2017年04月27日

イギリスにさようなら 我が元Bagehotのコラムニストがイギリスの過去現在、将来について熟考する

A farewell to Britain
Our former Bagehot columnist reflects on Britain’s past, present and future
Apr 4th 2017by J.C. | BERLIN

イギリスにさようなら
我が元Bagehotのコラムニストがイギリスの過去現在、将来について熟考する



LO, BREXIT is under way. And I have effected my own exit: having penned my last Bagehot column I now turn to Germany and its neighbourhood as The Economist’s new bureau chief in Berlin. That outgoing column conveys some thoughts about Britain’s troubled present. So now, in my final post on this blog before passing it to the new Bagehot, I want to look beyond the country’s current condition and cast my gaze first backwards and then forwards, taking stock of my five years writing about Britain and of what awaits it now. 

lo:lò and behóld ⦅おどけて⦆(そして)何と驚くべきことに; ⦅皮肉で⦆それ見たことか
effected:をもたらす
conveys:伝える
awaits:起こるのを待つ

There were two big misses. The first was the 2015 election campaign. I believed the Conservatives were too divided and that the work of modernising the party was too incomplete for them to win a majority. If this lot could not beat Gordon Brown in the midst of economic crisis in 2010, I reasoned, they would not do significantly better after five years of austerity. In retrospect such judgments clouded and over-complicated what remains an essentially reliable formula: a party with either the most trusted leader or a lead in polls of economic competence stands a good chance of winning a British general election; one with both, like the Tories under David Cameron, is by definition the front-runner. (To Labour under its current leadership and on its current economic numbers: good luck.) 

misses:失敗
lot:運命
reasoned:推論する
clouded:あいまいにする
competence:能力・力量
by definition:当然のこととして

My second big miss was the European Union referendum. Here, to be fair, I was less sure. I warned that youth and expat turnout needed to be high for Remain to be safe—it would transpire neither group was sufficiently registered or engaged. But I generally expected Britain to reject Brexit. A land as tea-sippingly cautious as this, I decided as I toured Remain and Leave events in places that would all go on to vote Out, would surely not do something so rash as to quit the EU. My call was wrong for two main reasons. First, I overlooked the sort of fiery, anti-authority streak that dwells mostly but not entirely dormant in the English id. Second, I overlooked the reality that for many older voters leaving the EU was not a leap into the unknown but a conservative, cautious reversion to the pre-1973 status quo; witness the current delight in the right-wing press at the prospect of Britons getting blue (non-EU) passports “back”. 

transpire:明らかになる
tea-sippingly :お茶をすするように
overlooked:見落とす
fiery:燃えるように熱い
streak:兆候
dwells:住む
dormant:休眠中の
id:無我意識
reversion:逆戻り
witness:目撃する
delight:大喜び

At a number of Brexiteer rallies I heard something to the effect of “we managed without the Europeans before and we’ll manage without them again.” I did not sufficiently factor this into my expectations. I take one main lesson from these experiences. Most political pundits work on a two-dimensional grid when they make sweeping predictions: salience of subject on the X axis, gut feeling plus poll numbers on the Y axis. The received wisdom says the political class made its big mistakes on the latter one. Yet in fact polls in both 2015 and 2016 were closer to the mark than we tend to remember. And the hunches—the assumptions about the British character—underpinning our predictions of a hung parliament in the general election and a Remain vote in the referendum were and are basically right. 

factor:計算に入れる
salience:顕著な点
gut:直感
hunches:直感・予感
underpinning:支える
hung:絶対多数政党のいない

The trouble was and remains on the X axis, overlooked and much harder to quantify. What really moves voters? What do they most care about and how much? These things are not easily captured in polls, at partisan campaign events or in casual conversations with voters. Well-run, accurately selected focus groups, however, are better guides. That is why political parties use them so keenly. (The Tories may owe their current majority to one in north-east England in late 2014, when a participant daintily opined that “Alex Salmond will take Ed Miliband right up the arse”—this apercu went on to inform the party’s incessant talk of the dangers of a Labour-SNP alliance, possibly the decisive pillar of its 2015 campaign.) Media organisations should follow suit and find new, different ways of taking the country’s temperature. 

keenly:激しく
daintily:上品に
opined:だと意見を述べる
arse:人の車のすぐ後ろを運転する
apercu:一瞥
incessant:絶え間のない

彼はBrexitに至った背景を彼なりの読み違いを解説している。年寄りがBrexitに賛成したのは1973以前のイギリスの戻りたいという郷愁があったからだ。各政党の動きについてもその水面下の動向を把握できなかった。そもそも現政府に対しての不満も投票に影響を与えたようだ。幾つものそうした要素を読み違えてしまった。

彼の記事は以前にも取り上げたが、かれはドイツに赴任するのだが、その最後の原稿ということで書いている。彼の文章は難しいが、深く分析している。彼の意見は長いので3回に分けるが、いわゆるイギリスの国民に対する三行半だ。

木曜日。電子本出版の件で神田神保町に行きます。ではまた明日。

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海野 恵一
1948年1月14日生

学歴:東京大学経済学部卒業

スウィングバイ株式会社
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アクセンチュア株式会社代表取締役(2001-2002)
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