2015 年 8 月《经济学人》中英双语对照
2015-08-01 西班牙经济 伊比利亚的黎明 Spain's economy 西班牙经济 Iberian dawn 伊比利亚的黎明 The labour market is recovering at last. But it needs further reform 劳动市场最终还是复苏了，但是其需要进一步的改
革。 THIS was the news the government had been waiting for. “Spain's labour market has made a 180-degree turn,” crowed the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, as the country announced the first annual rise in employment in six years. The numbers show that unpopular reforms to the malfunctioning labour market are starting to work. But there is plenty left to do. 这是政府翘首以待的消息。 “西班牙的劳动力市场已经发生了 180 度的大转弯” ， 当西班牙政 府宣布这是六年来西班牙首次就业增长时，西班牙总理马里亚诺·拉霍伊对此洋洋自得。这 些数字表明那些不受失灵劳动力市场待见的改革也已经初见成效，但仍有许多东西亟待解 决。 In the past year Spain has created 190,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, still one of the highest in the euro zone, fell from 26% to 24.5% (see chart), and the labour force stopped shrinking after six straight quarters of decline. 在过去的一年中西班牙国内增加了 19 万个就业岗位。在欧元区位列前茅的失业率从之前的 26%下降到 24.5%，在连续六个季度的下降之后，劳动力也停止了萎缩。 The labour reform in 2012 gave companies more flexibility to set wages and working conditions themselves rather than through sector-wide bargaining, and cut severance payments for unfair dismissals. Those changes, buttressed by a deal between unions and employers, tempered wage growth that had far outstripped gains in productivity. How much credit do they deserve for the upturn in employment? 2012 年的劳动改革给企业带来了更多的灵活性以确保工资和工作条件自身的稳定而不是通 过全部门的谈判并削减对不公平解雇所分发的遣散费。 这些变化是基于工会与雇主之间的交 易， 这种收入增长的调节大大领先于生产率的加强。 但是就业情况的好转会为他们带来多少 信用呢？ The answer may determine the political fate of Mr Rajoy, who defied street protests to push reform through and faces a general election by the end of next year. The opposition Socialist Party claims that the number of unemployed has risen by more than 600,000 since Mr Rajoy took office in 2011, despite the reforms. Pedro Sanchez, the party's new secretary-general, promises to repeal
them if it regains power. 这个答案或许会决定拉霍伊的政治命运。拉霍伊抵制街头抗议，强行推进改革，而明年年底 西班牙大选在即。在野的社会党声称，尽管有改革，但是自从 2011 年拉霍伊先生上任以来， 失业人数增加了至少 60 万。该党派的新任秘书长佩德罗·桑切斯承诺，如果该党重新上台， 则会废除一切不利的改革政策。 That would be a mistake. Other factors contributed to the jobs recovery, especially the “whatever it takes” pledge by the European Central Bank two years ago to save the euro. But reform played an important role, says Rafael Domenech, an economist at BBVA, a bank. One piece of evidence is that Spain is creating jobs at lower rates of GDP growth than before. In previous cycles, employment rose when growth hit 2%. This time the gain came during a year when GDP expanded by just 1.2%. 而这看起来会是一个错误。 其他的因素促成了就业复苏， 尤其是两年前欧洲央行为了拯救欧 元所作出的那个“不惜一切代价”的誓言发挥了极大的作用。然而在 BBVA 银行的经济学 家拉斐尔·多梅内克看来，拉霍伊的改革却起到了至关重要的作用。支持这一说法的证据之 一是，西班牙国内新增的就业机会所占国内生产总值的最低比重。在以前的经济周期中，当 经济增长达到两个百分点的时候就业才会增长。而这一次在 GDP 仅仅增长一个百分点的时 候就业就已经增长了。 To make a serious dent in unemployment, however, Spain will need to be more ambitious. Without further changes, the jobless rate will not dip below 20% until 2019, according to the IMF. The structural unemployment rate—the level reached when the economy is working at capacity—is 18%, triple that of America. 然而，为了大力降低失业率，西班牙需要再加一把劲。据国际货币基金组织称，如果没有其 他变革，直至 2019 年失业率也不会降低至百分之二十之下。而西班牙的结构性失业-即劳动 力对经济变动的适应水平-已经达到百分之十八，是美国的三倍。 One problem is that many small companies (with ten workers or fewer) have not benefited from greater flexibility. That is because the process of opting out of sector-wide agreements can be cumbersome. Such opt-outs could be made easier. 一个问题是，有许多小企业（只有十个员工甚至更少）并没有从更大的灵活性中收益。这是 因为选择退出的全部门协议的过程会十分复杂。而事实上这一过程能变得更容易。 Another is that nearly a quarter of workers are still on temporary contracts. This is damaging, because they are much less productive than those with permanent jobs and employers do not invest in them. One way to encourage firms to hire permanent workers would be to cut severance payments to the levels of other European countries. 另外一个问题是，近四分之一的工人仍然签着临时合同。这对就业稳定是毁灭性的的打击。 因为比起那些有固定工作的人来说， 这些临时工的效率更低， 并且雇主也不愿意为这些临时 工投资。相对于其它欧洲国家而言，而某种鼓励企业雇佣长工的做法会降低遣散费的水平。 Nor has much been done for the 3.5m people who have been jobless for more than a year, says Marcel Jansen of Madrid's Autó noma University. Many are poorly educated: Spain has one of the highest school drop-out rates in the OECD. Those with qualifications often find that they are not
the ones employers want. 据马德里自治大学的马塞尔·杨森成，至少 350 万人失业超过一年，并且其中的很多人都没 受过多少教育：西班牙是 OECD 中辍学率最高的国家之一。而那些有学历的人常常发现他 们并不是雇主想要雇佣的人。 The answers, says Mr Jansen, include spending more on retraining and overhauling state-run employment offices, which do a poor job of matching workers' skills with local employers' needs. The government has tightened rules for people receiving unemployment benefit to encourage them to look for work or to take training courses. But they need to be effectively enforced. 詹森先生说， 解决这些问题的办法要包括花费更多进行业务培训， 并且还要整顿国营就业办 公室， 因为国营办公室在引导工人习得雇主所需技能方面做得并不好。 政府已经用法规对那 些领取失业津贴的人们进行束缚， 并鼓励他们找工作或者参加培训课程。 但是这些政策得有 效执行才行。 The government could lower the cost of hiring workers by cutting social-security contributions, which are high by European standards. A rise in value-added tax could pay for that. Others advocate lowering the minimum wage for unskilled workers. 政府可以通过削弱社会保障金来降低雇佣工人的费用， 因为这个社保金水平的标准是根据欧 盟标准所制定的。 增值税的上涨会为此买单。 而也有一些人主张用降低非技术工人的最低工 资的方式来降低成本。 Mr Rajoy says he will not let up on reform until Spain's unemployment plague becomes merely a “sad” episode in history. He has started talks with unions and employers on a package of job-friendly measures, to be hammered out after the summer break. But with elections looming, few expect it to be bold. 拉霍伊表示，除非西班牙的大规模失业造就历史上绝无仅有的一个“绝望”时代，否则他不 会减缓改革的脚步与力度。 拉霍伊已经开始与工会和雇主就就业友好型措施的一揽子计划进 行谈判，其结果将在夏休后一锤定音。但是随着西班牙大选的临近，几乎没有人希望这个改 革可以莽撞继续下去。 2015-08-03 乌克兰东部 战争持续伤亡增多 Eastern Ukraine 乌克兰东部 Fighting on 坚持战斗 As the battle continues and the death toll mounts, the West imposes more sanctions 战争持续，伤亡增多，西方国家加强制裁 THE two presidents could not have offered a greater contrast. Announcing new sanctions against Russia on July 16th, America's Barack Obama read a prepared statement and took no questions.
Minutes later, Russia's Vladimir Putin staged an off-the-cuff press conference in Brazil to assail the sanctions' legitimacy. He let emotion take hold, reaching a crescendo during a riff about the “tears of mothers, widows and orphans” in Ukraine. 两位总统都无法达成更好的协议。7 月 16 日美国总统巴拉克·奥巴马宣读了准备好了的声 明，宣布对俄罗斯的新制裁并不回应任何问题。几分钟之后，俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京 在巴西举行了即席记者招待会来质疑制裁的合法性。他在说到乌克兰“母亲、遗孀和孤儿的 眼泪”等反复出现的字节时被情绪影响，音量逐渐加强。 The new sanctions come at a crucial juncture in Ukraine's war. The death toll, both civilian and military, is rising as the fighting creeps into Donetsk and Luhansk, eastern Ukraine's two biggest cities. Russia has not stopped its support for rebel forces, and has even ramped up equipment transfers following the fall of rebel-held Sloviansk two weeks ago. Kiev has implicated Moscow in the recent downing of two Ukrainian military aircraft. After an air strike demolished an apartment block in the city of Snizhne on July 15th, Ukrainian officials called it a Russian provocation, saying none of their planes took off that day. That would imply Russia sending a jet more than 20 kilometres (12 miles) across the border to bomb a residential neighbourhood and poison opinion against Kiev, a cynical notion even for Mr Putin. But to blame Ukraine is to accept that the country's armed forces are dangerously incompetent or stunningly cruel. Neither version suggests the conflict will abate soon. 新的制裁正好出现在乌克兰战争的关键点上。 平民和军方的死亡总人数因为乌克兰东部两个 最大的城市顿涅茨克和卢汉斯克战火蔓延而不断增加。 俄罗斯并没有停止对乌克兰叛军的支 持，甚至在两周前叛军控制的斯洛伐克沦陷后，将转让的装备提升了。基辅因最近两家乌克 兰军用飞机的坠毁与莫斯科纠缠不清。在 7 月 15 日一架飞机撞毁了一栋位于斯尼日内的公 寓楼后，乌克兰官方称之为俄罗斯的挑衅，并称乌克兰的飞机在那天均没有起飞。这就意味 着俄罗斯派遣了一架飞机越过边境线至少 20 千米（约合 12 里） ，向邻国住宅区投放炮弹， 并且刻意抹黑基辅， 这即使对普京来讲也过于愤世嫉俗。 但是怪罪乌克兰就是承认这个国家 的武装力量过于不称职或者惊人的残忍。不论是哪个版本的说法都表明矛盾不会很快结束。 The main targets of the new sanctions are two prominent banks (Vneshekonombank and Gazprombank ) and two energy firms (Novatek and Rosneft). The sanctions do not yet cut the companies off from international business or block their assets. Instead, they restrict access to American debt and equity markets, barring loans of more than 90 days' maturity. Eight defence firms, a few individuals and a Crimean shipping firm face more traditional asset freezes. The European Union has promised to follow suit, with the names of “entities and persons” affected to be released shortly. 新制裁的主要目标是两个主要的银行（Vneshekonombank 和 Gazprombank）和两个能源公 司（Novatek 和 Rosneft） 。但制裁并没有切断这些公司与国际商务的关系，也没有冻结它们 的资产。相反，它们只是限制进入美国债券和股票市场，禁止借贷超过 90 天的贷款。八家 防务公司，少数个体公司和一家克里米亚半岛的船运公司面临着更加传统的资产冻结问题。 欧盟承诺也会跟着美国做，取名为“实体与个人”并且会很快产生影响。 The sanctions' effect will depend on whether Mr Putin finds that another blow to his country's wobbly economy hurts more than one to his pride. So far he has bridled, saying the decision would have a “boomerang effect” and that American-Russian relations were being driven to a
“dead end”. In any case the fighting in eastern Ukraine has taken on a momentum beyond his control. Kiev's “anti-terrorist operation” is alienating locals. Since the fighting began three months ago, 478 civilians killed, and 1,392 have been wounded. The anger on the ground may be creating conditions for what Alexander Golts, an independent Moscow-based defence analyst, calls “a long partisan war”. 制裁的效果取决于普京能否对俄罗斯摇摇欲坠的经济伤害甚于对他本人骄傲的打击。 到目前 为止他对此表示不屑一顾，并称决议将会产生“回旋效果” ，并且美俄关系将会进入“死胡 同” 。无论如何乌克兰东部的战争已经超出它的控制范围了。基辅的“反恐作战”正使当地 人疏远。自从 3 个月前战争开始，478 名平民死亡，1392 名平民受伤。现场的愤怒可能会将 情形变为莫斯科国防分析师亚历山大·高斯所说的“长期党派战争” 。 The rebels' attitude is “victory or death”. At one militia's base on the edge of Donetsk, where shelling has ravaged residential areas, three weary soldiers take cover in a bomb shelter. “People don't fully comprehend what is happening,” says one, referring to stunned locals who peek out of their windows when they hear the sounds of battle. He might have been speaking of the outside world. At another base, away from the fighting, few think it will stop soon. “It's not fucked up,” says Maksim, giving a soldier's assessment. “It's completely fucked up.” A brawny ex-paratrooper, he once served in the same Ukrainian army he now fights against. He promises to stand till the end. 叛军的态度是“不成功便成仁” 。在一个民兵组织驻扎的顿涅茨克的边境，那里的炮击已经 摧毁了居民区， 3 名疲惫不堪的士兵躲在一个防空洞里。 “人们并不能完全明白繁盛了什么。 ” 一名士兵说道， 指的是震惊的当地人在听到战争的声音时还透过窗子偷看。 他或许一直都在 说外面的世界。在另一个远离战争的基地中，几乎没人认为这会很快结束。 “这还没到一团 糟的地步。 ”马克西姆在给一位士兵做评估时说。 “这已经是一团糟了。 ”一位强壮的前任伞 兵说，他曾服役于他现在攻击的同一支乌克兰军队。他保证不到最后一刻绝不倒下。 2015-08-05 北欧掌控 一次斯堪的纳维亚狂潮 The Nordics in charge 北欧掌控 A Scandinavian wave 一次斯堪的纳维亚狂潮 How the Nordics get so many senior international positions 北欧为何拥有众多较高的国际职位 WHEN it comes to international jobs, Scandinavia does well. Sweden, Denmark and Norway have only 20m people, yet their nationals often run global organisations. Jens Stoltenberg, a former Norwegian prime minister, is taking over from a former Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as NATO's boss. Thorbjorn Jagland, another former Norwegian prime minister, has just won a second term at the Council of Europe. Now attention is on the current Danish prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who is a front-runner to succeed Belgium's Herman Van
