Saturday, October 25, 2014

Insults Are Not What They Were

One of Balearic president Bauzá's Babes, Partido Popular parliamentary spokesperson Mabel Cabrer, admitted last week that the party might lose its majority at the next regional elections, an observation that the electorate, with even a cursory glance at the latest opinion polls, would itself already have made. High on the parliamentary hill, Cabrer, the lonely goatherd, yodelled a lament which demonstrated that she and the party are genuinely rattled, and the ones who have been doing the rattling are Podemos. Mabel from her table warned of the dire consequences of Podemosism. "It represents a very dangerous alternative." "It would cause a total break with the model .. of Spanish democracy." Which, Mabel may not have noticed, is what Podemos are all about: a new model, one that would prefer to see the back of the discredited two-party model of which she is a member.

Alarmed by the prospect that she will almost certainly be out of a job after May, Mabel called for the election debate to be "high", which would make for something of a change for most current political debate in Mallorca. She also demanded that this debate was not sullied by insults and defamations. Ah yes, insults, something Mabel knows all about, as in when she called opponents of the Partido Popular's discount card Nazis and was later forced to apologise.

Insults, however, aren't what they used to be, as Bauzá discovered when he took Lorenzo Bravo, the general secretary of the UGT union, to court for having called him a fascist, among other things. The courts found in Bravo's favour, and these were courts. Bauzá took the matter to the Balearics High Court, having not got satisfaction from lower courts, but the decision remained the same: freedom of expression outweighed apparent impugning of honour. And now, a court in Palma has concluded that the "hijo de puta" insult has lost its meaning and is not injurious. The court reached its decision in a case involving two workers at an unnamed organisation who got into an argument. One called the other a "hijo de puta", so he was denounced.

With all this in mind, therefore, let the election campaign be full of insults. Nazis, anyone?

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