A la yesterday’s post, it’s not very difficult linking donkeys and Spain. But donkeys and Britain? And donkeys and Britain and violence against women . . . .? According to a British columnist this morning – “The British give more to animal charities than to those for the disabled. One donkey sanctuary in Devon has higher income than all the main charities fighting abuse against women combined”. Easy peasey.
I read this morning that the word Africanisation is common currency among relevant scientists when talking among themselves about the impact on Spain of climate change. However, it’s not a word that’s terribly acceptable to the Spanish themselves. Shades of the age-old French insult, I guess. Nonetheless, despite rejecting this contentious term, our environment minsiter does estimate that ‘one-third of the county is at risk of turning into desert from a combination of climate change and poor land use’. I should go into the property business up here in Green Spain. Which may well become Tawny Spain before I die.
If the looming water wars are too far ahead for those who want to depress themselves instantaneously, I refer you to Mark Stucklin’s blog on Spanish property sector developments. Specifically to the effect of the overhang of more than one million new properties in a stagnant marketplace. The main reason for citing this site is that I’ve taken a vow of silence on this subject as of today. The Jeremiah business can get very dispiriting.
I’m off to Franco’s birthplace [Ferrol] today. Which reminds me . . . In the nationalist regions of Spain, the word for the policy of favouring the local language at the expense of Spanish is ‘normalisation’. Which has a nice Orwellian ring about it. In the populist right-of-centre paper, El Mundo, a recent article made the interesting points that “To normalise a language is to change society’s reality for one designed by those in power. The only acceptable linguistic policy in a democracy is one that doesn’t exist. The issue is one of freedom against enforced standardisation. Which is just as much an evil under the Xunta as it was under Franco”. As I know only too well, this is not a perspective shared by Nationalists of any hue, only a few of whom are willing to admit that they see a bit of fascism as being morally acceptable when you have right on your side. Not to mention revenge.
Finally - I see that Bo Diddley has gone to Blues Heaven. I have fond memories of being sprayed by his saliva as I sat in the front row of a theatre in Liverpool back in the 60s. Or was it Howlin’ Wolf? And Manchester? And does anyone care? Certainly not the chap who's been sitting in his car outside my house for the last three days and who may be the world's worst private detective.