Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tough Times For The TDT Party

Continuing with the media theme that I posted on yesterday, it's worth taking a look at how things are going for those on the right to the very far right of the political spectrum. With the Partido Popular expected to return to power either later this year or in the first quarter of 2012, a change of government can't come soon enough for the now numerous ultras in Spain's media scene. 

The principal problem is that the generosity of PP controlled regional governments in handing out digital (TDT) TV licences to their political allies has led to a situation of severe overcrowding. In areas like Madrid you could get until recently Libertad Digital, Veo7, Intereconomía and even Popular TV for the over religious. This of course in the area where we already have Telemadrid, under the ever tighter political control of Esperanza Aguirre.

Even for the most rabid sections of Spain's less than moderate right-wing, there has to be some limit on the number of shouting match political tertulias with more or less the same band of participants screeching their hatred of Zapatero night after night; year after year. Something had to give as none of these stations attracts huge audiences and there has been a dramatic decline in income from advertising. Strangely the first to go was Veo7, owned by Unidad Editorial which also owns El Mundo and Marca.

You would think that such a powerful media group would be able to sustain a presence amongst the new digital channels, but these are hard times and the group is not doing well. El Mundo's attempt to inflate the number of users for it's Orbyt online news platform by handing subscriptions out on Twitter doesn't disguise the fact that it is not covering the sharp decline in revenue from newspaper sales that is affecting almost everyone. 

The cracks have shown elsewhere too, with Intereconomía reduced a few weeks ago to asking its viewers to support them with donations, truly a test of faith. The video explaining the move has its funny side as they go to enormous lengths to try to claim that the move has nothing to do with the precarious nature of their business. They don't offer anything at all in return for the money, not even shares. The economic liberalism these channels profess is quickly tested when it comes to being given money by viewers or given free licences by political allies. Just as it will be if they get to remind an incoming PP government about where all that lucrative "Gobierno de España" advertising money can go. 

Since we're on the subject of Intereconomía I think La Gaceta deserves a special mention for emphasising at the weekend that the extreme right wing terrorist who killed so many in Norway was allegedly a freemason. So that that was why he did it. Watch out with Prince Philip. I've never really explored the roots of the Francoist obsession with the masons, but the fact that Intereconomía finds it to be the most relevant factor tells its own story about their ideological roots. The right in Spain is generally very uncomfortable with what happened in Norway, some even attempting to suggest that the ideology of hate that inspired the attack shouldn't be linked to the actions of its followers. Now why would they say that?


ejh said...

I've never really explored the roots of the Francoist obsession with the masons

It's a Catholic thing, to be unhelpfully brief about it.

Graeme said...

Well yes, but didn't Catholic Italy have powerful lodges too?

Roberticus said...

Like EJh says, the nefarious influence of Masonry seems to be an internal product of Catholic countries; correction - of officially Catholic countries.

For contrast nevermind Protestant countries, just look at a Catholic country such as Ireland where civil institutions were formed under AngloSaxon influence. Can it be coincidence that in Ireland, despite the best efforts of the revived Church post-1830s Emancipation and eventual independence from Britain, there has never really been an anti-clerical tradition to speak of?

It seems that whenever the Catholic Church has been embedded in the state, all the violent backlash that it engenders only serves to reinforce its reactionary attitudes.

But of course, the necro-Catholic right in Spain (and Italy to an extent) prefer to see the Church through the prism of victimism.
Really? After centuries of wielding near total control over matters of education, it could still not command the 'gratitude' nor kindle the affections of its populace. And this is not to justify the anti-clerical outrages in those countries...but certainly it helps to explain it. And apropos, more than a victim, was not the Church an active belligerent during the Civil War? I thought the Church was supposed to be above all that temporal titter-tatter.

By the way, in light of the revelations emerging from the Cloyne Report on the clerical abuse scandal in Ireland, any lingering sympathy towards the Church and the notion that it is being unfairly subjected to an aggressive secular witchunt is fast falling appart in the country.

When the Irish PM, that butter-wouldn't-melt, rural schoolteacher and devout Catholic Enda Kenny is so exapserated by what he sees a Vatican skullduggery that he finds himself reduced to launching a speech that would have had convents blazing in 1930s Spain - you know the thing is bad.

It really makes me thankful that Ireland hadn`t been formed under Catholic Rule ... just looking at Rouca Varela makes me see just how right-wing and unctious our already high-and-mighty bishops would've been.

Anonymous said...

Masons = secret society = danger to paranoid dictator, to be blunt. Can't see why the Catholics have anything to do with it.

Mind you, after meeting some of them, I have started to understand just why Franco had them all shot.

Graeme said...

All those funny handshakes. They should get a life.