Rompuy as president of the European Council. 说到国际工作，斯堪的维纳亚（在地理上是指斯堪的纳维亚半岛，包括挪威和瑞典，文化与 政治上则包含丹麦）表现算是个中翘楚。尽管瑞典、丹麦和挪威仅有 2 千万人口，他们的公 民 却 掌舵 者 全球 组 织。挪 威 前首 相 Jens Stoltenberg 正 接 棒前 丹麦 首相 Anders Fogh Rasmussen 成为北约的领袖。另一位挪威的前首相 Thorbjorn Jagland 则刚刚于欧洲议会选举 中赢得了第二任期。现今关注的是当前丹麦首相 Helle Thorning-Schmidt 能否继任比利时的 Herman Van Rompuy 成为欧洲理事会主席。 With the European Union's foreign-policy chief and the head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers, this job should be filled at an EU summit on July 16th, after the European Parliament confirms Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president. Ms Thorning-Schmidt has disavowed any interest, saying she hopes to lead the Social Democrats to another election win next year. But Mr Fogh Rasmussen played a similarly oblique game in 2009, repeatedly denying any interest in NATO. Afterwards he claimed that “being a candidate” and “canvassing” were separate. Ms Thorning-Schmidt's real drawback is that Denmark is not in the euro. But as a woman from the centre-left, she balances Mr Juncker. She is also married to the son of Neil Kinnock, a former British Labour leader and European commissioner. 有了欧盟的外交政策首脑和众欧洲集团财政部长领导的推动下， 这件工作会在欧洲议会明确 来自卢森堡的 Jean-Claude Juncker 接任欧洲理事会主席之后，于 7 月 16 日在欧盟峰会上宣 布结果。Thorning-Schmidt 显然已失去任何兴趣，她表示，她希望能够带领 SD 党赢得明年 选举的胜利。但 Fogh Rasmussen 在 2009 年曾玩过类似的把戏，也曾一度声称对北欧不再关 心。 后来他表示 “成为一名候选人” 和 “为自己拉票” 这两者是相互独立的。 对 Thorning-Schmidt 来说真正的劣势是丹麦并不属于欧元集团。但是作为一名中左派的女士，他与 Juncker 旗鼓 相当。她也已经同前英国工党领袖和欧盟委员 Neil Kinnock 的儿子成婚。 Other politicians are less coy. Finland's former centre-right prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, has stepped down to seek a big international job. He is now interim economics commissioner (replacing another Finn, Olli Rehn), and he might stay on or take the Eurogroup job. Sweden's foreign minister (and another former prime minister), Carl Bildt, is a possibility for the foreign-policy post, though some find him too abrasive. 其他的政治家就没那么扭捏作态。芬兰前中右派首相 Jyrki Katainen 已为一份优渥的国际工 作而辞职。如今他是临时的经济专员（替代了另一位芬兰人 Olli Rehn） ，而且她很可能留任 或是接手欧元集团的工作。瑞典的外交部长（也是另一位前首相）Carl Bildt，很可能上任外 交政策的职位，尽管有人发现他行事并不谨慎。 What gives the Nordics a head start? One answer is that they are unthreatening to big countries . Another is that a history of parliamentary compromise gives them the ability to cross ideological divides. It has been a long time since any Nordic country had a single-party majority government. Mr Katainen's 2011-14 cabinet was a six-party patchwork. Yet there is a limit to how many Nordics the world can absorb. No matter how perfect they are, not all will win prizes. 到底是什么给予了北欧这样的优势？一种解释是他们对大国并无威胁。 另一种是议会的妥协 给了他们跨越意识上分裂的可能性。 距北欧国家建立一个多党合作的政府到现在已经有很长 时间了。2011-14 年 Katainen 的内阁曾由六党组合而成。然而对于这个世界能接受多少北欧 人还是存有一定限制。无论他们有多完美，也不可能人人获胜。
2015-08-06 意大利非法移民 地中海发生耸人听闻的惨案 Italy's illegal immigrants 意大利非法移民 Tidal wave 海啸 More horrific deaths in the Mediterranean 地中海发生耸人听闻的惨案 FEW images of immigrant traffic across the Mediterranean have been as harrowing. Italian TV viewers this week saw the lifeless bodies of 45 African men being lifted, like animal carcasses, from the hold of a fishing boat in which they had tried to reach Europe. Others on the vessel said the men begged to be let out but, for fear of it capsizing, they were forcibly kept below and suffocated. 每次发生在地中海的移民惨案都令人异常痛心。这周，意大利电视台播报了一组新闻。 54 个非洲人乘坐一艘渔船想前往欧洲， 却不想在船上命丧黄泉。 船上的人说这些人祈求将他们 放出来，但是为了防止船只颠覆，他们被关在舱底窒息而死。 Around 5,000 people were picked up by patrol boats on June 28th-29th, the busiest weekend of the year so far. On July 2nd another 70 migrants were reported lost at sea in a separate incident. All this comes after Italy began a search-and-rescue effort called Operation Mare Nostrum, in response to the tragedy last October in which 360 people drowned off Lampedusa, an island half-way between Sicily and the North African coast. On July 1st the police arrested five Eritreans who prosecutors said were part of a ring, with bases in Sudan, Libya and Italy, that arranged the latest ill-fated journey. In a wiretapped phone call, one was heard disowning responsibility for their deaths because “it was their fate”. 6 月 28、29 日两天，巡逻船逮捕了大约 5000 人，这是今年截至目前最忙碌的一周。7 月 2 日，据报道 70 个移民在另一场事故中葬身海底。这些都是在意大利开始称作《地中海运营 条例》的搜救工作之后发生的。该项搜救工作是针对去年十月份 360 人在蓝佩杜萨岛（意属 地中海岛屿，位于西西里岛和北非海岸之间）溺亡的事件提出的。7 月 1 日，警察逮捕了 5 名厄立特里亚人。其检察官说这些人属于一个组织，基地在苏丹、利比亚和意大利，就是他 们策划了近期的这些惨案。 警察通过窃听器听到其中一个人说否认将他人致死的罪行， 因为 “这就是他们的命运” 。
The latest horrors produced more agonised hand-wringing, but no sign that Italian or European Union leaders are any closer to agreeing what should be done. Mare Nostrum completed a U-turn for a country that until 2011 blocked immigrants at sea, returning many to Libya, their main point of departure. Some Italians believe this policy deterred people from attempting the perilous crossing, whereas Mare Nostrum encourages them. Matteo Salvini, leader of the xenophobic
Northern League, said Italy's prime minister, Matteo Renzi, and his interior minister, Angelino Alfano, were “stained with blood”. 最近的恐怖事件引起了更多令人苦恼的绝望情绪， 但是意大利或欧盟领导人对应做的措施没 有表现出明确的赞同意向。地中海国家的态度有了 180 度的大转弯，直至 2011 年，它们拦 截了海上的移民， 大多数都遣返回到了利比亚——人们主要想逃离的国家。 有些意大利人认 为这项政策阻止人们尝试这项危险的越境行动， 另一方面又在鼓励他们。 排外北方战线联盟 的领导人 Matteo Salvini 表示意大利总理 Matteo Renzi 和司法部长安杰利诺·阿尔法诺“双 手沾满了鲜血” 。 It is true that, since Operation Mare Nostrum began, arrivals in Italy have soared (more than 65,000 so far this year, against around 8,000 in the first half of 2013). But Greece also saw a large rise, of 142%, in the first four months of 2014, as fighting in Syria intensified. The “cruel to be kind” argument for returning migrants has become harder to sustain as Libya lurches from dictatorship to anarchy. 自从地中海运营条例开始投入实施，意大利的移民人数确是激增（2013 年的上半年只有大 约 8000 人，而今年目前已经超过 65000 人） 。而在叙利亚内战激烈进行时，希腊的移民人数 也是大幅上涨，2014 年的前四个月增长率高达 142%。随着利比亚独裁政权解体陷入无政府 状态，就遣返移民的“善良就是残忍”的话题很难得到人们的认同。 In ever harsher tones, Italian officials have protested that the EU is not helping enough. Mr Alfano has threatened unspecified reprisals if Cecilia Malmstrom, the European commissioner responsible, skips a meeting in Rome to launch Italy's six-month EU presidency. But the real obstacles to burden-sharing lie not in Brussels but in national capitals. Italian efforts to put immigration at the top of the agenda for last month's EU summit came to nought. 意大利官员以发表了更激烈的言辞， 抗议欧盟帮助不够。 阿尔法诺曾威胁欧盟称如果欧洲委 员会的负责人马姆斯壮不出席在罗马举行的意大利 6 个月的欧盟轮值主席国的就任会议的 话，将对其进行报复。但是真正的分担负担的障碍并非来自布鲁塞尔，而是在国家资本。上 个月欧盟峰会上，意大利将移民提上日程的头号事件的努力无济于事。 Italy's partners argue that they deal with proportionately far more asylum-seekers. In the fourth quarter of 2013 Germany received proportionally three times as many applications as Italy. But none of the others is mounting, for humanitarian reasons, a naval operation comparable to Operation Mare Nostrum. The cost, initially put at 1.5m ($2m) a month, has exploded to 9.5m. As it grows, the Italian government can expect to come under mounting pressure from public opinion to use its EU presidency to force the club to lend it a hand. 意大利的伙伴们认为他们自己做出的努力比寻求政治庇护者的努力要多得多。2013 年的第 四个季度，德国收到的移民申请是意大利的三倍。但是出于人道主义，没有哪个国家的政策 可以与《地中海运营条例》相比。搜救费用从最开始的每月 150 万欧元（折合 200 万美元） 激增到 950 万欧元。 随着费用上涨， 意大利政府迫于压力希望能利用担任欧盟轮值主席国的 权利强迫其他国家向自己伸出援手 2015-08-07 法国艰难昔日的重演 其实不快乐
French rail strikes 法国铁路罢工 Unhappiness is the truth 其实不快乐 A rerun of Francehs bad old days tests the Socialist government's resolve 法国艰难昔日的重演是社会主义政府决心的试金石 The long march to work 上班长征路 IT WAS a deliciously French moment of exasperation. On June 16th a railway strike prompted public rage when it threatened to disrupt a national philosophy exam. On the sixth day of a rolling strike, unions at the SNCF national railway encroached on the first day of the baccalauré at school-leaving exam, a ritual that begins with a four-hour philosophy essay. As strikers downed tools and commuters battled to work, some 340,000 French teenagers were wrestling with the question “Do we live in order to be happy?” 这是一个有趣的法国愤怒时刻。6 月 16 号，当一次铁路罢工影响到了全国性的哲学考试时， 它触犯了众怒。在连续罢工的第六天，法国国营铁路公司（SNCF）工会在中学毕业会考的 首日开始了作乱，这一考试始于四小时的哲学论文。当罢工者停止工作，乘客奋力奔向公司 时，约 340,000 名法国少年正在纠结： “我们活着是为了开心吗？” If Fran?ois Hollande had been sitting the exam, he would surely have answered: “Fat chance as long as there are rail unions around.” A strike originally expected to be short-lived was extended on June 18th into its ninth day, the worst industrial action since he became president in 2012. On some days, more than half of TGV fast trains have been cancelled, as well as two-thirds of certain commuter trains in the Paris region. The SNCF management called it the worst strike for 13 years. 如果弗朗索瓦·奥朗德参加了那场考试的话，他绝对会答道： “只要有铁路公会存在，那就 希望渺茫。 ”这一场原被认为会短命的罢工竟持续到了 6 月 18 号，已进行了九天，这是自奥 朗德 2012 年当上总统以来发生的最严重的劳工行动。在某些日子里，超过一半的法国高速 列车和约三分之二的巴黎通勤列车被取消了。法国国营铁路公司管理部门称之为 13 年来最 严重的罢工。 The two unions behind it, the CGT, which is close to the Communist Party, and the even harder-talking SUD, are protesting against plans to merge two rail companies: the SNCF, which runs the trains, and RFF, the highly indebted firm that manages the tracks. After months of discussion, this reform went before parliament on June 17th. Nothing in the bill changes the special status of railway workers. But the unions suspect it will lead to changes in working practices and perks once the railways are opened up to competition in 2019. 幕后的两个工会，亲共党的法国总工会（CGT）和更难协商的法国干部总工会（SUD）正在 抗议合并两家铁路公司的计划，这两家公司分别是运营列车的法国国营铁路公司 (SNCF)和 管理铁路、负债累累的法国铁路网公司（RFF） 。经过数月的磋商后，这次改革于 6 月 17 号 提交到了国会。法案中没有改变铁路工人特殊地位的条款，但工会怀疑一旦 2019 年铁路公
