Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Come the summer, come the dreadful forest fires. Particularly in the north west of Spain. Yesterday there were 34 of these blazing in Galicia, forcing the closure of the north-south motorway along a 17km stretch. It’s generally reckoned more than 60% of these fires are started deliberately, which is a sobering thought.

Today was the 70th anniversary of the military uprising that brought Franco to power and gave Spain 40 years of a right-wing dictatorship from which it's still recovering. The current [left-wing] government is planning a Law of Historic Memory which seeks to take the country further along the road of acceptance of its recent past and recognition for the Republicans who died in a conflagration that was the forerunner of the Second World War. A survey in El Mundo today puts at 30 the percentage of Spaniards – even in the 18-29 age group – who think the uprising was justified. Against this background, there are legitimate concerns that it might still be a little early to deliberately force open wounds for the purposes of healing them more effectively. Plus a fear it will be a heavily politicised process, with the government seeking to identify the opposition with fascism. Time will tell but – if the current bitter wrangling about the strategy for dealing with ETA is anything to go by - the auguries are not particularly promising. The Catholic Church, for one, will certainly not want too much discussion of its role during the civil war. Though I suppose it’s unlikely it’ll resort to the pre-war claims of Republicans eating Catholic babies.

Hits to my blog have reduced to their normal levels. This is because I haven’t mentioned anything of interest to the numberless inadequates scouring the web for pictures of a naked but dead P******s D***a. Though, before completely fading away, they may well have taken comfort in the item about the big brothel on the border with France. It takes all sorts.

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