Flicking through El País this morning – in between chauffeuring stints – I caught sight of an article which seemed to address the impact on religion on business cultures. I didn’t have time to read it but one of the quotes from it intrigued me – something along the lines that in Catholic cultures, by analogy with the institution of confession, everything is forgiven. My immediate thought was there might be some connection between this assertion and my oft-cited view that Spanish are the world’s best apologisers. For things they should never have done in the first place and for which they clearly expect to be immediately forgiven. But then I thought “Hang on. I was brought up a Catholic myself and don’t adopt the stance that I can do anything that pleases me, just so long as I apologise immediately (and with apparent conviction/repentance) to anyone who’s upset by it.” And I don’t think other Catholic people – the Irish, for example. Or the Poles – go through life like this. So, back to the drawing board.
I mentioned yesterday the increased capability of the Spanish police to crack down on speeding foreigners. Of course, this is not unconnected with the need for revenues to replace those from property transaction taxes and, in this, Spain is certainly no exception - as this quote from a UK paper shows:- “Motorists' wallets are low-hanging fruit. . . . Where there's green, there's gold, as far as the taxman is concerned, and so councils, using the language of environmentalism to squeeze drivers to the bone, are now utterly dependent on the car. Indeed, car drivers are now so burdened that their role is starting to resemble that of non-Muslim dhimmis in medieval Islamic societies – an outsider group officially despised, yet one on which the state relies financially.”
Finally . . . On the theme of Anglo-centricity of Anglo cultures . . . Sky News this morning had as its lengthy lead item the imminent general election results in Australia. I find it hard to believe there are more than five non-antipodeans in the UK interested in these. All of these employed by Sky. But perhaps I’m wrong and there’s as many as ten. I mean, outside Australia, what difference does it make to anyone who won? There aren’t even any Rumanian gypsies there to either send back home or allow to stay and do whatever they like.