Monday, May 20, 2013

Beauty And The Bauzá

What is it with leading lights in the island's Partido Popular and the appointment of secretary girls or females with whom the relationship is more than just a working one? First we had Carlos giving a tourism-ministry job to his girlfriend, his lady of Lourdes, to whom he is now married. No sooner had Lourdes been named as whatever advisor she was, than a stink of deer's testicles proportions began to waft over Delgado's head. He was forced to withdraw the job offer.

Then we had Tomeu Cifre, mayor of Pollensa. He already had one secretary, the general factotum-gofferess employed by the town hall, but Tomeu said he needed a personal secretary as well. He might have got away with this had it not been for the fact that the appointment was of a fellow member of the PP who had failed by one place on the voting list to secure a post as a councillor. After several days of outcry, Tomeu went on Radio Pollença and insisted that he had not been wrong in making the appointment and that the secretary, one Nora Tugores, had been a victim of a campaign against her. He neglected the possibility that the appointment might just have struck some as being a tad nepotistic. 

Now we have the islands' El Presidente. Joe Ray has gone and appointed a new secretary, the leggy lovely Verónica Hernández, who was Miss Baleares in 2009 and who I could remember winning the contest. Verónica, as I now recall, had declared that being a "miss" and a model were two different things. She was more of the former, a miss, and so a more real woman. Whatever that meant. Anyway, back in 2009, Verónica was studying journalism and audiovisual communication, both of which should come in handy in bolstering the Bauzá image as it threatens to slide off the edge of a political cliff and crash onto the rocks of defeat in 2015.

The multi-talented Verónica has also studied fashion, another vital qualification in securing a support function to the image-conscious president about town. Might Bauzá now become de-bearded? His growth appeared only a short time after his ascent to the presidential throne. It was, one presumed, a facial-hair symbol of gravitas in keeping with the beardedness of the national PP leadership. Could the beard now go and so present a softer president, one more in touch with his feminine side?

The sudden outbreak of femininity among the Bauzá ranks is surely intended to give the PP more female appeal in 2015. However, it's one thing to elevate various members of the rank and file to cabinet posts, quite another to give the secretary's job to an ex-beauty queen. And herein of course lies the rub. Were Verónica to look like Susan Boyle then nothing would have been said about the matter. Just because she happens to be blessed with a more than pleasant face and figure is no reason for her to not be appointed. It would appear, however, that it is her looks which count against her. The Lobby de Dones women's rights group seems to see only the Verónica surface in criticising the appointment. Are women not allowed to be attractive and to be given decent jobs? Arguably, she doesn't have the right experience or a huge amount of experience, but then I couldn't say whether she does or she doesn't. If she does, though, then what is the problem?

We all know what the problem is, however. It is a problem of perception. Regardless of how qualified Carlos's girlfriend or Tomeu's compatriot in the party were for their respective jobs, neither appointment looked good. It was naïve of both of them to have believed that these appointments would not have caused a fuss. And Bauzá's appointment of Verónica is similar. Because she is a high-profile Balearics beauty, it was bound to attract attention, so undermining, at a stroke, the Bauzá campaign to improve his image.

It shouldn't matter. It really shouldn't matter. If Verónica is right for the job, this is all that should matter. But being right for a job is not how these things work. Especially not now. Verónica, as a switched-on communications sort, would probably recognise that such an appointment might create a stink. But then it is a job, a well-paid job. She cannot be blamed for accepting it, and I wish her the best of luck and hope she doesn't fall foul of an anti-campaign. If she does, then, more so than Nora Tugores, she would be a victim.

Any comments to please.

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