Breaking News: The fur is really flying in Spanish politics this morning. Catalunya TV is reporting that the governing People's Party has announced the Cabinet shakeup directly following the ascension of Mariano Rajoy to candidate for Prime Minister.
Rodrigo Rato, who lost out to Rajoy for the nomination to succeed Jose Maria Aznar, becomes First Vice-Prime Minister, the Number Two man in the government. Javier Arenas becomes Second Vice-Prime Minister and also Minister for Presidency, the chief of staff of the Cabinet. Eduardo Zaplana, the PP's strongman in Valencia, moves to press secretary. Juan Costa takes over at Science and Technology. Josep Pique leaves the Cabinet to devote himself to the campaign for Prime Minister of Catalonia, and Julia Garcia-Valdecasas, currently central government representative in Barcelona, will take over the post of Public Administration. All of these moves were reasonably predictable, and this is proof that a) the PP had this all planned out in advance and b) Rato is not going to go eat worms, he's going to be Rajoy's right-hand man.
Meanwhile, Socialist ex-Cabinet minister Cristina Alberdi, now a Parliamentary deputy, has resigned as president of the Madrid Socialist organization. She publicly blasted her own Socialist Party for massive incompetence and for trying to distract attention from its own problems by blaming the PP for the fiasco of last May's Madrid regional elections. She also said that Jose Bono is the Socialist leader whose position is closest to hers. Jesus Caldera, the Socialist press secretary, proceeded to publicly blast her. Gotta figure that her days as a holder of the Party card are numbered. Like maybe one, two maximum. Unless she's acting as Bono's stalking horse.
Murph says that the whole point here is that the general contrast couldn't be clearer. The PP is organized, disciplined, competent, and professional. Rajoy was confirmed in his post as Secretary General of the PP by an overwhelming margin: everybody voted for him but himself. It was unanimous except for one abstention, and you gotta figure that's his own. The PSOE are confused divided amateur blunderers. It's the Night of the Long Knives and they're cutting each other's throats, fighting like a bunch of fratboys over the last can of beer. They are in free fall and the parachute ain't gonna open.
If you're in Britain and you can gamble on anything at Ladbrokes or William Hill, go down right now and bet your house that Rajoy will be Spain's next Prime Minister. I'll be in London next week and that's exactly what I'd do if I had a house to gamble with. I am going to slap down about a hundred quid if I can find anybody to take the bet.
The dirty tricks have already started. Alfonso Guerra, Socialist bigmouth asshole and Felipe Gonzalez's Number Two, called Mariano Rajoy a "mariposon" (big butterfly, meaning "faggot") in public. The Plataforma Popular Gay, the PP's gay association, has already announced that they're going to sue his ass for slander.
This is just disgusting. Calling your opponent a faggot is not exactly the best way for the supposedly tolerant and inclusive leftist politically correct Socialists to impress anybody with their sense of responsibility and just plain common decency. "Well, we don't have any plans or any kind of program or any good reasons for our supporters to turn out to vote for us, but our opponent is a fag." Fuck you, Alfonso Guerra.