2008年11月30日 星期日

Sir Austen Henry Layard

Austen Henry Layard

閒讀 Jean Bottero & M-J Steve "美索不達米亞" 上海 世紀出版集團 2004
發現整本書多處將著名的英國人 AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD 誤寫成 Henry Austen Layard 真不可思議
他的著作NINEVEH and Its Remains也有兩種不同之翻譯
Wikipedia article "Austen Henry Layard". 很精彩

Sir Austen Henry Layard

(1817–94) [Bi]

British antiquarian whose expeditions and self-taught archaeological methods led to the investigation of sites in the Near East. Born in London and trained as a lawyer, Layard and a friend, Edward Mitford, set out to ride from England to Ceylon in 1839. During this journey Layard became fascinated by archaeology and became an unpaid diplomatic attaché in Constantinople so that he could continue and expand his interests. Between 1845 and 1847 he excavated at Nimrud, Iraq (thinking it was Nineveh), and while his methods were brutal compared with modern standards they were typical of the day and resulted in the discovery of a lot of structural evidence as well as artefacts. His book, Nineveh and its remains, published in 1849 sold well and allowed him to make good contacts. He resumed excavations the same year, and upon his return to England in 1851 prepared a second volume, Discoveries and ruins of Nineveh and Babylon, which appeared in 1853. It included a provisional chronology for the Assyrian kings and a description of their state. Layard subsequently became a politician and then British ambassador in Madrid and later Constantinople.

2008年11月29日 星期六

England’s Culinary Wild West

England’s Culinary Wild West

Jonathan Player for The NewYork Times

The Masons Arms in Branscombe uses its fireplace for cooking.

Published: November 30, 2008

THOREAU observed that humans are happily designed in such a way that the distance they can cover in a day’s walking means that were they to spend every day hiking in a different direction from their homestead, it would take a lifetime to get to know every corner of their surroundings.

There’s something analogous in the distance that meat and vegetables can cover in an ox cart — in the old formula of market towns gathering and redistributing the produce of a region. It’s like concocting a meal with what you have in the kitchen, rather than shopping to suit a previously planned meal. These often turn out the most satisfying dinners, settling a craving in us not for parsimony but for good economy.

There’s a rightness about working with what we have, rather than giving in to the screaming pasha within who’s never satisfied, always craves more, and doesn’t care how far it has to travel to get to him. If there’s anything spiritual to be found in the kitchen, it surely has to do with settling this inner tyrant.

Any region can use a patron saint, and in England’s West Country, that saint is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (a k a Hugh Fearlessly Eats-It-All). One of Britain’s top TV chefs, Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall is on a near-holy mission to return to the land. He had his first success with a show called “A Cook on the Wild Side,” in which he traveled around cooking up game and wild plants on his camping stove.

Then he settled in Dorset and moved into growing his own food — saddleback pigs, old breeds of chicken — and reviving many old techniques for curing and preserving the food. His larder is permanently hung with sausages, salamis, hams and varieties of smoked fish.

What he advocates goes far beyond organic. His philosophy is “plow to plate”: ideally, the consumer is the grower, or failing that, the grower’s neighbor. He calls it “food integrity.”

At his new restaurant, the River Cottage Canteen, in the market town of Axminster, even the wine is as local as possible, all of it from England except for a few French organic and biodynamic labels. Almost nothing solid comes from farther afield than the West Country. There’s no bottled water — an abomination of wastefulness.

A truly organic restaurant today needs a field of local suppliers. What good is an organic carrot or blueberry with a giant carbon footprint? Just as farmers’ markets are spreading in both Britain and America, so too is local-mindedness in restaurants. It’s not just about carbon, but a deeper connectedness between people and land.

It’s a connectedness I fantasized about as a child: When I was 10, my favorite book was “Survival for Young People.” It told you about bivouac bags and collecting rainwater with a plastic sheet. But what electrified me were the pages on eating wild — the leaves and roots you could get by on, how to trap a rabbit, how you should always have a fishing line in your pack.

Go into the woods with Pages 54 to 83 cracked open, and you could hide out forever. Be nothing but a forager, with no purpose on this earth other than to find the sustenance to keep going. That was true freedom.

If this all sounds somewhat medieval, it is. The kind of self-reliance a household would have known before the advent of processed and packaged foods, when good husbandry included knowledge of how to process food oneself, is precisely what Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall is trying to revive.

The Canteen’s décor reflects this. I find myself eating at a table of reclaimed wood in a wood-rich, loftlike space.

The first thing I try is crispy pig’s head. (I’ve never been observant but this is ridiculous.) The plate consists of a fried slice of something like a pâté — in fact a version of headcheese, or brawn — with applesauce and Le Puy lentils. Not only do the sweet apple and rich brawn go together well, but there’s an automatic burst of self-congratulation in even daring to take a mouthful.

There’s an austerity about the place, but the food is stunning: sea bass in a lemon and herb sauce, with braised fennel and sautéed Highland Burgundy potatoes, ruddy and smothered in oil; and two kinds of lamb on one plate, slices of dense, melting, pink roast tenderloin and dark glistening shreds of braised shoulder. With sautéed potatoes cooked in cream, both are glorious.

My friend Dave Swann and I end with rhubarb jelly — a wobbly mound of luminous red jelly, a dab of whipped cream on a shortbread biscuit, and a heap of cooked rhubarb. Another British standard, rhubarb is a favorite of public and backyard vegetable patches.

Our other dessert is yogurt-based pink gooseberry ice cream, and when the waitress presses liqueurs of the Somerset Cider Brandy Company on us, we accept: Kingston Black Apple Aperitif makes for a rich after-dinner sip, in spite of its name.

According to his publicists, Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall doesn’t exactly think of himself as a great chef. His mission is changing peoples’ relationship to food production. Even a window box of herbs in central London is better than nothing, he contends: food-blindness is part of our postindustrial alienation; we’re alienated from our very plates.

At the River Cottage HQ, a 65-acre farm on the border with Dorset where Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall’s TV shows are filmed, all the tools to teach people how to become more involved in supplying their own larders have been set up. There are grazing pigs and chickens; clay ovens in different stages of construction; smokers made of old barrels and gas canisters; and hams, salamis and sausages hanging from rafters.

The clay ovens bake bread in five minutes, cook scallops on the shell in seconds, pizza in a minute. And as the heat dissipates over 24 hours, you can slow-cook whole shoulders of lamb, ending up with meat so tender you spoon it off the bone.

In a converted 16th-century barn with a gleaming professional kitchen, participants in Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall’s workshops are given a local banquet at the end of their day’s education. Green Champagne bottles hang from the rafters, converted into lamps. Sixty guests can be seated at two long baronial tables. There’s a Saxon feel to the whole venture.

When I visited, at the end of one table stood a black casserole of beef shin from local Devon ruby red cattle, with big orange-hued rings of marrowbone, the meat melting off them. Part of the mission is to rehabilitate undervalued cuts, like shins, and the so-called fifth quarter of a carcass (the offal).