开竞争，这将导致工作实践和津贴上的变化。 This conflict is the first big union-led test for Mr Hollande. Until now, the largest protest he has faced was over the legalisation of gay marriage. In fine tradition, he has booted the problem to his new prime minister, Manuel Valls, who has sounded tough, declaring that there is “no question” of shelving the reform. They are betting partly on union divisions to undermine the strike: Laurent Berger, leader of the CFDT, a big union which backs the reform, has accused those on strike of “contempt” for bac candidates. Mr Valls also has public opinion on his side. An overwhelming 76% say they oppose the strike. With the economy at a standstill and unemployment high, there is little sympathy for public-sector rail workers. The French are well aware that they get perks such as free tickets and that most train drivers retire at 50. 这次冲突是工会领导的第一次对奥朗德的大测试。 直至目前， 奥朗德面临过的最大抗议是关 于同性婚姻立法的。按照优良传统，他将问题踢给了他的新首相曼纽尔·瓦尔斯。瓦尔斯听 起来口气强硬，声明搁置改革完全“没问题” 。他们将部分赌注放在了工会内部分裂、罢工 渐渐停息上：支持改革的法国劳工民主联合会（CFDT）领导人劳伦·柏杰指责罢工是对考 生们的“蔑视” 。瓦尔斯也赢得了大众舆论，多达 76%的人表示他们反对罢工。在经济停滞、 失业率居高不下的情况下， 公共部门的铁路工人难以获取大众同情。 法国人很清楚铁路工人 们享受着免票等的特殊待遇，多数火车司机 50 岁就退休。 Yet the reason this strike has hardened goes beyond railway reform. Paradoxically, it partly reflects union weakness. Grass-roots members are frustrated that industrial action has lost much of its punch. The sort of paralysing strikes once common in France have become rare. By law, public services must run a minimum service during strikes, and days of industrial action are no longer paid. Between 2005 and 2011, the number of days lost to strikes per 1,000 employees fell from 164 to 77. On the SNCF works council, support for the CGT has dropped from 44% ten years ago to 36% today. Thierry Lepaon, the CGT leader, faces intense pressure not to give up the fight. 然而罢工愈演愈烈的原因已不仅仅是铁路改革了。 很自相矛盾的是， 这在某种程度上反映了 工会的弱点。 草根成员对于劳工行动丧失了重大影响力而感到沮丧。 这种曾在法国常见的瘫 痪式罢工已变得鲜见。按照法律，在罢工期间，公共服务应提供基本的服务，劳工行动期间 不发放工资。在 2005 年到 2011 年间，每 1000 雇员中将日子用在了罢工上的天数由 164 天 降到了 77 天。在 SNCF 劳资委员会中，CGT 的支持率由 10 年前的 44%降到了今天的 36%。 CGT 领导人蒂埃里·莱鲍面临着巨大的压力不能放弃抗争。 The conflict also seems to have crystallised broader discontent with the government. Some strikers talk of anger over its new business-friendly policies and austerity plans. So do part-time theatre workers, who are protesting against benefit changes. Mr Valls can ill afford to let the chaos continue. But, billed as a bold reformer, neither can he be seen to give in to his first protest on the streets. 这场冲突似乎也更广泛地具化了对政府的不满。 一些罢工者愤怒声讨新的招商引资政策和紧 缩计划。兼职戏剧工作者也在抗议着福利政策的变化。瓦尔斯无法承担让混乱继续的局面。 但被视为大胆改革家的他也不会屈服于第一次面临的街头抗议。 2015-08-09
工党的下坡路 背离大路 The Labour Party's funk 工党的下坡路 Running out of road 背离大路 Labour is an increasingly unpopular party with lots of popular policies 工党政策广受称赞，自己却日益遭嫌 IF POLITICAL platforms were the sum of their parts, the Labour Party would tower over its rivals. In recent months Ed Miliband, its leader, has produced several overwhelmingly popular policies. According to YouGov, a polling firm, voters support the party's plan to increase the top rate of income tax by three to one. By about the same margin they like its talk of tackling dodgy landlords, blocking foreign takeovers of British firms and boosting the minimum wage. 如果政治舞台是所有因素的综合体，那么工党必称霸政坛。近几个月，工党党首埃德·米利 班德提出了几条非常受欢迎的政策。根据民调机构 YouGov 的数据显示，工党提高所得税最 高税率的计划， 得到选民支持的比率为三比一。 但也有同样比例的选民支持政府对付狡猾的 房东，限制外资收购英国企业，并且提高最低工资标准。 Yet Labour's polling lead over the Conservative Party is slipping. According to YouGov it has fallen from an average of seven points in November to two-and-a-half points in May so far. It is quite possible that the populist right-wing UK Independence Party will beat Labour to first place in elections to the European Parliament on May 22nd (see next story). Not long ago Labour staffers were confidently describing the European vote as a dry run for the general election, due to be held in a year's time. 然而工党领先保守党的优势正在慢慢缩小。根据 YouGov 的数据显示，从去年平均领先 7 个 百分点，滑落到今年五月的 2.5 个百分点。在 5 月 22 日的欧洲议会选举上，民粹主义右翼 独立党极有可能干掉工党，夺得头筹（详见专文） 。不久之前，工党的工作人员言之凿凿地 把欧洲议会的表决，形容成一年之后大选的预演。 Labour, then, is an increasingly unloved party with increasingly popular policies. What explains this? The familiar answer is to blame the messenger. Mr Miliband struggles to appeal to voters through the mass media, often coming across as pleading and uncomfortable. His team have hired a broadcast expert and David Axelrod, who helped Barack Obama win two presidential elections, to improve their man's performance and messages. A series of awkward interviews in the run up to the European vote suggested that both would have their work cut out. 渐渐的，工党成了一个政策越来越受欢迎，而本身却越来越不是受欢迎的政党。怎么解释这 个现象？答案都是相似的：都是信使惹的祸。米利班德努力试图借助大众传媒来笼络民心， 常常会流露出恳求和不安。 他的团队已经聘请了一个广播专家和戴维· 阿克塞尔罗德美化其 个人形象，促进其思想的传播。而戴维·阿克塞尔罗德是奥巴马总统的顾问，帮他连任了两 届大选。但从他在欧洲大选前那几场采访中尴尬的表现来看，上述两目标恐怕是要泡汤了。
But that problem is older than Labour's poll slump. Instead, three things seem to account for the party's recent woes. The specific one is that Labour's propaganda machine is not working. Policy announcements have been rushed, too close together and quickly forgotten for lack of follow-up, sighs one Milibandite. A pledge to cut waiting times for doctors' appointments was a case in point: unveiled with great fanfare on May 12th, it was not once mentioned by Mr Miliband in Prime Minister's Questions just two days later. Sometimes messages clash. Labour's response to UKIP has ranged from cool dismissal to angry denouncement. An execrable electoral video depicting the Liberal Democrats as the gullible stooges of evil Tory toffs collided head-on with Mr Miliband's talk of making politics less petty. 但是问题远比工党支持率滑坡来的历史久远。 相反， 有三件事似乎可以解释工党最近的不振。 尤其是因为工党的宣传不起作用。一位米利班德支持者叹道，政治宣传太过急躁，政治结盟 太过亲密，以及太快忘掉自己没什么跟随者。政府担保削减就医预约时间就是一个例子：政 府的这个保证，在 5 月 12 日出台，颇受人民欢迎。仅仅两天之后，在首相问答环节上，米 利班德就提到了这个问题。两方是不是会就这个问题进行交锋。针对英国独立党的问题，工 党的回应介于冷冷的不予理会， 与愤怒的公开谴责之间。 拙劣的竞选视频把自民党描绘为上 当的傀儡， 夹在邪恶的保守党花花公子与米利班德正面交锋之间， 而米利班德正致力于促使 政策登上大台面。 A bigger problem is that Labour's central economic message, that the recovery is failing to lift living standards, is running out of road. Real wages are beginning to emerge from their long slump, making people feel, if not richer, at least not poorer. And Labour lacks a fall-back argument: the party has done little over the past years to dispel the reputation for spendthrift ineptitude that it acquired during the financial crisis. The Tories' lead over the opposition on economic competence has grown from two to 14 points in the past year. 工党还有一个更大的问题， 那就是中央经济报文的作用已经穷途末路， 变革没能使生活标准 有所提高。实际工资正渐渐从漫长的经济不景气中复苏，使民众觉得：既然没有更富，那至 少也没再穷下去。 并且工党缺少备用方案： 这些年来， 面对经济危机中而得的愚笨浪子臭名， 工党并未好好去改变。经济上，保守党领先其反对党，由去年的 2%增至 14%。 Finally, as the general election approaches, the main job of the opposition shifts from holding the government to account to proposing an alternative. But Labour's messages remain deeply negative and gloomy. It has repeatedly told people how much they are being ripped off by energy firms and other businesses, but has failed to put forward a hopeful vision of a prosperous Britain, grumble internal malcontents. Patrick Diamond, a former policy adviser to the party, adds that by taking advantage of public mistrust of business, Labour is at best telling voters what they already know (that the party cares about the little guy). At worst it risks alienating those working in the private sector. 最后，随着大选的临近，在野党的主要任务从把持政权，转变成了提出第二选择。但工党方 面的消息仍旧非常负面和悲观。 英国一些对现状不满的群众发牢骚道， 人们被反复告知他们 的钱被剥削的数额， 而罪魁祸首就是能源企业和一些其他公司， 但是人们并没有在经济繁荣 的英国看到充满希望的前景。帕特里克·戴蒙德是一名前党内政策顾问，他补充道，通过利 用公众对商业的不信任，工党最好还是告知选民自己所得到的消息（即政党很关注那个小 人） 。最糟糕也不过是承担与私营部门决裂的风险。
These three problems add up to one big one: although voters like the party's individual policies, they do not like the overall image that these convey. Until Labour corrects this, says Deborah Mattinson of Britain Thinks, a polling outfit, the gush of announcements may do it more harm than good. If people do not trust the party in the first place, she argues, they just see these as craven attempts to win their votes. The Conservatives, by contrast, can trade on their overall competence. “They are not out to please people,” one swing voter told Ms Mattinson, and “that means they can just get on with it.” 这三个问题加在一起，就成了一个大问题：虽然选民支持工党的独立政策，但对于整体形象 的呈现却并不看好。狄波拉·马丁森来自调查机构 Britain Thinks，她认为，除非工党修正了 这些问题，不然各个声明的涌现只能帮倒忙。她认为，如果一开始民众就不信任政党，他们 就会视这些软弱的努力只是为了赢得选票。 相比之下， 保守党可以好好利用他们的整体竞争 力。一位摇摆不定的选民告诉狄波拉道， “他们并非试图讨好民众，这意味着他们只能继续 进行下去。 ” 2015-08-11 德国幽默 闻所未闻的幽默培训 German humour 德国幽默 Get thee to an Institute 闻所未闻的幽默培训 Germans concede that in humour they need professional help 德国人认为幽默需要专门的训练 EVA ULLMANN took her master's degree in 2002 on the part that humour has to play in psychotherapy, and became hooked on the subject. In 2005 she founded the German Institute for Humour in Leipzig. It is dedicated to “the combination of seriousness and humour”. She offers lectures, seminars and personal coaching to managers, from small firms to such corporate giants as Deutsche Bank and Telekom. Her latest project is to help train medical students and doctors. 2002 年，伊娃·乌尔曼以“幽默在心理治疗中的作用”为论文研究主题获得了博士学位， 并对该主题产生了巨大的兴趣。2005 年，她在莱比锡城创建了德国幽默研究所，致力于研 究“严肃和幽默之间的关系” 。伊娃为管理者们（从小公司到诸如德意志银行和德国电信之 类的商业巨头）都有进行演讲、开展讨论会和个人辅导。最近，她正在着手训练医学学生和 医生。 There is nothing peculiarly German about humour training. It was John Morreall, an American, who showed that humour is a market segment in the ever-expanding American genre of self-help. In the past two decades, humour has gone global. An International Humour Congress was held in Amsterdam in 2000. And yet Germans know that the rest of the world considers them to be at a particular disadvantage. 奇怪的是，德国并没有特定的幽默培训。一个叫约翰·莫瑞尔的美国人指出曾经一度膨胀的 资历的美国精神中，幽默也是市场的一部分。过去的 20 年里，幽默走向了国际。2000 年国
