Thursday, January 26, 2006

The majority of Brits appear to think Simon Hughes should not be leader of the Liberal Democrats because he lied about his sexual orientation and only came clean when it [and he] came out in the scabrous tabloid press. Many of these same people, I imagine, will have voted three times for Tony Blair - a consummate liar if ever there was one. What they really mean, of course, is We know all politicians lie. We expect them to. Especially in respect of high-tech rocks in Moscow. We just don’t want politicians who demonstrate incompetence by getting caught at it.

I was asked for directions again today. Although I don’t look remotely Spanish, this happens quite a lot. But I enjoy it, the main reason being that it clearly pleases [or possibly just amuses] people to hear me respond in Spanish. And they’re always effusive with their thanks. Even the guy I sent the wrong way today, though neither of us knew this at the time.

Faced with the prospect of a several rounds of Regional Leap Frog and Beggar My Regional Neighbour, the Council of State has suggested the Spanish Constitution be changed so as to place a ceiling on the powers of the regions. They seem unaware that, in politics, maxima have a habit of becoming minima. And, anyway, the lid is already off the pressure cooker.

As if to prove this, representatives of each of the more regionalist/nationalist Autonomous Communities have come together in a group calling itself GALEUSCAT. If you haven’t worked this out, they’re from the ‘nations’ of Galicia, the Basque Country [Euskadi] and Catalunia. One of their activities will be to lobby supranational bodies like the EU in Brussels. In 3 languages not understood there, I guess.

Most bars and cafés in Pontevedra now have two signs on the door – one telling you can smoke and another saying you can’t bring a dog in. I wonder, firstly, how many people have been killed by unhealthy dogs and, secondly, whether you could take a dog in if it had a cigarette in its mouth.

If the friendly staff in my regular bar keep increasing the size of my lunchtime glass of wine at the current rate, they’ll be giving me a bottle with a straw in it by the end of the year. Wonderful people, the Spanish. Especially bar staff and folks who ask for directions. Not to forget the chap from the post office who stopped me today to tell me there are some letters for me in the post restante. And the optician who yesterday fixed my glasses for nothing. All very noble people.

But why do so many of them forget to put their car lights on at night?

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