Watching TV images on Friday of Ada Colau smiling as she entered the hall where her political party Barcelona en Comú (Commons) were about to decide on a pact to retain the mayoralty of Barcelona through the support of the Catalan Socialists (PSC) and Manuel Valls's Ciudadanos candidacy, and hearing the roar of the audience as she went up the aisle, with chants of "mayor! mayor!", there was only one thing to say: how well the Socialists have executed this. They rescued Colau when she was moribund after her defeat in the May 26th elections and now she owes them her life. They skillfully maneuvered to transfer the allegiance of the elites, who just 24 hours before had wanted to see the mayor of Barcelona disappear from their lives and now agreed to defend her with their lives. And finally, they made moves across the entire chessboard of municipalities and city councils to form agreements with the Commons group that go well beyond the city of Barcelona. They will have control of the powerful provincial body, the Diputació de Barcelona and cities like Sabadell and Tarragona, to name two, where the Commons will now turn sideways to return to the past and slowly eat the words they have been uttering all these years. The deceased ICV has returned, but it no longer stands for the ex-communist group Initiative for Catalunya Verds; now, the acronym stands for the initials of the alliance of Iceta, Colau, and Valls.
When in 49 BC Julius Caesar returned to Rome after his victorious campaign in Gaul, he decided to defy the Roman law that prohibited entering Italy with an army instead of demobilizing it and made ready to pass the frontier by crossing the Rubicon, a shallow river that marked the boundary. It was then that Caesar delivered his famous phrase alea jacta est, which can be translated as "the die has been cast", knowing that the action would have consequences. It is evident that election night winner Ernest Maragall's ERC party today feels wounded by the attitude of the Commons, after making sufficient gestures to reasonably think that Colau would not give them a slap in the face, an action justified purely in self-interest.
But when did Colau really cross the Rubicon? Now, by accepting a pact in order to hang on to the mayoralty? When she joined in with the Spanish state's dirty war to discredit previous Barcelona mayor Xavier Trias, spreading fake news that was known from the outset to be fake? When she maintained an equidistant position on the 1st October referendum assuming the least possible risk? When she criticised the Barcelona elites and business community in the past, or now as she becomes their candidate, despite how terrible she seems to all sides? Politics often delivers unforeseen conclusions and, if this political tale goes where it now appears to be going, it will mark one of the most hilarious plot twists in recent times. The sharpened Socialist knives are resting on the cold marble, and if they could talk, they would talk of Miquel Iceta and the speaker's position in the Senate, of Maragall's own departure several years ago from the PSC ...but, above all, of how easy it has been to convince Colau.
In the words of Giulio Andreotti, who, during his long life, saw and did everything: "In detective stories, the villain always gets caught, but in real life it hardly ever happens".