FRIDAY 30th AUGUST 2013
CONTRASTS & CONTRADICTIONS
A sudden gash of blue Buddleia broke the varied mid- to deep green tranquillity of the path, exciting a clutter of cabbage whites to grab the diversion offered, on one of the “last days” of summer.
Traditionally, perhaps I should say “historically”, this is the last week of the Pendley Open Air Shakespeare Festival. Moved forward a fortnight, it is arguable if this enhances its chances of better weather but if inclement, certainly there is less chill effect and although under cover from the rain, an audience does need warm coats on such a night.
I was thinking on this, as I wandered Ashridge this lunchtime and stopped off at the open-air “ranch-like” cafeteria, to enjoy a specially made beef burger, with onions and a coke and contemplated dropping off at Pendley on the way back for a cream tea.
It was surprisingly busy and being a bachelor, out of touch with school time tables, it took me a moment to realise this was probably the last week of school holidays, as well as being a short week for taking time off work, with the advantage of the Bank Holiday Monday.
I thought on this tranquillity, whose peace was only occasionally interspersed with happy children’s laughter, otherwise there was simply the busy country noise of general sounds and the chat of people at tables; or quiet closets of parked cars, their boots opened for access to the hampers and folding chairs now scattered around.
I had determined not to clutter myself with a camera and now regretted it. Feeling a flush of energy I had walked a longer path than intended and rediscovered a bench, a few steps above the path, lending a magnificent view of the village of Aldbury in the valley, for which enjoyment a section of trees had been specifically felled.
I sat there, enjoying the view and wishing for my camera, as the angle was such that normally one is shooting into the sun. This after-noon the sunlight was diffused by haze, enabling a soft focus view of its ancient country church and the surrounding character-filled buildings that bordered its ancient duck pond and stocks.
I dwelt on the richness of my life, not in terms of shekels (merely solvent) but in terms of the richness of my surroundings; a magnificent view; the ability to get there as I wished; the magnificence of the English countryside; the ancient history of our people, portrayed in the village in the valley; the wide sweep of the Aylesbury Vale beyond, leading round (out of sight) to the Whipsnade lion carved into the chalk hillside.
Perversely, the song “Lions and tigers and bears… oh my!” of Judy Garland came into my mind, at the same time as Africa and the Middle East crisis. A not inappropriate jarring. My peace sitting there; the tranquillity and freedom of another age that led to Baum’s imaginative creation; the ancient village history below me of our times when we internally warred over constitution and religion; the industrial upheaval enabled by such people as the Duke of Bridgewater, the canal builder, whose monument was behind me. Then, the horror and anguish of children and their families in Syria, while ours were playing happily with their families, riding bikes... or ponies. This area is a superb mixture of town, village and countryside, less than an hour by train to the centre of London; capital of empire, now faded away; centre of a Commonwealth of Nations, now rendered an “also played” in the world’s future history. Of what value was all this history?
I had earlier walked the graveyard of St Peter and St Paul at Little Gaddesden and thought on those buried there, who would have lived through two world wars and doubtless lost loved ones in them. I had then thought on the Middle East. Thought on last night’s Commons vote. Where lay the blame that we should seem uninterested in other people’s misery, while our experience was that we too had known such misery, caused likewise by both politics and religion and, albeit often likewise alone, come through it, yet were not lifting a finger to aid others in their need?
The answer: mismanagement by good intent. Clearly, Cameron must have been responding (out of a desire to be helpful, nothing more) to oblige Obama and there is a simple logistical logic to recalling parliament to debate, without causing turmoil to an already planned programme. However, it would have been better, as he should have felt able to do, if he had simply told Obama to wait.
Blair, I think acted likewise in good faith but clearly wrongly over Iraq. Had he not burbled twaddle about intelligence that simply did not exist or was plain wrong, I think we would now be actively supporting America and perhaps rightly. Likewise, had Brown’s Labour party not wrecked the country’s finances, we might still be involved but we simply no longer have the money, Labour squandered it.
Our intelligence services MUST deliver fact or “no comment”, not allow themselves to be manipulated, causing us now not to trust their competence, so those in the Middle East now suffer, as we ourselves have suffered in our own history, yet still have not resolved our own problems.
