Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Justice, Corruption, Bullfighting, Funny Words and Despicable Crimes.

Spanish justice: Has someone in the government finally realised just how more valuable British residents are than British (cheap) tourists? I ask this because court rulings have recently gone in favour of would-be buyers shafted both by the developers and by the banks. And also by anyone who represented them, who should have known better than to trust either of these parties. Especially as they've traditonally got off scott-free from their deceitful practices. But perhaps, 6 years into La Crisis, the mood music has changed and - under government pressure - the courts are finally willing to do the right thing by cheated foreigners. See here for more, if you read Spanish. For others, I'll let you know if and when the article turns up in the English edition of El País. Unless ever-vigilant reader Sierra beats me to it!

Generally speaking, Spanish justice is a slowish affair. Last month David Jackson devoted a post to this and I've been meaning to cite it for a while. Now seems a good time and so here's the nub of it:- "Justice in Spain is slow. An article in La Información recalls some of Spain's worst cases of corruption, greed or political excess and how long they took to be resolved. The state terrorism of the GAL (23 murders, fifteen years in the courts); the Colza Oil scandal (700 dead, eight years in the courts); Filesa (illegal funding of the PSOE, 6 years); Luís Roldan, Banesto, Gescartera, PSV, Marbella's Malaya Case and so on. Now we have the Andalucía ERE Case, the Gürtel Scandal, the Iñaki Urdangarin case, the Caso Fabra . . . all just in their early stages."

Corruption: It's no great surprise to read that 94% of supporters of the Opposition PSOE party think the government is guilty of illegal party financing involving property developers and construction companies. After all, what's a good property boom for? But it comes as a bit of a shock to read that even 89% of PP party supporters think so too. The prime minister's response? To repeat the "Crisis is over" mantra and to ignore the accusations - the standard Spanish defence once the lies have become transparent to all. So, we still wait on the further disclosures threatened by the jailed (and somewhat annoyed) ex-Treasurer of the party. Should be fun. Stop-Press: He's now fallen out with his lawyers. Not usually considered a good move. I mean the ex-Treasurer. Not the Prime Minister. This has reminded me that one of said lawyers last week said something along the lines of "Just because he's got 40m euros in an offshore account, you can't assume it was illegally gained". No. Of course not. Hardly needed saying.

Bullfighting: It's generally considered that this is a dying . . . institution. Apart from the fact that the younger generation isn't at all interested and that there's a growing protest movement, there's a cancer within that's eating away at it, as someone put it recently. This cancer is "the modern bull - wretched and pathetic. Incapable of showing strength, nobility and courage." In other words, it doesn't put up a good fight before it expires. And, as the saying saying goes, without a good bull, there can't be a good matador. The most recent evidence of this shameful approach to taurine death was last night's corrida in Pamplona, which was described in El País today as 'crap'. But I don't yet know how this morning's runners showed any more spunk tonight. Hopefully, they turned up for the fight. Not that anyone in the stands would be sober enough to notice.

Words: Who'd have thought it? A "scofflaw" is Someone who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively.' My guess is it's an old English word which now only survives in the USA.

Finally . . . There was only one thing worse than reading this report and this was seeing that some of the group arrested live here in Pontevedra. Stupidly, you never think this sort of thing goes on close to home.

But at least there's some good news on the criminal front.


Perry said...


"There have been many competitions down the years encouraging people to coin new words. Few of these creations ever find a permanent place in the language, because they must meet an obvious need or catch the public’s imagination to be successful. Scofflaw has achieved this difficult feat.

A contest was held in Boston in 1923, during the Prohibition era, to find a descriptive word for “a lawless drinker of illegally made or illegally obtained liquor”. A prize of $200 was offered by Delcevare King of Quincy, a rich Prohibitionist, to find such a word in order to “stab awake the conscience” of those who drank alcohol."


The OED does not recognise the word; obviously its got a touch of Not Invented Here syndrome.



Perry said...

More on Scofflaw.



Es muy interesante, no?

On this occasion, I am prompted to type "mumswee" in order to post this.

Es aún más interesante, no?

kraal said...

Scofflaw (N. Amer. informal) is included in my Oxford Dictionary of English, third edition.

Colin Davies said...

I'm impressed!