Monday, September 08, 2008

The Outlaw Esperanza, Part One

I was planning to compensate for the inexcusable absence of recent posts about the Lideresa by writing a slightly jokey post along the lines of “Does anyone remember Esperanza Aguirre?” Of course I should have realised that the silence was deceptive, with only a few days left before her coronation as Supreme Leader of the PP in Madrid, Espe has made her presence felt to such an extent that I need more than one post to deal with it all.

So what has she been up to? Breakin' the law seems to be the answer to that question. Just as the new school year is about to begin Aguirre's administration has challenged the government over the new Citizenship module which has now been introduced nationally. This new, and innocuous, subject has been a particular target of the Catholic right who are perfectly happy to have priests indoctrinating all and sundry, but hate the idea that any teaching falling in the sphere of ethics might be taught without the aid of a Bible.

So Madrid has announced that it will offer an alternative to those who declare themselves as “conscientious objectors” to the new subject. Such an escape clause isn't contemplated in the legislation, but has received support from courts in other regions of Spain. This is sufficient justification for Espe to defy the government. One of these judgements, in Andalucia, was delivered by the son of a prominent campaigner against the government's plan, and the sentence itself was close to being a copy and paste job from his fathers writings. The issue is up before the Supreme Court, and you would have thought that the PP would respect that given that they like to pose as the party of law n' order.

Not wishing to be left out of the fun of using education as a means of opposition to the national government, Valencia's PP led administration intends to teach the new subject in English even though it is not a subject which can be taught by English teachers or have the exams set in that language. Other PP controlled regions such as Castilla y Leon have decided to abide by the law and teach an obligatory subject. It's all a bit of a throwback to the previous parliament, with Madrid's PP seeking to be in the forefront of all out opposition to the national government. Because of this we now have the concept of educational conscientious objection as being the preserve of a small number of religious fanatics.

Since we're on the subject of education I came across confirmation in El País of Madrid's policy of using the state schools for children of immigrants whilst encouraging Spaniards to use the publicly (well) funded concertados. According to the latest figures only 23% of immigrant children in the region go to concertados or private schools, whilst the equivalent figure for all children of school age is almost 45%. Given that this 23% figure will include many of the offspring of the wealthier (and whiter?) expatriates the true picture of this undeclared policy of segregation is likely to be worse. Meanwhile, a long established parents association faces eviction because they have been too critical of Espe's gang, who upped the pressure by cutting off the electricity. Just another day here in the badlands, nothing more can be expected in such a lawless region.


Keefieboy said...

$1000 only? Well, if I see her on a Metro platform. Only kidding.

Graeme said...

You're very unlikely to see her on the Metro anyway - except at election time. The dollar's rising in value, I didn't want to put the value too high in case the whole town filled with bounty hunters.

John said...

It is interesting to see "historian" Pio Moa turn against La Lideresa in today's ever-jolly Lib Dig. Just another former favourite of the far right who in the end turns out to be not quite far right enough for them. How few they are, the select visionaries who see the true path!

Her crime (although he says he always doubted her)? Agreeing to change the name of the Pasarela Cibeles to Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week. I have seen him make this argument before in other contexts...he is violently opposed to the use of English in place of Spanish, as he believes that the global giant of English will gobble up other languages, leaving Spanish as something local, spoken only in families, in decline. It therefore needs protection. A line of argument which he conspicuously fails to use, or, more accurately, about which he becomes apoplectic, when employed in relation to Catalan, Galician, and Basque.

He also argues that this use of English plays right into ETA's hands and is all a part of their grand plan (in what way he declines to mention, it is presumably too obvious for this to be required).

Graeme said...

I don't know what to say John, in the very strange world of Pio Moa everything done by anyone who he doesn't fully approve of seems to form part of ETA's master plan. Probably to him and his equally bizarre followers it's obvious.

Espe likes English because she can speak it and she likes to show off. It would make a suitable outpost for her tt end up in when she has to go into exile.

Graeme said...

I mean England, for the exile.