Friday, September 19, 2014

Devolution Max/Min; Catalan independence?; Lampposts; & Noise rules.

Now that most of us Brits have heaved a huge sigh of relief over the decision of (most of) the Scots not to go with independence, reality is breaking in, shining a light and revealing a huge mess. And it's one which can't possibly be cleared up in the (cynical?) timeframe posited by David Cameron. At worst, there's a Gordian knot. At best, there's possibly years of political wrangling over what powers will be devolved, first, to Scotland and, then, to the English regions. These would be the equivalent of the Spanish Autonomous Communities, I guess. And they don't yet exist, never mind wield power. As of today - terrified by the prospect that (Labour) Scottish MPs won't be allowed to vote in an English forum - the Labour party leader is accusing the Prime Minister of gimmicky precipitate action in promising constitutional reform for the English. So Labour don't just reject the timetable but also the principle. They had to do it, of course, but it won't go down well. But when you've been painted into a corner, you have to get your feet sticky. This show could run and run. And there's not long to go before the next general election. Hey ho.

Things in Spain are even more interesting. Which is not something often said about constitutional issues. Yesterday the Catalan parliament confirmed that the region/country/nation will go ahead with a referendum on independence in November. So the Spanish Cabinet will hold an emergency meeting this weekend to decide on what action - short of sending in the tanks - to take in response. Let's hope it doesn't involve Vladimir Putin. Having been confused/bemused by whatever President Rajoy's strategy has been, I rather liked this comment from an El Mundo columnist today:- "If the [Catalan] consultation approves a separatist program, it won't be because of the merits of the independistas - who have none at all - but because of the stupidity of their opponents, who have this in abundance."

Spanish lampposts have been in the national news this week, following the death of one young person who just leant against one and a second who rashly urinated on one. And here's a video of a lamppost in a town along our coast which appears to double up as a (leeky) water reservoir. I've often wondered about Spanish wiring over the years but will now be doubly cautious. Where are Health & Safety when, for once, you really need them.

Finally . . . My impression is that it's generally recognised that Spain is a quilt-work of 'authorities' and that it would be foolish to expect them to act, or even legislate, in the same way in matters for which they have authority. The end result, of course, is a certain arbitrariness. I say this after reading that 8 young people were each fined €101 for playing Ludo late at night in Malaga. The police said they'd received complaints from neighbours about the "noise made by the dice". Elsewhere in Spain, it seems, a noise level 10 times greater than this is perfectly OK. Especially if you're an idiot on a scooter that's had its silencer removed.


Perry said...

Freedom is the willingness to accept the results of one's actions. Had the yes vote prevailed, the yessers would have rapidly discovered there is no "freedom" without responsibility & begging bowls would have soon been proliferating all along the roads south to the border as the HMG jobs, banks & Lottery Point of Sale units moved out

Indeed, Devo Max does not mean what others might hope it means. Max means Totally & Devo means Devoid of anything meaningful, as Scameron backtracks.

Ferrolano said...

Have to agree with the comment from Perry . But, consider the irony when after leaving one Union, the same group are the next day seeking to join an even larger one. Just ambitions of personal power!!