is there a wage growth puzzle in America?
Weak wage growth suggests the economy is not at full employment
Sep 1st 2017by H.C. | WASHINGTON, DC


TODAY’S labour market report showed that the American economy created 156,000 net new jobs in August. That was a bit less than expected, but payrolls are still growing comfortably faster than the working-age population. Despite having created over 2m jobs in the last year, pushing unemployment below 4.5% for the last five months, wage growth remains muted, at around 2.5%, compared to more like 3.5% the last time unemployment was comparably low. In a recent article for the print edition, I analysed one potential explanation for weak wage growth: retirements of high-earnings baby-boomers.


Scott Sumner has taken issue with the premise of my piece. He says there is no puzzle at all. Instead, slow wage growth is being caused by slow growth in nominal GDP (cash-terms spending in the economy) — “end of story”. He says I forgot about monetary superneutrality, the idea that in the long run, neither monetary policy nor changes in monetary policy affect real economic variables like unemployment. He quotes Miles Kimball:


Sometimes journalists discuss a zero output gap combined with too-low inflation as if such a situation were strange, but a range of different macroeconomic theories all have the property that a zero output gap is consistent with any constant inflation rate. 

output gap:産出量ギャップ(とは、経済学において、潜在産出量(潜在GDP) と実際の総産出量 (actual output) の差である。GDPギャップ(GDP gap) または需給ギャップとも呼ばれる。総産出量をY、潜在産出量をY*とすると、Y-Y*で算出される。この差が正数ならインフレ・ギャップ (inflationary gap) と呼ばれ、総需要の増加が総供給の増加を上回っていることを示し、経済にインフレーション(好況)をもたらす。負数であればデフレ・ギャップ (recessionary gap) と呼ばれ、デフレーション(不況)をもたらす圧力となる。

Mr Kimball is right, of course. In the long run, an economy and its labour market can sustain any inflation rate in equilibrium. But, contrary to Mr Sumner’s argument, this does not tell us much about America’s economy today. The labour market is plainly not in equilibrium. It continues to add jobs faster than the population is growing. The question for policymakers is: how long can that continue? 

Another way of putting the question is to ask what would happen if the Fed let nominal GDP grow a little faster. If no output gap remains, more nominal GDP growth would translate into more inflation, and hence into higher nominal wage growth (unemployment might also temporarily fall below its natural rate, a concept whose history I recently wrote about). Alternatively, it is possible that faster nominal GDP growth would lead to more job creation without sparking much inflation or wage growth, just as was possible when unemployment was higher. 

Mr Sumner seems to think we are in the first world. In my view, we are in the second. That wage growth is disappointing is evidence that the economy has not yet reached the natural rate of unemployment (or perhaps the natural rate of employment, given that recent improvements in the labour market have come partly via higher labour market participation among women). 

Mr Sumner’s view implies there is no output gap, the labour market is in equilibrium, and wage growth is low because inflation expectations have been low. I find this unconvincing, for two reasons. First, it means that unless the Federal Reserve brings job growth back in line with working-age population growth, inflation will soon rise. (Central banks cannot for long keep unemployment below its natural rate.) Yet inflation is in fact falling. 

Second, as Adam Ozimek at Moody’s Analytics has shown, wage growth as measured by the employment cost index is almost exactly where you would expect it to be given the employment-to-population ratio for 25- to 54-year-olds (see chart). If the rate of wage growth consistent with labour market equilibrium had changed to account for a shift in trend nominal GDP growth, you would expect this relationship to have broken down. It has not.

Janet Yellen’s critics tend to say she is excessively devoted to the idea that low unemployment portends higher inflation. They characterize this as adherence to the Phillips curve, which is associated in many peoples’ minds with Keynesian thinking. But it was monetarists who first argued that policymakers ultimately cannot control unemployment, because if loose money drives unemployment too low, inflation will accelerate. It is right for the Fed to look for the labour market for signals as to whether monetary policy is tighter or looser than the economy can sustain. Wage growth is the clearest of those signals. And it suggests that we are not in the long run yet. 

portends :の前触れとなる




swingby_blog at 07:57コメント(0) 


彼女が何と言おうとTheresa Mayは次の選挙では戦わないだろう。 現在の彼女の最大の課題は次の候補者を選ぶことだ。

Whatever she may say, Theresa May won’t fight the next election
Her biggest task now is to help choose someone who can
Aug 31st 2017

