The lunatics take over the asylum
Carlos Delgado. Now, you must remember him. Ex-mayor of Calvia. Small bloke, copped some flak for having been photoed with two deer’s balls on his head. Where had Carlos been for the past eighteen months since resigning as tourism minister? Not a peep out of him. Then suddenly he does reappear. Lunatics, fanatics, he calls the Partido Popular rebels. Pot, kettle, black. The lunatics were taking over from the lunatics. Shut it, Carlos, the lunatics responded (or words to that effect). The only ally Carlos seemed to have was the fading PP political boss of Palma, José María Rodríguez. With friends like him ... .
Mateo Isern and Biel Company, chiefs among the lunatics, arrived on a high-powered motorbike. “I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride. Wanted, dead or alive.” There was to have been a lynching. Not high noon but high seven in the evening. Algaida. José Ramón was to have been marched to the top of the Randa and strung up. In the end, the lynch mob was stood down. Get out of town, JR. And so he will. One day he will be here, the next he will not be. Like a character in Neighbours who suddenly disappears with a cursory explanation that he or she has gone to Brisbane, JR will have gone to Madrid, never to be seen again.
The thing is that it was all so predictable. I’m not going to say that I told you so, but I did. Even before JR became president of the government. Division, division, division, with Delgado pulling the strings. And Madrid. Joan Riera in Ultima Hora, who has been providing a post-electoral daily chronicle of, among other things, the PP implosion, has highlighted the ideological differences.
Bauzá’s fall has been predicated on ideology - one of anti-regionalism, driven by the PP in Madrid - rather than on anything personal. True. That’s how it started, how it had started before the 2011 election, then it got personal though. Rafael Bosch, Toni Pastor, Mateo Isern, how many more do you need? The lynch mob should have gathered a long time ago, and they know they should have. They could see where it was all heading. And if they hadn’t, they could once trilingual teaching became the cause célèbre of the Bauzá administration: JR’s own death warrant. Wanted. Dead or alive.
Don’t be fooled. It wasn’t just because Podemos and others emerged from the political woodwork. Had there not been all the personal stuff, PP mayors might now still be mayors or at least part of pacts. Ah yes, pacts. There could never have been any. Not with, say, El Pi. Personal. Pastor, Jaume Font. Someone said that if Bauzá had just picked up the phone and spoken to Font, patched things up, the results would have been different. But Bauzá was not the one who could have made that call. It had to have been someone else. The lunatics know it. And they knew it then.
The government in the shadows
It's a strange old business. Podemos is not going to be part of the new government and yet it will be. Somewhere, lurking in the corridors of parliament or the Consolat de Mar, will be Podemos-ites determining the directions the government takes. Go this way, Francina, go that way. It is as well perhaps that Podemos opted not to officially form part of the government. The arguments between PSOE and Més over who is getting what have been bad enough. If Podemos had been involved, they would still be arguing when everyone’s trooping off to the ballot boxes in 2019: still arguing and still consulting the membership via online polls. Internet participation, the new democracy. Which is fine. Indeed, it is very good, but it can depend on the questions that are put. Take, for instance, the investiture of Francina Armengol.
The question that was asked of the Podemos faithful was not do you want us (Podemos deputies in parliament) to vote for the investiture of the leader of PSOE. It was - do you want us to vote in order to prevent the PP from returning to government? There is a difference, a fairly significant one.
Had the direct question been asked, then the 95% support which Podemos got for the indirect question would not have been 95%. Not anything like it. Then there were the numbers who actually took part. While I’m all in favour of this participation stuff, I’m not sure that under 10% of those eligible to have their say can be described as genuinely democratic. As a sample I would guess that it is, but if the number registered as eligible is indeed 9,500 (which is how it is reported) and only 741 participate, then ...
Though the 95% would have been much lower had the question been drafted differently, Alberto Jarabo, the leader of Podemos, expressed his surprise that a subsidiary question about Podemos officially forming part of a three-way government got as much support as it did: more than 40%. Which does perhaps prove that Podemos backers can be as capricious as the leadership. Haven’t Podemos all along been about not accepting roles in administrations with PSOE and especially if PSOE hold the presidency? Maybe some pragmatism is, though, starting to reveal itself, but whether it eventually extends to Podemos joining the government in an official capacity remains to be seen. Jarabo intimated that this might be the case - after the general election and depending on how that election goes. It’s hard to see how they could though. How could it ever be decided who does what?
Somewhere under the rainbow
It was one of those occasions when the statue of the Osborne Bull, not so far from where JR was due to have been lynched, was given a new look. It was gayed up when the colours of the rainbow were applied. It is now no longer necessary for those promoting gay rights to have to give Bully a makeover. In addition to there being a gay president of the Council of Majorca, various town halls are now flying the gay rainbow flag. In Palma the “bandera gay” is appearing only temporarily from the balcony of the Cort.
Support for Gay Pride Day, as is the case also in Deya and Valldemossa. The town halls there are flying the rainbow flag, though they, unlike Palma, appear not to have yet incurred the wrath of the Balearics Institute of Family Policy.
Calling a spade a spade, this is a somewhat right-wing organisation and it has fired off a denuncia to the national government delegate for the Balearics. Flying the flag suggests that all the council in Palma is in favour of the objectives of this “collective” (which seems an odd way to describe gay people, but there you go).
Oh well, let’s just wait for the rows about other flags that will crop up: the national flag, the Catalan flag ...