As the election draws near, Graeme at South of Watford has been investigating a series of different factors which could change the outcome of the vote. The economy and terrorism are important considerations for many Spaniards, as are problems with the national infrastructure, education and immigration.
The right-wing PP, keen to regain power after two terms of PSOE government, have been hammering on about terrorism more than anyone else (plus ça change…!), and recently, Spanish Catholic bishops raised their voices in support of Mariano Rajoy’s moribund campaign. One of the key points agreed on now by the major parties is that there shouldn’t be negotiation with political parties who refuse condemn ETA bombings, past and present. People who tacitly ‘approve’ of terrorism.
But the PP have a history of tacitly approving much worse movements than ETA will ever be. Born out of the ashes of Franco’s fascist dictatorship, the PP are the standard bearers for a type of neo-fascism, shrouded in the clothing of democracy but with no great love for democratic institutions, self-labelled of the ‘centre’ but retaining ultra-conservative views, explicitly in favour of the constitution yet permanently opposed to rescinding fascist-era legislation.
In fact, the PP fail their own test by refusing to explicitly condemn the atrocious crimes carried out by Franco’s regime (which, by the way, did not end in 1945 as some would have you believe). Claiming that it’s better to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’, the PP argue that nothing would be gained by their formally condemning Franco’s regime. So why not come out and do it? The answer is that the PP want to have their cake and eat it: they want to contest democratic elections and then disseminate lies about the results; they want to claim to represent the ‘centre’ while constantly appealing to the hard-right of Spanish politics; they claim ‘solidarity’ with the victims of terrorism, but only talk to the ones who are members of one of their own grassroots campaigns. They talk about looking to the future and still refuse to remove Franco as ‘Honourary Mayor in perpetuity’ of the city of Salamanca.
I couldn’t vote for a party with such a short-sighted view of history or such a terrible record of equivocation.