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Nigel Farage

Maggio 2014
È tempo di elezioni europee, e il Regno Unito, si sa, è animato da diverse correnti anti-europeiste. Nigel Farage è a capo del partito indipendentista UKIP. Probabilmente otterrà numerosi consensi, nonostante Farage sia stato accusato di razzismo, fascismo, omofobia...

di Jonathan Cameron

File audio:

Nigel Farage
Nigel Farage

Speaker: Derek Allen (Standard British accent)

Between May 22nd and 25th the citizens of the EU will vote in elections for the European Parliament. In many countries alternative – and controversial – parties will probably do well: Beppe Grillo’s “Movimento Cinque Stelle” in Italy, Marine Le Pen’s Fronte Nationale in France and Nigel Farage’s UKIP, or United Kingdom Independence Party, in Britain.

IMMIGRATION

Nigel Farage, who celebrated his 50th birthday last month, is anti-European. He wants Britain to leave the European Union. At the same time his wife is German and his surname is French. His ancestors were French Huguenots who moved to England to avoid persecution. Farage is opposed to immigration, even though he himself is the descendant of immigrants. He believes that there are too many  Poles, Romanians and Bulgarians in Britain, and that millions more will arrive, thanks to the EU.

SCHOOL DAYS

Many people accuse Nigel Farage of racism. Last year Channel Four News showed a letter from the time when he was a boy at Dulwich College, a famous public school in London. In 1981 the school’s headmaster wanted to make Farage a prefect, a student in a position of authority. A teacher wrote to the headmaster to protest. He said that Farage had racist and fascist views. On one occasion Farage and other boys sang Hitler Youth songs. Another teacher said that the young Farage was “a fascist, but that was no reason why he would not make a good prefect!”

IN THE CITY

After leaving boarding school most students go to university but Nick Farage took a job in the City, London’s financial district, and became rich. He joined the Conservative Party but left in protest in 1992, when John Major signed the Maastricht Treaty, also known as The Treaty on European Union.

MORE PROBLEMS

In addition to racism, critics also accuse Farage of being homophobic. This is because UKIP is opposed to gay rights and same sex marriage. Many people are embarrassed by Farage’s views, but they support his anti-European position. On March 26th Farage faced Nick Clegg, the pro-European leader of the Liberal Democrats, in a TV debate. 57 per cent of the audience believed that Farage won. Farage also surprised viewers by defending Vladimir’s Putin’s actions in Crimea.
Britain isn’t in the Euro, but many Britons dislike being in the European Union. If UKIP does well, then this could be a serious problem for David Cameron and the Conservatives. The situation in Britain – and Europe – is certainly interesting these days.


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Explains

Public school. Collegio. Una delle tante anomalie della lingua inglese è che (nella versione britannica almeno) i famosi collegi privati vengono chiamati public schools. Le scuole pubbliche invece si chiamano state schools (scuole statali). Negli Stati Uniti invece public school significa scuola pubblica, giustamente!

Prefect. La parola prefect è un false friend: non significa prefetto nel senso istituzionale italiano (un ruolo che non esiste in Gan Bretagna). Si riferisce invece a un ruolo scolastico (che non esiste in Italia). Nei collegi inglesi i prefects sono i ragazzi più grandi e responsabili che hanno il compito di mantenere la disciplina nella scuola.

That is no reason why he would not make a good prefect. Non c’è nessun motivo per cui non sarebbe un buon prefetto. Qui abbiamo un buon esempio del condizionale, che è relativamente semplice in inglese. Nel presente basta prendere l’ausiliare would (che non cambia) e aggiungere l’infinito del verbo che volete usare: ad esempio I would like (mi piacerebbe), I would say (direi) ecc. Da notare anche l’uso della costruzione would make per indicare che una persona è (o non è) adatta a un ruolo: ad esempio she would make a great prime minister (lei sarebbe una prima ministra perfetta), he would make a terrible husband (lui sarebbe un disastro come marito).