I wrote yesterday of Spanish national and regional comic operas but the British equivalent seems to be what someone has called “The frenzy of briefing and counter-briefing over the Labour leadership that threatens to turn the Government into a laughing stock.” The same commentator added that “Barely a day goes by without fresh evidence of ambitious Cabinet members positioning themselves with all the subtlety of a sackful of ferrets”. And that, against the backdrop of the recession-cum-depression, “The self-important posturing of a ragtag cast of political featherweights looks preposterous. The country deserves better.” As does Spain, of course.
In case you want more on this theme, here’s an article, from the estimable Matthew Parris.
Incidentally, our local incident took on national character yesterday, after it was picked up by all the media and featured as an example of just how backward we still are out here in the sticks. Which has not gone down well with Galicia’s sophisticated intelligentsia. Who is understandably miffed.
Back at the national level, El País today has another article on prostitution, this time on the theme of how it's dealt with around Europe. "Spain" it says “neither regulates the industry nor prosecutes the clients”. Instead - in keeping with the national philosophy of live and let live – “It merely tolerates it”. And all the abuses which go with it, of course. Though the Ministress of Equality says her priority is to curb the mafia who control the country's disproportionately large industry. Quite how this is to be done, I’m not sure. One doesn't get the impression anyone is trying very hard.
Talking of Spanish laxity, I feel a little less supportive of the Spanish attitude towards fireworks today, having read of an 11 year old girl losing two of her fingers yesterday. But I don’t suppose this will change anything.
There’s widespread agreement – well, at least between me and [ex?]reader Moscow – that the EU will emerge from this crisis either much stronger or much weaker. Here’s the view of someone who thinks it will be the former. Never let it be said I am unwilling to listen.
The number of minority languages spoken in European countries is truly astonishing. Poland seems to lead the field, with 14. Followed by Hungary (13), The Czech Republic (12) and Italy (11). Even France has 6, though poor Germany trails with only 3. The UK has 4 but one of these is Cornish, which I thought had died out a couple of decades ago. Here in Spain, Galician [Gallego] is one of Spain’s minority tongues but I imagine the Galician Nationalist Party was disappointed to hear it's been taken off the endangered list. It’s not good for a nationalist party to have a bit of its victimhood removed.
Speaking of Galicia . . . There are now around 1,500 Brits registered as resident here. Which is fewer than both the Chinese and the French. And considerably fewer than the Rumanians. Who surely can’t all be employed as beggars. Anyway, here’s the latest count, in rounded thousands:-
Portuguese – 17
Brazilians – 11
Colombians – 8
Argentineans – 6
Rumanians – 5
Uruguayans – 5
Moroccans – 4
Venezuelans – 4
Rep. Dominica – 3
Cubans – 2
French – 2
Chinese - 2
Finally, I thought I’d share this gem, from a BBC News broadcast. “The family of Mr X would like to point out that he is a convicted murderer and not a convicted sex offender, as we reported earlier today. We would like to apologise for any embarrassment caused.”