Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Jesús And Montse Chain

If rock music had never existed, its invention may well have used as its prototype The Jesus and Mary Chain. Here, pre-Oasis and pre-Primal Scream, was a post-punk creation, aided by Alan McGee's Creation Records, notable and notorious for two brothers with a capacity for duelling cricket-bat violence that could have acted as the manual for the Gallaghers and a further capacity for vast drug-taking in the grand style of the Primals' Bobby Gillespie, who had after all been their original drummer. Naturally enough, it was to eventually all end in tears, the Reid brothers at the point of killing each other.

They have, of course, in good rock tradition, reformed, having discovered a maturity that was singularly lacking in the eighties. The fate of The Jesus and Mary Chain may act as a metaphor (minus, one trusts, the drugs and violence) for what is the new political rock 'n' roll. Had political parties never existed, the invention could have been Podemos. Ostensibly ultra-democratic, extending a message to an audience of worshippers like those waving their lighters at a rock concert, forging rather than breaking a mould of staleness, they burst onto the scene with a previously unknown vim and vigour. But as with many a rock band, they are confronted with the difficult second album, the first having been the astonishing impact at the Euro elections and then the regionals and generals. The difficulty is such that there are political (musical) differences, a fragmenting and no small amount of infighting and intrigue.  

Amidst all this, we have the Jesús of the party: Jesús Jurado, the second vice-president at the Council of Mallorca, the number three to the Banbury Boy, Mick of the Consell. All had seemed sweetness and light at the Council, Mick steering a consensual ship with his able vice-presidential men, Jesús and Francesc Miralles of PSOE, navigating in the same direction. Then there came the thorny problem of budgets. Darkness encroached, and more was to come. Jesús, so it is being alleged, had been selecting senior officials by himself, forming his own off-shoot group at the Council and leaving the three-piece band appearing to be shorn of one member.

While Mick's band is running up against its difficulties, Jesús's alleged contracting enters the territory signposted Ethics. Or rather, in the opposite direction. Podemos, refuting any unethical behaviour, are adopting a somewhat different line to that regarding Xelo Huertas and Montse Seijas. The latter was branded a "defector" by the local leadership as she was formally dismissed from the parliamentary group last Monday. Where her defection will lead her remains an unknown, but the meeting at which she was expelled didn't hint at the political differences ending up with her and Xelo forming The Happy Mondays.

Montse returned the compliment. The defectors are in fact the Podemos leadership. She, Montse, said that she will continue to defend the ideas of Podemos. It is they, the leadership, which are not. "They do not defend what the citizens voted for." Following this, and like rock bands resort to litigation in squabbles over royalties, Podemos now find a court taking an interest.

Montse presented a "denuncia". This claimed that her digital signature had been used without her knowledge. She had registered questions that she wanted to ask on health matters. Some while later, it emerged that the questions had been withdrawn without her consent. A judge, therefore, would like a word with the Podemos leadership. It could, say could, represent a violation of her rights as a representative of the citizens, which would be a serious issue. The leadership's response is that this was "an administrative error" in a "routine" procedure such as the automated system of signatures. The judge will seek to unravel this particular chain.

Meanwhile, Podemos give an appearance of themselves unravelling. Might they split, citing political differences, only to reform some time in the future and return having acquired greater maturity? Probably not, but they nevertheless face the problem of the difficult second album.

No comments: