Or maybe, Weary Wednesday?
All that really means is, a bit of a round-up, with a feeble attempt at alliteration. And a sly dig at the Wordless Wednesday photo posts with no text that do the rounds, which always seems like an amazing cop-out, as there is no way you will get a wordless post from me.
So, on with the update.
Firstly thanks to everyone who has participated in my poll and to those who also took the time to comment about what you find interesting, that was great. It is still open, if you haven’t voted, you can find it in the March archive.
Secondly, there was an election for the Junta de Andalucía (Spain) at the weekend. That’s like a county council in the UK but with more powers. Or maybe the government of an Aus state or North American ones.
The current government of Spain is the Partido Popular. That equates to right wing. The left wing is the PSOE. Partido Socialista de Obrero Español. Or something like that. Spanish Socialist Workers Party – but it isn’t as lefty as it sounds.That sort of title in the UK would be left of communism.
Anyways, Andalucía is a hot bed of lefties. Something to do with poverty. So normally, any election for the Junta gets a resounding lefty majority.
But, Mariana Rajoy, and the PP were expecting success. In Andalucía? Where the unemployment rate is 31.3%? The national rate is 23%. And apparently a record among industrialised nations.
My source for this is Revolting Europe, a truly excellent blog. Don’t bother clicking on the link if you vote Tory and are happy in your cotton wool fluffy dream life, because this blog posts about dissatisfied workers, discrimination and other such annoying stuff. Just, sweep them all under the carpet, yes?
Out of 109 seats, the PP got 50, the PSOE got 47 seats and the United Left got 12 seats. For any other statistical people out there, Tony Gill’s post is interesting, it’s a great example of how you can interpret statistics any given way. That is not to criticise his post, which is perfectly factual, but you could use the same stats and make a totally different post. Have a read if you like that sort of thing.
Málaga Hoy (Málaga Today) is one of the Spanish dailies that I read from time to time. They give a breakdown of the eight provinces in Andalucía, so for example in Málaga province, there were 17 seats, of which the PP got 8, the PSOE 7 and the United Left parties got 2. The only change there compared with the previous election four years ago was that the PSOE dropped a seat to the United Left.
I also looked at the breakdown by municipality for Málaga province. Interestingly the coastal strip was appropriately coloured blue, ie the Partido Popular got most seats in those municipalities. But as soon as I looked at inland towns – little tourism, little agriculture, little construction, little anything really – the votes turned red (parched arid landscape?) for the PSOE. I was surprised to see that even Málaga city was PP, because normally cities tend to vote left.
This was the lowest turnout in Andalucía for twenty years, with 62% of the electorate voting. And although the PP actually got the highest percentage of votes – 1% more than the PSOE, the total percentage of voters who chose a left of centre party was higher. Hopefully the United Left and the PSOE will combina to form the next Junta de Andalucía.
Thirdly, apparently some labour reforms passed by the Spanish government last month are set to produce yet more unemployment to add to the Spanish figures. The reforms make it easier and cheaper to fire workers, so another 172,000 workers could be set to join the dole queue.
Spanish workers – and unemployed presumably too – have already marched in protest about these reforms. Tomorrow there is a general strike in Spain protesting about the reforms. Since Franco died in 1975 and democracy was restored, there have been five general strikes.
Spain, it seems is the next Greece. And yet, I keep reading idiotic comments on forums from people who want to come and live/work in Spain because it is nice and sunny and they want to learn Spanish and get a little job.
The Spanish economy and labour market also have an obvious effect on Gib. No jobs in Spain – let’s all shoot across the border and work in Gib. If we can. And if we can’t get a job on a firm, we’ll work on the black.
Fourthly, speaking of jobs, the other week I went to the job centre a day late. This was pointed out to me by the employment officer. I may be unemployed but I am not stupid and was well aware I was a day late.
‘Why was that?’ she asked.
Well really who gives a toss. It’s not as though I’m getting benefit. Should I ever get a job I may well be able to turn up for work on the right day at the right time. I have been known to do it in the distant past.
I didn’t say ‘So what, who cares?’
Instead, in an extremely whingey and dateless voice, accompanied by dateless look on face, I said ‘I forgot.’ Not a lot you can say to someone suffering temporary memory loss is there?
I do hope she gets a transfer to a different department. I can’t be doing with little Hitlers in the Job Centre.
Anyway, apart from the fact that there were no interesting jobs in there today, just yet more gaming ones all requiring gaming experience, it seems the system is changing. I now have to visit once a month.
Naturally, I couldn’t let this go. Why is it changing? Apparently it is something to do with Department of Social Security changes. ‘I don’t claim benefit,’ I said, ie I had no idea what those changes were. Still haven’t. Fruitless search on the internet to look for announcements although I did find a job to apply for.
‘What happens if I can’t make this date and time?’ I mean, it is a bit specific telling me to turn up at 10.45 on a Tuesday the whatever. I’m used to this flexible thing where you choose the day of the week to ‘sign/register’ and at whatever time in the morning you want. Usually just before it closes. And sit there happily reading your book for half an hour.
‘Well, the belief is, that if you are unemployed you should be able to attend then,’ she said. And then added quickly that as I wasn’t claiming benefits it did seem a bit odd.
Those of us who don’t work are busy people. We need to write blogs. Look for jobs. Shop, cook, iron, mop floors. Pay bills. So much to do, so little time.
And fifthly, a pictorial distraction – the WordPress photo challenge of the week is the word ‘through’, so here are a couple of pix to reflect ‘through’.
1) The pedestrian tunnel through Wellington Front which was restored recently.
2) The Dudley Ward tunnel on the eastern side of the Rock which was re-opened in 2010. You can now drive right round the Rock. This tunnel is not open to pedestrians however, moan, moan.
3) The Churriana tunnel on the new Málaga bypass.