际幽默大会在阿姆斯特丹建立。在此之前，德国人还不知道在其他国家的人眼里，他们十分 严肃。 The issue is not comedy, of which Germany has plenty. The late Vicco von Bü low, alias Loriot, delighted the elite with his mockery of German pretension and stiffness. Rhenish, Swabian and other regional flavours thrive—Gerhard Polt, a Bavarian curmudgeon, now 72, is a Shakespeare among them. There is lowbrow talent too, including Otto Waalkes, a Frisian buffoon. Most of this, however, is as foreigners always suspected: more embarrassing than funny. 这个议题并非是个喜剧，德国的此类例子很丰富。已故的 Vicco von Bülow, 别名 Loriot,曾 就以讽刺德国人的自负和固执娱乐精英。 莱茵河人， 斯瓦比亚人和其他地区的精英们层出不 穷——Gerhard Polt 是个巴伐利亚人，脾气很怪，现年 72 岁，就是其中的一个莎士比亚。也 有一些比较肤浅的人物，比如弗里斯兰小丑 Otto Waalkes。然而大多数情况下，外国人的怀 疑：往往是尴尬大于有趣。 Germans can often be observed laughing, uproariously. And they try hard. “They cannot produce good humour, but they can consume it,” says James Parsons, an Englishman teaching business English in Leipzig. He once rented a theatre and got students, including Mrs Ullmann, to act out Monty Python skits, which they did with enthusiasm. The trouble, he says, is that whereas the English wait deadpan for the penny to drop, Germans invariably explain their punchline. 人们常常可以看到德国人大笑。 他们真的在很努力地发出笑声。 在莱比锡大学教授商务的英 国人詹姆斯·帕森斯说， “他们没法变的幽默，但他们可以表现得很幽默。 ”他曾经租了一个 歌剧厅，邀请了一些学生，包括乌尔曼一起表演 Monty Python 短剧。他们表演得很有热情。 但是，问题是，英国人会面无表情地等硬币落下来而德国人则认为很有笑点。 At a deeper level, the problem has nothing do with jokes. What is missing is the trifecta of irony, overstatement and understatement in workaday conversations. Expats in Germany share soul-crushing stories of attempting a non-literal turn of phrase, to evoke a horrified expression in their German interlocutors and a detailed explanation of the literal meaning, followed by a retreat into awkward politeness. 更深层次上来说，这个问题与笑话无关。他们在正常的工作交流中，没有一连串的讽刺，大 话和保守言论。德国的外国移民设法通过非文学的方式，与当地人交流窝心的故事，对他们 的德语朋友产生恐惧的印象并不得不解释这些词语的文学一次， 因而最后会陷入尴尬的礼貌 却又疏离的境地。 Irony is not on the curriculum in Mrs Ullmann's classes. Instead she focuses mostly on the basics of humorous spontaneity and surprise. Demand is strong, she says. It is a typical German answer to a shortcoming: work harder at it. 讽刺不属于乌尔曼的授课内容。相反，她主要集中在自发幽默和惊喜的基本原则。她说人们 对幽默的需求很强。这是典型的德国人对待缺点的方式：埋头苦干。 2015-08-13 能源定价 远程控制 Pricing energy
能源定价 Remote controls 远程控制 Smart meters promise another reason to resent energy firms 智能电表成为人们抱怨能源公司的又一理由 The midnight oil 午夜石油乐队 GOOD neighbours avoid doing laundry in the small hours. Yet householders in the north east of England are growing keener on late-night loads. Watched by academics at Durham University, volunteers are testing a tariff that makes power more expensive when demand is high. Some use washing machines that run only when energy is cheap. 好邻居不在凌晨洗衣服。 然而在英格兰东北部的居民们越来越热衷于在午夜干家务。 英国杜 伦大学的学者观察发现， 志愿者接受了一项测试： 税费调整后， 电力在需求高峰期变得更贵。 有的居民只有在电价便宜时才会用洗衣机。 Britons are used to paying variable prices for hotel rooms, train tickets and telephone calls. Now some hope that smart electricity meters, which the government wants installed in every home by 2020, will help energy suppliers charge in a similar way. Boosters say dynamic pricing can hold down bills and help save the planet. It is also likely to make power firms even less popular than they already are. 英国人习惯于为宾馆、火车票和话费的浮动费用掏钱。如今，更有人希望智能电表可以帮助 能源供应商以也以同样的方式收费。 支持者们表示动态电价可以降低账单， 并有益于节约地 球资源。这样很有可能使电力公司更加不受欢迎。 Flexible pricing is supposed to discourage power use at peak times, thereby bringing down the overall cost of generation by cutting the need for power stations that run only a few hours each day. Controlling energy use would also help network operators handle fluctuations in renewable power, which rises and falls depending on how windy or sunny it is. These problems will get more serious as Britain decarbonises: using more green electricity to power things such as cars and heating will make demand spikes bigger—and thus more costly—just as growth in renewables makes supply less dependable. 弹性价格有望降低高峰期的用电， 从而通过减少每天运行几小时的发电站数量来降低发电总 成本。 通过电力控制使用可以帮助网络操作者来处理可再生能源诸如由于风能或者太阳能造 成的波动。 这些问题将变得和英国降低碳含量计划同等严峻： 使用更多绿色电力来驱动像车 或者加热器的东西， 将使得需求峰值更大——而且代价更昂贵——正如可再生能源使用的增 长降低了供给的可靠性。 Some Britons have been using cheaper off-peak power since the late 1970s, when “Economy 7” tariffs were created to encourage overnight demand for juice from nuclear power stations. Smart meters, which will add about ￡12 billion ($20 billion) to energy bills as they are rolled out over
the next five years, are meant to save suppliers money by wirelessly transmitting meter readings, and to provide households with information that can help them to use less power. What excites energy experts is that, by recording full details of energy consumption, they could also make it easier for suppliers to create several peak and off-peak periods during each day, or even let prices float freely depending on the weather. Last month Ofgem, the energy regulator, said it was mulling reforms that could enable rates to change every half-hour. 一些英国人自二十世纪七十年代晚期就开始错开高峰期使用低价电力， 当时建立 “经济七号” 税费的目的就是为鼓励使用来自核电厂的通宵供电。 智能电表通过无线传输仪表读数， 这意 味着可以为供应商节约费用， 并且为居民们提供相应的信息来帮助他们节约用电， 这项计划 在未来五年内推出后将增加一百二十亿英镑的电费收入。 让能源专家们感到兴奋的是， 通过 能源消费的所有详细记录， 他们可以让能源供应商很轻松的在每天建立多个高峰或者非高峰 期，甚至可以让电价随着天气的变化过渡平稳。上个月，作为能源调节者的天然气电力市场 办公室表示，正在考虑这样一些改革——这可以让电价在每半小时内变化。 The problem is that a proliferation of complex tariffs risks making it more difficult for bill-payers to identify the cheapest ones, even as regulators battle to simplify the market. Critics also say that punitive charges at peak times could affect the poorest families disproportionately, because they already use power only when it is essential. And some fear that, without stronger competition, energy firms would use dynamic tariffs to raise prices, not just to even out demand. 出现的问题是， 这种复杂的收费方式所冒的风险在于， 支付者辨别最便宜的收费区间更为困 难，虽则电力调配部门志在简化市场，正如电力调配部门志在简化市场一样。评论家们也声 称， 用电高峰期的惩罚性的收费会给最贫困的家庭造成影响更为巨大， 因为他们只有在必要 时才会使用电能。时一些人也担心到，没有强有力的竞争，能源公司只是利用动态电价来变 向涨价而并非平衡需求。 The biggest worry is that people will not be persuaded to change their routines. Many already pay too much for their energy because they have never bothered to switch supplier. A study in 2012 by Consumer Focus—now part of the Citizens Advice Bureau—found that 38% of households with Economy 7 or similar tariffs did not use enough off-peak power to make it cheaper than a standard rate. Trials of more dynamic tariffs report mixed success—and almost all of those have involved green-minded volunteers, not busy families. 最大的担心是，劝服人们调整日常生活习惯很难。很多人嫌麻烦从不更换供应商，导致他们 已经支付了太多的电力。由聚焦消费（现在是公民建议局的下属单位）在 2012 年出示的调 查显示，百分之三十八的“经济七”或者与之相似收费的住户没有使用错开高峰用电来降低 电费。而这其中更为动态税费适用成功的报道显得复杂——这其中多数是绿色理念的志愿 者，而不是那些忙碌的家庭。 Enthusiasts say variable pricing will work best when people can set gear such as freezers, boilers and air-conditioners to respond automatically to pricing signals broadcast to their smart meter, in exchange for a discount from their supplier. Fridges need not run constantly to keep their contents fresh, for example; clever ones might perhaps turn themselves off during peak demand periods. 狂热支持者表示， 当人们可以通过智能电表的价格广播来自动设置诸如冰箱， 热水器和空调 速率，可使得可变定价完美运行，以此从供应商那里获得折扣。例如，冰箱无需一直工作来 维持里面东西的新鲜；聪明人也许会错开高峰阶段。
Yet bill-payers will probably find it creepy to hand outsiders control of their appliances. A household full of smart devices would delight hackers. And it will bring chewy legal problems, such as working out who to blame should faulty appliances churn through premium-priced power. As Britain’s smart grid expands, rumbling washing machines may not be the only thing keeping people awake. 然而， 用户们肯定会发现把他们的家用电器交由外部控制是很恐怖的一件事。 一个家里满是 智能电器的用户会使黑客感到异常兴奋。 而且这样会带来一系列耐人寻味的法律问题， 例如， 因为电流的变动导致电器发生缺陷时无法确定谁该为此负责。随着英国智能电网的不断扩 大，也许不只是隆隆的洗衣机声吵得人无法入睡。 2015-08-15 就业市场 毫无余地 Employment 就业市场 Zero tolerance 毫无余地 The problem with zero-hours contracts is not that they are too flexible 零时工合同的问题可不是时间太灵活 BRITAIN'S flexible labour market was a boon during the economic slump, helping keep joblessness down and then, when the recovery began, allowing employment to rise. Yet one of its bendier bits is causing politicians to fret. Ed Miliband, the leader of the Labour Party, has promised a crackdown on “zero-hours contracts” if he wins the next election. The government has launched a consultation. 英国灵活的劳动力市场在经济衰退期间是一个福音，因为这既帮助压低失业率,而且当经济 开始复苏又促进就业。但其所带来的一些福利却让政客们烦躁不安。工党领袖埃德·米利班 德承诺如果他赢得下次选举，他将打击“零时工合同” 。政府也就打击零时工合同的事项展 开磋商。 Zero-hours contracts allow firms to employ workers for as few or as many hours as they need, with no prior notice. In theory, at least, people can refuse work. Fully 1.4m jobs were based on these contracts in January 2014, according to a snapsho taken by the Office for National Statistics. That is just 4% of the total, but the share rises to a quarter in the hospitality business. 零时工合同政策允许在没有事先通知的情况下雇佣工人工作， 工作时间根据公司需求可长可 短。在理论上,至少人们可以拒绝工作。根据国家统计局的统计，2014 年 1 月，有 140 万个 就业岗位是基于这种合约的。虽然只占总数的 4%,但在酒店业务份额上，这种合同聘请的员 工比例则有四分之一。 The contracts are useful for firms with erratic patterns of demand, such as hotels and restaurants. They have also helped firms to expand during the recovery—allowing them to test new business
lines before hiring permanent staff, who would be more costly to make redundant if things went wrong. 零时工合同对酒店和餐馆这样不稳定需求模式的行业十分有用。 这些零时工合同帮助公司在 经济复苏期扩大规模， 其方式是在雇佣固定员工之前测试应聘者的业务水平。 因为一旦雇佣 固定员工之后，这些员工出了问题，裁员的代价会更高。 Flexibility suits some workers, too. According to one survey, 47% of those employed on zero-hours contracts were content to have no minimum contracted hours. Many of these workers are in full-time education. The ability to turn down work is important to students, who want to revise (or sit in the sun) at this time of year. Pensioners keen for a little extra income can often live with the uncertainty of not having guaranteed hours. 灵活性对一些工人很适用。根据一项调查，47%零时工合同雇佣工对没有最少工时限制很满 意，其中有很多人还在接受全日制教育。拒绝工作的能力对学生来说非常重要,因为他们想 要在每年的这个时候复习(或者晒太阳)。渴望得到一点额外的收入的养老金领取者也可以在 没有固定工作时间这种不确定的情况下游刃有余。 Yet that leaves more than a quarter of workers on zero-hours contracts who say they are unhappy with their conditions. Some of this is cyclical. During recessions, a dearth of permanent positions forces people into jobs with no contracted hours even if they do not want them (the government has just said that unemployed people who refuse to accept zero-hours contracts could be cut off from benefits). Underemployment is particularly prevalent among these workers, 35% of whom would like more hours compared with 12% in other jobs. As the economy recovers, many should be able to renegotiate their contracts or find permanent jobs. 然而,超过四分之一的零时工合同工说他们不满意他们的工作条件。有些不满是周期性的。 在经济衰退期间,永久职位的缺乏迫使人们即使在不情愿的情况下也要选择没有合同时间的 工作(政府刚刚说拒绝接受零时工合同的失业者有可能再也得不到好处)。这些工人中，失业 情况尤其普遍,这些人中有 35%想工作更长时间，而从事其他工作的人中只有 12%想工作更 久。随着经济的复苏,许多人能够重新协商合同或找到固定工作。 But the recovery will not cause unwanted zero-hours contracts to disappear. Some workers will never have much negotiating power: they are constrained by geography, family commitments and lack of competition for their skills among a small number of big employers. Zero-hours contracts make it easier for employers to abuse their labour-market power. Some use them to avoid statutory obligations such as sick and maternity pay. Workers are penalised for not being available when requested. And some contracts contain exclusivity clauses which prevent workers from taking additional jobs. These can harm other employers as well as workers, and actually reduce labour market flexibility. That, at least, is worth doing away with. 但经济复苏不会造成不必要的零时工合同消失。 一些工人永远不会有太多的谈判资本: 在少 量的大雇主面前，他们受到了地理、家庭承诺和技能竞争力等各方面限制。零时工合同使雇 主能够更容易地滥用劳动力市场的力量。 一些雇主用它来避免病假工资和产假工资等法定义 务。 工人们正在因为之前需要他们时没有及时到位而受到惩罚。 一些合同还包含排他性条款， 防止工人从事其他工作。这些既可以伤害其他雇主，也会伤害到工人；实际上，这也减少了 劳动力市场的灵活性。所以至少这一项规定是应该摒弃的。
