是我的錯。我曾以為，2012年倫敦奧運會注定要成為一場鬧劇。現在我知道，倫敦奧運會將辦成一次熱鬧的歡慶會，為倫敦無與倫比的全球中心地位喝彩。我一是錯在低估了組織者的狡猾，二是錯在，對於什麼才是衡量成功的合適標準，我的看法太過天真。就在倫敦地鐵系統再次發生重大故障的那一天，我恍然大悟。當時，數千人被困在地下，酷熱難耐。這個宏大的設計作品一下成為了人們的關注焦點。有些人或許會想，這起最新的事故，是那些理智的人們應該在奧運人潮到來之前逃離倫敦的又一個原因。恩，沒錯。但這樣就正中了組織者們的下懷，而這一計劃得益於科勳爵(Lord Coe)和倫敦奧組委其他大員們的出眾才華。具體策略在好幾個月前就已部署到位。先是有消息說，倫敦所有像樣的酒店房間都已被政府官員和商業贊助商預訂一空，而且是以奧運大家庭的名義（絕不含一絲諷刺意味）。這個4萬多人的精英群體還霸占了所有熱門賽事的最佳觀看座位。緊接著，官方宣布，奧運會期間，主要道路將劃出專用車道，以便“大家庭”的成員能夠順暢地往來於酒店、體育場、游泳館和室內賽車場之間。普通人的車輛一旦駛入這些專用車道，將受到嚴厲的處罰。居民若將車輛停在自家住宅外，也將接到罰單。那些膽敢侵犯贊助商廣告權的人，你們也等著挨罰吧。在奧運會期間，倫敦已經作為禮物送給了麥當勞(McDonald's)、可口可樂(Coca-Cola)這樣的讚助商。你要是穿著一件宣傳百事可樂(Pepsi)的T卹，有可能會惹上牢獄之災。戴維•卡梅倫(David Cameron)也“功不可沒”。那些天真的人可能曾想，倫敦希思羅機場(Heathrow)的混亂只不過再一次表明，卡梅倫政府顯然能力有限。入境檢查處排起了長龍，英國內政大臣特蕾莎•梅(Theresa May)卻不知如何應對。全世界的人們都通過電視網絡看到了希思羅機場的混亂畫面。還有什麼比這更能說服人們遠離這塊是非之地？在7月份奧運會開幕式之前，方方面面都被一個個壞消息“精心”填滿。最近當選連任倫敦市長的鮑里斯•約翰遜(Boris Johnson)公佈了一項指導意見，總體來說，就是建議那些在奧運會期間想要在倫敦走走逛逛的人，最好採用步行或是騎自行車的方式，或是乾脆就呆在家中。地鐵乘客得知，在地鐵各個主要換乘點，可能至少要等上一個小時，才能像沙丁魚一樣被塞進火爐一般的車廂。即使在最好的時候，夏日酷暑也會讓地鐵乘客們一個個蔫頭耷腦。約翰遜似乎是在發出這樣的奧運會邀請：歡迎來到地獄。經過一番努力，有些人將終於能夠進入奧林匹克公園。為了不在觀看表演時餓肚子，他們也許會隨身帶上食物，但在那裡，他們的一切食物和飲料都將被沒收。除此以外，還有什麼辦法迫使他們購買官方特許經銷商出售的高價食品呢？企業也被事先打好了招呼。為了防止交通網絡陷入癱瘓，企業被要求大幅減少往返於市中心上班的員工人數。上班族們將延長他們的假期，或是在花園裡用筆記本電腦打發時間。經濟衰退？沒人在意。只有當你把一件件小事放到一起，才會感受到2012年奧運會組織者的聰明才智和別出心裁。從一開始，他們的計劃就不是要獻上一場宏大的狂歡盛宴，而是要打造一座“空城”。倫敦將屬於“奧林匹克大家庭”，屬於那些手裡有票的幸運兒。我曾天真地以為，一屆成功的奧運會需要公眾的參與。而組織者們認為，真正重要的那群人，是在電視機前觀看比賽的數十億觀眾。向北京、德里、紐約和東京傳送的畫面才是衡量成功的真正標準。那些遠在千里之外的觀眾將看到運動員們暢行無阻地通過空空蕩盪、管理有序的希思羅機場。他們將看到列車運行通暢的報導，不僅如此，他們還將看到新聞報導裡說：紅色巴士在沒有路障的道路上疾馳，餐廳、酒吧、公園和博物館空曠宜人。在一個月左右的時間中，倫敦的確將保持正常運轉。但只有我們這些真正住在此地的人才知道，這些全都是騙人的把戲。這，就是我所謂的“天才”。譯者/薛磊
2012年06月15日 06:59 AM
At last, I understand the genius of the London Olympics
Mea culpa. I had thought that the 2012 Olympics were destined to descend into chaos. I now know that the games will be a triumphant celebration of London’s place as an unrivalled global hub. My first error was to underestimate the guile of the organisers; my second to be naive about the proper measure of success.The scales fell from my eyes the other day when the London Underground suffered another of its catastrophic breakdowns. Thousands were trapped underground in baking heat. The grand design suddenly came into pin-sharp focus. Some might have thought this latest incident was another reason why sane people should flee the capital before the Olympic hordes arrive. Well, yes. But – and here is the brilliance of Lord Coe and his fellow 2012 panjandrums – that’s the plan.
The strategy was put in place many months ago. It began with an announcement that every decent hotel room in London had been pre-booked by the apparatchiks and commercial sponsors who, without a hint of irony, go by the name of the Olympic family. This 40,000-strong elite had also grabbed all the best seats at all the best events.
Hot on its heels came a statement that arterial roads will be cordoned off into Zil lanes to allow members of the family to be whisked between hotel suites and stadiums, pools and velodromes. Mere mortals whose vehicles stray into these reserved routes will face draconian penalties. Residents will be fined for parking outside their own properties.
