Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Sunday, 13 April 2008

Faking Divorce for the Sake of the Children

I mentioned my son's new school a couple of posts back ("The Religion Room") but didn't talk about how fierce the competition is for getting a place in public schools, which can vary widely in quality. Spaniards are are happy to falsify applications in order to get their kids in their chosen school: faking addresses, lowering incomes, creating illnesses, and now, apparently, they're faking divorces.

A kid from a single-parent home gets more points on their application, so according to a recent BBC article Spaniards are now pretending to get divorced, or sometimes really going through with it, to get their kid in the best school. The divorce rate goes up during application time, and many of these separations are miraculously patched up after the school year starts.

A long history of dictatorship followed by a succession of scandal-ridden governments has made Spaniards the most politically cynical people I've ever met in a democratic country. Many have no problems lying to a government that lies to them, and if it helps their child's education, why not? In a country where divorce wasn't even legal until 1981, the culture has now embraced separations of convenience.

Yet when the Pope died there were Catholic flags everywhere.

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