Well, it just gets worse and worse for the climate change scientists. It now emerges that, despite it being a figment of someone’s imagination and having no scientific basis whatsoever, a forecast that the Himalayan glaciers would all be gone by 2035 became a key element in the 2008 alarmist ‘benchmark report’ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But the head honcho has now issued an apology. So that’s OK. We can go back to worrying about other chunks of ice that may or may not be melting.
Back in the real world, you’ll all be wanting to know where I am with the two banks I wrote to on Monday. Well, I’ve yet to talk to one of them but the other one told me yesterday they’d send me some investment fund options by Friday. Or two days after our chat. As I was leaving the bank, it dawned on me just how conditioned I now am. Given that they’re standard, why hadn’t I asked her why she didn’t go into her computer and print them off immediately? Incidentally, both of the banks are now adopting the policy that, now I’m a customer, they really can’t offer what they would to people who aren’t. So I may be moving again soon.
I mentioned the other day that Spanish trains are of excellent quality but slow. Much the same can be said for all the public works that have been taking place in Pontevedra over the last several months. Most of these involve granite and, while they may take an eternity, the end results are usually quite beautiful. I’ve been wanting to take a photo of some but, after the cold snap finished 10 days ago and the wind started blowing from the south west, it’s hardly stopped raining. Some time soon. I hope.
If you’re interested to know what our in-house Jeremiah is saying now about Greece and the possible break-up of the EU, click here. And here for a follow-up from British Euro MP (and eurosceptic) Daniel Hannan.
Finally . . . My friend Alfred B Mittington is in campaigning mood and has sent me this letter. It’s probably better that José refrains from reading it but I suspect that’s too much to ask. If you’ve read our recent dialogue, you’ll know that he and I went over similar ground. But not with as much emotion and eloquence as Alfie can muster. . . .
My dear Colin,
As promised, I am hard at work to improve the Spanish & Galician school systems, but it is a considerable job and it takes some time. Will get back to you about that, old boy, in due time. We ain’t dead yet, are we? And anyway these problems will not go away overnight. So there’s time.
However, on this day of the Mega-strike against the anti-Gallego Decretazo I cannot refrain from sharing with you two little documents which Ivana and Selassie [Alfred’s godchildren – CD] brought home from school yesterday. It makes some sense to quote these; for in yesterday’s blog you said something about the pro-Gallego faction not wishing parents to chose in what language they want their kids taught. I laughed when I read that, thinking you were being your wry Liverputian self again. But when Igor [the father of Alfred’s Godchildren – CD] showed me these two xeroxes I bloody laughed no longer. Because I fear that you were right.
The first of these originates with the (quote) ‘Equipo de Normalizacion e Dinamizacion Linguistica’ which is quite a little mouthful (where is ol’ Georgy Orwell when you need him?) representing – if I am not mistaken – the group of pro-Gallego schoolteachers in each school. As manifestos go, it’s not a bad one, really, offering some serious pedagogical arguments. But I also find here the paragraph: ‘We are of the opinion that the “Administración” should not confer upon the families the decision on aspects of the curriculum which are its own responsibility.’ Now at least they are honest, of course, in their rejection of giving parents a choice. But WHO do they mean with the ‘Administracion’, pray tell? Not, of course, what you and I, burdened as we are by our knowledge of Yankee ‘English’ think at first, i.e. the Government. For if the Government were to decide, then these fine folk run into the awful trouble that the democratically elected government at this exact moment is the PP Xunta, on whom they piss! No, what they mean is that small revolutionary spear-point hard core clan of pro-Gallego ‘experts’ who have burrowed themselves deeply into the civil service and sway the invisible sceptre that nobody voted into their hands! THEY are to decide what everybody is supposed to do and want and obey!
The second manifesto is no less funny and dramatic, but in another way. It comes from the ANPA of the kids’ school (an ANPA, as you childless bachelor surely ignore, is the parents’ association of every school). It’s a bloody long piece of work (ever read through the reports of the IV. International?) but the juicy bit is here: ‘The ANPAs reject that the government delegates to the decision of fathers and mothers the protection of the Galician language which the Estatuto de Autonomia grants to the public powers’; ‘the ANPAs are of the opinion that decisions about an educative program must be taken by the government’ and not ‘in the manner of subjective decisions of the families’!!!! Now ain’t this rich? Whatever parents think is a silly subjective decision. But what the highly politicized (and self-imposed) ‘experts’ think is of course Objective! Yet it gets richer still, for this ANPA writes in the name of the ‘pais e nais das ANPAs’ – and I can assure you that Igor and his wife were a little taken aback to receive a manifesto written in their name, about which they were never consulted, but in which they publicly state that they, the parents, are of the opinion that parents should not be given a choice in the matter!
Oh dear, reading these two pamphlets really makes me think that our pro-Gallego faction is not, perhaps, as democratic as one would expect, hope or like…
The only just and correct solution to this tangle would of course be to instruct every school to set up one bloody class which will be taught in Gallego and another which will be taught in Spanish (and in both of which there will be hours dedicated to the learning of both languages), and then let parents chose in which of the two to drop their brats. It will not happen, I know. And yet I cannot understand how otherwise serious people can maintain that they are indeed democrats, or left-wing, or well-intentioned, when they deny parents to chose for themselves. After all: anyone who refuses to offer the citizens a choice, implicitly admits that the citizens reject his proposal. And anyone who next proceeds to impose his views on the citizens who do not desire it, is a dictator. Sorry boys and girls: no way around it. You are denying grown-up people the right to decide for themselves how they wish to live; and you are making the vile bastards obey you to the greater glory of your minority view! And these are of course the same boys and girls who daily denounce Zapatero for not granting referendums to the Catalans and Basques! Whenever it is convenient, we change our most sacred First Principles!
As I said often before: all human thinking starts with the conclusions, then collects the necessary arguments, and finally works its way down to first principles.
Long enough, this one. Hope you liked it. How’s Ryan? Tell him I’ve got a bone of contention in the freezer, waiting for the old bastard to set his teeth into.
Your old friend, Al.
Of course, all this helps to explain why (and others) accuse Leftist Nationalists of using fascists methods. Which tends to upset them. The truth often hurting, as they say.