Friday, June 14, 2013

Through A Mallorcan Prism Darkly

Ingmar Bergman's "Through A Glass Darkly" dealt with the theme of searching for the truth and certainties, a theme and title that had been borrowed from "1 Corinthians Chapter 13". The film focused on four characters, each of them located on the same island. The title is ambiguous, just as the line from Corinthians is ambiguous and has been translated as mirror rather than glass. Further ambiguity arises because, if you look through a glass, you can see the other side, but you can't look through a mirror. The truth is staring back at you.

If you try to look through a prism, the truth of what you are seeing is refracted and distorted. It might exist somewhere, but the prism creates uncertainties. You can look through a glass clearly but you can only look through a prism darkly, as there is no clarity.

Prisms conceal truths, but the whole world is waiting to discover what these truths might be. We will never know. That is the nature of prisms, as light is broken up. It cannot be put back together.

To draw a comparison with the Prism spy programme and what has allegedly been happening in Mallorca is laughable in its scale and in its context, but if there are any regrettable truths, then it still ranks as scandalous.

Like Bergman's film, there is an island and there are four main characters. As in "Through A Glass Darkly" they mirror each other in their quests for truths and certainties. Two of them are anti-corruption prosecutors, one is a prosecutor of drugs traffickers and organised criminals, the fourth character is a judge: Judge José Castro, pursuer of Matas, pursuer of Urdangarin, the searcher after truth.

The National Police advised these four characters on several occasions that they were being investigated by private detectives. And to these four main characters can be added those in a sub-plot, two or perhaps three socialist parliamentary deputies in the Balearics. The allegation goes that in 2010 they were being spied on by private detectives, ones who had been engaged by the Partido Popular. In fact, it isn't an allegation. Miguel Ramis, spokesperson for the PP, having first denied that socialist (i.e. PSOE) deputies were being investigated, has now admitted that his party took private detectives on in order to check on whether public funds had been used by these deputies for a trip to Andalusia.

PSOE want to know who authorised the hiring of these detectives. Was it, therefore, the now president of the Balearics? PSOE have described this spying as "grave mafioso practice", which is something of an exaggeration, but they have a right to know who ordered the spying.

Investigating some members of the opposition might not sound like much of a potential scandal, but the main plot, that involving Judge Castro and the prosecutors, is a very much more serious matter. Ramis has flatly denied that the PP had any involvement in this. No one seems to know who was behind it, or if they  do, they are keeping quiet.

If you go back to the first three months of 2010, a number of significant things occurred. February was the month of the long knives when barely a day passed without news emerging of corruption that had engulfed the former Unió Mallorquina party. At the start of March, José Ramón Bauzá was elected leader of the islands' PP and at the end of the month, former PP president Jaume Matas made his first appearance before Judge Castro on corruption allegations. Unrelated these may have been, but they were the background to a view being expressed from PP circles that the party and the UM were victims of some sort of politically inspired plot. PSOE were still in power then, but when they lost the 2011 election, the PP went fishing for any evidence of PSOE wrongdoing. Tit for tat. Or this was how it seemed.

Now, with the revelations about the private detectives, it would appear that the fishing expeditions had started earlier. They, as I say, are relatively minor, but the question is whether they were part of something much bigger. Which leads us to the four main characters, of whom Castro is the best known. Someone was looking for evidence with which to discredit him and the prosecutors. To potentially influence or distort, therefore, the search for the truth.

Through a glass transparently. Through a spyglass opaquely. Through a prism darkly. Which one is it? What do you see in the mirror, Miguel?

Any comments to please.

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