Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A moribund meteor flashed across the skies of Britain the other night and scientists are trying to find where it landed and breathed its last. Tellingly, they've found it necessary to remind everyone that meteors are not that hot when they finally land and so opportunists should not plan insurance claims based on it having set fire to their roof.

I've talked of the theft of lead and copper from church roofs in the UK. In Dublin last week, some enterprising soul stole the heart of a saint from its casket. Inexplicably, the thief left behind the cathedral's valuable gold items. Perhaps his heart wasn't in it. Prospects for recovery are not good; the cathedral is still looking for some holy bones that went walkabout during the Reformation.

I said the other day that Spain still has some way to go in the area of racism. Which isn't something you could say about the UK. At least, not on the basis of what happened there last week - A few members of a trade union decided to criticise the governing committee by producing a leaflet citing the three wise monkeys. They were then prosecuted for racism, on the grounds that one of the fifteen-strong committee was black. After an expenditure of 200,000 pounds on the court case, the judge threw out the racism charge. I wonder how long it will be before this type of nonsense happens in Spain. Hopefully an eternity.

Spain's president, Señor Rajoy, may be an unlikely hero right now but this article asks whether he has the muscle for a tussle with Brussels.

If you've read that article, you'll know that Rajoy has another battle on his hands - getting the regional governments to cut their spending. Ironically, while Brussels eurocrats are telling him he can't soften the national targets, he's saying the same thing to the regional governments. Chances are they'll ignore him as much as he's ignoring Brussels. Anyway, here's IberoSphere's take on Señor Rajoy. Who is, of course, from Galicia, where they're famous for their stubbornness.

Spain isn't the only country facing retribution from Brussels. Surprisingly, Holland faces the risk of fines for failing to hit its targets. Separately, the Dutch Freedom Party has called for a return to the Guilder - the first time this has been done by a party with some political clout.

Finally on Europe, it now seems to be accepted in Germany (which is all that counts) that, if things don't go to plan and Greece needs more cash, she'll be left to default and to leave the eurozone. In other words, there won't be a third rescue if the second dollop of euros proves insufficient. Maybe that's the Greek gameplan. Give everyone enough time to think about and plan for an orderly exit and a return to the drachma. Especially as -"With sky-high debts, a five year recession stretching into at least another two and loan interest to pay, there is no way Athens can meet Brussels' demands." More here.

Finally . . . It's occurred to me that there is a case for either Guardiola or Mourinho taking the Chelsea job, albeit a greedy and cynical one. Both of these men are big enough to survive losing the job within, say, a year. So . . . 1. Negotiate yourself a multi-million annual salary for a term of four years. 2. Include in your contract a very generous severance package. 3. Start the job and wait to be fired. 4. Pocket all the cash and move on to another club. All that said, I still don't see either of them taking the job.

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