Friday, May 29, 2015

Emigrés; Quotes of the week; Headlines; The EU; & A funny video.

Spain's Opposition party says that 500,000 talented young people have fled the country in search of work. President Rajoy denies this and says the figure is just 24,000. Who to believe?

If the press is to be believed, said Mr Rajoy won't be President for much longer, given that there's a general election fight before the year is out. Especially since he's either piss-poor at spin or has some dreadful advisers. Perhaps that's why Tony Blair has quit his post as Middle East adviser, to help out Mariano.

Some decent quotes:-
- Spanish Food: The richly varied but somewhat rebarbative Spanish regional cuisine is based on the necessity of making poor food palatable.- Raymond Carr, 1977. Things have moved on since then, I believe.
- Looking obsessively at your smartphone to see if someones has sent you a message is like going to your front door every twenty minutes to see whether there's anyone there. Anon
-If I can make someone feel good today, then I'm a happy man. A wise humanist. 
- And
Before your mind just drifts away, 
Reflect a while upon your day, 
And ask yourself if you can say: 
'I brightened up two lives today'. - Ibid.

Recent headlines:-

  • Spanish nuns accused of exploiting their wards to boost conservative vote.
  • Lucía and Hugo - the top baby names in Spain in 2014.
  • Despite economic growth, the gap widens between Spain's rich and poor.
  • Spain has the fifth highest rate of inequality in Europe, after the UK, Greece, Estonia and Portugal.
  • The Opposition says the governments's 'gagging law' breaches the Constitution in 12 areas. Scope for arguments, I guess.
  • Spain's Constitutional Court has rejected the paternity claim against the abdicated King Juan Carlos of a Barcelona waiter. So, no great surprise there. What really would be astonishing would be the court demanding and using DNA evidence. But it seems to lack the will to do this. As ever.

The EU: Writing on the never-ending Greek crisis, one commentator says: These surreal negotiations bear no relation to the normal interaction between creditors and debtors. Because the elephant in the room during all these supposedly financial deliberations is politics, specifically the infatuated imperial obsession of the Brussels apparatchiks. They are behaving in character because not only the euro currency but the entire European project has, from its inception, been a purely political exercise. At every stage in the development of the EU, financial realities have been subordinated to political aspirations. This sedulously concealed fact is not only key to understanding the labyrinthine contortions of the Greek crisis, but the essential character of the EU.

Finally . . . Here's a nice nomination for the worst-ever election campaign video ever.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

"Who to believe?" is yet one more of your sudden and surprising linguistic flexibility, I suppose??


Colin Davies said...

You and your pedantry. Find me one person, other than Mr Stickler Supreme, who would say "Whom to believe". Oh yes. There's also Simon Heffer. I've got his 'Book of Petty Pedantic Points' here for you. Otherwise entitled "Simply English". As well as Oliver Kamm's response to this and other nonsense - "Accidence will happen: The non-pedantic guide to English Usage". Of coure, you don't need the former but you certainly need the latter!

Maria said...

Linguistics aside, I believe the Opposition party. I've read somwhere that from March of last year to March of this year, over 54,000 Spaniards emigrated to the UK, making Spanish nationals the fourth biggest group of foreign nationals who moved to the UK. You can see how the unemployment figures are going down.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

So… You DO know the correct form! That's one lame excuse out the window. Now for the other ones, like: 'It does not matter'…


Colin Davies said...

There is no single 'correct' form in English. It's not just that it doesn't matter. Read the books and then opine.

Just as one can say 'grass' or grarss'.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

I have had this discussion with iconoclast Time Of Aquarius 'intellectuals' a thousand times since the sixties. I don't need to read yet another book about it.

Go tell tell the Queen that there is no Queen's English.


Colin Davies said...

No one uses the expression "Queen's" English these days. 'Standard English' is the favourite but there's also Oxford English and BBC English. Take your pick. No one talks like the Queen now without causing a great deal of laughter. You've been too long out of England. Sometimes I wonder whether you've ever been there at all!

Colin Davies said...

"Time of Aquarius"? "Age of Aquarius"??

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Indeed: 'Age'. Memory does not get better with it…