Monday, May 14, 2007

Municipal Elections 2007....Premature Birth

Returning refreshed from my brief stay in the low countries, I find I have a small pile of things I want to write about, mostly to do with the forthcoming elections. When I posted back in February about the fashion for inaugurating public works in election campaigns, it never occurred to me that we were going to get quite such an intense frenzy of bogus inaugurations like that which we have experienced in the last couple of weeks in Madrid.

The prize for the most fraudulent inauguration so far is not going to Madrid mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón for opening traffic tunnels without drains, Alberto has been outdone by his party rival and regional boss; the pauper president Esperanza Aguirre. La Espe turned up a couple of weeks ago for the opening ceremony and accompanying photo fest of a newly built hospital in Parla, to the south of Madrid. She posed proudly for the photographers with her hand resting on an incubator, as evidence of how her administration was improving health services for the region.

Once the show had moved on, I suppose to yet another opening ceremony, it turns out that the incubator also had to move. It was shipped out the back door of the hospital and returned to the one from which it had been temporarily borrowed for the photo opportunity. Inside the hospital, an unsuspecting invitee tried to go to one of the shiny new bathrooms, she was informed that this was not possible because a few small but important pieces of porcelain were still missing from the, as yet, uninaugurated facility.

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