Wordy Wednesday

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3) The Churriana tunnel on the new Málaga bypass.


36 comments on “Wordy Wednesday

  1. So it seems there is still a difference between left and right in Spain. Here they merge into a detestable amorphous mass no difference one to the other, all driven by corporate funding. I do find it interesting, and understandable, that the countryside leans left. Certainly more so than in the forelock tugging UK where the county set rule almost as of right.
    Lovely pics thanks.
    The job centre :) lovely for me to read, but frustrating to experience. I think they do a special course on being difficult.


    • There is more of a difference than the blur of mess in the middle politics in the UK if that’s what you mean, yes. But the PSOE is not as lefty as its name, although again, more socialist than the Labour Party (you know the old joke, I’d vote Labour if I wasn’t socialist…). Izquierda Unida (United Left) actually is left wing and allies with the greens, so you get the best of both worlds there. Well, you do if you are lefty and green :D Interesting that they are the ones who did well, relatively speaking in that election though. Andalucía was hammered under Franco, so there are still a lot of people around who remember those days.


  2. As I responded in your survey I do like your angry blogs! I tried to sign on when I was made redundant – I didn’t want a job I just wanted to add 1 more to the unemploment statistics to show what damage the Tory Government is doing but they were so objectionable and obvioulsy didn’t want me to that I gave in and left it!


    • Ah! Angry me??? As if. Although is that what you meant when you ticked the ‘other’ box? :D

      They were pretty awful in the Job Centre/dole office thirty years ago so I see nothing has changed there then.


    • Funnily, I caught myself writing ‘drive round the island’ and stopped short just in time! I think it’s the concept of circumnavigating something so therefore it must be an island. Metaphorically we are I guess. Anyway, it’s also handy for the tip, in case you are interested in that tip (haha!).


  3. “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.” Truer words were never written. I am applying for jobs all over the world, I get an acknowledgment for about 1 in every 100 CV’s I send out. Had an interview for a job in Spain – wanted me to fly out there to start a job on April 8th, that will end on June 22 and NO, they were not offering to pay for flight or provide accommodation. Duh.


    • I’m wondering how I managed working full-time plus, and remembering the piles of ironing, cooking/baking bread half asleep after work, and falling into bed as soon as we had eaten and the bread came out. The weekends were spent half asleep and catching up on …. The paperwork never got done.

      It really racks me off when people don’t pay expenses. I had a job interview in Spain (which I was offered) and there were NO travel expenses for the interview. OK, it wasn’t far, but why the hell not? I think someone commented on that post and they had an even worse experience, and we are all actually living here, let alone having to fly from the UK.

      Acknowledge CVs?? Of the ones I have sent, the only one who acknowledged it was one who interviewed me. I have to say the lack of courtesy is not the biggest incentive to applying for jobs.


  4. as always, a most unique take on ‘through’. thanks for your input on the challenges of your job search, although it must feel like a thankless effort so far. you forgot to mention the walks with Pippa, although I guess that is not on your official list of things ‘to do’. :)
    all the best with that job you found that you are able to apply on! do keep us posted.
    anyhow, the photos are beautiful. nice tunnels! never considered Gibraltar a travel destination before reading about it here on roughseas, but it appears to be very photogenic. thanks for sharing.


  5. You sound totally jammed – must be dealing with that annoying woman who apparently has decide she must be completely unpleasant since you intentionally bother her by being in her office. UGH. I hate people like that. The political description was interesting. I have friends here – from Spain – who would love to go home and raise their children there, but had to come here for jobs. They are glad to have work – but angry they aren’t “home”. We’ll be sad if you do find a job – your blogging will suffer ( Pippa will not sacrifice those walks!)


    • ‘Jammed’??? A North Americanism, or a Texanism, or just sheltered me not up on current slang? It’s obviously something like fed up or annoyed I guess.

      Sad, but maybe a better start for your friends’ kids to be raised in America. If things improve in Spain, they could maybe come back?? I know a lot of British people move to Spain specifically because they think it is a good place for children to grow up (education is a moot point) because the lifestyle is good, ie the outdoor life, the total difference in culture.

      You are right, the blogging would suffer. Maybe I won’t apply. Pippa is flexible. His routine changed when Partner got a job, so the downer would be leaving him. I’d try and get home for lunch (and then not want to go back of course….)


      • Guess it’s an old Texanism. Jammed means like having a lot going on at once. (Like being at an extremely crowded party and being shoved/jammed/shoved in a corner by all the people)…there’s also jammin’ like Marley – but another more pleasant usage- HA! I seriously thought about relocating to Spain because of the lifestyle – had a possible job in a gallery, but that was a long time ago…I remember tanks in the streets and barb wired around the university. You’ve landed in a good spot! Things will work out.


        • I do get the jammin’ one :) But regarding the other mean, yes.

          Sounds like your possible job was a very long time ago. Tanks and barb wire sound very Franco :(

          It is a nice place though :) just that there is a small shortage of a certain dinero en Andalucía.

          We’ll see. Que pasara, pasara or something like that. Que sera, sera. etc


  6. Jobs and the employment offices are no brighter here in the states.. Fortunately I have a good job, but we all know things could change in a minute the way our economy fluctuates..

    Good luck on the job hunt and love the pictures. I wondered how people got around the rock.. now I see, it’s through!!!


  7. Seems a very odd set up where you have to sign on at the job centre, what exactly is it you’re signing on for. As you say, you’re not receiving any benefits, surely I’d have though you should be free to do what you wish as you don’t have anyone to answer to.
    Lovely pics there!! the pedestrian tunnel looks amazing, and I love the road going down to the sea, that’s another pic that draws you into it.


    • Quite, they are hardly going to stop my benefit are they?

      Thanks for the photo comments, always appreciate your view. The pedestrian one was done up really well (took months) but does look quite striking now I think.

      I did crop the one to the sea deliberately to create that effect. Given that cropping is pre-digital I think it is fair to do. Plus, I also think you can do an awful lot with a decent crop (and yes, I did spend time on courses cropping!) although some of the time I am too idle. I thought that one merited the descent though.


  8. I have a funny little quirk, where I like to wander around a photo :lol:
    Your crop above works well, the eyes walks down the road, is taken up the rocks, across the clouds, down the lamp post, up the wall and back to the road to start again :-)


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