Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not everyone in Catalunia is thrilled with the agreement reached over the new Constitution. Most unhappy appears to be the leader of the ERC, a long-established left-wing party which was, until this week, the partner of the governing Socialist party in the region. Accusing President Zapatero of treachery, he has picked up his bat and walked off the pitch. I did say the other day that ‘Bambi’ Zapatero had resorted to British-style divide and rule tactics and I’m now left wondering whether he’s had lessons from Tony Blair on how to hoodwink one’s partners.

The agreement also ruffled feathers in the opposition PP party, when their President in Catalunia [Spain is a country of a million presidents] took a more lenient view of it than right wing elements of the party in Madrid. However, feathers have now been smoothed and the re-unified PP party has demanded a nationwide referendum on the document. When it was suggested this would be illegal/unconstitutional, it quickly became a petition calling for a referendum. Can’t see it happening, myself.

President Z. has described the Constitution as being ‘as clean as a paten’. Having just looked it up, I know the latter is the plate on which the Eucharist is placed at Mass. But I’m lost as to what the whole phrase means.

I did decide to write back to the Corte Ingles, asking them how come – if my software was deficient – I could open every page on their site except the one for Domestic Appliances. Impressively, they responded more quickly this time – but with exactly the same standard message as before. You will recall this was that any customers having difficulty accessing their site had only themselves to blame. Having checked with an IT-expert friend, I believe the technical word for this is tosh. Given this basic attitude to customers, you won’t be surprised to hear that, in their 6-storey store in Vigo, there are no signs anywhere telling you which items are sold on which floor. You always have to ask. The good news is that, in this oral society, the assistants are always happy to tell you with good grace. Which is more than can be said for department stores in the UK.

Quote of the week

Loyalty is hard to sustain in politics. It is exhausting and it is tedious. The default setting of the politician is to shout loudly, strike a pose, disagree, find a vested interest to protect, pursue an obsession. The Labour Party is bored with loyalty.

Matthew D’Acona, writing about Tony Blair’s struggle with this own party in his final term.

1 comment:

Portorosa said...

That sentence simply means 'extremely clean', and it is often used to express there's no problems or mistakes, or that these have been conveniently eliminated.