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
That shocking Constitutional Court development . . . Says The Times: The court’s intervention in the legislature has created a stalemate and presages potential political turmoil as the country heads into election year with its politics increasingly polarised. . . Analysts have apportioned blame to both parties for the crisis. “The risk is that both the PP’s filibuster and the government reform undermine the legitimacy of the court as it looks fully under control of a party rather than as independent arbiter,” the head of the European Council on Foreign Relations in Madrid, said.Pablo Simón, a professor in political science at the Carlos III University in Madrid, said in its attempt to speed up the appointment of judges some elements of the government’s reform “were not adequate in legal procedure” and that the government had “ended up generating a far-reaching constitutional and institutional crisis”. He added: “This is eroding trust in institutions and fuelling polarisation.” Both parties accuse the other of being out to destroy democracy. ‘Polarisation’, by the way, has been taking place ever since I came here in 2000.
I’m on the train to Madrid. A (Chinese) woman has just got on – at Ourense – and, for whatever reason, has decided to place her large solid suitcase in front of her legs. Meaning that she’s sitting askew . . .
If she’s going as far as Madrid, she’s got 2 hours like this, which won’t do much for her lumbar region, I suspect. Maybe the case is full of gold ingots:-
Spain, as everyone knows, is a very noisy country. On trains, though, silence reigns. And there are even few phone conversations. An unwritten cultural norm?
After 22 years, I’m inured to having to carry and show an ID card quite frequently. And they can be useful. e.g. when proving you are your grandson’s grandfather at his school. Especially when your daughter has complicated things by not entering your first forename in the details provided to the teacher.
The heavy jacket I brought was excessive for Pontevedra, at 16 or 17 degrees. But I was sure it would fit the bill in Madrid. Where, in fact, it’s in the 20s. Whatever happened to the city’s infamously harsh winters?
Warning: Roundabout story: Driving to the station this morning, I followed a learner motorbike rider into a roundabout. As all learners are taught to do here, he stayed in the outside lane, even though he might well have been turning left. When he signalled right – as if to go straight on – I still held back from overtaking him, just in case. Sure enough, he turned left in front of me, while still signalling right. If I’d been a foreign driver, even Portuguese, I’d surely have hit him. I do wish drivers here, as in Tehran, would never make any sort of signal, instead of the endlessly incorrect ones.
Strong words: Bribery and corruption are endemic to the Brussels system — and most of it is perfectly legal. . . The EU, by virtue of its supranational and technocratic nature, is structurally prone to capture by vested interests, be they foreign governments or multinational corporations — and no amount of reform will change that. The rationale is here.
The Way of the World
There are many reasons why populist movements have made significant headway in 2022. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the unravelling of the global economy have, for the most part, not aided a restoration of technocracy. On the contrary, these events have exposed the incompetence of the mainstream elites and have called into question their globalist ideology. More here.
For new readers:-
1. 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.
2. Should you want to, the easiest way to to get my post routinely is to sign up for email subscription. As opposed to using a Bookmark or entering the URL in your browser.