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经济学人双语版:威斯敏斯特宫 纸牌屋

2016-05-05    来源:经济学人    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

经济学人双语版:威斯敏斯特宫 纸牌屋

The Palace of Westminster
威斯敏斯特宫

House of Cards
纸牌屋

The mounting case for MPs to abandon Westminster
议员们正被要求撤离威斯敏斯特宫

OBSERVE the Palace of Westminster on a rainy night, and you may see lights strangely flickering in its 1,100 rooms. Leaks not caught by buckets interfere with mice-gnawed cables crammed into Victorian holes. But the damp and drips have one advantage: they temporarily curb the risk of fires in the many bits of this creaking, neo-Gothic edifice that are not protected by sprinklers.
雨夜里的威斯敏斯特宫,怪异的灯光充斥着1100间房屋。满是老鼠啮痕的绳子捆绑着的水桶,并未接住渗入的雨水,任其流进威斯敏斯特宫中的维多利亚时期的孔洞。但这潮湿的环境和渗入的雨滴却有一优势:在这种老式房屋中可暂时抑制火灾发生的可能,而带有自动喷水灭火装置的新哥特式建筑却并未有此般防护性能。

The palace is in a bad way. In a speech on March 2nd John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, argued that it is decaying faster than it is being repaired. He claimed that fixing Parliament could cost some 3 billion. It came to only about a third more to build a new terminal at Heathrow Airport.
威斯敏斯特宫的状况很不好。英国下议院发言人约翰伯科在3月2日的演讲中指出,威斯敏斯特宫的破损程度远远快于其修葺速度。他强调,修缮国会大厦将花费30亿欧元。该费用较建造一个希思罗机场的航站楼费用的三分之一还要多。

The efficient option would be for MPs to move somewhere else while workers revamp the palace, yanking out thickets of wiring and replacing the lot, for example. But politicians do not warm to the prospect of being far from government departments, television studios and a decent plate of spaghetti alle vongole. Andrew Griffiths, a Conservative MP, shudders at the thought of “moving to an office block in Slough for five or ten years”.
或许让议员们在工人翻修国会大厦期间搬离此处是个不错的决定,比如会扔掉原来那些错综复杂的布线,还有重新换掉很多东西。但是政治家们却对搬离的提议并不感冒,他们更享受在威斯敏斯特宫被镜头聚焦和更体面的餐点伙食。一位名为安德烈格里菲斯的保守党议员在听闻“要搬去斯劳办公室5年亦或10年”的消息后,整个人震惊不已。

Parliament is expected to vote on the matter not long after the general election. It may consider leaving for good. Mr Bercow warned that if the palace is not repaired in the next decade, legislators will have to “abandon this site and look elsewhere”. But that might not be such a bad thing. The palace is poorly suited to its purpose: no amount of repairs will make the House of Commons chamber big enough to let all MPs sit down, for example. Nor will they remove the fusty atmosphere of the place—more mid-market country hotel than hub of modern democracy.
国会大厦修葺一事将在大选之后马上进行投票决议。议员们很可能谋求更好的安身之地。伯科先生提出警告,若是未来十年议会大厦得不到修复,那么议员们将不得不“抛弃此地另觅良居”。而这也并不是一件坏事。老旧的威斯敏斯特宫并不能完全满足其议员办公之用:比如,若不经翻修,老旧的下议院议事厅根本不能容下所有议员参与会议。也不能改变下议会大厦的陈腐氛围—相较于一个现代民主的中心它更像是一间外貌平平的乡村旅馆。

It is not clear where Parliament would go. The big northern cities have been touted (Andrew Adonis, a Labour peer, has suggested moving the Lords to Salford Quays, outside Manchester). Even more far-fetched proposals include a purpose-built capital like Brasilia or Washington, or a roving legislature. Michael Fabricant has invited fellow MPs to use the cathedral in his seat of Lichfield in Staffordshire—though he warns that legislative sessions would have to fit around services.
议会的落脚点尚未明晰。而北方的大城市已经被夸的天花乱坠(工党贵族安德烈阿多尼斯,已建议将上议院搬至曼彻斯特市外索尔福德码头)。甚至还有其他天马行空的提议,比如专门建造像巴西利亚和华盛顿一样的首都,或者直接就是一个移动的立法机关。迈克尔法布里坎特已建议在他拥有一个席位的斯塔福德郡利奇菲尔德,使用大教堂作为议会去处—尽管他一再警告,立法会议本应适应其职能。

And what to do with Westminster? Generation Rent, a group campaigning for tenants'rights, has a bright idea. It has commissioned plans to turn the palace into 364 affordable flats, complete with swimming pool and library. But most assume it should become a museum. As Hugo Summerson, a former Tory MP, sniffed in 1991: “We need a brand-new facility, and we should leave this place to the Americans and the Japanese.”
那威斯敏斯特宫要如何是好?租房一代—为房客谋权的一个组织—有个绝妙的办法。它提议将威斯敏斯特宫改造成为364间经济适用房,同时配备游泳池和图书馆。但是更多人认为它应改造成一个博物馆。早在1991年,就有前保守党议员雨果萨默森曾抱怨:“我们需要一个全新的办公场所,我们应该把这个地方弃给美国人和日本人。”译者:张娣 校对:陈思思(译文属译生译世)



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