After last week Inés Arrimadas slapped the failed political board for Ciudadanos, now it has been Pablo Iglesias who has decided to convulse the legislature in a virulent way. The leader of Podemos surpassed himself in frivolity, leaves the Government and will head the most extreme candidacy in Madrid. In terms of stability, the consequences are unpredictable because we are facing the most impulsive and superficial Iglesias. But it is not difficult to decipher that he intends to dynamite the government in parts in the midst of a pandemic, break the agonizing drift of Podemos, hit the PSOE where it lacks leadership, and resuscitate the ideological war with which it came to power.
Several factors converge in Iglesias’ decision. On the one hand, it is a desperate attempt to rescue Podemos from its dismemberment because it has long since ceased to be a political project to become a farmhouse. On the other, he intends to become the survivor of the left in Madrid, where polls condemn the PSOE and Podemos to irrelevance in the face of an overwhelming majority of the PP. In Iglesias’ decisions there is much of an obsessive search for personal survival, but also a spasmodic reaction: Sánchez believed he had annulled the right for decades, but the clumsiness of Ciudadanos and the PSOE’s claim to reduce Podemos to a residual party have forced to Iglesias to an extreme solution. The message he sends to Sánchez is symptomatic that his mandate may falter once, with Ángel Gabilondo, the PSOE renounces to fight the PP. It is a backlash from the more enlightened Iglesias to shake up politics and weaken Sánchez.
However, there is nothing of personal sacrifice in Iglesias. Upside down. His desire for notoriety is obsessive. He is one of those politicians who believes that without him, Spain does not deserve to exist. That is why he begins a process of reinvention with a destabilizing infantilism. He only intends to unleash a polarized confrontation in Spain to cultivate his egotism, and that the process concludes with a mock censorship against Sánchez. At the end of the day, he is going to oppose the PSOE with Podemos embedded within the Executive with the message that neither Sánchez nor his candidates are useful to fight a rearmed right. Iglesias thus joins the thesis that Madrid will be a plebiscite against Sánchez from which he wants to get a slice. This is the politics-fiction suffered by Spaniards, and Iglesias is more of a scriptwriter of disruptive plots than of a public servant. He only serves himself, as if politics were a game of intrigue to jump from one platform of power to another without caring about anything, anyone, or how. It is the consequence of a relativism full of unconsciousness that was born on television sets creating savers in a permanent phase of self-promotion, and not solvent leaders.
However, his reckoning with Sánchez for having uselessly turned to Ciudadanos does not mean that Podemos renounces revanchism. Unlike. The most destructive Iglesias and the fireproof banner of saucepan and quicklime will reappear. Its objective is to convulse the street, recover the threat of an ‘anti-fascist alert’ and generate radical agitation. Its natural state is the barricade, incendiary civil warfare. Iglesias is not comfortable in constructive politics. He is not a manager, but a revolutionary come to less troubled by corruption and unable to understand Spain, and that is why he chooses to ignite hatred to attract votes. His bet, in any case, is as risky as it is immature because his idea of presenting the elections as a duality between Iglesias and Ayuso, with the PSOE out of the game, can become a referendum against the Government that hatches in the useful vote of the right around the PP. Moreover, Iglesias has proclaimed himself a candidate without primaries, with that arrogant supremacism that characterizes him, and despising Íñigo Errejón, who has proposed the absorption of Más Madrid as a swallow, without more.
A critical reflection on the parties of the ‘new politics’ is also required in view of the degradation of Podemos and Ciudadanos. They do not rule, they only monopolize power. The vindication of classical bipartisanship thus becomes a much more pragmatic lesser evil for Spain than the adventurism of conjunctural and upstart politicians. And not only Madrid is at stake. Whether Sánchez remains in the minority and is forced to call general elections will depend on its result. What sense does it make if not that Iglesias advanced it yesterday by appointing Yolanda Díaz as a candidate? Everything is unpredictable.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism