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2015-09-10 10:01:12





  Scottish independence


  Sparks flying


  Poverty and dependence on the state pull Scots inopposite directions


  BETTING shops in Rosyth are rowdier than usual.The troublemakers are not the familiar sort—drunks jousting over a Rangers match or the 4.30at Musselburgh—but punters debating Scottish independence. “We've had to chuck peopleout,” grumbles one bookie. A gnarled customer agrees: “I don't like people talking about it inmy cab,” he growls, eyes not moving from the racing. As the referendum on September 18thdraws closer, tensions in this shipbuilding town are growing.


  All politics is local, even when an entire country's future is at stake. But in Rosyth, a run-downport in the shadow of the Forth Bridge near Edinburgh, distinctive local factors are pullingpeople in opposite directions. The importance of the town's biggest industry seems to militatefor sticking with Britain. But the generally depressed state of the economy makesindependence more appealing (see article). The outcome of this tug-of-war will determinehow people vote in Rosyth—and in other parts of Scotland.


  Residents are reminded of the case for union every time they leave their homes. Above treetopsand through gaps between pebble-dashed houses, glimpses of a vast blue rig marked “AirCarrier Alliance” and “Royal Navy” are visible. Beyond, the grey, 65,000-tonne slab of Britain'snewest aircraft-carrier,HMS Queen Elizabeth, sits in the estuary. In a place where 13% ofworking-age adults are on out-of-work benefits, the shipyard is by far the largest employer—and it relies on money from Westminster.


  Those who build and man the ships are therefore firmly unionist. At a ceremony to name thecarrier on July 4th, they booed Alex Salmond, Scotland's nationalist first minister and the leaderof the pro-independence “yes” campaign. The following week the Rosyth workers' unionrepresentatives appeared before MPs in Westminster to warn against secession. Henry Wilson,a convener at BAE Systems, a defence firm, warned that naval shipbuilding in Scotland would be“finished” if Mr Salmond got his way.

  那些建造并给船只配备人员的人因此是坚定的联合主义者。在7月4日给某运输公司命名的仪式上,苏格兰民族主义第一部长和支持独立“成功”运动的领导遭到了Alex Salmond他们的嘘声哄笑。接下来的一周,罗赛斯的工人工会代表在议员之前出现在英国议会对反分裂提出警告。一位BAE系统公司(一个防卫公司)的召集人Henry Wilson给出警告,如果Salmond如此遂心所欲,那么在苏格兰的海军船舶建造将“玩完”。

  Before the ship sails


  In the ex-servicemen's club on Admiralty Road most agree with Mr Wilson. Only one drinker iswilling to admit to backing “yes”. “Ey, I've made up my mind,” says Jimmy, grinning defiantly.He struggles to hold his own around here, he adds: “full of “no” voters; gets very heated.” “Hewon't listen,” sighs Janet, the barmaid, wiping beer glasses. Janet thinks Mr Salmond's promisesare baloney: “I don't trust him as far as I could throw him.”

  在位于海军部大道的退役军人俱乐部中,多数人对Wilson的观点表示赞同。只有一个酒徒愿意支持“成功”。“嗯,我已经决定了,” Jimmy笑嘻嘻的说道。他在这里艰难的保持的自己的观点,他补充道:“全都是‘反对'的选民;气氛变得异常激烈。”“他听不进去,”酒吧的女招待Janet边擦酒杯边叹息。Janet认为Salmond的承诺都是瞎扯。“我一点也不相信他。”

  Jimmy is in a minority in the ex-servicemen's club, but he may not be in Rosyth at large.Nationalist sentiment is widespread. More “yes” signs are visible in windows than are “no”ones. Scottish saltires the size of bedsheets billow above allotments and from blocks of flats.Beyond the shipyard there is little sign of the British union flag.


  In 2010 an NHS study of central Rosyth put male life expectancy at 73.3 years—five yearsshorter than the British average. Teenage pregnancy and welfare dependency are unusuallycommon, too. Those hard-up locals not employed in the shipyard could be forgiven for thinkingthat the union is not working for Scotland—and taking a gamble on independence.


  A great many former Labour Party voters fall into this category. The collapse of the party'sworking-class base in the 2011 Scottish election gave Mr Salmond's Scottish National Party(SNP) the majority it needed to press for a referendum on independence. In Cowdenbeath,the seat containing Rosyth, support for the SNP jumped from 29% to 42%.


  This makes Rosyth typical of a sort of Scottish town: post-industrial and deprived butsustained by the British state, which spends about 1,500 ($2,500) more per head in Scotlandthan it does nationally. Others include Govan and Scotstoun, both shipyards, and Pollokshaws,home to National Savings and Investments, a state-owned bank. In Cumbernauld, outsideGlasgow, Britain's largest revenue and customs office employs four times as many people asany other outfit. Gregg McClymont, Labour MP for Cumbernauld, notes that Scotland has 8% ofBritain's people but 13% of its tax jobs. How could it sustain them if it became independent?

  这使得罗赛斯成为苏格兰城镇当中的一朵奇葩:后工业化和相对贫困但是被英国供养,这在苏格兰人均要比全国还要多出1,500欧元 (约合2,500美元)。其他的像戈万和斯科特斯顿,二者的造船厂和波洛克索斯,国内储蓄和投资,一个国有银行。在格拉斯哥之外的坎伯诺尔德,英国最大的税收和海关雇佣相较于其他任何组织四倍的人手。坎伯诺尔德的工党议员Gregg McClymont指出,苏格兰拥有英国人口的8%但在税收工作中的人数占了13%。苏格兰一旦独立如何维持这些的运转?

  In such places, the “yes” campaign faces a particularly acute version of a problem thatconfronts it across Scotland. The disadvantages of independence are concrete and would bequickly felt—in the case of Rosyth, shipbuilding jobs would sail to Portsmouth, on England'ssouth coast. Any advantages, such as the broad industrial revival promised by Mr Salmond,would take years to materialise, if they ever do. Folk in Rosyth enjoy the odd flutter. But onSeptember 18th the stakes will be much higher than usual.


  1.at stake 濒于险境,处于成败关头

  例句:At stake are more than 20,000 jobs in Britain'saerospace sector.


  2.seem to 似乎

  例句:He rubbed and rubbed but couldn't seem toget clean.


  3.remind of 提醒

  例句:The cliffs, lapped by a crystal-clear sea,remind her of Capri.


  4.rely on 依靠;依赖

  例句:Most poultry farmers have to rely on commercially manufactured feeds.






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