Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba
I READ RECENTLY in the Spanish press that on the eve of your public debate with the PP candidate you voiced – in the presence of volunteers gathered at PSOE headquarters and before an open microphone – your “concern” with “the feeling, primarily affecting people on the left, that nothing is worth the candle, the argument that ‘they have us on the run’ and which leads to formulas such as: voting is not worth the bother; why should we vote?” In the light of predictive polls, which lead one to think that that mind-set – which leads on to abstention or to the floating voter – had become embedded in ‘millions’ of former socialist voters, such concern and loss of morale on your part is quite understandable. Not so understandable, however, is the fact that your loss of morale should prompt you to whinge rather than face up to your responsibilities: “If our people, our voters, are staying at home because they cannot be bothered, then the left really does have a problem.”
Yes, Mr Rubalcaba, it both defies understanding and is dishonest of you to try to blame such failure on the left rather than on your own party, the PSOE and the two governments in which you have featured. For, as you very well know, it is your party the PSOE and the socialist governments of the last two parliaments that are responsible for “millions” of erstwhile socialist voters refusing to vote for you today, and for the fact that all your efforts to harness the votes of leftwing voters to the purposes of your candidacy have come to nothing.
Yes, Mr Rubalcaba, what is held against you — all of you — is not just the anti-social policies implemented by the socialist government during the last parliament, but also your craven refusal to get on with the “complete rehabilitation of the victims of Francoist dictatorship”, to quote the promise you made in 2004 when you announced the setting-up of the Inter-Ministerial Commission for that very purpose. A promise that still remains unhonoured after nearly twelve years of socialist governments, and despite the passing of the 2007 Law that you claimed would achieve that purpose.
Yes, Mr Rubalcaba, not a single one of the verdicts handed down by the Dictatorship’s repressive courts on those who fought for the very freedoms enshrined in the constitution today has yet been overturned. Thousands of victims of shootings, buried in common graves, are still “missing” and not a single official finger is being lifted to recover them. Franco’s remains will continue in the basilica in the Valle de los Caidos, Francoist insignia will remain on display in our streets and squares, and I am to carry on waiting for the Office for Victims of the Civil War and Dictatorship (OVGCD) – set up under the provisions of the “Historical Memory” Law – to get around to issuing me with my certificate as a victim of Francoism that I was told I would receive no later than 10 January 2010, as you are very well aware. This certificate, this ‘piece of paper’ which merely acknowledges that we, the victims of Francoist reprisals, were, in the words of the document, ‘unfairly’ convicted by ‘unlawful courts’, is your way of trying todraw a veil over your cowardly failure to overturn the verdicts handed down by Francoist courts.
Yes, Mr Rubalcaba, not one of these promises has yet been honoured, and there is every indication that there was never any real intention that they would be. It is obvious that Mr Rajoy’s government will not honour them in your place.
So, small wonder then, Mr Rubalcaba, that for the many millions of Spaniards you have taken for a ride over twelve years of socialist government it is now ‘pay-back’ time.
In my own case, Mr Rubacalba, let me make it clear that I do not feel in any way deceived or let down. The PSOE’s policy throughout the ‘transition’ and the policies of socialist governments from Felipe González through to Zapatero, had persuaded me that the Spanish socialists were deferring to the Church, the army and the press. I had no expectation whatsoever that such deference might not carry over into my own case; less still that you should attempt to conceal your abject failure to honour your commitment with grotesque and unworthy excuses for your unprincipled abandoning of the problem, leaving its resolution to the government of the Partido Popular. (PDF and ISSUU)
En Castellano: Carta abierta al candidato Rubalcaba de Stuart Christie
Continue reading »