Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Pontevedra Pensées: 1.3.17

In the UK, there's a disproportionate concern about paedophilia, whipped up by the scabrous tabloids which dominate the press there. There's no such yellow press here in Spain - though there is an appalling TV version of the populist animal - and so there's no such mania here. But it's arguable that the attention given to 'gender violence' is similarly disproportionate. Spain's statistics, I believe, are no worse than elsewhere in the developed world but you'd never guess this from the media obsession with violencia de genero. I'm not excusing it, of course, just pointing out a seeming illogicality. The figures for deaths in 2016 were, in fact, almost 20% down on 2015 - 53 against 64 - and probably compare well with other European societies. In the UK, for example, 2016 murders by partners totalled around 104, in a society where the population is only c. 50% higher. The pro rata total would be c. 78. In other words, the actual total is much worse than in Spain.

I went to my (excellent) local library yesterday to take out again a book I'd had to return before I went to the UK. This involved dealing with 3 people and handing over my library card twice. And, of course, waiting 10 minutes. But, somehow, they failed to give me the stamped bit of paper which tells me  the deadline date for returning the book. So, not only very bureaucratic but also inefficient. Not so unusual, I guess.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, will today launch a blueprint for Europe's survival after Brexit amid growing dissent from poorer eastern states over plans to deepen EU integration. The plan will set out five “pathways to unity” for the 27 member states who will remain in Europe after Britain leaves in 2019. The proposals have already met opposition from recalcitrant eastern EU states, led by Poland and Hungary, who fear that they will be marginalised by a new drive to revitalise Europe's Franco-German federalist core. Good luck with that, Jean Claude. I think I can hear the orchestra playing Nearer my God to Thee.

President Trump is determined to keep out of the USA "those who wish to do us harm". No word, though, on the endless scandal of the thousands of gun-related deaths every year in the country, committed by people who have every right to be there. Presumably this is less unacceptable.

Which reminds me . . . In 1920, the journalist and satirist H L Mencken wrote: As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. It took a while but the American people did finally get there, in my not-so-humble opinion. This has been a long-standing fear of democracy, of course, stretching way back to Ancient Greece. If not further.

Anyway . . . Another Private Eye cartoon . . .

Finally . . . Last night - Ash Wednesday - was Pirates Night here in Pontevedra. I'm not sure why. Nor whether this fancy-dress tradition goes back more than a few years. What I do know is that the official pirates were British and arrived in a boat called Morning Star, which is the name of a far-left/communist tabloid in the UK. This wiki article relates to the pirate John Fenn, captain of a boat of this name. But I can't see any reference to Spain, never mind Pontevedra or even Galicia.

This coast, of course, has had a many unhappy experiences with British pirates, most famously with the hated Francis Draké, as Drake is called here. So, no great surprise, I guess, that the Brits star in this excuse for fun.

1 comment:

Perry said...

To err is human, to aaarrrr is pirate!

The Barbary corsairs.

They raided as far as Iceland.

The solution; American super frigates, naturally. They also hammered the Royal Navy.

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