Those with the temerity to challenge the branding rights of sponsors can expect similar punishment. London has been gifted to McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and the like for the duration of the games. Wear a T-shirt advertising Pepsi and you could be sent to the slammer.
David Cameron has played his part. Innocents may have thought that the chaos at Heathrow has been no more than another example of the manifest incompetence of Mr Cameron’s government. Theresa May, the home secretary, is incapable of managing an immigration queue. Images of the dire conditions at the airport have been aired on television networks around the world. What better way to persuade people to stay away.
Every lull in the build-up to July’s opening ceremony has been carefully filled with bad news. Boris Johnson, newly re-elected as mayor of London, has published guidance for those who might want to move around the city during the games. In summary, it says they should walk, get on a bike or stay at home. Passengers at every big rail interchange have been told to expect delays of at least an hour even before they can be crammed like sardines into steaming carriages. Tube travellers buckle in the summer heat at the best of times. For the games, Mr Johnson is proffering an invitation to hell.
Some folk will manage to reach the Olympic park. There they will be stripped of any food and drink they might be carrying to sustain them during the spectacle. How else to force them to pay the exorbitant prices that will be demanded by official franchisees?
Businesses have been forewarned. Lest the transport network completely implode companies have been told to slash the numbers of employees commuting into the centre. Workers will stretch their vacations or spend time with their laptops in the garden. Never mind the economy is in recession.
It is when you put the pieces together that the ingenuity of the 2012 organisers takes shape. From the very beginning the plan has not been to stage a great carnival, but to empty the city. London will belong to the Olympic family and to those lucky souls with tickets.
I had fondly imagined that a successful games demanded public participation. The organisers have understood that it is the billions who watch the games on TV who matter. The images beamed to Beijing, Delhi, New York and Tokyo will be the real measure of success.
These distant viewers will see athletes skipping untroubled through a deserted and well-staffed Heathrow. They will see reports of trains running smoothly, of red buses speeding along unclogged roads, and of restaurants, bars, parks and museums with plenty of room to spare. For a month or so London will actually work. Only those of us who actually live here will know that it is all a fraud. That’s what I call genius.
