2003年10月03日

変な写真。

nlab02.jpg

英国の新聞の政治欄って,まともにバストショットとかの写真よりこういうようなのが多いような印象がある。

労働党党大会の詳しい話は夜が明けてからということで。

ほい,テレグラフ。(最近よく読む。)http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2003/10/02/do0202.xml

Give us value for money, Tony – not tears
By Boris Johnson
(Filed: 02/10/2003)


Oi Blair no! I don't know how you reacted to that emetic moment when the Prime Minister started talking about how much "older and tougher" he was, but I was fit to be tied. Cut it out, you big wuss, I roared, and started gurning at the TV like Martin Keown. "More battered but stronger within," Mr Blair said, of himself. What does he mean, more battered? Is he a piece of cod? If so, he is the piece of cod which passeth all understanding. How dare this mincing poodlefaker stand up and start confiding to the nation about his emotional journey of the past six years?

We don't want to know whether you think you look older, you big girl's blouse. We want to know what plans you have to improve the lot of the British electorate. And there I was in mid-harrumph, having probably turned the colour of an aubergine, when out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a female colleague. She was also watching Blair's nauseatingly narcissistic performance.

But I was stunned to see that there were tears in her eyes. These were real tears, not the synthetic lacrimations of the Prime Minister. They were great brimming planets of empathy agglobulating on her eyelids.

Oi! No! I began to shout at her; and then I paused, as her mascara went irretrievably runny, and I turned my shout to a cough, and a blackness descended. It suddenly hit me that perhaps the fault does not lie with Blair. Perhaps it's me. Maybe I am out of date in my emotional repertoire.

It seems possible that I have failed to adapt to the Age of Diana, which Blair inaugurated with such chin-wobbling brilliance in 1997. I have not read enough Susie Orbach. I am not sufficiently Feng Shui.

Perhaps that's the problem with chaps like me: in so far as we are in touch with our feelings, it is only the odd postcard, now and then, of a strictly formulaic kind, each hoping the other is keeping on top of things.

And maybe, I thought, that has all got to change. I reflected on the events of next week, and the coming Tory fightback; and in my despair, I thought, well, perhaps Iain Duncan Smith will have to learn to emote like Tony. He must work out how to reach out and so tug the heart-strings of the woman on my left that she cries again, next Thursday, during his climactic address.

It was Picasso who said that a thousand crying women could rule the world, and he was surely right. And as I pondered how Iain could do it, perhaps taking out a small onion, or pinching himself hard during his peroration, I became aware not just of the absurdity of this strategy, but of its impossibility.

No, it won't work, I decided. We can't beat Blair at acting. In the production of schmaltz, no one can beat the schmaltzmeister. We'll just have to carry on presenting ourselves to the electorate as a party that is solid, unflashy, not spectacularly emotionally literate, but simply offering to govern the country better than Labour.

To those that ask, what are your policies? Where are your themes? I offer you, this week, one theme, and one policy, which is quite enough to be going on with. The theme is Taxpayer Value, which this column is proud to have helped introduce.

As Shadow Chief Secretary Howard Flight has pointed out, tax and spending have both risen by a staggering 50 per cent under this Government.

But 82 per cent of that additional expenditure has been consumed - according to the Government's own figures -- by public sector inflation, which has risen from 1.6 per cent in 1997 to 6.5 per cent this year. That inflation has been accompanied by a 5 per cent fall in public sector productivity.

Labour has created 674,000 new public sector jobs, costing £19 billion, and no, my friends, they are not all doctors, teachers, nurses and policemen. Many of them, as a student of the Guardian's appointments pages will see, are politically correct non-jobs.

Even the European Central Bank, not a noted ally of the Conservative Party, has said that Britain is being governed with gross inefficiency by comparison with America and Japan. Huge quantities of cash are being wasted, and though many still claim that they "don't mind paying more tax", they might find that they change their minds over the next couple of years, as interest rates start to bite.

They might be interested in a decent, moderate Conservative Party that could make savings in a way that was simultaneously ruthless and compassionate. And what would we Tories do with those savings, supposing we were in fact brave enough to make them?

Here, in conclusion, is this week's policy. Inheritance tax raises £2.2 billion per annum and falls hardest on those who do not have the resources to recruit a smart accountant. It hits millions of people on modest incomes in the South-East, where the average house price has now exceeded the £250,000 threshold.

In stinging people for 40 per cent of such inherited assets, the British Treasury is the cruellest in Europe. In France the rate is 5 per cent; in Germany it is 7 per cent; and in Italy it is 0 per cent -- and in almost every case the threshold is far higher.

I humbly suggest that we Tories announce a plan to raise the threshold to £500,000, so helping to make this country not just the best place to live but the best place to die, and at a very moderate cost to the Exchequer.

And if we Tories continue with our message of reform of the public sector, giving more freedom to the professionals in it, and the rest of us who depend on it, we will have more than a chance in 2005. If we can deliver Taxpayer Value, then, who knows, we may move even the most Blairophile female to tears of grateful rapture.

Boris Johnson is MP for Henley and editor of The Spectator

出ました,Boris Johnson議員。この方の文章は辞書ナシだときついこともあるのですが,今回のこれはそうでもなさそうな感じ。あとで読みます。

ちなみに,"More battered but stronger within," Mr Blair said, of himself. What does he mean, more battered? Is he a piece of cod? の部分は,江戸っ子風(似非ですが)にすると,「打たれに打たれて強くなっただと?てめぇは手打ち蕎麦かぁってんだばかやろー,水で締めて首締めるぞこらぁ」というようなことです。(batterを辞書で見てみてください。「フィッシュ&チップスか?」です。)
posted by nofrills at 02:53| todays_news_from_uk | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする
×

この広告は180日以上新しい記事の投稿がないブログに表示されております。