I guess most readers know I’m based in Spain and although I try and keep this blog politically neutral, I suspect some might be wondering why I haven’t commented on the “No les votes” protests, which have been going on since last Sunday. Or perhaps not.
I’ve had a look at the Guardian website and the news page for Spain seems to be stuck several days ago and make no mention whatsoever of the protests.
I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad. But it’s got me wondering again about the world of modern communications.
I’m less than 150 kilometres from the Spanish capital and if it weren’t for the internet, I’d have no idea whatsoever what’s going on.
The weather’s been so bad this week that I have barely ventured out of the house and although I know the election posters are up in the village, no one comes through the mud to canvas my vote or tell me I should be protesting against the system.*
The problem with relying on the internet for information, though, is that when you find what you think you’re looking for, it’s hard to know what the source is, what authority they have or what their personal and political agenda is. The fact that the Guardian omits a news story might suggest it’s not newsworthy. The fact that Fox News Latino opens its report with a mention of Communist resistance chants is probably indicative of something, though I’m not sure what.
Nowadays, there’s simply so much information available that there’s no time to actually sift through and assess it properly. Anyone can blog, or tweet their opinion, and if they happen to catch the interest of the right person at the right moment, their opinion is suddenly front page news and taken as gospel.
I know I can’t expect progress to reverse, but sometimes I think we were better off when news reached us more slowly.
As for protesting about political corruption, I remember being told long before I was old enough for it to be relevant to me, “Don’t vote: the government always gets in.”
* To be fair, last week one neighbour did ask me who I voted for, as his amiga is standing as mayor and wanted to know if she should let him have an envelope for me with the PP candidates already clearly filled in. I tried to explain to him it’s a secret ballot and even my partner doesn’t know who I vote for, but I guess he now assumes I’m a Commie.