Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Awkwardness Of Government

If there is one certainty to have emerged from the uncertainty caused by the December election, it is that Mariano Rajoy simply doesn't get it. He doesn't get the fact that the PP received a stuffing. He doesn't get the fact that by not putting himself up for being reinstated as prime minister and then refusing to stand aside and let someone else do so is selfish and stupid. He doesn't get the fact that things have changed, and changed dramatically. In the course of one day, 20 December, Mazza became a relic. He became history. A thing of the past. Spain had moved on without having a clue in which direction it was actually heading.

Which of course may be what he's banking on. The citizens, now alerted to the dreadful mistake they made, will hope for a new election, at which they will demonstrate their eternal gratitude to Mariano, say sorry for having misbehaved so badly in December, recognise their collective folly and reinstall Mariano and the PP with a landslide. The weeks since the election have shown that none of the other lots are capable or responsible. Only the PP, with Mariano at its head, can once again save the citizens from themselves. Oh, and don't worry about all the millions that have gone missing on account of alleged corruption cases. Keep them. In fact, have some more. We, the citizens, promise never to do anything like 20 December again.

It's possible in Mariano magic land, that he and the PP actually think like this. So divorced from reality, so desperate has Mariano become in wanting to hold on to power that he came up with the bizarre proposal made to the boy Pedro of PSOE whereby PSOE would support his investiture in return for the PP giving PSOE-led administrations in regions and municipalities its support and so meaning that they - the PSOE administrations - could get Podemos off their backs. In fact, even this wasn't quite as bizarre as it sounded. Something similar had occurred in Andalusia over the months it took Susana Diaz (PSOE) to ensure her re-investiture as president of that region. In the end, this deal with the PP was not needed, but it seemed then, as it does now, as though it was an arrangement best described through the use of the phrasal noun carve-up.

Ultimately, whichever way Pedro jumps (Mariano won't care about this), he will be acutely aware that one element on the Podemos charge list is that of the "casta", the two-party dominance that The Hairy One has been so determined to shatter. Would the citizens, indeed members of his own party, ever forgive him for reinforcing the existence of the casta, given that Podemos (and the C's) have so dramatically disrupted its co-habitation? He would have had a lot on his plate when the federal committee gathered yesterday.

At least Pedro has been able to rely on the support of sweet and friendly Francina (he doesn't enjoy the wholehearted support of the PSOE collective of barons and baronesses). But Francina's support came with a caveat. While saying on the one hand that Pedro should be given total freedom to negotiate however he wished, there she was, insisting that this freedom should be in the image of the dialogue, consensus and fully and well-functioning Balearic model, one with Podemos in the wings putting the boot in, courtesy primarily of The Boot Girl Laura. Francina is, of course, bound to say this. She would hardly say anything else, though she might have taken note (and perhaps Pedro has) of the words of the Grand Baron of PSOE, one-time dashing premier, Felipe González, who made it clear that he believes that the Podemos wrecking ball is aimed at a total destruction of the "system" and not merely some redevelopment work. These are, it must be said, awkward moments.

Back in Congress, where the elected members are enjoying a sabbatical at taxpayer expense and not doing anything on account of there not being anything to shout at each other about, the infant Íñigo Errejón was busying himself with some sheets of paper and a set of crayons. Íñigo was making sketches of the seating arrangements. Podemos want these, he stamped his foot and demanded. Here is another awkward aspect of these changing times. They've not previously had to worry about accommodating great banks of stroppy sorts in the Congress semi-circle. But just as important for Íñigo would have been where Carolina Bescansa is to be in this maroon party forum within the grander forum of the Cortes. He will surely not be wishing a repeat of the baby business. Moreover, how will Podemos juggle the competing hairstyles within its ranks? Do they opt to put the flamboyant ones together, with Pablo's ponytail brushing up against Natty Dreadlock In A Babylon, the bloke who's the head of the Rastafari Tenerife wing of We Can? Yet more awkwardness.

Index for January 2016

Balearic land planning decree - 14 January 2016, 16 January 2016
Blasphemous video - 7 January 2016
Bridge breaks and holidays - 13 January 2016
Bullying and suicide - 22 January 2016
Consensus and Spain's politics - 6 January 2016, 20 January 2016
Corruption - 29 January 2016
Demons' promotion - 15 January 2016
Education and language - 28 January 2016
Holiday rentals and overcrowding - 30 January 2016
Investment in the Balearics - 21 January 2016
Llorenç Moya - 11 January 2016
Mallorca in numbers 2015 - 1 January 2016
Manacor, the demon and the model - 19 January 2016
Nativity scenes in Mallorca - 4 January 2016
Nóos trial - 12 January 2016, 18 January 2016
Palma's name - 3 January 2016
Photographic heritage of Mallorca - 25 January 2016
Pine trees - 17 January 2016
Real Mallorca - 8 January 2016, 10 January 2016
Seasonality and tourism jobs - 2 January 2016
Sharing economy and holiday rentals - 5 January 2016
Spain's government: negotiations - 24 January 2016, 31 January 2016
Tourist tax - 9 January 2016, 23 January 2016
Towns' images - 27 January 2016
Utopia - 26 January 2016

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