The Church of England was started by a woman, is governed by a woman, yet still will not allow women bishops. It is a laughing stock were the situation not so serious. Until the cofE sorts itself out we are in no position to seriously bring the Roman church to heel for its archaic patriarchal presumption, which the asinine legal construct of the EU specifically legalises, while ensuring common criminals and other mountebanks cripple us with their presence when we want them back in their own countries.
The Middle East problem is stemmed in the authoritarian arrogance of male supremacy, despite two thousand years of men proving their total inadequacy to run anything. Despite our current inadequacy, we have at least established a fundamental uniqueness of government, which no one with an ounce of sense would wish to dislodge.
The power in this land is in Parliament. Churchill, at our most critical time, said to the House of Commons, “I am but your servant and you may dismiss me as you please.” There were around a dozen abstentions and votes against. The rest of the House backed him.
Last night, Cameron accepted gracefully the Commons opinion, which in the circumstances was understandable and probably inevitable. In 1938, Chamberlain came back from Hitler waving a bit of paper and was applauded across the land: warmongering Churchill was ridiculed as an idiot. History proved Churchill right.
Bagehot stated “It is not so much the power the monarchy has as the power its presence takes away from anyone else.” As part of his beliefs was the true separation of the judiciary from government and that happened only in 2009. Nearly 150 years ago, Bagehot was ahead of his time, to be relevant to today… and is still relevant. Is Obama going to Congress before actually doing anything, with the US public opinion seemingly split 50-50, just as in Great Britain?
We have been through, in these lands, precisely what the Middle East is going through… and we still have not completed the job. What Iraq taught us is that there is no good starting something without first knowing how you intend to end it and leave. No one has yet spoken of what action should be taken, how it is expected to pan out and the result likely to be achieved, with all inherent risks clearly stated. Until then, no one should go anywhere or do anything.
THURSDAY 15th AUGUST 2013
A NEW DAWN
To all the young ones getting their results, all the very best. It is yonks, yet seems as clear as if it were yesterday, that I received mine. To those who have cause to be disheartened, don't be, you have a life ahead, there are some your age for whom that life is already pre-determined to be short through ill health. There is time in your youth to try again, or a choice to do someting else. For those who suffered tsunamis or other tragedies, there is no choice, just the savagery of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good luck, in the life ahead of you. Grab every minute it gives you. As the American comedian George Burns once said, "I am not at all surprised I am 84 but what does surprise me is the speed with which I got here!"
WEDNESDAY 14th AUGUST 2013
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN A MODERN WORLD
The credentials of Professor Ashworth indicate a voice to which attention should be paid, primarily, in my view, for awards not through examination but through the opinions of his peers. Reviewing crime and punishment is a regular pursuit of qualified professionals but is not always opened to the public in an informative manner. In the main, it would seem, that public opinion is influenced by personal bias according to social background, not the rationality of informed debate.
The nature of this country is Protestant Christianity from which sound base the largest empire civilisation has known was built, a base that has made provision for progression (ultimately) in many aspects of what is now regarded as "civilised society".
It seems to me the key question is: punishment, retribution, vengeance, restoration, discouragement, what is the relationship? One might first of all ask the question, why is there crime? Simplistically one might say "because someone else has something I want and I haven't got." One might refer to "A Toddler's Charter" as the raison d' être of too much crime. However, there are more questionable attitudes: is social life fair, which is not the same question as, "is life fair"?
Bluntly, the reality of life is that it is not fair. The purpose of civilised society is to try and eradicate the unfairness and provide equal opportunities for all to live a fulfilled and meaningful life. From this reality derives the hierarchy of priorities and whether one wishes to dispense with God, as Tony Blair purportedly wished to do in The Queen, despite being a recent convert to Roman Catholicism and the Queen being the Supreme Governor of the Protestant Church of England (highlighting the ease with which irrationality so easily enters serious debate), or accept a nonGod concept of moral values but even these are usually closely associated with the attitudes and sayings of one Jesus Christ, some artificiality has to be imposed upon the natural order.
'To those to whom much is given...' but the nature of human society is greed, which is why, when the trades unions gained power, they wrought cavalier disasters upon many and bullied just as much as the aristocrats, but not so physically as the proletariat did during the French and Russian revolutions. In a sense, civilisation is an artificial construct contrary to the natural order.
