By Andrew Ede
Luis - now out on video!
Former leading lights in the Partido Popular are appearing so often on video that they should give serious consideration to creating their own YouTube channel. This a way we can all enjoy declarations to judges and commissions that they are required to give or fail to give if they can’t hear on account of an enormous bandage obscuring their lugholes. Luis Bárcenas, the ex-treasurer of the party, eschewed the type of band-aid headgear that Jaume Matas had sported the other week during his video hook-up with the Son Espases parliamentary investigative commission, preferring to present Judge Castro and prosecutor Pedro Horrach with an uninterrupted video view of his haircut. It is one of combed-back, steely, shiny grey abundance. It is a head of hair that positively reeks of money, from wherever it may have come. Castro and Horrach look follicly plebeian when contrasted with the Bárcenas matinee-idol Barnet, not to say a tad crumpled. Such is the lot, one supposes, for good men and true.
Luis could just have sent them a copy of the video that had been recorded when he was still in nick. His revelation that the PP HQ was built with businessperson generosity was no longer a revelation as he had already said so to the Son Espases commission. But had he not made that previous revelation, he wouldn’t have been required to repeat it to the judge, who had called on him to do so only once he was aware of the previous revelation. At least it all keeps video technicians in gainful employment.
Though Luis was not able to recall the names of all the generous donors (unusual for Luis as he seems to have always been most assiduous in noting down names in ledger books), he was able to remember Antonio Pinal, the builder from Mariano Rajoy’s home region of Galicia. Sr. Pinal, already often mentioned in despatches because of his charitable giving to the PP, had also been obliged to have a chat with the judge. Or he would have done had he not, having arrived at court (no video for him), decided he wasn’t going to say anything. Not that he was playing the Jaume Matas bandaged-ears defence; he was just keeping mum. Luis, not totally dropping him in it, said that Sr. Pinal had received nothing in return for his PP philanthropy, an observation at variance with that of one-time Palma Town Hall urban planning councillor Javier Rodrigo de Santos, who had told Castro that, in effect, bribes had been paid in return for lucrative contracts. Meanwhile, the judge had received documents which showed that Sr. Pinal’s companies had invoiced some 100 million euros for public works commissioned during the Matas administration.
Inevitably and immediately, PSOE spokespeople piped up and demanded - yet again - that the beleaguered president supply an explanation. José Ramón, said PSOE man Cosme Bonet, had lied about the financing of the HQ. It had not been through a mortgage and contributions from members but from businesspeople.
Bauzá had “ruptured the rules of the democratic game” and had “no intention of giving explanations to the citizenship”. Cosme’s use of the word “game” (well, “joc” or “juego”) was maybe a little unfortunate. It’s all a game, isn’t it? And Cosme’s a player.
The honest people of the PP
Until Cosme started asking for explanations, it had all been going quite well for José Ramón. High command at the PP had formally proclaimed him as presidential candidate for the Balearics - some of them through gritted teeth one imagines - and with the proclamation ringing in his ears, the president took himself for a shindig in Campos organised by the Young Conservatives.
This was the same jolly at which Bauzá, desperately trying to claw back fast-eroding support out in the Majorcan sticks, last year appeared to refer to farmers as clowns.
This wasn’t a slip of the tongue on a John Inverdale scale but was nevertheless not the sort of description that should be applied to the landed peasant class. In fact, it hadn’t been a slip at all.
José Ramón has a bit of a pronunciation thing going on, one not aided by a dodgy PA system.
Well, this was how it was all explained away last year.
There was no gaffe or potential to interpret a gaffe this time. Instead, the event turned into the launch of the presidential campaign. The faithful heard an attack on those who “have damaged the party”, as José Ramón nailed his campaign to an anti-corruption mast. “This party is full of honest people,” he said. Cosme, obviously not in attendance, would probably have disagreed.
Vote No Name
Meanwhile, the massed ranks of the un-PP were stirring themselves into electoral campaigning mode. But who or what is this un-PP precisely? In Soller, as an example, the massed ranks of the un-PP have joined ranks and become a load of Junts. Here a PSOE, there a Més, throw in a Guanyem and even a Podemos, who has now been allowed to become a junt as well, having previously been told that he couldn’t be. Junts per Soller are by no means the only junts. For instance, Pollensa has some as well: Junts Avançam. Parties to the left and the not very left have come together and, in a spirit of togetherness, discarded their names and initials in preference for an umbrella title and force to fight the PP.
The PP reckons that PSOE’s willingness to de-initialise itself and to instead be a junt shows that it doesn’t have the confidence to believe that its initials will guarantee victory. If this is so, then maybe PSOE could rearrange its initials and call itself ESOP. As Cosme Bonet suggests it’s all a game stemming from lies, why not make it a fable? At least PSOE could move its initials around, unlike the PP. Being a palindrome, there isn’t any scope to do so. Other parties could get in on the act. El Pi could rearrange itself as Pile. Més could choose an alternative name. Menos. As for Podemos, well who knows with Podemos. At one point it seemed as if standing in municipal elections would mean having no name at all. Curious lot Podemos. It’s like a franchise business that refuses to admit that it is a franchise: McBlank or some such. In Palma, though, the Podemosists there have finally come up with a name, and it is Som Palma, a party independent of Podemos but with its support. If there is any doubt regarding the association, however, Som Palma’s logo dispels it. #Som Palma. Very Twitter, very democratically participative, very Podemos.
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