Friday, November 03, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 3.11.17

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.

  • Madrid continues with its heavy-handed approach to the problem. As you'll all know, 8 Catalan politicians have been remanded in custody and an arrest warrant for Sr Puigdemont exiled in Brussels has been requested/issued.
  • The inevitable result . . . Tens of thousands of demonstrators massed in cities across Catalonia last night to protest against the jailing of eight members of the ousted Catalan government who have been accused of rebellion against Spain.
  • And articles such as this one in The Independent.
  • Opinion is naturally divided on the wisdom and, indeed, the legality of all this. And it's alleged that, while the Spanish government insists that the judiciary is independent: Opponents view the court ruling as politically motivated and unnecessary. And: The judge’s decision to put the former ministers behind bars has prompted criticism even among opponents of independence.
  • At least one disgruntled Spaniard has taken issue here with what he sees as the patronising and condescending attitude of the Anglo media towards his country. This is very understandable but what he seems to ignore is that the main charge against Madrid is that all of this could have been avoided by wise action/reaction on the part of the Spanish government, as against its knee-jerk, legalistic response over several years. As for his rejection of the view that democracy is a fragile flower in Spain . . . It's merely 40 years old. How could it be anything but immature and, at times, skin deep? One doesn't have to go so far as to believe the PP hierarchy is stuffed with pseudo fascist members of Opus Dei to recognise this reality.
  • As for slashing the Gordian knot . . . Here's a view that is probably shared by many objective observers of the drama.
  • As of now, the Catalan dream of independence is stalling and we all await the December elections and the interim judicial events. And, I suspect, civil disobedience and street protests in Cataluña.

  • Talking of objectivity . . . Here's the once left-of-centre El País defending itself – a week after it sacked John Carlin for criticising Madrid – against the charge that it's biased in favour of the Spanish government. Not totally convincing.
The USA: This could be a very important weekend there. Perhaps.

Finally . . . Here in the UK: The subject of sexual harassment now fills every newspaper and dominates every dinner table, encompassing everything from rape to the rules of flirtation. Both men and women seem terribly confused in the face of the modern feminist (4th wave?) insistence that the basic rule of male behaviour is: Just don’t touch anyone without their consent. I suspect this view would cause total bewilderment in tactile Spain. Even if the consent doesn't need to be in writing . . . As one female columnist puts it this morning: When every first kiss is a potential transgression, it's hard to navigate flirtation's fuzzy edges. I would have said impossible.

Today's Fotos:-

If you're from the South of the UK, you might not be familiar with this drink:-

If you're Hungarian(?), you should be able to explain why this is the other language on the label . . . 

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