Monday, December 15, 2008

In both Britain and Spain there's deep concern about state education. And in both countries the teachers are wont to complain their lives are increasingly difficult. If my younger daughter is to be believed, the demands on her time as a teacher in Leeds make it difficult for her to cook her evening meal, never mind raise a [future] child. In contrast, my Spanish teacher friends seem to have a remarkable amount of free time and no problems in achieving a good work-life balance. So I’m constantly suggesting to my younger daughter she consider joining her sister in Madrid. So far without any success at all. Kids! Just don’t know what’s good for them.

There is a Spanish party – or group, really – which comprises everyone left of the PSOE socialist party currently in government. It’s called the IU [Izquierda Únida] and it’s been in turmoil since it did badly at the general elections early this year. It’s just elected a new leader – after the resignation of the last one – and he turns out to be a [allegedly] hard line communist. Who’s calling for a general strike if things continue as they are. I can’t see this helping the party’s fortunes myself but we will see. I think I’m right in saying its decline has opened the door for the various nationalist parties around Spain’s fringes to become the natural coalition partner of the PSOE, with all the consequences for national unity and solidarity this has brought. De facto federalism, I suspect. Will this ever be made de jure? Probably not by the conservative PP party, if and when it returns to power. And when the EU is finally a superstate, I guess it won’t matter.

Talking of hopeless politicians – Manual Fraga is an 86 year old right-winger who used to be a Franco minister, then a co-founder of the PP party and finally ‘Mr Galicia’ as president of our regional government for 15 years. It was he who last week made the remark about nationalists being strung up so their electoral weight could be tested. It was probably a joke, of course, but it’s good to see both the right-wing El Mundo and, more locally, the Voz de Galicia suggesting it’s high time he was put out to grass. But I suspect he won’t be and will remain in the Senate until he pops his clogs. Or goes completely ga-ga. Which may not be too far off. And which would be rather undignified for a man who was regarded – ignoring everything else – as one of the cleverest of his generation. Let’s hope he’s still smart enough to listen to good advice. From his politician daughter, perhaps. I find daughters are very good at the challenge of telling fathers just how stupid and pathetic they are. Imagine what I’d be like without mine.

I see Google Alert is still not alerting anyone to the existence of my blog, if they search under 'Galicia'. I’d complain, if they had an email address to which one could send a message. Ironically, Word's spell-check doesn’t recognise ‘Google’. Though it has no problem with ‘MSN’.

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