By Andrew Ede
Panic on the streets - part 1
THERE was an election last week. In case you didn’t notice, the results in the Balearics went something like this. The bad guys won but lost a load of support, the hopeless guys staggered into second place despite keeping up appearances of a total rabble, while the funky, groovy new guys were magicked out of thin air and came third. There has to be a lesson here. Ponytails and wacky hairstyles are the new political rock ‘n’ roll. Get with it, Bauzá, time to acquire some dreadlocks or visit Mateu Jaume Roig, Vilafranca’s answer to Conchita Wurst, and take some bearded fashion tips.
Bauzá did at least adopt the Joserra casual jeans look for the celebratory, happy-clappy photo outside PP HQ alongside victorious Rosa Estaras, doubtless glad that she can return to Brussels and not have to bother setting foot on Majorcan soil for the next few years, unless a judge requests her presence once more.
The victory clapathon was soon replaced by the hangover of the realities. “It is obvious that the PP will have to gain an absolute majority (at next year’s regional elections) or we will be in opposition,“ he said. Which was a statement of the extremely bleeding obvious. The PP will have to be “self-critical”, he went on, and return to being attractive to the voters. Well, good for him, but does he appreciate that the self-criticism and self-examination start with him, as does a decline in attractiveness? What’s he going to do? Declare himself a Catalan independentist? The PP will have to work with “humility” in mobilising those who preferred to stay at home rather than go to the polls. Humility? Not a word normally listed in the Bauzá lexicon. It was all very strange. Was he actually admitting that he might appear to be less than humble? Or was he accusing the rest of the party of being so? A bit like a bullet-proof Alastair Cook fingering a bunch of Kevin Pietersens.
A question is, though, is Bauzá bullet-proof? There is panic on the streets of Palma, panic on the streets of Manacor, panic on the streets of PP Majorca. Panic might turn into a political lynch mob if PP sorts can see themselves turfed out at the next election. Not that they should have needed the Euro election to drop the hint. The panic is at its greatest in the larger towns of Majorca, and it is easily explained by PP factionalism and in-fighting. Palma, with mayor Isern at loggerheads with Bauzá and the baronial José María Rodríguez, the president of the PP in the city; Manacor, with Antoni Pastor and his anti-Bauzá splinter movement; Inca, where mayor Torres and former mayor Rotger can’t stand each other; Marratxí, where, well where there is Bauzá and the infamous pharmacy. Strangely enough, in smaller towns where they don’t do factionalism in quite such dramatic ways, the PP vote held up, such as in jolly Biel Serra’s Sa Pobla.
The panic is real enough. The stay-aways at the polls will return next year, but will they be attracted by Joserra’s newly found humility? Or have the Euros signalled the fate that awaits the PP in 2015? Bauzá has achieved something quite remarkable. In percentage of vote terms, the PP secured its worst ever result in a Balearics election since the good old days of its progenitor, the Alianza of ex-Franco man Manuel Fraga, when it couldn’t even muster double figures in 1979 local elections.
Ever so humbled
WHAT humbleness the president has thus far displayed might be styled as a Uriah Heep ever so humbleness, the obsequiousness of following Madrid and Mariano orders. That, though, came to a sudden halt with all the force of an oil rig drilling a damn great hole into PP unity. Bauzá’s instruction to Balearics PP deputies to vote against oil prospecting off the shores of the Balearics didn’t go down very well at PP high command. He might have hoped that such disobedience would have earned him some polling brownie points, but alas it would appear that he was wrong. And for his trouble, he has now been issued with a clear message that high command will not tolerate any more such naughty-boy behaviour.
If he hasn’t already got the message, it will be reiterated by Mariano’s right-hand woman, vice-president Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, when he heads to Madrid for something of a showdown next week. Not that this is being characterised as a showdown, Miguel Ramis, a PP deputy in Madrid, having said that national government has promised to find a definitive solution to the issue of oil prospecting. Which isn’t quite the same as saying that it won’t give permission for it to occur.
Meanwhile, the Balearics PP deputies happily voted against a proposal to paralyse prospecting in both the Canaries and the Balearics, so clearly they have learned their lesson.
Panic on the streets - part 2
BETTER news from Madrid perhaps was the announcement that police presence in the Balearics would increase by 70% this summer. And where might these police be going? For readers of The Bulletin, there is only one place. Panic on the streets of Magalluf, fast becoming, it would seem, a touristic Son Banya, a vacationing no-go area ruled by marauding gangs of mugger-prostitutes. Of all the numerous comments that were posted on our Facebook page last week, many of them making the same points which have been made time and time again but some of which indicated that the problem has become even worse this season, there was one which really hit home. It said that it was better to go to an all-inclusive because then you wouldn’t have to go anywhere and to be made to feel unsafe. How terribly ironic. All-inclusive became popular in regions of the world where there were genuine concerns about safety. Is this what it has come to in Magalluf? The same as parts of the Caribbean or Africa? Majorca has made much of its safety in contrast to certain competitor destinations, e.g. Egypt, where safety is less assured. It might only be a problem confined to one or two resorts in Majorca, but such things have a habit of becoming distorted.