Mr. Fearnley-Whittingstall hasn’t gone so far as to use blood as a flooring ingredient, but almost nothing goes to waste. In the kitchen, sheep’s intestines are soaking in cold water for making sausage, and the fridge is a Chaucerian chamber of innards.

Local food has become a focus throughout the rural West Country, with its many small farms. At the Masons Arms in the seaside village of Branscombe on the South Devon coast, the soft and tasty Branoc Ale is brewed a quarter of a mile from the village at the Branscombe Vale Brewery. The spit in the fireplace — gently turned by customers seated with pints at the open fire — was forged at the blacksmith’s half a mile the other way.

They even smoke the fish in the fireplace, hanging from the saw-teeth from which the spit is suspended. The fireback is a tarry glistening black — not from the fire but from the fat of all the meat that has cooked there.

The stonewalled bar has been there since 1350, when masons from the local quarry would stop in to ease their dusty throats. The bar top still has a brass slot where thirsty horsemen would (allegedly) ride right up to the counter and drop in a penny to have a pint of cider pulled.

At a small pub table, a plain white bowl of pea and ham soup is a soft green, like the turf above the cliffs. Slender sweet juliennes of pepper are just right against the smooth texture of the soup. The fresh beer-battered haddock caught off the coast is succulent and chunky, and the leek, salmon, mussel and haddock stew, in its own pot with a lid of Cheddar-smothered mashed potatoes, is as heartwarming as seafood can be.

Upstairs, above the original horsehair ceilings, which sag like an old mattress between black, octagonal ships’ beams, there are 21 bedrooms with deeply uneven floors, where you can sleep off your time at the bar.

THE other end of the West Country, southwest Gloucestershire, has its local food movement, too. Stroud has a history of independent-mindedness, being one of the first English towns to set up its own currency. It was also one of the first to have an active farmers’ market (the 2008 National Farmers’ Retail and Markets Association’s Market of the Year), which spills out from Cornhill Market, a stone-columned square in the middle of town.

Just down the hill, the Star Anise Art Cafe specializes in vegetarian food with a local emphasis. It’s a good place to hang out, and like so many buildings in this corner of the West Country, it’s built of the lovely Cotswold stone, a soft yellow that blends into the rolling hills.

In nearby Nailsworth, the chef at Wild Garlic, Matthew Beardshall, will pull his car over on the way to work, and stroll into the woods to pick the restaurant’s eponymous herb. It grows in abundance in the Cotswold hills.

“It likes shade,” he says. “The sun brings out the smell, so it’s easy to find.” He likes to stuff the long dark-green leaves under the skin of chicken.

But it’s only one of many items the surrounding woods and farms supply. He’ll plan the week’s meals according to what the farmers tell him they have.

“If I hear, say, the purple sprouting’s good but there’s only one more week of it, then I go with that,” he says. “It’s insane to import organic stuff from Chile.”

He buys some of his meat from Prince Charles’s nearby Duchy of Cornwall farms. (The prince is well known as a champion of local organic food.)

“I’ll buy a whole piece of meat, not cuts,” Mr. Beardshall says. “Then I can render down the fat for roasting potatoes, and use the trimmings for sauce. Or the butcher goes out shooting, and comes back with pigeon and rabbit. We’ll take what he bags. Unprepped pigeons don’t look pretty, but they taste great.”

In his restaurant, which has spare wood floors and stone walls, the local poet Jay Ramsay and I start with ramekins of smooth chicken liver parfait covered with a lid of pure butter — a traditional English method of sealing. The livers are from local organic chickens, mixed with rendered pork fat. With a shot glass of fig and honey compote on the side, and slices of thick white toast, the smooth pâté is superb.

As are his thick pappardelle with tender slow-braised rabbit in sage, and chicken with bok choy, potatoes and wild garlic leaves. Between courses, Mr. Beardshall serves a little granita of caramelized apple and thyme.

Over all, an evening at Wild Garlic is a perfect marriage of the modern and the medieval. It’s as if the industrial era has been neatly leapfrogged. And you can stay the night, too, in the spacious 16-century rooms of the Heavens Above guesthouse upstairs.


At River Cottage Canteen (Trinity Square, Axminster, Devon; 44-1297-631-862; www.rivercottage.net) a three-course dinner runs £20 to £30 a person, about $30 to $45 at $1.48 to the pound. Highlights: Local line-caught sea bass with citrus salsa, slow-roast saddleback pork shoulder.

River Cottage HQ, the project’s farm (Trinity Hill Road, Axminster; 44-1297-630-300) runs daylong courses and special food events, like mushroom foraging, or how to butcher a pig and use all the parts. They cost £80 to £125.

Masons Arms (Branscombe; 44-1297-680-300; www.masonsarms.co.uk) charges £29.95 for the three-course dinner menu. Highlights: Seared local scallops, confit of aromatic duck leg with truffle oil mash. In the bar, meals cost £10 to £15. Highlights: steamed venison and mushroom pudding, West Country lobster with spring onion risotto.

At Wild Garlic (3 Cossack Square, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire; 44-1453-832-615; www.wild-garlic.co.uk) two courses run £20 to £25. Highlights: Seared partridge breast with honey-pickled parsnips, poached and roasted poussin with black pudding stuffing.

Star Anise Art Cafe (Old Painswick Inn, Gloucester Street, Stroud; 44-1453-840-021); main courses are £5 to £10, and it has pastries and great coffee and teas.

2020 Vision – The Changing UK Doctorate



在本周,英国皇家化学学会(Royal Society of Chemistry)就发出警告说,当今的英国学生所受的训练是为了应付考试,提高学校在考试成绩排名榜上的位置,但是,他们并没有学习到如何真正解决难题,也没有利用自己具批评性的思考。

不过,让学者关注的不单是学校的学生。英国兰卡斯达大学(Lancaster University)研究院的负责教授课里斯•帕克(Chris Park)也就英国研究院中的博士生的水平表达了类似的担忧。



帕克教授是在最近举行的一次有关英国大学博士生的研讨会上作此表示的。研讨会的主题是:“展望2020 – 正在改变的英国博士生制度”(2020 Vision – The Changing UK Doctorate)。






在本年度的研究生经验调查(Postgraduate Research Experience Survey 2008)中,大部分参加调查的博士生都对他们的导师所提供的辅导课的水平感到满意。

这次调查是为英国高等教育学院(Higher Education Academy)进行的。




2008年11月28日 星期五

Equal Pay Act

在英国,规定男女同工同酬的法律1975年生效,但是根据女权组织福西特协会(Fawcett Society)最近的一项调查,女职工的收入仍比男工低17%。

这样说来,刚刚庆祝百年华诞的伊迪斯•肯特(Edith Kent)也许应当令人格外钦佩。她早在1943年便达到了同工同酬的理想。




根据1944年2月英国劳工部(Ministry of Labour)的报告,当时包括加班费在内的每周税前平均收入为:男工6镑1先令4便士,女工3镑2先令。



Pounds,Shillings and Pence
改革后取消先令,每镑定为100“新便士”(New Pence),但过了几年大家熟悉新币之后,取消了“新”字。





