The EU has told Spain to bolster its fight against corruption - anyone noticed this? - by introducing reforms that will ensure greater transparency. These will presumably reduce the croneyism and nepotism that are the barriers to meritocracy here. Spain, adds the EU, also needs to stop the courts becoming overly political. Which will be a tough call. Witness the Public Prosecutor acting as defence counsel for Princess Cristina. And the endless pardons given by the government to politicians who've had the misfortune to go through a negative judicial process.
Which is a nice lead into the public ratings of some of Spain's institutions, only one of which gets an approval rating above 50%. And you don't need to ponder long to guess who's bottom of the pile. 2010 numbers in brackets:-
The police: 58% (62%)
The UN: 47 (49)
The EU parliament: 39 (45)
The judicial system: 37 (44) All those pardons nullifying the sentences?
The Spanish parliament: 34 (43)
Politicians: 19 (27)
Political parties: 19 (27)
So, does a nation get the politicians it deserves? If so, the Spanish are a self-confessed unfortunate lot.
But, anyway . . . Years ago, in a docudrama filmed locally, I played the role of the captain of The Serpent, a British ship which hit the rocks near the Galician town of Camariñas. I mention this simply because the end-of-production dinner in Vigo involved the Galician actress Maria Castro, who's now gone on to bigger things. In fact, we sat next to each other at the dinner. Though she didn't address a single word to me. Or vice versa, I might add. Anyway, I have several thousand copies of the CD if anyone wants one. The docudrama, by the way, went nowhere. Maria, on the other hand, was one of the beautiful women in the primetime teledrama I mentioned yesterday - Tierra de Lobos. I'm very happy for her.
Finally . . . A belated Christmas joke: A company in the UK was advertising a 'Halal Christmas Dinner" for £6.99. That's British multiculturalism for you!