Read in Catalan

It is very possible that the most conspiratorial politics to be found in Europe - and not the best - is that of France, after Italian politics fell into a great slump after the disintegration of the country's Christian Democrats. The political intrigue series Baron Noir, released in France in 2016 and a hit in Spain just under two years ago, chronicled the dark side of politics, the partisan struggles, the thirst for personal revenge and, definitively, the part that goes unseen but ends up being hugely important in what is presented as public service but very often is so away far from it.

This Sunday, it was José María Aznar who burst in, with a machete and in pursuit of his own interests - although it is true that he was not completely wrong in his thesis - on the behind-the-scenes battle that the Popular Party president, Pablo Casado, is maintaining with the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso. And the issue he took up was how the electoral perimeter of the PP shrinks, to Vox's benefit, when the protagonist is Casado and, on the contrary, how, according to the polls,  Ayuso captivates, to the point of partially deactivating the far-right party, causing its voters to move relatively easily to the Popular Party.

Apparently, the crusade that Casado is conducting against the Catalan language, raising the tone to the level of insult and falsity, is of little use, as he asserts that "linguistic apartheid" is taking place in Catalonia in response to the ruling of the High Court (TSJC) on the Catalan language in schools. It must be because the PSOE threw in an incendiary device and then acted all innocent, and without the same language, has ended up taking a similar position on language immersion and the application of the TSJC ruling. Anti-Catalanism sells in Spain, obviously. But the effect is diluted when there are so many parties with the same political strategy and willing to share the spoils. The PSOE is one too.

Therefore, in addition to anti-Catalanism, there is a need among the parties of the right for a cheap, blatant populism mixed with heavy doses of mockery of the left, and in this Ayuso has no possible rival. In part, because in her kitchen is Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, who, with not much more discourse and the same level of demagoguery, took Aznar to the prime ministerial job.

On Sunday, Aznar told the ABC, Spain's quintessential right-wing newspaper, that the president of the Community of Madrid "is the most popular politician in all of Spain, full stop... This is the main asset that the PP has". There's an old saying that could be applied to Casado: when you see your neighbour shaving his beard, it's time to lather up your own. Although maybe it's too late.

And seeing this, one can do no more than contemplate how the political knives are out in Madrid. Not for reasons of self-interest, but rather because going to Madrid with a political plan from a pro-Catalanist or pro-independence position in good faith or with the intention of convincing people is only good for what it is good for today. That is, for nothing.