26 September 2022: Fascism in Europe; A Boa Vila; Oporto seafood; ‘Insane’ Labour plans; Intrusive Big Tech; & Other stuff.

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Awake! For, Morning, in the Bowl of Night, has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight
And, Lo, has caught the Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light

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

Cosas de España/Galiza 

The return of fascism in Europe? Not sure it ever really went away here in Spain and it certainly resurfaced in the form of the execrable Vox party a few years ago. Now said to be up to 20% of the vote and involved in decision-making in at least one region.

Reader V-A  has kindly cited this article and this video on the city of Pv. And one viewer has stressed that it’s not true to say that the city was in decline before 1999. And another stresses that the smell has not come from the La Celulosa factory for quite some time. 

I had to smile on seeing the large zebra crossing at the city end of O Burgo bridge, where cars regularly pass within a few feet of me. And where some only stop on the crossing just before they hit me. I wonder how long the city’s record of nil pedestrian deaths will survive. .


Says a Times columnist: Matosinhos is to (O)Porto what La Barceloneta was to Barcelona, San Fernando is to Cadiz and Fiumicino to Rome: an industrial backyard left to do the dirty work without spoiling the front-of-house magic. Crammed into 12 city blocks along two streets leading down to the Rio Leca is the greatest concentration of fish restaurants I have ever encountered. It’s also where the airport is.

In the article I cited yesterday there was the phrase: Given the expansion throughout the globe initiated by Columbus . . . But, as I’ve stressed, the Portuguese were exploring the world 70 years before CC set out westwards for India.

The UK

Richard North has a few choice adjectives for Labour’s plan for the greening of the country.


Another hospital, another window, another fall from grace . . 

The Way of the World

An article on Big Tech below.

Quotes of the Day

1. From someone who studied Economics until he was 18: All I can remember is that a bunch of dead people like Keynes, Smith, Mill and Marx had all studied economics very carefully and come up with a wide variety of answers. So how was I supposed to work out which was correct? How was anyone? We like to think that the world’s economic system is run by people with tall foreheads who have this gift — but if they did, we wouldn’t constantly lurch from crisis to crisis. We wouldn’t have had the crashes of 1929 or 1973 or 2008, and we wouldn’t be sitting here [in the UK] now with inflation on a full combat power-climb towards 20%

2. No huge surprise: Obese patients are the most likely to disagree with doctors when given lifestyle advice. Conveniently: They tend to associate excess weight with factors they cannot control, such as genetics and hormones, 

Finally   . . . .   

Talking of Big Tech .. . .

For new readers: 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.


When a virtual cash till starts censoring us, you know there’s a big problem with Big Tech: Rod Liddle, The Times

I mentioned to my wife, in our kitchen, that I was tired of writing for a living and wished instead to pursue a career in our nuclear industries, perhaps in some sort of regulatory capacity. Two minutes later, when I was back at my laptop screen in my office, an advert popped up for a communications job … in the nuclear industry.

This was no coincidence. It formed part of a moving screen of marketing targeted at me, including an ad for a denture grip featuring a man expressing delight that his false teeth have stopped falling out; recommendations of various kitchen accessories (I cook a lot); and an invitation to meet an older woman — who looked about 75 and didn’t really suit the babydoll thing she was wearing — living nearby who would be delighted to have sex with me. “Nearby” in this case meant Otley, 80 miles from where I live, but I have a senior railcard, so it might be a worthwhile trip, I suppose, if I can get my wife to provide a packed lunch.

The only thing, other than the missus, who heard my joke about working in the nuclear industry was that little ball of sententious uselessness, Alexa. I smashed it in the garden, having commanded: “Alexa, it’s time to contemplate your own death.”

I’m sure it is just boomerdom, but I find all the Big Tech giants sinister and repulsive. Every now and then I swear to myself that I am going to boycott them for their snooping, their prying, their data-harvesting, their condescension, their vapid Gen X politics, their crassness and the amount of time they steal from my ever-shortening life. On this last issue I would direct you to Johann Hari’s excellent book Stolen Focus, which explains how these smug West Coast bastards are turning us into imbeciles. Johann’s a leftie, but he’s a good journalist and he’s got this issue nailed. Anyway, I always vow to boycott them all and then never carry it through because I am basically lazy and a moral coward, when push comes to shove. They make my life easier, so I connive with them.

However, I will definitely join the comedian Jack Dee, the former footballer Matt Le Tissier and others in boycotting PayPal and would urge you to do the same, regardless of whether you are in agreement with my politics.

Having established itself as the world’s most widely used online personal payments system, PayPal has now started withdrawing its facilities from people and institutions of which its cretinous, hair-triggered staff disapprove. This includes the Free Speech Union, which was set up by Toby Young to offer support to people who are being persecuted for their opinions — the irony lost, I would expect, on the PayPal airheads.

Just in case you think the FSU is some right-wing front, it has offered support to Richard Dawkins, the feminist lecturer Kathleen Stock, the very left-wing MP Chris Williamson and, gawd help us, Alex Salmond. It has found its PayPal account closed with no explanation — but presumably because, in their manifest stupidity, PayPal’s staff think it’s a convocation of trans-bashing fascists. Another group, UsForThem, which campaigned to keep schools open during the pandemic, has had its account closed. Again, no explanation has been forthcoming.

It should go without saying that this sort of action is malign, odious and dangerous. Billionaire hippies masquerading as social justice warriors are forcing their inane ideas on us all — and, because of the power and wealth of their companies, having a profound effect upon democratic systems.

I have no affection whatsoever for that Brobdingnagian oaf Donald Trump, but the manner in which Big Tech silenced him was a truly scary example of the gross misuse of power and the gerrymandering of democracy. Don’t tell me that can’t happen here.

I suppose you could argue that in a democracy companies must be allowed to do business with whoever they want and, similarly, veto whoever they want (although if they were to veto black people, say, or lesbians, I don’t think they’d be in business for much longer). But sure — in which case, let us hit them where it hurts, by withdrawing our custom from them. There are plenty of alternatives to PayPal: Skrill, Venmo, Stripe and Square, to name just four.

It is time we began to shrug off these behemoths who know too much about us, take too much of our time and in any case don’t like us very much.