彼女が何と言おうとTheresa Mayは次の選挙では戦わないだろう。

ASKED in Japan whether she intends to stand down as leader of the Conservative Party in 2019 Theresa May replied that, on the contrary, she plans to lead her party into the next election, which, according to the Fixed-term Parliaments Act, will occur in 2022. Her answer sent gales of despair through the Conservative Party, gusts of joy through Labour, and blasts of amazement through the commentariat. But what does it actually mean? 

stand down:から身を引く

Not much, is the short answer. She probably answered as she did for the sake of convenience. Two of her predecessors, Tony Blair and David Cameron, created rods for their own backs by setting dates for their departure. Better to make an unrealistic claim (“I hope to go on and on,” Margaret Thatcher said) than to name your sell-by date and give your fellow politicians yet another excuse to manoeuvre for the succession. 

for the sake of convenience:便宜上
make a rod for one's own back:自ら災いを招く
sell-by date:〔食品・製品などの〕販売期限

But even if she’s so deluded as to believe that she’s the right person to lead the Conservatives into the next election, the choice isn’t hers to make. The decision will be made by her parliamentary party—particularly by the powerful 1922 Committee—and they’re no more likely to choose Mrs May than Bill Cash. Remember that this is a woman who called an election that she didn’t need to call, only to turn a majority government into a minority one; who blew a 27-point lead in the opinion polls; who almost lost to an ageing leftist who has never held high office; and who, as a campaigner, doesn’t seem to be able to explain her case, let alone enthuse a crowd. Mrs May has no more chance of leading the Tories into the next election than Jacob Rees-Mogg. 

call an election :選挙を公示する
hold a high office:責任ある高い地位にある[就いている]

So what is going on here? Mrs May is planning for a big push to reassert her power as prime minister. This doesn’t mean staying on to fight the next general election. But it does mean making the best of her position as an interim prime minister. Over the past few months the Tory party has been so convulsed by internal leadership struggles—by briefings and counter-briefings, rhetorical acid-attacks and counter-attacks—that it has sometimes seemed incapable of governing. 


Weak though she is, Mrs May has a chance of reasserting some sort of order. The party is beginning to realise that it may be doing itself irreparable harm. The British electorate doesn’t elect or re-elect divided parties. The Tories are also beginning to revisit the reason why they chose Mrs May in the first place: she may not be perfect, but she’s better than the alternatives. The prime minister conveniently straddles the biggest divide in the party, over Brexit. She’s tough on crime but relatively liberal on social values. She may not have many friends but she doesn’t have many enemies either. 


At the moment the party seems to be channelling most of its energies into destroying Mrs May’s potential rivals. The past week has seen a tsunami of articles denouncing Boris Johnson, the grassroots’ favourite, as an exploded volcano, a fatuous fool and an incompetent pipsqueak, who is not taken seriously either by the Trump White House or the chancelleries of Europe. Mrs May’s chances of survival probably depend less on elevating her own status, which will be almost impossible after the debacle of the election, but by destroying all potential rivals, which is wonderful for journalists, eager for acid-laced copy, but terrible for the future of the Conservative Party. 

acid-laced copy:辛辣な意見を織り込んだ広告文

The other reason why Mrs May has a good chance of surviving for the time being is that the party has more or less decided that it needs to skip a generation. None of the current lot is up to snuff for various reasons. But the middle ranks of the party are full of highly talented people from a wide variety of social and ethnic backgrounds: 

up to snuff:抜け目がない

Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, Yorkshire, and a successful entrepreneur who also happens to be married to the daughter of one of the richest men in India; Kwasi Kwarteng, MP for Spelthorne and a talented historian; Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and the Border, and a man who has already enjoyed successful careers in the army, intelligence services and academia; and Ruth Davidson, head of the Scottish Tory party and the great hope in the north. One sign of things to come is that Tom Tugendhat, a former army officer and MP for Tonbridge and Mailing, who has only been an MP since 2015, beat the incumbent, Crispin Blunt, for the chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. 

