Tag Archives: 保守党

Last Goodbye to the “Iron Lady”


4月8日に87歳で亡くなったマーガレット・サッチャー元首相の葬儀が、本日セントポール大聖堂で行われた。1965年のウィンストン・チャーチル元首相以来、約半世紀ぶりに政治家の葬儀に参列したエリザベス女王夫妻や、キャメロン首相をはじめとする歴代政治家、約170カ国からの招待客など、2300人以上が元首相の死を悼んだ。元首相の棺がウェストミンスター国会議事堂からからセントポール大聖堂に運ばれる間も、沿道にはたくさんの市民が集まり、最後の別れを惜しんだ。→写真:Daily Mail

「鉄の女」と呼ばれた「Baroness Thatcher(イギリス人は称号をつけてこう呼ぶ)」は在任中、ご存知のように弱者切り捨てとみなされた「サッチャリズム」を断行。「sick man of Europe(ヨーロッパの病人)」と言われたイギリス経済を見事立て直した反面、その強硬な態度で敵も多く作った。サッチャー元首相が亡くなった日や今日の葬儀の際、抗議行動をする人たちもいたが、元首相の死を喜ぶパーティをしたり、元首相をかたどった首つり人形を吊るしたり、ひどいコメントを書いたプラカードを掲げたりと、死者の尊厳を無視するヒステリックなやり方には、ちょっと首を傾げたくなる(Guardian / Examiner)。相手は、まだまだ男尊女卑の強かった時代、しかも上流階級出身者の多い保守党の党首として(サッチャーは中流階級出身)イギリス初の女性元首となり、男性以上の強いリーダーシップをもって20世紀イギリスで最も長期間となる3期11年を務めあげた超人である。在任中、彼女に投票・支持した数多くの有権者、そして今日彼女の死を悼む大多数の人たち(ちなみに抗議する人たちは少数派)に対して失礼千万だ。「切り捨てられた」人には同情するし(それでも社会保障は他国に比べて恵まれていると思う)、その時代を生きた世代の人が抗議するならまだわかるが、抗議者の多くは、サッチャーが首相を務めていた頃はまだ生まれてもいない、流行の洋服に身を包んだ貧乏とも思えない若者たち。全く説得力がない。どんなに素晴らしいリーダーでも、全ての人を幸せにすることはできないし、サッチャー元首相は疲弊していた国の経済を立て直し、多くの人々の人生を豊かにした立役者なのだ。今日の繁栄を享受しているかのように見える彼らだけれど、サッチャー以前の停滞状態に戻りたいのか??

話は変わるが、今日この葬儀の場で、新しい「スター」が誕生した。それは、サッチャー元首相の19歳の孫娘・Amanda Thatcher。凛とした美少女で、祖母の葬儀で見事な弔辞を読み上げ、注目を浴びた(Telegraph / Guardian / Evening Standard / Mirror / Daily Mail)。現在アメリカの大学に通っている彼女の一挙手一投足に、今後注目が集まりそう。

Today is a grieving day for many British (and a joyful day for few unforgiving people to what “Iron Lady” did) – the funeral of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who passed away on April 8th, was taken place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, attended by more than 2,300 guests including the Queen, who joined the politician’s funeral service for the first time since Winston Churchill’s funeral in 1965, as well as generation of British politicians and foreign dignitaries from 170 countries (guest list: ABC news). Also thousands of mourners gave a farewell while her casket had been carried from the Westminster to St Paul’s Cathedral (and few protesters without respect). →photos: Daily Mail

Baroness Thatcher (British call her like this with title) was a controversial political figure and created many enemies as well as admirers. But we should admit that she was a pioneer of female politician who was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century with 11 years in the office, during the time when still sexism was strong. Her strong leadership and determination made UK revived from the “sick man of Europe” to one of the most powerful countries in the world again. To my eyes, some protestors to Thatcher went too far, and it is a bit sickening to see; partying & celebrating her death, hanging “Thatcher” doll, or putting up placards with derogatory remarks (ex. Guardian / Examiner). No respect to the deceased former prime minister first of all, and voters who democratically elected her for three times in 11 years, and mourners in much bigger numbers than the protesters. I feel sorry for the people who were affected by her tough policies (though still British social welfare system is much better than many other countries), and at least I understand the older generation or people in mining towns are still upset, but many protesters were ‘hip’ young students who were not even born yet while she was in power – how can they be so angry?! No leader can make everyone happy, but Thatcher at least made many better off, though not everyone, and they should respect that. Or those young people who apparently enjoy today’s UK’s prosperity want to go back the time when the nation was in bad condition before Thatcher??

