Jeremy Kyle for IB3
It is of course one of the priorities identified in the manual for conducting a coup d’état. “Item 3: Storm the state broadcaster and take over the network. Item 3.1: Announce who you are - The United Freedom People’s Liberation Army of (add as applicable). Item 3.2: Incite counter-rebellion by subjecting the proletariat to several days of unrelentingly tedious classical music combined with images of peasants toiling in fields under a baking sun working for the greater glory of the fatherland.”
Alternatively, if you have lesser ambitions, i.e. coups are not on your agenda but control of the broadcaster is, you simply insist on running it, thus making your governmental partners suspicious and incurring the opprobrium of a discredited opposition.
The Balearic Partido Popular does have some almighty great brass neck at times. Reduced to a parliamentary rabble by all the off-field shenanigans involving finding a temporary leader for the party, it has been left to Marga Prohens to womanfully fly the local PP flag with its seagull with newly clipped wings.
Marga hasn’t done a wholly bad job - getting the nepotism dig in about the health service, for example - but when it comes to the IB3 broadcaster she has been staggering with all the lack of credibility of a double amputee.
She can stand on neither leg as both were long ago cut from under her, all the consequence of how the PP manipulated the broadcaster for its own ends: how it effectively airbrushed the likes of GOB or the Obra Cultural Balear out of Majorcan political society; how it managed to turn the use of the definite article “the” into a rallying cry for Catalanists both moderate and hardline as well as normally otherwise indifferent; how it arranged for airtime to minimise pre-election exposure of Podemos (and others).
This latter factor does perhaps play a part in Podemos’s ambitions for the broadcaster. Not a coup, just control of it.
This, at any rate, is how Marga sees things. “The sole objective of Podemos is the control of public communication media,“ she declared last week. If this is indeed Podemos’s heart’s desire, then you can hardly say it will be the first time that a local political party has stamped its authority all over IB3.
The PP did so with almost totalitarian effectiveness, installing first the vice-president, Antonio “Nipper” Gómez, as its director, then he would have been mayor of Calvia but isn’t, José Manuel Ruiz.
As Podemos’s Dave Spart, leader Alberto Jarabo, used to have a day job making films, the IB3 takeover may well be all part of a wider plan to reveal Alberto’s oeuvre.
What might this include? Dull but worthy documentaries charting the struggles of the Bolivian working-class of the nineteenth century? A profile of jolly Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela?
Who can say. But Podemos intentions - their proposed director for IB3 - come in the guise of their man in Manacor who is currently combining council duties for citizen service with looking after the town’s cemeteries. Carles Grimalt is his name, and Carles, replete with not one but two earrings, and photographed wearing a fetching, flowery shirt, has all the looks of a member of the Bee Gees backing group circa the later “Night Fever” era. Indeed, were he to sport a beard, he would be Barry Gibb.
Not that earrings should bar someone from running a telly and radio station.
But if Podemos are serious in wanting someone with suitable credentials, why not broaden the search? There must be all manner of potential candidates knocking around. Keith Chegwin perhaps. Or what about Jeremy Kyle? That’ll be it. That’s what he’s been doing here.
There had to have been some good reason. Jeremy’s not bad on the old participation thing, getting idiots to make even bigger idiots of themselves and so on. Ideal for the new Podemos participatory era therefore. Kyle it is then.
Of PP disunity to come
It's all right. You can come out from behind the sofa now. With some degree of certainty, it can be said that he has finally gone. Dracula that is. My how he dragged things out, making a drama out of a crisis and turning a crisis into the pure theatre of the farce variety. Miquel Vidal has taken temporary charge of the PP, the put-up jobs of the rebels and the “oficialistas” having backed out.
Miquel, as you would have expected Miquel to have done, has called for unity. When all has been disunity for several weeks (in fact very much longer), he couldn’t have asked for anything else. But even as he has now been exiled to the senate chamber, will the Bauzá legacy of division linger?
Will Bauzá, a prisoner of his unbending dogma, be secretly getting messages out of his Madrid cell in order to guide the choice of his real successor, not the pro-tem Vidal?
Miquel has felt compelled to apologise for the image the party has conveyed recently. No, Miquel, there’s no reason to apologise. We’ve been royally entertained. It’s just a shame that it’s come to an end. For now. The sequel awaits, and what drama, what theatre this will have for us. The immediate crisis is over, but more crisis there will be. Who will be the real party leader? The chosen one of Bauzá and Rodríguez or the preference of the rebel yellers? There’s plenty more blood to be shed yet.
The bandages of Son Espases
And while the image of the PP 2015 has been dragged through the mud of factionalism, the old image has returned to haunt it.
A genuine prisoner, the for-now ex-con Jaume Matas faces yet another interrogation by Judge Dredd.
José Castro and the anti-corruption prosecutor Pedro Horrach may have different hymn sheets with the song of the Infanta, but when it comes to Matas they are in tune: perfect harmonies of pursuit. Palma Arena and all that, now Son Espases.
When Jaume, from his prison, appeared via video link in front of the parliamentary commission investigating Son Espases, he sported a massive bandage around his ears and indeed most of his head.
“I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you. La-la-la.” He couldn’t hear because he didn’t want to. That way he couldn’t say anything in response.
What bandage will he have when Castro commands him to appear? Full body, trussed up like a mummy?
“I can’t move. I can’t move. La-la-la.” How appropriate the bandage was. An implication of surgery. The operating theatre dissecting 778 million euros. Allegedly.