Sunday, August 26, 2012

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


Bill said...

I think the lady referred to in the Assange case had sex with him consensually earlier in the evening/night, the case arises because he is alleged to have been having sex with her a second time, later in the night, whilst she was asleep; although it has never been explained clearly, presumably she awakened during the second intercourse and objected. If this is really what happened then in my view it was rape, pure and simple. Only a barbarian (I was going to say 'pig', but that would be unkind to pigs) would think it was remotely acceptable to start having sex with a sleeping partner. Simple human decency would require any normal person to at least nudge the partner awake to begin a second seduction/foreplay/intercourse. For me Assange is probably a criminal, if this story is true, but most certainly a 'cad', an old-fashioned term I know, but it seems to fit him well.

On one of your other topics I agree it is only very, very tangentially 'amusing' to hear that someone has been electrocuted to death, whatever the circumstances. I have seen only very few people who died violent deaths or suffered serious injuries as a result of violence or serious accidents, one of those was indeed a young man (probably mid-late teens) who had been fixing a wire to steal electricity and when I passed by in the car in the morning on the way to work with my driver, this young man was suspended dead with his head down and with his legs hooked over the struts of the electricity pylon - I must say I found nothing whatever amusing about this, indeed I felt rather sick. This was in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam in the early 1990s. In the mid-1970s I witnessed an even more tragic multi-death whilst driving back home to Casablanca from Fes - a car overtook me with 4 young Moroccan males aboard, playing loud music and smiling and gesticulating at me happily as they sped past, less than a minute later they collided with a bus at a Y-junction after ignoring the 'Caution' sign; when I came upon them seconds later, body parts were strewn across the road with a couple of heads nearby in full view (the rest were in the ditch). It was obviously their own fault, but I still had to stop the car and vomit profusely myself before I could continue 30 minutes later. I'll leave for now my experience of being at an evening cocktail party when several hand grenades were thrown into the building, but it certainly shook me severely, quite apart from teaching me a great deal about human nature rapidly in a crisis, the good and the atrociously bad.

Candide said...

There must be a white line, I'm glad you're not receptive to such things.

Cheers, man.