Both of Spain's political parties – the PP on the right and the PSOE on the left – are said to be further right of their equivalents in the rest of Europe – surely reflecting the course of Spanish history over the last hundred years. What this means is that the right-of-centre PP party (currently in government) has a pretty extreme right wing, possibly comprising several Opus Dei members, for whom this would be their natural home. I say this because something has to explain just how stupid the government has been in facing its challenges in Gibraltar and, far more seriously, in Cataluña. In both cases the strategy has been to criticise and threaten the very people they need to negotiate with, causing them to stiffen in their resolve to either stay or become separate from the Spanish state. The president of the Catalan government, for example, has been threatened with prison if he continues with referendum plans. Spanish nationalism at its worst. And its most obtuse.
Talking about Spanish politics . . . Spain's leading ballerina, Tamara Rojo, has waded in with the following tendentious comments to a British newspaper - Spain is its own worst enemy. We're going backwards. After Franco, all sides – including communists, anarchists, fascists and conservatives – were trying to take the nation forward. Now there is not even a political dialogue. In England people tend to want to hear all opinions and then make their own. In Spain people have their opinion, because it is the opinion of their father and their grandfather and his father before that.I'm not sure she'll be thanked for making these comments from a UK base.
I decided to take a look at the webpage of the National Rifle Association(NRA) of the USA. Where I found that the organisation views itself as a victim of the reaction to the latest mass slaughter of American children and that it sees the answer in the fortification of every single school in the country - on the basis that only armed guards and teachers can have any hope of defeating the aims of the next insane gun wielder. Tellingly, I didn't get the impression the writer of this blog had any sense at all of how horrific such a scenario is and what signals it would send to the world about American society. Nor did I see any evidence of any willingness to accept a ban of semi-automatic weapons. I guess it does accept a ban on, say rocket launchers and machine guns, but you wouldn't know it from the twisted logic of the writer. Let's hope Obama is strong enough to take them on successfully.
Stimulated by the fulsome obituary of a cricket commentator, I've decided that everyone should have the right to view the draft obits held on the files of any and every newspaper in the world. They are so wasted when the subject of them dies without having a notion of all the lovely things that are going to be said about them post mortem. I think I'll go global with this idea. Possibly even viral. Even though it won't make the slightest difference to the vast majority of us.
This is another quote from the USA & UK Prophecies document I cited the other day. Overall, British influence was beneficial for the whole world, just as God anciently prophesied that it would be. Not everyone will agree with this, of course, but even more contentious is the claim that the Bible both predicts the existence of the British empire and the degree of its success. Heady stuff. I wonder what it said, if anything, about the earlier Spanish empire.
Talking of Brits. . . . It's an ill-known fact that the Celts adore the letter 'd'. No one knows why but here's a nice example, from my deep knowledge of Welsh - Blwyddyn Newydd Dda. Or Happy New Year. And Diolch a nos dda. Now, that's a real Celtic language.
Finally . . . Today I snapped 13 jewellery shops in the centre of town, with a view to seeing how many are still open at the end the month. Except for money-laundering purposes, I find it hard to believe Pontevedra can sustain all these.