Unfortunately we have to see these pictures again on Spanish state television. And pay for it. Bravo, RTVE. My only comfort is that I don’t pay taxes in Spain.
RTVE management was keen to assure viewers that bullfighting would not play a major role in future.
“This will be the first of a short but symbolic series of bullfights … which Spain’s public television channel plans to programme”.
This is of course nonsense. “A symbolic series”? Meaning that they still think bullfighting isn’t great, but they have to show it for political reasons?
Ah, no. It’as for the greater good of all citizens:
“Television Espanola believes that a festival of this quality should be made available to all Spanish fans”.
That is the quality of the kills? The maiming? “Spanish fans” have pay TV or can go the arena. But don’t use tax money. The large majority of Spaniards is against bullfighting. And subsidising it.
The scandal is that the taxpayer has to finance cruelty
And what about all taxpayers financing the screening through the license fee? RTVE has an annual budget of 1.2bn Euros.
In a country with a staggering unemployment rate of 25 percent, plus every second youth is out of work, it is scandalous that the government pays millions to support the bullfighting industry.
It has to be said that the broadcast of Wednesday’s bullfight was mainly possible because the organisers waived their fees. “Star” matador El Juli even paid for busses for aficionados to be carried to Valladolid from across the country.
How desperate can you be if you have to pay people to come to your “show”. On a more sober level, how can this be sustainable?
A political decision
Back in 2006 when RTVE announced to cease broadcasting it was a political statement: ‘We oppose, or at least do not approve of, bullfighting.’ And it is a political statement now: ‘Due to the change in government, we now do approve of bullfighting and think it is a Spanish cultural heritage that has to be preserved.’
Spanish friends of mine warned after last year’s general election that the new administration would turn back the clock. The bullfighting industry is well connected in political circles and they have apparently suceeded in bringing back a bit of the old bloody glory.
So, RTVE’s decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. The governing People’s Party of prime minister Rajoy (photo on the right) has a majority in the board. Reintroducing live corrida broadcasts is only a consequence of the culture minister’s announcement to grant bullfighting the ‘status of a cultural discipline and cultural product’ that has to be protected.
What can you expect of a government when the head of state, and patron of the WWF no less, goes shooting elephants in Botswana?