I usually leave commenting upon Majorcan politics to other Bulletin colleagues who are a lot more qualified than I am to raise current political issues. However, I’m sure you will forgive me for adding my two-penny’s worth alongside what has already been said regarding Balearic President, Francina Armengol’s alleged late night drink with staff members in a Palma bar, thus breaking both the spirit and the timeframe of her own government’s coronavirus protocols. I have to say that I’m really not that interested in the ‘why’s and wherefore’s’ of her actions, only to half-raise an eyebrow as to the first line of defence she and her advisers seem to be taking regarding this incident. As opposition political parties work themselves up into a fine old lather about the incident and demand Ms Armengol’s immediate resignation, it seems that all what the lady and her pals want to know is - who leaked the story to our sister newspaper the Ultima Hora? What we have hear is a classic case of political obfuscation i.e. “…the action of making something obscure, unclear or unintelligible.”
This is an age old political trick, most famously employed by US President, Richard Nixon, during the Watergate scandal. Clearly, a late night drink, after a long days work with colleagues, is not in the same league as illegally breaking and entering a political opponents headquarters; but the knee-jerk, ‘shooting the messenger’ scenario is not an unfamiliar scenario when a senior politico finds him, or herself in trouble.
Indeed, some would say that the Balearic President’s, perhaps understandable faux-pa - given the recently published circumstances according to her team - is going to be made ten times worse when it appears that her allies are more interested in finding ‘Deep Throat’ than continuing to calmly explain the circumstances that made her stay longer at the bar than she would have wished. Perhaps a hands-up ‘mea-culpa’ moment might close down the political frenzy, as often an old fashioned, straightforward apology, goes a long way with ordinary folk you know.
I see that the so-called ‘Covid Curfew’ that was to be from 11pm until 6am has been adjusted and set back to Midnight until 6am - which I understand has been welcomed by the under-pressure hospitality industry on the island.
Indeed, I mentioned this fact to a woman of my acquaintance just last night, and I have to say that she was rather rude about my apparent interest in the subject. Something along the lines of - “The last time you were out after midnight in a club or bar somewhere, was in the spring of 1992 - so why the concern now?” Furthermore, I reminded her that we do occasionally drive home after midnight if a dinner party has been a particularly exciting evening - but perhaps we should leave it there.
Only to say that ‘timeframes’ for socialising, can and do change from country to country. For instance, I remember a few years ago the Sun newspaper ran a lurid front page headline when they caught David Beckham, who had recently joined Real Madrid, leaving a Madrid restaurant with a group of friends at 0230hrs. I suspect that nobody had the heart to tell Mr Murdoch’s men that in the late summer in Madrid, nobody sits down to dinner until it’s approaching midnight.
Indeed, my own Australian relatives when they visit us on occasions, can’t get over the hours that we keep here in Majorca.
In this I mean that our family from Perth in Western Australia, get up very early at home, go to the beach and have a large stylish breakfast. Believe it or not, cafes are packed out until 10am - but, the city centre ‘dies’ at around 10pm apart from one-or-two louche clubs populated by late sleepers. We Brits can be somewhat of a worry in this regard, as we like to keep so-called civilised hours. For instance, have you ever tried to book a table 2.30 - or God forbid 3pm for Sunday lunch in a pub or restaurant anywhere in the UK? Last orders for that Sunday treat will be around 1pm and if you’re not all done by 2.15pm there will be an agitated member of staff with your bill in hand ready to get rid of you. A Spanish style Sunday luncheon, pushing towards the early evening? Don’t be daft! However, it is our German friends who dominate the international ‘early dining’ listings. A German mate of mine insists that breakfast should be taken at 8am - lunch at 12noon - cake&brandy at 4pm - and dinner at 6pm - no messing! So, as you can see, I’m ready and able to take on this current midnight challenge.