Sunday, December 04, 2016

No We Cannot: Podemos Dissension

Podemos are fast becoming No Podemos - We Cannot. Disappearing rapidly is the curiously Obama-esque positivity, which is being replaced by the squabbles of the over-promoted. Thrust under a political spotlight, the previously unknown and unheard-of are all wanting the light to shine on them. Look at me, look at us. Yes, we can. Oh no we can't.

Montse Seijas, one of the sisterhood of two with Xe-Lo Huertas cast adrift by the politburo in Madrid, has been laying into the Agitpropist-In-Chief, Alberto Jarabo. And that's because it turns out that Alberto isn't as agit as he has previously been made to look. According to Montse, Alberto is in fact weak and selling Podemos out to the revisionist left of Més and, worse still, PSOE. Moreover, so brassed off are Balearic Podemosites with Alberto that he has lost their support. Or so says Montse.

The suspension of Montse and Xe-Lo from the party is, therefore, designed to quash the voices of dissent. Which does, it must say, all sound rather odd, as the suspensions were ordered by the harder left element in Madrid (the Pablo Iglesias faction). But Montse is suggesting that Alberto has gone all soft and is aligning himself more with the Iñigo Errejón wing in Madrid, which is precisely the wing that Montse and Xe-Lo had seemed to be signed up to.

In fact, Alberto doesn't seem to have gone weak at all. Whereas he had said that Podemos wouldn't be seeking changes to the 2017 budget, this is exactly what they are doing, roaring around parliament waving sheets of paper with almost fifty amendments. They don't, for instance, want any more money to go to the university's medical faculty; they've been against it from the outset. And they don't want Biel Barceló spending any money on tourism promotion. The demand is that mostly all the money for promotion - 3.6 million euros - goes instead to innovation and development. Barceló says this is unrealistic, not least because a sizable amount of the promotion budget has already been committed to pay for attendance at travel fairs next year. It's a waste of money, insist Podemos, given that the Balearics are swamped by so many damn tourists as it is.

On a non-financial matter, Podemos have also been wading into the Majorca Day debate. In seeking an alternative to the current day - 12 September - the Council of Majorca has somewhat madly come up with the notion of having two days, one of which would be 31 December, the day when Jaume I took Palma. No, no, no, say Podemos, this will never do, as it would be a tribute to monarchy, something just as bad as supporting a religious act. Hence the day should be 24 April, when the Council of Majorca was constituted in 1979 and would be a celebration far more pointless than the current one. No one much pays any attention to 12 September as it is. Absolutely no one would be interested in 24 April.

Meanwhile, three members of the Podemos citizens' council have resigned because of their support for Montse and Xe-Lo. Others may follow. All the time, someone is keeping very quiet, and that is the Podemos Boot Girl, Laura Camargo. Montse implies that she's privately had it with Alberto as well. Given that she has always been the real power, might there be a putsch? Who can possibly say? Can we? No we can't.

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