So – France, Holland and Ireland . . . What can they have in common? If you live in a cave or outside Europe, here’s a helpful quote from this morning’s left-of-centre Guardian:-Everything suggested that Europe's leaders were urgently conferring on a scheme to steamroller their [Lisbon Treaty] blueprint through despite the Irish rejection, a course likely to trigger protest from Eurosceptics and deepen Europe's democratic legitimacy problems. Will they succeed? Of course they will. This is not exactly a bottom-up, democratically- driven exercise. And too many elitist politicians and comfortable bureaucrats have too much at stake to give up merely because most of those voters given a chance to speak have rebelled against it. Though not in Spain, it should be said. As I recall, a small percentage of the populace here turned out to give what was hailed as a ‘resounding Yes’. For very logical reasons. Just like those of the ‘ungrateful’ Irish. Bloody messy, democracy. Or, as one British politician is alleged to have said some years ago, “The people have given their opinion. The bastards.”
Near term – as The Guardian puts it - The long campaign to forge a new dispensation for the European Union descended into panic and uncertainty yesterday when Ireland turned its back on its 26 EU partners and voted down the Lisbon Treaty. EU leaders in Brussels and governments across the union, particularly Germany and France, were stunned by the Irish verdict, which amounted to a huge vote of no confidence in the way the EU is run. But, as I say, this won’t last long. Forces will re-group and re-conquer the heights. Though not those of the moral variety, of course. Meanwhile, for anyone that interested, here’s The Guardian’s editorial comment on the ‘disaster’. It’s all about trust. Or, rather, the absence of it.
Talking of the Dutch, they’re reported to have the shortest working week in Europe, at 31 hours or so. Paradoxically, I believe they also have a large percentage of their workforce receiving benefits for stress and depression. So, how come anything functions there? Are the poor buggers who do all the work super-productive? Like their football team.
Meetings of the Galician parliament are being impeded by interruptions from PP party members [and memberesses] demanding that their Nationalist colleagues stop defying the Galician Royal Academy’s decree that Galiza is not an acceptable alternative for Galicia. What fun. This show could run.
Talking of the Xunta, my impression is it must have passed a law making it illegal for any woman over 35 in Pontevedra to wear anything other than a ballooning white smock over [of course] a pair of jeans. Which is a tad odd, as this garment might well look good on women under this age. Perhaps the memberesses were away from their desks when the votes were counted.
Finally - So as not to disappoint them, I’d like to express appreciation to the visiting Brit friends who yesterday gave me a chance to find out – after a long walk - not only what Pontevedra’s car pound looks like but also that it’s moved to the other side of town. In truth, it’s not in any circumstances a good idea to park your car on the pavement. But the invitation to have it towed is that much greater when it’s an SUV called – I suspect – the Mitsubishi Monster. Thanks, guys.