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Summer’s over, time to strike

Summer is coming to an end and so the time draws near for parents in Majorca to pack away the kids’ lilos, to fork out for new textbooks (various languages) and to arrange for the pre-school visit to the hairdresser. Back to school. Vuelta al cole, as they say. And back to the same old playground posturing. The “Great Conflict” has never been quite forgotten during the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.
 It has been smouldering like a discarded fag end of discredited policies and attitudes in the tangled undergrowth of TIL and pro- and anti-Catalanism ready to burst into the flames of a September on educational fire. Canadairs of common sense are needed to douse the conflagration, but common sense has been de-commissioned. Where is the ice bucket of negotiation and dialogue to challenge and cool the tempers? Being shoved into the attic along with the lilo.
President Bauzá wasn’t actually wrong when he said the other day that if you were concerned about children, there wouldn’t be a strike. Ah yes, the children. The forgotten stakeholders in the “Great Conflict”. Curious that. But then maybe not. Just as tourists are the lowest priority for tourism policy, so the raw human material of education, the kids, are bottom of the education-argument class. Bauzá’s “you” were the Assemblea de Docents, the self-styled teachers’ assembly that aspires to be a teaching union (by the name of Alternativa) and seemingly sweep all before it in declaring some sort of Catalanist caliphate of pedagogic fundamentalism. I don’t believe for one moment that all its members would prefer Majorca to rise up and form part of an independent Catalan Lands, but some of its members most certainly do. Never ever let it be said that the “Great Conflict” has not been about politics.
The Assemblea has sought dialogue, but not actually being a union - yet - the government does not consider it to be a body with which it should be having dialogue, even if it wanted to, though it does of course insist that the staff room door is always open for a chat. PSOE has told the government that it considers the Assemblea to be a “valid interlocutor”, as it also considers the parents’ associations, the university and various other associations to be valid interlocutors. Perhaps, therefore, they should all gather in a grand educational locutorio and talk to each other from the safety of the phone booths without ever daring to go face to face.
But then, what do they want dialogue about? Despite Bauzá having been attacked from all sides including his own for the government’s educational policy, he remains stubbornly less than humble, having declared after the disastrous Euro elections that there would be PP humility. Not so, unless humility is a synonym for authoritarianism, of which he is accused; and no, it is not a synonym.
So, the Assemblea will have its day off at the start of the school year (15 September), and all the well-rehearsed arguments will spin once more on the roundabout in the playground, the newest of them to do with the insistence of the education ministry that all schools have to have a programme of TIL in place for the new school year. Ah well, never mind, come next June, Podemos, PSOE and others on the left will have managed to cobble together a coalition, and TIL and anti-Catalanism will be removed and placed in the school storeroom of educational obsolescence along with the abacus.

The dawning of the super all-inclusive

In October last year, I wrote a piece entitled “Let’s All Meet Up In The Year 2030”, a futuristic view of touristic hell in which technology, combined with the all-inclusive, had taken over and through which the future tourist would see a Majorca of the past outside the hotel complex as a virtual reality. The technology may have been far-fetched (though I would argue that it wasn’t), but the notion of a super all-inclusive most certainly was not. Futurism has its basis in the present, and that present was created by the 2012 tourism law and is now a fact.
When that law was going through its parliamentary process, I drew attention to one of its provisions which still doesn’t seem to have been understood well enough. It was easy to predict what it would lead to, yet there was general silence on the matter. It was the provision of secondary activities inside hotels, a threat to the non-hotel sector every bit as great as the all-inclusive. And now, my friends, the reality is dawning. The super all-inclusive, greater in size, packed with secondary activities is with us.
How terribly ironic it all is. Magalluf’s Mallorca Rocks was perhaps an unwitting pilot project for all this. Its concerts, a secondary activity for a non-guest paying clientele, were given the all-clear by a Calvia Town Hall then led by Carlos Delgado who, via his 2012 law, turned this pilot into legal permanence. There was, as we all know, an objection to these concerts and so therefore to the trinity of Delgado and the town hall, the Fiesta/Palladium group (ultimate owner the former Spanish minister for foreign affairs Abel Matutes) and Mallorca Rocks itself. But if you can’t beat ‘em, then beat ‘em. Cursach’s BH becomes reality next summer. The super all-inclusive is reality and is one into which the paying general public can gain admission. You have to hand it to Cursach. It at least understood full well what that secondary activity provision meant. But now that the super all-inclusive is with us, what about developments elsewhere? Let’s all meet up in the year 2030? Very much sooner, one fancies. It’s coming to a resort near you, and don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Jaume’s birthday greetings

Facebook is a fabulous way of allowing you to avoid having to send birthday cards. All you do, thanks to being told that it is someone or other’s birthday, is to send your own message.
 A leading Majorcan politician received on both his own page and that of his restaurant - S’Espanyol in Inca - an “avalanche” of birthday greetings. Molts d’anys were bursting out all over. The birthday boy (28 August) was Jaume Font, founder of the La Lliga Regionalista, having left the PP following his brush with Bauzá, and now president of the merged party of which La Lliga is a part, El Pi. Much was made of who sent him birthday greetings or who didn’t wish him a happy birthday.  There was no sign of any molts d’anys from Bauzá or other PP prominenti. Could have been a mistake, José Ramón. You’re going to need all the friends you can get next May if you have even the vaguest chance of forming a coalition government after the elections. Friends?
 What am I saying? Font and Bauzá may have gone some way to kissing and making up, but that doesn’t make them friends. On Facebook or any other way.