Sunday, July 13, 2014

Phoney remedy; Ethics and corruption; Galicia's airports; Museums; & Teaching in the UK.


In 2002, a product called Bio-Bac was withdrawn from the Spanish market as being ineffective. The company had claimed it cured cancer, among other things. Justice is a slow business in Spain and this month the company's owner was finally sentenced to a paltry jail sentence. As it's below 2 years, it won't be served. The judge's justification for leniency was that the product, albeit useless, was harmless. Can't say I understand this logic.

Some years ago, a reader - possibly Moscow - insisted that Spain was less a corrupt society than a 'low ethics' society. Given the media headlines, this is harder and harder to believe. There must, though, be a connection. Because the Spanish have low ethics, they've traditionally tolerated the corruption of their politicians and businessmen. And now we see the results of this, after a period when easy money flooded into Spain after (and because of) the introduction of the euro. But will the Spanish now change their ethical approach? I'm not so sure.

Galicia, as regular readers will know, has 3 small, unprofitable international airports. None of them - nor all of them together - can compete effectively with Oporto's large, efficient facility down in North Portugal. This week, culpability was laid at the door of 'localism' and the recommendation was made for 'coordination'. So, just the same as every other year for the past 2 decades.

Pontevedra's museum currently has an exhibition of Egyptian artefacts. You might think Sunday afternoon would be a good time to visit it, but you'd be wrong. It ain't open. Nor tomorrow, of course, as all museums in Spain are closed on Mondays.

Finally . . . As the father of a teacher, I shouldn't really quote this but here's an amusing comment on teaching from the cynical headmaster of The Inbetweeners: "Sorry to disappoint you, McKenzie, but teachers don't start each day by swearing allegiance to the education fairy under a photo of the queen. It's not so much a calling these days as a graveyard for the unlucky and the unambitious. Between you and me, the only reason anyone teaches these days is because they take a more relaxed view of police checks."

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