2015-08-17 政治宣传 海报其实很无能 Political advertising 政治宣传 Posters aren't working 海报其实很无能 The pros and cons of Britain's favourite political campaign tactic 英国应用最广政治竞选策略之利弊 “WHO really runs this country?” UKIP poses that question on a poster that is part of its campaign for next month's European elections. The illustration—the EU's golden stars burning through the British union flag—provides the answer. It does not have the ring of the Tories' “Labour isn't working” billboard, which helped elect Margaret Thatcher in 1979. But the tactic is similar: blanket the country with posters and let the votes roll in. They will be visible from the moon, promises Paul Sykes, a tycoon who is paying for them. “谁才真正经营这个国家？” 英国独立党在一张宣传海报上抛出了这个问题， 而这只是他们 为下个月英国大选所做准备中的一部分。海报上的配图-象征欧盟的金星在英国工会旗帜上 闪耀-为这个问题提供了答案。1979 年，保守党为撒切尔夫人制作的广告“工人没在工作” （双关语：工党没有起到作用）使其如虎添翼，如今这则广告无法复制当年的广告效应。但 是策略却是大同小异的： 用铺天盖地的海报淹没整个国家， 让源源不断的选民滚滚而来。 “海 报在月球上都看得见”保罗·赛克斯信誓旦旦道，因为这个金融大亨为此投资巨大。 The only form of political advertising allowed on British television is the party political broadcast—stilted affairs watched by few. So politicians spread the word with leaflets, posters and junk mail. In 2010 they spent 7m on outdoor advertising, nearly a third of total political ad spending, according to Nielsen, a market-research firm. Scottish nationalists, flush with cash from a lottery-winning couple, will do battle by billboard in the run-up to this September's independence vote. 英国广电唯一授权的政治宣传形式只有政党政治广播， 其乏味的内容让观者寥寥。 所以政客 们改变策略， 利用传单、 海报甚至垃圾邮件进行宣传。 根据市场研究公司尼尔森的数据， 2010 年，政客们花了 700 万英镑（约合 1100 万美元）用于户外宣传，几乎是政治宣传总花费的 三分之一。 由于得到了一对中奖夫妇丰厚的现金资助， 苏格兰民族党将会在广告牌首先开火， 为今年九月的独立投票助跑。 Is this wise? For most products, outdoor advertising is “the worst-performing of all offline media”, says Ian Fermor of Ebiquity, a company that measures such things. Defenders of the medium say this ignores the potential for longer-term brand building. But parties increasingly take Ebiquity's view. Labour will focus its spending on grassroots organising in the 2015 election, says Marcus Roberts of the Fabian Society. The effect on voter turnout of any kind of print advertising, including posters, is “hardly measurable”, he says. Only the Conservatives spent much on outdoor advertising in 2010.
此举到底明智与否？一家专门测量这类事务的公司 Ebiquity 的伊恩·弗莫尔称，就其他结果 而言，户外宣传是“所有线下媒体中表现最差的” 。这类媒介的拥护者称，这会忽略长期品 牌树立的长期影响。但是政党越来越认同 Ebiquity 公司的看法。费边社的马库斯·罗伯特认 为，在 2015 年大选中，工党将集中资金在民间组织上。他还认为，其他纸质宣传，包括海 报对于选民的参与都“有着无法估量”的价值。2010 年，只有保守党在户外宣传上花了大 价钱。 Still, posters might be better at selling politicians than soap. They can pack an emotional punch: think of the Tories' 1979 dole queue and Labour's 2001 mashup of William Hague's face and Margaret Thatcher's bouffant. If you're after voters in specific places, posters are your medium. A Conservative campaign in 2010 won an industry award for “best use of roadside”. Posters are especially good for a party—like the Conservatives—short of youthful activists to stuff letterboxes. 不过，海报还是比无尽的吹嘘更能推销政客。海报可以附加情感攻势：想想保守党在 1979 年的失业大军，以及 2001 年工党威廉·海格（英外长）的脸配上撒切尔夫人蓬松发型的混 搭风。如果你在某特定场合迎合了选民的情绪，海报就是你的宣传媒介。2010 年保守党的 一次竞选活动中赢得了“最佳路边使用奖” 。海报对一个政党来说尤其好用-比如保守党就是 -正愁没有年轻积极分子用选票填满邮箱。 The real target audience for billboards is journalists, argues Benedict Pringle, a blogger and ad man: “They are almost six-metre-high, full-colour press releases.” When they work, the message gets to voters indirectly, via newspapers (including this one) and TV. Yet a campaign need not be visible from space. Affixing a poster to a van and driving it round London will do. If that was UKIP's plan it has, expensively, succeeded. 某博主兼广告人本尼迪克· 普林格尔称， 广告牌真正的受众是记者， 他说 “广告牌近 6 米高， 颜色非常鲜艳” 。当广告牌起作用的时候，选民通过报纸和电视获取消息就不那么直接了。 所以竞选活动不必都能从太空中就能看见。 只要在小货车上贴一张海报， 然后绕城跑就可以 了。如果那就是独立党的计划，虽然昂贵但却收效颇大。 2015-08-19 法国国防交易 兜售"西北风" French defence sales 法国国防交易 Mistral blows 兜售“西北风” Why France insists on going ahead with selling warships to Russia 法国为何坚持对俄出售“西北风”级两栖攻击舰 EVEN before France signed a deal in 2011 to build two Mistral-class assault ships for Russia, the idea prompted widespread unease. Had Russia possessed such warships in 2008, boasted its naval chief, Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky, it would have won its war against Georgia in “40 minutes
instead of 26 hours”. Russia's neighbours were accordingly troubled, but so were France's closest allies. In Paris before the deal, Robert Gates, then America's defence secretary, had what he called a “thorough exchange of views” with the French: code for a serious disagreement. 早在 2011 年法国刚签订对俄出售“西北风”级两栖攻击舰时，各地就纷纷表示不安。俄罗 斯海军主席 Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky 也吹嘘，若是 2008 年俄就拥有这些军舰，那么击败 格鲁吉亚就不必 26 小时， 而只需 40 分钟。 俄罗斯的邻国们同样因法俄交易合同而心头慌慌， 就连法国最亲的同盟也略感紧张。合同签订前， 后成为美国国防部长的 Robert Gates 于巴 黎和法国负责人进行了一系列自称是“透彻详尽的意见交流”洽谈：就一个严重分歧的处理 准则。 Now, as the Ukraine crisis lurches on, the Mistral sale is creating fresh ructions. At a meeting in Washington with John Kerry, America's secretary of state, this week, Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, found himself forced to defend it. Earlier this month, Victoria Nuland, Mr Kerry's assistant secretary, said she had “regularly and consistently expressed our concerns” about the sale. But Mr Fabius was having none of it. France, he said on May 13th, would take firmness lessons from nobody: “the rule with contracts is that contracts which have been signed are honoured.” 随着乌克兰危机事件的蔓延， “西北风” 军售合同再引骚动。 本周于华盛顿和美国国务卿 John Kerry 的会晤谈话上，法国外交部部长 Laurent Fabius 不得不为本国此举加以辩护。本月初， John Kerry 的秘书助理 Victoria Nuland 就称自己“一直对此次交易忧心忡忡” 。然而，法国 外交部部长 Laurent Fabius 却一点也不担忧。5 月 13 日，他还对外宣称法国向来自我立场坚 定，不受外界所动摇： “于此合同有一准则，那就是已签订的合同必须兑现” 。 At a moment when Europe and America are trying to co-ordinate sanctions against Russia, the timing is nonetheless embarrassing. The mighty Mistral-class vessels, 199m long, are not gunships. But their capacity to carry and land hundreds of soldiers and over a dozen armoured tanks and amphibious craft, as well as to transport some 16 helicopters, greatly enhances power projection. The first of the two ships, named the Vladivostok, will be ready for delivery to Russia in October this year; the second, more pointedly named the Sevastopol, in mid-2015. Next month 400 Russian naval staff will arrive for training in Saint-Nazaire, the French Atlantic port where the vessels are being built. 时值欧美强强联手制裁俄罗斯，现今的状况无疑是令人尴尬的。威力强大的“西风级”舰船 长达 199 米，却非炮艇。但是，它可容纳成千上百的士兵，承载几十架装甲坦克和两栖飞行 器，并能置放 16 架直升飞机，这大大提高了俄罗斯的力量投送能力。第一艘“西风级”舰 船名为 Vladivostok，预计今年 10 月将抵达俄罗斯；第二艘名字更加霸气，叫 Sevastopol， 预计 2015 年中期竣工。下月，400 名俄罗斯海军将抵达圣纳泽尔 Saint-Nazaire 开始接受训 练。圣纳泽尔是法国西部大西洋的港口城市，这批军舰也正是在此处修建的。
There are 400 jobs directly at stake at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard (which also built the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner), and over 1,000 that depend on the contract. The French state has a 33% stake in STX France, the shipyard owner, and orders from the French navy help keep it in work. At a time when unemployment is high, President Fran?ois Hollande can ill afford to put more jobs in peril. And breach of the 1.2 billion contract would entail a fat penalty payment to Russia, which has already settled half the price. Hence France's consistent refusal to contemplate anything other
than completing construction as planned. The contract, Mr Hollande repeated on May 10th, “is not in doubt”. 圣纳泽尔造船厂（也曾建造了玛丽女王 2 邮轮）如今过 400 份工作都直面危机，且过千种工 作的命运都直接掌控在法俄协议手上。 法国政府拥有船厂 STX France33%的股份，厂长与法 国海军的订单帮助巩固了政府的股份权。 眼下法国就业陷入低迷状态， 奥朗德总统当然不敢 轻易让更多的工作遭遇危机。此次合同交易额高达 120 万英镑（170 万美元） ，而若法国违 约，那么它将向俄罗斯支付巨额赔款，近乎一半交易额。因此，法国一而再再而三地拒绝深 入考虑其它事宜，只想按原计划完成舰船建造工程。Hollande 于 5 月 10 日多次强调，实施 合同“势在必行” 。 Could this change? Officials in Paris suggest that the only circumstances in which France might reconsider delivery would be an agreement with its allies to move to deeper “third-stage” sanctions, in such sectors as energy, finance and defence. But, say the French, this would have to include equally tough measures by, for instance, Britain against Russian assets in London. “There is an enormous amount of French ill-will towards the way the British are seen as having lived off the fat of Russia's oligarchs,” says Fran?ois Heisbourg, of the Foundation for Strategic Research. “The French will resist any idea that they take a unilateral hit.” 合同的执行会否出现转机呢？巴黎官员认为， 要想法国重新考虑武器交易一事， 唯一的可能 就是法国和同盟国就在能源、 经济及国防等领域 “三度” 制裁俄罗斯事件上达成协议。 不过， 法国也表示这必伴随着同等苛刻的举措，例如英反对俄在伦敦的资产。 “英国一直被视为寡 头政治执政者俄罗斯的寄生虫，对此法国向来是嗤之以鼻的。 ” 战略研究基金会的 Fran?ois Heisbourg 如是说。 “法国对外界任何称它在打单边战术的评点都一一加之反驳” 。 The French government will take a final decision in October, when the first vessel is ready for delivery, says Jean-Yves Le Drian, the defence minister. America may disapprove, but there is little domestic pressure to cancel the order, despite the Ukraine crisis. Mr Hollande has not withdrawn his invitation to Russia's Vladimir Putin to come to the 70th anniversary commemoration of the Normandy landings in June. There is almost no public or parliamentary debate in France over the warship sales, and both the political left and right are keeping quiet about any reservations they might have. Mr Hollande's Socialist government wants to avoid a fresh fiasco over jobs and industry. And the centre-right opposition party is keenly aware that the original contract was won by its own leader and former French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. 国防部部长 Jean-Yves Le Drian 发言，等到 10 月第一艘军舰竣工待要运往俄时，法国政府会 做出最后决策。 美国或许会反对。 然而法国境内， 尽管受乌克兰危机影响， 反对呼声并不高。 Hollande 也并未撤回对俄总统普金的邀请，届时欢迎普京参加诺曼底“6 月登陆”70 周年大 庆盛宴。在法国，此次军事武器交易活动几乎毫无异议，无论是公众之间还是议会内部，无 论是左翼党派，还是右翼党派，均守口如瓶，未发表任何个人意见。以 Hollande 为首的社 会主义政府不想陷入就业和工业萧条的漩涡中。 且中右翼反对党深刻意识到， 最初的合同是 由自己的领袖，即前法国总统 Nicolas Sarkozy 争取而来的。 2015-08-21 辉瑞-阿斯利康 信任问题 Pfizer and AstraZeneca
