Political animals

Vote rabbit! More carrots! Less meat!

Vote rabbit! More carrots! Less meat!

Elections are still taken too seriously in Spain and Spain is still too monocultural for there to have arisen a tradition of mock-millenialist non-conformist participants such as Holland’s Rapaille Partij and Britain’s Monster Raving Loonies. And this probably isn’t going to change anytime soon: judging by its mistakes, this Sant Cugat election poster (click it!) was produced by either a foreigner or a rabbit. However, its subversive aims are clear: Vote rabbit! More carrots! Less meat!

Catalonia was the only place where George “Animal Farm” Orwell seems to have felt anything less than completely miserable. However, here are three examples of Catalan animals continuing to fail dismally to score in the political stakes:

1) The Generalitat seems to be on the way to adopting the Catalan donkey as a symbol of nationhood but, while the Catalan donkey may be as potent a political symbol as the Cameronian lion or New Hampshire’s red-spotted newt, donkeys I ask tend not to view this development in overwhelmingly positive terms.

2) I was in a rush yesterday morning, so I didn’t have time to find out why these cows were delivering virgins to Sant Jaume on Ferran – it was about seven Sundays after Easter and there were no special saints days. Anyway, despite wearing what could conceivably be construed to be a Catalan barretina, these cows failed to attract crowds of potential voters and the policemen blocking the street were vocally unenthusiastic about having been drafted into agricultural duties.

3) Pork supplies an impressive slice of Catalan regional income and you can smell Spain’s drive to become European market leader when you go walking in Osona. However, pigs don’t necessarily cut it closer to home. Sunday afternoon walkers in the forests near national poet Verdaguer’s Barcelona villa tend to consist of folk who have taken leave of their senses or those who never really got it together to start with. After exchanging numerous over-cheery bon dias with clusters of bulgy-eyed nationalists, we bumped into a large group of the latter. Followed at a distance by their exhausted helpers, they were led by a gentleman with Down’s Syndrome, a large bocadillo de chorizo and a Barça cap. His mum had obviously never told him that singing with your mouth full was rude too, so he was bellowing the summer hit, Vaya, vaya, vaya, aquí no hay playa. Not to be outdone, I chanted Jamón, jamón, jamón to the melody of the 1941 classic, Amor, amor, amor. Not one of them laughed, not one, and the silence was awful as we fled.

Although the winning candidate for mayor in Sant Cugat has some of the superficial traits of a cartoon rodent, town hall sources have confirmed that no attempt was made to register a Senyor Conill or any other political anthropomorph during the recent elections. Related walk: Sant Cugat to Barcelona.

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