Early Day Motions are the British House of Commons’s ineffectual version of Facebook “likes”: they have no significance in the broader flow of politics, and for every signatory who believes earnestly that doing so will induce admiration in an informationally subnormal constituent, there is almost certainly another who a week later will have absolutely no memory of the damn thing. So the 14 signatories of EDM 509 regarding the right of Catalonia so secede unilaterally from Spain may well be surprised to discover that their participation in this non-event was observed with great interest by an admittedly similarly reduced congregation in Barcelona:
To the members of the House of the British Parliament
The Diputees, and other elected Officials, the Entities and the individual signers, we recognize the high significance of the delivered Motion that was rendered on 14 of July 2010, with the text as follows:
[blah blah blah]
We wish to show you aou deep gratitude for your action which we value of a proove of solidarity of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish nations towards the Catalan nation, and as example to the European Union we wish to become a real union of free nations.
GRÀCIES, THANK YOU, DIOLCH
This club of gents (not many ladies, I’m told), who on seeing a flag with the relevant number of stripes helpfully develop a flagpole in their underpants, is off to London next Monday (in terms of numbers Champions League final weekend might have been smarter), presumably to say thanks for this major contribution to the Balkanisation of southern Europe. Given that none of them appears to be able to speak English here are some suggestions as to what kind of gift might be appreciated:
- The SNP, Plaid Cymru and SDLP members (9/14), as well as John McDonnell (IRA, Hayes and Harlington, 1261 EDMs this parliament): nothing at all, although it might be cool to say “thanks” in Irish and Scots Gaelic as well as Welsh (try internet).
- Andrew George (Cornish National Party, St Ives, 747 EDMs): nothing at all, and with his majority of 1,719 don’t even bother looking up “thanks” in Cornish.
- John Hemming (566 EDMs) and Mike Hancock (1187): Costa Brava hotel coupons may do you no good unless you throw in half a dozen women; Mike is said to prefer female Russian secret agents, although his ex-colleague Matyas Eorsi may believe that a sugar-coated effigy of Vladimir Putin’s dong would do the trick.
- Was it really that smart to address Caroline Lucas (Green, the middle class bits of Brighton & Hove ex-Greenham Common, 502 EDMs) as a “gentleman”?
(Oops, sorry: h/t Candide)
- Tribuna Barcelona, muttering to itself?
Tribuna Barcelona is the city gerontocracy‘s
Ritz-Palace Hotel-based lunch club, whose invisibility to most belies its belief that it is “the most important opinion forum of Europe” [sic]. Its protocol indicates that an interpreter will not be provided for speakers in Catalan, Spanish, English or French, but the website translation makes one wonder how many visitors …
- Reagrupament and mesophrase, the subcategory of translation that Dryden forgot
Candide of CataloniaWatch appears to have come to the conclusion that watching Catalonia is rather like watching paint dry, but without the happy ending. However, before retiring to cultivate its (keep reading) garden it sent me excerpts from a Catalan constitution proposed by Reagrupament which it found in a bar following the Hapsburg Pretender Day celebrations …
- The worst translation ever published, hotel foyer penalty shoot-outs, lovers of pigs: paving on the road to hell
Between thieves, who profit from mistranslation, and fools, who know no better (and no profit), there lurks an intriguing class: lunatics, whose often considerable mind is whisked off to unexpected places by absurd fancies as to the nature of their task. The bigot Barnaby Rich writes in The Irish Hubbub (1617):
And as the irish are thus
- Fucked translation, the consequence of a strategic choice by the Spanish authorities?
My man in the education department of the Generalitat de Catalunya this lengthy lunchtime: “Why the fuck would we teach them English? Then all the smart ones will fuck off somewhere else to work less hours for twice the money and the Catalan economy will grind to a halt.” The same applies to Spanish teaching, …