surinenglish

Politicians playing Fortnite

Manuel Valls, the former French prime ininster and possible candidate for mayor of Barcelona, said at the symposium organised last week by SUR that perhaps the Spanish were not aware of the good times they have lived through in the last 40 years, during which both Catalonia and Barcelona have benefited widely. What Valls meant was that here we don't value everything that has happened since the Transition highly enough and insinuated that many of the things we as a society have built up over those years could be lost due to our attitude.

And it's true, because Spain is today one of the most socially-advanced countries in the world, with a Constitution that is just as forward-thinking in terms of defending people's rights, the level of autonomy given to different regions and with solid historical and cultural foundations, capable of configuring and sustaining a country with an extraordinary diversity of identities.

Valls' talk made me think about how we see our own countries when we have the chance to step outside and look in from a distance. If our MPs in the Congreso de los Diputados could look at themselves though a keyhole, they would feel ashamed and cringe just as many of us do.

A country still suffering from the financial crisis, poverty, unemployment, and above all with its territorial unity under threat, has to put up with its legitimately-elected representatives quarrelling as if they were in a school playground, playing at being politicians as if they were inside a game of Fortnite - that popular videogame their children and grandchildren are obsessed with, which consists of annihilating everyone until you are the last man standing. Spain's Congreso is just like that, a neverending and useless game of Fortnite.

It's an embarrassment that Spain has to put up with these eternal debates about MPs' studies, exams passed and failed, their cheating, their big houses with swimming pools, the jobs they found for their relatives, their tricks, revolving doors, plagiarism and long lunches with coffee, brandy and cigars.

Honourable members, take a step further away, stop and look at yourselves; you might realise what you're doing and how many things (important and transcendental things) are still left to do.

Exit your own videogame; jump back into reality and take note of all the people and families who are waiting for you to make decisions and take action that will improve their lives: even just a little bit.