I've worked out that, when I finally get my Spanish “pension” (it really is so small that it doesn't deserve to be allowed to exist without quotation marks) it will be the equivalent of getting a fiver every day for breakfast – perhaps a bit more, but I'm allowing for inflation and Brexit! Which is much better, as I always say, than having to pay a fiver a day before breakfast! And I get it just for being alive!
I expect that this delight will wear off and I will get back to the more grimy realities of life rather than spending my time rhapsodising about something which is boringly predictable, and for which I have paid throughout my working life. But, I have to come back to the point that pensions are magical when they happen. Magical that is, as long as you have been fortunate enough to gain access to a scheme which gives you a living return. And of course where you are still living to enjoy it.
However, enough of that (though I cannot guarantee that I will not wax lyrical when I actually feel the putative money in my hot little hands) and on to more serious things.
The political situation in the UK is depressing to put it mildly. Not only are Conservative stalking the corridors of power under the delusion that they have coherent policies to govern the country, but also an unelected PM is gibbering about education as if she has been caught in a 1950s time loop! In desperation I look towards my adopted country to show signs of sanity.
Fat chance of that.
After two inconclusive General Elections, Spain is still umpteen months into trying to form a government. Meanwhile we have a government in functions to continue the outward appearance of competence. Unfortunately this is being attempted by PP, the Conservative Party of Spain which is, to any reasonable viewer, totally and irremediably corrupt. And brazen about it too. I urge you to put “PP” and “corruption” into Google and see what you come up with.
The sheer number of cases of corruption involving PP is astonishing. Don't get me wrong, other political parties on the left and centre as well as the right are corrupt, but they are nothing compared with the epic corruption shown by the party of 'government'!
And what of the left, the opposition? In the Way of the Left they are at each other's throats. The major opposition party, PSOE has not gained enough seats in either election to form an alternative government of the left. To be the government they would have to pact with another party or ask for abstentions from other parties when the election of a President occurs.
In the first election PSOE could have pacted with Podemos (a new party of the left) and they would have had an overall majority. Instead, after the election, Podemos was filled with elation and suggested a pact in which they would become partners in government and stipulated which ministries they wanted all the while waving a positive book of legislation that they wanted to get through in double quick time! PSOE (especially the so/called Barons or leaders of the party) were horrified at what they saw as the presumption of a bunch of Johnny come lately leftie extremists.
Podemos was also in favour of giving Catalonia a referendum on independence and therefore this was an added, and for many in PSOE a clinching reason for retreating from any agreement with what in politics counts as alacrity.
Instead PSOE pacted with C's, another new party of the right. This 'brilliant' strategy did not give the combined parties an overall majority and the C's were anathema to Podemos and so in the Presidential election in parliament both PP and Podemos voted against. Stalemate. New elections.
Amazingly, in the new elections, PP (The Putrid Party) after a series of revelations which showed the systemic nature of corruption at all levels in the party, actually gained votes! People, ordinary people, always have the capacity to astonish. C's lost some votes and Podemos gained some but, and this is why we are still without a government, there is still difficulty in forming a government with an overall majority.
PP (sic!) have the largest number of votes but no overall majority. The C's (the political sluts of Spain) having pacted with PSOE on the left, now switched to the right and voted with PP for the old President. Everybody else voted against and therefore we had no new government.
The left, i.e. PSOE and Podemos now no longer can combine and form an overall majority, they would need the abstention of the C-s sluts or the active support of other small independence parties. A big no no for PSOE.
The situation, as it draws itself out, grows more complicated. Recent elections in Galicia and the Basque Country did not work out well for PSOE and so, over the last few days some senior members of the party have resigned from the executive committee trying to cause the resignation of the current party leader. Other members of PSOE have been murmuring about abstaining during the next presidential vote. Everything seems to suggest that Rajoy and PP will form the next government. The left seems incapable of seeing the big picture, that a continuing government of Rajoy and PP will be an out and out disaster for Spain and they need to bury differences and work something out which keeps Rajoy out too.
I have no confidence that people will see sense. I think that party loyalty is something which is far too important to far too many people, and the fate of the country runs a very unconvincing second best to party|personal gain. It is a depressing realisation, but I think it is all too accurate.
But the sun is shining and I was able to do a little light sunbathing. So, at the moment, not everything is ill in the world!