最近,华威大学(University of Warwick)就同工同酬理想在过去一个世纪的历程收集汇编的一批历史文件放到网上。

其中包括社会改良组织费边社(Fabian Society)在1911年为妇女同工不同酬的困苦进行申诉的册子,也有不少两次世界大战期间的工会和政治团体主张同工同酬的文献。

但也有的文件是反对这个事业的,譬如工党议员里斯•戴维斯(Rhys J Davies)在1925年的一项声明中说,这完全是荒谬的奢求。

还 有一份1950年代全国男教师协会(National Association of Schoolmasters,英国第二大教师工会)的传单,呼吁全国教师工会(National Union of Teachers)的男性成员好好反省一下自己工会同工同酬政策对男老师的不利。



1944年,战争年代的英国联合政府设立了一个独立的“皇家调查委员会”(Royal Commission)研讨同工同酬问题。


但是真正标志同工同酬进程的是1970年通过,1975年底生效的同工同酬法(Equal Pay Act)。







《每日郵報》"拖鞋瘋" (標題)




2008年11月27日 星期四

Mile of London Tunnels for Sale

Mile of London Tunnels for Sale, History Included

Steve Forrest for The New York Times

David Hembra of the BT Group, Britain’s largest phone company, in one of the secret tunnels built during World War II as bomb shelters for London residents. More Photos >

Published: November 27, 2008

LONDON — For sale: a vast tunnel complex in central London. Former tenants include Britain’s secret service, the famous hot line between America and the Soviet Union during the cold war and 400 tons of government documents. The asking price is $7.4 million.

After years of lying unused beneath the traffic-jammed streets of the city, the tunnel complex — one mile of underground corridors and adjacent rooms — is now for sale by the BT Group, Britain’s largest phone company. BT hopes the site’s special features will attract buyers even as the property market above ground is going through its biggest downturn in decades.

Appearing more like the set of a James Bond movie than prime real estate, the complex still has a bar and two canteens, not in use, and a billiard room, not to mention functioning water and electricity supplies.

The tunnels were built during World War II as bomb shelters for about 8,000 people and were designed to allow them to survive for five weeks shut off from the outside world.

An eclectic range of would-be buyers has asked about the space, including an overseas billionaire seeking a spot to hold his board meetings. Others who have expressed interest include those looking for a location for a wine collection, London’s police and local electricity companies, said Niall Gallagher, the realty agent at Farebrother Chartered Surveyors in charge of finding a suitable buyer.

“It’s a weird and wonderful space,” Mr. Gallagher said. “It really captured people’s imagination. There were many inquiries, and we received one or two interesting offers.”

The tunnels were built in 1940 during the blitz, when Britain came under sustained air attacks from Nazi Germany. The government decided to create eight underground bomb shelters in London, as the city’s subway stations were not big enough to accommodate all those seeking refuge.

But the BT tunnels, and one other, were never used by the public because the government needed them for its own operations. The BT tunnels soon became a temporary base for troops before D-Day while another tunnel was turned into the European headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1944, the tunnels became a base from which the Allies helped resistance movements in Nazi-occupied countries. Members of the secret service, in offices equipped with telephones and teleprinters hidden beneath the war-torn streets, helped coordinate as many as 10,000 men and women gathering support against the Nazi regime across Europe.

After the war, the tunnel network became an important operations center for the company once known as British Telecommunications. In recent years, though, BT has used the space mostly for storage. The company decided to put the tunnels up for sale a few weeks ago.

Though some may fantasize about buying the space and living a secret life in a cavernous underground world filled with gadgets suitable for the Bat Cave, the reality would most likely be harsher.

The air is dry, hot and stale. The constant rattling of London Underground trains rushing through a separate tunnel system a few feet above and the sound of giant ventilation fans make the tunnels a noisy environment.

Turning the tunnels into a nightclub or hotel is out of the question because only two elevators link them to the outside world; even a small fire would be difficult to contain.

The tunnels are closed to the public, but the people who still work there, mostly for maintenance, enter through an inconspicuous iron door on Furnival Street, a quiet path behind busy Chancery Lane, close to the Royal Courts of Justice and not far from the River Thames. Apart from an old industrial crane attached to the facade of the windowless building, nothing hints at the vast underground labyrinth below it.

The tunnels’ history gives them an aura of mystery, kept alive by the handful of BT employees still working there.

David Hay, a BT historian, said legend had it that the government wanted to keep the location of the tunnels so secret that it hired foreign workers with no knowledge of the London streets to build them. BT staff members are still under strict orders not to reveal the exact location of the system, though incomplete maps have surfaced on the Internet.

“We just don’t know what the future owner will want to use it for, so we can’t disclose more information,” David Hembra, one of the maintenance workers who now visits the tunnels several times a week to check for gas leaks and other problems, said.

When Mr. Hembra started to work in the tunnels 10 years ago, their pivotal years were behind them, and little remained from the turbulent days of World War II. The offices were removed after the war ended, when new tenants moved in. Britain’s public records office needed the space to store more than 400 tons of documents.

But it was not long before the documents had to be moved again to make room for a secure international telephone center that the government deemed necessary as relations between Washington and Moscow grew tense. During the cold war, the British government instructed its telephone department, which later became BT, to set up a secret communications system based on the latest technology that would be able to survive a nuclear attack.

It was the beginning of the busiest period for the tunnels, with almost 200 workers spending their days and nights underground to route up to two million calls a week across the 6,600 phone lines. In 1963, the hot line established between Moscow and Washington after the Cuban missile crisis ran through the London tunnels.

The buzzing complex soon became known as “underground town,” with its own recreation room complete with dartboards and billiard tables, a movie theater and two dining halls. Workers often spent the night in sleeping rooms.

By the early 1980s, technology had advanced so much that the tunnels’ telephone center became obsolete, and BT’s technicians moved back above ground.

Today, anyone wandering the vast corridors is still reminded of their place in history as a bank of telephone cables stands next to colossal electricity generators from the 1960s. Remnants of that life are visible amid the brown-and-orange wall decoration in the old bar, color photographs of the world above in the restaurant and a canteen kitchen equipped with potato-peeling machine, dishwasher and a menu board offering sausages and peas.

“In the winter months, if you didn’t come up at lunchtime, you never saw the light of day,” John Warrick, a former worker, wrote on the Web site Subterranea Britannica, remembering his days in the tunnels. “Life down there was a little like living in a submarine.”

