While Spain’s conservative People’s Party tries to distance itself from the discourse of far-right Vox, whose representatives have been denying that male violence exists, with just a month until the Spanish general election on July 23rd, the same two parties have reached an agreement for the extreme right group to preside over the Parliament of the Balearic Islands, with a governance agreement that includes, among other things, a plan to withdraw support from the islands’ language, Catalan. The position will be taken by Gabriel Le Senne, number seven on the party list, who has entered the Parliament in Palma de Mallorca after the local Vox leader, Jorge Campos, left to present himself as head of the party list in the Spanish election, following the example of the islands’ Socialist president Francina Armengol, who was defeated on May 28th. The choice of Le Senne, an ultra-conservative lawyer by profession, undermines the discourses that have been made by the PP trying to distance themselves from the far right, and the tweets of the new speaker demonstrate his machismo, homophobia, and also a denialism of climate change. And the messages are always written in Spanish, to boot.
“That’s why women are more belligerent because they don’t have penises”, said Le Senne, in a tweet in November 2020, while replying to a message that can no longer be read, because it had been published by a profile that has been suspended. This tweet went unnoticed, until this Tuesday, when dozens of users reacted to the online publications of the new Balearic Islands parliamentary speaker. He has also attacked the LGBTI collective on several occasions: “I block all advertisers with LGBTI flags”, said Le Senne a year ago on social media, referring to users that show a rainbow flag in support of the collective during June. “It’s clear that there are gay people at Vox. It’s one thing to be gay and another to support LGBTI scams and unjust laws,” said Le Senne on other occasions, always claiming to “stop the LGBTI indoctrination” of children in schools.
He also questions climate change and the UN, His position on climate change also departs from international postulates. For example, he responded to a UN Twitter profile to ridicule the multilateral organization: “Climate change has become too small for us, now we are heading towards ‘climate abyss'”, said Le Senne between emoticons, making light of this grave problem. On this occasion, the leader of Vox in Menorca, Xico Cardona, also joined the conversation. “If they were really worried about climate change, they would have opted for nuclear energy years ago. If they were really worried about the energy crisis, they would postpone the transition to the electric car. We would continue with the combustion engine and thus save gas,” said Cardona on social media, taking a familiar denialist line.
Ultraconservative, Le Senne has also published messages of opposition to Spain’s euthanasia law, passed this term in Congress, and to abortion. “Killing a rat will be punished; getting rid of a 14-week embryo will be free. All very consistent,” said Le Senne after the animal welfare law was passed. Or: “How do we help the terminally ill? Do we guarantee them palliative care? No, we tell them: if you want, we can kill you. How do we help pregnant women? Do we support them to become mothers? No, we tell them: if you want, we can kill your daughter.” https://t.co/nfe6Tt3shV
It remains to be seen if the new speaker of parliament for the Balearic Islands will continue in the same line or whether, from now on, he will stop sharing these hateful messages. For the moment, in his first speech as speaker of the chamber he has called for “calm debate”, which contrasts with the style he transmits on social media. “You will find in me a speaker in the service of everyone, who will try to strengthen rational and calm debate, always maintaining the respect that we all deserve, above any discrepancy.” He ended his speech with the cry “Long live the Balearic Islands and long live Spain”.
Produced in association with El Nacional En
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Virginia Van Zandt