I touched on ‘solidarity’ in yesterday’s post. This is a word which I don’t recall ever hearing in British political discourse but which is commonplace in Spain. There are two basic types:-
Upwards Solidarity: When Madrid thinks it would be a good idea for other [allegedly] richer EU members to subsidise Spain, and
Downwards Solidarity: When Madrid thinks the rich buggers in, say, Cataluña should subsidise, say, Andalucia.
Of course, this operates on a regional basis as well, when Madrid’s Downwards Solidarity becomes Galicia’s Upwards Solidarity. What all this means in practice is that everyone in Spanish political life is always sef-servingly demanding that someone else shows more of one type of solidarity, while themselves trying to get away with less of the other. So, a recipe for a good argument. Which, of course, everyone in Spain loves. And which, given the way the country is structured and governed, they are guaranteed to get.
Against all that, today it’s reported that Spain is the European nation least interested in political news – a mere 19%, compared with a European average of 34. Needless to say, sports news tops the list in every country but only in Germany, Denmark and Estonia is politics the number one topic. The report adds that, after sport, the Spanish prefer art and culture and that only 25% of them rank news of celebrities above last. Since this makes the Spanish less interested in celebrity gossip than any other Europeans, I think we can safely regard this survey as endorsement for last week’s example in which 65% of Spaniards said they didn’t believe their compatriots told the truth when answering questions of this sort. Or perhaps any sort.
Only in Spain? Both El Mundo and the Voz de Galicia yesterday carried a large picture of a photographer taking a close-up of the blood stain at the scene of ETA’s latest assassinations. I wonder what the results would have been if the above survey had asked about interest in gore.