By the way, today a new ‘star’ emerged from the funeral – Amanda Thatcher, 19-year old beautiful granddaughter of Baroness Thatcher, who made a awesome reading in the service. Lots of people are talking about her now! →TelegraphGuardian / Evening StandardMirror / Daily Mail


Fundraiser Quiz Night for Larry the Downing Street Cat

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官邸のネズミ捕りのために飼われることになったラリーくん(デイリーメイル記事)、犬猫シェルターのBattersea Dogs and Cats Homeから昨年4月に引き取られ、捨て猫から一転、オバマ米大統領にもお目通りしたセレブ猫となった。最近、近くのSt James’ Park(セント・ジェームズ・パーク)の管理人小屋に住む猫・Maisie(メイシー)と恋仲だと言う噂があり、お仕事のねずみ取りもさておき、夜な夜などこかに出かけ、昼間は官邸でうとうとしているのだそう。


According to today’s Guardian, there will be a quize night held in the State Rooms at 10 Downing Street to raise money to keep Larry the Downing Street cat.

Originally a rescue cat from the Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (Daily Mail article), brought in to help with Downing Street’s rat problem, Larry turned to be a celeb cat that even befriended with President Obama. There is a rumor that Larry recently got a girlfriend, Maisie, a cat who lives at the nearby St James’ Park keeper’s cottage. It is said that this explains why he goes out most evenings  and most days fall asleep in the Prime Minister’s house.

This event is planned so that tax money wouldn’t be use for Larry, and this well corresponds to Tory government’s budget cut plan. But can’t posh Prime Minister David Cameron pay for having just one cat?? Larry is also intended to be a pet for his children as well!

Ben Eine: Alphabet Graffiti / Street Arts @ Middlesex Street

今日、リバプールストリート駅近くのMiddlesex Street(ミドルセックス・ストリート)を通りかかったら、あちこちのお店のシャッターに、見覚えのあるカラフルなアルファベットが描かれていた。これらは、グラフィティ/ストリート・アーティスト、Ben Eineベン・アイン)の作品。9月20日からMiddlesex StreetにあるElectric Blue Galleryで開かれる展覧会を前にEineが描いた、小文字のアルファベット全26文字が、リバプールストリート駅からペチコートレーンまで、Middlesex Street沿いの店に散りばめられている。

以前5年ほどBanksyと共に活動、近年東京やニューヨーク、LA、パリでも、トレードマークであるアルファベットを描いたEineは、2010年にはアニヤ・ハインドマーチとのコラボ・トートも手がけたと言えど、それまで比較的無名なアーティストだった。それが、7月にデーヴィッド・キャメロン首相が訪米した折り、彼の作品「Twenty First Century City」をオバマ大統領にプレゼントしたことで、一躍有名になった(参考記事1, 2)。これは、最近第四子を出産した、サマンサ首相夫人が彼の作品の大ファンだからだそうだが、上流階級出身で保守党党首の妻であるサム・キャム(彼女の愛称)が彼やストリート・アートのファンだとはちょっと意外。ちなみに2,500ポンドするこの作品は、首相が買ったのではなく、Eineが贈呈したという。

When we walked through Middlesex Street near Liverpool Street Station, we found many bright and colorful alphabets painted on shutters of closed shops here and there on the street. These recognizable alphabets are the works of graffiti / street artist, Ben Eine. Prior to his exhibition starting on September 20 at the Electric Blue Gallery on Middlesex Street, Eine painted the entire alphabet in lowercase letters on the local business’ shutters on Middlesex Street from Liverpool Street Station to Petticoat Lane.

Eine used to work with Banksy for five years, and recently left his signature alphabet on shutters in cities like Tokyo, New York, LA and Paris. In 2010, Anya Hindmarch has collaborated on a collection of totes with Eine. However he was relatively unknown, until his work “Twenty First Century City” was given to the President Obama when Prime Minister David Cameron visited US in this July (related article12). This £2,500 work was not actually purchased by Downing Street, but Eine donated it. This happened because his wife Samantha, who just gave a birth of her forth child few days ago, is a big fan of Eine. It is quite surprising that posh Sam Cam fancies a street art – I cannot quite connect between the two.

