Trouble afoot and the ancient divisions of Spain are once more rearing their ugly head, as the new secular political, democratic and forwards looking youth of Spain come head to head with the ancient repressive authoritive notions of the Catholic Church. This time, in the unlikely setting of the small village of Los Gallardos.
Whilst chatting of life and home with Maria, the mayor, last week, she confided -I say confided, the whole village is by now up in arms about it- that her counterpart in the spiritual world, the local priest, had, for reasons unknown, decided to order First Communion this year on the 22nd of May.
No? Don’t get it?
The rotter, in order to get back at the mayor for perceived slights (one angle) or in order to save the souls of the youth of the village, a task which mere petty concerns such as Democracy cannot impede (another view), or in order to make sure all the socialists, left wingers and non-PP voters are too pissed to vote (a third view, which has the added benefit of being a ready made right wing conspiracy theory) has scheduled the biggest family get-together of the year on election day.
“I hope” said Maria hopefully, “that people will still be able to organise themselves and come down to the voting booth before getting ready for their childs, or young relatives, First Holy Communion”. (Fat chance, I say).
There is still the problem of who has to sit behind a desk in an empty room all day, checking the identity of the voters, instead of going to the family knees-up, and how to prevent them making a break for it under the pretense of going outside for a fag. Extra police patrols have, I understand, already been ordered to attend on the day.