Arguably, then, one should remove concepts of moral values and deal with crime and punishment rationally, without sentiment. What is the most cost-effective utilisation of our time and resource? On this basis, locking people up is irrational. Only those who have demonstrated a physical abuse of society should be behind bars. This leaves everyone else liable to repay society for the costs of their crime, first to the direct victims and then to overall society, for the costs of necessary policing and administration in monitoring their restitution. This is a direct road to slavery. In that context, is slavery a bad thing? Should society be geared on the basis of "each to their ability', or "each to their need"... or "each to society's requirements" but then who determines society's requirements?
MONDAY 21th AUGUST 2013
LABOUR ON MIGRANT WORKERS
If Chris Bryant represents the likely component of a future Labour governement, then the last thing we want is another Laour government. His presentation this morning came over simply as a hidden MP wanting to show his credentials for future government. Okay, he may simply be trying to gain some experience but frankly, that is all he did.
What a competent politican would have addressed is that Labour signed all the EU requirements to enable this state of affairs to happen, against which he is ranting, and under their management allowed in some 800,000 migrants, contrary to what other EU countries did, while claiming 800,000 immigrants was only 30,000!
Bryant waffled a lot of historical irrelevance about some well known historical immigrants who had proved their worth but failed to explain how migrants, taking jobs from the current resident population, helped the housing situation, since surely migrants require houses, which we already know we haven't got for people already here!
Gloria De Piero, on Channel 4News hardly countered Bryant's inadequacy, no matter how much she gushed her irrational youth.
Last Night (9th August 2013) at Pendley Manor
Calling urgently all those people who feel that Shakespeare is not for them… to a production of As You Like It… and Love’s Labour’s Lost!
This does not seem very logical… but then Pendley is not logical.
In 1947, scenes from A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard II were performed on the back lawn of Pendley Manor, the ancestral home of the late Dorian Williams, OBE, perhaps better remembered nationally as “the voice”, for so many years, behind BBC TV show jumping and other horse events.
This entertainment was so well organised that half way through the performance the audience and actors changed places, because the audience had the sun in their eyes! Sixty-four years later, it is advisable to bring sunglasses for the first part of the performance but later you may need a warm coat!
Between these two dates an annual festival has developed during which nearly all the plays have been performed . During the twenty years I was with the company, from a thirteen year-old excited at getting four walk on parts in each of both plays, to leaving as Production Co-ordinator a couple of years after Dorian’s death, a little longer period than I intended staying, to aid continuity, the plays were performed on the vast panoramic stages.
Never designed as stages, they were just part of the garden landscape, they saw actors arrive for battle on horses; saw princesses drawn down the glade in glass coaches pulled by a double pair of matching horses; saw Ophelia drawn to her grave in a glass hearse, still occasionally used for custom funerals, having learned from the first performance, when there had been a change in the weather, to smear the glass sides with lemon juice, to stop Ophelia’s breath steaming up the windows! Laying a beautiful young woman literally into a hole in the ground created a very dramatic effect.
Memories of that event stood me in good stead when I was with the Company of Ten at the Abbey theatre, St. Albans. We were performing James Saunders A Scent of Flowers. There, the grave was simply a trap in the wooden floor. One of the actresses asked me how I managed to convey so much emotion in my speech, it literally made her cry, “You can sense the emotion throughout the theatre.” During that speech I was recalling Pendley’s Ophelia scene.
Today, the third stage is used, specifically designed as a stage with a magnificent backdrop of variegated shrubbery, hiding and deliberately, not so hiding, myriad entrances and exits at different levels. Smaller than the great panoramic stages, now used for other hotel events, it has the advantage of bringing indoor theatre to the open air.
It is an intimate stage, where actors may involve the first few rows of the audience (appropriate when the play includes the line “All the World’s a stage”) and ordinary lines may suddenly acquire an unexpected humour when “this damp and soggy ground” is a literal description, following a shower of rain!
In sixty-four years and around 600 performances, only two performances have ever been cancelled for rain. Pendley only stops if the rain is so noisy on the canvas roof, the audience cannot hear, or the conditions become hazardous to the actors. Such breaks/delays rarely last as long as ten minutes.
