Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One of the highlights of this week has been my teacher-daughter showing me the work of 11 year olds who've just joined her school. Their spelling defies belief and raises all sorts of questions about how and what they've been taught. I could fill several pages but here's a representative sample . . . Lady MacBeth is crool and roofless. I kid you not.

I've reached p. 250 of Paul Johnson's A History of the English People and by now it's crystally clear he regards hypocrisy as the besetting vice/virtue of his fellow countrymen. Talking of the US revolt, Johnson writes . . . James Otis, the most successful, rabid and hysterical of the American Independence propagandists, formulated the New England theory of history. The Saxons had a parliament universally elected by all free-holders; this was overthrown by the Normans; then, through centuries of struggle, culminating in the crisis precipitated by the 'execrable race of the Stuarts', liberty had gradually been restored in that 'happy establishment which Great Britain has since enjoyed'. But this was itself now in peril; just as the Saxons had migrated to England in search of liberty, so the Americans had crossed the ocean to create a purer and freer England. There was a great deal more of this nonsense. One of the ironies of the American struggle is that the English, for the first time, faced a people who could dish out quantities of hypocritical humbug and sanctimonious myth-making of precisely the type they themselves had invented.

Back in Spain and, indeed, in Galicia here, here and here are Irish/British press commentaries - one of them by Ambrose Evans Pritchard - on the son of Pontevedra who's now the Prime Minister of a conservative administration with a clear majority.

One of the stranger consequences of Rajoy's rise to national eminence is that, as two of his brothers are members, the bullfighting peña I occasionally dine with now has to have police protection. It'll be interesting to see what this amounts to in practice.


Sierra said...

Did you get the impression that the worst words a journalist could hear from his editor this week were "write 500 words on Rajoy"?

Colin said...

Yes, indeed!

Anonymous said...

Rajoy is still Galician (Celtic?) at heart. All that self-hatred that brews inside can not efface his origins. He is the typical Galician renegade, the upstart that looks down on their own roots and embraces the Spanish right-wing project for their own (and is clan / social class) benefit.


To start with, a (cultured) Galician who is ignorant of the Galician tongue, how can you explain that?

If I am not wrong, he is homosexual, the same as the chief of the Galician "autononomus" government, but will they admit to that, being right wing?

Anonymous said...

This is the Irish link to a "definition" of Rajoy:


Anonymous said...

When I moved to the British Isles, by the mid nineties, I was looking forward to seeing fox hunting (perhaps joing a club) and cricket, but unfortunately where i was (the isle on the left of your map) there was not a lot of either. A bit disspointing, as well as not being able to see the Queen. But still we had the tea. I must say that the locals had some bizarre and almost forgotten tongue of their own, but fortunately for me, and for all the Spaniards (and French and Italians, and germans)that stayed in the island (it was the Republic of Ireland) they would't use it, so we could learn good English, as well as help their economy (and our own, if could do). And I never had to complain to receive a letter in any undecipherable language (as galician is, for any Spanish speaker), something that still occurs in Galicia nowadays.

But, but, even if my Galician boys are more stubbornly backgroundish, in the sense of hanging on to their own rural dialect, at least they are not as set in their ways like the Irish, who won't allow (as far as I know) the much Britishlike fox hunting (and aren't they British isles, after all? What the heck? Would they benefit from us tourist / migrants, if they didn't have the English language?!). Galicians, fortunately, allow bullfighting, so mr davies won't regret his decision to move to Spain, where bull fighting is the national sport. He must thank people like mr Rajoy, who is a Galician patriot, and much favours bulfigthing in his own Pontevedran town.

A shame the irish didn't take a leaf out of the Galicians book ... in this times of crisis, what better than "corridas de toros" to revive the economy? And as for the animal suffering, bulls have a very pleasant life (unlike the original owners of your beef steak) so they come much on top ...