And in the middle of the curfew: (sorry, in the middle of a restriction on night-time mobility), as the regent Don Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón has asked us to specify. Until 9 May, everyone is at home. How little the New Normality has lasted! Now it seems that we are sitting on the cusp of a dynamic pandemic that may be getting better or worse. It depends. On what does it depend? On our responsibility. Since last Sunday we have been caught not in the middle of nowhere but in the centre of the greatest uncertainties.
Dr Sanchez has returned from Rome after visiting Pope Francis not as a humble servant of the cardinal's curia but as an almost Cistercian. His sermon "urbi et orbi", on the edge of the news, revealed to us the most empathetic of Spanish leaders, worried about this damned Chinese virus that does not cease or bend, and sharing the pain with the health workers and victims, although we have not yet been able to count them. Sánchez is suffering for all of us, except for the Abascal militants whom he has not called and will not call to comply strictly with the mandate of the "democratic document" signed with his partners on the first day of the debate on the motion of censure. He wants an absolute majority if possible in Congress this coming week without assuming "sole command" as the law requires, but co-governing with the 17 ACs as Urkullu and Aragon have demanded. He calls this "erecting a wall of unity" while, like Pilate, he washes his hands and transfers responsibility to the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System, with Illa and Simon at its head. It is shameful the behaviour of the former in the Madrid confinement by using false data and improper that of the irresponsible coordinator of the (CCAES) by laughing at a press conference "Well, it's Thursday, we're talking again... about the same thing... ha ha... When the pandemic is over what are we going to talk about then? That unfunny stupidity with more than 60,000 dead and more than a million infected, should deserve his resignation. But it will not. That's what's wrong.
We have learned little in this time, even if the President says otherwise. Since 14 March we have seen that chaos has been the common denominator in all the autonomous regions. And that like education, competences should be exclusive to the State. Nothing has been legislated for since the beginning of the pandemic, as Carmen Calvo announced, just as nothing has been legislated for to stop the galloping coup d'état since 2017 on the verge of springtime. We already know that unity is the philosopher's stone to break the spine of the virus. The call to regional governments, employers, trade unions and workers, political parties and young people "who want to have fun" translates into this commandment: the less mobility, the less contagion. Okay. If there are no sanctions, it is like hearing the rain. Sanchez has such a talent for deflecting attention that he is able to "listen to the grass grow". A magician of escapism that the bug does not obey. Yet.
Not knowing the details of the BOE, Moncloa has avoided general confinement because the dilemma was simple: either more death or more ruin. The chief executive of the legislature and almost the judiciary did not talk about the most severely punished sectors, especially tourism and catering. It is true that a legal period of stability is beginning, but it will not end until there is a budgetary agreement, which Minister Montero herself is delaying until February 21. The uncertainty and inaction of this government has been prodigious in recent months. While Europe was looking for solutions in the summer, the Prime Minister was going on holiday after encouraging people to consume excessively because "we had beaten the virus". This was not true.
At his monclovite hearing he admitted-and this time his voice did not break-that "the pandemic is a matter of state". It was about time. If we Spaniards had had access to the SICUs and the morgues, we would have known the pain up close. And death always imprints wisdom and prudence. Why do we not know the number of deaths yet? Are they just a statistic and not a social and human tragedy? A humanitarian tsunami.
This political decision not to allow the portrayal of "hunger queues", coffins piled up in ice palaces or inside hospitals will lead to serious mental problems of insecurity and fear that will need thousands of psychiatrists that the public health system will not be able to pay for, to neutralise so much despair and stop so many suicides. We will not come out of this crisis stronger but poorer and with greater inequalities because hiding the truth, deceiving people, treating us like children, is typical of regimes with little democratic quality. We are not subjects but citizens. We will not emerge from this crisis any freer either because while we are being shaken by this Chinese plague we are not drawing up any plans for the future to recover employment, the true driving force behind human dignity. Three facts: 30% of the establishments on Madrid's Gran Vía are sold or rented; half of Barcelona's hotels are empty and the pleasure boats in Puerto Banús are sold at a loss with reductions of up to 70%. Who will return to the bars and bulls when the administrations blame the tavern owners for being the direct culprits of the contagion and the Minister of Culture, a certain J.M. Rodríguez, boasts that he will not help the world of bullfighting while the head of Employment, Yolanda Díaz, leaves the professionals out of the subsidies, but he consents to the ERTES of the notaries and the property registrars? Too many unanswered questions.
