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2006年VOA标准英语-Scandals Involving Blair's Cabinet Members

时间:2007-03-22 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:mo553241   字体: [ ]

By Michael Drudge1
27 April 2006

The government of British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been battered2 this week by allegations of incompetence3, scandal and corruption4 that have stirred voters' anger just a week before important local elections.


Tony Blair leaves 10 Downing Street for Prime Minister Questions at Houses of Parliament, London, Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Three senior members of the Blair cabinet have been stung by controversy5 on what the British media are calling the prime minister's "Black Wednesday."

The day began with an admission by Mr. Blair's deputy, 67-year-old John Prescott, of a long affair with a secretary 20 years his junior. A Blair spokesman was forced to respond, saying the prime minister stands behind Prescott.

Then, a few hours later, Mr. Blair appeared in parliament for his weekly turn to answer questions from the opposition6. The Conservative Party leader, David Cameron, came armed with new data that more than 1,000 foreigner-convicts had been released from prison without considering their deportation7. Cameron called for the resignation of Home Secretary Charles Clarke - the minister responsible.

"This home secretary has presided over systemic failure. He's failed to deal with it and he has misled people about the scale of the problem," said Cameron. "Isn't it clear that he cannot give the home office the leadership it so badly needs?"

Clarke appeared in parliament a short while later, vowing8 to stay in office, but admitting his mistake.

CLARKE: "It was a failure. I've acknowledged it's a failure and it must be got right. And as part of that …"


CLARKE: "Apologize, the honorable gentleman shouts from a sedentary position. I do apologize. I have apologized and I continue to do so."

As Clarke wound up his appearance in parliament, embarrassment9 befell another Blair minister when Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt was jeered10 and heckled at a convention of nurses who are upset about job cuts and stagnant11 wages.

"We can listen to each other or not. It's entirely12 up to you. I would like to listen to you and I hope you'll listen to me," said Hewitt.

Commentators13 say the controversies14 could hardly come at a worse time for Mr. Blair, who himself faces potential questioning into allegations his Labor15 party took secret loans from rich benefactors16 in exchange for seats in the House of Lords.

"The broader, longer term view on this is the danger of people out there thinking that this is a government that is beginning to creak at the edges, the wheels are falling off, choose any phrase you like, where everything just goes wrong and it's buffeted17 by incident after incident: you've got prisoners on the loose, you've got a health secretary being heckled by nurses, you've got a financial sleaze scandal over cash-for-honors, you've got a minister being caught with his trousers around his ankles," summarized James Landale, a political editor for BBC television.

The government faces a key test of voter sentiment May 4, when local elections are held in the major cities across England, including all 32 boroughs18 in London.

Latest polls show Mr. Blair's Labor party slightly behind Mr. Cameron's Conservatives, but political scientists expect a low turnout and say many voters will be more influenced by how their local council is run than by the big national issues.

Still, the experts say, a poor showing by Labor could increase the pressure on Mr. Blair to resign and hand over power to his heir apparent, Treasury19 chief Gordon Brown.


1 drudge rk8z2     
  • I feel like a real drudge--I've done nothing but clean all day!我觉得自己像个做苦工的--整天都在做清洁工作!
  • I'm a poor,miserable,forlorn drudge;I shall only drag you down with me.我是一个贫穷,倒运,走投无路的苦力,只会拖累你。
2 battered NyezEM     
  • He drove up in a battered old car.他开着一辆又老又破的旧车。
  • The world was brutally battered but it survived.这个世界遭受了惨重的创伤,但它还是生存下来了。
3 incompetence o8Uxt     
  • He was dismissed for incompetence. 他因不称职而被解雇。
  • She felt she had been made a scapegoat for her boss's incompetence. 她觉得,本是老板无能,但她却成了替罪羊。
4 corruption TzCxn     
  • The people asked the government to hit out against corruption and theft.人民要求政府严惩贪污盗窃。
  • The old man reviled against corruption.那老人痛斥了贪污舞弊。
5 controversy 6Z9y0     
  • That is a fact beyond controversy.那是一个无可争论的事实。
  • We ran the risk of becoming the butt of every controversy.我们要冒使自己在所有的纷争中都成为众矢之的的风险。
6 opposition eIUxU     
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
7 deportation Nwjx6     
  • The government issued a deportation order against the four men.政府发出了对那4名男子的驱逐令。
  • Years ago convicted criminals in England could face deportation to Australia.很多年以前,英国已定罪的犯人可能被驱逐到澳大利亚。
8 vowing caf27b27bed50d27c008858260bc9998     
  • President Bush is vowing to help Minneapolis rebuild its collapsed bridge. 布什总统承诺将帮助明尼阿波利斯重建坍塌的大桥。
  • President Bush is vowing to help Minneapolis rebuild this collapse bridge. 布什总统发誓要帮助明尼阿波利斯重建起这座坍塌的桥梁。
9 embarrassment fj9z8     
  • She could have died away with embarrassment.她窘迫得要死。
  • Coughing at a concert can be a real embarrassment.在音乐会上咳嗽真会使人难堪。
10 jeered c6b854b3d0a6d00c4c5a3e1372813b7d     
v.嘲笑( jeer的过去式和过去分词 )
  • The police were jeered at by the waiting crowd. 警察受到在等待的人群的嘲弄。
  • The crowd jeered when the boxer was knocked down. 当那个拳击手被打倒时,人们开始嘲笑他。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 stagnant iGgzj     
  • Due to low investment,industrial output has remained stagnant.由于投资少,工业生产一直停滞不前。
  • Their national economy is stagnant.他们的国家经济停滞不前。
12 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
13 commentators 14bfe5fe312768eb5df7698676f7837c     
n.评论员( commentator的名词复数 );时事评论员;注释者;实况广播员
  • Sports commentators repeat the same phrases ad nauseam. 体育解说员翻来覆去说着同样的词语,真叫人腻烦。
  • Television sports commentators repeat the same phrases ad nauseam. 电视体育解说员说来说去就是那么几句话,令人厌烦。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 controversies 31fd3392f2183396a23567b5207d930c     
  • We offer no comment on these controversies here. 对于这些争议,我们在这里不作任何评论。 来自英汉非文学 - 历史
  • The controversies surrounding population growth are unlikely to subside soon. 围绕着人口增长问题的争论看来不会很快平息。 来自辞典例句
15 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
16 benefactors 18fa832416cde88e9f254e94b7de4ebf     
n.捐助者,施主( benefactor的名词复数 );恩人
  • I rate him among my benefactors. 我认为他是我的一个恩人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • We showed high respect to benefactors. 我们对捐助者表达了崇高的敬意。 来自辞典例句
17 buffeted 2484040e69c5816c25c65e8310465688     
反复敲打( buffet的过去式和过去分词 ); 连续猛击; 打来打去; 推来搡去
  • to be buffeted by the wind 被风吹得左右摇摆
  • We were buffeted by the wind and the rain. 我们遭到风雨的袭击。
18 boroughs 26e1dcec7122379b4ccbdae7d6030dba     
(尤指大伦敦的)行政区( borough的名词复数 ); 议会中有代表的市镇
  • London is made up of 32 boroughs. 伦敦由三十二个行政区组成。
  • Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs of New York City. 布鲁克林区是纽约市的五个行政区之一。
19 treasury 7GeyP     
  • The Treasury was opposed in principle to the proposals.财政部原则上反对这些提案。
  • This book is a treasury of useful information.这本书是有价值的信息宝库。
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