辉瑞-阿斯利康 A matter of trust 信任问题 British politicians are understating their nation's appeal to drugs firms 英国政客低估了英国对制药企业的吸引 IAN READ, the chief executive of Pfizer, an American-based drugs giant, says his company wants to go where it is welcome. Odd, then, that Pfizer persists in trying to make Britain its second home. Its attempt to acquire AstraZeneca, Britain's second-largest pharmaceuticals firm, and establish a tax residence in the country is running into fire from many directions. 辉瑞公司堪称制药界的巨头，其总部设置在美国，日前，首席执行官伊恩·雷德宣称，哪里 公司受欢迎，哪里就是发展方向。按这个说法，辉瑞执意将英国发展为第二个总部，这一举 动稍显离奇。 辉瑞收购英国第二大制药企业阿斯利康， 同时确立英国纳税居留权的企图在各 个方面都麻烦不断。 A few weeks ago Mr Read impressed David Cameron, the prime minister, with promises to keep jobs and production in Britain if a deal went through. But MPs who quizzed him on May 13th and 14th criticised these assurances as vague and insufficient. Pressed for more details, Mr Read said he could not supply them, as he had not yet seen AstraZeneca's books. He conceded that “there will be some jobs cut somewhere”, though he could not yet say where they would be. 几个星期前，雷德称如果收购进行的顺利，就保留英国的部分工作岗位和生产，这个承诺给 首相卡梅伦留下了不错的印象。但在 5 月 13 日、14 日对其进行质询的国会议员批评这些保 证太过含糊其辞，且并不充分。由于还未收到阿斯利康的名单，缺少很多细节，雷德称自己 不会透露过多信息给议员。雷德承认， “可能会进行全球裁员” ，但并未透露裁员具体地区。 MPs see worrying parallels with Pfizer's past acquisitions. After it bought Wyeth, an American drugmaker, in 2009 the new company's research and development budget was slashed from about 11 billion to 7 billion a year. If Pfizer and AstraZeneca were to merge, the combined R&D budget would be about 12 billion. Mr Read promises to place at least 20% of the new company's R&D staff in Britain. Even so, this could mean fewer jobs: he did not specify the total research workforce. 国会议员从辉瑞之前的收购中，看到了类似的担忧。在 2009 年，辉瑞收购美国制药公司惠 氏之后，合并的新公司的研究、发展预算由每年 110 亿美元（约合 70 亿英镑） ，削减到 70 亿美元。 如果辉瑞和阿斯利康合并了， 各项研、 发预算加起来将高达 120 亿美元。 雷德承诺， 至少划拨新公司 20%的研发人员留在英国。即使这样，这也意味着工作岗位的减少：他并 未对全体研究人员进行具体说明。 As The Economist went to press the firm was expected to raise and formalise its bid for AstraZeneca, currently at 63 billion. The government expects a sweeter offer, too. Mr Read's promises are just a “starting point” for negotiations, says Vince Cable, the business secretary, who wants more binding commitments. Others insist they should last longer than five years, as currently stipulated: drug development often takes decades. Mr Cameron now says he too is
unsatisfied. He and Ed Miliband, the Labour Party leader, are competing to sound tougher on Pfizer. 截止本刊发稿，辉瑞制药预期将提高其对阿斯利康的投标，并予以正式化，目前为止为投标 价为 630 亿英镑。英国政府也期待一个更为丰厚的条件。商务大臣文斯·凯博想得到更多有 约束力的承诺，他表示，雷德的承诺不过是谈判的“起点” 。还有人认为，这两家的拉锯战 可能持续五年以上，因为根据规定：医药发展常常耗时数十年之久。首相卡梅伦现在同样表 示，他也不满意。在辉瑞收购的问题上，他和工党党首埃德·米利班德就谁态度更强硬一较 高下。 Yet British politicians are understating the lure of their own country to drugs firms. R&D tax credits and a new “patent box”, which taxes profits from inventions registered in Britain at just 10%, are powerful draws, as are Britain's best universities. Indeed, even as politicians worry about losing jobs to America, lawmakers in America fear the opposite. The governors of Delaware and Maryland, where AstraZeneca operates, are seeking assurances from Pfizer similar to those given to Mr Cameron. Mr Read has so far demurred. 然而英国政客都低估了英国对制药企业的吸引力。英国的发明注册仅仅耗费了约 10%的利 润，包括研发税务减免，以及一项新专利研发经费，如此这般，对英国的顶尖大学而言，是 个强有力的拉动。确实，正如政客担心工作岗位流入美国，美国的政客也担心同样的事情。 阿斯利康在美国特拉华州和马里兰州有分部， 这两个州的州长也在寻求辉瑞给英国同样的保 证。目前为止，雷德表示拒绝。 A further reason for optimism is that AstraZeneca has already done much of the dirty work that might be expected of Pfizer should a deal be done. Over the last seven years the firm has cut 5,100 jobs in Britain and closed a research lab in Cheshire. Last year, due largely to lost revenue from an expiring patent, it did not pay British corporation tax. Most of its workforce and drug development are abroad: see article 辉瑞持乐观态度的深层次原因是， 本该由辉瑞为收购该做的不少苦活累活， 阿斯利康已经替 它做了。过去七年间，阿斯利康在英国已经裁员 5100 名，还关闭了一个在柴郡的实验室。 去年，由于一项专利即将期满，阿斯利康损失大笔收入，也就没有缴纳英国公司所得税。大 部分员工和药物研发都流入海外：点击此处查看原文 AstraZeneca's boss, Pascal Soriot, has so far rebuffed Pfizer. He has tried to convince investors and British politicians that, after years of lagging behind competitors, AstraZeneca is now better off on its own. He touts a pipeline of potentially lucrative cancer drugs and warns darkly that a merger would lead to delays and perhaps deaths. British lawmakers seem inclined to protect their “crown jewel”, as one MP put it. But they will find it hard to stop a deal. The final decision will rest with the company's shareholders, many of whom are eager to see Pfizer's next offer. 阿斯利康 CEO 帕斯卡尔· 索里奥特仍然拒绝辉瑞的收购。 他试图让投资者和英国政客相信， 虽然落后其竞争对手很多年， 但阿斯利康自己情况已经有所好转。 他吹嘘自己有渠道搞到治 疗癌症的药物，可能获利巨大，但是警告说并购会带来延缓甚至死亡。一名议员此前称，英 国政客目前似乎并不想再捍卫其“最高权杖” 。但是他们会发现，终止并购非常困难。最终 的决定取决于阿斯利康的各个股东，他们中有不少人热切的盼望着辉瑞的下一次开价。 2015-08-23
法国消费者 法国制造 French consumers 法国消费者 Made in France, not 法国制造，真的吗？ What a new love of shopping malls says about French society 购物中心的新宠如何评价法国社会 WITH polished stone floors and a plate-glass roof, a shimmering multi-storey shopping mall has just opened beside a motorway north of Paris. Named Qwartz, and costing 300m ($510m), it houses 165 shops and what developers call “eating concepts”. Two other American-style shopping malls opened in the greater Paris region last year, and a third, So Ouest, in 2012. A country that prides itself on chic designer boutiques and artisanal shops seems to be turning into one of mall rats. 一个带有抛光的石质地板和平面屋顶、 闪闪发亮的多层购物中心刚刚在巴黎北边的高速公路 旁开业。 这个名叫 Qwartz 的购物中心， 斥资 30 亿欧元 （约合 51 亿美元） ， 拥有 165 家商铺， 并且正在发展“饮食理念” 。另外两家美式风格的购物中心去年在大巴黎地区开业，第三家 名为 So Ouest 的购物中心于 2012 年开业。一个以时尚设计精品店和手工店为傲的国家如今 似乎正向繁多的购物街转变。 Partly this is just catching up. Until recently, strict planning rules stopped big out-of-town shopping centres around the French capital. Most malls that existed, such as Vé lizy 2 or Rosny 2, dated from the 1970s, when five new towns were built in the Paris suburbs. But a new relaxed attitude has now let more modern projects go ahead. 这种现象的一部分原因是赶时髦。 截至最近， 法国首都严格的计划规则将大型外来购物中心 拒之门外。 大多数像 Vélizy 2 或 Rosny 2 那样的购物街是从上世纪 70 年代就在巴黎存在了， 那时正值巴黎城郊新建了五个小镇。但是一个新的随意态度让更多现代项目得以进行。 It also points to two features of French society that escape the gaze of historic Paris. One is most shoppers' suburban way of life. Only 2.2m people live in the capital itself. Yet the greater Paris region, excluding the city, counts over four times more inhabitants, many in small towns and car-dependent suburbs. The new malls, ringed by car parks, are handy, even alluring. Fully 62% of the French told one poll that malls were their favourite places to shop, ahead of the high street or traditional department stores. 这也表明了法国社会常被历史悠久的巴黎忽视的两个特点。 一个是大多数购物者的郊区生活 方式。只有 220 万人住在首都里。但是大巴黎地区，不包括城区，居民超过首都四倍，其中 很多人住在小城镇和以汽车代步的郊区。新型购物中心被停车位环绕，非常方便，甚至非常 有吸引力。足足有 62%的法国人在一项民意调查中透露相比正统商业街和传统百货商店， 购物中心是他们购物的最爱。 The other trend is the global taste of consumers. Besides a huge French hypermarket, Qwartz's big
pull is Primark, an Irish cheap-fashion retailer, and Marks & Spencer, a British chain. Just down the road, So Ouest boasts Hollister, an American surfwear brand, Starbucks, an American coffee house, and ubiquitous foreign fashion chains such as H&M (Swedish) and Zara (Spanish). In today's temples of consumption, global is a la mode. 另一个流行趋势是全球顾客的品味。除了一个大型法国大规模超级市场，Qwartz 主要是由 爱尔兰的廉价流行零售店 Primark 和英国连锁 Marks & Spencer 来支撑。在 So Ouest 购物中 心的尽头，充斥着美国冲浪服品牌 Hollister 和美国咖啡屋 Starbucks，还有无处不在的外国 流行连锁店如 H&M（瑞典） ，还有 Zara（西班牙） 。在如今消费圣殿里，全球化正大行其道。 This is not quite the France favoured by Arnaud Montebourg, the industry minister and architect of a “Made in France” campaign. He is now trying to keep American hands off Alstom, the French maker of TGV fast trains. He once posed cheerfully for a magazine, dressed in a striped Breton top and holding a Moulinex food-blender. 这种潮流并未让推崇法国的工业部长阿诺·蒙特布格退却，他还要策划“法国制造”运动。 现在他正努力阻止美国插手 TGV 高速货车制造商 Alstom。他还曾身着布列塔尼上衣、手举 万能牌食物搅拌器容光焕发地登上一本杂志。 Yet even French brands are not always home-made, as Benjamin Carle, a reporter, discovered filming a television documentary about his efforts to live for a year using only products made in France. The result was comic—and sobering. Not only was it impossible to find some items, including a fridge and coffee. Mr Carle initially had to empty his flat of anything that did not meet the test of 50% of its value being made in France. Out went the bicycle, computer, guitar, most of the furniture, beer, clothes, toothbrush and more. The share of his stuff that qualified as French-made? Just 4.5%. 但正如记者本杰明· 卡尔拍摄的电视纪录探索片讲述的一样， 即使是法国品牌也不一定是法 国制造。这部片子是记录他只用法国制造的商品生活的一年。结果很有趣也很严峻。不仅仅 是因为法国没有制造像冰箱和咖啡这样的商品。 卡尔最初还必须清空他的公寓， 因为没有东 西符合“法国制造”的测试要求，即价值的至少一半要是法国制造。除了自行车、电脑。吉 他，大多家具、啤酒、衣物、牙刷等等都不是法国制造。他的东西有多少符合法国制造的定 义呢？只有 4.5%。 2015-08-25 投票习惯 搬家与选票 Voting habits 投票习惯 Movers and voters 搬家与选票 Why moving house makes people more right-wing 为何搬家会让人更右翼 DO PEOPLE move to Conservative bastions in shires and small-town England because they tend
to vote Tory? Or do they vote for David Cameron's party because they live in Tory strongholds? A forthcoming paper by Patrick Sturgis of Southampton University, Frank Buscha of Westminster University and others examines how people's political views change as they move house. 人们是因为想投票给保守党才搬到郡下和英格兰小镇上的保守党据点， 还是因为他们居住在 保守党据点所以才投票给大卫· 卡梅隆所在的政党？在一篇即将发表的文章中，英国南安 普顿大学的帕特里克· 斯特吉斯以及威斯敏斯特大学的弗兰克· 布施等人对民众政治观点变 化与住所迁移的关系进行了研究。 Mr Sturgis and his colleagues are particularly interested in the effect of moving to safe Conservative or Labour seats from any other kind. They found that the longer people live in bits of Britain that overwhelmingly vote Conservative, the more likely they are to support that party (see chart). People who move to safe Labour seats do not become more left-wing, though. 尤其令斯特吉斯和他的同事们感兴趣的是， 从其他地区搬到保守党或工党稳定支持地区 （对 民众政治观点）所产生的影响。他们发现，人们在英国一些压倒性支持保守党的地区居住的 时间越长，就越倾向于支持该党。而搬到工党稳定支持地区的人们并不会变得更左翼。 Social and economic factors such as income, age and marital status affect people's decisions about where to move, and also influence the way they vote. But the researchers tried to control for this. They still found that people tend to grow more right-wing the longer they live in Tory seats. 诸如收入、年龄和婚姻状况之类的社会与经济因素都会对人们想搬到哪里的决定产生影响， 同时也会影响到他们的投票方式。 研究者尝试对这些因素进行控制， 但他们依然发现长期居 住在保守党据点的人们会变得更加右翼。 One explanation is that Conservatives are better at nudging newcomers to join their tribe. Safe Labour seats tend to be urban, mobile and socially diverse, so people who move to them may feel less compelled to fit in. Another possibility is that people who move to Labour strongholds are already so left-wing that it is difficult for them to become stronger supporters of the party. 一种解释是保守党更擅长吸收新来者加入他们的阵营。 工党稳定支持地区多为流动性更强且 社会多元化的城市，搬至此地的人们或许觉得并不需要完全融入其中。另一种可能性是，搬 到工党据点的人们已经很左翼，很难让他们进一步支持该党。 Safe seats do not determine the outcome of elections, so this pattern matters little in the short term, suggests Peter Kellner, head of YouGov, a polling firm. But it will matter eventually. Britain may be succumbing to a process known in America as “the big sort”, which has been blamed for growing political polarisation in that country. A Conservative victory in 2015 that secures few seats in northern England or Scotland, or a Labour win that leaves the south coloured deep blue, would not be healthy for democracy. 民治调查机构（YouGov）的负责人彼得·科尔表示，稳得席位并不代表选举稳操胜券，因 而这种模式在短期内影响甚微，但最终仍将（对选举结果）产生影响。英国或将步美国“大 类”之后尘，后者因日趋严峻的政治两极化而备受指责。2015 大选，若保守党胜利则能保 证北英格兰或苏格兰的一些席位， 若工党获胜则将使南部着上深蓝色， 这都不利于民主的健 康发展。 2015-08-27
