Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jaume Matas On Tour - Summer 2013

They should be selling T-shirts for Jaume, the comeback tour. Puerto Alcúdia, Sóller, Palma. Live at the Bistro Mar in the Alcudiamar, see Jaume eat some fish with a bloke from Telefonica. Sóller, witness Jaume with friends on his personally hired train carriage. Palma, on the Paseo Marítimo for more to eat with his old support act José Maria Rodríguez. In a summer of entertainment, no one entertains as well as Jaume. What does he do for an encore?

A man can have lunch, even a former president of the Balearics, but there is lunch and there is lunch and there is appearance and there is appearance. A man can have lunch, but does this man have no shame? It would seem not. Oh well, one trusts that the various political miscreants who weren't so lucky with m'lud's sentencing and who are having to make do with porridge instead are pleased to see that Jaume is enjoying such a summer of walkabout and of fine dining.

Unseemly is a way of describing the Matas summer roadshow. The Bistro Mar gig wasn't that bad in that his dining partner was only the former president of Valencia and now a colossally well paid senior manager with Telefonica, but in Sóller, the town's mayor, Carlos Simarro, appeared to think that Matas was paying an official visit. Jaume and José María may make a habit of breaking bread with each other during the summer, but José Mariá is that José María who made the phone call to Andratx's one-time mayor Hidalgo, soon after which documents began to be shredded, and the same one who was indicted over allegations of illegal financing of the Partido Popular and who, as a result, was removed from his post as government delegate for the Balearics.

But what to make of Jaume's jaunts these past few weeks? Was he angling for a job with Telefonica? He might have been but you would hope that Telefonica, one-time employer of Urdangarin, wouldn't put Matas on the payroll. Perhaps he just needed to have something to eat with someone who would have no problem picking up the tab. Wasn't Matas meant to have been reduced to virtual penury? Who knows who paid for the hire of a carriage on the Sóller train, an act of exclusivity that not even Felipe and Letizia engaged in last year when they went for a trip with the kids. There again, Matas turning up in Sóller was clearly like royalty paying another visit; Simarro seemed to believe so, at any rate. As for the meal with José María, Matas's lunch date from last year as well, the conversation was doubtless reserved for nothing more serious than the weather.

There is, though, a different way of looking at the Matas manoeuvres, as manoeuvres may be exactly what they are. Despite his still facing other charges which could yet see him in chokey and despite his having been totally discredited in the eyes of most of the populace, Matas would appear to harbour ambitions of a return to politics. Astonishing though this may seem, it is less astonishing when one appreciates just how great the rifts are in the Balearics PP. President Bauzá has opponents not only among the moderate, more Catalanist wing of the party, he also has rivals among the older guard, of whom Matas and Rodríguez are very much a part. This old guard tends to support Matas in his antagonism towards Bauzá who has shown him no support during his travails.

Whatever one thinks of Bauzá, he has at least tried to clean up the PP's act, his own difficulties in respect of his business affairs notwithstanding. He was clearly relieved when Rodríguez had to quit as government delegate, as his original appointment could only have been one intended to keep the old guard reasonably sweet. But he has confronted, as he would have known, the power of old friends, some of whom seem intent now on reasserting their power or at least demonstrating that they exert some; hence, Matas and his summer tour. It hasn't simply been a case of a few nice days out. It has been a reminder that he, Matas, is still around. It is a shameless performance, one typical of a politician who shows so little humility and so little remorse but rather enormous vanity, enormous ego and enormous and misguided superiority displayed towards Bauzá and the people of the Balearics. Jaume, the summer tour; don't anyone buy the T-shirt.

Any comments to please.

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