Saturday, 18 December 2010

Cutting the ham

This is a Spanish jamón being cut as it should, in fine, almost transparent slivers. Some consider it an art. Others see it as an offence.

Articles appeared recently in Europa Sur and in CampoPulse -and probably in other media as well - about a Muslim family in La Línea de la Concepción who denounced (a Spanish term meaning 'make a report or complaint') their son's teacher for mentioning ham during a geography lesson - a lesson about climate, using as an example one of Spain's 'cathedrals' of ham, Trévelez in the Alpujarras, which is 1700 m above sea level and dry and cold enough to produce some of the country's very best jamones. Apparently, the boy asked the teacher not to mention the pork product because it injured his Muslim sensibilities.

The matter came to the attention of the boy's family, who supposedly rushed round to the National Police station to file a complaint, accusing the teacher of maltrato de obra ('factual abuse'), racism and xenophobia, and the Judicial Police (an arm of the National variety) is investigating. The teacher's colleagues and the school's administration are indignant. So am I.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Has Alejandro Sánchez been let loose?

The answer: It looks like it. The Mayor of La Línea de la Concepción must feel pretty fed up by now. Puppets on strings usually do, don't they? They must get tired of being manipulated, surely.

That's my theory, anyway.

The leader of the opposition (never seen it in caps in Spain, have you?), Mariano Rajoy (PP), will go to any lengths to make life difficult for the governing party (PSOE). Maybe he thinks that's his job.

On the other hand, Alejandro Sánchez (PP) is having a very tough time paying his council staff and employees - actually, the tough time is for those who aren't being paid. The reason for the La Línea coffers being empty has an awful lot to do with past administrations (PP, or ex-GIL, the notorious Jesús Gil's personal party, he of the vast corruption in Marbella), corruption and mismanagement.

So what do you do when you're caught with your pants down?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What's in the future for 10 year old mother?

The recent motherhood of a 10 year old girl in Jerez has caused consternation and much opinion in the Spanish media. The girl, a Romanian Gypsy, arrived in Spain ostensibly for a family wedding, but happened to give birth while she was here. There are an awful lot of comments throughout the Internet on this, mostly of the 'we need a Sarkozy plan in Spain to deal with them' variety. But there is not much news about the father, though the girl's family supposedly says that he is supposedly a 13 year old boy and that the relationship was supposedly consensual. At age 10?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Surely this is not news

I quote directly from The Lancet: "Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) modelling showed that heroin, crack cocaine, and metamfetamine were the most harmful drugs to individuals (part scores 34, 37, and 32, respectively), whereas alcohol, heroin, and crack cocaine were the most harmful to others (46, 21, and 17, respectively). Overall, alcohol was the most harmful drug (overall harm score 72), with heroin (55) and crack cocaine (54) in second and third places." I'm not certain what all the numbers are but they look like scores out of 100. It doesn't matter.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Pushmepullyou politics continues as usual it has for altogether too long, especially when it comes to jurisdiction over waters (Sorry, I couldn't find a picture of a PMPY in the water). China and Japan are at it over a tiny island over on the other side of the world. Just across the Atlantic and a big squidge further down there are some islands that for me were the Malvinas in the morning and the Falklands in the afternoon (this needs more explanation but would send me right off track). Closer to home was the farcical invasion of the even tinier island of Perejil (Parsley Island for a rock sticking out of the water, for God's sake!) by Moroccan troops some years ago, an invasion heroically thwarted by valiant Spanish soldiers. Much closer is Gibraltar.