It's not been as cold this winter in Culebrón as it usually is. Outside, as so often, it's lovely. Blue skies and reasonable temperatures - usually a pullover versus jacket sort of choice. Hardly ever a raincoat. Inside it can be perishing but not so much, so far, this winter. Because it wasn't so cold in the bathroom I use and because I don't teach on Fridays I was dawdling a bit over the toothbrushing, hair combing, wrinkle examining ritual this morning and so I heard more of the tertulia, the round table discussion, on the morning radio news, than I often do.
Spanish politics is a bit in limbo at the moment whilst the four big and biggish parties circle around each other suggesting this and that deal to form a Government after last month's indecisive General Election. So Rajoy is still President but until things are sorted out most things are on hold. Up in Cataluña there was a similar impasse for several months about forming a new regional government until the old President stepped aside in favour of a chap called Carles Puigdemont. I'm sure that you know that there is a movement in Cataluña to become independent of the rest of Spain. Rajoy has often being criticised for not being willing enough to talk to the Catalans.
Anyway apparently some Catalan radio station made a hoax call to the acting President Mariano Rajoy. They got through too and somebody pretending to be the Catalan Premier had a chat with Mariano. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable conversation to me. A comfortable conversation. Rajoy said he was happy to talk, that his diary was pretty clear at the moment given the situation, he reminded "Carles" that they had met during the opening of a new rail line etc. When the call was revealed to be a hoax he was still pleasant enough asking about the radio station and the programme. He seemed far from concerned about it. I approved. I'm not a big Rajoy fan but he came across well in my opinion.
Interesting enough little story but pretty run of the mill. I onced phoned Willie Whitelaw as Home Secretary and got through so it didn't seem that odd to me. When I said to Willie that I was surprised to be able to talk to him directly he was very forthright in his reply. "Why do you think I have a phone on my desk if it isn't to talk to people?" he asked. But the pundit on the radio was going on about how the staff close to Rajoy should have screened the call, what a terrible lapse it was, how heads should roll and why people should be resigning.
I was indignant. This country has been and probably is riddled with corruption. Low level corruption is everywhere and it's often not seen for what it is. I suggested on a Guardia Civil website that they should maybe not use be using official vehicles for collecting food for charity and they simply couldn't understand why I thought there was any problem. Lots of top politicians, big names, have sidestepped accusations that seemed well founded to me without problems. But, for some reason a professional natterer thinks that somebody should resign for a harmless prank that actually made Rajoy seem just a little bit more human.