Vox not pop­uli

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - VOX POP - By James Parkes

As ed­i­tor, I must say it's sad to see at least four do­mes­tic or gen­der vi­o­lence news sto­ries in this week's edi­tion.

Our crit­ics say we should not pub­lish so many crime sto­ries, but if we ig­nore this or play it down, where would this lead us? Prob­a­bly into the same lane with ex­treme-right wing party Vox.

While in­ci­dents are be­ing re­ported and con­firmed (not made up) through­out the coun­try - and more specif­i­cally in Cal­losa, Vil­la­joyosa and Mur­cia this week - some chose to turn a blind eye and claim, like Vox has, that only 3% of such in­ci­dents are 'real', the rest 'in­vented'.

Can some peo­ple re­ally ig­nore the bruises, cuts, emer­gency op­er­a­tions and, sadly, the fu­ner­als of the vic­tims?

Can you hon­estly walk up to the 19-year-old who was gan­graped in Cal­losa on New Year's Eve and tell her she 'made it all up'?

Shame on you if you dare to! Be­cause ef­fec­tively you are as­sault­ing them once again, and ig­nor­ing it is not go­ing to work ei­ther - this is not 'Fake News'.

But let’s not for­get that halfa-mil­lion peo­ple in the An­dalucía re­gion voted for these peo­ple and their pro­pos­als. And what is even more sur­pris­ing is that a large num­ber of women are back­ing this alt-right party.

For­give my lim­ited mas­cu­line mind for this thought, but how can women sup­port a party that has openly de­manded the scrap­ping of all gen­der vi­o­lence laws and the with­drawal of funds from all do­mes­tic vi­o­lence aid asso­ciations? I'm sure I'm miss­ing some­thing here, but please some­one, prefer­ably a fe­male Vox sup­porter, tell me what on earth it is!

I've even given close thought to change the name of this sec­tion as the word Vox has shame­fully be­gin to sound re­pul­sive to many in Spain.

Of course, we can re­spect opin­ions, but when they lead to vi­o­lence and mur­der we must draw the line. Be­cause Vox's haz­ardous creed does not stop at that.

Ad­mit­tedly il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, re­gional na­tion­al­ist ed­u­ca­tion and in fact re­gional gov­ern­ments them­selves are is­sues that many Spaniards and ex­pats alike would love to amend - but I'm pretty sure we can do bet­ter that 'abol­ish', de­port with­out ques­tion' and sim­i­lar ac­tions.

Let’s not for­get that us 'ex­pats' could also be con­sid­ered 'im­mi­grants' - and that depend­ing on the out­come of Brexit, we may even be­come il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

The de­mands Vox pre­sented to the PP to sup­port its new re­gional gov­ern­ment also in­cluded the en­cour­age­ment of gen­der-seg­re­gated schools, the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of bull­fight­ing and hunt­ing, and the im­me­di­ate de­por­ta­tion of 52,000 im­mi­grants.

They even want to change the re­gional day from Fe­bru­ary 28 to Jan­uary 2 to cel­e­brate the Chris­tian re­con­quer­ing of Granada.

Some of the de­mands them­selves are out­ra­geous, the ma­jor­ity can­not be ac­com­plished by a re­gional gov­ern­ment and some are il­le­gal un­der Span­ish and EU laws.

But more fright­en­ing is the fact that de­spite con­sid­er­ing them 'un­ac­cept­able' the PP ac­tu­ally sat at a ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble with them and even­tu­ally took on-board some of their pro­pos­als - ad­mit­ted the 'lighter ones'.

In all fair­ness, some aren't too bad. For ex­am­ple hav­ing an 'a la carte' ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem where par­ents can ef­fec­tively ob­ject to their chil­dren tak­ing lessons on sub­jects they do not agree with (mainly re­li­gious and sex­ual ed­u­ca­tion mat­ters). How­ever, this is eas­ier said than done.

Pro­mot­ing tra­di­tional fam­ily val­ues can­not be crit­i­cised ei­ther - although it will ag­gra­vate 'non-tra­di­tional' fam­i­lies and cer­tain col­lec­tives.

Pro­mot­ing Span­ish cul­ture is ok too, but this has al­ready been done world­wide - how­ever tor­tur­ing bulls and sport-shoot­ing an­i­mals is very hard to de­fend in modern so­ci­ety as be­ing part of your 'cul­ture'.

Even re-cen­tral­is­ing some de­part­ments such as ed­u­ca­tion (cur­rently kids get a com­pletely dif­fer­ent side of the story depend­ing on which re­gion they live in, es­pe­cially Cataluña), jus­tice and se­cu­rity is worth con­sid­er­ing. But when you put these at the bot­tom of you pri­or­ity list with the first item be­ing the change of the re­gional fi­esta day - surely your cred­i­bil­ity is wrecked.

Some jus­tify the late bloom­ing of an or­gan­ised ex­tremeright wing party in Spain say­ing 'the same is hap­pen­ing through­out Europe' - well so did the plague in the dark ages and I can't be­lieve any­one thought it was a trend worth fol­low­ing at the time!

Vox has come about be­cause in Span­ish eyes the bid for in­de­pen­dence in some re­gions and the far-left in­flu­ence in oth­ers has caused a gen­eral feel­ing that Spain is break­ing up, and sadly they ap­pear to be right - but in this case ex­tremely right. We have al­ways been told ex­tremes are dan­ger­ous, yet we now seem to find them trendy.

Let’s just hope for the sake of 'ma­cho' vi­o­lence vic­tims such as the Cal­losa 19-year-old that this is not the case with Vox and the rest of Spain.

In­deed let’s hope that in this case Vox is not pop­uli.

Photo An­gel Gar­cía

A woman join­ing the Cal­losa d'En Sar­riá protest on Mon­day

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