Sunday, October 06, 2013

Criminal bikers and walkers; New criminal offences; Young folk here; Phone companies; and a Little Emperor

I was a little surprised to learn yesterday that it's perfectly legal to ride your bike among pedestrians in Spain, where there's no road. In Pontevedra's extensive pedestrianised areas, for example. That said, it's illegal to ride at a speed greater than that of people walking. Whether anyone has ever been fined for breaking this law I rather doubt.

Which reminds me . . . A recent change in the criminal code increases the fine for jay-walking here. In addition, a larger fine will be imposed if you're considered to have drunk sufficient alcohol to be a danger to the traffic. Again, I doubt anyone has ever been arrested for jay-walking in Spain to date. But these new provisions provide such ample scope for revenue generation I'm sure it won't be long before it won't be possible to say that any more.

Emphasising their Revenue role, the police have been exposed using an obsolete law to fine motorists who are as little as 3% over the speed limit. More on this here.

And talking of offences . . . Will this one arrive in Spain? Is it already here - Filling up with petrol(gas) and then claiming you've left your wallet at home. Like phoney whiplash claims, it's a crime which is burgeoning in the UK.

The percentage of young Spanish people who'd be concerned about a Muslim moving in next door has risen from 11% to 17%. For gypsies, there's a fall from 18 to 14%, meaning that some young people now have greater antipathy to Muslims than to gypsies, which is astonishing, given traditional attitudes to the latter. For gays, the numbers show an increase from 5 to 8%.

Outside the sphere of personal concerns about groups in Spanish society, here are the percentage details of PRO and CON attitudes among young people to certain contentious issues:
Same sex marriage:                   78 13
Occupying empty properties       41 44
Using human genetic material
     for therapeutic ends             61 17
Helping someone to die             77 10
The death penalty                     43 42
Religious instruction in
    schools                                 31 50
Freedom to abort                      57 27
Some of these are quite remarkable for a (ex?)Catholic society.

An interesting decision of the Tax Office (Hacienda) arising from the trial of the PP party ex-Treasurer - the companies which made illegal donations through him can set them off against tax. Hmm.

I noted the Spanish word hangar yesterday and assumed it was another adopted English word. Well, it may be but it turns out the word actually originates in Middle French.

I never thought I'd be in the same box as a mobile phone company but I see that Vodaphone is accusing the Spanish Department of Industry of passivity in the face of abuses by Telefónica. All strength to their elbow.

Which reminds me . . . A Galician cable company is offering a 100 mega internet connection for €40 a month, against my only-option-less-than-1-mega for €35. Which doesn't seem very fair.

Watching a (convert)English Muslim lady on TV this morning, it struck me that no non-Muslim would have any problem with a veil/head scarf. After all, nuns have always covered up their hair. Presumably for the same reason - so that we men wouldn't find them attractive. But the niqab and the burkha? Quite a different kettle of fish, I believe.

Finally . . . I had the misfortune last night to sit next to a couple of parents dominated by their 4 year old 'Little Emperor' son. Who shouted when he spoke and screamed when he shouted, especially when he was demanding potato chips and telling his mother he didn't want to do what she was telling vainly him to do. After 15 minutes of this, I drank as much of my water as I could swallow and left to read my book in the main square. I almost felt sympathetic towards the parents and the future which awaits them.

1 comment:

Perry said...

Colin,

Little Emperors indeed!

Scenario:
Johnny and Mark get into a fight after school.

1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.

2013 - Police called, and they arrest Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. Both children go to anger management programmes for 3 months. School governors hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programmes.



Scenario:
Robbie won't sit still in class & disrupts other students.

1957 - Robbie sent to the office and given six of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2013 - Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD – result deemed to be positive. Robbie's parents get fortnightly disability payments and school gets extra funding from government because Robbie has a disability.



Scenario:
Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2013 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care; joins a gang; ends up in jail.



Scenario:
Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

1957 - Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with. Passes exams, becomes a solicitor.

2013 - Police called, car searched for drugs and weapons. Mark expelled from school for drug taking. Ends up as a drop out.



Scenario:
Johnny takes apart leftover fireworks from Guy Fawkes night, puts the gunpowder in a paint tin and blows up a wasp nest.

1957 - Wasps die.

2013 - Police & Anti-Terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly in an airplane again.


Scenario:
Johnny falls over while running during morning break and scrapes his knee.He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. She hugs him to comfort him.

1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing footie. No damage done.

2013 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy and ends up gay.

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This should be sent to every e-mail address you know, to remind us all of just how stupid we have become.

Cordially,

Perry

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