Thursday, May 04, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 4.5.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable. 
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
Fun in Spain:-
  • Sevilla's' grand April Fiesta apparently takes place this week. Don't ask me.
  • Here's The Local's inevitable list on Seven Marvellous Things to do in May.
Talking of fun - or at least survival - the Spanish, I was told years ago, have a phrase that runs: You should live off your parents until you're old enough to live off your children. A recent court case might well have put a damper on the first of these objectives. But we await the appeal to the Supreme Court and then the Constitutional Court. It's that important to Spain's youth, I suspect.

Talking of Spain's courts . . .  Here's a couple of (unsurprising) comments from the estimable judge Mercedes Alaya, who was removed from a major corruption case for doing her job too judiciously:-
  • Prosecutors here won’t move a finger without instruction from Madrid.
  • Politics controls the justice system.
  • Of course they move the judges around as they like.
As for the future of Spain's youth . . . Here's a rather more serious article on the truly worrying state of Spanish secondary education  - described in the article as 'disastrous'.

Corruption is not, of course, confined to Spain's political class, nor to countries. Here and here are reports on the fake sickness claims which are bedevilling hotels which provide packages to crooked Brits. Probably those who cut their teeth on false whiplash claims back home. 

Talking of unimpressive aspects of Britain . . . Here's the New York Times on the doleful influence of the country's tabloids. 

If you've ever had to try to someone speaking Andaluz, then you're as likely as I was to recoil in astonishment/horror at the news that Andalucia is now the most popular place in Spain to study Spanish. It reminded me of the woman I met in Cork who gave English classes to foreign students and whom I couldn't understand.

Talking of bad memories . . . I once had to deal with the UK government – specifically the Home Office – over its intention to usurp - without payment - the DNA testing technology which had been invented at Leicester University and licensed to my company. After a fractious meeting in London, we were sent a Minute of the meeting which bore no relation either to what had taken place or to what we'd said. I was reminded of a day when I literally trembled with anger when reading this article by Yanis Varoufakis on the 6 traps that lie in store in Brussels for Mrs May. On the latter, my favourite Brexiteer, Richard North, yesterday opined that she must be a 'bloody stupid woman'. And this was before her broadside aimed at the Brussels bureaucrats. I, on the other hand, am still prepared to believe that – contrary to all the signs - she is a genius. And that she has got together with Mrs Merkel – no one else counts in Europe, of course – to cook up the plot I outlined yesterday that will defeat Brexit and keep Britain in the moribund EU. Time will tell!

Meanwhile, here's Richard North's blog of today, on 'Mrs May, the Wrecker'. North, by the way, has coined the apt phrase “The accidental Brexit” - the one that will emerge from the morass of bad faith, acrimony and stupidity on both sides.

En passant . . . Left-of-centre economist Paul Mason thinks that Varoufakis' political memoir might well rank among the best ever.

Finally . . . Want to do some very cheap or even free farming in SpainHere's how you can do it in Galicia.

Today's cartoon:- Boudicca is the modern spelling of Boudicea, a British warrior queen who fought the Romans. Successfully for a while. . .


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1 comment:

Anthea said...

I once worked with a Dutch woman who taught Spanish. She claimed to be bilingual as she had one Spanish and one Dutch parent. However, Dutch was clearly the do inant tongue. All her students learnt romspeak pretty good Spanish with a delightfully Dutch intonation!

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