The Tory party is thus in a more peculiar position than most people imagine: it not only has a caretaker prime minister but also a collection of caretaker cabinet members (such as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Liam Fox) who are only being held in place by factional hatred. At the same time it also has a large cohort of able younger people who are knocking on the door of power. 

caretaker :暫定の
factional hatred:党派間の憎しみ

The biggest danger for Mrs May is that she will stick with her cabinet of caretakers rather than give younger talent its due. Getting rid of Mr Johnson, for example, and replacing him with a younger talent would undoubtedly be a good thing for Britain’s foreign policy, but it would disturb the balance of power in the cabinet and give Mr Johnson a licence to make mischief or even bring down the government. 

make míschief:(故意に)【人の】仲を悪くさせる, ≪…の間を≫ 不和にする
bring down:転覆させる

Keeping these caretakers in place will not only deprive the government of new talent. It will also add more heat to the pressure-cooker of the Tory party. For the past few months Britain has been entertained (and appalled) by in-fighting in the cabinet. In the longer term the danger is that talented younger Tories will no longer be willing to put up with being held back by an older generation that, for the most part, has failed to prove itself worthy of office, let alone indispensable for Britain’s future. 

put up with:我慢する
held back:制御される

Mrs May’s biggest test in the short-term is to reassert her power in order to stop her party from tearing itself apart. Her biggest test in the long-term is to prepare the ground for the next generation of leaders—that is, by bringing fresh talent into the upper ranks of government and helping the party to choose somebody who can credibly lead the party into the next election. 



swingby_blog at 21:36コメント(0) 


ヨーロパにおけるイスラム教徒に対する態度は厳しくなってきている。 しかし、イスラム教徒はいくらかの社会発展をなしつつある。

Attitudes to Islam in Europe are hardening
But Muslims are making some social progress
Sep 1st 2017


IF integration means doing a bit better in education and the job market, then there are grounds to be optimistic about the status of Muslim communities across western Europe. But when you ask Europeans how they feel about Islam and its adherents, then the picture is much harsher and in some ways getting worse. 


Those are the broad impressions left by a raft of recently published surveys on the subject. The authors of a study by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation, focusing mainly on Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, found some encouraging indicators on schooling and employment but still reported a big income disparity between Muslims and non-Muslims. 


Professional progress was “not accompanied by an equal level of…social acceptance,” noted the report, which looked not at refugees but longer-standing Muslim residents. The authors were troubled by the finding that 20% of respondents did not want Muslim neighbours. That number would almost certainly have been higher if the study had looked at countries further south and east. A poll by Pew Research, an American think-tank, found that a majority of people in Hungary, Italy, Poland, Greece and Spain harboured hostile attitudes to Islam while only a minority of northwestern Europeans held similar views.


The Bertelsmann report welcomed the fact that in France, only one in ten Muslims leaves school before turning 17, compared with about a third of Muslim youngsters in Germany. But learning doesn’t seem to guarantee earning. In neither Germany nor Switzerland was there much difference between the employment rate of Muslims and non-Muslims. In France, by contrast, the jobless rate was 14% for Muslims compared with 8% for non-Muslims. 

Moreover, there are some clear signs of hardening attitudes. In England, around four people in ten acknowledged that they have become more suspicious of Muslims following terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. That was one of the findings of the latest study published by Hope Not Hate, an anti-extremism lobby group.

Looking at a series of recent data, it concluded that in many ways sentiment in England was gradually becoming more liberal and tolerant of diversity, but Islam and the reactions it inspired were a clear exception. About half the population apparently thought Islam posed a “threat to Western civilisation” while a quarter regarded it as a “dangerous” religion because of its perceived capacity to incite violence. The picture changes depending on how the question is framed. The pool of respondents who opined (50% versus 22%) that the Muslim faith was a civilisational threat also agreed by a clear majority that it was wrong to blame an entire religion for a few extremists. 

perceived capacity:認識されている潜在的可能性

In Germany, a widely-quoted poll last year found that more than half the population believed that Islam did not belong in their country. But attitudes to Muslim people, as opposed to their religion, can sometimes be much more emollient, albeit varying a lot with the respondent’s political ideology. 


Pew found that half the Germans who hewed to the political left thought Muslims were making a good effort to adapt to the country’s way of life, compared with one in five of those who leaned rightwards. The numbers for Britons of right and left were almost exactly the same. Given the many different ways in which progress (or regress) can be measured, the state of Islam in Europe may always be a vessel that some see as half-empty and others see as half-full. 


What's worrying is that almost every terrorist movement aims to polarise feelings in a way that drives people into opposing camps. The terrorist who claims to represent a certain community often hopes that the authorities, and perhaps society as whole, will stigmatise that community and provoke in it a defensive mood, so that violence starts to seem like a reasonable option. Historically, such polarising tactics have often worked. 


Although things have not yet reached that point, these poll results suggest something sinister: it’s perfectly conceivable that the murderous van-drivers and knife-wielders who claim to speak for Muslims in Europe could enjoy a similar “success” in polarising sentiment across the continent. 




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