11 May 2022: Pegasus head-rolling; The regal bad penny returns; Russian ideology; & Other stuff

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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’

Cosas de España/Galiza 

The Pegasus scandal . . . First scapegoat: The woman who headed the security agency. Not ‘sacked’ but just ‘changed for someone else’.

I confess I thought Spain was 2nd to Greece as regards unemployment in the EU but it seems not. And hasn’t been for 13 years.

Spain’s disgraced ex-king – Juan Carlos – is back in the news. The Times – citing El Confidential – reports that he tried to persuade his ex-lover to give him back the $100m he’d given her as he faced scrutiny over his financial affairs. Allegedly, her response was that she would only do so if he declared the payment as a gift with the Spanish tax office, as she feared she would be accused of money laundering. Which might have caused him a problem  or two, as the Hacienda hadn’t been told of the cash paid into the king’s Geneva account. In case you live in a cave . . . The ex-lover is suing the ex-king – in a London court – for harassment, after she’d declined to pay ball. 

This is a wonderful site should you want to know about Galicia’s glories, especially its churches.

Galicia’s springtime rain this year is 40% below last year’s. But I suspect no one south of say, Benevente, will believe this. So munch – this year at least – for the wetter weather of AGW.

Russia

The Prime Minister of Poland give his view on Russia and Putin below. Putin, he says, is neither Hitler nor Stalin. Unfortunately, he is more dangerous. Not only does he have deadlier weapons at his disposal, but he also has the new media at his fingertips to spread his propaganda. And  Putin’s “Russkiy Mir” ideology is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism. Not insanity but a deliberate strategy that has already opened the gates to genocide. 

The Way of the World/Quote pf the Day

Barking mad outfits, howl-at-the-moon lyrics, synchronised dancing landing somewhere between the Birdie Song and a illegal rave under a motorway flyover . . . Yes . .  It’s Eurovision time again..

Up against roaring favourites Ukraine, a UK victory would be regarded as a stunning surprise. Possibly the understatement of the year so far.

Spanish/Spanglish

An imminent festival in Pontevedra will include dancehall y un showcooking . . . Ni puta idea.

English 

Another of those Spanglish brand names which are meaningless to native speakers – Fusion Water. This is a fotoprotector, apparently.

Finally . . .

To amuse

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.

THE ARTICLE 

Russia’s monstrous ideology must be defeated. It is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism – and it poses a deadly threat to Europe: Mateusz Morawiecki, prime minister of Poland

The “end of history” was supposed to bring about an end to ideology. Thirty years ago, we all fell into a blissful forgetfulness. The farther west one ventured, the easier it was to believe that the world would forever remain an oasis of peace. Meanwhile, in Moscow, work was under way to resurrect the demons of history. Today, the cursed phantoms of the 20th century have risen again over Ukraine.

The paradox of the 20th century was that the more advanced our civilisation appeared, the more it showed itself to be monstrous. Fascism – in Germany as Nazism, and in Russia as communism steeped in nihilism – led to the greatest tragedy in the history of mankind. Both these ideologies had one thing in common: man ceased to be an end in himself and became merely a means. Human dignity was sacrificed on the altar of insane fantasies: a world revolution of the proletariat or the thousand-year rule of a master race. These visions foresaw that some were to rule while others were to be subjugated. Jews, kulaks, capitalists, specific nations – including my own – were to disappear from this world or, at best, to be enslaved.

When I speak to young people, the history of the 20th century sounds to them like a grisly fairy tale. It seems impossible that Hitler or Stalin could return in our time. However, the illusion that history cannot repeat itself was laid bare on February 24 this year. The inconceivable became fact when rockets fell on Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities of a sovereign, democratic state in the heart of Europe.

On Monday this week, a parade took place in Moscow to celebrate the end of the Second World War. Vladimir Putin once again presented to the world the mythology of the Russian victory over Nazism. He ignored the fact that while the Red Army defeated Nazi Germany, it brought slavery to many nations. The West chose to compromise with Stalin, knowing it was a deal with the devil. The price for this pact was paid by all of Central and Eastern Europe.

The rebirth of Europe was possible on one condition. It was necessary to build a system in which war and totalitarianism would never again be possible. Russia’s latest aggression against Ukraine makes all of Europe wonder whether the foundations of our freedom are still firm and intact.

The streets of Bucha, Irpin and Mariupol have run with the blood of innocents. What is happening in Ukraine signifies the return of the accursed ideologies. The irony of this story is that Putin has built a new Russian imperialism based on a myth of the victory over Nazism, and his propaganda describes the aggression against Ukraine as an operation to “denazify” the country.

Putin is neither Hitler nor Stalin. Unfortunately, he is more dangerous. Not only does he have deadlier weapons at his disposal, but he also has the new media at his fingertips to spread his propaganda. Not so long ago, Poland engaged in an information war with Russia over the genesis of the Second World War. We won; but Putin achieved his goals. He infected the internet with millions of instances of fake news.

Putin’s “Russkiy Mir” ideology is the equivalent of 20th-century communism and Nazism. It is an ideology through which Russia justifies invented rights and privileges for its country. It is also the grounds for the story of “the special historical mission” of the Russian people. In the name of this ideology Mariupol and dozens of Ukrainian cities were razed as it sent Russian soldiers to war, convinced them of their superiority, and encouraged them to commit inhuman war crimes – the murder, rape and torture of innocent civilians. We also know that this ideology is spurring the forcible displacement of Ukrainians deep into Russian territory.

We cannot be under any illusions. This is not insanity but a deliberate strategy that has already opened the gates to genocide. “Russkiy Mir” is a cancer which is consuming not only the majority of Russian society, but also poses a deadly threat to the whole of Europe. Therefore it is not enough to support Ukraine in its military struggle with Russia. We must root out this monstrous new ideology entirely.

Just as Germany was once subject to denazification, today the only chance for Russia and the civilised world is “deputinisation”. If we do not engage in this task immediately, we will not only lose Ukraine, we will lose our soul and our freedom and sovereignty, as well. Because Russia will not stop at Kyiv. She has set out on a long march towards the West and it’s up to us to decide where we stop her.

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