Saturday, November 01, 2014

Airports; Corruption; Eye contact; Waitresses; Beer & sausages; & Mr Putin's admirers.

I mentioned that there's long been no direct transport to any of Galicia's 3 international airports. But the regional government has finally done something about this. You may still have to get a bus and a train but at least you will soon be able to do this on only one ticket!

Corruption: This article alleges what I've long suspected - that we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Things must be serious - my Spanish friends raised the subject at dinner tonight!

If there's one bit of advice I'd give to Brits coming to Spain to live, it would be Get over your British discomfort with it and acquire the ability to make and keep eye contact. For good relationships here - or even just pleasant service - it's essential to do what the Spanish do naturally. Otherwise, you'll continue to be thought of as odd. If not shifty and untrustworthy.

Query: 'Round the clock' has 3 syllables. As does '24/7'. So why does the latter now reign supreme?

We had a sort of fair in Pontevedra last week. It was called Pont Up Store and featured a series of kiosks around the down. Try as I might, I can't figure out what Pont Up Store might mean.

I learned today that the waitress in one of my regular places has a degree in English Philology. I was surprised but shouldn't have been, what with unemployment among young Spaniards being around 50%.

En route to lunch with my friend Fran and his fellow Porcos Bravos today , I passed the Oktoberfest marquee and decided to take a look inside. This was just as well, as Fran was there and able to tell me the lunch I thought I was going to had taken place last Saturday. Anyway, I got myself more beer than I've drunk at one go since I was 20 and also one of the currywersts I wanted to try. Which, almost inevitably, was something of a disappointment. Should have gone for the 'little elbow' of roast pork. Finally . . . I sometimes watch the Putin propaganda channel, RT. If only to make myself stupefied and then angry. This morning, though, I found its exposé of the EU to be totally accurate. I'm joking, of course. I was rather more impressed by this opinion piece in The Times:-

We cannot allow Russia Today to get away with its lies

Extra-terrestrials disguised as nuns have been out shopping in Los Angeles. President Kennedy was murdered by the CIA for opposing the Vietnam war. The 9/11 attacks were committed by the American government. The genocide of 8,000 Bosnian Muslims at Srebrenica in 1995 is a myth.

You’d be surprised if these outlandish and deranged assertions appeared in The Times. Yet they’ve all been aired by the Kremlin-backed channel Russia Today, known since 2009 as RT. The station’s international programming has long been available in Britain. Yesterday it launched a UK service, broadcast from London.

Ofcom is the independent regulator. It requires TV channels to report news accurately and present it with impartiality. RT doesn’t do that.

Ofcom has already ruled against RT’s news coverage in separate cases and is investigating several further complaints. In one flagrant breach an interviewee on RT claimed, with neither evidence nor challenge, that a massacre by President Assad’s forces in Syria had been committed instead by rebels.

The problem with RT is not just bias but that it’s not a news channel at all. It’s a propaganda outlet for Vladimir Putin. Its broadcasting is a constant diet of lies in the service of a regime that murders journalists, imprisons protesters, defends dictators and menaces neighbouring states.

Don’t take my word for it. Sara Firth, a London-based correspondent, resigned from RT in July in protest at its coverage of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash. RT suggested that the plane was shot down by Ukrainian government forces. “I couldn’t do it any more,” said Firth. “Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.”

Liz Wahl, a Washington-based correspondent, resigned from RT live on air in March in protest at its coverage of Russian intervention in Crimea. “RT is not about the truth,” according to Wahl: “It’s about promoting a Putinist agenda.”

I got an email a few days ago from an RT producer inviting me to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on one of the station’s flagship programmes. I replied that I would not appear on a channel whose hostility to news values is evinced by the cranks, racists, fantasists, fabulists and genocide deniers who form its staple list of “experts”.

Ofcom should rigorously apply its own code to this den of deceivers.

Incidentally, there was a program on RT this morning dedicated to mocking and ridiculing Putin's image in the West. He is, we were told, 'A conservative leader in the mould of De Gaulle, Kohl, Thatcher and Reagan. Plus a Christian". A non-stop eulogy, which must have gone down well with the man himself. Which is what the channel is all about. One of the panel was Martin Macaulay, who was said to be of the university of London. Well, he used to be. Here's what someone thinks of him.


Perry said...

The Spanish think breaking eye contact is shifty do they? No juzgues un libro por su portada is my thought. Continual eye contact is an invitation to a fight in England.

"the man in the chair demanded: “What are you staring at?”

OT. From April 2014.

Richard Lynnhas an explanation.

Perry said...

HS2 is not a good use of taxpayers money. Here is a report from the National Audit Office castigating HMG for exaggerating the Cost Benefit Ratio by 86%. It illustrates how we are governed either by incompetents or crooks, or probably both.

By the time the railway could be built, Skype & its solid hologram successors will be so remarkable that travelling to & from work will not be necessary. That leaves travel for pleasure & steam locomotives will perform that task.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Since when, Oh thou linguistic prodigy, does '24/7' have three syllables? Perhaps if one pronounces it in a Scouse or Gallego accent. But NOT in the Queen's English. Then it has five.


Anthea said...

I wanted to make the above comment as well. 24/7 has 3 letters but tent/ty/four/se/ven has 5 syllables!!!

Colin Davies said...

Bloody purists!

Search This Blog