Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Politics and Poetry - there's a title to put everyone off!

Toni, with all the professional aplomb of a Big Game Hunter, managed to dispatch a mosquito that had the temerity to show its face in the bedroom this morning, after the pernicious insect had taken a sip of my Group A+ for his breakfast! Armed only with his trusty electric tennis racquet, Toni waged a battle which ended with that satisfying phutt! of my vaporising blood inside the fried carapace of the impudent insect. If only the power-hungry squabbling political insects now filling our television screens could be eliminated as easily!

And so, with what you have to admit is a masterly segue from mosquitoes to the present political climate in Spain, I can continue to shake my head in woeful disbelief at what appears to be happening in the country as the politicians scrabble for power and consider their options.

The situation at present is that no party has an overall majority. PP, the right wing Conservative party has the largest number of seats; the second party is PSOE, the Spanish equivalent of the Labour Party. The other two main parties are Podemos, a left-wing party promising wide-ranging changes in the way that Spain is governed. Podemos gained more seats than the newly founded right-wing party C's, which is beloved by anti-Catalans and Big Business.

PP joining with the C's are still too small a combination to command a majority in parliament and so the empty-headed leader of the C's has proposed a grand grouping of PP with C's and PSOE. The stuff of nightmares! From the C's point of view this would be a combination of all those parties who are opposed to the breaking up of Spain and, much more importantly, it would give the leader of the C's an opportunity to pretend that he was in government.

At present, Bromo (the so-called Prime Minister of Spain) is having talks with the leader of PSOE – and those two parties together could command a majority.

If I want to be cynical (and I do) then I could say that the two parties in these talks, PP and PSOE, are the parties who have flip-flopped power between each other and so have most to lose by the break up of the previous two party state of politics in Spain. I would also say that both of these parties are, thanks to their entrenched positions of power in the country, systemically corrupt – with PP being almost comically so. They can both see their cosy relationships with power and money slipping away from them. They have everything to lose, so their frantic attempts to retain what power they can will result, I am sure, in moral compromises that would make a Mafia Capo blush.

With the excuse of 'keeping Spain together' they could use the very real threat of Catalan separation to form a Government of The Damned bringing together the two discredited parties in an un-holy alliance to protect their interests. The whole idea sends shivers of disgust through me!

Any alliance between PSOE and PP will inevitably result in the implosion of PSOE and they would have to be utter idiots to think of keeping Bromo (or even worse the poison dwarf who is his deputy) in power as it will destroy the party. However the blandishment of power has ever been one of the greatest impediments to clear sight!

A more dangerous way forward is one which appears to be getting clearer, moment by moment. Podemos has made it clear that one of the major elements which would have to be incorporated as policy for any pact that they make is the provision of a referendum about independence for Catalonia. POSE has equally made it clear that they are not prepared to consider that. There are no other ways of forming a working majority in parliament than PP/PSOE or PSOE/Podemos/smaller parties, or PP/PSOE/C's – so the possibility of another election looms. Which nobody in their right minds wants.

However, it could be of benefit to the two major parties. They could say that they had done their best to form a government, but the question of the separation of Spain had kept them apart. The election could therefore be presented to the electorate on a 'Future of a United Spain' ticket with the two major parties presenting themselves as different aspects of policy but united by a shared concept of 'Spain'. This is a very risky strategy and it could backfire dramatically – but the media are firmly on the side of the established parties and they can and will stir up a fire-storm of right-wing feeling to try and get the 4 million PP 'lost votes' back.

Bromo is going to meet the leader of C's on Monday – now there is a conversation to miss!

Meanwhile, as political parties bad mouth each other and squabble, I am pleased to announce that my New Poems Blog is heading towards 2,000 visits! I post new poems as I write them and, although they may be changed in future revisions, they are a useful source base for what I have done and when. These poems also have, at least the more recent ones, a short description of the manner of their production and thoughts about their final forms.

It is an interesting experience reading some of the earlier poems where I become a 'reader' rather than a 'writer' – always a stimulating experience.

If you would like to read my poems please click on the link below:

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