The campaign: a low blow from the CIS
With nearly 4 months to go before the general election, the two major parties are beavering away in the political river. The PSOE is building a dam designed to prevent a positive tsunami of revelations concerning their negative governance since 2004. The PP is making every effort to knock down this dam, so that those Spaniards who wish to look and listen might at last know the truth about what really happened (a) at Atocha, Madrid on the 11 March, 2004; (b) in the Bar Faisan in 2009; © in the Constitutional Court (2011) which permitted ETA’s representatives to occupy government offices in the Basque Country and Navarra; and (e) in Andalucia during the last few decades of massive local corruption etc. etc.
The latest campaign move has been brilliant. The same judge who supervised the empty judicial ‘investigation’ of the bombing outrages at Atocha known as ‘the 11M’ has used his powers greatly to reduce the possibility of condemning senior police officers responsible for warning ETA of imminent arrest, and cooperation with an armed band. Gómez Bermúdez has achieved this by transferring examination by only a small group of magistrates to all the judges in the Audiencia. Again, the irrefutable fact of overwhelming political influence over the judiciary is made clear. Nothing can be done. The courageous efforts of Judge Ruz to establish the truth in the Caso Faisan have come to nothing.
The second manoeuvre engineered by Candidate Rubalcaba has been the publishing by the PSOE’s organ Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) of an enquiry into the popularity of Rubalcaba as a future President, as opposed to Rajoy (PP). The CIS declares that the Spanish people have decided Alfredo Pérez de Rubalcaba is ‘more honest’ than Rajoy, and that the fifteen point difference between the two men has been reduced by more than 3 points. It is odd that the CIS should claim this, because the very recent municipal elections ended in a virtual wipe-out for the PSOE. This must mean that the Spanish voter has totally reversed his opinion at some time since 22 May, 2011. One must assume that the CIS is devoutly committed to pulling Spain’s leg.
Out of the 17 autonomous communities in Spain, only three are now governed by the PSOE. The ‘municipals’ were in effect a public warning of no confidence in Mr Zapatero’s government. The man himself showed his acceptance of this negative result by stating that he would not stand as the PSOE’s candidate for the Presidency next year.
Well, the campaign has started (rather early for many) but it is might be as well to analyse what the PSOE has ‘achieved’ in these nearly eight years of no-majority socialist government and those attempts made by the Opposition to oppose: More than 41/2 million people have no employment; ETA’s associates are safely installed in town halls across the North; pensions for the elderly have been frozen, civil servants have had their salaries gravely reduced, though spending at government and regional level has not been reduced at all; the autonomous communities won by the PP have discovered debts run up by the PSOE so huge they are unpayable: in one case (Castilla La Mancha) the PP found that the previous socialist incumbent (Barreda) had caused the taxpayer to pay over 330,000 euros for an armoured Audi motorcar; laws have been promoted and passed attacking the family and heterosexual marriages as institutions; the church has been despised as a fount of vice where naughty priests touched boys’ legs or worse fifty years ago. As the accused are long dead they cannot defend their actions, and the accusers are in their sixties and might possibly be anxious for financial remuneration promised by the Vatican; State education is in disarray, and the Public Health System almost bankrupt; the ‘Ley de Memoria Histórica’ has divided the country in two as it was in the Thirties, reviving ancient hatreds that modern Spain prayed were forgotten.
But Hey! Mr Zapatero can retire with a magnificent pension for life, happy with the thought that more than one political philosopher proclaims him as the worst leader Spain has ever had. And now we are told that Mr Rubalcaba is most likely to win the next general election. So much for democracy. Still, there is not much consolation in the notion that twelve years of socialism should finally put paid to Spain, which will occupy by 2016 a worse position than Greece or Portugal could ever achieve.
Finally, though Arturo Perez-Reverte was writing about Spain in the early seventeenth century in his book The King’s Gold (2000: first published in English 2008), he might as well have been describing our present times: I quote: “It is said – and it is very true – that the moment that vice becomes custom marks the death of a republic, for the dissolute person ceases to be loathsome, and all baseness is seen as normal”.