Sunday, May 21, 2017

Xe-Lo And Montse Denounce Parliament

The office of the president (aka speaker) of the Balearic parliament is - decor-wise - much in keeping with the interior of houses inhabited by ancient Mallorcans. There is, therefore, an enormous amount of wood. Wood panelling, wood flooring, crafted wooden chairs, wooden coffee table and a very wooden desk. The principal concession to modernity is the three-piece with silken yellowish finishing that matches the curtains and what small areas of the walls aren't wood. The other concession is the occupant of the office, Balti.

Given his former life as some form of metalworker, one might have anticipated Balti having performed a metallic refit; even a Metallica one. Out with wood, in with aluminium. Or, in a more traditional (Mallorcan) style, in with some bits of old wrought iron that had been rusting in a shed in Binissalem and which can now be restored by artisan apprentices on youth guarantee schemes, paid for by the vast surplus that parliament turns in, and held up as examples of economic diversification and as a means of tackling tourism seasonality. (All types of alternative employment, you may have noticed, address seasonality.)

Not so long ago, the Balearic government was said to be eyeing up the cash that is sitting in parliament's bank accounts. In other words, the government wanted it. Assuming that the accounts haven't been raided or that finance minister Catalina Cladera hasn't been banging on the glass-pane wooden door to the office and handing in a demand for several million euros, President Balti will have a bit spare to kit out some other offices.

As there are some offices - one, in particular - which need a makeover, surely Balti could get in his new (secondhand) Kangoo and nip down to Ikea for some furniture. He must also, you would think, know the odd artisan office renovation chappy who could be hired, albeit that the process for doing so - in order to prevent any accusations of favouring a mate - would entail a public tender (put out for thirty days of public consultation) and verification by the numerous Podemos citizen councils.

So, getting things done, as in getting new offices sorted out, probably does take some time. Might this, therefore, be the explanation for the discontent being shown by two members of parliament - two former members of Podemos members of parliament?

Xe-Lo, who not so long ago could rattle around the vast presidential suite, and her chum Montse are clearly getting ever more brassed off with their ostracisation. The two fully paid-up members of the Not-Podemos-But-Would-Still-Like-To-Be Party have taken considerable umbrage at the state of their office, if only they had one.

There is apparently a room available, but parliament technicians have told Xe-Lo and Montse that it is barely big enough to swing a cat (not that anyone from Podemos either present or past would do such a thing) let alone accommodate the substantial forms of both themselves (plus two lucky staff), a couple of tables, four chairs and a closet. These same technicians say that the room is not appropriate for working. This being the case and also that Xe-Lo and Montse are having to store vital documents in boxes, they've issued a denuncia against the parliament's board. Off it has gone to the employment ministry's work inspectorate, while they have also raised the matter with parliament's health and safety committee and the occupational hazard prevention officer.

This is clearly an outrage. Here we have a government which espouses dignified working conditions and yet two members of the house are presumably having to make do with sitting on a corridor floor. Obviously things have got so bad that they can't even just have a word in the shell-like of the employment minister, Iago Nicaragua (or whatever it is). He was himself, after all, once a work inspector.

Balti, meanwhile, appears not to have made any comment on this sorry state of affairs. In the spirit of being all-inclusive (in a citizens' style as opposed to a hotel), he must be able find space for Xe-Lo and Montse in his office. And with all that wood acting as soundproofing, no one would ever hear ... .

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