The headline in today’s local paper is that the planned high-speed train from Galicia to Madrid (the AVE) will deprive the three local airports of business. Given that the work has been in planning and execution for well over a decade now, what’s astonishing about this news is that anyone should be surprised by it. And perhaps the Xunta should have thought of this before announcing recently they're beefing up each of these small facilities instead of creating one decent international airport. But the good news is that, since no one expects the (already much-delayed) AVE train to be operating for at least another 5 years, they’ve got plenty of time for a re-think.
Another headline screamed that global warming will diminish rainfall in Spain by 20%. After the fornight we’ve just had, there’d be few here in Galicia who wouldn’t count this as a true blessing. I think I’ll keep my house in the hills on the market until the Andalucians are killing each other to buy something up here.
As for UK news this morning, how depressing to hear that the Labour government, in its desperation to cling to power, plans to fight next year’s general election on the basis of a class war. And that a contestant on a reality TV program is being threatened with prosecution for killing a rat. And if he’d fried a few hundred flies? Are we all Buddhists now? Or just idiots.
El Pais has a survey today suggesting only 38% of voters would support the PSOE socialist party for another term of office. More surprising was the news that 44% think President Zapatero is making a good fist of handling the recession. In other words, more than his natural supporters. No wonder they say the man’s true genius lies in marketing. Not that he needs much in the face of opposition from Pontevedra local boy, Mariano Rajoy. Who clearly had a charisma bypass when he was big in our regional politics.
El Pais also carried today one of its more gnomic ‘cartoons’ – “I saw a man floating in space and I thought it was a miracle. Then I saw the rope.” Perhaps the artist had broken his drawing hand.
Gypsies are not popular in Spain. In fact, I’d go so far as to say most Spaniards freely own to detesting them. Which is a little ironic if you accept my view that, in some respects at least, they are merely Spaniards writ very large. In my favourite area of lack of consideration for those not currently on their radar screen, for example. So it was that I wasn’t surprised today to see a gypsy van parked in a bay down the centre of the street in such a way as to prevent anything but a truly micro-car from parking in the parallel bay behind it. It was almost impossible to escape the thought they must have done it deliberately.
More interesting thoughts and questions here from the AGW sceptics. I do hope we can get answers that everyone agrees on. And quickly. After all “What has become arguably the most influential set of evidence used to support the case that the world faces unprecedented global warming . . . has now been as definitively kicked into touch as was Mann's "hockey stick" before it. Yet it is on a blind acceptance of this kind of evidence that 16,500 politicians, officials, scientists and environmental activists will be gathering in Copenhagen to discuss measures which, if adopted, would require us all in the West to cut back on our carbon dioxide emissions by anything up to 80 per cent, utterly transforming the world economy”.
Finally . . . I’d like to express a welcome to Follower number 39 and express the hope she is in the fine tradition of the lovely ladies who used to sign up before my not-terribly-lovely friend Dwight broke the spell. But, anyway, I hope it’s not too long before some kind soul puts me out of my misery and takes the total up to a nice round 40.