Britain last week came within a whisker of having its first prime minister of Indian descent. Rishi Sunak, aged 42, was born in Southampton to Indian immigrant parents. He would have made history if he had won last week’s election. Barack Obama made history by being elected as America’s first black president. Sunak came within a whisker but lost to Liz Truss. If you came within a whisker it means you came very close to doing something but did not succeed. The expression can also be used in a different way. If you came within a whisker of drowning it means you almost drowned.
Britain’s political system is different from the US system. An American president can only serve two four-year terms. If a president resigns or dies, the vice president will serve until the next election. Elections in Britain are held every five years to choose a political party to govern. The winning party chooses the prime minister. Britain does not limit how long a prime minister can serve. The prime minister can serve indefinitely as long as his or her party wins the election. Last week’s election was not a general election. It was an internal election by the ruling Conservative Party.
The party’s Members of Parliament (MPs) had forced Boris Johnson to resign as prime minister. Eight of the party’s MPs became candidates to replace Johnson in an election by Conservative Party MPs. The MPs chose Truss and Sunak as the finalists. The next stage was for the party’s 170,000 members who had paid membership fees to choose between Truss and Sunak. Truss has hinted a general election is not on the cards at least until 2024. To be not on the cards means it won’t happen. Sunak will have to wait at least two years to try to make history.
英國上星期差一點（within a whisker）就有了第一個印度血統的首相。辛偉誠，四十二歲，於修咸頓出生，父母是印度裔移民。若他於上星期的選舉中勝出，便創造了歷史。巴拉克‧奧巴馬獲選為美國第一任黑人總統時，便創造了歷史。辛偉誠輸給卓慧思，僅差一個馬鼻（within a whisker）。若你came within a whisker意即你非常接近達成某事了，但最終還是失敗。這個習語亦可以有不同的用法。若你came within a whisker of drowning，意思即是你差點就溺斃。
保守黨國會議員迫使鮑里斯‧約翰遜辭任首相。在保守黨國會議員一次選舉中，八名黨內的國會議員成為了取代約翰遜的候選人。黨內國會議員選了卓慧思和辛偉誠為最後兩名候選人。之後的階段就是由十七萬名有交會費的保守黨黨員投票，在卓和辛之間選一個人當首相。卓慧思暗示，至少在二○二四年之前，都不大可能（not on the cards）舉行大選。To be not on the cards意即它不會發生。辛偉誠要等上至少兩年，才能再嘗試去創造歷史了。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - came within a whisker｜又中又英