Sunday, January 28, 2007

A householder in Lérida who awoke to find four armed men tying up his son shot at two of them, killing one. In at least one Anglo-Saxon culture [the USA] he’d be regarded as a hero but in another [the UK] he’d be arrested for murder and imprisoned unless he could prove he was on the very edge of death when he resorted to ‘disproportionate violence’. It will be interesting to see how he’s treated here in Spain. Assuming we ever hear any more of him.

There’s a major spat taking place between the UK government and the Catholic Church because the latter wants exemption from the law obliging adoption agencies to give children to gay couples. There’s only one certainty about this fight - the kids will be the losers and the lawyers the winners. As someone has said, it’s a perfect example of a clash between classic liberalism [different views to be respected] and modern, centre-left liberalism [everyone must conform to our view of what’s right]. I fancy things would be approached rather more pragmatically in Spain, leaving the kids the winners. This, of course, is the professed aim of each side in the UK. But they can’t both be right.

Another big issue in the UK at the moment is how to restore the sense of Britishness which successive governments – especially the current one - have set about destroying. Here’s a view [from a Sunday Telegraph columnist] that will certainly chime with most Spaniards, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong:- There’s no doubt the concept of Britishness is in trouble. It speaks, too often, of football hooligans, Big Brother, and tattooed drunks terrorising cheapo beach resorts. We sense our standards of behaviour have slipped, that we have lost the essence of our civility. And we hide away - those of us who can - from the ugly society we’ve created. Those who can't hide from everything settle for hiding from each other. And the consequence is a nation at risk of becoming as fractured as it was when the Romans were here.

Galicia Facts

Our local, bare-breasted heroine – Ana Maria Ríos – has now published a book about her 8 days in a Mexican jail for alleged arms smuggling. She was lucky enough, it seems, to have a famous journalist by her side when she chose to converse on the subject. Anyway, the book was published in Gallego last week but the Spanish version is out this week. English speakers may have to wait a while.

Unemployment in Galicia is at a 25 year low. Not quite as good as the national achievement of a 28 year low but still very good news.

The Galician nationalist party [the BNG] appears to be getting very big for its boots. It has blamed the attitude of the socialist party in Madrid for ‘frustrating political change’ here in Galicia. And it has publicly ordered the President of the local government to ‘calm down’. I guess this means it isn’t getting everything it wants. And I fear it will take its revenge via more petty measures aimed at ousting ‘Castellano’ in favour of Galician in our daily lives.

One of the several brothels on the road between Pontevedra and Vigo has had its annual police raid. Astonishingly, this resulted in the arrest of 6 illegal immigrants. As ever, the proprietor had no idea of their status and was simply renting them rooms in which to entertain their numerous friends. So I guess we won’t be seeing him in court. Or any of his clients.

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