Jaime Martinez. | Jason Moore


By Andrew Ede

Keep calm and wait till November

A regrettable piece of contemporary sloganising that has the power to destroy my normally calm manner and to make me wish to punch the perpetrator is the “Keep Calm And ...” poster. Its omnipotence is testimony to creative impotence. Can’t think of a slogan? Keep calm and use keep calm.
As supremo for all things touristic in these islands, Jaime Martínez shouldn’t be short of the odd, snappy slogan. One fears, though, that his promotional abilities are confined to that of a perambulating giant sandwich without the sandwich board. Yep, he’s a walking, talking, masticating, marketing mechanism for Majorcan gastronomy - breakfast, lunch, dinner and several snacks in between each of them. Officially, Jaime is minister for both tourism and sport, a portfolio that had been hoovered up by his predecessor, one who was evidently familiar with a sports field and with a personal trainer (and whatever happened to the fuss about the personal trainer?). Together, when Carlos Delgado and Jaime strode side by side, shoulder to stomach through the corridors of Calvia Town Hall and then in the ministry, they were the Little and Large of tourism and sport without the gags (such as Syd and Eddie’s gags could be said to have been gags). Syd, having departed the scene to concentrate on his verbal assaults on the Guardia Civil, has left behind Eddie, who had always been the straight man (or the square man, some have said), for whom sports promotion can only be that for a singularly non-Majorcan sport, i.e. sumo wrestling.
Sport loomed neither large nor little in the Magnum Opus that Jaime delivered to a bewildered audience last week (and also, or so I am led to believe, others at the ministry). As a work in promotional terms - if only indirectly - it did contain some items of merit. Well, one at any rate; that to do with car-rental agencies. The Magnum Opus was of course not intended for a lifetime achievement award for tourism promotion. The real promotional work which was referred to last week was The Campaign, one that has been postponed until Jaime can sample the hospitality at London’s ExCel in November. The necessity for The Campaign was not as pressing as it had been, explained Jaime-Eddie. And that was because, he claimed, things were now calm on the streets of Magalluf. The Pre-Campaign Campaign was working. Keep Calm And Stop Rushkinoff Coughing. Keep Calm And Jump Off Balconies Only In The Event Of Alien Attack. Keep Calm And Keep Your Flies Zipped Up, Lads.
The worst thing about it all is that I have a horrible feeling they might actually use the Keep Calm slogan when they do eventually work out The Campaign. Keep Calm And Pass Me The Punchbag.

Breaking off relations

Paulino Rivero is fast becoming the favoured Spanish politician of choice. Paulino, El Presidente of the Canaries, is president courtesy of something called the Coalición Canaria, a weird mix of Canarian nationalists, ex-Commies and ex-Francoists. Despite, you would have thought, some political sympathies (only some) with Rajoy, the weirdness permits Rivero to be off-message on just about anything that the PP has to offer. Plus, there is always the rivalry with he who was once vice-president to Paulino’s president, namely José Manuel Soria, national Obermeister for industry, energy and tourism. It is Soria, and the small matter of drilling for oil off the Canaries, that has led Paulino to threaten - as he did last week - to break off relations with Rajoy. This is all rather curious. It’s not as though the Canaries have an ambassador in Madrid who can be recalled or that Madrid has an ambassador in the Canaries who can be sent packing. But such is the deterioration in diplomatic relations that Paulino was moved to warn that the oil affair represents the most profound issue over five centuries of shared history with Spain. So, what might Paulino do next? Declare UDI? Formally make the Canaries part of the Kingdom of Morocco instead? (He should be careful. The Moroccans have been eyeing up Canaries oil and claiming that some of it is theirs.)
There is, though, some form when it comes to diplomatic tensions because of oil. A while back, the socialists in the Balearics wanted to declare Soria persona non grata, and thus attempt to deny him entrance to the islands (not that he would surely be mad enough to try and do so right now). In a tit-for-tat, the lunatic fringe of the PP retaliated by threatening to make former Balearics socialist president Antich non grata as well, overlooking the fact that he lives in Majorca and would thus have to have been sent into exile.

Bauzá - the poor boy of Balearics politicians

The row over the tests for oil in Balearics waters last year continues to threaten to engulf the Bauzá government with a huge slick of unpleasant black stuff.
Environment minister Gabriel Company remained adamant that the government had done no wrong, despite evidence which indicates it knew full well that the soundings were being conducted and thus appeared to contradict the stance of President Bauzá, who is maintaining that he knew nothing about the tests until they were reported in the press a couple of weeks ago.
There again, as president you can’t be expected to know everything. It’s a hard life being president of the Balearics after all, especially when you’re only on 83 grand a year (as was the case in 2013) and when you know that there are others who are trousering more than you are.
Take Maria Salom, president of the Council of Majorca. 86,500 more or less. Or Vicent Serra, president of the Council of Ibiza. A touch over 89 grand.
What is the justification for these salaries? Staggeringly enough, Rajoy, in 2014, will pocket 78,185 euros, less than any of these leading Balearics politicians.
Bauzá most probably isn’t overpaid. Rajoy most definitely is underpaid. As for Salom? Wasn’t her presidency of the Council meant to have been an era of austerity?