We complete the picture with the great initiative of the Minister of Education and FP, lsabel Celaá, who is in favour of granting political (social) approvals to expand ignorance by decree. As Chancellor Angela Merkel taught us, "We invest in education because ignorance costs us more. In view of the situation, we should not be surprised that young people have not heard of Miguel Ángel Blanco, Irene Villa and Ortega Lara.
It will not be us who, without being afraid to leave the house, criticise these government measures which had to come a long time before after an uncontrolled de-escalation. We regret that it is not led by the tenant of La Moncloa because a house with 17 doors is bad to keep. We will abide by discipline and will not relax even at Christmas. We are for the extraordinary support... but without sectarianism, as the Argentine pope has asked. For the first time, we have to tell, we have seen a head of government speak clearly of a very serious problem that is going to condition our lives, the lives of our children and our children's children. And the way out of the crisis depends on the direction of the first step taken by the government; this time it seems to be going in the right direction, as President Macron said in France. One thing is certain: some Spanish non-governmental experts believe that Spain has already embarked on the third wave. Dr Sánchez spoke of the second wave. We are always in the rearguard. When will a committee of Spanish experts (not politicians) set the pace and direction for efficient health measures, now that the traditional flu is waiting for us around the corner in this treacherous October?
After the state of emergency (an eternal six-month alarm) decreed by the National Government, it seems that VOX's motion of censure happened a century ago. But it did not. The voices and echoes are still ringing. It is not easy to distinguish them. VOX's initiative has not worn down the social-communist government, which was delighted to attend a show where the votes were not enough to bring down the Sánchez-Iglesias duo. The protagonist was not the candidate, Santiago Abascal Conde (Bilbao, 14 April 1976) who had the courage to name one by one the 850 direct victims of ETA terrorism, placing special emphasis on those of the PP, but Pablo Casado Blanco (Palencia, 1 February 1981), president of the first opposition party. His speech, described as brilliant by the second vice-president, Pablo Iglesias, puzzled both locals and foreigners. He kept the vote going until the middle of his speech. It was an "ad hominen" attack on his former fellow member, who he shot mercilessly at point-blank range: "This motion is not being fired at the government but at the party that has given you work for 15 years". A death squad with black flags with which he broke off all kinds of relations and apparently "disengaged" from the photo of Columbus. Goodbye to the "trifachito"?
Pablo I El Cruel, reborn from the ashes since the last national congress in July 2018, broke with all the known past, forgot that the VOX deputies have given him power in Andalusia after four decades of institutional corruption of the PSOE, in Murcia, in Madrid Community and in the City Council of the capital. And in several dozens of capitals like Zaragoza and towns like Majadahonda where the Popular Party governs with the "extremists" of Abascal, who have not demanded either a regional deputy or a liberated councillor in the capital of the Kingdom.
The popular deputies applauded in anger the energetic break with VOX, although they would have applauded just as energetically if he had asked for abstention, as the PSOE did in the motion of censure by the Churches against Rajoy. Abascal marked a turning point and responsibility by replying from the platform, after expressing his disappointment at the attacks: "Andalusian citizens, Murcian citizens, Madrid citizens; do not be afraid. We will continue to support your governments without asking anything in return as we have done up to now".
The civil war has begun on the right. A key question: How will the PP get 176 seats to be a real alternative to the government of the left, separatists and extremists? It will take a decade, Mr Casado, before the right can return to power. With your NO Vox you have propped up Sanchismo and UP on the road to La Coruña until 2030. What a mistake, what a huge mistake! Especially when on the first day of the debate you read the "democratic document" signed by all the Frankenstein majority parties, which consecrated a cordon sanitaire to the stinking VOX, calling it ultra-right-wing. But neither you nor Arrimadas were invited to sign it. You are guests of stone. It was a continuation of the humiliation suffered by the only member of the green party in the Basque Parliament, Amaya Martínez. She was given an aperthaid in the third degree, which was withdrawn until she was greeted. The only thing missing was that she was marked with the Star of David. The Christian Democrat PNV, the PES, Bildu and United We Can participated in this crucifixion.