I recall one performance, by a Tring Arts Educational student, hoping to make professional theatre, who was playing Puck. She slipped on the wet grass and went sailing across the lawn on her bottom amidst a curtain of spray, rather like a motorboat chugging off Brighton pier. That girl was Lynda Bellingham, one of Pendley’s “children” who made it big professionally. Nearly half a century later we share another experience: we are both fighting cancer. I wish her well in her battle which I have no doubt will be feisty!
Unlike any other theatre, the Pendley experience really can be very exciting, as something completely unexpected can and does happen: such as a fox dashing across the stage; a rabbit appearing amongst the bushes, fortunately not the two events at the same time, avoiding upsetting the children; or an owl sailing down the glade hooting.
Today, the most likely interruptions will be the call of the peacocks, quintessential England: a grand country house, sweeping lawns bedecked with peacocks. Last night, as I arrived, I met a newcomer, unfamiliar with white peacocks and the fact they could fly to such high branches. To me, the white peacock showing his pride is more stunning then the coloured ones.
The rain does not often disturb the performance but there are times when the weather can add further magic: such as a balmy summer evening when A Midsummer Night's Dream is performed in pure moonlight. I recall a Lear performance when we had the worst electrical storm the area had seen in years. Dorian suddenly came charging into the control room in a state of fevered excitement, tripping over the dog that had been brought in because of the storm and scattering wildly various bits and pieces. “Cut everything!” Came the firm, authoritarian command.
Sound continued playing through his headphones to keep up with the dialogue; lights did a fast fade. The stage was pitch black. Lear’s voice (Stuart Ready) was thrown down the glade against the overhead waving branches and loud thunderclaps, lit only occasionally by flashes of lightning.
“Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!"
That is the special theatre magic of Pendley. I know only of one other, The Minack in Cornwall, where the audience look out over the stage to the Atlantic ocean but the audience are not under cover.
I was strolling down one of the drives with John Branston, father of the present Artistic Director, Sarah, whom I remember as a precocious child, fascinated they had Branston’s pickle on the supper table, when T S Eliot came to mind.
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.”
It seemed as if the twenty years I had been here had rolled together and were part and parcel of today; that the subsequent twenty-five or so had disappeared; that four hundred years could be drawn in and Shakespeare himself could have lounged these lawns and been one of the “strolling players” in last night’s As You Like It. Such is the magic of Pendley.
Tonight is its last performance. Next week it is Love’s Labour’s [sic] Lost. Er, excuse me. As it is plural, should that not be ‘s’ apostrophe, Mr Dramaturg?
Dorian’s attitude to Shakespearian Dramaturgy was, “If I can get someone, put off Shakespeare by uninspired schooling, just once, I hope to convert him.” That remains Pendley’s approach, for even today few have the scintillating enthusiasm to teach as the late Lynne Wright, to whom there is an inspiring In Memoriam in the programme.
I never met her but her story is the essence of Pendley and the people who keep the plays being performed. To much extent, that applies to the schools here and in this area generally, where we are blessed with many inspiring teachers. Details: http://www.pendleyshakespearefestival.co.uk/. Great Berkhamsted, Northchurch, Aldbury, Tring: this is that kind of place.
WEDNESDAY 7th AUGUST 2013
Notes on 'This and That' Acquired During a Week's Holiday
GIRLS GETTING THEIR KNICKERS IN A TWIST
It is unfortunate that Christine Blower, general secretary of the Nation Union of Teachers, lambasts Lord Coe so wilfully irresponsibly, highlighting again the unlikely value of NUTs in any comments for advancing the quality of education [Mail on Sunday 20130728].
That she considers 8-10 hours, over two years, sufficient time to train a teacher to teach PE adequately in a primary school is obvious twaddle and as daft as those asinine teachers (probably fully supported by NUTs at the time) who thought sport should not be taught because it created competition and competition was unhealthy. Yet they never explained how such unhealthiness disadvantaged countries in trading and cultural competition with us.
GIRLS GETTING THEIR KNICKERS STRAIGHT
Camilla Cavendish restores faith in women’s usual pragmatic common sense in her article for elementary, down to earth practicality and personal accountability in family courts. She reminds us of the proper accountability of a free press in The Sunday Times’ earlier campaign that prompted Jack Straw to get things moving [The Sunday Times 20130728]. She was praising lord Justice Munby’s initiative that judges must state why children and parents should be torn apart and has moved a step forward in requiring experts to be identified when pontificating about matters with which they have had little detailed contact.
