A columnist in the Voz de Galicia was expressing outrage the other day about the ludicrous nature of the promises being made by our politicians a couple of months ahead of our regional elections in March. Like, I guess, the incumbent President guaranteeing that per capita income here would hit the EU average by 2013, regardless of an extended recession. It’s possible that our politicos have taken note of the fact that the national President, Sr Zapatero, still has a pretty positive rating among the populace despite not fulfilling his promise to deliver ‘full employment’ in 2008. Unless, of course, he was working to a different definition from the rest of us.
Said President Z was on the radio last night, answering questions and fielding brickbats from listeners. Audience numbers peaked at 11.15pm, which tells you a lot about the mad Spanish timetable.
Corruption is in the news both in Spain and in Britain. Here, some statistics have been issued about the massive increase in town-hall corruption in recent years and how the authorities are struggling to deal with people who’ve come to regard themselves as immune to criminal sanction. Over in the UK, the papers are dominated by allegations that four Labour members of the House of Lords have been on the take. The Conservative MEP, Daniel Hannan, claims Brussels could show Westminster – and probably Marbella – a thing or two in this area and asks why this is headline news in the UK but not on the Continent. Or as he puts it . . . “Why does no one care? Partly, of course, because EU institutions are remote. But partly, too, because people expect Brussels to be sleazy. Stories of Euro-corruption elicit resignation rather than outrage. [British] People want to respect our Westminster Parliament, so its imperfections, whether in the Commons or now in the Lords, prompt anger and disappointment. Where Brussels is concerned, however, the anger has long since given way to scorn, the disappointment to contempt. In truth, we gave up on the Euro-racket long ago. ” I have to say I'm not sure scorn and contempt are the predominant emotions here in Spain.
Some readers will know that, when submitting a comment to a Google blog, you used to have to type up a string of random letters. Recently, though, the task has been made easier because the letters now make an almost-word. Two I had to type up this morning were lutoseot and panulthi. Inspired by the book The Deeper Meaning of Liff, I propose a new web page for alternative definitions of these. For example, lutoseot might be “A thoughtless drunkard wrecking a game being played by others.” While panulthi could be “The last piece of bread to come out of the oven of an evening.”
Finally, I’ve now started to give Ryan the tablet which will allegedly make his faeces and his farts smell better. I haven’t checked the former during the day but I can say the effect as regards the latter seems to have more to do with the qualities of frequency and volume than with that of odour. But we press on. Some of us with pegs on our noses.