Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain.
If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.
- A spokesperson for one of the parties in Catalonia's deposed government admits the secessionist executive 'maybe wasn't prepared' for rolling out independence. And that the Pope is a Catholic
- I suspect my friend and fellow blogger, Lenox Napier, is a tad sceptical about all the reports of Punchsky involvement in the Catalan referendum.
- Ada Colau is the mayor of Barcelona and “The main spokesperson for Barcelona en Comú, a citizen platform which stood in the May 2015 Barcelona municipal elections.” El País is unhappy with her, for reasons set out here. If, after reading this, you can't understand the local political shenanigans, you are not alone.
- Matthew Bennett comments on the clash of 'moralities' in the first article below this post. Google translation, basically.
- Antibiotic usage. Here's something I didn't know. Well, the bit about the deaths anyway.
- President Rajoy: There's a profile of this Galcian here, courtesy of Guy Hedgecoe.
- Corruption: I haven't mentioned this for ages - distracted by Cataluña - but here's Guy Hedgecoe again on this.
- My medical insurance company gives me the option of getting pre-authorisations for treatment on line. After 3 confusing emails from them, I finally discovered how to do this. Only to find I still have to go to their office in the city. Is it me? Or is it what I mentioned yesterday - the traditional failure on the part of companies to put themselves in the place of their clients? And to leave web page design to los freakys?
- Which reminds me . . . The national rail operator - RENFE - is reported to be nearing its first annual profit in its existence. My guess is there's been some serious cost cutting. Night trains to Madrid from Galicia for one thing. And web page maintenance for another.
There's a nice article on 'transgender bonkersness' at the end of this post. Second article.
Well, at least one of our many drug clans is being tried by a court in Vigo. To be more specific, the relatives of barons already in jail.
Finally . . .
It must be Xmas . . . The local traffic cops have made their usual announcement about an increased number of alcohol and drug testing patrols.
The 21-D is going to be a duel between two moralities Matthew Bennett
Whoever wins, nothing has been done to solve the underlying socio-political problem, which is none other than the existence of a morality (the separatist) opposed to the Spanish.
The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that December 21 is a mistake for the elections in Catalonia. It has been two weeks since Puigdemont fled to Belgium, like a rat of the separatist Titanic, after the peaceful surrender of Trapero and Pere Soler, to a cell without complaining. The National Court has supported Lamela in its decision to send the Jordis to provisional detention and there are also all former counselors who appeared for their judicial appointment in Madrid. Last Thursday, Forcadell accepted article 155 and promised not to skip the Constitution again.
In the words of Judge Llarena, still the President of the Parliament and "All the defendants have not accepted the intervention was derived from the application of Article 155 of the Constitution but rather have stated that they either renounce future political activity or that those who wish to continue exercising it will do so by renouncing any action outside the constitutional framework." Neither will there be a Catalan republic. This Monday, from Belgium, the dismissed President said in Le Soir: "A different solution to independence is possible".
Yesterday I called the Congress again, and again they confirmed that as of October 30: no deputy from Esquerra or PDeCat has resigned from their seat in Madrid. Rufián and Tardà are still there. Now, it seems that all parties that have conspired to vote for the independence of Catalonia two and a half weeks ago have sought to participate in the evil regional elections called by Rajoy, and it seems that they will do so freely, without joint lists or coalitions.
The CUP has abandoned demands to sign the first decrees of the new republic and is committed to participating and offering a stand-alone candidate alone "as far as possible, clearly rupturist, pro-independence and leftist"; Puigdemont has abandoned the idea of the "President's list" to stand as number one in PDeCat, presumably from Brussels; and Esquerra has abandoned the logic and announced in a twisted way, that although the elections of December 21 are "illegal and illegitimate", what makes them legal and legitimate is ... the participation of Esquerra.
Even so, their voters will vote for them and there is a risk that they will win, although Sigma Dos for El Mundo suggests that there could be a significant abstention among Junts Pel Yes voters. None of the non-separatist parties, for the time being and with that poll, it seems, will get near a number of important seats. With these numbers, PP + PSC + Citizens won't reach the 68 seats needed for a majority, nor would a PSC + Citizens + Podemos (I say Podemos but who knows what name they will choose at the end for these elections). If the panorama does not change during the campaign, the non-separatist version would have to be a political monster of the PP, the PSC, Ciudadanos and Podemos.
We must not rule out, then, a result with two non-majority blocs - the separatists on the one hand and the constitutionalists on the other - with Podemos as the hinge. What would Iglesias do then?
Whoever wins, nothing has been done to solve the underlying socio-political problem, which is none other than the existence of a morality (the separatist) opposed to the Spanish. Separatism and Spain are not possible. The separists wanted that there was, illegally, another Justice separate from the Spanish one. They have ignored Spanish authority in a treacherous way (from the point of view of Spain) but they have been loyal to the authorities and to the separist version of the world, which they consider legitimate. They have a series of "sacred" references that already ignore Spanish constitutional co-existence and - inside and outside of Spain - use with gusto the invented story of Rajoy's neo-Francoist oppression. They are very powerful pictures.
