Analysis by Toni Bassas of the Patricia Plaja and Albert Rivera tweets

“Albert Rivera’s message seeks out people’s anger. He never shows empathy for anyone. He is the eternally angry politician”

Translation of Anàlisi d’Antoni Bassas: ‘El tuit de Patrícia Plaja i el d’Albert Rivera’, Antoni Bassas, Ara, 30 April 2018

I am sure you are aware that the Mossos d’Esquadra’s head of communication, Patricia Plaja, sent this tweet about the sentence handed down to ‘La Manada’ (the ‘Wolfpack’):

The problem isn’t the judge or the private prosecution. We’d be wrong to focus on this. The problem is the judiciary. Again. #NoEsNo (NoIsNo) #LaManada (the ‘Wolfpack’)

And that, on Saturday night, it resulted in her being removed from her post. The Prefecture of Police took this decision having “lost confidence” in her because she had questioned the judiciary. The Prefecture considered her opinion inappropriate taking into account that the Mossos’ role as judicial police.

When I heard the news of the decision, I noticed that I took it personally not only because had Plaja spoken from her personal account rather than the official Mossos account, but also because what she had politely said was the same as what much of Spanish society had screamed last Thursday on learning of the lenient sentence handed down to the ‘Wolfpack’, or what a good part of Catalan society says regarding the pre-trial imprisonment of politicians and the charges of rebellion.

I take it personally because Patricia Plaja had received everyone’s acknowledgement for her work after the terrorist attacks of August 17. Those attacks caught me far from Catalonia and so I was glued to the social media networks trying to find out what had happened. The Mossos tweets reporting, confirming, denying, detailing, soothing and guiding society during those dramatic hours were a model of communication during a crisis. If everyone felt that the Mossos were doing an impeccable job during those days it was, in large part, because the account given by the police was impeccable, and this account was also the work of their Community Manager.

It seems inconceivable to me that she should be fired – a professional who had done her job so well on that day that, literally, the eyes of the world were trained on the Mossos d’Esquadra – and I cannot but think that they were out to get Patricia Plaja for her unforgivable success, or be shocked that nobody within the Mossos has resisted the external pressure that wreaks of retaliation and 155, or that they were afraid of the judiciary, which it should be as possible to criticise as any other branch of the State. The warnings from the State to the people continue: be careful what you say.

Patricia, I hope you return to your post soon.

* * *

The other tweet I mean is Albert Rivera’s:

The separatist teachers that pointed at the children of Civil Guards in Catalonia. The Public Prosecutor’s office is investigating them for hate crimes, but the Spanish Government says it won’t put them on report. Nationalism will never be defeated with cowardice.

First of all, Albert Rivera states as facts what is unproven and yet to be judged. It is an investigation by the Public Prosector, not a sentence, but Mr Rivera takes the verdict for granted. And we already know, when it comes to Catalonia, the Prosecutor makes free with hate crime and violence charges. But Mr. Rivera, not satisfied with his bilious tweet, posts the pictures of the teachers in question.

This is what is called ‘pointing a finger’, Albert Rivera, precisely what you complained had been done with your  parent’s business. This sums you up, Mr. Rivera.

It shows you to be a populist politician because you live to excite people’s baser passions. You need people to hate their opponents to win their votes. Politically, you live from moral dualism, the world in black and white, of good and bad, where the good guy is you and the bad guys are those you point at. In fact, your party was born to finish with teaching in Catalan and to divide children at school by reason of language.

Your message seeks the rage of the people. You never show empathy for anyone. You are the eternally angry politician. For you there are no political adversaries, there are only enemies. You don’t want to be loved, you want to be feared. Your language is frightening and reminiscent of the authoritarianism of Nationalist politicians like Fraga. For this reason, you like both Aznar and the far-right on the streets of Catalonia. You talk of defeating nationalism, but your party offers only one nationalism with which to cover everything else.

You dream of becoming president of Spain, but your tweet today was anything but presidential. It was that of a hooligan. Show a little more respect and respect coexistence, please.

Freedom for the imprisoned, the exiles, the prosecuted, and have a good day.

Patricia Plaja, the sacked Mossos Community Manager


Toni Bassas is a top Catalan journalist and broadcaster currently one of the writers and directors of Ara newspaper.

Original article: Anàlisi d’Antoni Bassas: ‘El tuit de Patrícia Plaja i el d’Albert Rivera’

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