Monday, December 10, 2018

Thoughts from Headingley, England: 10.12.18

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. Garish but informative.

  • If any reader is put out by later-than-usual posting these days, the explanation is that I'm on grandfather duty for a few weeks. To be followed by father-of-the-new-mother duty in Madrid in mid January. Plus there's no wifi in this flat. And, of course, there's an hour's time difference. As if all that weren't enough, I'm supervising the laying of a kitchen floor today. After a fashion.
  • In line with what I wrote yesterday morning, at a lunchtime bar yesterday I was offered only the medium and large glasses of Chilean sauvignon blanc. But at least the price was a tad more reasonable, at £4.50(€5.04) for the former. 
  • The bar featured something new to me – 2 impressive shufleboards(?), which fascinated not only me but also my 1 year old grandson. Who squealed in delight as each puck(?) sped down the board and smashed into another one. Talk about testosterone . . .

  • Rather bad news for Spain's monarchs – Almost half of their people would like to see the back of them. Quite unimaginable here in the UK. But that might change once Liz gives way to Chas.
  • Talking of very privileged folk . . . President Sanchez's government wants to seriously reduce the 'judicial protection rights' of as many as 250,000 national and regional politicians – one of the country's hangovers from the Franco era. Other countries, by the way, make do with 1 or 2 aforados. Or even none. See El PaĆ­s on the issue here, in Spanish.
  • Here's something on the charming white towns of Guadalhorce, with thanks to Lenox of Business Over Tapas for the citation. 
  • Should you want to, here's how to make octopus Galician style – Pulpo a la Gallega/Polbo Galego. Not my favourite dish, I have to admit.
  • More enticing, perhaps, is this new mango-vodka liqueur . . .
The UK and Brexit
  • As totally expected, the day before the UK parliament votes on the dead duck of 'the only deal in town', the European Court of Justice – an institution not famous for being independent or apolitical – has handed down its much-trailed judgment that the UK is free to unilaterally withdraw its notice to quit the EU. Thus further muddying the already turbulent waters. Quite possibly by accident of timing. As if.
  • Talking of misjudgements . . . For those who didn't read yesterday's article, here's the bit on the attitude towards the voters of both the British establishment and the EU technocracy, and the failure to pay due regard to the real underlying issues:- Didn’t it occur to anybody in the sublimely vain Remain camp, which was deeply embedded with the odiously self-regarding EU “negotiating” team, that the Referendum, having gone the way it did, meant that their entire strategy for dealing with British national opinion was drastically misjudged? Then again, maybe it did occur to them, but how were they to counter the more profound, principled arguments for Brexit – the defence of Britain’s democratic institutions and the basic concept of accountable government? Perhaps there was a quite cynical decision to ignore the big questions and concentrate on the small ones because that not only got you off the thornier philosophical hook but also implied that Leave voters were basically small-minded people.
  • For Brexit geeks, here's Richard North today on how his original Efta/EEA plan (Flexcit) has, in the last 2 years, been transmogrified into the various pious and unachievable versions of the 'Norway Option' now floating around the British ether. As ever, he doesn't pull his punches.
  • As we watch - stupefied - the endless unedifying circus that is the Brexit 'dialogue', is it any wonder that trust in politicians is reported to be less than 10% in the UK? That's in British politicians, of course. It's probably less for the Brussels mob. 
  • No wonder even some Remainers – perhaps the more thoughtful ones – are terrified of a second referendum. Or The People's Vote as it's ludicrously but cynically called. As if the first one only involved, say, border collies. If it does take place, I'm sure quite a few folk will vote against remaining in the EU only because the whole shooting match will be tarnished by association with one Anthony – Call me Tony – Blair. Who's just been discovered to have tried to hide from his beloved People the millions he made after leaving office. Is there a level above Champagne Socialist? Grand Cru Socialist??
© [David] Colin Davies

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