Is football left or right? And what about tennis, water polo, ice hockey, handball, archery, athletics…? Does flamenco have an ideological ascription, or cinema, or opera, or painting?
Well, exactly the same simplicity can and should be applied to bullfighting. And a historical reason is enough for this: the bullfighting festival existed before, long before, the conservative and progressive currents appeared in the social debate.
The bullfighting spectacle was embedded in the heart of this country on the fringes of politics, and the squares have been crowded with a heterogeneous public, a mixture of ideological banners, religious beliefs, economic situation, education or personal or community life approaches.
A bullfighting celebration has been and continues to be a universe, a representative kaleidoscope, to a greater or lesser extent, of the heartbeat of a country in which millions of people dream, vibrate and get excited about the adventures between a brave bull and a heroic human being .
And there is little more to talk about. Whoever tries to turn bullfighting into a political problem does not seem to have any more interest than to harass it, persecute it and throw it over the precipice of disappearance.
Turning bullfighting into a political problem does not hold more interest than its harassment and persecution
The bullfighting festival, in the XXI century, is something more, much more: "it is part of the historical and cultural heritage of all Spaniards, as an activity rooted in our history and in our common cultural heritage", according to the preamble of Law 18/2013 of November 18 for the regulation of Bullfighting as cultural heritagel.
So it was decided by popular sovereignty; Whether you like it or not, it must be respected and promoted as long as the norm remains in force; a law that obliges the public powers to guarantee its conservation, promote its enrichment and protect the right of all to its knowledge, access and free exercise in its different manifestations (articles 3 and 5).
The problem is that neither the popular government that presented the legislative proposal nor the current socialist have lifted a finger to comply with what was approved in Parliament. Thus, bullfighting is alone, desolate, lost and harassed by its many serious internal problems and the neglect of those who have the mandate to care for and promote it.
And this is the only problem: that the party is left to its own devices, since the attitude of the majority of bullfighters and public administrations cannot be described in any other way.
And when bullfighting crouches waiting for the winter and the pandemic to escape, it appears Eneko Andueza's book entitled "The bulls, from the left", and shakes the minds and schemes of more than one.
Go ahead that Andueza, general secretary of the Guipúzcoa socialists, is the second white blackbird of modern bullfighting (the first is Victorino Martín, committed to the bone with the Toro de Lidia Foundation), because you have to be very fond, very bullfighter and brave to jump into the ring of public opinion, proclaim himself politically incorrect and challenge the established with a book in which he assures that “unlike what many people conceive, or have been made to conceive, it is so natural to be fond of bulls like not being it, how it is so natural to defend and believe in the values of the left than not to do it, or to do it thinking of an authenticity that is not such. And, of course, that it is natural to combine an unconditional defense of the bullfighting festival and, at the same time, defend and practice the values of the left. For millions of citizens in the world, even one thing would not be understood without the other. That is my case ”.
Obviously, criticism has rained down on him, some of the anonymous brains from social networks, but there have been more adhesions, most of them private, of bullfighting professionals and members of his party, the PSOE, as bullfighting as it is ambiguous according to the political circumstances of the territory or of the moment.
Eneko Andueza's work has been heroic, artist and committed, typical of a militant amateur, brave as a bullfighter, ready to go goring for the cause of bullfighting.
"It is important that from the left we jump into the ring and express ourselves without complexes." (Carmen Calvo)
And the author of the book has managed to get Carmen Calvo, First Vice President of the Government, to sign the prologue and write such substantial sentences as the following:
- "It is important that from the left we jump into the ring and express ourselves without complexes in this area."
- "Bullfighting has been part of the tradition of the left, in the same way that it has become part of the tradition of the right, because it is part of our culture."
- “There have been, and there are, left and right fans, left and right bullfighters. What's more, there were fans and bullfighters before they existed the left and the right”.
- “There were runs to raise money for the coup plotters and there were runs to raise funds for the Republic. One of the first major events that took place in Madrid after the proclamation of the Second Republic was, precisely, the inauguration of the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas ”.
Certainly, by the mouth the fish dies.
Two weeks ago, Eneko Andueza said in this blog that "Carmen Calvo has been one of the people who has defended the bullfighting sector with the greatest determination in the Council of Ministers."
If the Basque politician tells the truth, which will be the case, it should be concluded that the current bullfighting is still in force thanks to Calvo, because no other defense is known to the vice president beyond these declarations of bullfighting, which are still correct , modern and empty transgressive pose.
If Carmen Calvo is a fan and vigorously defends the party in the Council of Ministers, the troubles that she has suffered and suffers due to the laziness and open opposition of this Government are not understood.
In a word, that bullfighting does not need political support, but politicians determined to comply with the law. The bulls do not need proclamations from salon fans, but managers who guarantee their conservation and promote their enrichment. Everything else is fireworks without any virtuality.
The only thing to understand, assume and apprehend is that the bullfighting festival is recognized as a cultural heritage of this country, and as such it deserves consideration and care that it does not receive. That is the one big problem. All the rest are attempts to divert attention while the party languishes from lack of oxygen.