Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Thoughts from Heald Green, Cheshire, England: 16.10.19

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.   
                  Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain

Note:  Today is one of those days when nearly all of the stuff I read last night and early this morning is negative. Not my fault . . .

Spanish Politics
  • While the rest of the world ponders whether the Catalan trial sentences bowed more in the direction of politics than justice, the nasty (insane?) folk who kicked off the whole shooting-match are complaining that the long jail sentences weren't anywhere near tough enough and threatening to seek a judicial review of them. With people like this now in the political mainstream, one despairs of a  solution.
  • Meanwhile, here's a Catalan view of the 'extremism at the heart of the Spanish national project'. I can't say this increases my level of optimism. But I can, at least, agree that there's a fundamental fragility about Spanish national unity.
  • And here's a report on more police violence in Cataluña. You'd have thought that Madrid - desperate not to go on losing the international PR battle - would have pulled out all the stops to prevent this but apparently not.
The Spanish Economy
Spanish Life
  • Spain's employed folk are decidedly malcontented, it says here.
  • I think I suggested it was time to reconsider the National Day and its concomitant militarism. Here and here people have a go at the very basis of it - the achievements of Cristóbal Colón. Or Christopher Columbus, as he's known in the Anglosphere. I can't see this going down well in Spain.
  • A must-read if you're a 'native' teacher of English in Spain. Of course, one can complain loudly about abuses but, if there's no effective system to back up the law, it'll be largely in vain. The practical realities will determine how you're treated by the unscrupulous.
Galicia/Pontevedra life
  • A bit of happy news. . . . More from the alternative Land of Oz.
The UK 
  • As everyone resident in Spain knows, we all have an ID card and we all have to use it on every single (even slightly) official occasion. For example, when paying a motoring fine, just in case anyone else might be paying it for you . . . But, anyway, Brits don't have ID cards or DNI/NIE numbers to proffer upon on demand, But some of them have passports or driving licences. And most, if not all, of them have National Insurance and NHS numbers. This is the backdrop to yesterday's news that the leader of the Labour Party - Oh, Jeremy Corbyn - has claimed that plans to make all UK voters prove their identity will "disproportionately" discriminate against ethnic minorities and that they are an attempt to "suppress voters" and "rig" the next general election result. Not content with that, Mr C added that it's a "blatant attempt by the Conservative Party to deny people their democratic rights". I suspect you really do have to be a very old-fashioned class warrior to see things this way. Spaniards would be dumbfounded by his reaction. But, then, they know what a real dictatorship looks like.
  • As predicted, the pound is on a rollercoaster this week, against the euro.
The EU
  • These are the reasons why the 'European motor' [i. e. Germany] is losing its energy.
  • I listened to this podcast on the Rapture yesterday, a doctrine invented by an Englishman in the early 19th century and later taken to heart (and soul) by US evangelists. What's worrying is that Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo and Raymond Barr all profess to believing in it. And Ffart naturally claims that he does too, almost certainly without knowing what it really is. 
Nutters Corner
  • A real surfeit today:-
  1. Welcome back, Michelle Bachman, who says there can't be a GW threat as her god has promised that the seas will never rise again.
  2. Liz Cheney blames Turkish aggression on the opening of the impeachment enquiry by the devilish Democrats.
  3. Attorney General Raymond Barr attributes every evil in the world to secularism, ignoring all evidence to the complete contrary. Only the religious mind can do this. While believing in something for which there is nil evidence other than in a holy book.
BTW . . . All of these have something in common, of course; they're prominent Republicans in a country where extreme right-wing Christian evangelists have more political sway than anywhere else in the world. But their time in the sun won't last for ever, of course. And might well end a early as next year.

  • Word of the Day: Sedición: Sedition: Per the Royal Academy: 1. Collective and violent uprising against authority, public order or military discipline, without reaching the gravity of 'rebellion'. 2. An uprising of passions.
Finally . . .
  • If, as I recommend, you read the latest novel - A Lovely View of Sea - by my very old friend, Michael Carson, then these fotos will help you visualise things:-
  1. The window of the house at the end of Richmond Street:-

2. The lovely view of sea from said window, which - in truth - could be lovelier. Fort Perch Rock is just left of the red thing:-

P. S, I recall seeing the bowling alley on the left opened by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. quite some years ago. . . But mostly I recall the dress of his partner, which was open down to the waist.

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