Sinking to such depths

Political propaganda is not usually known for its subtlety

It’s a trivial event, if you will, with everything else that’s going on. But some trivial events are rather revealing, and this one tells us a lot about the grotesque situation we find ourselves in. It takes place in three acts. First: Global Spain, a public body which in theory promotes Spain abroad, summons the consuls of several foreign countries to the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon to hold an event. Second: at the last moment, with a total lack of respect for the guests, the event is cancelled with the sole explanation that it’s raining. Whether it was raining or not, the consuls had arrived there at the agreed time. Third: Global Spain issues an apology and deletes a video from its social media accounts which was to have been screened during the ceremony. The video features Oriol Junqueras dressed like a cartoon thief, wearing a mask and a striped shirt.

It would be nothing but a ridiculous, trivial occurrence, if it weren’t for the fact that Global Spain’s sole function is to inform the rest of the world that Spain is a democracy which is governed by the rule of law and that those who seek Catalan independence are not part of a legitimate political movement, but instead belong to a gang of insurgent criminals. The video which was taken down —which obviously meant that everyone watched it— was the work of Foro Europa Ciudadana [European Citizen’s Forum], a platform which is a regular partner of Global Spain and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which Spain has reduced to an office of anti-independence propaganda. Although the video purports to be aimed at educated adults, it turns out to be a cartoon which tells a tale of goodies and baddies, narrated by a man in a syrupy, paternalistic voice.

We appreciate that political propaganda isn’t usually known for its subtlety, but watching that dismal video produces genuine embarrassment on behalf of those who made it. The consuls didn’t miss anything, but they didn’t miss out on being rudely stood up.

The person responsible for this outrage is Irene Lozano, a director with the rank of Deputy Minister, who is capable of publicly comparing the 1 October referendum with rape. Her superior is Josep Borrell, a man who forces one to ask an innocent question: why does the PSOE go to such lengths to protect him? Borrell is an erratic, eccentric character, who is prone to stoke confrontation and disagreement wherever he goes. He gets angry, letting his mouth run away with itself, and he’s as likely to walk off in the middle of a televised interview, as he is to downplay the extermination of Native Americans, or falsely claim that he had been spat upon during a parliamentary session. Not to mention the spectre of corruption which hangs above him following the Abengoa scandal. Political parties tend to get rid of difficult individuals such as Borrell, or at least keep them out of sight, conveniently disguised among their second and third ranks. It seems to show more than anything the depths to which the PSOE has sunk, the party which has decided to repeat an election which it had won, thus putting itself at risk of losing the second time round.

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