Second post of the day . . .
Well, it didn’t take long for the public to confirm my perception that the opposition leader’s “Grovel or Die!” strategy during Monday’s parliamentary debate on ETA terrorism had been OTT. The right-wing paper El Mundo today reported that far more people thought President Zapatero had won it than Mr Rajoy. A sympathy vote perhaps, as 70% thought Mr R had been the more aggressive. Actually, it all endorses my impression that, whilst the Spanish love to argue, shout and even insult, they’re uncomfortable with what they see as personal attacks. Where the line lies, I couldn’t really tell you. But I can say an aggressive Scouse humour doesn’t always go down well. But, then, it doesn’t in London either.
Talking of polls, there’s a lot of them at the moment around Scotland and the UK union. Perhaps the wisest comment on these has been that they’re being mis-read. It’s not that the English really want the Union broken up via Scottish independence; it’s that they’re fed up of listening to Scottish moans and demands whilst being subsidised by English taxpayers and whilst the British government is largely in the hands of expat Scots. In Spanish terms, it’s as if the rest of Spain was subsidising belligerant Catalunia and the Spanish President and three-quarters of his cabinet were Catalan. If it takes a separate English parliament to bring an end to this situation, then this is what will happen. Probably as a modified form of Westminster. Eventually. Meanwhile, interesting times.
At the risk of generating more angry messages from Galicians [or Galegos] around the world, I venture to say the trouble with nationalistic movements is not that they’re naively idealistic but that they’re depressingly divisive. And – as the Scots would find if they really did leave the British Union – usually self-damaging. But this is not to deny anyone their right to say things as daft as ‘Economics don’t matter. What’s really important is that everyone speaks perfect Galiz’. As defined by the writer, of course.