Friday, March 16, 2007

Here in Spain, where urban taxes are low, rubbish is collected every night from central containers on each street. In the UK, where urban taxes are very high and rise every year above the inflation rate, collection from individual rubbish bins [‘wheelies’] is weekly. Or so it was. I read today that many councils are now planning to reduce the frequency to two weekly. So where does the money go? Diversity Officers? Health and Safety Gestapo troops?

A computer breakdown led yesterday to one of those shopping expeditions which contain the very best and worst of Spanish experiences. As the shop is smack in the centre of town and parking is difficult, I had to negotiate the road works, the driver-hating one-way system and numerous kid-laden coaches to get to an underground car park. Then I had to carry the tower half a kilometre or more, only to find the shop had moved to the other side of town. But, once I’d arrived at the new location, things immediately looked up. They fixed the computer there and then and charged me a very reasonable price. Perhaps wrongly, I can’t imagine either of these things happening in the UK. Having expected several days’ delay, I carried the tower back across town in a somewhat lighter mood. But I suppose it goes without saying the computer shop is being converted into yet another branch of a bank I’ve never heard of. Caja Canarias, or something like that.

In the last few weeks, there’s been a dialogue in the Comments to this blog around what a nation really is and whether Galicia, for example, qualifies for this status. One of the [few] concessions I made was that, if ‘nation’ meant little more than ‘community’, then we could agree that Galicia fitted the bill. I’ve also said recently that ‘elite’ is a dirty word in the UK. So I was interested to read these comments in a UK paper this morning, as they bring together both of these topics:- Of all the weasel words that have crept into common usage since New Labour swept to power 10 years ago, few grate more acutely than "community", a cornerstone of the Left's warped lexicon. Used in a certain way, it is particularly popular with social workers, charity organisers, bleeding-heart commentators, human rights lawyers, diversity officers and equal opportunities administrators. As an item of vocabulary, there's nothing wrong with "community"; it means a group with common interests. But, in recent years, it has been hijacked by malcontents and their supporters, who would have us believe that most of Britain's social ills are the product of a crooked system that is twisted against their "communities". The method in this madness is that, by lumping themselves into contrived groups, they magnify a sense of us-versus-them victimhood. They brand themselves as having special needs, requiring exceptional treatment. Moaners, whingers, agitators and those with axes to grind, who insist on being portrayed as permanently oppressed or, at the very least, disadvantaged, flourish in identifiable "communities". As an aggregate of human dissatisfaction, a self-perpetuating, self-pitying collective that rejects integration with the rest of us, they are "the grievance community". Intriguingly, it seems not to work the other way round. Rich, successful people, who live in detached mansions, drive deluxe limousines, own a second home in Umbria and have terribly confident children at expensive boarding schools are almost never described as "a community". They are "an elite". No grievance, no community.

Separately, I read that the pre-election manifesto of the Scottish Nationalist Party majors on resentment and ill-feeling, ‘the politics of grudge and grievance’. And this reminded me of someone’s comment that this is the hallmark of all nationalist groups. And, if there are no real grievances, they are manufactured. Can this really be true?

Well, this is my 1,000th blog but I look like falling just short of achieving 50,000 hits on the same day. Unless, that is, I can get several hundred cybernauts to hit it in a misguided belief it contains something of interest them. So, here it is – my pathetic attempt to get numerous mindless computers to track items of potential interest to their owners:-
Nude pictures of Faria Alam
Naked Princess Diana
Prostitutes in Pontevedra
Streepers [‘strippers’ for Anglos]
Prostitutes in Vigo
Catalunia and independence
Prostitutes in Spain
Basque Country. Euskera, Euskadi and ETA terrorism
Nationalism in Galicia
Prostitutes in Morocco and Algeria
Galicia nation
Prostitutes bloody anywhere

Finally, my thanks to those readers who wished me well with this vainglorious objective.

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