By Andrew Ede
TIL death us do part
WHY is anyone talking about TIL any longer? Has it gone unnoticed that the schools of the island have been thrown back to simpler pre-acronym times, that the senyera is being hung metaphorically if not physically from science blocks and that the youth of Majorca are rejoicing in the mediaevalist purity of the ancients of Catalanism. Oh my Berenguer, my Llull, my Jaume I of times gone by. TIL is dead, long live the Catalan grammar of Pompeu Fabra. PSOE’s Cosme Bonet announced that the TIL decree was a zombie decree. The Walking Dead of a decree. Empty-eyed PP sorts (the few who genuinely support TIL) are vainly insisting that the unworkable trinity of languages is still somehow operable, when more than a hundred schools suggest that it isn’t. At the head of the not-quite-yet-dead is José Ramón, and what on earth is happening to him? Where has all that hair come from? Is he going for a mullet or is he, as I had suggested some months ago, aiming for the ponytail look with which to confront the devil of Podemos? Or is he finally morphing into his distant ancestor in Transylvania? Blood sucker turned mood hoover, vacuuming all the good mood out of the PP?
Contrast the Bauzá dishevelled look with that of Nuria. Each morning she rises for her appointment with the stylist before taking herself off for a trip around the pueblos or for a meeting with gauche student representatives. Bauzá’s Batwoman, who only has a few months to save TIL Gotham City from falling into the hands of the jokers and riddlers of PSOE and Podemos. Her mission (if she should have chosen to have accepted it, which she of course did) is that of the impossible charm offensive. Is she bothered that TIL is a walking dead of a decree? Of course she isn’t. That she might even contemplate a tour of the pueblos in order to convert recalcitrant PP mayors to the dogma of TIL sets her well apart from José Ramón. Mayors across the isle are desperately seeking ways of ensuring that he doesn’t get within 50 kilometres of their municipalities in pre-election times (difficult given the size of Majorca, admittedly).
So why don’t the mayors just get rid of him? Send in the men in grey suits or even one with a brown suit, his chum Matty Isern. Is it because there is no one to replace him? Not so. Not since Nuria claimed the education throne. A tough job? Not a bit of it. Puts her firmly in the party and public eye. She is, so sources explained last week, “very smart”, “extremely ambitious” and seemingly not afraid to put the boot in or to get the knife out. Sounds as though she would be ideal for the backstabbers party. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the next leader of the PP. Nuria Riera.
The humiliation of Isern
Matty Isern, dead mayor walking for as long as anyone can remember, now knows, as though there had been any doubt, that he doesn’t have the backing of José Ramón Draculá or the Big Cheese of Palma political chiefdom, José María Rodríguez. With enemies like these, the last place you want them anyway is at your back. But apparently, if only in abstract terms, Matty was forced to kneel before Draculá and Cheese while they drew the blade to consign him to political oblivion. Not only won’t they support him as mayor, they want him out of politics, period.
What is it with Bauzá and Isern? Very simple. People like Matty. They don’t like José Ramón. And he’s a threat. But the stupidity of this humiliation of Isern is that he might just be one within the PP who could deliver a second term, because Bauzá can’t.
Cutting off the Isern nose to spite the PP face, Bauzá has forced out a mini-maverick who has been less than enthusiastic about PP policy or about Bauzá. The team is what matters. What team? As it sees its dominance disappearing, scapegoats are sought; the PP is imploding with bullying tactics.
But then why is anyone desperate enough to want to stand as a PP mayor next time? Names hurled around for the PP gig in Palma include Teresa Palmer, the current government delegate to the Balearics, and even Nuria. There’s not much chance that she will fancy the job, not when she might be in a position to send the grey suits in and oust José Ramón and claim the conch.
Down Calvia way, with Manu having decided to settle for a quieter life coining it in in the private sector, PP aspirants include the now ex-director general of IB3, José Manuel Ruiz. He’s quit the day job in order to concentrate on his candidacy, which all seems a bit odd. He might not even be selected and even if he were to be, has it not crossed his mind that the PP might not be in a position to have a mayor in Calvia?
This said, if the PP get turfed out next time, his job at IB3 would probably have taken away from him.
He must be hoping like hell that Rajoy pushes through the electoral reform for mayors to be those who are first past the post.
The return of the shepherd?
Last week’s poll for Ultima Hora made it pretty clear that the PP won’t be running the Balearics after the next election. And any hope that José Ramón, or Nuria, might have of some support was dashed when the leader of the El Pi party, Jaume Font, announced that El Pi would not enter a pact with the PP. Not, in truth, that the announcement amounts to much. According to the poll, El Pi would be lucky to win even one seat in the regional elections. But Miguel Ramis, the PP spokesperson, suggested that Font’s statement was designed to appeal to Antoni Pastor who, like Font, fell out big time with Bauzá when he was in the PP. Ramis came out with an intriguing observation. “The PP in the Balearics is as it always has been, a large party with numerous sensibilities which have always co-existed side by side.”
He might try telling Isern that, but was he sending out a message to Pastor, of whom it is known that his future with El Pi is uncertain? Was he indirectly inviting Pastor back? To be a shepherd in shining armour to come to the aid of the PP damsel in distress? Even he was, there would be one damsel who might not look too kindly on the return of the popular and prodigal shepherd of Manacor. Batwoman.