Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Elections here; Elections there; Politicos; Messy monarchy; & David Bowie.

The Spanish tribal tectonic plates are moving slightly as the end-year elections get slowly nearer. Almost unbelievably, the hyper-corrupt PP party maintains its slight lead over the opposition PSOE party. These are trailed by the centrist Ciudadanos party and the (very?) leftist Podemos party. But the latter is losing ground to the former as voters begin to grapple with the practical consequences of high-flown socialism. Perhaps. President Rajoy - never an inspiring speaker - is playing his only card: "Political instability is putting the economic recovery at risk". His problem - as with David Cameron - is that not everyone is feeling the positive impact from this. It's pretty certain the rich are but these, of course, are already in his pocket. As Podemos were always going to lose support as the election approached, the only real question is whether the Ciudadanos party can become the front-runner over the next 7 months. Though Rajoy will surely call an early election if this becomes a real possibility. Timing is all, as they say.

Over in the UK, voting is only 2 weeks away but here's an opinion it's hard to differ with: In Britain, no party is addressing the hard questions, or the big ones. There's one answer that no one dares give: work till 70. Urging people to work longer, while delaying the state pension, would make more difference to the deficit than a forest of small but painful changes. On both sides of the Atlantic, we see the pain that follows making giant slabs of spending untouchable while pursuing savage cuts to smaller but less politically sensitive ones. Likewise this one, voiced by me a couple of times already: The political class must think the rest of us are all idiots. The lavish spending pledges made by the parties this week belong in a make-believe world where money is no object. Or, finally, this: There is something surreal about the way in which British politicians comport themselves at the moment. Few are liars but most of them are living a lie.

Things are tough at the regal top of Spain. The ex-king is suffering from depression and it seems that Queen Leticia really does have anorexia. You can see last week's pictures here and, if you can read Spanish, find out about the causes here. One assumes she sees herself as fat in the mirror. Very sad.

Everyone knows English is constantly changing and that some usages will remain but others will be discarded by the the popular jury. This morning I read of Liverpool fans 'swerving' a game. This means not attending a match (against bottom-place Hull), though it may have the connotation that you first buy a (child price) ticket and then stay away. Anyway, it was a good decision; Hull won.

Finally . . . There was dancing and singing in the streets of Pontevedra this week. Dunno why but here's a brief video of some of it. Without the dancing. And possibly without the singing too. The ladies are, of course, in Galician national dress. But I don't know when this was current. George Borrow doesn't mention in when writing in the 1830s. Whatever, it's so heavy I can't understand how they can dance in it in 25-30 degrees. But they do. Presumably they never got round to a summer version 'back in the day'. 

BTW: I can't be held responisble for antennae-less Spaniards walking in front of me with camera raised. Though I should have known.





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