Friday, April 23, 2010

In the currently bizarre world of British politics, today's ‘poll of polls’ suggests that the opposition Conservative party will soon be forming a coalition with a Lib Dem party which has been a bit-part player for seven decades and which contains no one with any experience that would be useful in dealing with the country’s problems. Indeed, one poll even has them achieving a greater share of the vote, 33%, than the Conservatives at 32%. So, is this the British people showing genius or madness? Or just exasperation at the totally discredited political class as a whole? Either way, I’m sticking my neck out and saying the Lib Dems won’t get more than 20% of the popular vote when the moment of truth arrives in early May. Though the prospect of the Conservatives having to form a coalition with them remains a better bet. As to why the Lib Dems would want to form part of what is bound to be an unpopular retrenchment administration, one can only guess. Possibly they’re overcome by the excitement of having their names in the media for the first time in seventy years. But not for long would be my guess.

Talking of unpopularity, I see that things in Greece have reached another pretty pass, with the Athens government admitting further failure and having to seek billions from the EU and the IMF. Which may or may not calm a bond market which is jittery about both Portugal and Spain The times get more and more interesting with each passing day. Though you’d never guess this from walking around the streets of Madrid. Or even Pontevedra.

Which reminds me . . I missed my chance to change the course of Spanish judicial history tonight. Going into dinner with my Galician (and American) friends, I learned that one of them had just bumped into the judge (Varela) who’s taking the key decisions in the cases against the (in)famous Judge Garzón. Like Sr Rajoy, judge Varela hails from Pontevedra. And when I learned that Señora Varela was very short, I realised I’d passed the judge and his lady on the street on the way to dinner. However, it turns out they are my neighbours up in Pijolandia on the hills overlooking Pontevedra. So maybe I’ll get another chance to affect history. If Graeme from South of Watford could just send me a list of key points to get across.


Graeme said...

Colin, just off the top my head you could ask him the following:

- why he doesn't follow his own previously expressed views on not admitting private accusations where the prosecutors do not support the case?

- why he thinks it's acceptable to advise the groups presenting the accusation on how they should formulate their documentation and whether he intends to do the same for the defence?

- why he thinks international law is not relevant in the case of Franco's victims?

- why he thinks Garzón has broken the law but the judges who agree with him have not?

That should get you going - if the first chat goes well we could always come up with another list for further sessions.

Anonymous said...

Colin, have you done your homework on the general political interests of Snr Varela? Naturally not all those of Pontedra lean the same way as Snr Rajoy. I might just pop up and 'illegally record' that little conversation from behind the shrubs in Pijolandia, when you get the chance.
(Of course having said that, I must remain anonymous.)

moscow said...

Hi Colin,
Needless to say I am ecstatic about the rise of the Lib-Dems. An openly pro-european party disrupting the stale two-party stitch-up of the last 65 years.
I think it will more than 20%.
And I say: bring on the referendum -the REAL ONE that Clegg is proposing: DO YOU WANT THE UK TO BE PART OF THE EU? YES OR NO? And put an end to the filthy racist xenophobia of the tories+Ukip.