Winning the peace? Just a thought.

Does anyone else get the impression that the PP and PSOE are now positioning themselves for future national elections in Spain rather than the debate over a potential referendum? There's a shared purpose in words from Rajoy, his barons, Montilla, Rubalcaba, Chacon, etc… and it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with the debate I hear going on in Catalonia.

One thought on “Winning the peace? Just a thought.

  1. Speaking of Spain as a whole I sincerely believe there's something much more than just the elections at stake here; the "establishment" is coming to understand that the whole of the 1978 Constitutional settlement is in jeopardy and that the state itself could actually collapse in the medium term.

    With unemployment set to reach 30% next year (60% among young people), strikes and disruption a daily phenomenon, 500 mortgage evictions per day with the inevitable suicides that come with them, and basic public services like health and education grinding to a halt, people are demanding political action.

    What do they see? They see the King's daughter being kept out of the courts even though documents clearly show she received payments from her husband; they see the CGPJ quashing a report that they themselves commissioned on how to ameliorate the mortgage eviction crisis; they see the same council vote to guarantee compensation payments for one of their members who was forced to resign because of millions defrauded in false travel expenses; they see the omnishambles of the Bankia scam, the investigation mysteriously unconnected to the present PP leadership; they see the ongoing preparations for the Madrid 2020 Olympics and the millions (billions if we're unlucky enough to win the selection) poured away for no reason except vanity; they see Eurovegas and the fact that this vast money-laundering scheme will be 95% tax-free and have special legal status; and so on and so on…

    When asked to define Spanish nationality, the great 19th century statesman Antonio Cánovas said “Spaniards are those who cannot be anything else”. Most Spaniards in the early 21st century would dearly love to be something else, anything with a functioning democracy and a modicum of accountability, but they are trapped in a failed state; the tiny minority who actually like being here are those who are coining it in the old style.

    Think about this, for a catalyst to full street rebellion across Spain. The King dies (or abdicates). The succession is declared, Felipe VI is the new king.

    Will the people swallow that? Or will there be a spontaneous uprising to prevent the succession and to demand the Third Republic? Considering that in my efforts to sound out members of the public (no official polls on this issue have ever been carried out) I am unable to find a single person younger than 50 years old who would support Felipe as sovereign, I think the "succession" will be the spark to trigger the popular revolt which will put the 1978 Constitution in the grave.

    The politicians of the establishment, PP and PSOE (I don't differentiate between them, as they don't bother to do so themselves) understand the way things are going. They know they're close to the end of the existing regime, but don't know what to do about it, except to wrap themselves in flags and salute the crown.

    The other challenge of course is Catalonia, but by comparison it's a lightweight problem, and naturally serves as a perfect distraction from the fundamental rottenness at the core of Spain. It's a godsend for Rajoy/Rubalcaba.

    (I myself have been guilty of overstressing the importance of the Catalan issue, and ignoring the social issues, but now the self-determination process is underway, there's not that much more to say. Catalonia will vote, and something will result from that…)

    Catalonia would of course be better off without Spain, just as the Spanish people would be better off without the Spanish state, but Spain will also benefit enormously from a robust challenge to the rotten establishment that this Catalan movement promises. The Spanish people will no doubt follow suit and demand fundamental change in the political process.

    In 2013/2014 (and especially whenever the King leaves the scene) I'm expecting for a massive wave of protest across Spain, aimed at changing the constitution in a way similar to that undertaken in Iceland. If that happens in a timely manner, it may well take the wind out of the Catalan independentist sails; if it comes too late, Catalonia will have gone its own way but it won't be too late for Spain to put itself in order.

    NOTE:
    Info on the quashing of the expert commission on mortgage default, this one's a real eye-opener as to how the PP operates. 18 commonsense proposals to stem the flood of evictions and homelessness voted down by the same people who voted to give the corrupt CGPJ delegate Dívar a golden handshake.

    http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2012/10/23/actualidad/1351014621_538438.html
    http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2012/10/24/actualidad/1351086111_425881.html

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