Electric Blue Gallery

Redchurch Street

Shaklewell Street

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Brown Announced May 6 General Election Today

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労働党政権になって約13年。2007年にブレア前首相から首相職を引き継いだブラウン首相は、就任後人気が低迷、支持率低迷の責任を取っての党首辞任がささやかれ、野党からは解散総選挙のプレッシャーにさらされていたけれど、何とか持ちこたえ、2005年の前回総選挙から5年の任期を全うした。ブレア元首相の下で「New Labour(新しい労働党)」を標榜し、第三の道路線を取って高い支持率を誇った労働党も、1997年にアメリカとともに始めたイラク戦争あたりから人気が下落。変わって、2005年に若さと爽やかイメージを武器に党首に就任した、オックスフォード卒で、つるつるお肌の、いかにも良家の御曹司って感じのデービッド・キャメロン率いる保守党(前身がトーリー党であることから愛称Tory/トーリー)が、オバマの真似して「チェンジ」をスローガンに掲げ、支持を伸ばしている。現在の各政党支持率は保守党優位であるものの、ガーディアン紙の調査によると労働党は差を縮めつつあり、また投票先を決めていない浮動有権者も多く、先行き不明な感じ。どちらも絶対多数を取れない「Hung Parliament(宙ぶらりんの議会)」も予測され、いつも2大政党に隠れて影の薄い第3党・自由民主党(愛称Lib Dem/リブ・デム)が、政権のパートナーという重要な役割を果たす可能性もでてきた。

今回の選挙の争点は、NHS(国営医療サービス)や経済、移民政策など。また、今回の選挙では、オバマが勝利をおさめたアメリカ大統領選のように、インターネットが重要な役割を果たすことが予想されている。キャメロン党首は、党のウェブサイトにある「Webcameron」(ウェブカメラとキャメロンをかけた?)で、自らの活動をビデオで紹介しているし、労働党も、ウェブサイトツィッターを使って若者の支持をはかる。ブラウン首相よりも、慈善活動に精力的に取り組む良妻賢母、サラ夫人の方が人気が高く、夫人のツィッターには100万人以上のフォロワーがいる。そして、選挙活動においては、労働党はSaatchi & Saatchi、保守党はM&C Saatchi(自身が設立したSaatchi & Saatchiを追われた創業者サーチ兄弟が立ち上げた会社。兄弟はサッチャー時代の保守党キャンペーンを手がけた)と、共に有名広告会社に依頼。この1ヶ月の間に、どんなポスターやキャンペーンが出てくるか、楽しみだ。

Today Prime Minister Gordon Brown formally announced that the General Election will be held on May 6. The UK Parliament has two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords. The Queen will dissolve Parliament on April 12, and Members of Parliament (MPs) to seats in the House of Commons will be elected on May 6. Local elections will take place on the same day of the general election as well. → you can check election schedule here.

It’s been 13 years since Labour took the power. Once boasted high popularity with the “New Labour” policy under then young leader Tony Blair, the governing Labour Party will be looking to secure a fourth consecutive term in office and to restore support lost since 1997, resulted in resignation of Blair who was accused of his involvement in the Iraq war. The Conservative Party will seek to replace the Labour government after losses in the 1990s, under David Cameron, an Oxford-grad young and posh leader with smooth skin and smart talk, with his slogan ‘change’, copying Obama’s catchphrase. He became a leader of Tory (nickname of the Conservative party, a successor of the Tory Party) in 2005. Currently Tory leads national polls, but the Labour is catching up, according to the Guardian poll, and swing voters can change the political landscape. “Hung Parliament” is also anticipated, and the third party Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem) , which is usually overshadowed by Labour and Tory, could hold the balance of power in such a case.

