Sunday, July 08, 2007

Same As It Ever Was

The changing of the new political guard is now complete. Along with Mr. Government Antics (Antich, the socialist leader of the Balearic Government), we now also have one Francina Armengol taking over as president of the Council of Mallorca. Promising her doors would be open to the man in the street (I bet they bloody aren’t; I know, I’ll try, and see where it gets me), she has kicked things off by kicking into touch a second ring road for Palma, the Inca-Manacor motorway and new golf courses and tourist/residential growth.

Seems ‘twas ever thus. Take the conservatives out of the equation (the PP) and populism rules. Now, I’m not that bothered to be honest. The golf courses, more tourist/residential stock, I reckon I can go along with. The roads, I’m not so sure. There is in all of this an environmental dimension and something abstract in the sense of preserving Mallorca. If this is what the Mallorcans want, then fine. It’s just - the road infrastructure in and around Palma is bad. It has inherent inefficiency; it is a hindrance to productivity; it is typical of a still backward-looking society of mañana and siesta and lousy service. But hey, that’s Mallorca. Or is it? I’m not so sure. Then there is the safety angle. Ok, there have been some really bad smashes on the Inca-Palma motorway - one just last week - but motorways are generally safer than the main roads, where the nutters really rule and Trafico stands at roundabouts rather than getting amongst the nutters. But hey, that’s Mallorca. Or is it? I’m not so sure.

Very nearly but not quite. Bryan Adams fan Rafael Nadal just missed out at Wimbledon. Manacor’s favourite son didn’t quite do it. Get a better playlist for your iPod, Rafa. That’ll do it.

Quiz: It was a corker. And the answer was ... Thunderclap Newman. Thunderclap Newman, man alive. So to today's title. Reflecting the static nature of Mallorcan politics, this is a line from a song by, I think it fair to say, a ground-breaking American rock band. Name the song and the band.


P.S. Acknowledgement due to “The Bulletin” for information in this piece.

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