【雙語】「進步必須靠不講理的人」?

【雙語】「進步必須靠不講理的人」?

三個多星期前,英國投選離開歐盟。技術上來講應該是說:可以投票,出席,行使民主權利的那 52%,選擇了離開歐盟──這相當於 1 千 7 百萬票。

我不是其中之一。我和大多數倫敦人及多數朋友一樣選擇留在歐盟。我選留歐的原因是:我不希望英國退出那擁有 5 億人口的單一市場。這是一個龐大的市場和機會。作為英國公民,我可以無限制進出任何 28 個成員國,甚至在那生活和工作。現在?這一切都不明。

更何況,整個英國政治陷入一團糟的泥淖:英國首相卡麥倫(David Cameron)在公投結果出爐後,當天立刻宣布辭職(原本預計 9 月下台)。因此保守黨陣營急於挑選首相繼任者。

有意思的是,先前看似是熱門候選者的強森(Boris Johnson),保守黨/脫歐當家和倫敦前市長,在最後一分鐘聲明他不會加入首相候選競賽。接著出現工黨政變,工黨領袖/留歐派可賓(Jeremy Corbyn)的黨羽們分分聲言:如果有下一波選舉,他們不相信可賓將會是首相料。

諷刺的地方在於,留歐派「沒想到會輸」而脫歐派「沒料到會贏」,因此雙方對未來都沒有明確的計劃。再過幾天,英國國會將休會,這場傻劇何時謝幕,無人知曉。不幸中的大幸算是領導大賽的優勝者在星期一出現了,當其他競爭者退出,梅伊(Theresa May)飛躍為英國下一任首相,星期三就職了。儘管她是留歐派,她已承諾進行英國退出歐洲的程序。我們將拭目以待與歐盟談判將會如何?

其實,我很早就停止關注留守或脫歐陣營的競選議論,因為我不能再忍受那轟炸式的競選戰術,類似於末日的預言和數據恐嚇。坦白地說,這都是不稂不莠的,由現狀證明沒人可以告訴我們退出歐盟的未來如何?而英國在世界的舞台又何去何從?

我的感覺是卡麥倫(David Cameron)安排此次公投過於草率。也許他被迫提出這公投,因為有很多傳統的保守黨選民和他自己的黨員都投奔英國獨立黨(UKIP),然而他低估了多少人煩心國民健康保險是否會破產、教育政策變革和控制邊界等等問題。因而前來投票的人多數只是反映出他們的失望心態,但這些問題將不會因退出歐盟被解決。(雖然留在歐盟也不見得能解決;但至少我們將與其他歐洲國家對話,因而幫助對諸如邊界控制問題獲得了解和共識,及開始交涉下一步的方針)

在台灣,移民是一件被認可的事,但在今日的英國它竟是一個不良標籤,許多脫歐派的選民表示,他們投票「出走歐洲」僅僅是因為他們厭倦了「無法管制」的移民。很多人更公開表示他們的偏見:「沒有出生在英國的人不宜用英國的資源。」

這使我感到緊張與敏感,但我不得不提醒自己,這只是倫敦以外的思維。愛爾蘭劇作家和 1925 年諾貝爾文學獎得主,蕭伯納曾說過:「理性的人使自己適應世界;不講理的人使世界適應自己。因此一切的進步都必須仰仗不講理的人。」我想這一段話,適用於所有民主國家的演化。但蕭伯納深刻的寓意用在這件事情上,卻似乎變成「進步被不講理的人給托累而延遲了」。我雖然不認同英反移民的聲浪,但只能默默希望這是一種臨時狀態。或許,我們可以藉此學會彼此尊重,然後相信民主的進行曲,只是被延遲了......

〈Progress depends on the unreasonable man〉

More than three weeks ago, UK voted to leave the European Union. Well, technically 52% of those who can vote and did exercise their democratic right, which equates to roughly 18 million votes.

I wasn't one of them. The majority of people in London, like most people I know, chose to stay in the European Union. The number one reason for my voting preference is that I didn’t want the UK to leave a single market that has a demand and command of 500 million people. That’s a huge market. It also means that as a citizen of the United Kingdom, I can travel, live and work in any of the 28 member countries without any restrictions. Now?

That's all in jeopardy; and what's more, there is utter chaos unleashed across the British political stage: David Cameron resigned the day after the referendum. There is therefore a rush to the top seat in the Tory camp and as a successor to Cameron (but interestingly Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and major ''leave'' campaigner) declared, rather last minute, that he will not stand for Prime Minister. There is a coup d'état in the Labour party, as most of his Jeremey Corbyn's  (leader of the Labour Party) colleagues do not believe he can be elected as the Prime Minister should that opportunity presents itself in the near future. There is no clear plan of what is going to happen next from either the remain or the leave side.

I suppose that is because the remain side did not expect this result. Interestingly, nor did the leave side spearheaded by Boris Johnson. The truth is I have long stopped listening to the campaigns by the leave and remain camps before the referendum, because I can no longer stand the electioneering tactics where citizens of United Kingdom are bombarded with scare tactics, dooms day prophecy and statistics which frankly are just unsubstantiated, because as the status quo illustrates: no one knows what will happen now that we have exited Europe.

Meanwhile, in eleven days, the UK Parliament take a summer break and UK's future hangs in the unknown. That said, Theresa May emerged on Monday as the crowned victor of the leadership contest when all other contenders dropped out. The new Prime Minister is installed on Wednesday (13,Jul), so let's watch this space in terms of the negotiations out of Europe.

My feeling is David Cameron called this referendum too hastily. Perhaps he was pushed into calling this referendum because there is the perception that many of the traditional Tory voters are defecting to UKIP, as it is his own party members. He also underestimated how many people are upset with the state of National Health Service, our schools and issues of border control amongst other things -- it feels as though people voted to leave the EU to signal their dismay however these issues will not be resolved by coming out of the EU. (Although, staying may not resolve them either, but at least we would be in dialogues with other EU members to help understand and work out a way forward on issues such as border control.) 

In Taiwan, being an immigrant is almost something to be aspired to, but it's not a label that bodes well in the UK as it would appear that many of the leave voters opted to come out of Europe simply because they are tired of the ''uncontrollable'' immigration.

This makes me feel nervous as people are displaying prejudice against those who were not born in the UK but are now living here. I have to remind myself that is predominantly the message from those outside of London. George Bernard Shaw, the Irish Playwright and Nobel Prize for Literature (1925), once said: ''The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man''. I suppose this does ring true for all nations practising democracy. Shaw is in fact telling us that progress is ultimately held up by those who are less reasonable -- in the case of anti-immigration,  I sincerely hope that this is only the temporary state in our march of true democracy and respect for one another.

《關聯閱讀》
【英國脫歐現場:倫敦】「我們回不去了」──當Brexit成真,為什麼高學歷的年輕人高興不起來?
【英國脫歐現場:德國】「親愛的,這裡是如此地混亂」──我所擔心的,是越來越對立仇外的歐洲與世界
從英國脫歐反思台灣:我們,真的該替年輕人才的未來想想了 

 

執行編輯:Vincent
核稿編輯:張翔一

Photo Credit:Theresa May 臉書專頁

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