Saturday, July 19, 2014

Spanish debating; Russian mis-information; Letizia pix; & Lofty Nederlanders.

Spanish TV meets Spanish Politics: A recent letter to El País:- "Watching a televised debate on German TV between the two candidates for the European Commission, I thought about how far we are in Spain from offering candidates politely explaining their proposals without shouting, with time control, and responding to questions from citizens. In other words, a normal debate. I think Jose Ignacio Torreblanca is right when he says it would be desirable for such a debate to be shown in Spain. Until then "the sorry state of the quality of our democracy"- to quote Torreblanca - is well reflected in the cardboard debates in which each speaker merely tries to destroy the credibility of the other in the insufferably loud tone of a rabble-rouser." Truth to tell, it isn't only political candidates who 'debate' like this on Spanish TV; it's just about everybody. Including the pundits. And personal abuse - as you can see from any a blog thread - is never far from the surface.

It was fascinating - well, interesting - to see how the Russian news channel, RT, dealt with the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner. Apparently, it was everyone's fault except Russia's and Mr Putin is disgusted at the blame game that's been initiated in the West. He's calling for an international inquiry but fears it will be politicised. I'll bet he does. Though I think we're supposed to believe by the West and the Ukrainian government, not by Russia and the Ukrainian rebels. No mention of the latter having a BUK surface-air-missile weapon. Only 'many ex-Soviet countries'.

Later yesterday, RT came up two theories we're expected to believe:- 1. The Malaysian plane was being tailed by 2 Ukrainian jets, who shot it down, and 2. It was downed by the Ukrainians, who mistook it for President Putin's plane, which was flying back from Brazil in a similar plane. Having had enough of this mis-information, the channel's London correspondent resigned in disgust.

Spanish media yesterday carried pictures of our new queen, the lovely Letizia, selling cigarettes when she was a Masters student in Mexico. They look genuine to me but they do come from the Daily Mail. So, maybe not.

Finally . . . Did you know the Dutch are the tallest nation in the world? I certainly didn't. Believe it or believe it not, the USA is only 9th.

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