ETA’s political arm, Batasuna, has labelled the arrests of its leaders a declaration of war on the part of the Spanish government. I wonder what ETA thinks they’ve been waging up to now. A minor local skirmish, with occasional bombing sorties into Madrid airport car-parks?
So, Gordon Brown won’t be going for a snap election after all and, in the process, has possibly weakened his chances of re-election when he finally goes to the country in a couple of years’ time. Looking back, though, I recall Tories in 1997 being horrified at the thought they’d be out of power for as long as 16 years and I guess this is still a real possibility. Prospective parallels with the PP? A minimum of 8? Meanwhile, here’s one columnist’s view of the UK political scene - There is now a clear divide between the two main parties on the future direction of Britain: one believes that a powerful, controlling state is the best way to achieve a socially just society; the other that power should be devolved to local communities and to individual citizens. How would my more politically aware readers summarise Spain’s situation in less than 50 words?
Talking of centralisation and individual citizens, the thought struck me yesterday that, whereas at the macro level there’s a demand for ever-more devolvement of political power to the regions, in their personal life the Spanish have to contend with quite a lot of centralisation. One central post office and one central medical centre [el ambulatorio], for example. I must ponder this further.
Another fine example of the Spanish tendency to insult – The president of one of the Catalan coalition parties has said that for Catalan authors to write in Spanish would be like German authors writing in Turkish. So, at least two birds with one foam-flecked stone.
I leave today for 2 weeks in the UK. So, posts may be a little intermittent. I leave with you three things, though the second and third are only of interest to those readers who want to post comments; everyone else can log off after seeing the photo . . .
In contrast to the rest of Spain, the October weather in south Galicia has continued sunny, warm and dry. To prove it, here’s this morning’s sun coming up on the hills behind Pontevedra . . .
Secondly, a few reminders:-
1. I don’t respond to anonymous posts
2. However unhappy it makes you, I won’t respond in either Spanish or Gallego. I am fluent in the former and can get by in the latter. But this is an English blog.
3. You can insult me as much as you like; it reflects far more on you – and on Spain – than it does on me. Especially in the case of those boors [groseros] who accuse me of being uneducated and illiterate.
Finally . . While I’m not going to break my rule about not responding to anonymous comments, I will say just this about today’s subject of Architecture. I believe every dome in the world – including those in Spain’s Christian churches – owes its existence to the previous skills of Arabic builders. Whether you see this as an example of the influence of Arabic/Muslim culture on Spain is entirely up to you. If you want, you’re free to go on thinking that nothing one sees, hears, smells or eats in Spain has anything to do with anyone but the Celts and then the Catholic Monarchs of the 16th century. It’s a free world.