Playing the percentages: teachers’ strike

WARNING! WARNING!  You are entering a Scottish independence free zone. You must activate your protective Majorcan news sensors immediately. WARNING! WARNING!
Right, where were we? Ah yes, Majorca. You’ll remember the place no doubt. Goodness, what a week it was. On Monday, it was like an auction. 11%? Do we hear 19%? Any advance on 19%? Yes, 55% at the back of the room.
Sold to the man with the dreadlock ponytail with the green t-shirt. Just as when they have demos and when the difference between those said to have taken part can fluctuate by factors of several hundred per cent, so it was with the teachers’ strike.
The government offered both 11% and 19%, so maybe it was 15% (the difference appeared to be between that for the whole of the Balearics and for Majorca alone).
The 55% claimed by the teachers was down on last time, but it still represented a good result. Or so those in the green t-shirts insisted. The government’s take was that the 11% (11.6% to be accurate) meant that 88.4% of all teachers agreed with its policies, which was of course total nonsense. Though full marks to the education ministry for having been able to do some simple maths.
What the green t-shirts of the Assemblea de Docents and unions couldn’t admit was that some teachers might possibly have been plain fed up with going on strike, that some teachers might just have taken notice of the fact that the parents’ association didn’t back the strike (unlike last time) or that some teachers may have just rumbled the Assemblea, i.e. its motives lie less (if at all) with the educational value or not of trilingualism and more (if not totally) with a political agenda predicated on Catalan nationalism.
Among the green t-shirts, were the blue and white Saltires being waved in comradely support on Monday?
Oops, nearly mentioned the I-word.
While the education ministry was demonstrating its prowess in subtraction in order to arrive at its 88.4% of all known teachers backing the government to the hilt, minister Joana Camps was once again failing the literacy test. If there is a language hole to fill, then Joana will oblige by putting both feet deep into it. This time, her fellow parliamentarians, who must wait with high anticipation of amusement to see what mistake she makes whenever she grabs the mike, were treated to her confusing “Euskadi”, the Basque name for the Basque Country, with “Euskara”, the Basque language. (She should have used the latter but called it “Euskadi”.)
A simple enough mistake you might think, but not when some accuracy was demanded. Joana was regaling the regional parliament with an explanation of the trilingual system in the Basque Country, one of three languages being “Euskara”.
She insisted that the Basques have improved the level of English while not losing abilities in either Castellano or the Basque language.
But then the Basques have been at it trilinguistically for over twenty years and, as has been discovered in European Union research, they have still yet to perfect the system, a fact which is no doubt lost on Joana who operates from the with-one-stroke-of-a-magic-wand manual of education.
The Majorcan parents’ association, meanwhile, took umbrage at a letter sent to parents by Joana’s ministry which waxed lyrical about the virtues of TIL trilingual teaching. The association said: “Either the ministry doesn’t know what it’s talking about or it is taking us for fools”. On balance, I would suggest that it is both.

Widening and tightening the net

Whatever Knackerro of the Calvia Yard has for his breakfast in chokey, he would have been choking on it on Tuesday morning if he had been allowed a copy of the morning paper. His partner in gestoring, Antonio Ledesma, the now ex-chief of Marratxi’s police, had given a confession to the effect that he and Knackerro (aka Navarro) had indeed been running a gestoría that was being paid by bars in Megaloot.
Fessing up to the prosecutors can mean looking to do a deal. Spill the beans, assuming there are any (and it is looking increasingly like there is a hill of them), and a judge may be inclined towards leniency. But we are a long way from such an eventuality. There seem to be far too many goodies to yet be plucked out of the prosecutors’ growing bag of tricks. The HQ of the two cops’ gestoría (actually owned by the wife of the ex-Marratxi top cop), said a report, was his “luxurious home in Portals Nous”.
A further report informed us that the Guardia had raided two homes belonging to Knackerro. Just the two.
Then there was a further report, one concerning a meeting between the bar owner with the video which apparently incriminates Navarro and other police officers. It was a meeting attended by others, including Calvia’s deputy mayor. It was a meeting at which the existence of the video was made known. Following that meeting, which had resulted in nothing, the bar in question was subject to no fewer than eighteen inspections.
And there was a further report. This one said that the prosecutors believed that they had found a link between the allegations of police corruption in Magalluf and others which relate to Playa de Palma.
Without of course any names being named, the prosecutors have suggested that politicians and senior figures in public administration are implicated. The net widens and tightens.

Martínez on the back foot

Jaime Martínez, the tourism ministry and the regional government have not just been put on the back foot by the police corruption allegations, they have been pushed down to long stop and even there they are unable to stem the flow of byes of lousy publicity. They simply don’t know how to respond, so they ignore the allegations. Instead, we had Martínez burbling on about the bad image of Megaloot in parliament (sex videos, blah, blah), seemingly unaware that this is no longer the agenda, though perhaps the allegations have played a part in the decision not to go ahead with the good behaviour campaign. You know the one, “come to Magalluf but please be awfully nice boys and girls ...” The campaign was an idiotic idea in any event, but what is the point of one which seeks to get tourists to behave themselves when there are others knocking around who should know an awful lot better but who allegedly appear incapable of behaving in a proper and decent manner?