2008年11月26日 星期三

Britain Grapples With Disturbing Abuse Cases




《泰晤士報》援引法官說,這是他處理刑事案件四十年來遇上最惡劣的案件。政界和兒童保護專家質疑,二十年來曾經有無數社工、醫生、教師、 警察與這個家庭有接觸,但是卻沒能看出案件端倪。設菲爾德市議會已經下令進行獨立調查,並探討當地警方和郡議會在這個問題上的角色。


Britain Grapples With Disturbing Abuse Cases

Published: November 27, 2008

LONDON — In one case, a 56-year-old unemployed businessman from Sheffield was convicted of terrorizing and repeatedly raping — and fathering nine children with — his two daughters over nearly three decades. In the other, a 27-year-old woman from London and two other people were convicted of inflicting a barrage of injuries on her 17-month-old son and finally battering him to death.

The two cases, which have both come to light in the last few weeks, have horrified the British public and raised disturbing questions about the effectiveness of Britain’s vast social-service system. Both families had repeated contact with an army of social workers, doctors, hospital workers and police officers, and both families were left intact despite troubling, even blatant, evidence of severe mistreatment.

Why, people are wondering, did they fail to intervene when the warning signs seemed so obvious?

“People will want to know how such abuse could go on for so long without the authorities and the wider public services discovering it and taking action,” Prime Minister Gordon Brown said in Parliament this week, speaking of the case where the women were abused. “If there is a change to be made in the system and the system has failed, we will change the system.”

At the same time, the cases also shed light on the difficulties in a system that, critics say, is severely understaffed and overly bureaucratic. Speaking of the case of the toddler, Ian Johnston, chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers, cautioned that the government should not “look for scapegoats.”

Instead, he said, the investigation should focus on “crucial issues around the high turnover of staff in child protection social work, excessive caseloads, over-reliance on agency workers, an absence of supervision for often inexperienced or nonpermanent workers and a systemic obsession with inputting information into a database at the expense of time spent with children at risk.”

British law places severe restrictions on the release and reporting of details in family law cases. As a result, details are much harder to come by than those in the case, say, of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who kept his daughter locked in a cellar for 24 years, fathering her seven children.

But testimony in both trials has laid bare not just horrible abuse but a seemingly wholesale breakdown in the safety net meant to protect vulnerable children.

The public first heard about the case of 17-month-old Baby P., as he has been identified by the court, when his mother, her boyfriend and a tenant in their house in Haringey, north London, went on trial this month for his murder. It emerged that Baby P. had had contact with social workers, doctors, the police and child welfare agencies at least 60 times in an eight-month period in which he suffered at least 50 injuries. He had been placed on a register meant to monitor high-risk cases.

Baby P.’s mother was detained and questioned several times by the police after doctors found suspicious bruises, swellings and scratches on his body. Once, it emerged, she had fooled a visiting social worker by obscuring Baby P.’s injuries with chocolate.

At one point, a social worker recommended that he be placed in foster care. But British family law holds that every effort should be made to place children with friends or relatives, and Baby P. was sent to stay with a family friend for five weeks, only to return home.

He was found dead in his blood-stained crib in August 2007. A pathologist who examined him afterward found that his back and eight ribs were broken, that he had a swallowed a tooth after being violently hit on the head and that some of his fingernails were missing. The pathologist said he had never seen such damage done to a child.

The other case came to light when the two women complained formally in June after nearly 30 years of abuse. They said that their father began beating, raping and menacing them when they were children. Abandoned by their mother, who had also been abused, they later became pregnant time and time again, 19 times in all. Sometimes they miscarried; sometimes they aborted the babies after abnormalities were discovered in prenatal tests. Two babies died at birth.

The father was able to keep the abuse a secret by moving frequently in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, settling in remote villages and limiting contact with outsiders. He beat the women with his hands, his feet and a belt, and burned his younger daughter, the women said. He warned that if they went to the police, they would lose their children.

There were signs that the women, or other family members, sought help from time to time. Their older brother, who left home when he was 15, reported his father to the police, but the women denied that he was their children’s father, the authorities said. When the question of paternity was raised by doctors, they also claimed that the father was someone else.

The judge in the trial, Alan Goldsack, told the court it was the worst case he had seen in 40 years of criminal law. “Questions will inevitably be asked about what professionals, social and medical workers have been doing for the last 20 years,” he said.

2008年11月25日 星期二

forced marriage










這項新法規受到了婦女權益保護組織Ashiana Network的歡迎。該組織向來自南亞、土耳其和伊朗等地遭受家庭暴力的婦女提供保護。



2008年11月24日 星期一





英国创新、大学和技能部(Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, DIUS)大臣约翰·德纳姆(John Denham)表示,政府将继续努力,让新的高等教育机构为地方经济和居民带来繁荣和机会。



但是白金汉大学(University of Buckingham)的教育教授艾伦·史密瑟斯(Alan Smithers)对设立新大学持保留态度。




英国大学和学院工会(Universities and College Union, UCU)的总干事萨莉·亨特(Sally Hunt)也表示,“扩大教育机会是正确的目标,但是我们希望教育制度能确保学生有机会完全发挥他们的潜力。”

James Gillray

Wikipedia article "James Gillray".

Art Encyclopedia:

James Gillray

(b London, 13 Aug 1756; d London, 1 June 1815). English draughtsman and engraver. During his career he engraved over 1500 prints and invented, almost single-handed, the genre of British political caricature. In his lifetime he was feared and admired; his reputation waned in the strait-laced moral climate that succeeded the Regency. In 1831 the Athenaeum described him as a 'caterpillar on the green leaf of Reputation'.

Gillray, James 哥倫比亞百科
(gĭl') , 1757–1815, English caricaturist and illustrator. He was essentially self-trained although he studied at the Royal Academy and on the Continent. His caricatures of the court of George III made him immensely popular. His masterly delineations, vigorous, clever, often subtle, sometimes vulgar and grotesque, numbered more than 12,000. Among his best-known cartoons are A New Way to Pay the National Debt (1796), Social Elements in Skating (1805), and A Rake's Progress at the University (1806). Insanity ended his career in 1811.

Record: 18224

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Artists and the Royal Academy

© City of London

Description "Titianus redivivius; or the seven wise men consulting the new Venetian oracle. - A scene in ye Academic Grove, No.1"; scene showing artists in front of the Royal Academy at Somerset House.
Artist Gillray, James (1756-1815)
Engraver Gillray, James (1756-1815)
Publisher Bohn, Henry G.
Date of Execution 1797
Medium etching
Support paper
Longest Dimension 57cms
Shortest Dimension 44cms
Section Guildhall Library Print Room
Collection Satirical Print Collection
Location Satires 1797
Picture Type satire
Catalogue No p5384608
Accession No -
Notes Miss Provis stands on a rainbow daubing paint on the face of Titian. Reynolds' ghost appears from the paved floor in the foreground. On the right John Boydell and two companions run off furtively. The seven artists sitting in the light of the rainbow include Joseph Farington, John Opie, and Richard Westall.