London £100bn unveiled in support to head off 'debt storm'英國《金融時報》 喬治•帕克, 克里斯•賈爾斯倫敦報導
The UK government and central bank last night announced plans for a £100bn support programme for the British economy, as they battened down the hatches for a worsening “eurozone debt storm”.
英國政府和央行(BoE)昨晚宣布，計劃針對英國經濟推出一千億英鎊的支持計劃，防患於愈演愈烈的“歐元區債務風暴”。George Osborne, UK chancellor, told an annual financial gathering that he was working with the Bank of England to “deploy new firepower” amid fears that turmoil in the eurozone could lead to a severe credit crunch and higher interest rates in Britain.
英國財政大臣喬治•奧斯本(George Osborne)在一個年度金融會議上表示，他正在和英國央行合力“部署新火力”，目前各方擔心歐元區的動盪可能導致英國出現嚴重的信貸緊縮和利率上升。Mr Osborne's aides said they would unleash an aggressive monetary policy, aimed at passing on cheaper loans to businesses and housebuyers. Sir Mervyn King, BoE governor, also raised the prospect of a new round of quantitative easing, saying “the case for a further monetary easing is growing”.
奧斯本的助理們表示，英國官方將推出激進的貨幣政策，力求為企業和購房者提供廉價信貸。英國央行行長默文•金爵士(Sir Mervyn King)也提出，可能推出新一輪量化寬鬆，他表示“實施進一步貨幣寬鬆的理由正在增強”。Sir Mervyn, speaking at the same event, said “ugly” economic conditions and “today's exceptional circumstances create a case for a temporary bank funding scheme to bridge to calmer times”.
默文·金在這次會議上表示，“醜陋”的經濟狀況和“當前的異常情況要求實施暫時性銀行融資計劃，度過難關，迎來平靜時期”。The BoE unveiled a so-called “funding for lending” scheme to cut bank funding costs in exchange for lending commitments to companies and households. The Treasury claims the programme, designed to address rising loan and mortgage costs, could back an estimated £80bn in new loans.
英國央行推出了所謂的“為放貸提供資金”計劃，以削減銀行資金成本，換取銀行向企業和家庭放貸。英國財政部表示，旨在應對貸款和抵押貸款成本上漲的該計劃，可能支持約800億英鎊的新貸款。The BoE will also activate an emergency scheme offering banks six-month liquidity in monthly tranches of at least £5bn. Sir Mervyn called the initiatives “a textbook response” to the UK's economic woes, combining tight fiscal policy and loose monetary policy.
英國央行還啟動了一項緊急計劃，向銀行提供6個月的流動性，按月提供，每月至少50億英鎊。默文·金稱，這項舉措結合了從緊的財政政策和寬鬆的貨幣政策，是對英國經濟困境作出的“教科書式的回應”。“It is very hard to argue that monetary policy – in all its forms – has run out of road,” Mr Osborne told his Mansion House audience. “The government – with the help of the Bank of England – will not stand on the sidelines and do nothing as the storm gathers.”
奧斯本在倫敦金融城市長官邸(Mansion House)對聽眾表示：“很難說貨幣政策——以其所有形式——已經走到了盡頭。政府在英國央行的幫助下，不會袖手旁觀，坐等風暴來襲而無所作為。”He added that “things could get worse before they get better” in the eurozone, repeating his claim that it “may take [a] Greek exit” to spur other members of the single currency bloc to take action needed to ensure the euro's survival.
他補充道，歐元區“出現起色前可能會進一步惡化”。他再次表示，他認為也許需要“希臘退出”才能刺激單一貨幣聯盟的其他成員國採取必要行動，保證歐元的生存。The opposition Labour party has for months been urging Mr Osborne to adopt a “Plan B” to stimulate the UK economy, but the chancellor insisted there were “real and significant” risks in abandoning his fiscal plan: “Credibility is hard-won and easily lost and losing it is extremely costly.”