A cold and windy day, but bright enough for me to (defiantly, I admit) take my coat off when I sat outside to have my cup of tea. As the last two people from Britain to whom I have talked have mentioned scatterings of the White Stuff I feel that my move to the sunnier shores of the Med was more than justified.
Today was the rally in the centre of Madrid in support of Podemos, the new, year-old party that aims to break the stranglehold of the old political parties. Those moribund entities obviously still have institutional teeth which they are gnashing with the fury that comes with the growing realization that their particular gravy train may be coming to the end of the line. What they are doing at the moment is, with breath-taking hypocrisy, character assassination of one of the leaders of Podemos. The whole weight of the corrupt press and media are trying their damndest to throw dirt in the hope that some of it will stick. They find no difficulty in ignoring the overwhelming weight of evidence which clearly shows that they are in no position to say anything about corruption they hope (and know) that if you throw enough smear some of it will stick.
I am, daily, sickened by the frantic attempts of politicians, who can see their easy livelihoods disappearing in a wave of popular disgust, and who try and talk their way to cleanliness as if new words are going to wipe away old stinking deeds!
Spain is a country where change is eagerly awaited. The success of the reform party in Greece has given added momentum to the movement in this country and I wish them every success.
Now the reality check. I have already been proved wrong in my pessimistic forecast about the percentage that this new party could possibly hope to achieve. In some polls Podemos is the highest scoring party ahead of the two main established parties of the left and right. The old parties still have an overall majority and they are going to do everything they possibly can to keep the old, corrupt situation in place.
The real battle is between PP (the irremediably corrupt and shamelessly mendacious party of the right) and Podemos. The Spanish equivalent of the Labour party, PSOE, have made themselves more and more irrelevant by conniving with the government over things like the unconstitutional establishment of the reign of the present King and through their total inability to bring the kleptocracy of PP to account.
But the established parties will retain their diehard supporters and the right frightens more easily than the left and they will close ranks around any bunch of disreputable thieves as long as they sport the PP name. The left will, as the left always does, tear itself apart. PP will be delighted to see battles between PSOE and Podemos – though the leadership of Podemos has been careful to resist the labels of right or left and maintains that it is a part which appeals to the whole of Spain and is a party, the only party, for real change.
I hope that people will respond. If I had a vote in the national elections this year then I would put my X next to Podemos. I only hope enough people are as eager for change as I am and that they ignore their previous party affiliations and do the right thing. I live in hope.
My next book progresses. I have one person thinking about translating the Tree poems into Spanish and another friend has agreed to translate them into Catalan. I have plans for the drawings/illustrations and am looking forward to getting the volume organised. My last two chapbooks have been produced with the emphasis on serendipity rather than a reasoned thematic approach – my next one will be, I hope, different.
The wind is blowing gently in the background. I do not mind this at night; it is during the day that I object!