Wednesday, December 29, 2004

In the pre-dawn dark of this morning, I flashed at an oncoming car, to tell the driver that he didn’t have his lights on. Rather to my surprise, he responded immediately. But, then, I suppose one should expect this of a police car. Especially one belonging to the Traffic Branch.

The government and car drivers are locked in recriminations about responsibility for the widespread chaos brought by snow storms which hit most of Spain on 26th December. The drivers felt that the government should have been more prepared. The official response to this was that drivers should not have gone on the road in bad weather. There seemed to be an implied rider to this along the lines of … ‘as you know we are incompetent and will have all the snow ploughs in the wrong place’. An editorial in El Mundo asked why the arrival of bad weather was always such a tremendous surprise both to the authorities and to the national train company. Sounds familiar.

The government and the nationalist parties are still embroiled in discussions as to what to call both Spain and its constituent bits in the Preamble to the about-to-be revised Constitution. The latest proposal for Spain seems to be ‘Nation of nations’ but the leader of the Opposition has said that this would be over his dead body. I suspect that one of the problems here is that, being a virtually pure Latin language, Spanish is less bastardised than, say, English and so lacks alternatives from other languages that allow greater nuancing. Of course, there are some words of Arabic origin in Spanish but, even if one of them fitted the bill in this case, I don’t suppose it would be awfully acceptable.

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