Sunday, 31 October 2021

Pet Rules, Rule OK

The new pet-law going through the Spanish parliament at the present time has a few odd bits. First, to own a dog, one will need to take a course. We don’t yet know what this entails (probably the Government doesn’t either), and anyway, cats, as we know, tend to take no notice of us except when it pleases them to do so. The legislators have wisely taken note.

Both cats and dogs, however, will be issued with a proper DNI card. This is to help them sign for Amazon packages and make it easier for the authorities to control abandoned animals (will they have to carry their card with them at all times?).

Our pets should be 'integrated into the family life'. Where they don't live in our home, they should have a proper purpose-built place to live in with shelter and protection - stables or whatnot. Take care they don't breed indiscriminately (there go the rabbits). At least one sex should be fully sterilised unless one is registered with the breeders association the 'Registro Nacional de Criadores'.

You can't leave 'em tied up when you are absent, nor may they wander about in public spaces 'without the person responsible for their welfare' (the one that used to be called 'their owner'). Of course, you will already have your little plastic bag and a squirty full of vinegar for your twice-daily peregrinations around the park with Fido.

In the case of dogs, that they are trained properly, and that all one's animal companions ('pets') visit the vet regularly. We await a free national health service for pets with interest.

For those pets that live in an aquarium or a cage, one must be sure that the capacity is big enough for them to be comfortable. We leave our pet lobster to thrash about in the bath for example. In short, no more goldfish bowls, for Goodness sake!

Naturally, you can't allow pets to suffer, neither may you 'dock' their ears or tails (their balls, yes, why on earth not?). You won't be able to leave an animal enclosed on a terrace or elsewhere permanently; or breed them without a licence (!); or exhibit them for sale in shops; or sell them to friends (a contract should be signed saying the animal was given free); or donate them without papers and microchip; or 'release' them into nature; or kill them; or bury them without telling the appropriate authorities; or use them in adverts; or use 'choke' collars; or animal fights or exhibitions or circuses; or kick them...

This remarkable and far-sighted law should be through before the end of next year.

Finally (and mention this to the Romanian fellow down at the Mercadona), one may not have a dog handy when one is begging.

It is said that the limit of domestic animals allowed in a household is five, or maybe six; although this varies between town and country, and between autonomies. No doubt the surplus will be expeditiously terminated by the competent authorities.

Lastly, and this is Spain, fighting bulls are exempted from the above rules.

Copied from articles here, here and, generically, here. The jokes are mine.

Sunday, 24 October 2021

Who Runs and Who Walks?

Much has been written about the fall-out from the case of the deputy from the Canaries Alberto Rodríguez. First, the (unsympathetic and fellow-Canarian) Supreme Court judge Marchena (wiki) found him guilty exclusively on the word of a policeman for giving the said officer a kick during a protest in 2014. No other police officers present at the demonstration were either called or were able to confirm the assault. The president of Podemos Ione Belarra says it never happened, with the observation that ‘the while point being was to get him out of Parliament’, Video proof also shows it never happened, but the Podemos crowd are apparently held (under law?) to a different standard. (Mind you, El Español uses the same video to say that it did happen).

Rodríguez also denies the charge, pointing out that a six foot five inch (1.98m) fellow with dreadlocks tends to stick out in a crowd – yet no one (except our friend the policeman) saw him kick anyone. Why – incidentally – wasn’t he arrested at the time for this attack, when he was just another citizen? He is taking his case to the Court of Human Rights in Brussels, which will allow us plenty of time to forget this extraordinary story. The Judge furthermore insisted that Rodríguez should lose his seat in the Cortes despite the sentence only being 45 days of political disqualification; retroactively applied! 

Then there are the ‘64,000 people’ who voted for him. The lanky politician reacted to the court ruling: “This has been an assault on the popular and democratic will of the Canarian people by the Establishment”. According to the Constitution, he cannot be sacked, but, under pressure from the right-wing media and parties, together with the truly impartial and apolitical judiciary, the Speaker of the Cortes finally ordered his dismissal

Rodríguez later said he wouldn’t sue the speaker, Meritxell Batet, for her action, although an anti-corruption association called the ACODAP (who is?), and run by a retired judge, has since denounced Judge Marchena for his ruling in the case. 

To round off the story, Alberto Rodríguez has now resigned from Podemos.  

LaSexta writes here of something called ‘lawfare’ – where the forces of the right-wing judiciary poke their noses into politics. It says ‘The conviction, without evidence, of deputy Alberto Rodríguez and the attempt to disqualify him as a deputy is the latest strategy of the judiciary to influence the legislature…’.

Gerado Tece, in a powerful essay at Ctxt, writes that ‘This Alberto Rodríguez thing does not set a dangerous precedent because the loss to society isn’t him, it is the state of quality and democratic decency, and that was already demolished a long time ago’.