Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A political murder; Case list; Spanglish; & Booze rates.

A woman politician was shot dead in León on Monday, apparently in an act of personal vengeance. Needless to say, though, she was under investigation for corruption. But, then, what Spanish politician isn't? Incidentally, the woman who did the shooting - apparently a disgruntled ex-employee - was the daughter of the local chief of police. And she was encouraged in the shooting by her mother, his wife. The poor chap's career may now stall. Especially, I guess, if it was his gun.

Someone who's career really has been affected is a Galician politician who said on her Facebook page today she didn't want to comment on the murder other than to say "You reap what you sow". In a country where resignation is rare, it was strange to see she'd immediately been pressured by her colleagues to announce her resignation. Apparently the twitter mob ('twob'?) were unhappy.

On corruption . . . HT to Lenox for this citation of a list of major cases. It gets longer by the day, of course.

Spanglish: Latest verb: Spoilear. Seems to be related to 'spoiler', of film review fame.

I tried yesterday to take my daughter off my health policy, using the company's internet form. And that's when the problems began. A woman called me to say I didn't exist on their computer. This is despite me paying premiums, using their card, and receiving numerous bills and letters. A number of things were tried - e. g. my policy number - but I still stubbornly refused to feature on their computer. Then she went away to chat to a colleague in the health division, while I discovered that the original documents contained my Fiscal Number and not my Identity Number. When she came back, I told her this and she said I had to go to the company's office in town to change the number on my policy. Otherwise I wouldn't have any cover. I didn't bother to ask why this couldn't be done on the phone or via the internet. Life is like that here. Fortunately, I could do this as I had the time. But what if I'd been at work today and had had a heart attack at the office? "No. Sorry. This card isn't valid. Come back when it is." Anyway, I went to the office and things were changed in 10 minutes or so. And then I had 10 minutes of sales talk on house and car insurance policies. Which is presumably why I had to go there. From a business point of view, brilliant. From my point of view, bloody irritating.

Landing on CNN News this morning, I discovered what I already knew but which the British media has failed to note, viz. that Astra Zeneca is essentially Swedish, not British. Later the day, I saw that the UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, had admitted that it "might be tricky" for the British government to stop Pfizer taking over Astra-Zeneca. By which he meant, of course, that they have no power to do this as it's a Brussells competency. Funny they don't want to admit this. And give UKIP a huge boost

Finally . . . Annual alcohol intake in litres per year:
Bielorussia - 17.5
Russia - 15.4
Portugal - 12.9
France - 12.2
Germany - 11.8
UK - 11.6
Spain - 11.2
EU average - 10.9
Interestingly, the Spanish figure comprises 50% beer, rather than wine.


Anonymous said...

Colin, Interesting and accurate point you make re. Astra Zeneca not being British.

In fact, this says the nationality with the greatest shareholding is the US.


Here are the top 3 paras.

I’m talking not about the fact that it’s the product of a 1990s UK takeover of a Swedish company (many have pointed that out), but about something far simpler: who actually owns it.

Yes, the company is listed and headquartered in the UK, meaning it has lots of UK employees and UK assets. But only a quarter of the shares issued by the company are owned by UK investors.

By contrast, about 46% of them are owned by American investors. And while the UK’s share of ownership has fallen quite sharply in recent years, it has rarely been much higher than 40%, according to figures from Bloomberg.

Most enlightening. You are also correct in inferring that the last thing our media give us are the facts. Then there's politicians, but it's in their job description to obfuscate.

Thank you for getting me to investigate this. Facts are always stranger than fiction Q1-10

Perry said...


Taking personal responsibility for one's actions is the only philosophy I subscribe to. I am free to do whatever I want in life, because I always prepared to accept the consequences of my actions. That's true freedom.

I have not yet met any honest politicians anywhere, nor any believers in any religion, including Greens, watermelons and Gaia worshippers, which is not surprising because they are pathologically unable to stop lying to themselves about their beliefs.

As for religious beliefs, one would have thought that a belief in an after life of some kind would have been of some comfort to those who are scared of death, but in my experiences so far, only some atheists seem at peace with their own mortalities. Truth is dangerous and hard to live up to.

As a pattern for living, I would prefer Mediaeval Scandinavian laws, in preference even to our UK Common Law. The Napoleonic Code you can stick where the sun does not shine; it just encourages and rewards corruption. Legal traditions post Xtianity, led to far worse punishments, such as executions, brandings and imprisonments.


Robert Heinlein wrote “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life”. I suspect he had the hólmganga in mind when he wrote those words. Taken to its limits, I conclude that political assassination could again be a legitimate course of action, (with the Weregild set at the appropriately low level for politicians). Of course, an incoming leader might be reluctant to pay the Weregild, in which case, the þing (Thing) would outlaw the putative leader in order to prevent a blood feud.

Keefieboy said...

The UK company ICI spun (span?) off its pharma and biosciences businesses into a company called Zeneca Group in 1993. Zeneca merged with Swedish company Astra AB in 1998. Hence the confusion, I suppose.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Keith. The Swedes have been more powerful in the management, I believe.