Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Brussels v. Madrid on terrorists; More on Pugs; Hitler's tash again; Galician wines; and Great goals.

Brits are well versed - in the context of Islamic extremists - on the differences of views between their own courts and those of the EU. And now Spain has woken up to this shocking reality. More than a hundred and fifty jailed ETA terrorists are likely to be released following an EU Court of Human Rights ruling that the way their sentences were extended is illegal under EU law. The first terrorist has been released and more will follow soon. Meanwhile, the entire country is understandably in shock. More here, in English. Welcome to a Higher Power, Madrid.

One wonders now whether there will be a slew of ETA members - and others - suing the Spanish government for compensation. I guess so. A good time to be a lawyer. As if there were ever any bad times.

I read up a bit more on Pugs yesterday. They were brought to Europe from China by the dastardly Dutch and William and Mary brought them to the UK in 1688. They reached their peak in 2004, when - would you believe - Double D Cinoblu's Masterpiece was adjudged Best in Show at the 2004 World Dog Show. This despite it having - inter alia - a tail which grows the wrong way and which couldn't scare off a fly to save its life. Which the dog wouldn't try anyway as its priority is to try to breathe by panting. So, if you want to see a pack of flies laughing, just follow a Pug around for a few minutes. Among famous people to own one are Jonathan Ross, Hugh Laurie, Ted Danson and (of course) the Duchess of Windsor. Perhaps the finest thing ever written about Pugs was a 2007 piece in The Onion, which pulls no punches about the breed's deficiencies. Well worth a read. Unless you like Pugs. And I've just stumbled across this foto gallery of prime examples of the breed.

By the way . . . Did you notice the semi-deliberate mistake of yesterday? There is no such English phrase (well, there wasn't) - 'Pug ugly'. It's 'plug ugly'. Don't ask me why. Ni puta idea.

I was chastened yesterday to find that I wasn't the first person, by any means, to suspect Hitler's moustache was composed of extended nasal hair. Devastating. But life goes on.

Galician wine: Here's a nice article on the stuff grown on the steep slopes of the Ribeira Sacra/Ribera Sagrada area, up near Ourense. It claims that white Godello and Albariño grapes flourish up there but my belief is it's only the red Mencia grape that clings to the hillsides there. Still, the pictures are impressive. Expert comment welcome.

Often with stupendous goals in football(soccer), you suspect they're a combination of massive skill (hitting a volley) and a chunk of luck(the parabola of the ball). But, whatever, they're wonderful to watch and here's another couple.

Finally . . . An old friend has sent me this Bismark quote on Spain: I am firmly convinced that Spain is the strongest country of the world. Century after century trying to destroy herself and still no success. Is this any less true now than it was in the 19th century? Please write on only one side of the paper.

Finally, finally . . . Welcome Mrs Beltran as Member 101 to this blog. I'd love to do this personally but, as I've said, Google makes this impossible for me. Oh, by the way, hits have plummeted to pre-existing levels since I identified as being responsible for a false upsurge. DON'T go to the site; it serves nefarious purposes, including communicating viruses, they say.


Anonymous said...


I sympathize with your detestation of the EU Court of Human Rights ruling - Had Spain strung them up in the first place there would be nothing to repatriate but the coffin and the rope.

However, your "more here in English" does seem rather a cop out. Would have far preferred you to have properly explained it in your own inimitable style, rather than hand the explanation to someone else, while you sit back in your rocking chair considering pugs.

What is your position on the ECHR? the world is waiting with bated breath for your answer.

Best regards, Q1-10

South Of Watford said...

Colin, at the terrible risk of sounding dangerously subversive I think you'll find that the idea of the courts retroactively interpreting the law to extend prison sentences beyond that fixed in the original trial is not generally regarded as being legally sound - at least in jurisdictions where the 'rule of law' isn't just a christmas cracker joke. That it should take a court from outside to point that out is a cause for shame rather than criticism of pesky European interference.

Colin said...

Graeme, I don't disagree at all. I was merely pointing out it came as shock to Spain. I thought I had skilfully avoided showing where my sympathies lay. But it seems I not only failed to achieve this but gave you the wrong impression.

Q1-10: As I say, I didn't think I expressed a personal view but perhaps you are joshing in your first para.

My position on the EUCHR is that 17 judges can't be wrong in interpreting EU law, which - as the British Government has found - is superior to national law(s). And that's a end to it. It's the rules of the club and the only way out of living with them is to leave the club.

Sierra said...

Photo of white grapes (variety?) in
Ribeira Sacra, Sil Valley, near Ourense:

The area:

General images from Galicia, etc.:

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