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Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain

Random thoughts from a Brit in the North West. Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Quite often curmudgeonly.

Thoughts from Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain: 12 October 2020
12 October 2020 @ 15:25

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'* 


That trust thing that I stressed yesterday . . . Spain's is  not the only government which is struggling to maintain or retrieve this:-

The UK:  . .  Although there have been improvements, the accumulation of blunders has cost the government trust, credibility and authority. And no government can create a consensus behind tough decisions unless it commands confidence that it knows what it is doing. As government credibility drains away, we are beginning to see a series of challenges mounted, the latest a legal challenge mounted by business leaders over lockdown restrictions which have so damaged the hospitality industry. . . Trust in government is a hard-won thing and, in only a few months, Johnson has squandered the massive reserves built up by his predecessors. And, in the longer run, trust might prove to be the biggest casualty of the epidemic, apart from those thousands who die untreated of non-Covid disease, because the NHS has been hijacked.

The USA: Covid-19 has created a crisis throughout the world. This crisis has produced a test of leadership. With no good options to combat a novel pathogen, countries were forced to make hard choices about how to respond. Here in the United States, our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy. . . The magnitude of this failure is astonishing . . .  Covid-19 is an overwhelming challenge, and many factors contribute to its severity. But the one we can control is how we behave. And in the United States we have consistently behaved poorly. . . The response of our nation’s leaders has been consistently inadequate. . . Our current leaders have undercut trust in science and in government, causing damage that will certainly outlast them. . .   More here.          

Spain:  The Lancet has published a second article on what needs to be done in Spain.      

Living La Vida Loca in Spain/Galicia

Inevitably . . . 

The UK

Johnson started to lose the public some time ago. Voter approval of his handling of the crisis turned negative in mid-May and has been on a downward path since. Trust in the government has been exhausted, not just by the many examples of ministerial ineptitude, but also by rule-breaking by public figures. That's been compounded by confused and contradictory communication.

The Way of the World 

The evolution of Airbnb from its original 'hippy dreams' over 10 years or so:-

- Anyone who uses the site will tell you how rare it is now to meet an actual resident owner. 

- There are entire blocks being run as de facto unregulated hotels from remote call centres, on behalf of well-disguised corporate owners.

The result . . . The collision between a sweet little idea and a capitalist economy has swallowed up a third of short-term rentals in London, Brighton and Bristol and is ruining the legitimate, safety-regulated hotel trade and pushing up prices in hotspots around the world.  . . . As we now see, tax authorities have brought an end to any pretence that this is some cool, friendly hobby-hippy game. It’s a financial transaction as cold and hard as any.


Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas has given me 2 more Spanish refrains which include there name of a place:-    

- Albacete, caga y vete.

- Los perros de Adra; los que no muerden, ladran. 

Finally . .  . 

A bit of Iberian history . - . . In 1252 Alfonso (eventually El Sabio/The Wise) was crowned King of Castilla y León. His first monarchical act as was to invade Portugal, forcing King Afonso there to hand over his kingdom. Alfonso (being wise) then did a deal with Afonso, under which the latter would divorce his wife and marry Alfonso’s illegitimate daughter, Beatrice. Afonso had no option but to comply, meaning that Beatrice would be queen of Portugal and any children would both inherit the crown of Portugal and be allied to Castilla y León. I doubt that Alfonso is as popular in Portugal as he is in Spain and may well have another nickname there. Like 'Bastard, father of a bastard', for example.


* A terrible book, by the way. Don't be tempted to buy it, unless you're a very religious Protestant.

Like 0


Falcón said:
12 October 2020 @ 23:03

Day Hispanidad in Spain!! Wonderful day...

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