What’s in a name?

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SPANISH PATRIOTISM CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK


SPANISH or Castellano? 

Time was when Spain’s language was called Spanish although Catalans, Valencianos, Basques and Gallegos, not forgetting Asturians with their appropriately-named Bable, spoke their local languages at home.

Once they could do so officially, that’s when Spanish began to transmute into Castellano and the term is finding favour in Latin America, too.

At the recent Congreso de la Lengua Española held in Cordoba (Argentina) several speakers insisted that Latin America speaks Castellano, not Spanish.

Doesn’t sound right, somehow:  why label Latin America’s principal language with the name of an inland, inward-looking region frequently associated with a sombre style of furniture?

Son of his father

CAMPAIGNING in 2011, the Partido Popular’s presidential candidate Mariano Rajoy made many promises.

These included waving a magic wand to put an end to the economic crisis and amending the 2010 Abortion Bill mainly because in some circumstances, girls of 16 or more could terminate a pregnancy without a parent’s consent.

Rajoy obtained a landslide majority and did what Brussels told him to do regarding the economy. 

He also allowed Minister of Justice, Alberto Ruiz Gallardon, to plan abortion reforms putting women at the mercies of backstreet butchers once more.

There was so much opposition within his own party that the Bill was forgotten and Ruiz Gallardon fell on his sword although the clause concerning 16-year-olds was excised from Zapateros’ bill

Everybody was happy until young fogey Pablo Casado took over as Partido Popular president, lurching to the Right in his bid to out-voice Vox.

Predictably he dragged up abortion once more, which resulted in another outcry prompting Casado to swear he was only joking or something to that effect.

But the far-Right elements in his party won’t let it go and his Number Two on the Madrid voting list for the April 28 elections, Adolfo Suarez Illan, son of Spain’s beloved first democratically-elected president, started pontificating about it again.

Definitely not his father’s son, and as veteran PP politician Celia Villalobos, who has left politics after being sidelined by Casado, said, “What a favour he’s done for the Left!”

Pick-me-up

TALKING of favours, Pablo Iglesias hasn’t done badly out of an investigation into the incredible and nefarious dealings of pensioned-off policeman Jose Manuel Villarejo who managed to amass a €16 million fortune one way and another.

Villarejo, now remanded for corruption, money-laundering and criminal activities, has had a walk-on part in every shady scenario for decades.

He was allegedly involved in the Patriotic Police’s dirty war against Iglesias when Podemos erupted onto the political scene and won six seats in the European Parliament in 2014.

Just the pick-me-up that Iglesias needed after his ill-chosen paternity leave just when everything kicked off in Spanish politics.

Nothing becomes a politician like a dose of persecution and martyrdom when his ratings droop in the popularity polls.

No monopoly

AND talking of Patriotic Police, why does Spain’s right wing assume that only the Right and especially the far Right have a monopoly on patriotism?  Aren’t socialists patriots too?

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