Talking of politicians . . . I caught a bit of David Cameron at Davos on the TV yesterday. He was finishing off his address and then taking questions. At which he was quite impressive, whether or not one agrees with this views. And I asked myself could I imagine President Rajoy, even in Spanish, being as adept at this sort of thing. Far from it, I decided. A wonderful example, I guess, of the mediocrity which Forges was talking about. Why would a nation vote for a party with a leader known to be so inept? Tribal loyalty, I guess. Being inadequate here doesn't lose you votes the way it does with, say, Ed Milliband.
But the times they are a-changin', they say. And it will be fascinating to see how the new parties do in the upcoming European elections. Just as it will with UKIP in the UK.
Talking of ineptitude . . . The relevant judge is getting his teeth into the issue of how and why the rail companies failed to heed their technician's warning that the Santiago curve was dangerous and needed the best security system installed on the track and trains. Three of the 10 managers who were sent the relevant memo claim they never got it. One again wonders whether we're expected to believe this tosh. Outside the court, the PP President of Galicia has resisted the demands for a parliamentary inquiry on the grounds that the mistakes happened under the previous PSOE government and he doesn't want to embarrass them. This response is so cynical and so untrue it's a surprise his nose doesn't now stretch to Paris. Or at least Oporto.
Talking of Portugal . . . I see it's perfectly permissible there to wear an earpiece when driving. Though not, of course, once you've crossed into Spain, the land of revenue collectors disguised as traffic cops.
Thanks to Davos and to David Cameron, I now know there are 2 new(ish?) verbs in English - To offshore and To re-shore. Investment, of course. And I've also learnt this morning of a new exclamation/adjective - meh. 1. Informal expression, suggesting lack of interest. 2. Uninspiring, unexceptional.
Finally . . . The Spanish state broadcaster has rejected demands that they don't show bullfights during the hours kids will be watching. "It does not affect children", say RTVE. Doubtless on the back of a huge amount of research. I wonder if it would say the same about embryos.
The triumph of mediocrity
Those who know me know of my beliefs and ideologies. Above these, I think the time to be honest has come. It is in all points necessary to make a deep and sincere self-criticism, taking, without a precedent, and in all seriousness.
Maybe it 's time to accept that our economic crisis is that it goes beyond this or that political, greed of bankers or risk premium.
Assume that our problems cannot finish one game by switching to another, with another battery of emergency measures, with a general strike, or pouring into the streets to protest against each other.
Recognize that the main problem in Spain is not Greece, the euro or Mrs. Merkel.
Admitting to try to correct it, we have become a mediocre country. No country reaches such a condition overnight. Nor in three or four years. It is the result of a chain that starts at school and ends at the establishment.
We have created a culture in which the mediocre are the most popular students in school, the first to be promoted in offices, most are heard in the media and the ones who voted in the election, no matter what you do, someone whose political career or completely unknown, if any. Just because they are one of us.
We are so accustomed to our mediocrity that we have come to accept it as the natural state of things. Exceptions are almost always confined to sport, serve to deny the evidence.
- Mediocre is a country where people spend an average of 134 minutes a day in front of a TV showing mainly garbage.
- Mediocre is a country-wide democracy which has not had a single president who spoke English or had minimal knowledge of international politics, where politicians and senior practitioners lack the minimum educational background..
- Mediocre is the only country in the world in its rancid sectarianism, has managed to divide even associations of victims of terrorism.
- Mediocre is a country that has reformed its educational system three times in three decades to position its students at the tail of the developed world.
- Mediocre is a country that has two universities among the 10 oldest in Europe, but, however, has no single university among the top 150 in the world and forces its best researchers into exile to survive.
- Mediocre is a country with a quarter of its population unemployed, where however a neighbouring country's joke about our athletes is more reason to be outraged .
- Mediocre is a country where the brilliance of others causes suspicion, creativity is marginalized, if not stolen with impunity and sanctioned independence, no one is admitted to a party if dares disagree with mediocre leaders.
- Mediocre is a country whose public institutions are political leaders who, in 48% of cases, never exercised their professions, nor the exercise but found in the relevant policy and lucrative lifestyle.
- Mediocre is a country that has made mediocrity a great national aspiration, no complex persecuted by those thousands of young people looking to take the next place in the Big Brother competition by politicians who insult without providing an idea for bosses who surround themselves mediocrity to hide his own mediocrity, and students who ridicule hard work in their colleagues.
- Mediocre is a country that has allowed, encouraged and celebrated the triumph of mediocrity, leaving two options: leave or be swallowed up by the unstoppable tide of grey mediocrity.
- Mediocre is a country, which deny that for beautifully unapologetic their national emblem, needs sporting success for some motivation
ANTONIO DE PABLOS FRAGUAS ( Forges )