2008年11月22日 星期六

Financial Times

Wikipedia article "Financial Times".
On April 23, 2007, following in the wake of other notable newspaper redesigns such as the January 2007 Wall Street Journal revamp, the FT also relaunched the paper, complete with a new typeface, new labelling, but with no reduction in paper size (unlike with the recent Wall Street Journal redesign or the expected New York Times redesign). This redesign has been billed by some as the “most dramatic revamp [of the FT] in a generation” and, in addition to the typeface changes, includes the addition of more panels in the news pages, more first page feature content in the “Companies and Markets” section, and more “squeezed” sports content, to allow for an extra foreign news page.[3] FT editor Barber notes that the changes are “evolutionary and will provide extra news, deeper analysis and comment. By improving the navigation of the newspaper, we're aiming to help our busy readers get more out of the paper so that they understand that the Financial Times is not only as an informative and entertaining read, but also as an essential business tool”[4] and he dubs the redesigned paper as being a “sharper” FT.[5] Some subtle changes include the reintroduction, above the leaders, of the FT's original 1888 motto, “Without fear and without favour”[6] and more signposts to FT.com. To coincide with the redesign, Pearson PLC announced a new advertising campaign centred around the tag-line “We Live in Financial Times”.[7][8] The FT redesign was handled by and was the first major project for design firm Shakeup Media and young American designer Ryan Bowman.[9][10]

不過 作者沒有搞清楚為什麼"品質" 實體和網路 或 資料或人才庫等 樣樣不比FT差的WSJ必須縮版和換老版

堅持品質 金融時報賺錢有道

  • 2008-11-23
  • 中國時報
  • 【江靜玲/特稿】

 「在這個行業四十四年,我從未見過一個全國性的報紙會沒找不到買主!」資深英國媒體人、曾任英國《鏡報》總編輯,目前在《衛報》負責媒體訊息和編輯的葛林史萊德(Roy Greenslade)感嘆地表示。他指的是《獨立報》裁員的事。之前圈內傳出,百萬富豪傑克高德史密斯有意介入《獨立報》,但衡量了一下口袋,很快就放棄了。這與不及十年前,《每日電訊報》急欲易手引發搶購,《快報》和《郵報》兩大集團均參與競爭,最後住在澤西島的神秘富商巴克萊兄弟以高價逼退其他競標者,不可同日而語。報紙真的沒人要了嗎?答案是不盡然,否則,梅鐸為什麼要花五十億美元收購《華爾街日報》?  

「關鍵在於,你要什麼,你怎麼去辦這份報紙。」《快報》前總編輯、現任全球多家報業顧問,一年前成功替《金融時報》周末版策畫新版面的理查亞迪斯(Richard Addis)說。  《金融時報》是個很好的例子。當全球平面媒體經營陷入泥淖時,《金融時報》去年收益卻成長了一一%。  該報總編輯巴柏(Lionel Baber)最近接受英國廣播公司訪問時,扼要地分析其成功的三個主因為:專業化、全球觀點和國際市場。  


巴柏此一說法,與《泰晤士報》前總編輯、目前為梅鐸調到紐約擔任道瓊發行人的湯姆森(Robert Thomson)一致。一年半前,湯姆森與倫敦外籍記者聚會時,曾感慨《泰晤士報》精減海外特派的作法,在他看來,「並不恰當。」  《金融時報》近年來也極力爭取文筆和觀念獨特的專欄作家。像是以創辦《壁紙》雜誌著名的布雷(Tyler Brule),以及有世界五大品酒師之稱的羅賓森(Jancis Robinson),都是該報周末版的專欄作者。 「我們付好的價錢給作者,因為好的產品,是要付代價的。」巴柏說。同樣的,《金融時報》的零售價也不得不上漲,但閱報率未降反升。  


Thomas Cook (tourist agency)

On a Guided Tour
On a Guided Tour
What would traveling to new destinations be without the guided tour? Born two hundred years ago today, Thomas Cook came up with the idea for group excursions in 1841, leading several hundred campaigners from Leicester to Loughborough and charging them a flat rate for their train tickets and lunch. He established his own tourist agency and began leading groups around Europe and, later, to the United States.

2008年11月21日 星期五

No such thing as a free crunch


No such thing as a free crunch

這標題模仿No such thing as a free lunch.

    1. A decisive confrontation.
    2. A critical moment or situation, especially one that occurs because of a shortage of time or resources: a year-end crunch; an energy crunch.
    3. A period of financial difficulty characterized by tight money and unavailability of credit

Nov 19th 2008
From The World in 2009 print edition

London will rebound from the financial crisis, but it has work to do to stay competitive, argues the city's mayor Boris Johnson

TWO decades ago Londoners used to fret about whether their city was faring better or worse than Paris. A decade ago, around the time of the launch of the euro, Londoners worried that Frankfurt would gain the upper hand. But in 2008 London can claim to be the financial centre of not just Europe but the world, on a par with (or by some accounts surpassing) New York. The twin cities of NY-Lon, the diamonds on the opposite coasts of the Atlantic, are now the only two truly world cities, global magnets for talent and business.

But there is no perch more perilous than the top one, especially when a hurricane hits. London has traditionally been super-cyclical, experiencing the ups and downs of the British economy in magnified form. With financial services playing such a large part of its economy, it is particularly vulnerable. The collapse of American banks such as Lehman hits London as hard as British ones such as HBOS.

London has also been at the forefront of Britain’s debt-fuelled house-price boom, and is at the forefront of the collapse. By October 2008, house prices had fallen by around 10% from their peak, and only Pollyannas can persuade themselves that the widespread predictions of further falls are wrong.

History is little help in forecasting how this financial and housing turmoil will affect the wider economy, but there is cause for sensible optimism. Comparisons with the 1930s are wildly overblown—then around a quarter of adults were unemployed, whereas now the figure is only around 5%. The fall in the stockmarket and the rise in inflation are a fraction of what they were then. Indeed, by some measures stocks already appear underpriced.

The diverse and dynamic London economy may take a hit, but it is fundamentally very sound. Londoners are highly productive, and in many industries besides finance, such as creative ones, they are world-class. My economists predict that the London economy will grow—albeit marginally—in 2009, before rebounding in 2010.

NY-Lon, maybe, but not TefLon

But the financial crisis is bringing to the fore many of the longer-term challenges that London faces. The most immediate danger is that we over-regulate and over-tax ourselves into a second-class city. The British government must not respond to the crisis by imposing so many new rules on bankers that we drive them elsewhere, as the American government did with the Sarbanes-Oxley act after the Enron scandal. You can’t regulate your way out of a recession, but you can regulate your way into one. It is essential at this time to defend financial services from its many detractors. The masters of the universe may not be popular here, but there are many other parts of the universe that would welcome them with open arms.

