Thursday, March 08, 2012

The right-of-centre Spanish government has announced it'll be rowing back as regards the abortion law. This was to be expected but what's rather harder to understand is the relevant Minister's comment that abortions happen because of 'structural violence against women'. I guess we'll get to know what this means in due course.

Up in Cataluña, an imam is alleged to have preached to his faithful that errant wives should be disciplined via physical and psychological violence. Coincidentally, I listened to a BBC podcast today in which a chap called Ziauddin Sardar argued that everything in the Qur'an had to be read in the context of the exact time and circumstances in which the passage had been handed down. This could lead to very different interpretations than those traditionally associated with Islam. For example, coming at the Qur'an this way allowed you to conclude it was only permitted to beat your wife with a toothpick. Which certainly sounded different. His book on this theme is entitled Reading the Qur'an.

According to Martin Wolf in the FT, "One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The determination of Germany to impose a fiscal hair shirt on its partners did not work in the Stability and Growth Pact. Will it work in the Treaty of Stability, Coordination and Governance agreed last week? I don't think so." Outside Germany - and perhaps even there - who does?

Meanwhile, though, the Greeks appear to have got enough acceptances of their haircut offer to avoid a default. Now they will get their second bailout and and can concentrate on austerity measures in a depressed economy. Assuming their offices aren't burned down.

Finally . . . The Leeds version of 'Bye is See you later. Just about everybody here uses this as you depart. And I'm very tempted to take a literal view and say to one of the checkout girls in Sainsbury's. "How about eight o'clock at your place?" But I lack the gumption.

Finally, finally . . . Just in case you haven't heard, Athletic Bilbao did a tremendous job at Old Trafford tonight, playing beautifully and beating Manchester United 3-2. They must now be favourites to win the return match in the Basque capital and to go through to the next round. Humiliating Manchester United in the process. Which won't exactly distress everyone in the UK.

7 comments:

James Atkinson said...

I Believe the Greeks are supposed to be having an election sometime in April. I would love your opinion Colin, or indeed anyone elses, what powers will still remain with any new government? What if the new government is extreme right/left, might they not rebel against the austerity imposed by Merkozy? Will anyone bother to turn out to vote?

Anthea said...

I first heard the "see you later" version of goodbye about thirty years ago. As the speaker concerned was Australian, I thought it was just some odd antipodean thing. Lately, however, it seems to have become much more general. It's not just Leeds but a North West of Englisn habit as far as I can make out.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I do not mind playing Cassandra over Greece.

The Ultra-Right Laos party will win the elections in April, if Brussels allows Greece to have elections. It is the only party which showed any sort of resistance to the Diktats of the Abominable Troika. A fine vote of protest...

Of course, this will put the Laos party in a most uncomfortable position...

Colin said...

Hello, James.

Well, "Brussels" and "democracy" are not words which go naturally together. The EU elites have been to ride roughshod over popular views and every stage of the growth of the EU. I can't see them being any less ruthless as regards the current euro crisis. And I believe a way will be found to avoid elections in Greece. On the other hand, it's surely impossible to stop the French presidential elections, with its risk of putting in power a Socialist who's said he will renegotiate the Treaty for Stability, Coordination and Governance.

Things aren't going too well in Holland either.

So. interesting times for months to come, I guess.

Colin said...

@ Anthea. Yes, it's virtually universal. And I'm getting closer and closer to suggesting a time to the lovely young lady in my café.

Azra said...

" everything in the Qur'an had to be read in the context of the exact time and circumstances in which the passage had been handed down"

Exactly.

Colin said...

Yes, a much more comforting approach to Islam but possibly not one yet shared by the majority of muslims.

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