As of Wednesday October 1 this blog has a new home. You can still view the archives for August and September here.

To go to the new blogsite click below:


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Let me start today’s blog by thanking all of you who have taken the trouble to contact me over the past weeks with your comments. A special nod in the direction of fellow journalists Joe Garcia, Alberto Bullrich, Lenox Napier and Jon Clarke. I am more than happy to hear from readers whose views are fair, balanced and honest and I can be reached via the comment section or the blogs’ email.

However I was especially pleased to receive an email from Francisco Rubiales. Francisco is a respected journalist who was born in Villamartín in the Sierra de Cádiz. His journalistic experience is without question having been a writer for the daily "Madrid", a correspondent in the Far East and Mexico, director of the EFE offices in Cuba, Central America and Italy as well as an advisor to the United Nations. Later he was the commercial director and director of special information at EFE and director of communications at Expo 92 in Sevilla.

You will see immediately from his profile that he spent many years informing Spaniards on what was happening in overseas countries. Likewise I ply my trade by telling English-speakers about Spain and Gibraltar and when the wind takes my sails I stray slightly off-course but that is the privilege of a hack. Hence my sincere “muchísimas gracias” to Francisco for his kind comments about my blog.

Today Francisco presides over the Euromedia Comunicación group as well as the Fundación Tercer Milenio, writes for many publications and takes part in debate forums and gives post graduate classes at the Universidad de Sevilla. He has also published and edited numerous books.

Francisco hosts the blog ‘Voto en Blanco’ – you will find a link on the right side of this page. It is a blog – “para ciudadanos libres, para pensadores independientes, no para fanáticos.” For me it is required reading because it expresses interesting views on the Spain we live in today written by thinking people which are important to understand whether we agree with them or not.

The ‘Voto en Blanco’ is of course the blank vote that is a powerful (some will argue wasteful) option all voters in free countries have the right to use at elections The website explains: “El voto en blanco expresa la protesta ciudadana en las urnas. Es un gesto democrático de rechazo a los políticos, partidos y programas, no al sistema. Conscientes del riesgo que representaría un voto en blanco masivo, los gestores de las actuales democracias no lo valoran, ni lo contabilizan, ni le otorgan plasmación alguna en las estructuras del poder. El voto en blanco es una censura casi inútil que sólo podemos realizar en las escasas ocasiones que se abren las urnas. Esta bitácora abraza dos objetivos principales: Valorar el peso del voto en blanco en las democracias avanzadas y permitir a los ciudadanos libres ejercer el derecho a la bofetada democrática de manera permanente, a través de la difusión de información, opinión y análisis.”

If you want to encounter challenging views then this is the blog for you.

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