Tuesday, February 19, 2008

La Española Cuando Besa

It happened yesterday. Not once, but twice. Forget the economy, terrorism, Kosovo, the bishops, electoral debates and all that nonsense, the really big issue of the election campaign has been when Esperanza Aguirre and Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón would once again exchange kisses. This follows their slight falling out over the question of whether Gallardón would get his wish to be on his party’s electoral list.

Since that fateful day when Gallardón lost his battle with Aguirre, a new academic speciality has developed which looks for the hidden meanings in all of his public pronouncements. It’s a bit like the Kremlinologists who used to analyse the speeches of Soviet leaders to find what was really meant by their words. The speech that Gallardón made at the end of Carnival was widely seen as a thinly disguised allegory of his battle with Aguirre. Coinciding the other day with Real Madrid star Raúl, Gallardón commiserated with the footballer over his exclusion from the national squad. Don’t worry if you are excluded from the national lists, said Alberto, there will always be others! Whatever could he mean?

Aguirre and Gallardón first kissed yesterday at the opening ceremony for the revamped bus and Metro station at Moncloa. The commemorative plaque of that event (above) says much about the differing styles of the two politicians. Aguirre gets a “Doña” and the full aristocratic surname. She didn’t include her DNI number because there wasn’t space. Meanwhile Gallardón is identified simply as the “Alcalde de Madrid”, no name or number. Whether he will ever be anything more than this remains to be seen.

No comments: