Sunday, August 14, 2016

Més Clean Up The Mess

Bravo for the Mésites. Where would we be, where would Palma in particular be without them? And if we weren't aware, then we could always find out from the leaflet they produced last week telling us how Messianic they have been. Miracles have been performed. The Mésites have cast their spells. Wizards of eco-ism and of nationalism, Palma has variously been made more transparent, more open to culture, more participative, greener, cleaner and sustainable. And all because of Més.

If nothing else, this self-tribute does rather confirm what Marga Duran of the PP has suggested: that there are separate governments in Palma. The spells have been weaved not with the aid of Som Palma (aka Podemos) or, Heaven forbid, PSOE, but by the Mésites alone. Not that this is altogether surprising. Més do after all have the mayor of Palma in their ranks. Yes, Smiler might have the title (for now), but everyone knows that Noggin's the boss. In years to come, Alcover's folk tales of ye olde Mallorca will be replaced by the sagas of Noggin the Nog, the mayor of Palma with his Lego who single-handedly remodelled the model of Palma. Antoni Noguera, (second deputy) mayor for the Model of the City, who endowed the city with the Hanging Gardens of the Marivent, temples like Artemis, and statues to great Gods such as Zeus, retitled Noggin.

But if one looks closely, are these miracles all they seem? Take being cleaner, for example. City cleanliness is the bailiwick of Neus Truyol (truly a Mésite). Neus is fifth deputy mayor of Palma. There are seemingly several hundred deputy mayors in Palma, and there will probably be more once "more participative" means allowing non-elected citizens to have the title as well. But as fifth in line to Smiler's throne, Neus is also president of Emaya, the multi-municipal agency that looks after everything from reservoirs in the Tramuntana without a great deal of water, to scrubbing unpleasant slogans about tourists off walls of protected buildings in the city centre, and to collecting mattresses that have been dumped on the streets.

It's a sizable responsibility for someone whose Wikipedia page suggests is, other than being fifth deputy mayor, gainfully occupied as a "sociologist". As fifth deputy she also has the onerous task of looking after Palma's agriculture, something that you might have missed when last shopping at El Corte Inglés. Perhaps one day she will decree that the peasants of the outer reaches of the city can drive their herds along the Born. That would be one way of getting rid of the terraces, though whether Emaya would have enough personnel and machinery to clean up the mess would be doubtful. 

Which brings us to the flak that Neus has been copping about the state of Palma's streets. There is the particular issue of what we are led to believe are huge mountains of discarded mattresses, rusting washing-machines, baths, sinks, toilets, sofas, wardrobes and entire kitchens littering the streets and thus impeding the free movement of the citizens and the farmers with their beef herds. This is all due to the change to the household junk system that Neus decided was a good idea. She still does think it's a good idea. Unlike mostly anyone else.

So, have Més cleaned up the mess and made Palma cleaner or have they not? There can be only one way to find out, and that would be to hold a referendum. "More participative", so let the citizens decide. Oh, maybe they will. Under three years to go to the next election.

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