Sunday, March 06, 2016

Spanish Parliament For Beginners

"Bottom ... Doo-Doo ... I'madick ..." These "names" come from one of Rowan Atkinson's master-calling-the-register sketches. It's strange what you think of when observing Spain's parliamentarians at play. Once, twice and eventually three and possibly four times a malady of investiture failure. And the climax is when the speaker and his helpers read out the names of every single one of the 350 deputies in Congress and every single one of them has to rise and say "sí" or "no". They did so twice. 219 no, 130 yes, only for the 130 to become 131 at the second time of asking: the lady from the Canaries saying she would go sí was met with a nod of thanks from the boy Pedro.

Bottom, Doo-Doo, I'madick and all the others rose twice and sat down twice. But oh that the names were that simple. The person one felt most sorry for was the recorder, typing away furiously. The names would come up on screen. At various points he or she gave up. Well, you would when some names could occupy a small novel on their own.

Highlights? Too many to mention. The boy Pedro lambasted Mazza and the PP for all the corruption. Mazza responded by suggesting that the attempt at investiture was in itself corrupt. PSOE's Antonio Hernando, supposedly having the last word after the interminable speeches by all the party representatives, said it wasn't corruption if the King has called for the investiture attempt. It was then that it all kicked off, another Hernando (a PP one) demanding a right of reply to the first Hernando for having challenged Rajoy's corruption jibe that had come about because of what the boy Pedro had said. Patxi, the speaker (whose a bloke by the way) started to lose control, as a fellow from Ciudadanos (C's) demanded the right of reply to a geezer called Rufián (yes really, Ruffian) from some Catalonian Republican-commie party who'd said that the C's had not condemned Franco. Then there was Ruffian's mate, cast in the classic role of veteran, battling commie who demanded a further right of reply for some reason. This chap, Joan Tarda, is very much of the old school, an Eric Heffer in a Spanish style, meaning lots of grey hair and a heavy moustache.

By now, everyone had forgotten that The Hairy One had seemingly stretched out a hand of rapprochement to the boy Pedro or that Al Rivera of the C's had indulged in a display of goading and being goaded that had made him appear like an obnoxious twerp. Patxi was reduced to Spanish for Beginners 101. There was a great deal of "hombre", "tranquilo", "vamos a ver". And when they did finally vamos a ver, the result the second time round was almost identical to the first vote. Everyone knew it would be, which made the second time of asking even more pointless than the first had been. But it wasn't totally pointless. Why? Because it showed that the chances of this lot - all 350 of them - ever reaching some agreement over the next prime minister (president) is as likely as Princess Cristina having gone before the court and declaring that it was a fair cop but society was to blame.

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