Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Round And Round In Circles: Catalan arguments

When a member of a government senses that his time is about up, he might well be inclined to engage in a spot of political sabotage. He might want to take the ship down for all to be lost at sea, including the captain on the bridge. Is this what he has in mind? Has the increasingly anonymous Bosch become venomous Bosch?

Rafael of that name is being lined up for a shuffle. His is the only significant name that attaches itself to one of the Bauzá cabinet chairs that is to be played musically. When all else fails, and all else has more or less failed, a shuffling of the pack, a game of musical chairs, a sideways move or a demotion can be spun as the failing leader being dynamic. Taking action. Bosch, he who has been unable to see the eponymous wood of his name from the trees, is to be the fallguy. Probably.

Alas, poor Bosch, we knew him. We knew him from the start. I never know which way round they go but he was the nice one out of Mutt and Jeff. The unpleasant one was any of the others. This was why he was given the task of being the Balearic Government's spokesperson. Nice Mr. B. The trouble for Mr. B, and this was because we knew him, or we suspected we did, was that he might not have been totally on-message. If only in private.

The shuffle hasn't been announced but the bets are all but off. Someone else will take over at education and try and make sense of the wood of the government's language policy when it is obscured by so many trees that bend in the wind of all the wind-baggery of Mallorca's language politics, a wind-baggery that has become an invitation to a private party that no one else shows any great interest in wanting to gatecrash. The left moan about an undermining of Catalan and want to crash right through the government's language politics, but the Partido Popular and fellow travellers on the right, aka the Círculo Balear, further aka Jorge Campos, engage in their own exclusive arguments about what is Catalan and what isn't. Which is why the increasingly anonymous Bosch looks as though he might have gone venomous.

We knew him, Bosch that is, because we suspected he wasn't fully on board the good ship Bauzá when it came to the politics of language. And now, even if he weren't being prepared to walk the plank and dive into the waters near Cabrera, stripped of the prospect of champagne and lobster as when he resurfaced from an alleged underwater educational video shoot paid for with public money, the akas of the fellow-travelling right are calling for his dismissal. Campos has called Bosch a "Catalanist", which is pretty dirty talk among those on the Mallorcan right. Campos should beware. He knows all about denuncias for using insults. Enough of them have been hurled at him, to which he has responded by running off and dobbing on the insulters to Mr. Plod.

Bosch has gone Catalanist and has gravely undermined Bauzá's authority, says Campos. Really? How can authority be gravely undermined when it already has been? Whatever. Bosch has said that the Balearic language doesn't exist. And this, in the fields of Campos land, makes Bosch a Catalanist. Oh, you venomous Bosch, you know that the president is a man for the Balearic language. Or languages. Those that come from Catalan. And that he is no man for Catalan. And if you didn't know, well Campos is always there to remind you and so now also is the president of the Partido Popular in Mallorca (who isn't the same as the president of the government), Jeroni Salom. He has said that the Catalan of the Balearics will be protected. And it will be done so in some school textbooks. Otherwise, in fifty years time (he doesn't explain why fifty years), no one will remember to use "nin" in Mallorca or "batle" or "arena". If he says so. I didn't think "arena" was a specifically Balearic word, but then what do I know?

Salom has added that if these modalities of language on the island aren't protected, then the language will become that of Barcelona, and that is not the language of the Balearics. Well no, but, but ... . Question please, question please. Isn't the regional government wanting to try and stamp out the language of Barcelona anyway? Isn't this what the language politics have been about? Isn't this what the now anonymous Bosch was meant to have been overseeing. Ah yes, Bosch. Nope, I don't think he ever was on-message.

He hasn't become the venomous Bosch. He might have good cause to, if it looks as though he is being politically hung out to dry, but perhaps he just despairs of the circularity of the arguments over Catalan among Mallorca's Círculo right.

Any comments to andrew@thealcudiaguide.com please.

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