Monday, February 11, 2013

The Pope: Funny, you'd think God would've been able to ensure someone of greater longevity in the job. I hope the resignation didn't come as a surprise to him. Sorry, Him. The Pope, my the way, made his announcement in Latin . Which speaks of a certain unworldliness. So I wasn't too surprised to hear tonight he felt he was increasingly out of touch.

Talking of job departures . . . Someone has finally resigned in Spain. Not the President and not the Ministress of Health but the husband of the latter. Who, as a member of the PP party's administration, has been implicated in corruption for some time. It's a start.

While we're on the subject of corruption:-
  • The VP of the PP party has defended the President's salary increases as 'electoral bonuses'. In other words, his income rose 27% but his salary didn't. That's alright then. Now things don't look quite so bad.
  • President Rajoy is embattled. Indeed, he was before the latest crisis. He shouldn't survive, even if the presidency doesn't go to the scheming Esperanza Aguirre. But he may, if he continues to be supported by most of the party barons. Which can't be taken for granted.
  • Top level members of the PP government have pledged to publish their tax returns in the next few days to wipe out suspicions that they received backhanders in cash.” How, exactly?? Black money never mixes with white. Until laundered.
  • Spain will get 1bn from the EU to help youth unemployment. And 2bn is earmarked for Galicia. Sadly, no one will be very confident it'll all end up where it should.

All of which reminds me . . . To complete the image, I should've said that Sr Fabra de Castellón has black slicked-back hair. As it happens, the 'star' of the recent earth-shattering revelations about PP party skulduggery could also have come straight out of central casting as a crooked Spanish politician of the Franco era. Although he doesn't go as far as the 24/7 sun glasses. His speciality is a sort of enigmatic smile. As if he knows where all the bodies are. Hang on . . .

With the EU forbidding member countries from testing the meat coming into them, the horse-meat scandal was clearly a fraud waiting to happen. Indeed, it was totally predictable. Someone who should know has said that fraud is endemic in the industry and it'll be interesting to see how the Brussels bureaucrats deal with the reañ-world challenge of restoring faith. And beef.

I was sympathetic towards the writer of a letter to El País today. He reported on a flagrant police scam on leaving an autopista, when the speed limit was reduced from 70 to 40 within 20 metres and the machine was located right under the sign. I, too, have been the victim of one of these traps, which don't do much for respect for the police. Of course, I've also been done for listening to podcasts on my iPod Shuttle. Even though this is quieter than just one talking Spaniard in the car.

Finally . . . I'd never heard of The Mumfords until today. Probably more a comment on me than them. But I understand they're mocked in the UK (their own country) but almost revered in the USA as the saviours of folk music. I tried a few tracks on Spotify today and the question is – Do they ever sing? Or do they specialise in instrumental versions of songs we used to sing as kids”


Sierra said...

"...I'd never heard of The Mumfords until today..."

Nor has anybody else - it's "Mumford & Sons" - keep up!

Ferrolano said...

The police speed trap scam has been a favorite means of entrapment in the UK for years, not only for catching people who speed, but also as a “legal” means of stopping motorists for other reasons. In my case, driving on a dual carriageway near Aldershot, when the posted speed limit suddenly went from 50 to 40 mph and within seconds a flashing blue light was pulling me to one side. After the “Do you know……” I was asked where had I come from – I named a local pub/restaurant and very promptly a breathalyzer was pushed my way. Fortunately, the one beer with my meal kept me below the limit and I did find out that the police new where I had come from and habitually used that section of road as a means to stop motorists and test them. Oh, and by the way, driving a red MG sports car made me a double reason to be stopped..!!

Colin Davies said...

Reminds me of the letter I once saw in a paper from a guy who said he'd never been stopped in his life before he bought a Porsche but had been stopped 37 times in the previous year. Sometimes out of jealousy, he thought

Colin Davies said...

@Sierra. Yea, but they are still the Mumfords, if not The Mumfords. Or is that someone else??