Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Well, the slow and scrupulous scrutiny of the overseas votes didn’t change the provisional results and ‘Don Manuel’ Fraga has finally lost power here. For at least the next 5 years, Galicia will be ruled by a Socialist/Nationalist coalition while the PP party, now in unaccustomed opposition, tears itself to pieces to find the successor who should have been nominated years ago. Shades of the Tories in the UK.

In Madrid, the Socialist government trumpeted it was taking the politics out of TV and then promptly gave most of the new channels to a left-wing media magnate. The owners of the right-of-centre El Mundo say they’ll appeal to the Supreme Court about the shoddy treatment of its own digital candidate for more air space.

I guess there is a word for ‘bodger/botcher’ in most languages, though Word’s spell-check doesn’t recognise either of these, even in ‘British English’. The Spanish word is chapuzas and I last heard it on Sunday when the film director was talking about how much of it goes on in Spain. I guess this is why he seems genuinely astonished when I do anything as remarkable [to him] as turning up on time. Or remembering to bring my script with me. He must have a difficult life.

The Spanish are great fly-tippers. Possibly European champions. In fact, other than for love-making, they seem to think this is what forests exist for. On the walk I take every morning with my dog, I pass between 20 and 30 tyres and 2 or 3 old mattresses, plus an assortment of builders’ rubble. I did once see a rather splendid set of rattan chairs by the side of the track but, by the time I’d decided they’d look good in my garden, someone had already made off with them.

I’ve mentioned before how odd the obituaries are in Spain’s national dailies. Today we were told about John Sahag, who was a hairdresser to the stars, apparently. The headline above the column read ‘He did Demi Moore’s hair in Ghost’. A dubious claim to fame, I would have thought.

Finally, back to the elections. Many thousands of emigrant votes were discounted, for one reason or another. But the strangest development was the receipt of 3 postal votes from the Vatican, where there are only 2 registered voters. Corruption in the Vatican; that just about says it all.

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