Saturday, 10 November 2007

Time is a scarce resource

Regular readers will have noticed that I have been not very active of late. There are a variety of reasons:

+ Work: the credit liquidity squeeze and the return of volatility have resulted in longer hours at work.
+ Studies: the MBA thesis on credit default swaps is also taking longer that expected. Final deadline (I have already had a couple of extensions…) is 7 December 2007, so not a lot of time left.
+ Commuting: normally I drive from the outskirts of Glasgow to Edinburgh. This month, however I am trying to commute by train. Next year, if/when I have more time, I will write about public transport provision in the UK.
+ Too much to write about: frankly, there is too much happening. I feel overwhelmed with developments in Scottish/British politics and Catalan/Spanish politics. Where should I start. Thus, I feel easier to reply to other people’s blogs, even if they are slightly bonkers. Hello John and Trevor.

If all that was not enough, to be brutally honest, the few spare hours I have I’d rather spend them with my gorgeous, lovely, pretty and extremely patient girlfriend.

It has been a few interesting weeks. I have been accused of being both “obviously right-wing” and a “far-leftist” by Iberian Notes because of this post. Iberian Notes is a blog by a north American expat living in Barcelona which regurgitates the same bile and hatred towards Catalonia and its sense of nationhood and cultural, social and political identity as the most vicious and aggressive Spanish nationalist portals like Libertad Digital. Well it seems the guy used to work for them so no surprises there.

What I did not expect when I set up this blog (in September 2003 no less) is that I would be quoted out of context by El País newspaper: (Spanish)

The post the article is referring is this one: It’s time. I notice the journalist cites the comment left by Ox, but not my reply with web links, or Ox’s lack of counter-reply. I will dedicate another post to this article next week.

In any case, for the benefit of Mr Delclós and Ox, I did not equate political independence to a complete assurance of improving life expectancy; rather, the crux of the post, for anyone that wants to read it properly, is that +50 years of Labour rule in Glasgow has failed to address this and many other social issues, that a change in policy is required and that only the SNP can provide the cathartic change Scotland so much needs.

Can anyone argue back that keeping Labour in power will resolve the many social issues we face in the west of Scotland when they have proved to be incapable of doing so in +50 years?

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

PSC has alzheimer - a borrowed post

Regular readers will have noticed the absence of new posts.

The credit liquidity squeeze and the increased volatility in financial markets have resulted in longer hours spent in the office. Not to mention a certain master’s degree thesis in credit default swaps that is taking a bit longer that anticipated…..

Until normal services are resumed, I copy and paste another article from from Josep C. Vergés, a regular columnist in the Diari de Girona. The issue I have with the post is that according to a poll published today, PSC-PSOE and Ciudadanos would not lose representation in the Catalan Parliament. I don’t trust any polls, let alone one published by La Vanguardia but if you are interested, you can read about it in Racó Català. In summary, not much change. However, Spanish elections are to be held in March and that could be a different ball game....

The post is taken from the Racó Català, a Catalan portal.

PSC Has Alzheimer

Former PSC member and founder Pasqual Maragall, the Catalan president overthrown by Zapatero, who had made Zapatero PSOE president against the wishes of Jose Montilla, has announced he has the initial stages of Alzheimer, a slow degenerative disease which ultimately paralyzes the entire brain. The PSC is already in an advanced stage of Alzheimer, declared when it fearfully integrated with the PSOE Parliamentary group in Congress after the coup d'Etat of the King's preceptor General Armada in 1981. Last year the PSC gave up Catalan nationalism by accepting the barrio Jacobin Montilla instead of Maragall. The excuse was that with the new Statute of Autonomy there was no further need to defend Catalonia and it was time to "manage" what citizens really wanted. For example, airports. Well, better another. Electricity. No good. Freeways. None there. Well then trains. Oops what a disaster!

The PSC has undergone a full lobotomy, left without a voice in Madrid, without Catalan nationalism and without managerial ability.The worst president in democracy, quite something, before betraying Maragall threw out Carod. A costly mistake because Esquerra renewed the pact with PSC after the early Catalan elections while Zapatero has been left in a lonely minority and done nothing since a year and a half. Impossible to do any worse. Or maybe it is as the worst minister in history shows, Andalusian Magdalena Alvarez, with her Catalan airport, road and train chaos. She promised that after the 11th September Catalonia would go on wheels. She has certainly kept her word because Madrid monopoly Renfe has abandoned train services forcing all of us to take the car. To doubly guarantee this, Madrid monopoly Adif has collapsed a Catalan Railways tunnel, forcing cancellation of their services so that Madrid has no bothersome train competition.

PSOE has caught the Alzheimer infection from PSC. PSOE has also lost the majority in the Senate with the added setback that the PSC is grouped with Esquerra there, not with the Jacobins. They can vote against PSOE, which is not possible in Congress. This explains why minority leader Zapatero has sent to the Senate anaesthetist Joan Clos, who has no responsibilities in transport with the hope that PSC will show compassion with the grey "Catalan minister" and PSC member.

The disapproval which cannot be ducked by socialists is that of the voters. The broken down services managed by the Madrid monopolies affect directly towns with the heaviest socialist vote. Zapatero's betrayal of Maragall already lost the socialists the Catalan nationalist vote. The latest betrayal by Magdalena Alvarez has now lost them the immigrant vote. Winston Churchill said governments lose elections, not opposition parties win them. The PSOE will emerge further weakened from the elections. PSC governs tied hand and feet by Esquerra, not the other way round as Jacobins would want. PSOE will be equally tied down after the elections in March, because the PP troglodytes will be unable to govern with no Catalan party willing to ally themselves to the anti-Catalan racists.

Minority ruler Zapatero has still time to halt the slide as I proposed in Diari de Girona (26th August) by naming Joaquim Nadal Public Works Minister:

"Perhaps it is impossible for Zapatero to stop his talante and start
telling the truth, but if he fires his minister for centralism who visits
Catalonia like an Andalusian grandee in her estate, we shall see a hard
working Catalan in Madrid's Public Works Ministry and celebrate Christmas in
the height of summer."

Nadal will have the credibility to transfer Renfe to Catalonia and the responsibility to do a good job, so that he can become the natural replacement for burnt out Montilla, a bad manager and mediocre president. A shock cure for socialist Alzheimer in both federated parties, PSC and PSOE, with no idea where they are or where they are heading in an advanced stage of the degenerative disease of lost votes.

Josep C. Vergés