Sunday, August 13, 2006

14.40: Third post of the day.

One of the main features of the Galician weather – apart from its predictable unpredictability – is that it tends to set in for days on end – whether it’s glorious sun, heavy rains or the miserable blankets of grey cloud which mar our winters. So it has been for over a week now with the strong, dry wind gusting day and night from the north east. No wonder the fires spread from the interior towards the western coast. And how lucky of Portugal to have the river Miño as its northern border with Galicia.

Local friends tell me it’s already illegal here not to clear your land of undergrowth. But no one is ever fined for not doing so and the law is naturally observed far more in the breach than in the observance. A not uncommon tale in Spain.

I guess it was inevitable – and possibly intended – but the soundbite about a criminal conspiracy seems to have been taken up with alacrity by every news agency and media outlet around the world. Most recently, though, the Galician President seems to have been modifying his tune a little. ‘Those arrested’, he insists, ‘knew exactly what they were doing. Sometimes more than once.’ This is a long way from alleging a criminal conspiracy. And neither is it true. Mental defectives might not be too aware of the consequences of their actions. Likewise the various alcoholics detained and the old chap in his 90s. But, hell, what is truth when you’ve got your power base to defend?

1 comment:

David said...

Whilst clearly the fires in Galicia have caused ecological damage such damage will be relatively quickly repaired as fire is one of natures weapons. One only has to look at the heath fires along the M3 in the UK to note how quickly nature adjusts. What is a lot more worrying is the attitude of the population to ecology. It seems nobody has any time for it. Everybody drops rubbish where and when they feel like it with no thought for the community, or the future of our Earth in general. Now do not get me wrong, I am not a rabid eco warrior. My conclusion, apart from the thought that the younger generation cannot be taught about ecology, and the older generation just do not care about it - is that the general population in Spain just don't give a jot about anybody else when it comes to self interest. A motivation which is clearly in evidence by the number of fires created - it is beyond reasonable doubt to think that they where all caused by accidental activities or circumstances.

This same attitude is also displayed on the road by drivers. The majority of whom ignore the laws and drive without any consideration to other road users and pedestrians walking on the pavement or crossings.

This is all very strange. If one was sick or fell down in the street you would have in a twinkling of an eye a group of very concerned people, all wanting to help you recover. This latter event of course would not happen in the UK - you would just be left to fend for yourself.

This leads me on to the nationalistic jingo which is heard from Galicia and Catalonia. Sadly the central government has seen fit to give in to the Catalonia mafia, no doubt to ensure they obtain a good chance of a second term in office. The government has positively encouraged Catalonia and one cannot blame the other districts for thinking that what is good for them is good enough for us. Calalonia wanted automony as it thinks it is a seperate country and has its own language. Methinks they are wrong on both accounts. Their other argument is that they are economically strong. A case of 'We are all right Jack'.

To sum up there appears to be an endemic attitude of self interest and greed coupled with a desire to gain as much power as possible. It is therefore not surprising to find the man in the street has the irresponsiblity and self interest as dispayed by the minority in Galicia.

I consider this to be a very worrying social trend.