Rising taxes are also making us uncompetitive. The British government has steadily increased the tax burden on multinational corporations, making London increasingly unattractive as a base for global headquarters. Some companies have already left, and at the end of 2008 around 40 of the FTSE 100 companies are considering relocating. It is a cause of intense anxiety to the industry leaders of my International Business Advisory Council, who have warned me that high taxes—particularly on foreign earnings—are making London an unattractive base. Our once predictable tax regime has become unpredictable, with Treasury U-turns and threats of windfall taxes on energy companies.

Personal taxation, too, has become less favourable with the botched introduction of the levy on non-doms and the increase in capital-gains tax. It is not in my powers to change such taxes, and unless the national government adopts a strategy of global tax competitiveness, the exodus of HQs from London will accelerate.

It is essential at this time to defend financial services from its many detractors

A review of London’s financial services has shown that, although London has many strengths, its competitiveness in many areas is decreasing. Global wealth is moving east, a trend that the financial crisis can only deepen. Asian and Middle Eastern financial centres pose a growing challenge to our financial dominance. There are concerns that London’s IT infrastructure is not up to future demands. The transport network is overstretched, and even airlines admit that Heathrow is a disgrace—not just a hassle for travellers, but giving a poor welcome to visitors, with long immigration queues. There are continuing concerns about London being one of the world’s most expensive cities. Although, like most Londoners, I believe London is the greatest city on earth, it performs poorly in many rankings of quality of life.

As mayor, I must make sure that everything is done to retain our global pre-eminence. London has an extraordinary resilience, based on the diversity and drive of those who reside in it. This resilience ensured it surmounted the challenges it faced in the past, and will ensure we surmount those in the years ahead.

manufacturing renaissance ( Britain)


Made in Britain

Nov 19th 2008
From The World in 2009 print edition
By John Rose

A leading industrialist puts the argument that the time is ripe for a manufacturing renaissance

Getty Images Back to the heyday?

Paradoxically, today’s challenging economic conditions provide a unique opportunity for Britain. A fundamental examination of how this nation earns its living is long overdue. The credit crunch could provide the impetus we need to answer a question that has defeated policymakers for more than 50 years: how can manufacturing be encouraged to create wealth as part of a competitive, high-value British economy?

Manufacturing’s problems began with the mis­guided notion that Britain should become a “post-industrial” economy: that we would focus on services and the creation of ideas, with other nations taking on the less attractive task of making the finished product. The results speak for themselves. Manufacturing now generates just 13% of GDP, compared with 32% in 1970.

The credit crisis has exposed the risks of an unbalanced economy. At a recent conference a senior British industrialist, about to address German government and industry representatives on our industrial policy, was introduced as follows: “Our speaker is now going to explain how you run an economy based on real estate.”

These imbalances have also prompted our politicians and commentators to consider seriously, some for the first time, the importance of high-value-added manufacturing in a developed economy. The government has published a new manufacturing strategy; the Conservatives are reviewing their policy towards industry. Our objective as a country must be to build on this work and define the policy and financial mechanisms required to encourage an expansion of manufacturing as part of a more balanced economy. We have to be ruthlessly honest about both the scale of the competition we face and the focused action which other countries are already taking to promote manufacturing.

Stop treating manufacturing as a relic of the industrial revolution

The first priority should be to stop treating manufacturing as a relic of the industrial revolution. High-value-added manufacturing brings huge benefits. It penetrates the economy of the entire country, not just London and the south-east. It pays well but avoids bewildering distortions of income. It drives and enables a broad range of skills and stimulates the growth of serv­ices. In short, it creates wealth.

The benefits are seen clearly in Derby, where around 11,000 people are employed by Rolls-Royce and a further 15,000 in its supply chain. Nearly 12% of the city’s workforce is involved in high technology, the highest figure in the country, and the number of skilled employees is 2.4 times the national average. Derby’s contribution to the British economy, measured by gross value added, is growing faster than that of any other city.

Manufacturing generates over three-quarters of R&D investment made by British businesses. This creates a strong technology base which opens new options for all businesses.

That is why Britain’s decision to proceed with new nuclear is so important: it has the potential to catalyse a manufacturing renaissance. If we can become a nuclear “first mover” we will develop our nuclear capability and supply chain, enabling us to benefit from a growing glo­bal market. This industry also demands a very broad range of skills, from project management to materials science, most of which are transferable to other sectors.

What is true of civil nuclear is true of high-value-added manufacturing more generally. I am struck by the fact that almost all developed and emerging economies have well articulated plans to capture and promote this sort of manufacturing. Britain risks being the only country out of step. We need an economic route map for attracting and retaining high-value-added investment, identifying Britain’s competitive advantages with ruth­less honesty and prioritising both public and private investment accordingly.

This is not about protectionism or “picking winners”. It is simply an acknowledgment that most nations with these goals have a clear strategy for achieving them, with that clarity being part of their competitiveness. Britain’s success in the 2008 Olympics was based on precisely the sort of competitive assessment and focused investment that we must bring to our economic decisions. It has sent a strong signal to aspiring young sportsmen and women. The same will, I submit, be true of the signals sent to young people in education if we bring a similar clarity to addressing our economic competitiveness.

So how do I see British manufacturing faring in 2009? We still retain a strong industrial capability and science base. By setting the right priorities we can develop within a generation a more broadly based economy, with greater resilience and stronger exports. We will see a high-value-added manufacturing sector with deep product knowledge enabling growing services, and renewed demand for science-based subjects in schools and universities. It is entirely feasible that this new direction can be set in 2009 and that today’s economic difficulties will create the right conditions to inform this fundamental shift in attitude and policy.

Sir John Rose: chief executive, Rolls-Royce

2008年11月20日 星期四

Strictly Come Dancing, Woolworths


今天不得不提的是一條非常本地的消息:前政治事務編輯約翰﹒薩金特主動退出了英國廣播公司電視一台的舞蹈比賽節目Strictly Come Dancing。







  1. BBC - Strictly Come Dancing - Strictly Come Dancing Home Page

    Official BBC site for Strictly Come Dancing 2008. ... John and Kristina say goodbye to Strictly Come Dancing. John & Kristina. BBC News Report ...

    bbc.co.uk 的其它相關資訊 »
  2. BBC - Strictly Come Dancing - About the Site

    Learn all about Strictly Come Dancing 2008. ... The judges (The judging panel). Learn more about the Strictly Come Dancing judging panel ...
  3. Strictly Come Dancing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Strictly Come Dancing is a British television show, featuring celebrities with professional dance partners competing in Ballroom and Latin dances. ...









2008年11月19日 星期三

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice

Published: November 18, 2008

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.

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Danfung Dennis for The New York Times

A distraught wife seeking a divorce in a London Islamic court as the judge, Suhaib Hasan, talks with her husband by phone.

Danfung Dennis for The New York Times

Men praying at a Shariah council in London. Islamic judges usually urge troubled couples to try to preserve their marriages.

