Some days ago I wrote an entry about the 11-M and its relations with the current attitude of a significant part of Spanish politicians and journalists towards democracy.
I didn't have the slightest interest in being involved in a discussion about the 11-M. I know this is a strongly emotional topic, and discussions can be never-ending (and very rarely constructive). But, since at this moment I have almost no readers, and the ones that have participated are reasonable people, maybe this won't run out of control.
In addition, I was not interested in proving that I'm not any member of this or that political party, or that I'm sort of equidistant. I don't think anyone is bound to prove anything about their global position when discussing a particular topic. I believe in discussing each topic in turn, on a strictly formal basis, without straw man fallacies or ad hominem arguments.
One of my few readers considered a good idea to write something about the mistakes the PSOE incurred those sad days. And I'll try. As I've just explained, I won't do it because I feel that I need some defense proving an ideological balance; that would be unfair in any discussion. I'll do it because, incidentally, I find the topic interesting in itself for other reasons.
I, for one thing, have never been a radio listener. Hence, I didn't listen to La SER in march 2004. Not a single time, not even a single second, and I don't know what they said, and I can't judge what they did. In addition, the only newspaper I read those days was El Mundo (and, like many other readers, I've stopped doing it recently). Hence, I don't know exactly what El País did right or wrong. The news I usually see on TV are that of La Primera.
Regarding the PSOE, my impression those days is that they simply waited aside, and did the usual formal, good-looking declarations. But I didn't perceive them as protagonists during the first days. And then things began to get gradually wrecked. The one appearance that really annoyed me was Pérez Rubalcaba's the night of 13-M. Among other wise (and void) phrases, he said:
In fourth place, we regret that the exemplary behaviour by the citizens has not been accompanied by a similar behaviour by the government. Spanish citizens deserve a government that doesn't lie to them. A government that tells them always the truth. [...] this abominable crime does not admit any sort of political game.
I consider Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba to be one of the finest speakers in Spanish politics. That ain't necessarily a good thing; that just means that he can perform very well in his job (it's up to the reader to decide to what point his job is respectable or not). Well, the first sentences clearly mention a government change during the day of reflection, but this is the worst thing I've been able to find in his declarations. He's damn good at implying things without actually saying them.
Anyway, I think the PSOE did not overlook the opportunity to take advantage of the situation. If you really don't want to use the crime politically, wouldn't it be much easier not to appear on TV that night, or just skip that fourth part of the speech? Why are you telling one thing while doing exactly the opposite? That's the exact definition of hypocrisy.
But this leads me to the real point of interest I find in this topic (just the same as questioning democracy was my real concern in the previous one). The sad fact is: politics is basically that. Sadly enough, if every time a politician lies (or, to be more polite, "uses the language creatively") we discarded him, we couldn't vote anybody. We usually don't fire our politicians. Acebes or Zaplana are still the main spokesmen of the PP, after their unfortunate performance in march 2004. Rubalcaba is a minister, in spite of the declarations I quoted above. George W. Bush is still the president, after admitting that there were no mass destruction weapons in Irak and there was no relationship whatsoever between Irak and the 11-S. The list could go on indefinitely.
I can't understand why. If you analyze declarations of politicians, you'll find vast piles of contradictory (even when they are basically void) statements in the same speech. But nobody tells them: "You stupid, I've made a question; please, answer it or shut up, but don't try to fool me." That's our fault. It's the same with football teams; it doesn't matter whether "our" team has played well or not. It's the referee to blame, or somebody else. Our team always deserves victory.
Coming back to the 11-M: I think the PSOE only had to wait and let the PP make things easy and dig their own grave. Rubalcaba gave a final push with his words (unnecessary, in my humble opinion). I really think PP did Rubalcaba's work on march 2004, and is doing a great campaign for the PSOE right now (at the extremely high cost of making many Spaniards angry for nothing). Remember: in my previous message, I did not say that PSOE deserved to win the elections. I only said that PP made plenty of merits to lose. Yoda said, The fear of loss is the path to the dark side...
But I'd really like (maybe privately) to receive documents describing many more serious mistakes of the PSOE. Please, only serious information. Verifiable facts. No conspiracies, no lies, no personal interpretations. This is not a challenge; this is a real, sincere request.