There are times when the game is up, when you know the game is up but you try to convince yourself that the game can continue, despite evidence to the contrary. There are times when those looking on know that the game is up or believe that the game cannot continue because evidence is weighing heavily against it.
Evidence. This is the key. The evidence points to the game being up. To carry on, confronted with this apparent evidence, becomes variously futile, blind, conceited, delusional, misguided, immoral. But the evidence still remains the key. What if the evidence is wrong, if it has been tampered with, if it has been as corrupted as the apparent corrupt activity it suggests?
The evidence against Mariano Rajoy is the evidence from someone facing charges of tax fraud, bribery, money laundering and forgery. It is a charge list that can be used to argue that the evidence is not sound. How can someone charged in such a way be reliable? How can evidence be reliable? If the evidence is the key, then note, please note, that he - Luis Bárcenas - is charged, among other things, with having forged documents.
Bárcenas may not have forged the so-called B accounts which reveal illicit payments to Mariano Rajoy and others, but might - because the originals of the ledgers that have now been seen suggest that they were created over time and not over a short time - he have created a phantom set of accounts, one that could be used at a future date? Has Bárcenas, for years, been plotting by making false entries into ledgers? Why would he have been plotting in such a way?
If the payments to Rajoy and others weren't genuine, but the ledgers are genuine in that they were compiled over many years, then Bárcenas must have had a reason for producing false evidence that he might subsequently use. If the game might be thought to be up for Rajoy, if the evidence is indeed genuine in all respects, then did Bárcenas, over all those years, believe that another game would be up, one for which he planned for years and years? Plan for a time when he could seek some revenge? For what? Or that he could seek something else? What? And why?
But what sense would there be in fabricating, systematically and over years, false accounts which indicate, among other things, receipts from businesses which might then be favoured in the awarding of construction contracts and payments to leading members of the PP? Bárcenas would have known that fabricated accounts could be disputed and ultimately shown to be fictitious. Or could they? Without paper trails and because of payments in cash, then they hard to disprove. Just as they are hard to prove.
It is understandable that defenders of Rajoy point to Bárcenas's apparent immorality or criminality, as the president of the Balearics has in asking questions as to how Bárcenas came by so many millions of euros. But is Bárcenas's immorality evidence of something else, something that he was aware would come out at some point? For what he was planning? A web of immorality within the Partido Popular that began to be spun many years ago?
It is, however, a different web - one of intrigue - that prevents the consequence of alleged payments to Rajoy occurring, namely his resignation. By any standards of morality, faced with evidence, he should resign. But the evidence is key, and more than a list of entries in a ledger, the evidence now begins to suggest the existence of a web of intrigue, deceit and mistrust that has enveloped the PP.
Untangling this web is likely to be what saves Rajoy. There is proof, but there is no proof. The evidence is key, but the evidence is not evidence. And because of this, the absence of transparency and the presence of secrecy in Spanish politics are exposed. The political system is exposed once more to the accusation of inherent corruption. Truths about this system are devilishly difficult to discover, because of the web that encircles it.
Rajoy, playing the blind man to the alleged evidence, comes before the press at a think-tank and says that green shoots are emerging. They will emerge not this year, not next year but in 2015. He says that economic recovery is coming, but how can one trust his word? One cannot. The recovery goalpost moves. There is no recovery, just as there is no evidence and no proof. Bankrupt. Or all but bankrupt in economic terms. In moral terms? Bankrupt, too, but this assumes there ever has been morality.
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