Will 2 weeks of campaigning (which will be fascinating) strengthen the moral narrative of each side, or will the separatist version fade, devoid of leaders and impetus after a declaration of powerless independence?
Children dressing up are playing – not having an identity crisis: Allison Pearson
The other day, a friend handed her 13-year-old son some washing to take to the utility room. “Good boy,” she said automatically. “Assuming my gender there, Mum?” he shot back with a cheeky grin.
The mother burst out laughing. “Has your school gone transgender bonkers, then?” she asked.
The boy – sorry, young person of no fixed sexual orientation trying on multiple identities – confirmed that his school had indeed gone bonkers. Every other child in his year was suddenly claiming to have “gender issues”.
This is new, isn’t it, this spraying around claims of gender dysphoria willy-nilly? Oops, no willies, please, it might be transphobic. Keep up at the back, Marjorie!
As my GP told me recently, in all but a tiny handful of genuine cases, this is a fashion, a fad. In general, and despite aggressive campaigning by transgender activists, boys will still be boys and girls will be girls, and positively revel in that difference. The proper response of any institution to a fad is to hold tight to its core values and wait until it has passed.
How dismaying, therefore, to see the Church of England this week getting its cassock in a twist as it jumped on the bandwagon.
In its first official guidance to its 5,000 schools on transgender issues, the Cof E said children should be able to try out “the many cloaks of identity” without being labelled or bullied. Youngsters should be free to “explore the possibilities of who they might be” – including gender identity – and Christian teaching should not be used to make children feel ashamed.
At nursery and primary school, they should be able to choose the tutu, tiara and heels, as well as or instead of the helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak, “without expectation or comment”. The document, which offers advice on how to challenge transphobic, biphobic and homophobic bullying, also says young children “should be afforded freedom from the expectation of permanence”.
God help us. Let’s start with the fact that no primary school I’m aware of in the past 20 years has ever prevented a child dressing up in a costume of their choice. Far from it. In my son’s year, one little boy regularly wore fairy wings and sparkly tights and no one batted an eyelid. Nor was it any surprise when he later revealed he was gay, and his friends were incredibly supportive and happy for him.
It's the talk of “freedom from the expectation of permanence” that is utterly wrongheaded and shocking. Have the authors of the Church document actually met a small child? Little kids are deeply conservative. They like regular meals and fixed bedtimes and a Mummy and a Daddy, or at least a small cast of utterly dependable adults. It makes them feel safe. Himself used to accuse our then five-year-old of being more reactionary than Enoch Powell. “Are we still in England?” Tom would wail whenever we took him too far from his home. Trust me, he would not have been pleased to be told he might grow up to be a lady.
From the age of three onwards, infants enjoy imaginative play, becoming surgically welded to a Batman costume, a Cinderella gown or a dog onesie. It doesn’t mean they want to become a girl with one shoe, a Labradoodle or a member of the opposite sex. They’re just *playing*. And that play is only enjoyable in a context of stability and, yes, permanence. Carte blanche is terrifying to a child.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, says that children “should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgement or derision”. Indeed they should. But what about the freedom of little girls to believe that they will grow up to be amazing women like their mum, and of little boys to feel confident they will one day be a man like daddy? Why should any insinuation to the contrary be part of classroom life in the pre-sexual years just to satisfy the demands of a tiny minority?
Lately, the transgender bonkersness has taken an increasingly sinister turn. Joshua Sutcliffe, an Oxfordshire maths teacher, was suspended after he said “Well done, girls” to two teenagers, one of whom identifies as a boy. Mr Sutcliffe apologised after the pupil corrected him, but six weeks later their/his mother lodged a complaint. This week, the poor chap must attend a disciplinary hearing to face misconduct charges for “misgendering”. Miss Gendering? Is she a friend of Miss Apprehension and that ghastly Miss Ogyny?
Meanwhile, up in Scotland, the cravenly politically correct government has told teachers they should allow primary pupils who wish to switch gender identity in school to do so without informing parents. A report produced by LBGT Youth Scotland, and endorsed by Holyrood, also states that teachers should consider approaching the local authority if parents are “struggling to come to terms” with their child’s transgender identity.
So, you send six-year-old Murray off to school in the morning and, by lunchtime, he is identifying as Morag. If you ever find out, and you are narrow-minded and bigoted enough to object to this disturbing behaviour in your young child, then the teacher can inform on you. Chilling, isn’t it?
This has absolutely nothing to do with science. It’s cultural politics. Liberal western society has progressed to the point where it has pretty much run out of things to feel oppressed by. The truly important things like sex discrimination and racism are not solved, not by any means, but vast improvements have been achieved. By trumping up one of the few remaining grievances of a tiny group (not actually shared by many trans people), the Left can undermine traditionalists and convert society to its own secular ends. So boys are girls and girls are boys – who dares to say otherwise?
The Church of England, that’s who should be saying it. C of E schools should be basing their policies on the needs of all pupils, not catering to one small sub-group at the expense of other children, particularly girls. Encouraging impressionable children to believe that changing sex is just another choice on the school lunch menu is at best daft, and at worst plain wicked.
God knows where all this will end up, and even He’s not sure. Sorry, She.