Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Spies Who Talked Too Much

Since we're already on the subject of the badly educated, it's time to catch up with what's happening in the case of the Countess and her "Gestapillo". According to the latest press reports, the police have now confirmed from mobile telephone records that the former Guardia Civil officers employed by Espe's administration were indeed following both Manuel Cobo and Alfredo Prada in the tense weeks preceding the re-election of Mariano Rajoy as PP leader. The judge handling the case now has to take a decision on whether to press charges for misuse of public funds - arguably a charge which could be used to close down much of the Comunidad's activities.

The Madrid PP have already changed their story several times on the spying scandal. In the case of Prada, when they eventually had to accept that the evidence of him being followed was unanswerable, the excuse was that the agents were engaging in special surveillance duties for security reasons. They will need a better excuse in the case of Cobo, because he holds no position in the Comunidad; being the deputy of Madrid's mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardón. I am just thankful that Madrid doesn't have its own, official, police force. I shudder to think what it would be used for. If the spies hadn't used their mobile phones so freely there probably wouldn't be a case to answer.

Meanwhile the fallout from Cobo's attack on Aguirre's "vomitivo" positions will probably continue into next year. Indeed Cobo's status is now at the heart of the continuing war between Aguirre and Gallardón. Because Cobo has been suspended from membership of the PP for a year for speaking too freely, Aguirre supporters have been calling for him to be removed from his official positions in the Ayuntamiento. Gallardón just looks the other way and pretends he can't hear, and it is rumoured that Cobo will be readmitted back to the party before the year is up.

This is important because Aguirre may also try to remove him from the PP's lists for the municipal elections next year, something which will be made easier if Cobo is not formally a party member when they are drawn up. Aguirre's people control the PP in Madrid, the question is whether they will risk the confrontation that will follow any attempt to exclude Cobo. A key factor might be whether national leader Mariano Rajoy gets involved in the issue, although given his current reluctance to deal with anything difficult that doesn't seem very likely. I bring you this information with the sole objective of providing reassurance that Madrid continues to be run in the best interests of its citizens.

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