Monday, November 14, 2016

The Podemos War Has Come To The Balearics

It wasn't the best of weeks for the Podemos sisterhood. Despite having been suspended by the politburo in Madrid, Xe-Lo mysteriously still managed to bustle into the Balearic parliament and take her place on the speaker's chair. It wasn't, therefore, the best of weeks for other parliamentarians. No one was paying any attention to them. All eyes were on the suspended Xe-Lo.

Suspension was the polite way of describing the early stages of the Podemos purge of dissidents. Along with the purge was coming the spin. Xe-Lo, we were led to believe, had applied pressure to the initials - B.B. (Biel Barceló) and C.C. (Catalina Cladera) - to seek to ensure continued funding to the laboratory run by the alarmingly big-haired Podemosite doctor, Daniel Bachiller, who could himself be mistaken for a member of the sisterhood.

The idea that there was pressure being applied seemed somewhat fanciful. Had she tied B.B. to his parliamentary chair and poked him until he agreed to handing over every last euro of tourist tax revenue to the Bachiller lab? And what about C.C.? A fully paid-up member of the PSOE sisterhood, it was unlikely that she would accede to demands made from someone - Xe-Lo - who fell out in spectacular fashion with sweet and friendly Francina Armengol when she jumped PSOE ship some four years ago and ended up in the ranks of Podemos. To put it bluntly, Francina can't stand her.

And on closer examination, what was really the fuss about the Bachiller funding? He may not have been coming up with the research goods, but it turns out that this arrangement goes back some ten years. Should we conclude, therefore, that it was all the fault of Jaume Matas? It was during his reign that the funding started, and it continued through the Antich phase and on into the Bauzá era, when austerity was all the rage but apparently not when it came to a lab that wasn't achieving a great deal.

While Xe-Lo was resisting calls from the likes of Wild Man Més, David Abril, to vacate the speaker's chair, another one of the Podemos sisterhood was active in seeking a counter-purge. The also suspended Montse Seijas, who no one had ever heard of until last week, denounced Podemos general secretary Alberto Jarabo over his connections with the broadcaster IB3. Jarabo, in his former life, was a producer. Seijas, it turned out, had commissioned a report which raised "alarm" where she was concerned because of the apparent ongoing, if indirect, relationship between Jarabo and IB3; essentially, the production company for which he had been working has allegedly been getting more work. This report was, according to Seijas, sat on because of its supposedly defamatory nature.

Questions have been asked as to why Podemos High Command got involved in the local issue of the Bachiller lab and who put High Command up to suspending Xe-Lo and Seijas. The IB3 angle suddenly made things appear (potentially) somewhat clearer.

While all this local business was going on, High Command, in the form of Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias, was stamping his authority more firmly on the party. Amidst the internecine struggle between Iglesias and the Infant Iñigo Errejón, an Iglesias man, Ramón Espinar, was named general secretary of the party in Madrid. The loser was Rita Maestre, most famed for having taken her clothes off (well some) in a Madrid chapel and therefore having ended up in court on a charge of denying religious freedom (she was fined some four thousand euros). Rita is referred to, in somewhat disparaging terms, as "la chica de Errejón".

Anyway, her defeat confirmed the progressively more left-wing shift of Iglesias, who is now firmly aligned with the anti-capitalist extreme wing of Podemos, of which the Balearics Boot Girl, Laura Camargo, is a leading light. And it is Laura, as everyone knows, who wears the trousers in the Balearics. Jarabo is her soul mate. The Seijas IB3 intervention was a declaration of internal war. And the winners will not be either another Errejón "chica", Xe-Lo, or Seijas.

No comments: