Right, all you lot who can't speak Spanish, here's today's grammar lesson. The Spanish verb to kill is, everyone? Anyone? Yes, you, you at the back there, consulting Google Translate on your iPhone. "Matar?" Correct. Now, let's do a bit of conjugation shall we. Matar, third person. He kills, she kills, you (formal singular) kill. And the answer is? Juan Mata, the Manchester United footballer, kills. Él mata. Next, first person, I kill. Who shall we have here? Come on down, Ana, yes Ana Mato, until very recently the Spanish health minister. Yo mato. Now, it gets a bit tricky. Second person, you kill (informal singular). Who can this possibly be? My God, Jaume, Jaume Matas, ex-Balearics president, newly returned to jail. Tú matas.
Next question. Which of these three - Juan Mata, Ana Mato, Jaume Matas - is the odd one out? Simple. It is of course Juan Mata. Thanks to an extraordinary conjugational coincidence, he is not a Partido Popular politician who has been caught in a corruption net either alleged or proven. He should really donate his surname to Ana and Jaume, though. It would sound so much better and so much more accurate. Ana kills. Jaume kills. Or, if you fancy some alternative meanings for "matar", Ana does in, Jaume destroys. Pretence to the end with the PP. Destroying democracy. It isn't Podemos which is on the point of doing this, as Maria Dolores Cospedal (PP) has suggested; the PP has been perfectly capable of doing this by itself.
Greater care really should be taken when appointments are made. I mean, whose bright idea was it to have a health minister whose name comes from the verb to kill? Rajoy's probably. And how he must wish he'd given Ana the heave-ho a few weeks back when there was a clamour for her head over the ebola business. This might at least have reduced the embarrassment of the past week when she resigned having been cited by a judge as an alleged "participant to profit" from gifts that were lavished around through the network that has made the "caso Gürtel" the massive, ongoing corruption investigation that it is.
Poor old Rajoy, his timing was, as ever, impeccably dreadful. One day he had brought his anti-corruption measures before Congress and the next day Ana had handed in her resignation; echoes of the "few small incidents" (of corruption) speech he made in Murcia the day before much of Murcia was raided. Mariano, much to everyone's amusement, was forced to declare that Spain was not corrupt. And no, Spain, as in the whole country isn't. Just some of it, and Rajoy knows full well which part. By the way, can anyone remind me? Those Bárcenas ledgers of supposed black payments. The M.R. mentioned as an alleged recipient was? Why has all that gone so quiet?