Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Well, the president of the socialist PSOE party which lost power in Sunday’s elections here in Galicia has fallen on his sword. He’s admitted to not knowing how to respond to the PP’s hard-hitting ‘demagogic’ campaign, which rather endorses my semi-serious point that he was too nice to be there in the first place. His own party has lost no time in publicly excoriating him for failing to keep the leader of the nationalist BNG party in check during their troubled four years together. Which seem a little harsh, if justified. He’s also been criticised for allowing the coalition partners to slag each other off in the last week or so of the campaign, which I seem to recall suggesting was not the wisest strategy when the opposition was not too far behind you in the polls. I can’t help wondering whether this unedifying spectacle was responsible for the non-appearance of the usual last-minute rise in left-of-centre fortunes when the turnout is high.

As for said leader of the BNG – a man who had serious difficulty with the concept of ‘junior partner’ and who’s just led his nationalist party to their worst performance in 15 to 20 years - well, he’s still in the job. Though he says things will now be discussed among party officials. Which I don’t doubt. It'll be a surprise to see him survive the bloodletting that always seems more severe – or at least more public – in parties of the Left. I guess this is because it’s all the more bitter to lose when you feel you have moral superiority on your side and the voters are too stupid to recognise this.

Out in the bigger world, wiser commentators than me on the global economic crisis seem to grow more pessimistic by the day. Witness this piece by Edward Hugh, who feels the European Central Bank is again being slow and misguided in its decision taking. But I wonder whether this isn’t because it has to weigh the different perspectives, financial systems, economic cycles, etc. of numerous partners, the leaders of some of which can’t stand the leaders of one or more of the others. Mentioning no French names. Perhaps it was always unrealistic to expect the ECB to act as decisively as, say, the Bundesbank. Or, to put it another way, the EU was not designed for a crisis of this magnitude. So it will be a truly magnificent achievement if it survives it. And proof positive that it’s time to jump on the gravy train. I stand poised, ready to do my duty.

I mentioned yesterday that a local paper had cited a case of lack of civismo. Even more pleasantly surprising was an entire four-page section on Acoustic Contamination in last week’s Voz de Galicia. The Spanish – understandably – have no idea how noisy their country is relative to every other in the world except Japan. So, if you live here but aren’t Spanish, it’s good to see publicity being given to this 'health threatening' subject - however used to things you’ve become. Or however much you spend on ear-plugs. Incidentally, I’ve been to Japan three times and can never understand how it ranks above Spain. They must measure the levels in the middle of the Tokyo traffic. During rush hour.

Hell. I’ve just reminded myself that it’s six weeks today since nice-but-noisy Tony went back to sea. Which means he’ll be home tomorrow. I wonder if things would improve if I put a copy of the VdG article in his mailbox. As if.

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