The unexpected hug between the Prime Minister and one of his biggest critics within the party embodies personal reconciliation and closing of political disagreements. But around wonder, there is more.
Presumably, the attendance to the 40th Federal Congress of the one who for 23 years (1974-1997) led the PSOE and between 1982 and 1996 was head of the Executive has not been so much a gentle return to the fold as the result of musings that have opted for for the yes.
In his long exordium, the ‘father of the child’ – who is still free – not being obliged to the unwavering adherence, which he likes so much in matches, He bit his tongue, for the sake of dissent. So the architect of the resignation to Marxism did not allude to the persistence of disagreements: Coalition government and transfers to the independence movement.
He compensated for that laconism with a praise of moderation, of the regime of 78 and its unchanging commitment: “I believe in democratic socialism and I feel free because I say what I think. Sometimes I think ‘you better shut up’ but I don’t always shut up & rdquor ;.
With a poker face, he limited himself — benign — to clapping his hands at the end of each speech and only stood up when there was a memory at the end. “A companion as intelligent as he is dedicated to Spain, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba”.
For his part, the host, always attentive to his survival strategy, concentrated efforts on re-sewing the party and praising the faded Social Democracy.
He started his speech with a groan: “A lot of nonsense is said about me. I take them worse when they come from ours & rdquor ;. Followed by a meager self-criticism: “When I don’t shut up, I feel free because I say what I think and I feel responsible because I think what I say. That does not guarantee that I am not wrong & rdquor ;.
And two errands loaded with intention: “I am going to ask the president and secretary general to stimulate the freedom to express yourself critically, and the responsibility to think what is said when speaking. This is how a great party is built that represents society, which is capable of expressing critical and non-trivial opinions; that’s what will give us strength & rdquor ;.
That someone so leading claims freedom of thought and criticism in his own party is indicative of what is happening behind the scenes. In any case, it is easy to explain: whoever does not agree with the style book is — in a fulminating way — abalzed. And it is that nothing generates so much union and fear as controlling the box of public resources, especially on the eve of the arrival of the (European) three kings.
In keeping with his personality, he was not lavish with the host’s self-impeccable management and preferred to value his: “The fundamental success of the operation of the health system and the vaccination system, that is what distinguishes the governance of the crisis in Spain & rdquor ;.
To end with an offering of loyalty, yes, to the political project: “The secretary general knows that I am availableHe knows that I say what I think and I think what I say, he knows that I do not interfere. And I don’t even pretend that my opinion is taken into account. That is my availability, and my loyalty is with the political project that I headed for 23 years and that now you are heading.
Although the applause does not always lead to a happy ending, the uncomfortable gesture of attending can be interpreted as an attempt not to break with a party that gave long life and absolute majorities, which are now scarce with the emergence of formations that make the aid to the dynastic parties.
Democratic health is not about confronting permanently, something that the opposition does not fully understand. Hence, reconciliations are always good news, although the extras have little in common, beyond the fact that both have occupied Moncloa.
For the most staunch of the current tenant, they lacked political courage to repair the damage that the dictatorship committed in the postwar period and they do not forgive the outstanding debt with the Republicans shot and disappeared from the civil war. For the felipistas, the bill of indulgence and reconciliation was settled with the embrace of the Transition. Another disagreement, to the undermining of the Law of Historical Memory.
It remains to be seen what their government partners think of this approach, which, in addition to the return to social democracy, involves: modification of the Constitution to reinforce the welfare state, development of the State of Autonomies in a federal key, expansion of rights and freedoms and incorporation of Europe into the constitutional text.
There was no doubt about a classic of socialist congresses: the state model. There were references to the strengthening of ‘republican values’ (equality and fraternity) and the transparency and accountability of State institutions, including the Royal House.
Without consent as to what the socialist model is today, the media embrace – in a raft of oil – would be a false closure, at least as regards the relationship between the party and its potential electorate.
Embrace democratic socialism, but converge with the extreme left, far from the political center; claiming decentralization, but urging the autonomies — like Madrid — not to have the freedom to organize their taxes and reiterate the federal principle, but to govern by promoting regional inequality, is sail in a sea of contradictions.
This self-interested reconciliation leaves unknowns to be cleared up, which give rise to conjecture and manipulation: Could it be thought that it is an attempt at reconsideration to change the gauge and return to genuine socialism? Is it equivalent to a public surrender of the last moral reserve of Spanish socialism? Why has the ominous covenants with the secession apostles not been mentioned? How is it possible that he did not spend a minute on the economy or on jobs? Why wasn’t there a single Spanish flag in Congress?
Wrote Josep Pla in the postwar period: “Today in Spain even the trees seem to be handled & rdquor ;.