A Tenerife Recipe: Too Many Crooks Spoil The Stew

Posted: November 3, 2009 in Life, politics, Spain, Tenerife
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Changeling Movie PosterThe other night we watched an excellent movie, Changeling by Clint Eastwood, which had us shouting at the outrageous injustices taking place on the screen in front of us – we do tend to get a bit caught up in movies, particularly emotionally charged ones.

Basically, without giving too much away, the plot revolves around a woman (Angelina Jolie) in Los Angeles at the end of the 1920s whose son goes missing. When the police try to fob her of with a ‘replacement’ son she, understandably, reacts badly to this. The police, embarrassed by her public outbursts, react to this by throwing her into the nearest lunatic asylum.

The way this woman is treated is unbelievably appalling, especially when you know that it is based on a true story.

We found ourselves shouting “You can’t do that,” on a number of occasions. As the story unfolded it was difficult to comprehend how the authorities thought they could possibly get away with some of the things they got up to back in the ‘good old days’.

And then I thought of some news I’d read about Tenerife over the past week. In La Orotava there were accusations of financial indiscretions involving the mayor and a construction company. In Icod de los Vinos an audit showed that nearly 1.5 million euros were unaccounted for with the conclusion that this was as a result of fraud or chaotic mismanagement (this was the same place a policeman was placed in front of the Butterfly Gardens as part of a private political vendetta). In Puerto de la Cruz, following the political shenanigans of the last few weeks, an audit has turned up some more financial irregularities from the last time the ‘new’ mayor Marcos Brito was in charge…the list, sadly, goes on.

The incredible thing is that, like the movie, some of it seems so transparent that you wonder how on earth people can get away with it.

I asked a couple of Canarian friends about this. Both were quite apathetic and more or less said the same thing which amounted to ‘all the politicians are corrupt”. Clearly this isn’t true, but there seems to be a resignation that it is part and parcel of political life here, therefore nothing is done about it when it does happen.

One person said to me about Puerto’s situation “We’ll show the nationalists at the next election. The people will vote them out.”

To which I replied “But you did that at the last election and yet here they are back in power despite not being voted in.”

It is a strange form of democracy practiced here and watching the movie I couldn’t help thinking that some aspects of 21st century Tenerife politics were like 1920s Los Angeles – It is one part of island life that is in dire need of a complete overhaul.

Oh, if my blogs suddenly stop, somebody do me a favour and help bust me out of the local lunatic asylum.


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