On another tack, Eleanor Mills, in the same paper, points out the relevance of Cameron’s strategy for the internet world. If users will not apply the restriction freedom provides by its grant of responsibility, then someone else must and appropriately, that is government.
GIRLS STILL MAKING UP THEIR MINDS
India Knight spends three-quarters of her column telling us why she is writing it and then, in a few paragraphs, what I will write here in a sentence or two, the substance of her beef [The Sunday Times 20130728]. Essentially, she is complaining about the Border Agency’s inability to accurately assess the numbers of incoming migrants; their ability to speak English; their ability to provide sufficient resources to sustain themselves before acquiring a legitimate job; the fact that many of them are illegal; the inept way the Border Agency is endeavouring to locate those whom they have let in illegally and deport them.
Taking the last first, the Border Agency’s van advertising is naff by design, purpose and intent. Regarding the previous points, she just wishes they would do the job properly from now on and catch up with past mistakes as quickly as possible. In that, I fully support her. Let’s get on with it chaps.
COUNTERING THE FEMALE BIAS
In The Times  David Aaronovich highlights the incredible stupidity of the Iowa Supreme Court in (in effect) requiring all American women to wear the Islamic hijab, so they do not look like American women and likely to arouse the jealousy of dentists’ wives, who fear their husband’s dental assistant may fire his loins somewhat more than they do.
Seeing that many Americans had great difficulty in accepting gay rights it is extraordinary that an American court should discourage women from looking like women. Were the judges perhaps gay and seeking more employment of men?
Unfortunately, the Poet Laureate, one Carol Ann Duffy (completely unknown to me) has shown us that some women do fail, causing a cavalcade of appallingly bad verse to compensate for her inadequacy: but then an awfully large number of men consistently fail in the most elementary of requirements, such as acknowledging that women should be treated as being of equal status in all things.
CENSORSHIP AND NONCENSORSHIP
In The Times  Libby Purves writes an excellent article on freedom and censorship. Quite simply, all of life deserves, expects and requires basic decency and common courtesy: in all aspects of social mores. Where the participants are unable to act within these conventions, then government, representing the collective body of society has a duty to step in. Censorship does not inhibit freedom: it is freedom itself that inhibits the right to abuse it, for only with freedom comes the greatest of all responsibilities, the responsibility of self and to one's fellows within society.
IS THE GAY ISSUE A DELIBERATE DIVERSION?
The Times  has Hugo Rifkind writing on the world division on attitudes towards gayness and the pope showing a guarded tolerance towards the theoretical principle but not the reality of homosexuality.
Both articles, I believe, miss the point. In principle, the gay issue has won its fight. The arguments now are a deliberate intent to divert attention from the issue of the equality of women, especially in religion, where Islam and the Catholic church are determined to keep women subjugated to the utter inadequacy of male domination.
It is to these “august” bodies that I attribute the disgraceful trolling that appears too frequently on the internet. When such bodies deliberately fester presumptions upon people’s status within their organisations, they lay wide open the excuse in all other entities that these attitudes are acceptable. Male supremacy is not acceptable in any social context.
INTEGRITY IN ADVERSITY
In The Times  Rod Liddle extends the point I made in my Weekly Commentary awhile back (with which principles he seems to agree), to pornography, on which he has written a most amusing side paragraph.
What brought me into the debate on pornography was the anti-porn star Mary Whitehouse, determined to thrust her credentials for being a “literary” censor by declaring she thought George Eliot was a man.
Prompted by her outrages to investigate, I discovered a local church in Apsley was determined to close down a nearby sex shop, despite the fact it was one of eighteen nearby shops requiring a licence of one sort or another to sell their wares only to adults. What were they going to close down next, the betting shop, off-licence, pub, or launch an early crusade against tobacco smoking?
When I launched into the issue through letters to the local paper, it then turned out that congregation had been advised by their priest not to proceed on this tack. Incredible: there was a congregation with a priest who understood the reality of the world as it is, showing religion to be relevant and the congregation ignore him, determined to show religion’s utter irrelevance!
