A Cold Reception

The Spanish digital newspaper Diario Informacion, based in Alicante, has published a recent opinion article entitled “Football and Politics.” This is written by Andrés Castaño. The opening paragraph deals with Politics and starts with a reference to a Waugh novel:

Quim Torra as a host recalls the feckless Colonel Campbell, an  Evelyn Waugh character who greets guests in a gloomy dining room with a blocked fireplace where he gives his guests a meal of dried meat and sour claret while a loud bagpiper entertains insufferably. The dogs are also set on the diners as a Scottish joke that Torra has adapted to the late “seny” [?] by inciting the crowd with allusions to Bourbon perfidy and other delicacies of sovereignist pathology.

Quim Torra is a Catalan Nationalist and President of the separatist government who entertained the King of Spain on his recent visit to the province. Alicante is not located in Catalonia.  The Waugh reference is to the scene in Officers and Gentlemen where Guy and Tommy Blackhouse are, upon their arrival on the Isle of Mugg, treated to dinner by the local laird Colonel Campbell in his residence at “New Castle” (Penguin, 1977, pp. 59-68). There may be some additional relevance in Waugh’s text to the fact that Colonel Campbell’s eccentric niece, who is his permanent guest and also attends the dinner, is an ardent Scottish separatist. The translation is by Google and could use some help.

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