Change of direction

LOOK RIGHT: Albert Rivera may be better off breaking his pledge. Photo: Carlos Delgado/Wikipedia

LOOK left, look right, look left again. The old recommendation on crossing the road must be on Albert Rivera’s mind as Ciudadanos, the party he leads, prepares to look right in Andalucia.

Before December 2 the party looked left, shoring up Susana Diaz’s PSOE government although Rivera vowed that there would be no repetition this time.

Thanks to extreme right wing Vox’s 12 parliamentary seats, the still-acting regional president cannot form a government although hers was the most-voted party.

Meanwhile, this gives Ciudadanos the opportunity of entering a Partido Popular government enabled by Vox.

Ciudadanos campaigned to oust the PSOE and Susana Diaz from the regional government but voters know that political promises are piecrusts meant to be broken.

Long term for centrist Ciudadanos, and when seen from outside Andalucia, that might be one promise it would be better to break.

The three-card-trick

AFTER 36 years of PSOE governments, the PP’s Juan Manuel Moreno will almost certainly be invested president of Andalucia and Ciudadanos will enter his government.

Political journalist Ruben Amon recently described Rivera and Cs as Pablo Casado’s Shabbos goy, the gentile paid to do what an orthodox Jew cannot carry out on the Sabbath.

In Andalucia that means the horse-trading and negotiating with Vox which Casado is reluctant to be seen doing.

Not everyone trusts a horse-trader, especially those not in on the deal. Seen from outside allying a centre party to the right and the extreme right will look more like a three-card-trick where the punter never wins.

Naming no names

DESPITE the destabilising presence of ETA, internationally classed as a terrorist organisation, the pro-independence group never did destabilise the Basque region.

ETA happily killed civilians and politicians from all parties, taking the lives of 829 people between 1968 and 2010 before finally dissolving all its structures in 2018.

In his New Year’s Eve speech, the Basque region’s president Iñigo Urkullu did not mention Cataluña but emphasised Euskadi’s “different type of reply” to problems, disagreements and divisions, practising a model based on “respect, moderation, dialogue, trust and agreement.”

A former president Javier Arzalluz once provoked indignation outside the region by claiming that the Basques’ predominant RH-negative blood group identified them as Europe’s oldest inhabitants.

Since Basque is not an Indo-European language, who’s to say he’s wrong?

What’s more, respect, moderation, dialogue, trust and agreement aren’t every region’s reply to disagreements and divisions.  Naming no names, naturally.

Creating problems

MEANWHILE, back in Barcelona, Quim Torra, Cataluña’s regional president delivered his own New Year’s message.

He dances to the tune of the self-exiled former Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, who scarpered to Belgium after an aborted UDI in October 2017 and Torra called on the population to “rise up against injustice and tear down the walls of oppression.”

In other words, the same old secessionist litany of grumbles, wrongs and resentments.

Most human beings and – according to Jane Goodall – primates love a good grouse but politicians are paid to solve problems and not, like Torra and Puigdemont, to create them.

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