Monday, March 14, 2016

Sand, TV, Words, Bigotry and Toast. It's all here.

Spaniards stuck in Saudi Sand: I mentioned the Medina-Mecca high-speed train problems yesterday. Don Quijones has now caught up and goes into details here. What, he writes, was originally meant to be a pioneering feat of engineering and the perfect global showcase for Spain’s mastery of high-speed rail infrastructure is now plagued by political intrigue, delays, and technical problems . . . A project that was supposed to improve the international reputation of Spanish business could end up doing it irreparable harm, especially considering this is not the first time this has happened. In 2014, another Spanish-led consortium employed the exact same ruse in the expansion of the Panama Canal. As I warned at the time, Spain has begun exporting its national construction model: habitually underestimating total costs when submitting bids and then asking for more money later. . . . . The dry desert wind continues to blow, and the Arabian sand continues to pile up on the unused tracks. And no one wants to pay to clear it up, not even Spain’s cash-strapped taxpayers, though they won’t be given a choice in the matter. Just as they weren't in the Panama canal debacle. Nice business, if you can get it. Short term, anyway.

Spanish TV: Up at just before 6 this morning, I found that the first 7 channels were all dedicated to music. Not much choice, then. But a lot better than the slanging matches that followed around current political developments.

New Words:
  • Spanish: Lowcost: Single word meaning 'Cheap'.
  • Spanglish: Un peeling: Some sort of face care treatment.
  • English: Sapiosexual: This is one of more than 20 ways one can now state one's sexual preference. For those who aren't Latin scholars, it means: One who finds intelligence the most sexually attractive feature.
Incidentally, it seems there are now also more than 20 ways to describe one's gender. Some of these, I asume, are mutually exclusive.

Bigotry?: When I was 19 and expressing horror to a friend's father about some popular reaction or other, he commented quietly: It's easy to be tolerant when you've got nothing to tolerate: I thought of this once again when reading that the Archbishop of Canterbury – not someone I usually take much notice of - was reported as saying (poor) Brits shouldn't be stigmatised for fearing about loss of jobs, etc. to immigrants. The estimable Alison Pearson commented thus: Three hallelujahs for the Archbishop, who said this week that it is “absolutely outrageous” to describe people who are worried about the impact of migration as racist. Heaven knows, the Archbishop has a greater claim to the moral high ground than Saint Tony [Blair]. So, if he says it’s OK to be fearful about the strain placed on housing, jobs and the health service, then we can stop fretting about being called bigots. Quite. And it seems Mrs Merkel is now paying the price for being loftily less concerned about this than the German electorate. Back in the UK, it's reported that Half of all maternity units have turned away women in labour because they have no beds. The situation is most desperate in high-migrant areas where there is a 'demographic bump'. And the desperate government is trying to bribe women to have their babies at home.

Finally . . . Toasting bread: My hosts here in Jávea don't have that British essential – a toaster. Instead, they use a dry frying pan. And I'm here to say it works. Sort of.


As I've reported, Richard North of EU Referendum is tearing his hair out at the ignorant and stupid antics of his fellow Outers. Here's his latest cri-de-cour: Promises of a better world are easily given – words are cheap. Voters need reassurance that there is a credible and safe way of reaching this alternative Britain. And that, of course, is Flexcit. This is what makes The Leave Alliance different. We are the first and only "leave" organisation with the sense to develop an all-embracing, coherent strategy. The said Flexit document, in all its glory, can be downloaded here. Don't all rush. And feel free to ask me any question you like on this . . .

The FB foto: Yesterday's lunch. This followed on from 3 delicious fish tapas dishes. Aquí se come bien.

And here's one of Jávea's many estate agents catering for Brits and other foreigners:


Alfred B. Mittington said...

What is wrong with your letter types and fonts today?? Not even old Gutenberg could read this post!


Colin Davies said...

What specifically are you moaning about today??

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Better this way, my old friend!

(Of course, you never changed anything, right?)


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