This year’s King Canute Award goes to Spain’s Minister for Equality. She has demanded that toy manufacturers stop advertising their Christmas wares on the basis of stereotypical gender models. I would have thought there were better ways of tackling the issues of this macho society than asking companies to advertise dolls to boys. My preference would be to ban women from smoking and driving aggressively. But I hope this doesn’t sound too macho. I would ban men as well.
A TV programme has come up with an effective way to stop panel members – even during hi-brow discussions – from talking simultaneously. Each of the participants has a long, proboscis-like microphone in front of them which retracts into the woodwork when the director thinks they have said enough. So, even if everyone talks at the same time, they can’t be heard. Quite ingenious. And amusing to watch. Of course, it won’t catch on.
A 33 year-old woman who has been anorexic for 16 years has set up a restaurant in Madrid for people who are averse to eating. One wishes her well, though not with any great confidence. Perhaps she should combine it with a wine bar for AA members.
The authorities in Spain can show remarkable indulgence towards drivers who break the law, even those who regularly drive over the limit or without a licence. A man in Girona who has previously had his licence withdrawn a mere 6 times has finally managed to kill a pedestrian and has now been jailed for drunken driving.
The Spanish President, Mr Zapatero [Shoemaker] has made much of a desire to take Spain back to the heart of ‘Old Europe’. We now know what this means; Spain will support the softening of the Stability pact which France and German have made a habit of ignoring. And, in return, these two stalwarts will ensure that Spain suffers less than it should from the accession of new members who want to get into the EU trough. As the biggest beneficiary of German, British and Dutch taxpayers’ largesse, this is important to Spain. So, business as usual.
Marianne Faithful, who is touring Spain, has said that, when she heard that Bush had won the election, she wanted to die. I never thought I would empathise quite so much with anything she said.