But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.

In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.

The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce.

This is Islamic justice, British style. Despite a raucous national debate over the limits of religious tolerance and the pre-eminence of British law, the tenets of Shariah, or Islamic law, are increasingly being applied to everyday life in cities across the country.

The Church of England has its own ecclesiastical courts. British Jews have had their own “beth din” courts for more than a century.

But ever since the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, called in February for aspects of Islamic Shariah to be embraced alongside the traditional legal system, the government has been grappling with a public furor over the issue, assuaging critics while trying to reassure a wary and at times disaffected Muslim population that its traditions have a place in British society.

Boxed between the two, the government has taken a stance both cautious and confusing, a sign of how volatile almost any discussion of the role of Britain’s nearly two million Muslims can become.

“There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Shariah principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law,” the justice minister, Jack Straw, said last month. But he added that British law would “always remain supreme,” and that “regardless of religious belief, we are all equal before the law.”

Conservatives and liberals alike — many of them unaware that the Islamic courts had been functioning at all, much less for years — have repeatedly denounced the courts as poor substitutes for British jurisprudence.

They argue that the Islamic tribunals’ proceedings are secretive, with no accountability and no standards for judges’ training or decisions.

Critics also point to cases of domestic violence in which Islamic scholars have tried to keep marriages together by ordering husbands to take classes in anger management, leaving the wives so intimidated that they have withdrawn their complaints from the police.

“They’re hostages to fortune,” said Parvin Ali, founding director of the Fatima Women’s Network, a women’s help group based in Leicester. Speaking of the courts, she said, “There is no outside monitoring, no protection, no records kept, no guarantee that justice will prevail.”

But as the uproar continues, the popularity of the courts among Muslims has blossomed.

Some of the informal councils, as the courts are known, have been giving advice and handing down judgments to Muslims for more than two decades.

Yet the councils have expanded significantly in number and prominence in recent years, with some Islamic scholars reporting a 50 percent increase in cases since 2005.

Almost all of the cases involve women asking for divorce, and through word of mouth and an ambitious use of the Internet, courts like the small, unadorned building in London where the father stepped in to plead his daughter’s case have become magnets for Muslim women seeking to escape loveless marriages — not only from Britain but sometimes also from Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Other cases involve disputes over property, labor, inheritances and physical injury. The tribunals stay away from criminal cases that might call for the imposition of punishments like lashing or stoning.

Indeed, most of the courts’ judgments have no standing under British civil law. But for the parties who come before them, the courts offer something more important: the imprimatur of God.

“We do not want to give the impression that Muslims are an isolated community seeking a separate legal system in this country,” said Shahid Raza, who adjudicates disputes from an Islamic center in the West London suburb of Ealing.

“We are not asking for criminal Shariah law — chopping of hands or stoning to death,” he continued. “Ninety-nine percent of our cases are divorce cases in which women are seeking relief. We are helping women. We are doing a service.”

Still, there is ample room for clashes with British custom. Three months ago, for example, a wealthy Bangladeshi family asked Dr. Raza’s council to resolve an inheritance dispute. It was resolved according to Shariah, he said. That meant the male heirs received twice as much as the female heirs.

Courts in the United States have endorsed Islamic and other religious tribunals, as in 2003, when a Texas appeals court referred a divorce case to a local council called the Texas Islamic Court.

But Shariah has been rejected in the West as well.

The Canadian province of Ontario had allowed rabbinical courts and Christian courts to resolve some civil and family disputes with binding rulings under a 1991 law. But when the Islamic Institute on Civil Justice there tried to create a Shariah court, it was attacked as a violation of the rights of Muslim women.

As a result, Ontario changed the entire system in 2006 to strip the rulings of any religious arbitration of legal validity or enforceability.

In Britain, beth din courts do not decide whether a Jewish couple’s marriage should end. They simply put their stamp of approval on the dissolution of the marriage when both parties agree to it. The beth din also adheres to the rules of Britain’s 1996 Arbitration Act and can function as an official court of arbitration in the consensual resolution of other civil disputes, like inheritance or business conflicts.

“People often come to us for reasons of speed, cost and secrecy,” said David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din. “There’s nothing to prevent Muslims from doing the same thing.”

In Britain’s Islamic councils, however, if a wife wants a divorce and the husband does not, the Shariah court can grant her unilateral request to dissolve the marriage.

Most Shariah councils do not recognize the Arbitration Act, although Mr. Straw has been pushing them in recent months to do so. The main reason for their opposition is that they do not want the state involved in what they consider to be matters of religion.

The conflict over British Shariah courts comes at a time when Islamic principles are being extended to other areas of daily life in Britain.

There are now five wholly Islamic banks in the country and a score more that comply with Shariah.

An insurance company last summer began British advertising for “car insurance that’s right for your faith” because it does not violate certain Islamic prohibitions, like the one against gambling.

Britain’s first Shariah-compliant prepaid MasterCard was begun in August.

Here in London, Suhaib Hasan’s “courtroom” is a sparsely furnished office of the Islamic Shariah Council in Leyton, a working-class neighborhood in the eastern corner of the city. It has no lawyers or court stenographer, no recording device or computer, so Dr. Hasan takes partial notes in longhand.

“Please, will you give him another chance?” he asked the woman in black who was seeking divorce — that is, before she brought in the weighty voice of her father.

“No, no!” the woman, a 24-year-old employment consultant who had come seeking justice from 200 miles away, replied. “I gave him too many chances. He is an evil, evil man.”

“I’ll give you one month’s time to try to reconcile,” Dr. Hasan ruled.

Then her father tipped the scales.

“He was not a cucumber that we could cut open to know that he was rotten inside,” the father testified. “The only solution is divorce.”

Apparently convinced, Dr. Hasan said he would recommend divorce at the London Central Mosque, where he and several other religious scholars meet once a month to give final approval to cases like this.

Dr. Hasan, a silver-bearded, Saudi-educated scholar of Pakistani origin, handles the Pakistani community; an Egyptian ministers to the ethnic Arab community, while a Bangladeshi and a Somali work with their own communities.

The council in Leyton is one of the oldest and largest courts in the country. It has been quietly resolving disputes since 1982 and has dealt with more than 7,000 divorce cases.

Under some interpretations of Islamic law, a woman needs the blessing of a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence to be divorced, while a man can simply say three times that he is divorcing his wife.

Dr. Hasan counsels women that they must have their civil marriages dissolved in the British civil system.

“We always try to keep the marriages together, especially when there are children,” said Dr. Hasan’s wife, Shakila Qurashi, who works as an unofficial counselor for women.

If the husband beats her, she should go to the police and have a divorce, Ms. Qurashi said. “But if he’s slapped her only once or something like that,” she said, “and he admits he has made a mistake and promised not to do it again, then we say, ‘You have to forgive.’ ”

One recent afternoon, the waiting room was full of women and their family members.

