Monday, June 20, 2016

Boy And Girl Bands: Podemos and friends

The brotherhood, sisterhood and infanthood descended on Palma en masse during the week. There they all were, Podemos, Més and friends, as though they were about to engage in a benefit gig for the regional electoral amalgamation of You-Nits-Podemés. It was the head mikes that did it of course, making the collective appear as though it were a boy/girl band about to break out with a chorus of Take That's "Everything Changes". In truth, only the Infant Errejón (who was replete with cool, One-D-style, Harry Styles shades but no ponytail) can pass as a member of a boy band. Some, such as Here Come Da Judge, most definitely cannot. As has been remarked previously, Da Judge bears more than a passing resemblance to Jim Bowen in his "Bullseye" heyday, and Jim was certainly not one for indulging in frivolities like being a member of a boy band: "Super, smashing, great."

They all appeared before a banner declaring "The Smile of the Mediterranean". Perhaps they were in fact a Beach Boys trib. What would they sing from the "Smile" album? "Heroes And Villains"? And who would be the villains? Were you watching, Mariano? Alas no. Instead we got, and inter alia, Pablo Iglesias (the sort of Brian Wilson of the band) informing the citizens that "democracy is incompatible with hotel lobbyists who determine political power, some of them having accounts in Panama". Who on Earth could he have possibly been referring to?

The Infant called for there to be an "intergenerational pact", which wasn't quite as alarming as it sounded; it was a pact of votes from different generations, and if anyone was capable of referring to intergenerations, then it was the Infant.

Throughout all of this, there was no mention by Pablo of PSOE. Not that they would have been on the stage anyway, given that You-Nits-Podemés are going to relegate them to the bronze medal on 26 June. And it was well that they weren't. Imagine if Palma's Smiler had been there: mayor Hila who can smile from parts believed unimaginable by mere mortals.

This all took place on Thursday, three days after the Great Debate on Spanish telly. This was notable for the fact that each of the four prime ministerial (presidential) candidates wore a white shirt, the key differences having been that Pablo sported neither tie nor jacket, while Al Rivera of the C's had the whistle on but no Peckham (as in Peckham Rye - tie, if it needs explaining).

The absence of Al's neckwear was presumably designed as a further means of distinguishing him from his double-act partner, Pedro Sánchez of PSOE. True to form, this Ant and Dec duo were arranged with Ant to the left, so that the audience could figure out which one was which.

Amidst all the grimacing and stony looks of the Great Debate - accusations of corruption, all the normal carry-on - there was a spot of smiling too. Mariano doesn't really do smiling. Or not convincingly. His smiling on this occasion was the befuddled grin of a dad back from the pub who comes in to find junior (which one would that be?) entertaining his two chums with the latest Metallica album. When Mazza wasn't trying his hardest to smile, he was letting it be known, among other things, that Ant (Pedro) would be a "dreadful president (prime minister)". Not, it is becoming clearer, that Ant will ever be either.

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