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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: 8 April 2021
08 April 2021 @ 10:40

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'

 

My thanks to Lenox Napier of Business Over Tapas for a couple of today's items. 

Covid 

Spain: The government says it doesn't extend the State of Alarm after its expiry on May 9. So, national mobility restrictions - such as curfew or perimeter closures - would no longer exist and  it will be for the 19 regional governments to decide on these

The UK: This a hard-hitting (and long) interview - of October last year - with an expert who doesn’t pull his punches in accusing a UK leading scientist  of being either a liar or negligent. He also rejects the prospect of a 2nd wave, dismisses government models, claims that 30% of the population had immunity from the start, that herd immunity had been reached in at least London by last October, that wide-scale testing is useless as misleading, and that the pandemic was already over by summer last year. The vaccine, he claims, is pointless for anyone  who isn’t old and at risk. 

I’m not qualified to asses these claims, so would like to see some other expert’s counterpoints. Meanwhile, it’s of huge concern that - what with the UK government giving everyone 2 free (dubious) lateral flow tests per week - it really does look like it’s bent on continuing the current assault on our humanity indefinitely. Or at least for well into this year. I’m pretty sure we’ll all be compelled to wear masks and distance ourselves next winter. To stop us dying from flu, if not Covid. Wouldn’t you want to enforce this if you were being criticised for running an under-resourced national health service?

For me - given that the case numbers might well be very wrong, the only real number is that of (true) Covid deaths. So, the backcloth:-

- The 2019 deaths per day in the UK was c.1,600

- The current UK daily deaths from Covid is c. 30. As a percentage of the population of 68.2m it’s 0.00004

- Compare (less restricted) Sweden, at 6 Covid deaths per day. Or 0.00006% of a population of 10.1m.

A major question arising is - Looking at the charts and graphs which certainly seem to show 3-5 waves around the word, would Dr Yeadon maintain all his claims?

Cosas de España

More positive news for the future. Spain's economy  Will Grow By 6.4% In 2021, says the IMF. Click here for more.

Ex king Juan Carlos’s quest to return home from exile may be complicated by a “dubious” €4.4 million loan from wealthy business friends that was used to pay off a tax debt. Click here for more.

A reader has said there’s nothing amusing about bullfighting. I’d agree as regards the industry as a whole but repeat that it’s funny to seem young bulls which aren’t injured of killed making idiots of both novilleros and young men from the audience. BTW: Lenox advises that: The novilleros have to cough up for the cost of the bull and the wages for the rest of the equipo, from the banderilleros to the vet. Plus a slice of the rental of the ring. It'll cost them each around 6,000€ for the privilege of showing off - or otherwise - their skills. 

Spain's population has grown by c. 7m since I came  here in 2000, of which 80% are immigrants. Including me, I guess. Of the 6.8m. net increase in population, domestic growth has accounted for only 1.5m, or 22%.   

Cousas de Galiza

A local-ish scandal.  

Portugal

Several warm countries are trying to attract home-workers from the UK but, as ever, Portugal is beating Spain on on this, via low tax-rates. Just as it did with Golden Visas and tax holidays for pensioners. What, I wonder, does this say about the 2 governments and their 'entrepreneurialism'

The UK and its Un-united Union

Scottish nationalists would be horrified if Boris Johnson gave them independence in May and the attempt to achieve it would fail.  Click here, if interested to know why.

The pathologies of Irish sectarianism and EU fundamentalism are on a collision course.  . . . The truth that the government can’t quite bear to face is that, unless a settlement is reached, Britain faces 2 devastating scenarios: either the Union becomes the price of Brexit, or Brexit becomes the price of the Union. Click here for more.

BTW: I heard the comment the other day: If you think you understand Northern Ireland, you haven't been listening. Very probably true. As surveys show, most English folk would happily hand it over to Ireland. And also tell the heavily-subsidised, whingeing Scots to piss off. So much for hankering after a renewed empire!

The Way of the World

The creator of a dating app that puts women in charge is among the new names to join the ranks of the mega-rich after becoming the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire. Whitney Wolfe Herd is worth $1.3 billion having co-founded Bumble, which allows only female users to make the first contact with a man. I wonder how one proves one is a woman. And if transgender women can use it. I guess so.

Talking of  women and feminism . . . Would you credit this?

Philip Roth was right about our online witch-hunts . . . The American novelist foresaw the modern mania for denouncing anyone who doesn’t conform to the new puritanism.  . . . From the 1980s onwards Roth detected a movement towards a new puritanism. As we moved away from censorship, we gravitated towards censoriousness. Click here for more.

Kevin De Bruyne has negotiated himself to £385k a week with Manchester City  

Religious Nutters/Crooks Corner

The good news is that televangelist Jim Bakker is no longer hawking (or defending himself against selling) a fake all-purpose cure for COVID, SARS, HIV, and “all venereal diseases.” The bad news is that he’s moved on to zombies. On yesterday’s show, Bakker brought along conspiracy theorist Steve Quayle to explain how COVID nasal swabs were somehow part of a nefarious plan to get your DNA in order to make weapons that will turn people into flesh-eating zombies. Click here for more.

Finally  . . . This reminds me of when I saw that SPOT had been painted at a Spanish junction . . .

P. S. For about 18 years, I've had a page on Galicia and Pontevedra at www.colindavies.net but I haven't revised it or added to it for several years and it's now defunct. I've got a new site - www.thoughtsfromgalicia.com - where I'll be adding stuff on Galicia as and when I can. And when I've worked out exactly how Wordpress works. If you go there now, you'll find a work-in-progress. And also this blog in exactly the same format as here. Except it automatically give more details of those cited sites which use Wordpress.



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