24 January 2022: Covid UK failures; Pablo parts company; Youthful judges; Ukraine and Russia; & Other stuff.

Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

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

A very depressing day. But life goes on.


I’m close to finishing Failures of State: The inside story of Britain’s Battle with Coronavirus. Reading the litany of negligence and incompetence of the British government over the first 3 months of the pandemic, it’s hard to hold back tears at, for example, the stats on the death among those over 60. The blame for this lies entirely with the prime minister Boris Johnson who, for one reason and another, defied the counsel of his scientific advisers. It’s hard to believe that, if he eventually loses his job, it won’t be because of this but because of partying during the lockdowns. It’s also astonishing to read of Soviet-level lies and disinformation issued regularly by the government to keep the truth from the voters. The biggest offender was the Secretary of Health, Matt Hancock – later sacked not for that but for manhandling his (married) girlfriend in contravention of his own Covid rules. You couldn’t make it up. It would be funny if it weren’t so very serious.

Cosas de España/Galiza

The PP leader, Pablo Casado, yesterday quit politics and, as he left parliament, received a standing ovation from same MPs who no longer support him. Which must have made him feel a lot better. The Galician president,Alberto [Núñez] Feijóo, is certain to replace him, at least for a while.

The British Embassy has announced that Spain has again extended the period of validity for UK driving licences in Spain, while negotiations over the mutual exchange of licences continue. See here for more. Be clear that you have to prove you applied before the end of 2020, as an existing resident.

A feature on Galicia’s judges has reminded me that Spain’s judges are not appointed by their colleagues, as in the UK, but by the state, after relevant examinations. As these 2 fotos show, one can become a judge here by your late 20s:-

Ukraine/Russia/The UK/The EU/Germany

A few comments/queries . . .

This is an informative run-through of Ukrainian history by 2 real historians. Whatever else he is, Putin certainly isn’t one of these. But, then, did anyone outside Russia ever believe he was?

As UEFA is so unprincipled, who can rule out them NOT moving the Champions League final from St Petersburg – a city which could soon be re-named by the country’s insane dictator St. Vladimirsberg.

Listening to Putin’s latest jet of venom, I was reminded of a couple of people I know who really do believe their own lies. Quite an ability. Especially valuable to narcisisstic psychopaths. 

Here’s the Moscow mouthpiece RT News today on Russia’s new foreign policy under “the Putin Doctrine”. Opening sentence: It seems like Russia has entered a new era of its foreign policy – a ‘constructive destruction’, let’s call it, of the previous model of relations with the West. Dear god.

Will British politicians now stop appearing on RT News? 

Will the government finally stop funds from corrupt Russians flowing into London banks and London properties? Not before time, if so.

Strong anti-Russian words from EU bigwigs. Any real actions that will impact on Putin? I’m not holding my breath.

Will the ex-Chancellor Herr Schroder now resign from all his jobs in Russian companies?


I’m indebted to my elder daughter’s partner, aa supporter of Atlético Madrid for the word Manquiunianos, which I finally realised was Spanish for ‘Mancunians’.

My 3 year old grandson in Madrid was congratulated by his mum for jumping well. “I didn’t jump”, he said. “I let go”. It occurred to me that in Spanish could well be: No salté. Solté. Shorter and sweeter. But just as cheeky,

For new reader(s): If you’ve landed here looking for info on Galicia or Pontevedra, try here. If you’re passing through Pontevedra on the Camino, you’ll find a guide to the city there.

One comment

  1. Effie Deans today:

    Ukraine as a truly independent state has already ceased to exist. It may end up as a Russian vassal or it may largely be absorbed into Russia, but it is hard to see how it can truly regain control over its territory in the near future if ever. The Russians have taken over the second largest country in Europe. They cannot take over the first largest, because that is Russia.

    Putin has taken advantage of the West’s weakness. We have been weakened by a lack of seriousness about international relations and war. We have expanded our military actions into regions that we cannot realistically control such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. The result is that Western forces have been defeated because of a lack of willingness to lose causalities or to inflict them. This sort of attitude would have guaranteed defeat in every previous war in history and guarantees it now too.

    The Russians fight differently. They do not care about the casualties they inflict on Ukraine and are perfectly willing to lose a significant number of their own troops. This is why they win.



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