How to use public service exams to screw your enemies

I struggle to believe that Graeme@South of Watford really believes that the PP is the only rampantly corrupt political party in Spain–maybe I just haven’t read enough of his posts–but here anyway (thanks to El Ciruco) is another nice example of PSOE trough management from their Andalusian fiefdom. One suspects that few politicians here would…

Triumph of English

Fabio Montermini’s excellent granny, who says in dialect (no army or navy in sight), “I can’t speak dialect and never have,” reminded me of a hilarious moment the other night during a meet-the-people TV show featuring the not so excellent Mariano Rajoy, struggling leader of the allegedly non-nationalist Partido Popular. Why, asked some poor mum…

Wittiza the Worst

Amando de Miguel says that Zapatero is Spain’s worst ever ruler, with the possible exception of Fernando VII, Witiza and someone else. Wittiza was very naughty and nasty indeed–he “taught all Spain to sin“–and, to crown it all, he invited the Moors into Spain to help him fight Wodewic. Maybe there’s a Visigoth somewhere who’d…

Guardian prints any old bollocks about Catalonia

There’s a terrible piece by James Sturcke in the Guardian today on the statute of autonomy. It repeats various stale myths about Barça having been a focus of anti-Francoism (links: debunking of football results, piece on recently demonstrated connections between the Barça board and the Spanish ultra-right) and gets its statute facts badly wrong. Some…

Ciudadanos de Cataluña launch, a bitter disappointment

Liberals believe that politics is about freeing individuals to live as they want within just bounds. Nationalists believe it is a tool for translating a sense of ethnic identity and a fondness for folkdancing into, respectively, sovereignty and national ballets. No one can remember what socialists believed. For the rest of us, however, politics–I speak,…

Ruy blast

A deformed heap of dwarves
Cuts pourpoints in your coat of king;
And the imperial eagle, which, formerly, under your law,
Covered the whole world of thunder and flame,
Cuit, poor plucked bird, in their infamous pot!

The perejil shibboleth

“Is it true about the parsley, Your Excellency? That to distinguish Dominicans from Haitians you made all the blacks say perejil? And the ones who couldn’t pronounce it properly had their heads cut off?”
“I’ve heard that story.” Trujillo shrugged. “It’s just idle gossip.”

Francisco Zapatero

There’s an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal which will raise hackles but probably reflects a fairly widely-held view at the moment. It says basically that “Generalísimo Zapatero”, hiding behind his electorate, has returned Spain to the lost years of the 40s, when the isolationism and anti-Americanism of the Franco administration ensured that Europe really…