Say hello, wave goodbye

Crumbs, it's all been happening in Spanish politics this week. I'm sure that it won't have escaped your attention that Mariano Rajoy has been ousted from his position as prime minister of the country after the list of corruption cases associated with his right-wing Partido Popular became so huge and complex that eventually there was no room left for any actual politicians at their headquarters.

There have been many bizarre aspects to the changing of the guard, not least of which being the leader of the very left-wing party Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, describing Mr Rajoy as 'elegant' as the latter shuffled out of Moncloa with all of his worldly possessions in two cardboard boxes shoved under his arms (not really - but it's a colourful image). This would appear to have been a magnanimous gesture on the part of Señor Iglesias until you actually consider his own demeanour at which point you realise that his calling you 'elegant' is like Keith Richards saying you're sober. Still, it was a compliment of sorts, I suppose, especially when coupled with his assertion that the outgoing leader was 'intelligent'. So, we'll give Pablo the benefit of the doubt on this occasion despite his unnerving teenage pony tail.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that the country's new prime minister is Pedro Sánchez, leader of the unpronounceable PSOE party who are, ostensibly at least, left wing, though nowhere near as left wing as Pablo and his chums (do keep up at the back). In order to secure his position, Señor Sánchez was obliged to enter into any number of unholy alliances with a motley crew of dissidents and malcontents including Señor Iglesias himself, some Catalans, a few Basques and a couple of blokes sitting in Paco's bar in Toledo, playing dominoes and shouting something about independence for blokes in Paco's bar in Toledo. Their votes were crucial in getting Señor Sánchez into power so now he's obliged to provide them with a two-for-one offer on anis every Friday afternoon for the rest of eternity.

For his part, Mr Sánchez wasted no time in assembling a crack team to work on the crucial anis-in-Toledo negotiations and, presumably, some other stuff. He's appointed a couple of token men, but it's mostly formidable-looking women who have been given the not inconsiderable task of sorting the country out, in an attempt to show the nation that he's a strong, independent and forward-thinking sort of chap.

Actually, I suspect his wife told him to do it.