Leading Article: Inside Portillo's phrasebook . . .

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The Independent Online
GENERAL FRANCO had just won the Spanish Civil War when Michael Portillo's father, a prominent Spanish Republican, fled Spain to settle in the country where examination results could not be purchased. More than 50 years too early, therefore, to benefit from a new Spanish-English phrasebook which has come into our hands. We publish some examples from this useful work:

1 At the embassy cocktail party

Buenas tardes, senor presidente tercermundista. Le interesara comprar 56 aviones de combate a superficie/24 tanques/un destructor anticuado?

Good evening, Mr Third World President, I wonder if you would like to purchase 56 ground-attack aircraft/24 tanks/an ancient destroyer?

Y en cambio les daremos dinero para construir una presa/central electrica/nueva autopista inutil. Cuanto quieren?

And in return we shall give you money to build a dam/power-station/useless new expressway. How much would you like?

Claro que las dos cosas no tienen nada que ver la una con la otra.

The two things are of course entirely unconnected.

Ya me entiendes.

Nudge nudge, wink wink.

2 At the Belgravia dinner party

Este, como se dice, Kw-an-go, me parece dinero facil. Donde me apunto?

This, how do you call it, Kw-an-go, sounds nice work. How do I join?

S, me gustara ayudar al partido Conservador.

Yes, I would like to support the Conservative Party.

Aqu esta mi cheque para los fondos del partido.

Here is my cheque for the party funds.