In the 9 or 10 months since ETA broke its own ‘permanent’ ceasefire, the Spanish state has had a good deal of success – in both Spain and in France – in rounding up key members of this terrorist group. This week, it was the turn of 20+ members of its political arm, Batasuna. Unlike Sinn Fein in the UK, this is a proscribed organisation. But, like Sinn Fein, it never condemns violence, except on the part of the government. This sort of operation is labelled ‘judicial’ in Spain and a senior member of the government has basically said “It’s got nothin’ to do with us, Guv.” But, 6 months away from a general election, there’s understandable scepticism about this being a fine, if timely, example of judicial independence.
Spain’s Young Socialists this week issued a video which ruffled many feathers. It features a parody of a TV game in which contestants have to guess words beginning with A, B, C, etc. In this version, the subject is the proposed new curriculum subject Citizenship and a female young socialist gives perfect answers. However, her male, right-of-centre opponent comes across a macho, misogynistic, imbecilic snob. Amongst other things. Rather like comedian Harry Enfield’s Tim Nice-but-Dim character. Without the niceness. It’s well done and funny but, of course, essentially juvenile. I couldn’t help but see it as a good example of the sort of personal abuse which is so often mistaken for argument in Spain. It seems to me this sort of thing should be left to comedians and columnists and not indulged in by political parties, even by those with the defence of callow youthfuness.
Here in Galicia, a columnist on the Voz de Galicia whom I don’t normally see as pro nationalist this week wrote that, just as the Galician Nationalist Party [the BNG] was criticised in times past for being weak and faction-riven, now we should praise it for being united and responsible. At least compared with its equivalents in Catalunia and the Basque Country. I guess he’s being serious but it’s just possible this is a good example of the Galician irony-larded sense of humour called retranca. Opinions welcome.
Which reminds me - I wonder what it will take to ensure some Galician commentators to my blog understand that I don't read their posts if they are in Gallego.