However, it’s undeniable you can still scarcely read any social or political commentary in the UK without stumbling across the phrases “middle class” and working class” as handy references for the main social strata in British society. This may be true of the USA as well, as I’ve just read an article which referred to the “white working class” there - though the race divide may well be even greater than that of class.
Here in Spain the phrases “working class” and “middle class” certainly exist – indeed, I heard the latter on the radio only today – but they’re used much less frequently than in the UK. And the Spanish unions currently preparing for a general strike at the end of this month seem less strident about the plight of the working class than the (alleged) Trotskyist in charge of the major
union. Who appears to be hell bent on re-introducing the concept of class war into British politics, ably assisted by one or two of the candidates for the Labour party leadership currently being contested. Who'll promptly dump class-based terminology, if they succeed. And ramp it up, if they fail. UK
This, of course, is open to challenge by
and anyone else but my impression is the main (but overlapping/contradicting) dividing lines in Moscow are between:- Spain
Right and Left
Rich and Poor
Catholic and Non-Catholic
Centre and the Regions Madrid
Spanish Nationalists and Regional Nationalists
Which, even ignoring the last one, is quite a lot of tension(s). No wonder I regularly say I wouldn’t want to be president of this fissiparous place. Being British prime minister – whatever class you’re from – must surely be the easier challenge.
A final word on this, with reference back to the UK . . . This is what one left-wing writer had to say this morning in The Guardian, Britain’s leading left-wing paper:- The old class identities and cultures that were once the bedrock of Labour support have largely gone. Labour has to build a new political coalition from a diverse range of identities, classes and interests. To do this it needs a political relationship with people based on a vision of the good society, and an economy of wealth creation and fair distribution. Which rather takes me back to my first point, viz. that things are not as antediluvian as they seem in the
. Though not before time. UK
Back to mundanity . . . Autumn appears to have arrived this morning, just as the papers were telling us what we all knew – that this had been a pretty good summer in Galicia, especially in August and September. All the Galician cities had more sun and higher max and min temperatures than the 30 year average, though not spectacularly so. And all of them also had less rain than usual, with the exception of
, up in the hills. There, summer rainfall was almost 65% more than the average. Lugo
Living up to his reputation for optimism,
’s president Zapatero has told financiers in Spain that New York ’s debt crisis is over and the Spanish economy won't shrink either in this quarter or the next. Let’s hope this confidence proves well-founded. Spain
Finally . . . One reads of some strange religious festivals and processions here in Galicia but few can beat yesterday’s pilgrimage to the chapel of A Santiña de Trasufre, near Muxia, where the faithful bathed their verrucas in water from the fountain and beseeched the relevant Virgin (de Las Verrugas?) to miraculously eliminate them. Some folk clearly have even more faith than Sr Zapatero.
Tailnote for new readers: My elder daughter has now net-published six chapters of a novel which is “A fast-paced political thriller but, above all, a personal tale of pride and paranoia.” Set in a fictionalised
, it’s being e-published at the rate of at least a couple of chapters a week. If this entices you, click here. And, if you enjoy it, please tell her. It’s tough being an aspirant novelist. Cuba