With an election coming up, the Spanish PP party in government has resorted to one of its traditional tactics - pulling the beard of the Gibraltar government. See here for details of what is surely only the first of these manufactured incidents that play so well with Spain's considerable right wing.
A week or two ago I wrote that the EU was failing abjectly to solve the immigrants problem, leaving nation states to fight it out - dirtily - in their respective interests. A columnist on the Daily Telegraph has now expressly posed the question implied in my comment: What is the EU for if it is not to solve the immigrants crisis? The writer goes on to say:- By failing to agree on even the most basic principles for how this crisis could be confronted, the EU has pushed the whole phenomenon onto the black market: so the global underworld, and the purveyors of political nihilism, step in and fight over the franchise in a vacuum of legal or governmental supervision. . . . What is the EU - that great supranational defender of democracy and human rights - supposed to exist for, if not to share the strain of precisely this kind of problem within its community of nations? An excellent question. Which might not be answered for quite a while.
Just going back to the issue of regional TV stations . . . Lenox of Business Over Tapas tells us that Radio y Televisión de Andalucía (RTVA), better known as Canal Sur, has lost €13.9m in the first 6 months of 2015. This is despite getting €56m in advertising revenue from the local government (La Junta). Better known as the taxpayer. Nice work, if you can get it.
The Galician Celts: Alfie Mittington (who's rarely right) suggests that there's at least one word in Spanish and Gallego which comes from Celtic - cerveza, or 'beer'. Lenox wonders whether it doesn't come from the French cervoise. The Spanish Royal Academy says it derives from the Celtolatin cerevisĭa. Which covers all the bases, I guess. Whatever Celtolatin is. No doubt Alfie will purport to tell us.
Marion Montgomery was one of the great female jazz and cabaret singers of the last 50 years and I had the pleasure of hearing her perform live 3 or 4 times. If you haven't heard of her, try this - Maybe the Morning [sic]. This, incidentally, was the last tune played on Radio Luxembourg before it went off air in 1992. As Wiki puts it: She is judged to have been amongst the very best of modern jazz singers and to have possessed a unique musical style along with an equally unique way of expressing the sentiments of her material. She certainly was and did.
Yesterday afternoon, on behalf of one of my visitors, I rang young Jacobito next door - aged 10 - to ask "Would you like to come and play ping pong in my basement". I do hope the Daily Mail wasn't recording the call. If there are no more posts, you'll know why.
Finally . . . No one identified my Weed of the Year. So, I did it myself. It's Portulaca oleracea. Which is generally known as common purslane, verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, or moss rose. You can eat it, allegedly. But I don't trust anything green. So I'll just be killing it.