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沈阳美联英语:大千世界: 撒切尔反对者们的疯癫狂欢

2014-12-10 14:19   类别:语法   来源:   责编:Dong


It is still terribly hard for those who opposed her to admit it, but Margaret Thatcher was right about most things.

在大部分事务上玛格丽特•撒切尔(Margaret Thatcher)都是正确的,虽然反对她的人还是很难认同这一点。

She was right that Britain’s trade unions had become much too powerful. She was right that nationalised industries had to be privatised. She was right that inflation has monetary causes.


She was also mostly right about foreign policy. She was right to drive the forces of Argentina’s junta out of the Falklands and she was right to exhort a “wobbly” George H.W. Bush to mete out the same treatment to Saddam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait.

在外交政策上她大多数时候也是正确的。她将阿根廷军政府的部队赶出福克兰群岛(Falklands,即马尔维纳斯群岛)是正确之举;她告诫“摇摆不定的”老布什(George H.W. Bush)对萨达姆•候赛因(Saddam Hussein)在科威特的军队采取同样的措施也是正确的。

Though dubbed the “Iron Lady” by a Soviet magazine, her hawkishness in the cold war did not blind her to the possibilities of doing business with Mikhail Gorbachev. Like Ronald Reagan, she was quick to see the opportunity offered by his policies of glasnost and perestroika.

尽管被一家苏联杂志称为“铁娘子”,她在冷战期间的鹰派立场并没有使她无视与米哈伊尔•戈尔巴乔夫(Mikhail Gorbachev)打交道的可能性。与罗纳德•里根(Ronald Reagan)一样,她很快就从戈尔巴乔夫的开放与改革政策中看到了机会。

20130410083624559.jpgThe outcome of the cold war seems inevitable with the benefit of hindsight. But for most of the 1980s, Thatcher had to endure a relentless stream of criticism from fellow travellers and useful idiots: believers in unilateral disarmament who would gladly have allowed the Soviets to establish dominance in intermediate range nuclear forces in Europe, as well as exponents of “convergence theory”, who insisted that the countries of Nato and the Warsaw Pact were gradually and peacefully growing alike (give or take the odd gulag).

事后来看,冷战的结果似乎是不可避免的。但上世纪八十年代的大部分时间,撒切尔都需要忍受共产党的同情者和“有用的白痴”们的指责:相信单边裁军的人,他们乐意看到苏联在欧洲主导中程核力量;倡导“趋同理论”(convergence theory)的人,他们坚持认为北约国家和华约国家在渐渐地和平趋同(不管有没有奇怪的古拉格劳改营)。

Above all, however, Thatcher was right about Europe. She was right to push Europe in the direction of real free trade by backing and signing the Single European Act of 1986. Yet she was equally right to oppose the idea of a single European currency.


On this issue, the Financial Times, as well as a great many other respected publications, owes Thatcher not only the respect due to a great leader, but also an apology. Throughout the 1980s, many critics consistently heaped opprobrium on her for resisting the efforts of her own cabinet to get sterling into the European exchange rate mechanism.


Consistently, Thatcher’s sceptics took the side of those, such as Nigel Lawson, Geoffrey Howe and John Major, who favoured “shadowing” the Deutschmark and then pegging the sterling-Mark exchange rate.

一直以来,撒切尔的怀疑者们都站在尼格尔•劳森(Nigel Lawson)、杰弗里•豪(Geoffrey Howe)、约翰•梅杰(John Major)等人一边,而这些人倾向于“追随”德国马克,然后将英镑对马克汇率钉住。

Having been dragged kicking and screaming into the ERM in October 1990, Thatcher denounced the Delors plan for a federal Europe with a defiant “No! No! No!” – one “no” apiece for the European parliament, government and senate he envisaged. Just weeks later, deserted by her cabinet colleagues, she was forced to resign.


Yet subsequent events have largely vindicated Thatcher’s view. Sterling’s entry into the ERM was an unmitigated economic policy disaster. Tying Britain’s fortunes to the decisions of the Bundesbank in Frankfurt, ERM membership led to an unnecessarily severe recession in 1990-1992, which ended only when – with some help from George Soros – the pound left the ERM.

然而,接下来的事件大体上证明了撒切尔的观点。英镑加入欧洲汇率机制是一个全然的经济政策灾难。通过将英国的命运与法兰克福德国央行的决策绑在一起,欧洲汇率机制的成员国地位导致英国在1990年至1992年期间不必要地陷入严重衰退,最终还是在乔治•索罗斯(George Soros)的帮助下,英镑撤出欧洲汇率机制,衰退才告终结。

There were those who argued that the ERM fiasco illustrated the even greater advantages of a full monetary union over a system of fixed exchange rates. But once again subsequent events have confirmed the Thatcherite view that an independent monetary policy is an essential part of a nation’s sovereignty. Just ask yourself how Britain would have fared if we had been inside the eurozone when the financial crisis struck. I shudder even to think of it.


It has long been conventional wisdom that Thatcher was wrong about one thing above all. She was wrong, so the argument goes, to oppose German reunification.


Indeed, most recent accounts of the events of 1989-1990 portray her as a kind of female Basil Fawlty, stuck in some kind of second world war time-warp.

实际上,最近关于1989年到1990年事件的叙述大都将她描述为类似于女贝塞尔•弗尔蒂(Basil Fawlty)的人物,认为她陷入了二战的时间隧道。

Yet future historians may look back on negative reaction to German reunification with more sympathy than most commentators felt at the time. In an internal memorandum, written on February 2, 1990, Thatcher offered a shrewd commentary on West Germany’s position that reunification would pose no strategic threat if it was accompanied by increased European integration. “The problems will not be overcome by strengthening the E[uropean] C[ommunity],” she wrote. “Germany’s ambitions would then become the dominant and active factor.”


There are rather a large number of people in southern Europe today – and perhaps also in Paris – who would acknowledge that here, too, Thatcher was right. Only last year the Italian prime minister complained of being treated as if Italy was in a “semicolonial” relationship with Germany.


Like many great leaders, Margaret Thatcher has come to be more respected abroad than she ever was at home. Left-leaning Brits who opposed her during the 1980s find it especially hard to admit that she was mostly right and they were wrong.



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