Casado has surrendered to the siren sounds of moderation without realising that he has mortgaged his future as designed by Iván Redondo from his Factory of Ideas at Moncloa. The leader of the PP is no longer far right until next week when he refuses to support the worst government in our democracy. "This is as far as we have come," the popular leader stressed. Right. What alliances will he have from now on to support his majority minorities? A paniaguado citizen who can betray Isabel Ayuso in Madrid in the first minute of the nighttime restriction on mobility? The PP has been isolated by that 360º "Copernican change" that the UP leader encouraged - I mean 180º, naturally - and is from now on tremendously alone as happened to the UCD. The left will call you "facha" again, Mr Casado, as soon as you do not play along. A game always with the cards marked as seen in your desire to control the judiciary. Do you think that the PSOE will accept that those of the Churches do not have a quota in the CGPJ, the SC and the Constitutional? Remember how you left VOX on the sidelines in the composition of the Congressional Bureau - there are three representatives of Iglesias-Colau - and in the committees of the Lower House.
It is true that the "greens" were wrong in their discourse on the EU and on the issue of autonomy, which brings us back to the provinces. But the rest of Abascal's discourse-he has distorted it so that he wants to take on the TC-is within the constitutional framework. And in loyalty to the King.
You, Mr Casado Blanco, with a black soul, have aligned yourself with the Sanchistas, Communists, separatists, nationalists and bilduetarras... and many decent popular voters are not going to forgive you for this. You have overlooked the attacks by Churches on you in Brussels, you have not criticized Dr. Sanchez when he said that "the terror of ETA was "an armed struggle". VOX's undoing condemns you to a long journey through the desert of solitude from now on. Tell us who you are going to gallop with in your new adventure from the reconquered centre?
The civil war has begun on the Spanish right with the consequent rejoicing on the whole left. If you really want to mark a distance, start by denying Rajoy, who has left us a perverse legacy - beyond whether he pious Bárcenas if his wife goes to prison - and the advice of an Aznar anchored in the Azores. After saying goodbye to Cayetana, there is not a single idea of his that excites the staff. Instead of winning the moderate vote, he attacks his former voters. Does he hope to wrest votes from the PSOE or the IU? And from citizens? You are 87 seats short of governing. Almost twice as many as he has. This fratricidal war in the centre-right will not end until there is a constitutional pact and the recent personal wounds opened with the third opposition party are healed. We know that the left is capable of making a pact with anyone to seize power. Pedro Sanchez's record places him as a "killer" to stay united with the Falcon10D. You have demonstrated - and it is already recorded in the Diario de Sesiones, Mr. Casado - that if you have to kill someone politically to replace the worst government in the last 40 years, you will not need any Brutus 'to stab your fellow travellers. You will be sufficient alone (or in the company of your six praetorians with whom you wrote your legend of the hard man). The trouble is that when this right-wing war is over, Spain will be agonising between pandemic and ruin; between violence and disintegration. The motions of censure are carried by the devil. It is no longer worth asking why we have come this far. The fact is that we have come this far without knowing how to protect King Felipe VI - who was confined to La Zarzuela - and the heiress Leonor, who gave an admirable lesson in patriotism at the Prince of Asturias Awards ceremony, calling for solidarity.
The siren calls of Adriana Lastra and Sánchez - "the PP is a state party"- are not in keeping with the predictions of their coalition partner, Mr Iglesias. "the right will not return to the government of the nation". How long do you think, Mr Casado, that the left will give you the time to identify again and point it out to its partners in the Plaza de Colón? I will tell you: until you sign the conditions of surrender to renew the high offices of the Judiciary, the Ombudsman and RTVE. When all the propaganda machinery is ready to change the regime. We know how far Dr. Sanchez' infinite selfishness can go; after his sublime performance in Congress, you are the other new king of the jungle. Your ambition reaches to the horizon and beyond. When these civil and health wars are over, we will need pacts to save what is left of Spain. To paraphrase the German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller, let us hope that "it is not too late".
Antonio REGALADO runs BAHÍA DE ÍTACA at: aregaladorodriguez.blogspot.com