Thursday, June 05, 2014

Mr Juncker's chances; A criminal king?; The Seychelles of Galicia?; The Rubaiyat; & Just not cricket.


It seems to be taken as read in the UK - no one is interested in Spain - that the next president of the EU will be the arch-federalist president of Luxembourg, Mr Juncker, and that David Cameron has made a fool of himself trying to blackmail Mrs Merkel into disfavouring him. On the other hand (or extreme), my personal adviser on the EU and its machinations, Richard North, tells me; "For the record, it seems to me that all the newspapers are playing it wrong on the Juncker affair. I think you have to take account of what the broad spectrum of the German press is saying. Combine that with a basic understanding of the dynamics of EU politics, and it is pretty certain that the former Luxembourg prime minister doesn't stand a chance." So, there you have it. An open or shut case.

Under the country's constitution, Spanish monarchs can do whatever they like without fear of prosecution. And it may be that the departing king has benefitted from this provision. However, he'll lose this immunity the second he abdicates. Or will he? A new law has to be drafted to deal with his pre-death descent from the throne and some cynics suspect this will include provisions that re-instate his personal immunity. And perhaps even create some for his younger daughter, universally suspected of being involved in her husband's financial chicanery. Vamos a ver.

There was another article on Galicia's Atlantic Isles in today's Times, sponsored - I suspect - by Vueling airlines. It alleged that we locals call them "the Galician Caribbean" or "the Galician Seychelles". Well, maybe but I've never heard them called either of these. And, having lived 12 months in the Seychelles, I can say they don't really compare. Incidentally, the foto of the Bay of Vigo is really of Bayona, further down the coast. I'm not sure it qualifies as part of Vigo Bay.

Which reminds me . . . It was living in the Seychelles as a 19 year old that I first came across Omar Khayam's Rubaiyat. Or, rather, Edward Fitzgerald's famous 19th century 'transmogrification' of it. I was, of course, unaware that 6 years later I'd be living in Persia. But, anyway, I was amused to read today that the Philippines Supreme Court once quoted The Moving Finger quatrain when it ruled that the widow of a deceased presidential candidate couldn't substitute for her late husband in his pending election protest against the Philippine president. For those few who've never heard it, this goes:-
The moving finger writes and having writ
Moves on: Nor and all thy piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line
Nor all thy tears wash out a single word of it.

Finally . . . An English batsman was yesterday run out/stumped by a Sri Lankan bowler after he'd moved down the wicket too quickly. Although the bowler had warned the batsman about this at least once, the (London) crowd booed him for an act considered to be within the rules but not the spirit of the game. So, a perfect illustration of something that was 'not cricket'. I rather felt for the vilified bowler, having done the very same thing when I was about 12. Though I hadn't given a warning. And so was reproved even by my own side. I tried to claim it was an accident but this didn't wash with anyone. Even me.

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