A Pakistan-born 33-year-old mother of five explained that her husband would beat her and her children. “He threatens to kill us,” she said, as her daughter translated from Urdu. “He calls me a Jew and an infidel.” Dr. Hasan told her to immediately get police protection and request an Islamic divorce.

Another woman, 25, wanted out of a two-year-old arranged marriage with a man who refused to consummate the relationship. Dr. Hasan counseled dialogue.

“Until we see the husband,” he said, “we can’t be sure that what you’re saying is true.”

Basil Katz contributed reporting.

2008年11月18日 星期二

A British Lesson on Auto Bailouts

A British Lesson on Auto Bailouts

Published: November 17, 2008

PARIS — A faltering auto giant whose brands are synonymous with the open road. Hundreds of thousands of unionized workers with powerful political backers. An urgent plea for the government to write a virtual blank check.

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Austin 850s rolled off the line at a factory in Birmingham run by a predecessor of British Leyland.

Ina Fassbender/Reuters

Cars from G.M.’s German subsidiary, Opel, which is pressing for assistance from Berlin in the form of credit guarantees.

This is not the story of Ford and General Motors, but British Leyland, a car company that went through £11 billion of inflation-adjusted British taxpayer money, or $16.5 billion, in the ’70s and ’80s before going out of business. All that is left of the company now are memories of cars like the Triumph, and a painful lesson in the limited effectiveness of bailouts.

“It’s all too evocative,” said Leon Brittan, a top official in the government of Margaret Thatcher, the free-market-minded prime minister who nevertheless backed the rescue. “I’m not telling the U.S. what to do, but the lessons of the British experience is don’t throw good money after bad. British Leyland carried on for a few more years, but they’re not there now, are they?”

Other experts are sounding the same alarm. “The British Leyland experience is a relevant and cautionary one,” said John Casesa, a principal in the automotive consulting firm Casesa Shapiro Group in New York. “The government got in the business of trying to make a winner out of a structurally flawed company. That’s the risk in the U.S. as well.”

Though Continental automakers have fared better than British ones, Mr. Casesa argues that the long history of government support in Europe made companies like Renault and Fiat strong players in their home markets, but not worldwide.

“With the exception of BMW and Mercedes, European automakers haven’t been globally successful,” he said. “Nor have they been hugely profitable.”

That comparative history is receiving new attention as Congress turns its attention this week to the fate of Detroit.

The British Leyland bailout remains the classic example of a futile government intervention. The tight cooperation between governments and automakers on the Continent has produced happier results.

For half a century after World War II, the French government was the majority stakeholder in Renault, and Paris still holds a 15 percent stake in the company. In the 1980s, the company received a bailout equal to nearly 4 billion euros, or $5.1 billion in today’s money. Now it is highly profitable — at least compared with its American counterparts.

Today, G.M.’s German subsidiary, Opel, is appealing to Berlin for help, seeking more than 1 billion euros in credit guarantees, according to Carl-Peter Forster, G.M.’s European chief.

Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said her government would make a decision before Christmas.

“It’s not decided yet whether these loan guarantees will become necessary,” Mrs. Merkel told reporters in Berlin after meeting with Mr. Forster and other management and labor officials.

“If these guarantees become necessary, those funds should remain within Opel” in Germany, she added, echoing a concern some Americans have expressed that any United States bailout money go only to American automakers.

So far, Asian companies have not complained that such a bailout would amount to an anticompetitive subsidy. But José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, said last week that he thought an aid package for Detroit could be “illegal” under World Trade Organization rules.

That has not stopped European automakers from seeking 40 billion euros in loans from the European Investment Bank, ostensibly to help develop cleaner cars.

For Garel Rhys, head of the Center for Automotive Industry Research at Cardiff University in Wales, the trajectory of General Motors is reminiscent of British Leyland not only because of the former’s decision to seek aid to avert bankruptcy, but also for its slow, seemingly inexorable loss of market share. “Both had a history of being the biggest in their market but couldn’t adapt as they lost sales,” he said. “They couldn’t get customers back.”

Historically, British Leyland’s roots stretched back further than Henry Ford’s Model T. The company controlled 36 percent of the British market well into the 1970s, with mass-market brands like Austin and Morris and premium lines like MG and Jaguar. But rising competition from Japanese and German automakers, shoddy workmanship and a breakdown in labor relations brought the company to near bankruptcy by 1975, Mr. Rhys said.

Michael Edwardes, who took over as British Leyland’s chief executive in November 1977, recalled that when he joined, no one even knew whether individual brands were profitable. “It was a farce — no one knew what the costs were,” he said.

As it turned out, every MG the company sold in the United States resulted in a loss of $2,000 for British Leyland.

Wildcat strikes consumed more than 32 million worker-hours in 1977, and the company became a symbol of labor strife, with some employees walking out the door with spark plugs in their coat pockets and engines in the trunks of their cars, Mr. Edwardes said.

Mr. Edwardes immediately began reducing the company’s work force of roughly 200,000 — to 104,000 within five years — and closing 19 factories. He appealed to the Thatcher government for aid, arguing the money was needed if British Leyland was going to be able to afford to lay off workers while investing in new models.

Eventually, the government put up £3.6 billion, equal to £11 billion in today’s money. But the rescue did not do much to preserve British Leyland’s labor force or market share in the long term.

By the time it received its last government infusion of cash in 1988, Mr. Rhys said, British Leyland’s market share had slumped to 15 percent. British Leyland evolved into MG Rover, which was eventually acquired by BMW, then spun off, finally going bankrupt in 2005.

According to Mr. Rhys, just 22,000 workers remain at British Leyland’s successor companies, about 10 percent of its work force in the mid-1970s.

“It was a very poor return,” he said. “We felt collectively and nationally that we got our fingers burnt, and this was always used as a reason to avoid bailouts, both by Labor and Conservative governments in Britain.”

Mr. Edwardes still defends the government aid, arguing it preserved parts of the company that remain in business now — like Jaguar and Land Rover, which were bought by Ford.

Jaguar never made a profit for Ford, however, and was sold with Land Rover to Tata Motors of India earlier this year. Ford recouped only about half of what it paid to acquire the two brands, and is estimated to have poured $10 billion into Jaguar.

Despite the British experience, the case of Renault, which combined fresh money and new management in the 1980s, showed that government bailouts can be beneficial.

The French government help for Renault also came amid increasing losses for the company. But Mr. Rhys said that unlike British Leyland, Renault was able to use the financing to create new car models that were ultimately successful. That, along with tough cost-cutting by a newly installed chairman, cleared the road to profitability by the time the government began privatizing Renault in the 1990s.

If Washington does go ahead and help Detroit, Mr. Edwardes said, it is crucial that the government overhaul the management of the Big Three. “Throwing money at them isn’t enough,” he said. “They need money and they need new management. They need both, not one or the other.”