德国政府 简单政治糟糕政策 Germany's government 德国政府 Easy politics, bad policies 简单的政治，糟糕的政策 By indulging her Social Democratic coalition partners, Angela Merkel risks turning Germany in the wrong direction 安格拉默克尔对其社会民主党盟友的纵容，使德国正在一个错误的方向中上演“步步惊心” ANGELA MERKEL, Germany's chancellor, is popular because Germans see her as a steady hand. In her first term, between 2005 and 2009, she coped with financial turmoil emanating from America. In her second, from 2009 to 2013, she kept the euro crisis at bay. In her third term, now in its fifth month, she is Europe's leader in confronting Russia over Ukraine. 德国总理安格拉默克尔以其强硬果敢的政治手段而深得民心。 在她的第一任期 2005-2009 年 间，积极应对美国金融危机带来的影响。在其第二任期 2009-2013 年间，她竭力使德国避开 欧元危机。其第三任期，如今已是第五个月了，她是欧洲就乌克兰问题与俄罗斯对峙的领导 者。 At home, however, she is less sure. She could be ambitious. As in her first term, she is in a “grand coalition” of the two biggest groups in parliament: her own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) with its Bavarian sister party on the centre-right, and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) on the centre-left. The opposition has just one-fifth of the seats, and consists of two parties with little credibility. The smaller is the Greens, still squabbling after their defeat in September's election. The larger is the ex-communist Left Party. Its parliamentary leader, Gregor Gysi, is easily the Bundestag's most entertaining and witty speaker, but that is largely because he is unburdened by any responsibility. 然而在国内，她还并不确定，她能如此雄心勃勃。在她的第一个任期内，她是议会中两大组 织——她自身所在的基督教民主联盟（CDU）和其巴伐利亚姐妹党（注）代表的中右派以 及社会民主党（SPD）代表的中左派，结成的“大联盟”中的一员。反对党只有五分之一的 席位，并且还因缺乏信任分成两个组织。规模较小的是绿党，自从在九月的选举中失利后就 一直争论不休。较大的组织是前共产主义左翼党。左翼党在议会的领导人葛雷格吉西，是国 联邦议院中最幽默机智的发言人，但是这些很大程度上是由于其不用肩负任何责任。 During her previous grand coalition Mrs Merkel made one big domestic reform. In Europe's fastest-ageing country, she raised the retirement age from 65 to 67. Sadly, there is less method in the seeming madness of the present coalition's opening salvo of policies—what Germans are calling Ref?rmchen, or “reformlets”. One of these again affects pensions, but in the opposite direction, lowering the retirement age for certain workers to 63, and perhaps even to 61 if years in unemployment are counted. Economists and employers are screaming foul. So are 50 of the 311 parliamentarians from Mrs Merkel's own centre-right camp, who fear the economy will suffer. 在她早期的联盟党生涯中，默克尔发起过一次国内改革。在欧洲老龄化速度最快的国家，她
将退休年龄从 65 提升至 67。不幸的是，如今大联盟的政策改革序幕看似疯狂，但是改革方 式却更少了——这种德国人称作 Ref?rmchen 或是“迷你改革” 。其中一项又再次牵涉到养老 金，但反过来说，若是失业年数在统计在内，可将某些工人的退休年龄降低至 63，甚至可 能至 61。经济学家和雇主们对此打呼不公。由此，默克尔中右翼阵营的 311 位国会议员中 有 50 位担忧他们的经济会受到冲击。 Another Ref?rmchen is to introduce a national minimum wage for the first time, of 8.50 ($11.72). This will affect about 14% of workers nationwide and 20% in the less productive former East Germany, according to a study by three economists at universities in Magdeburg, Berlin and Dresden. When Britain introduced a minimum wage in 1999, it affected only 5% of workers. Germany's wage floor would barely increase incomes of poor workers, because they would lose welfare top-ups, the study says. But it could mean that as many as 900,000 lose their jobs. And it could stop young people (over 18 but under 21) getting good training and permanent jobs at all. 另一项迷你改革就是第一次导入 8.50 ($11.72)的全国性的最低工资。 根据一项来自马格德堡， 柏林和德累斯顿大学的三位经济学家的调查发现，这将影响到全国范围内 14％左右的工人 和生产力较低的前东德的 20％。当英国于 1999 年发布了最低工资，这一举措仅影响了 5％ 的工人。 德国的最低工资几乎不会增加贫困工人的收入， 研究表明其原因是他们会失去优渥 的福利。 但是这并不意味着有多达 90 万的人会失业。 而且， 它将从根本上阻碍年轻人 （18-21 岁之间）获得更好的历练以及永久的工作。 In energy, Germany is trying to switch from nuclear and fossil-fuel sources to sun, wind and biomass. But it is not going well. Electricity prices are going up; German companies are losing ground to foreign rivals; and carbon emissions are rising, not falling. Deep reform is needed to the huge and inflexible subsidies for renewables, which will cost 24 billion this year. Instead, the cabinet is making another Ref?rmchen, tweaking the system in ways that consumers and firms will not notice. 从能源方面看，德国正努力从核能和化石能源转向太阳能、风能和生物能。但是这条路走得 并不顺利。电力价格持续增长，德国的公司也正日渐落后于国外的竞争对手 ，并且碳的排 放量只增不减。对可再生能源的定期大量补贴需要深化改革，这在今年将花费 240 亿。相反 地 ，内阁正谋划另一项迷你改革，以消费者和企业都不会关注的方式来调整系统。 The government has also intervened messily in the property market, where rents are rising fast in some cities. It will cap increases in rent when re-letting flats to at most 10% of the rental average in the relevant district. The rules are still vague. But that hasn't stopped landlords from panicking and raising rents as high as they can in anticipation. Investors who were planning to build new housing are thinking again. 政府还极其混乱的干预了房地产市场， 使得某些城市的租金疯长。 这将使相关地区的再出售 楼盘的租金最高达到平均租金的 10％。虽然规则仍然是模糊的，但那并没有让房东感到恐 慌， 同时他们也以预想的不断提高租金。 这使得计划建造新住房的投资者们重新考虑这些计 划。 A rare positive change concerns dual-citizenship laws, which Germany will liberalise. Currently, children of foreign parents (those from outside the European Union) who were born in Germany have to choose between their passports before their 23rd birthday. Germany's large Turkish
population is especially affected. In future such people may keep both passports, so long as they can show that they “grew up” (for at least eight years) in Germany. This still involves bureaucratic hassles. But it is at least a step forward. 德国将施行一种罕见的涉及到双重国籍法律的积极改变。目前，那些外国父母（来自欧盟以 外国家）生在德国的孩子，在其 23 岁之前必须选择其护照归属。尤其是德国大量的土耳其 人口会因此受到影响。在未来，这类人群只要能证明他们在德国“长大” （至少 8 年）就可 能保持两国护照。这还涉及到一些官场的争辩。但这至少是一种进步。 These Ref?rmchen have two things in common. First, polls suggest they are popular. Second, they are part of the SPD's wish list and are driven mainly by its ministers. The pension changes and minimum wage are being pushed by Andrea Nahles, the labour minister; renewables reform comes under Sigmar Gabriel, the energy and economy minister; rent caps and dual citizenship fall to Heiko Maas, the justice minister (although he co-ordinates with the Christian Democratic interior minister, Thomas de Maiziè re.) 这些“迷你改革”有两个共同点。第一，民意检测表明这些是深得人心的。第二，这些都是 SPD 愿望清单的一部分并且主要由其部长们发动。养老金的改革和最低工资政策是由安德 蕾亚· 纳勒斯——联邦劳工及社会事务部部长负责； 可再生能源改革是能源与经济部长西马 格·加布里尔负责；租金上限和双重国籍事项则由司法部长海科·马斯负责（尽管他与基民 党内政部长 Thomas de Maizière 协调处理） 。 This seems odd. The SPD ought to be the weaker partner in the coalition, having won only 25.7% of the vote in September against 41.5% for the centre-right. But the SPD extracted some big concessions as a price for entering the coalition, in hopes of showing the voters that they had made their mark. That strategy could backfire. The SPD will soon run out of pet projects. By 2017 voters may have forgotten their initial activity; or the Ref?rmchen will prove damaging and help the CDU instead. 这似乎有些怪异。SPD 应该在大联盟中扮演较弱的角色，在九月的选举投票中仅一 25.7％ 的支持率与中右翼 41.5％对抗。但是 SPD 为加入大联盟采取了很大的让步，并希望向选民 展示他们正努力实现规定的目标。这样的策略可能会适得其反。SPD 即将完成其偏好型项 目。2017 年，选民可能已然忘记他们最开始的活动，或是“迷你改革”将破坏 SPD 的努力 同时因此而帮助到了 CDU。 But the SPD is not the only one running risks. The CDU, Germany's largest party, no longer stands for anything recognisable. Its longest-serving minister, Wolfgang Sch?uble at finance, boasts that he will in 2015 propose the first balanced budget in 45 years. But that achievement owes much both to reforms that Germany made many years ago and to low interest rates. 但是 SPD（社民党）不是唯一一个行进在危机中的党派。德国最大的政党基民盟（CDU） ， 不再代表任何人。它的在职时间最长的部长 Wolfgang Sch?uble 在金融方面吹嘘说，他将在 2015 年提出 45 年来首个预算平衡。但是那些成就很大程度上归功于德国早先的改革和低利 率的施行。 Aart De Geus of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, a think-tank, worries that reversing previous reforms and adopting growth-unfriendly new ones may mean that Germany squanders much of its past progress. Over ten years have passed since Gerhard Schr?der's Agenda 2010 reforms helped
transform a country beset by high unemployment into today's powerful economy. Now Germany is near the bottom of the league for reform. For a high-cost country with gloomy demographic prospects, that is deeply worrying. 贝塔斯曼基金会的 Aart De Geus（一个智囊团） ，担忧改变先前的改革并且采取新的增长不 友好型的方式可能意味着德国在挥霍着过去的进步。十多年以来，由于 Gerhard Schr?der's Agenda 在 2010 年的改革， 以高失业率帮助一个身处困境的国家摇身一变成如今的经济强国。 如今的德国身处改革联盟的最底部。 对于一个人口前景黯淡的高成本国家， 改革更是让人忧 心忡忡。 2015-08-29 穆斯林与教育 宗教学习 Muslims and education 穆斯林与教育 Religious studies 宗教学习 Giving schools more autonomy and encouraging religious groups to run them will produce the occasional disaster 给与学校过多自治权并鼓励宗教组织经营学校都有可能带来灾难 In Birmingham, the watchers weren't watching 在伯明翰，观察者们并没有尽到责任。 IT IS known as the Trojan Horse plot, but it may have been less subtle. Late in 2013 an anonymous letter was uncovered, outlining a hardline Muslim plan to “overthrow” teachers and governors in several Birmingham state schools and replace them with people who would run the schools on orthodox Islamic lines. The furore has grown, eventually involving Peter Clarke, once the head of counter-terrorism in London's Metropolitan Police, who will lead a government investigation. 穆斯林曾以特洛伊木马的剧情而闻名，但如今已经不再那么敏感了。2013 年末一封匿名信 被曝光， 大致描述了一个强硬派穆斯林的计划， 这项计划针对于一些伯明翰公立学校 “推翻” 教师和政府， 并且让可以以正统伊斯兰教习俗来经营学校的人来取而代之。 这已经激起民愤 并难以平息， 终牵涉到了皮特克拉克， 他是将牵头一个政府调查的前伦敦都市警察反恐领头 人。 The letter may be a fake, but something has certainly gone wrong in Birmingham's schools. Leaked reports about several academies (schools that are state-funded but independently run) by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, suggest that in some classrooms boys and girls are seated apart, that sex education is ignored and the theory of evolution dismissed. Ofsted is investigating 25 schools in the city. This is more than a local problem, because it hints at flaws in England's otherwise rather commendable education reforms. What has gone wrong in Birmingham is related to what has gone right elsewhere.
