What a Mes? Volume 1
Updated: Jan 12, 2019
Remember Remember The Month Of November (November 2016)
Between Halloween and Christmas celebrations, I look back at the Mes that was November.
By the end of October, Spain had finally formed a government after 11 long months without and enthusiastic crowds protested the president in a scene we would soon see repeated in America.
At the same time and near to the crowds, surrounding El Congreso de Diputados, a nostalgic group gathered by Plaza Santa Ana to remember José Antonio Primo de Rivera´s Falange party which was founded on the 29th of October 1933 in Teatro de la Comedia. More on him later.
The ghosts of Spain were quickly replaced by witches and zombies as we celebrated Halloween and Todos los Santos and then watched in horror in early November at the American elections.
Just as Ireland was celebrating 26 years since they elected their first female president and Germany celebrated 27 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Americans woke to the news on 9/11 that wall building President Elect, Donald J Trump had devastated those looking to elect the world's 60th female president and America's first female commander-in-chief. It was not to be for the former First Lady as Hillary Clinton won the popular vote but not the crucial Electoral College.
Here in Madrid many Americans who stood with her, attended the Democrats Abroad Election Night Party held in Alegoría in Calle de Villanueva to watch America decide their 45th president.
I attended the event and watched as the American map turned red through out the long night. Congratulations President Elect Trump.
It has been a very long campaign, which won’t be soon forgotten and proves the point, half of politics, is just showing up.
As Spain elected a Spanish President after eleven months and America´s campaign came to a close, we remembered those who died in The Great War and The Armistice that was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month as the guns fell silent in Flanders.
Spain wasn’t involved in World War 1 but that doesn't mean they don’t remember the Armistice on the 11th of November and here in Madrid, many gathered at St George´s Church for Remembrance Day.
Remembering history with a passion, fascists have taken inspiration from Donald Trump with Make Spain Great Again signs as they remembered the passing of both General Franco and José Antonio Primo de Rivera who both died on the 20th of November which is recognised as the remembrance day for the Spanish Far-Right.
The Generalisimo needs no introduction but José Antonio Primo de Rivera, son of Spanish dictator General Miguel Primo de Rivera, founded the Falange movement and might not be as well known.
Gathering in Plaza de Oriente in front of Palacio Real, the Falange group openly attacked a protestor who held a sign saying “Franco Asesino", in what was the second time in only a few weeks that Falange followers publicly attacked protestors as they proudly demonstrated the Roman Salute. A familiar fascist salute illegal in some other EU countries.
Far from Madrid but a headache for Madrid London relations, Sabre rattling began anew in Gibraltar as the HMS Sabre fired flares at the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO) who entered waters around the disputed Rock of Gibraltar which was ceded to the British in 1713.
As we remember The Great War which lead to World War 2 and the Spanish Civil War in between, the passing of General Franco and the triumphant rise of Donald Trump, The Madrid Metropolitan looks back on November as, “What a Mes?.”
Let’s see what stocking filled surprises we find in December and the New Year.
JUST THE TICKET: Poor Hillary barely made it onto her own ticket.
Mes meaning month in Spanish sounds a lot like mess and The Madrid Metropolitan asked me to start a monthly column on political and turbulent messes in October 2016.