Spanish-language blog, El Siglo de las Luces, has a well written and interesting post about moves by the Spanish right to expand its influence by forming and supporting supposed NGOs and pressure groups around the country. These groups traditionally start out as single-issue before becoming more and more embroiled in the two topics which seem to excite the political extremes in this country: left versus right; and the question of nationalism (this term usually only referring to Catalan and Basque nationalism/separatism.
The classic example of this is the AVT (Association of Victims of Terrorism). Ostensibly formed as a support/pressure group for victims of ETA and their families, the AVT long ago became a sort of rent-a-mob for high profile, low impact demonstrations in Madrid where protesters gnash their teeth and do the whole Two Minutes Hate thing.
I’ve written about the AVT before (I stand by everything I wrote six months ago) and currently words fail me to describe how bitterly I dislike their nasty mixture of pressure politics, rhetoric and sheer anti-reason. There is simply no point in attempting an ordinary criticism of the AVT because they are so astoundingly out of it. Sometimes, I think it’s part of a clever plot to utterly confound critics: where do I start? they’ve opened a battle against logic on so many fronts that I get headaches just trying to list them.
Instead, I recommend reading that blog post at El Siglo de las Luces. And consider that even though it may not be working that well, the PP’s strategy is pretty clever. By politicising members of the Spanish working class (nominally against one thing they don’t like, e.g. subsidies for Catalan language, ETA, etc), the PP have forged a plan which, should it eventually start working, could well extend their platform of support and – more importantly – their political influence throughout Spain.