Friday, March 27, 2009

The European Commission has endorsed a report which comprehensively criticises property abuses in Spain. You can read the details here and, even more so, here. As for sanctions – or even much of a response from the Spanish government – my guess is these will amount to nil. But it’s hard not to see Spain being the loser from all this.

Here in the UK, the surveillance industry continues to grow apace. You can hardly drive round a bend now without some solar-panelled sign screaming at you to slow down - regardless of the speed you’re doing. And it was reported yesterday that local governments have used anti-terrorist measures more than 10,000 times in five years to monitor the activities of their malfeasant residents. These include rogue taxi drivers, noisy neighbours and people who don’t pick up their pets’ mess. And politicians wonder why they’re not trusted.

But there was even more depressing news in the media. Not the item about Britain’s youthful binge drinkers being second to only Bulgaria and the Isle of Man in Europe. But the confirmation that this is now more prevalent among young women here than among young men.

Talking of young women . . . I may have mentioned this before but most of the young lasses of Liverpool seem to have faces of a remarkably orange hue. Maybe it’s the ozone in the sea air.

Finally . . . While I may be a committed capitalist, I’m no lover of consumerism, even if it’s an inescapable outcrop. So, the British card industry has always seemed to me to be a massive waste of paper, even before I saw this week a Mother’s Day card to my mother from my father. The message on the front is Happy Mother’s Day to My Wonderful Wife and the poem inside runs:-
From the years we’ve been together
I know without a doubt
That you’re the kind of woman
Mother’s Day is all about.
You give your love so naturally that no one could deny
That our family is quite lucky
And I realise – so am I.

As my father has never previously bought a card for my mother in 65 years of marriage, you’ll appreciate this was purchased for him by one of my sisters. But not as a joke, I suspect. Though it gave me a good ironic laugh. But better late than never, I suppose.

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