So, Ecuador's hapless president, Sr Correa, has wandered back onto the treacherous sands of rape definition. According to him, there can't be any rape if you get into bed with someone. The inference is that once a woman has done this, a man is entitled to do whatever he likes, whenever he likes, however he likes and wherever he likes. We wait now for clarification as to whether it makes any difference if the woman is naked or fully dressed. And, if so, at what point things change. And if the woman has her underclothes beneath her outer clothes or vice versa. These niceties might stump sharp lawyers but I imagine President Correa will have an instant answer to them all. Along the lines that a man has his needs and must be allowed to satisfy them. If you give him the slightest indication you might just oblige him, no sex crime can possibly be committed after that point. Even if the man misread your signals. Or ignored such preconditions as a condom. Or front entry only. Sadly, his antediluvian attitude is likely to find much sympathy in the Hispanic world. Maybe even here in the Iberian peninsula. Over in the UK, there's always George Galloway, who also dismisses the notion that Assange might have done something illegal. According to George, to force yourself on a woman in your bed and to have your way in any way you want it is not illegal or even immoral; it's just 'bad sexual etiquette'. As introducing a dog to the mix would be,I guess. Or perhaps there's a line and I just can't see it.
Anyway, talking of malfeasance . . . Here's the Intro to a Private Eye special on money laundering via British banks:- Britain's role as money-laundering of the world should have ended with the clampdown after 9/11. But as US investigators expose rampant abuses at the overseas outposts of the HSBC, Britain's biggest bank, Private Eye can reveal that the trade in dirty money is as vibrant as ever. Criminal prosecutions tracked by The Eye show how, via city banks,and offshore tax-havens, London is the centre of a web of embezzlement that steals from the world's poorest while our bankers, regulators and government look the other way. One can only hope that an end is put to this quite soon. Even if it means one's bank charges must go up.
Back in Spain, the Spanish Supreme Court has pronounced that single-sex schools aren't eligible for state subventions. The Minister of Education has said he'll be ignoring this. Which raises a question or two. Is the Supreme Court not supreme, for example? Or is there no rue of law when it comes to education? I think we should be told.
OK, it's not as funny as the fresco story – and maybe it isn't funny at all – but I did almost smile at the report that, down in Valencia, a thief had been electrocuted when trying to steal copper wiring. Perhaps I was thinking of all the bother I'd had earlier this year when a blackguard stole the copper from rail-side cables and so shut down the Leeds-Liverpool train. I can remember wishing he'd been frizzled in the process.
Apparently you'll soon be able to get an app to tell you how many Twitter followers are genuine and how many fake. I'm pretty sure my unique follower is, well, unique. And genuine.
Word of the Day: Rocambolesco – Incredible. Fantastic.
Changing Spain: Town and city councils are stepping up their war against noise pollution, especially in areas where there are lots of bars and nightclubs, some opting for acoustic limiters for open-air events, others installing soundproofing in road surfaces.This can only be good news. Especially if you live in Pontevedra's old quarter.
Finally . . . I was tremendously impressed - not to say surprised - when I heard an Italian academic use the phrase 'fewer social services' instead of the now ubiquitous 'less social services'. Though her accent wasn't great.
Oh, by the way . . . A baja consular is a certificate you get from, say, the British consul, affirming you're leaving the UK. It seems to be most necessary when you're bringing a car into Spain. So you can avoid paying a steep duty on it