During a recent raucous debate about Brexit in the British Parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson used an expression that I seldom hear in Hong Kong. The expression reminded me of the community dialogue Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had with 150 ordinary Hong Kong people two weeks ago. Johnson wants Britain to leave the European Union by October 31 with or without a deal. But the opposition Labour Party does not want to leave without a deal. Johnson challenged the Labour Party to agree to a general election so Labour members could face the day of reckoning with voters. This reminded me of Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s community dialogue because she also faced the day of reckoning that day.
The word “raucous” means very noisy and disorderly. The expression “the day of reckoning” means the day you must be punished or face the consequences of your past mistakes. The expression originated from the Bible but is now commonly used to tell people they must one day deal with their past behaviour. Johnson challenged the Labour Party to agree to a general election because he believes voters would punish Labour candidates by voting them out for delaying Brexit. The chief executive’s community dialogue was not raucous. It was civil (polite). Only 150 computer-selected people were allowed to attend but just 130 attended, and only 30 were allowed to speak for three minutes each. But it was definitely a day of reckoning for the chief executive.
Most of those chosen to ask questions excoriated (angrily criticized) her for causing so much harm to Hong Kong. She looked sombre and gaunt. To look sombre (somber in American English) means to look serious, sad, and without humour. If you look gaunt, it means you look thin and unwell. Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has said she wants to hold many more dialogues with the people to solve Hong Kong’s political crisis. I am sure she will be excoriated at every dialogue. And every dialogue will become a day of reckoning for her.
英國國會最近就英國脫歐的喧鬧（raucous）辯論期間，首相約翰遜用了一個我在香港很少聽到的習語。這習語令我想起兩星期前，特首林鄭月娥跟一百五十名香港市民進行的社區對話。約翰遜希望不論是否達成協議，英國也會在十月三十一日退出歐盟。然而，反對派工黨就不想在沒有協議的情況下脫歐。約翰遜挑戰工黨去接受一場選舉，好讓工黨成員面對選民給他們的一個「清算日」（the day of reckoning）。這就令我想到了林鄭月娥的社區對話，因為她當天亦同樣面臨被算帳之日（the day of reckoning）。
Raucous一字是指雜亂而吵鬧的。習語 the day of reckoning就是你要被懲治，或須面對自己過去所犯下的錯誤，承受報應的那一天。這個習語源自《聖經》，但現在已很常用，是去警戒人們，他們終有一天要為過往的行為負責。約翰遜挑戰工黨接受一場選舉，因為他相信選民會因為工黨候選人推遲脫歐，而用選票懲罰他們，將其逐出議會。特首的社區對話就不是喧鬧的（raucous），它很文明（civil），只有一百五十名由電腦抽籤抽出的人士得以出席，而最終只有一百三十人出席，當中只有三十人可以發言，每人有三分鐘。但那着實是特首的報應日（the day of reckoning）。
大部份獲抽中提問的與會者，都撻伐（excoriated）她給香港帶來了這麼多的損害。她看來既肅穆（sombre）又憔悴（gaunt）。To look sombre（美式英語為somber）意即看起來很嚴肅、陰沉、沮喪；若你 look gaunt，即是指你面容憔悴、瘦削。林鄭月娥說，她想跟市民進行更多的對話，好能解決香港的政治危機。我敢肯定她在每一場對話中都會被痛斥（excoriated）。而每一場對話，都會變成她的報應日（the day of reckoning）。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