1 comentario en THE OPPOSITION WE DESERVE?

The Covid-19 epidemic has catapulted politicians all over the world into the lion´s den and, although some countries, like Germany have managed to present a united front in a national crisis, others are unashamedly making political capital, publicly committing political suicide or simply tearing each other to pieces in public while their countrymen are dying of the virus or its effects.
Where does Spain come in?
Well we don´t have a Trump, Bolsonaro or Johnson who seem to think a lower national pensions budget is a fair exchange for the death toll amongst the over 70´s.
Nor do we have “Covid-19 deniers” like Trump, Bolsonaro and Johnson who would have crammed everyone in the same space (like the Mums in the
1950´s measles epidemic: “Better they all get it at once”) so that the population could “get immunity.” Admittedly Johnson did have a biblical enlightenment, but only because he got the virus and it didn’t last long once he had recovered.
The fledgling coalition left wing Spanish government is facing, possibly, the worst international health crisis ever. However, instead of spiraling death counts and contagion rates (sorry to be a bore but as in Trump´s US; Bolsonaro´s Brazil; and Johnson´s UK) the statistics seem to show they are on the right track.
The Conspiracy theorists have been having a field day in Spain since the Government fessed up to a using a flawed data collection system and had the gall to change it to a new system to provide “realistic, up-to –date” numbers of deaths and contagions.
“When we get it wrong we admit it,” says Sanchez, who has publicly rectified decisions such as “allowing parents to take children to supermarkets during Phase One” (Dummmmb!!!); permitting the summer sales after prohibiting them; and changing the capacity of bar terraces from 20% to 30% during Phase One after consulting with the catering sector.
The accuracy of the statistics and the accusations that Governments are lying to exaggerate or cover up the extent of the virus (depending on your stance) have given ammunition to the Right here in Spain who are using Covid-19 as the basis for an open war on Sanchez.
The situation has been exacerbated by the decision of the Minister of the Interior to continue the purge of the extreme right wing of the command of the Guardia Civil by removing Commander Diego Perez de Los Cobos due to “a loss of confidence.” The second in command to Los Cobos has subsequently resigned.
Readers may or may not know that members of the Sanchez Government are facing private prosecutions by right wing groups because they allegedly knew the scale of the Covid-19 crisis months before declaring the State of Alarm and permitted the spread of the epidemic by allowing the International Women´s March on March 8. The Guardia Civil has produced a report for the prosecution.
The now ex-Commander of the Guardia Civil, undeniably has connections with the right wing. A 17 year-old Diego Perez de los Cobos allegedly donned his blue shirt and rushed around to his local police station to volunteer in support of the attempted coup by Tejero and the Guardia Civil in 1981 when Congress and the members of Congress were held at gunpoint in “the name of the King.”  The coup failed when the King refused to support it but there were tanks on the streets of Valencia and there are still two bullet holes in the roof of congress as testament to the event.
Perez los Cobos also stood as a political candidate for the Fuerza Nueva in Murcia (the organization’s aim being to maintain alive the ideological principles of the national uprising which brought Franco to power) and remains a member of the extreme right wing Catholic organization Opus Dei, which has heavily implicated in the dictatorship.
The Guardia Civil report supporting these private prosecutions was leaked to the press. When the Minister of the Interior demanded explanations the Guardia Civil leaked a letter which ostensibly demonstrated the Minister threatening their “independence” by demanding to see the contents of the report. An accusation the Minister denies.
The report itself contains false newspaper reports and inaccuracies (including getting the date of the WHO declared Covid-19 an epidemic wrong) and has been discredited by the Government defence team as being full of misrepresentations, inaccuracies and manipulations.
Under these circumstances and bearing in mind the political gulf between the left wing coalition Government and Perez Los Cobos it is probably more of a surprise the Commander wasn´t removed earlier: It is, after all according to the Constitution, the Minister’s prerogative.
As part of his negotiations for votes in Congress, particularly with now self-proclaimed “middle of the road” Ciudadanos, Sanchez has agreed to form an All Party Commission to investigate the Government´s handling of the crisis admitting: “Of course we have made mistakes and there are things that with hindsight, we could have done better.”
He also promised he would not be provoked by parties “politicizing” and making political capital out of the epidemic and called on all parties to act with responsibility and in the interests of the Spanish people. His call fell on deaf ears.
He has defended his Minister of the Interior but has never referred directly to the political history of the ex-Commander of the Guardia Civil and has never criticized him or his deputy in Congress or in public despite savage attacks from the opposition benches.
His volatile Vice President and Leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has broken the ranks by accusing the extreme right wing of “wanting but not daring to pursue a coup against the state.” Then he apologized but this didn´t prevent him becoming a target of the unwarranted attentions of the spokesperson for the Partido Popular who accused him publicly and in Congress, of being “the son of a terrorist.”
His father´s “crime” was apparently being a member (he distributed some pamphlets) of a terrorist organization (sic) which advocated armed opposition to Franco´s regime.
And so it goes on. Ugly scenes in Congress, reds under the beds, conspiracies and lies, accusations and contradictions. Political parties who should be working together to face the worst international health crisis are behaving like the audience at the WWF wrestling bout.
At one of the first sessions of Commission investigating the handling of the Covid-19 crisis the Chairman, veteran socialist Patxi Lopez, desperately appealed for responsibility, decorum and self-control as members publicly tore into one another saying: “This is not what the public expects or needs from this Commission.”
He could have added: “This is not what the public expects from the opposition in a time of crisis,” but he didn´t.

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1 pensamiento sobre “THE OPPOSITION WE DESERVE?

  1. Lynne Hewitt

    Well we could be worse off. We could have Johnson as PM.
    Personally, I have a great deal of time for Sanchez and think he’s doing a pretty good job in very difficult circumstances


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