How not to win la Guerra de los Toros, or The Cattle Raid of Cooley revisited

Some historical advice from an Irish perspective for Esperanza Aguirre on the pitfalls of attempting to demonstrate by symbolic means the virile and libertarian spirit of Madrid in the invented and regrettable conflict between it and doldrummed Barcelona.

Medb of Connaught on an Irish pound note: model for Queen Esperanza? (Image GNU from <a href=''>Wikimedia Commons</a>)

Medb of Connaught on an Irish pound note: model for Queen Esperanza? (Image GNU from Wikimedia Commons)

Don Colin notes the possible benefits for her ambition to lead the PP of Esperanza Aguirre’s absurd posturing re the crazy ban on bullfighting, which, unlike the state of the economy, is currently undergoing careful consideration in the Catalan Parliament.

Like her offer to open Catalan-speaking schools in Madrid, her stand is clearly intended as a metaphor for the Hispano-libertarian meme that, unlike in Barcelona, her administration will try not to get involved in the personal decisions of its citizens and businesses. This allegedly laissez faire approach–Gallardón, anyone?–is used to explain why Madrid appears conclusively to have superseded Barcelona as Spain’s economic motor, which may not be saying very much.

What is missing, however, is a great imaginative coup, a dramatic demonstration of Madrilenian virility set off against Barcelona’s faux-pacifist, -vegetarian, -sandal-wearing provincial decadence. And what better than a cattle raid to steal the bulls of Barcelona in order to slaughter them in Madrid?

The clearest historical model for Esperanza of Madrid in this case is another queen, Medb of Connaught, whose exploits, recounted in the Cattle-Raid of Cooley, provide a somewhat unfortunate precedent. For Medb sets out with a war party to crown her wealth by robbing the Brown Bull of Cooley, an over-sexed stud beast, only to find in her way, between epic bouts of drinking and shagging, Cuchulain, the Hound of Ulster.

I read that a piss-poor film designed to mitigate private clients’ fiscal liabilities is due out soonish, which, although it may not appear in Barcelona due to Catalan-language requirements, may provide useful research material for Madrid’s voters.

Of course there will always be those who say that the Story of Mac Dathó’s Pig is the more appropriate analogy, and they are welcome to their opinion.

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  1. My spiritual leader reminds me that any cultural policy is anti-freedom. Yes, but.

    Meanwhile, maybe we should all be grateful we don’t live in Switzerland: with a faltering banking industry and state advocates for animals, they’ll all be shepherds and cuckoo-clock makers in 20 years time.

  2. Economic motor you say? Don’t make laugh: Ha, ha! They have a huge trade deficit, because basically they can’t sell anything they do. I predict that in the next decade their GDP will plummet to the levels of Morocco, if they are lucky.

  3. Primo, I’d say both Barcelona and Madrid are in the same position. Basing an economy on the construction of unwanted plywood flats was probably a bad decision on the part of Aznar and Zapatero.

    Still as long as these cities’ business and political elites can keep appropriating the surplus value created by workers in the service sector, I’m sure the party can go on indefinitely.

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