Thursday, May 22, 2014

Male humour; The internet mob v. repressive government; Driving in Spain: & Water bills.

Over in the UK, there's a chap who's facing strident demands for his resignation, after his secretary leaked (i. e. sold) some ripe emails between him and a male friend. These, it's claimed, showed he was at least a misogynist and very possibly a mass murderer. You know the sort of emails I mean as we all receive them. The most profligate of my providers of dubious funny stuff is, in fact, a woman. Here's an article on this brouhaha headed Are the social-media Stasi entitled to pass sentence on someone for what they think that he thinks? As it happens, the writer is a woman too

So, has the internet got out of hand? Is it the sort of thing 18th and 19th century thinkers feared would come about as a result of democracy leading to mob rule? The high-volume bad driving out the good? Possibly. But the other side of this coin is repression. Only this week week we've had Spain's major bullfighting organisations calling on the government to take action against people making "despicable" comments on Twitter. And the government itself has arrested anyone it could lay its hands on who'd made comments they didn't like on the internet. Which wasn't very many, it's true, but that's because most internet trolls aren't dumb enough to use their own names. I think most offenders had commented on the politician shot last week or even on all Spanish politicians. But repression is never very far away here, one way or another. Old habits die hard.

How many bureaucrats in Brussels take home more than the British Prime Minister, do you think? No, I didn't have the faintest idea either. But it's reported here that the number is 10,000. Who'd have thought it? Well, anyone who knew what a gravy train it is, I guess. The reason for the high salaries is, of course, To attract high quality staff. It always is.

Another question - How many of you know that it's an offence in Spain to move your head more than 45 degrees when you're driving? And that it's the cop's word against yours that you did? So, you can't look left or right? Or over your shoulder to check your blind spot? Can it really be true?

Talking of driving . . . It's good to see that equality has made great strides there too. The last 3 people to swerve past me on a zebra crossing have been (young) women.

Finally . . . I got my water bill today. My campaign to reduce the volume has been a tremendous success. Only 2 cubic metres. The bill, though, doesn't reflect this. Thanks to all the fixed charges, the percentage reduction in euros is much less than that of the water. Nice of me to subsidise all the big Spanish families. Not that they're that big these days.


Ferrolano said...

I didn’t think for one moment that the 45º law could be true – I thought that you were taking the piss, until I read La Voz. Not only is it true with a driver being fined 100 Euros for turning his head more than 45º, but it happened in your part of town – beware, they want or need your money!!

Ferrolano said...

Earlier today, I read today’s La Voz and see that the “45º” was not just one driver, but a total of six, at the same place and within a 20 minute period by the same police patrol. Following a number of complaints, the local town hall have started to investigate and the first thing revealed is that the officers who issued the citations are not available for comment as they are both off work due to an accident in their patrol car – no comment!

My understanding of the law in question, makes no mention of 45º, basically, it requires that a driver has control of his view of the road so as not to be a danger to passengers of the vehicle or to other road users – sounds like common sense. And let’s be honest, we have turned our heads more than 45º, in particular at road junctions or when checking on what may be behind and to the side of your car when a following vehicle has slipped into your “blind spot”. The other point from this affair is the fact that a citation may be issued without stopping the vehicle in question or with no photographic or similar evidence. Perhaps the authority should revise this aspect of the law, but I doubt that they will…

Perry said...

When I drive my car, I am constantly checking all around me & there are plenty of junctions when joining UK motorways where it is eminently sensible to glance over one's right shoulder to check there are no vehicles in a blind spot that is not visible in the wing mirror. In fact, the inability to rotate one's head is considered to dangerous in the UK & measures should be taken in mitigation.

I mentally focus on driving as I take my seat in the car, in much the same way a fighter pilot runs through a check list before he takes off. Beware the hun in the sun & keep checking all your quadrants. There are old pilots, there are bold pilots, there are no old, bold, pilots.

Tally ho lads, chocks away! Gotta splash two Spanish old bill before I can stick the old kite in the hanger tonight. I've got an early dawn patrol & have to be up again at sparrow fart.

Colin Davies said...

Thanks, Perry. LOL, as they say these days.

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