DEMOCRACY: One sometimes feels that Americans think democracy is democracy and that installing their brand of it in backward countries such as, say, Iraq and Afghanistan, will be a panacea. In reality, it's often merely a change to a different form of tyranny ('of the majority') and to increased corruption. Young democracies are usually very far from perfect. And so it was/is with Spain's 40 year old stab at it. Here, the general elections of last Sunday have given us some hope that the country can move on from the initial phase of seriously compromised elected governments. Where the politicians of both major parties have shown themselves to be as corrupt and as egregiously greedy as any African dictator. That said, the elections left neither a single party nor a feasible coalition with the prospect of reliable power. And so we have a lame-duck outgoing administration and the prospect of another election early-ish next year. Which no one except the said administration wants, as it's most likely to improve the position of the latter at the expense of smaller parties currently with wind in their sails and a sniff of power. So, we wait with baited breath and fingers crossed. And with a huge helping of scepticism at to the continuing purity of the new kids on the block. Politics, as they say, is a dirty game. Whatever the stage of a democracy.
NON-CORRUPTION: Read this Don Quijones article for a scarcely believable example of the sort of thing that happens here. Not illegal but surely highly immoral. To say the very least. Unknown to them, Spanish taxpayers will be paying for this chicanery for decades.
FACEBOOK PROBLEMS: Regular readers will know that – until yesterday – I've had to post a foto along with my text to (somehow) bypass a computer which daily decided my blog was offensive. So, I naturally had sympathy for the owners of a village pub in Wales which had its Facebook page banned “because of a complaint over 'racist or offensive language'”. The pub's name is The Black Cock. Apparently, this didn't happen to the pages of The Black Cockerel and The Three Cocks in nearby villages. But one is forced to ask what it is about the Welsh and cock(erel)s?
FIANLLY . . . TYPOS: Since the UK press farmed out its proof-reading to teenagers in the Antipodes, there've been numerous howlers to enjoy during my morning trawl of the major papers. But this is one of the best, in yesterday's Daily Telegraph: Renault back on F1 starting grid after £1 Loctus deal. Presumably the kid responsible was too young to recall the era of triumphant Lotus. So much so that (s)he perpetrated the mistake twice.
P. S. No need to thank me. I was going to post a link to the DT's list of the year's 40 Funniest Tweets. But I read them first. And, since I didn't even smile until I got to no. 1, I decided to save you the pain. If you insist on knowing what this was, it's no. 8 in this DT list. I can't guarantee that you'll smile, of course.
Although I don't need to post a foto now, I thought male readers would appreciate a snap of my lunch-time companions of yesterday:-
BTW . . . They're all spending this week in Lisbon. So, if you're down there and bump into them, introduce yourself as a friend of mine. That should guarantee you absolutely nothing. But I'm sure they'd appreciate you buying them a drink.