Important issues of this election are such as NHS (National Health Services), economy, and immigration. Internet is expected to play a big role, like internet grass-roots helped Obama win the US presidential election. Cameron updates his activities on “Webcameron” (webcamera +  Cameron??) on the Tory’s website. Labour also has their website and Twitter to attract young voters, and Sarah Brown, a wife of Gordon Brown and a popular charitable activist, has over 1 million followers on her Twitter page. Recently the Evening Standard reported that Tory called in M&C Saatchi, Margaret Thatcher‘s favorite advertising men, for their advertising campaign, and Labour has hired Saatchi & Saatchi – exciting to see future political campaigns and posters, created by these UK’s famous advertising companies.


M is an Italian and though he can’t vote for MPs, he can vote for a local election as a citizen of EU member states who lives in UK.

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BNP leader Nick Griffin @ BBC Question Time

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木曜日、BBCの討論番組「Question Time(クエスチョン・タイム)」に、極右政党のBritish National PartyBNP、英国国民党)のNick Griffin(ニック・グリフィン)党首が出演、ここ数日、メディアはこの話題でもちきりだ。Question Timeは、パネラーとして出演する政治家や有名人と会場にいる聴衆が質疑応答する、真面目な時事番組。内容が内容だけに人気番組とは言えないのだが、グリフィン党首が出演した日は、テレビを観ている人の約半数、8百万人ものイギリス人がQuestion Timeを見たそうだ。私は基本的に討論番組が嫌いなので、Mが討論番組を見ようとする度に(Mは大の討論番組好き)、リモコンを無理矢理奪ってチャンネルを変えていたのだが、今回はあんまりメディアが騒いでいるので、興味半分で見てみた。


BNPの移民排除やホロコーストの否定等の思想・主義は批判に値するけれど、イギリスメディアのBNPへの反応はちょっと過剰だ。BBCの外で行われたデモはまるで狂信者の集団だったし、Question Timeは、司会者、パネラー、会場の聴衆の反応は、集団リンチか魔女裁判のよう。質疑応答を旨とするQuestion Timeの趣旨に反し、グリフィン党首が話そうとすると誰かしらの横やりが入り、答えにならない。彼の言ったことに対して論理的に反論するならまだしも、話もさせないなら、呼んだ意味がないではないか。民主主義を強く信じるイギリス人が、自分たちの気に入らないことには「言論の自由」の制限を正当化する。それじゃあ、彼らの理論で「社会の安定のため」に言論の自由を制限をする中国やイラン等と一緒じゃないの?

その後のメディアの反応も、グリフィン党首やBNPを鬼畜扱い。メディアが、どんなに彼やBNPが悪党かを声高に語ろうとする度、なんだか押し付けがましく感じる。メディアに教えていただかなくても、BNPの言い分を聞いて何が正しいか正しいか判断する脳みそを私も持っている。メディアの意図が人々のBNPの支持を弱めようとするのであれば、残念ながらあまり効果が上がっていない気がする。人は「弱いものいじめ」に拒否感を感じるものだ。あんまり叩かれすぎると、逆に同情心を煽ることもある。テレグラフ紙によると、Question Timeの後の調査で、3分の2はBNPには絶対投票しないと答えているものの、5人に1人はBNPに投票する可能性があると答えた。メディアは、BBCが出演を許したことが理由だと言っているが、BBCが責められるとすれば、グリフィン党首の出演を許したことではなく、ヒステリックな対応を控え、グリフィン党首の発言に対して冷静に反論するよう、議論をコントロールすべきだったことだと思う。またメディアも、グリフィン党首を大々的に取り上げ過ぎだ。メディアがわーわーと騒ぐから、今まで関心のなかった人まで、BNPに注目するようになったんだと思う。


何より、不況下とは言え、政府や野党を含む既存の政党が、不況の影響を深刻に受けている貧困層の不安を汲み取って、政策に反映しないことが一番の問題なのだ。BNPの支持が伸びているのは、他の政党が彼らの不満に対して何もできないから。Question Timeでも労働党保守党自由民主党(Liberal Democrats)のイギリス3大政党の政治家も出演、偉そうなこと言っていたが、結局彼らが人々が納得する解決策を示せないから、BNPに票が流れるんじゃないのかな。

Nick Griffin, a leader of far-right British National Party (BNP), made his first appearance in BBC’s Question Time on last Thursday, and this has caused a huge media sensation in UK. Question Time is a topical debate television program, and the show typically features politicians as well as other public figures who answer questions put to them by the audience. Question Time is not the most popular program in UK, due to the serious nature of the show, but the day’s show with Mr. Griffin attracted almost 8 million viewers, about a half of people who were watching TV at the time of the day. I hate to watch a debate, and I snatch a remote every time M starts to watch a debate program (M loves debate) and change the channel. But because of the media constantly talking about the program, I watched Question Time for the first time from a curiosity.

