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.