Saturday, November 02, 2019

Thoughts from Heald Green, Cheshire, England: 2.11.19

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

Note: One or two of the items below have been borrowed from Lenox Napier's Business Over Tapas of Thursday last.

Spanish Politics
Spanish Life 
  • Here's the BBC on that rape trial verdict. Noteworthy is the report that the government has yet to implement the commission's recommendation to change the law on rape. Too afraid of alienating even more right-wingers before the elections this month? 
  • And here's The Local on this issue. As with Cataluña, developments are not doing Spain's international image much good. Not that Vox and its supporters would worry about that. They'd be more interested in what the Pope thought.
  • A very nice Spanish solution to a current problem:-
Galician Life 
  • Something - in Spanish - on Pontevedra's brilliant/crazy 10kph speed limit for all vehicles, including cars. Interesting to note they originally planned for 5kph. Sic. 
  • I need to check in a couple of weeks whether this really does extend to the N550 along the riverside.
  • As I was saying yesterday . . . 

The Way of the World
  • Christopher Booker developed a set of three "rules" which define the phenomenon of groupthink. Summed up briefly, rule 1 is that a group of people come to share a common view, opinion or belief that in some way is not based on objective reality; rule 2 is that, precisely because their shared view is essentially subjective, they need to go out of their way to insist that it is so self-evidently right that a "consensus" of all right-minded people must agree with it. Their belief has made them an "in-group", which accepts that any evidence which contradicts it, and the views of anyone who does not agree with it, can be disregarded. Rule 3 is the most revealing consequence of this. To reinforce their "in-group" conviction that they are right, they need to treat the views of anyone who questions it as wholly unacceptable. They are incapable of engaging in any serious dialogue or debate with those who disagree with them. It is invariably a characteristic of groupthink that those in its grip are oblivious to its baleful influence. The great tragedy of groupthink is that you cannot reason a man out of a view that he has acquired without the application of reason, as the aphorism goes (attributed to Jonathan Swift). Groupthink is the repository of zombie arguments. Once they acquire the status, they never die.
  • So . . .  Why does this list not contain piña?:-
Possibly because it detracts from the image of only English eschewing a derivative of ananas:-
  • In a tapas restaurant in Knutsford the other night, I noted this item on the menu: Pimientos del padrón. Which I hope my Spanish friends will confirm is very different from Pimientos de Padrón. The latter being the real McCoy but the former probably not.
Finally . . .
  • At said tapas restaurant in Knutsford, the waiter's father came from Pontevedra. Naturally.
  • Despite knowing how it's done, I still managed yesterday to fall into the trap of signing up for Amazon Prime. And this despite the fact I actually changed the delivery option from free to a cost of 8 quid before I submitted the order. And the confirmation was for an order with the delivery charge. Quite how this happened, I'm not sure but I suspect it was simply because I initially clicked on next day delivery at a reduced charge, thinking it wasn't an Amazon Prime option. Clever, these tax-avoiding Amazon bastards. But the world will catch up with them one day.

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