Tuesday, June 03, 2014

That abdication again; Republics; Qatar qoncerns; the Union Jack; & All the news.


So, the Spanish king's sudden abdication was followed by pro-Republic demonstrations throughout Spain and in several foreign cities too. Having just finished The Blood of Spain and learnt what an unholy mess the Second Republic made of itself, I'm not sure I'd be in a rush to demand the Third. But one can certainly understand the aspirations of young Spaniards who, thanks to the all-party omerta on the Civil War, know little about what happened during and before it.

It was interesting to see that, although there were demonstrations in most Galician cities, there were none in Pontevedra or its larger neighbour, Vigo. Too monarchist, I guess. I wonder if the demonstrations in the Basque country were in favour of whoever is the current Carlist candidate for the throne. Doubtless, Alfie Mittington can tell us.

I wonder if those - and they are many - who still see the king as the saviour of Spanish democracy are aware of the claims of the then prime minister that he (the king) was aware of the 1981 plot and used it oust said prime minister and then burnish his democratic credentials. Or, as I wrote back in April: - Today sees the publication in Spain of a book which claims that the Spanish King was not only aware in advance of the abortive 1981 plot to replace the then President by a government fronted by the military but also very much part of the plot himself. Which is a tad shocking as, to date, he's been credited with heroically foiling the coup. It's been a bad year or two for the ageing monarch but this will surely strengthen demands for his abdication. More here from David Jackson.

Back on earth . . . As if Qatar weren't already unpopular enough as the (possible) 2022 venue for the FIFA World Cup, it's now issued a dress code for visitors. Especially those of the female persuasion. Then there's the prison sentence for making 'rude' comments or gestures. See here for the glorious details of the Reflect your respect campaign, headlined - If you're in Qatar, you are one of us. By which I don't suppose they mean Muslim. Just decently dressed.

Talking of football . . . Is anyone as tired as I am of hearing it called 'the beautiful game'? I enjoy it but enough is enough.

Finally . . . It never ceases to amaze me what uses are made of the British flag, the Union Jack. Some of my neighbours have a huge towel draped over their balcony in the colours of this standard, as if they were expecting the British queen to drive by any moment. Possibly on the way to visit me.

Postscript: The king's abdication had over 40 pages of news and comment dedicated to it in both El País and the Voz de Galicia today. Plus all the letters to respective editors and all the leaders. And, in each case, an article from the British historian, Paul Preston. Who possibly saw it all coming. Apparently nothing else happened yesterday. At least in Spain.

1 comment:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


Sorry, I haven't got a clue who or what the Carlist demonstrators were demonstrating for. And I wonder if they themselves have any clear idea.

As for Carlist Pretenders, there are several al the moment. The most important are the ultra right-wing Sixto de Borbon, and the 'Red' Right Wing Carlos-Javier de Borbon Parma, son of one of the sisters of the former Dutch queen, and himself married to a Dutch lady. If he ever gets to the throne (and stranger things have happened in Spain…) that whole 80-year war was fought in vain!

Al the Ignoramus

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