Monday, October 05, 2015

Eddie's Back

Don't say I didn't warn you, but I did. And now there's confirmation. Little and Large are on the comeback trail, Large if not Little, though the latter will doubtless be in the background, doing the manoeuvring, his hand firmly up, erm, Large's jacket.

We had all wondered, feared even, what had happened to the former tourism minister amidst the debacle of the Partido Popular's Maytime meltdown. What had become of Jaime Martínez and his larder? Was Jaime slowly withering away, adopting a belatedly austerity-sympathetic frame to match that of his successor, the ascetic Barceló on his diet of a weekly sopa mallorquín served from one of Xelo Huertas's soup kitchens by royal appointment? Not a bit of it. There he had been all this time, storing prime Mallorcan charcuterie to give him energy for the winter campaign to become PP leader.

The re-emergence of Eddie Large had been predicted, though not quite in this manner. No one had seriously considered him to be a contender, but in bruiser Brando style that is what he wants to be, ably assisted by Syd Little, the man who didn't win the leadership before, Carlos Delgado. Jaime's push for the leadership is that of Syd's in all but name. If he can't be leader himself, and the party made it perfectly clear in 2010 that it didn't want him and so landed itself with Bauzá instead, then get Eddie installed.

Jaime, though, just doesn't cut the dash. Throughout his tenure as Syd's successor at tourism, he would be seen, hovering in the background while Bauzá was taking centre-stage, like a bodyguard who had been plucked from the night-job as a Magalluf bouncer. However, as flag-bearer for the PP righter than centre-right (centre-right, we must of course say), Jaime's prepared to take to the hustings and to launch an assault on the party's regionalist tendency and one that would be amenable to the current government symbolically removing the Catalan flag from the yoke of prohibitive legislation, which it is due to do this coming week by repealing the Law of Symbols.

This regionalist tendency, expected to be led into leadership battle by ex-minister Biel Company, says that Eddie has not complied with party rules for putting himself forward, whatever these rules might be. Regardless of this, he is getting onboard the campaign HGV and heading to the regional congress to be held some time after Rajoy has lost the general election and at which he will probably suffer the same fate as Syd did in 2010: a sound stuffing. The regionalists voted for Bauzá because he wasn't Delgado. Or so they thought. They were wrong, but this time round they won't make the same mistake again and they'll make sure they get their man, and it won't be Jaime.

Someone who won't be putting himself forward for election is hero of the people, Judge Dredd. José Castro, scourge of Matas and Urdangarin, has politely declined an offer from Podemos to be on the list for the general election and so have the opportunity of becoming a member of Congress bearing the cross of the Church of Iglesias. Had Castro agreed - and one feels that the approach was a fanciful publicity stunt by the Spartists - he might have found himself lining up with candidates from Més. However, Biel and his chums have opted not to form an electoral pact with the Podemistas. And quite right, too. If the first one hundred days of government have taught Biel anything, it is that trying to deal with Podemos is as tangled and venomous as grappling with a pit of vipers. It's one thing putting up with this locally, quite another transporting the inherent conflicts to Madrid as well.

Meanwhile, Mariano has given the nation an early Christmas present, the opportunity to eject him from office five days before the festivities. Christmas will be coming a little earlier this year, though given its proximity and in order to guarantee more interest than might actually be the case, did Mariano not consider combining the election with the El Gordo lottery? Conceivably, he would stand greater chance of winning if he left the election to the random choice of numbered balls.

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