信件或许可以造假， 但是伯明翰的学校确实已经有些不对劲了。 学校检查机关英国教育标准 局关于几所学校（虽是公立学校但是独立经营）的报告被泄露，报告指出一些教室男孩女孩 是分开坐的，性教育被忽视并且进化论也被驳回。教育标准局正在调查伯明翰 25 所学校。 这已经不仅仅是地方问题了， 因为这意味着英国原本被值得称道的教育改革出现了裂痕。 在 伯明翰出现的问题或许是别的地方还未被发现的问题。 The last, Labour, government set some schools free from control by local authorities, which had often run them shoddily. The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition that has run Britain since 2010 has gone much further. About 60% of secondary schools are now independent academies. A further 173 are “free schools”, never under local-government control. Parents and local business folk have been encouraged to become more involved in running schools. So too have religious groups. 最后， 工党和政府建立了一些学校来摆脱地方当局的控制， 因为地方当局对于经营学校一直 都不上心。保守党和自由民主党联合政府自 2010 年掌控英国以来已经获得很大成就。大约 60%的中学如今已成为独立学院。还有 173 所学校是“自由院校” ，不在地方当局管控之下。 联合政府鼓励家长和当地商业人士更加致力于参与经营学校。这也同样鼓励了宗教组织。 Their influence is both formal and informal. Formally, Anglicans, Catholics and Jews, who have long run state schools, are being joined by others. Between 2011 and 2013 there were 831 applications to open free schools. The British Humanist Association, a secular outfit, has identified the religious affiliation—or lack thereof—of 659 of the applicants. They include 32 linked to the Church of England, almost half of which were approved. Fully 80 Muslim groups applied to run schools, although just five were granted approval (none of the schools under review in Birmingham is a religious school). 他们以正规和非正规的方式影响着办校问题。 正式来讲， 一直以来经营公立学校的圣公会信 徒、天主教徒和犹太教徒，正得到其他人的积极加入。在 2011 年至 2013 年期间关于开设自 由院校有 831 份申请。英国人文主义协会（一个民间机构）已从中确定 659 份申请的宗教信 仰与否。这其中包括 32 份与英国国教有关联，而这 32 份申请有一半已经被比准。尽管只有 5 份穆斯林组织申请获得批准（这 5 份伯明翰审查的申请无一是宗教学校） ，但还有整整 80 份穆斯林组织申请经营学校。 Informally, Muslim parents are becoming more involved in schools of all sorts. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets, the Collective of Bangladeshi School Governors encourages it. Ibrahim Mogra, a Leicester imam who has served as a governor in several schools, says that religious schools are unnecessary: instead, Muslim parents should keep in touch with schools to ensure that the curriculum is taught in a way that does not cause anxiety. 同时，穆斯林家长正以各种非正规方式渗透进学校。在伦敦陶尔哈姆莱茨区，孟加拉国学校 理事团体鼓励这种渗透。 曾在几个学校就职理事的莱斯特伊玛目易卜拉欣· 莫格拉称宗教学 校的设立没有必要； 相反， 穆斯林家长应该与学校保持联系以确保课程的进行不会造成恐慌。 Much of this is to the good. Bangladeshis' exam results have improved so dramatically in recent years that they now outscore whites in GCSE exams taken at 16—astonishing for a mostly working-class group. But there have been calamities, too. An explicitly Muslim free secondary school in Derby was closed earlier this year following criticism of poor education standards and
discrimination towards female staff. Muslim schools are trickier to handle than Anglican or Catholic ones, because British Islam varies so much in interpretation. Without clear structures of central authority, schools vary, and zealots can spy an opportunity to take over. 境况大大的好转。孟加拉国人的考试结果近年来提高得惊人，如今在 16 岁学生参加的普通 中等教育证书考试中得分已经超过白人学生， 这让以工薪阶层为主的人们震惊了。 但这也带 来了灾难。 德比一所正统穆斯林自由中学因外界对其关于糟糕的教育标准和歧视女性员工的 批评于今年早些时候关闭。 穆斯林学校的问题比英国国教和天主教学校更加棘手， 因为英国 的伊斯兰有太多不同的说法。中央集权若没有明确的教育结构，学校就会变化，狂热者们也 会等待机会将这些学校取而代之。 The Birmingham affair has also highlighted gaps in the inspection regime. The Department for Education is responsible for free schools and academies, but as their numbers soar it is increasingly hard to keep track of what is going on in them. Sir Michael Wilshaw, Ofsted's head, has argued that as schools become more autonomous some kind of stronger local oversight is needed, so that problems can be caught and dealt with more quickly. 伯明翰事务也凸显出了检视机制之间的鸿沟。 教育部门对自由院校和学校负有责任， 但当这 些院校的数量飞涨的时候，追踪它们的状况就会变得愈发困难。教育标准局带头人麦克·威 尔萧强调学校越来越自治便需要更强的当地监管，因此便能更加快速找出并解决问题。 Even if that happens, the difficulty of running any kind of religiously inspired school in an increasingly secular country grows. Politicians have smiled on faith schools. Many do not. A poll last year by YouGov put popular support for state funding of religious schools at just 32%. 即使灾难发生， 在这个越发世俗的国家经营任何受宗教影响的学校都不是易事并且难度越来 越大。政治家们对教会学校持乐观态度。但很多人却并非如此。YouGov（英国的民调机构） 去年就支持国家资助宗教学校的支持率举行了一项民意调查，仅有 32%的人支持这项资助。 2015-08-31 乡村宽带 埋入地下 Rural broadband 乡村宽带 Going underground 埋入地下 Frustrated country-dwellers build their own internet connections 无奈的乡下居民自行建立网络连接 Hold on—I'll try you on Skype 别挂，我再试试 Skype FUSION splicing is a technique network engineers use to string together optical fibres. It is not a skill that Christine Conder, a 60-year-old farmer's wife, ever expected to learn. But with borrowed tools and a little training most people can pick up the basics. “It's only like knitting,” she says.
熔接是网络工程师用来把光纤接在一起的一门技术。年届 60 的农家妇克里斯汀娜·康德从 没想到自己将会学习这门技术。但只要借来了工具，稍微培训一下，大多数人都能掌握基本 要领。康德说： “这就像编织活儿一样。 ” For years Mrs Conder and her neighbours in the Lune Valley, in rural Lancashire, waited for telecoms firms to upgrade their sluggish internet connections. In 2011 they decided to do it for themselves. Their organisation, called Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), has sold shares worth more than ￡1m ($1.7m) to buy ducts and cables for volunteers to install. Because younger residents are commonly busy with jobs and families, local pensioners have done much of the digging, says Mrs Conder: “Some are getting sixpacks for the first time in years.” 康德夫人和她同住在兰开夏郡乡村半月谷的邻居们等待电信公司来升级他们龟速的网络连 接已经多年了。2011 年他们决心自己动手。他们组建的名为北方农村宽带（B4RN）组织已 卖出价值超过一百万英镑（一百七十万美元）的股票来购买管道和电缆来供志愿者们安装。 康德夫人说， 由于年轻的居民通常都忙于工作和家庭， 所以当地退休者承担了大部分挖掘的 工作。 “有些人因此都头一次练出了腹肌。 ” Enthusiasts say that locally owned networks such as B4RN—also known as “altnets”—could eventually connect many thousands of rural communities. Going it alone looks particularly tempting to the unlucky 5-10% of Britons who are probably too far-flung to benefit from the more than ￡ 1 billion in subsidies that the government is giving BT, the former state telecoms monopoly, to extend its high-speed network outside Britain's towns. And whereas BT has focused on cranking up the speeds it delivers through existing copper telephone wires, most altnets are plugging houses directly into optical cables that can provide some of the fastest connections in the world. 热衷者说像 B4RN 这样的地方所有网络（也被称为 altnets，自选网络）最终将会连接成千上 万的农村社区。自己动手对于不走运的 5—10%的英国人来说很有吸引力。政府为前国家电 信垄断公司 BT 在英国城镇外延伸高速网络提供超过 1 亿英镑的补助， 而这部分英国人住得 也许太过偏远以至于不能从中受益。鉴于 BT 工作重心在于在已有的网线上提速，大多数的 altnets 都直接将宽带牵入房屋，为他们提供世界上最快速的网络连接之一。 To grow beyond a mere curiosity, though, Britain's altnets need more help. B4RN is a case in point. In two years its volunteers have laid 200km of cable, and wired up around 400 homes, without any taxpayer money. But to shore up the network they must now dig their cable under the River Lune. Until they raise more cash to dig a tunnel—perhaps as much as ￡50,000—that project is stalled. 然而要继续发展证明不是一时兴起， 英国 altnets 需要更多帮助。 B4RN 就是一个恰当的例子。 没花纳税人一分钱，志愿者在两年内铺设了 200 千米的电缆，约 400 家已联通。但想要支撑 整个网络。 他们现在还需要在半月河河床下铺设电缆。 在他们筹备到足够的钱——也许多达 5 万英镑——来挖隧道之前，这个工程将停滞不前。 Politicians are supportive, in principle. Last year the coalition government found ￡20m to help local initiatives solve just such problems. A lot of it went unspent. That is because many of the local authorities responsible for overseeing the rural roll-out have yet to confirm for certain which farms and villages will be left out of BT's state-subsidised work. Until they do, even miserly grants are suspended, for fear that some spots will end up with a double dose of public funds.
政治家们在原则上是支持的。 去年联合政府设立了两千万英镑的基金来提高地方积极性以解 决类似的问题。 大量基金都还没有被使用， 因为很多监督农村转出的地方机构还没完全确定 哪些农场和乡村不在 BT 政府补贴工作网内。在这之前，因恐怕一些地区将会得到双份公共 资金，即便是小额支出也被暂停了。 MPs are livid. In early April politicians on the public accounts committee urged the government to make sure coverage plans are available for every postcode. BT has argued that it is still surveying some areas, and that publishing the most comprehensive forecasts would reveal its methods to rivals. Critics say its vagueness is designed to frustrate initiatives that threaten its incumbency. Lately it has grown more forthcoming. But local authorities are also hesitant to let on who will and who will not be included in the roll-out, at least while the details may change. 国会议员很愤怒。 四月初， 政府账目委员会的政客们呼吁政府确认联网计划能覆盖到每个地 区。 BT 争辩道他们还在调查某些区域， 公布最全面的预测会把他们的方法泄露给竞争对手。 评论家说 BT 的含糊其辞是设计好用来打击地方积极性的，因为它们威胁到了 BT 的工作任 务。 最近预测变得更到位了， 但地方机构也在犹豫要不要透露每个地区是否包含在转出范围 内，毕竟有些细节变化会影响整个工作。 Mrs Conder says that B4RN will cross the river “no matter what it takes” . But thieves who made off with ￡14,000 of kit in December pinched a little of its confidence. Local bigwigs have not always helped—rail bosses have refused B4RN permission to lay fibre over a bridge they own. 康德夫人说 B4RN“无论如何”都将过河。但 12 月份一伙携价值 14,000 英镑设备潜逃的窃 贼使这个保证受到了些许打击。 地方权贵也并不一定提供帮助——铁老大们拒绝许可 B4RN 铺设的电缆跨越他们拥有的一架桥。 Her own connection, at least, will soon be up and running. Broadband firms would charge many thousands of pounds to bring ultra-fast internet to the farm; B4RN customers pay ￡150 to plug in. It has cost her much more in time and energy. 至少她自己的网络连接很快就要开始正常使用了。 宽带公司将收取成千上万英镑将极速网络 引入农场来。而 B4RN 的顾客只需付费 150 英镑来联网。她花费更多的是时间和精力。