Though BNP is not represented in Parliament, but recently has gained popularity and holds two European Parliament seats won in June 2009, as well as several local council seats. There is a big criticism against BBC’s decision to feature Griffin that it may increase racial attacks, but BBC explains that BNP is a legal political party and has a certain level of support among people, therefore, “they should have the right to be heard, be challenged, and for the public who take part in Question Time and the viewers to make up their own minds about the views of the BNP. It’s not for the BBC to censor and say they can’t be on.”

Though BNP’s remarks in elimination of immigrants and denial of holocaust must be criticized, the media and some people’s response before and after the show has gone a bit overboard. Demonstration outside BBC studio acted like a fanatic religious cult group. Panels, host, and audience  in the show were acting like a lynch mob and Question Time became like a witch-hunt. Opposed to the purpose of the show, every time Griffin started to talk, anyone interrupted and he couldn’t finish whatever he tried to say. If they didn’t let him talk, what’s the point of inviting him to the show?? People should have logically refuted what Griffin said, instead of acting all hysterical. British should keep up their values in freedom of speech, and I totally agree with BBC’s decision – if you limit freedom of speech because they don’t agree with BNP, then what is the difference with oppressive countries like China or Iran that British love to criticize?? These countries use the same logic to limit freedom of speech in order to “maintain social stability.”

The media response after airing the show were pretty obnoxious too. The louder the media screaming how evil BNP and Griffin are, the more they sound condescending – I can think what is right or wrong based on what BNP say with my own brain, and they don’t have to ‘teach’ me what I should believe. Unfortunately media intention to weaken the support for BNP by attacking harshly doesn’t seem to work out well, I am afraid. People don’t like ‘bullying’ and may feel sympathetic to Griffin, the victim of the attack, no matter how his ideology is. According to the article of the Telegraph, one in five ‘would consider voting BNP’ after Nick Griffin Question Time appearance, though two-thirds said they would not consider voting for the party “under any circumstances”. Media thinks it is a fault of BBC that allowed him in the show, but if BBC has to be blamed, it would be the way they made the show look like public bullying and failed to control the debate to be more civilized. Also it is media’s fault to give Griffin too much attention – people who previously didn’t care about BNP started to pay attention, as a result, this media coverage is helping BNP to have more public support (there are always someone want to go against the mainstream).

I am an ‘immigrant’ myself and I don’t agree BNP’s ideology, but I understand why some people sympathize with BNP. Journalists can talk ideal, because their jobs are not under threat by immigrants and they don’t live in public housing or in the deprived area. The immigration issues don’t affect the journalists but the working class or people under poverty, who have to compete with immigrants in many ways. I don’t think they support BNP because they are all racists but they are just overwhelmed by the rapid change in their society, due to the massive immigration in recent years. They think immigrants unfairly receive cheap public housing and social welfare including health care, paid by British payers. They are also fearful that the British culture and values are being destroyed by the immigrants who can’t speak basic English and don’t bother themselves to integrate with British society but just scream about their ‘rights.’ It makes me upset that these ‘close-minded’ immigrants give a bad name to other hard-working immigrants who give a respect to the land where you are granted to live and make every effort to blend in with the British society. It is true that immigrants who are willing to do dirty jobs with cheaper pay contribute the British economy (for me the idea itself is discriminatory to see immigrants convenient cheap labors), but for most common people, your own life is more important than the public interest, from which they don’t feel like getting benefit.

The real offender of the rise of far-right BNP is the government and politicians of major political parties who cannot understand people’s dissatisfaction and fear and cannot make a policy to ease their worries, especially about immigration. There were politicians from the three major political parties (Labour, the Conservatives, and the Liberal Democrats)) in the Question Time but they failed to give us any reasonable solution, but just accusing how racist Griffin was. For some people, BNP is the only party to understand them and try to do something about it. Just bashing BNP and telling us how bad racism is don’t solve anything.

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