In an interview with a local paper, a Galician philosopher of rather advanced age was asked whether he felt we were passing through difficult times. He replied gnomically that all times are difficult in Galicia because it’s inhabited by Galicians. He added, for good measure, that all Galicians are ‘green dogs’, which my friends tell me means they are odd. Fortunately, he said all this in Gallego so it was probably acceptable. I’m not sure it would be if I wrote it in English.
Maybe 'green dog’ is a phrase which can be used to describe the mayor of Vigo, who has let it be known several times just how much he’s against the merger of the two Galician savings banks, Caixa Galicia and Caixnova. Referring to his outpourings, another local politician has accused him of “errors, lies and calumnies”. And of calling the citizens of Vigo mad. Perhaps the next elections are some way off.
Finally – and still on politics . . . The Spanish press has given an admirable amount of space to the UK elections but it struck me that readers might be a little confused about the Liberal Democratic Party now in coalition with the Conservatives. For ‘liberal’ appears to have two very distinct meanings here. In the context of political philosophy it probably means something quite similar to what it means elsewhere. For which we can probably substitute the over-used word ‘progressive’ these days. But in the context of economic policy it means red-in-tooth-and-claw-Anglo-Saxon-devil-take-the-hindmost capitalism. Always suggested in cartoons by a man in tail-coats with a stovepipe hat on his head and a large dollar sign somewhere about his person. Sadly, I don’t know how anyone with less extreme views is portrayed.