雞同鴨講──梁振英不連任，那麼誰會是「dark horse」？｜A Chicken Talking To A Duck By Chatterbox
We often hear people say, “one day is a long time in politics”. There is so much truth in these words. Take the latest shocking news of Chief Executive CY Leung deciding not to run for re-election next year as an example. It’s totally jaw-dropping and unbelievable, it took the entire city by surprise, I would say.
Now with CY dropping out of the CE race, there will certainly be a lot of political gossip as to what happened behind the scenes that prompted his sudden U-turn and who could emerge to announce their candidacy.
There is no doubt that unpredictability is the nature of politics and political volatility impacts not only the government but our everyday life. There are many different ways to describe unpredictability.
With the shocking news of CY pulling out of the race, most people might start asking who will be the dark horse. This phrase describes a little known candidate in a competition who could gain sudden momentum and surprise others by potentially succeeding.
Meanwhile, to call someone a “loose cannon” means they are unpredictable and difficult to manage or control.
A hot potato is something that’s potentially dangerous or embarrassing. You probably have heard a lot of this phrase in Hong Kong especially during the Leung administration as we often witnessed the government handling one political hot potato after another.
Another useful phrase to learn is “a riddle wrapped in a mystery” which means someone or something that’s very difficult to figure out or resolve. It’s perfect to describe a political figure that’s hard to read.
One rather interesting term is “flip flop” which is used to describe the indecisiveness of someone, who changes their position or viewpoints frequently; don’t confuse it with the casual footwear though.
On a slightly different note, many people also seemed to be rather obsessed by the news of Financial Secretary John Tsang being crucified for his refusal to respond to questions from four legislators facing possible disqualification pending judicial review proceedings as a result of their improper oath-taking. Some conspiracy theories had it that it was a trap to embarrass Tsang and make him less popular and hence less attractive as a CE candidate.
Many asked me what were the different ways to describe this kind of political entrapment. We can say he was “set up”, “trapped” or “tricked”. They all imply the target is lured into a trap and made to do something wrong voluntarily as they have no knowledge of the hidden motives. Welcome to the whirlwind world of politics. More next week.
至於「political hot potato」，則指有潛在風險、令人為難的政治事件。這句說話大家或許聽得多了，尤其當梁班子處理了一個又一個棘手問題之時。
另一個有用的短語是「a riddle wrapped in a mystery」，意思是一些難以找出問題根源，並將之解決的人事難題，要用來形容難以理解、謎一般的政治人物就最好不過了。
「Flip flop」亦是個有趣的詞語，指的是某人猶豫不決的性格，立場經常改變，看風轉舵，但要小心，千萬別和形容拖鞋的「flip flop」混淆了。