Although he does not say so as such, Liddle’s point is “What is pornography and who should define it?” The obvious answer (as nowadays we all seem to be intent on exhibiting our self-awareness), super-markets and general magazine sellers are placing “lads and girls” fantasy magazines discreetly, or assigning them to the sex shops. All perfectly simple, obvious and logical, just like Archbishop Wellby, understanding the CofE needs financial income before it can be munificent, or even survive!
BEING CHARITABLE IS NOT NECESSARILY A SENSIBLE THING
There are two reasons why I am reluctant to give: the failure of charities to display at the collection point the percentage of donations actually going to the declared cause; and the fact they find it necessary to act like commercial entities. The latter case is even more a concern since there are now indications we may simply be contributing to their employees’ pension pots.
I recall some years back when we were awarded a pension holiday because pension funds seemed over-subscribed. Apparently, the policy, to which proposal those of us with sense expressed our concerns, was indeed as asinine as we had said, since many pension funds cannot now meet their obligations.
My charitable giving is based upon the moment of awareness, which does not necessarily require a full statistical accountability but I am most certainly not contributing to someone’s pension, when my own pension fund denuded itself of sufficient reserves, contrary to my advice.
SHEER WITLESSNESS OF THE TORIES
Covert or overt, the only realistic plan against UKIP the Tories blew nearly twenty years ago: they refused to heed The Referendum Party. That is all UKIP is, a resurrected Referendum Party lacking Goldsmith’s honesty. Farage is merely a self-centred egotist, no more.
The issue is simple and straightforward: do the British people wish to belong to a political Europe or merely have an economic relationship with it? There has never been a problem with the question: only the ulteriorly motivated individuals controlling all our political parties, who are determined that they should submerge us under a pile of completely irrelevant paperwork, solely to keep them feeling important and further hide the truth of our unemployment figures.
Some witless fool, whose name escaped me, claimed the anti-frackers have pursued every democratic option to stop it. Codswallop. The democratic option is that those elected to government have determined fracking is acceptable. What this spokesperson actually meant was, “We don’t give a damn for democratic issues, we are determined to thrust our views regardless." That is not democracy!
It is stated by Cuadrilla that once the facts are known people will not object. This too is codswallop. If the facts are not yet known then Cuadrilla and those acting in support of them are being completely irresponsible. If the facts are known there is no problem in publishing and therefore no cause for present kerfuffle. So, why aren’t we coolly and calmly presented with the facts by both contestants?
Irwin Stelzer [The Sunday Times 20130804] presents a seemingly balanced economic/political argument for fracking. http://dangersoffracking.com/ presents the environmental “no” argument. A competent government would take http://dangersoffracking.com/ at its word and line by line counter its arguments.
Why not? http://dangersoffracking.com/ is merely an out of scale child’s diagram of generalities, without hyperlinked references to specifics. If there are specifics, why are we not advised of them? If the argument is invalid, why dos the government not say so? It all seems very simple to me and in coolly and calmly not presenting facts and counter arguments, then Irwin Stelzer’s article seems an acceptable conclusion that I shall be following.
First, you behave as sociably on Twitter and Facebook as you would in the High street or pub. Why not? That many on both internet media might appear semi-literate and socially unacceptable to many people is merely a wider declaration of the ill state of our society than we normally encounter. Modern social media highlights, at an earlier and in a more obvious way, the descent of modern society into an abyss, whose floor we have not yet discerned.
SPANISH IN FINANCIAL PANIC
Because Spanish seamen cannot navigate competently, they apparently snag their nets on Gibraltarian territory. For this incompetence the Spanish determine people crossing between Spain and Gibraltar should pay a toll. Since the road is nowhere near the sea, it seems I am not the only one who is mystified but I offer an explanation.
While I have no love of the political aspects of the EU, it seems Spain does not understand the issues either, such is the complexity of the EU bureaucracy. On top of which Spain’s economy seems to be in a worse state than has so far been admitted, hence the panic for income and the raising of essential funds from road tolls. How does a country get its finances in such an awful state?
Clearly Spain envies little Gibraltar: it being so much more financially astute than vast Spain. Spain’s current actions are an appalling indictment of the average Spaniard’s competence and ability; Spain apparently accepts this and is honest enough to declare it!