O BNG, Always with Galicia

Galician Nationalist Bloc leader and national spokesperson Ana Pontón re-affirmed that her party is the only alternative to the People’s Party austerity and the centralism of the Spanish state apparatus in Madrid in La Voz de Galicia today:

The goal of politics is to improve people’s lives and it would be absurd to give up the tools that allow us to move toward that goal. So we advocate the ability to decide on our resources, we advocate putting our wealth at the service of the social majority, or we advocate having the key to our money to manage it based on the country’s priorities. It is called, I insist, real self-government.

Galicia is a nation, and we aspire to be the Galician citizens who have in their hands the decisions about their future before a Spanish state with a low-quality democracy, with a monarchy tinged with corruption, where economic lobbies rule through revolving doors and with a judicial process that is illegally perpetuated. A state in which the defense of the right to self-determination is paid with imprisonment, while corruption remains unpunished and the macho, racist, xenophobic and anti-Galician extreme right advances whitewashed by the right, with which it agrees and governs.

BNG (pronounced be-ne-gá) carries the ideological torch of Castelao and Galicianism into the 21st century.

Hopefully the party’s vanguard and all Galicians (even the conservative older ones) will realize the stakes of allowing Feijóo free reign in parliament to turn the nation into a giant wind farm and once again elect BNG to lead and oppose the centralism of Madrid.

Spanish Thatcherism in Madrid and Tomorrow’s Regional Elections

I never thought I’d be as interested in Madrid politics as I have been for the last month. Basically, the Trumpian Madrid president, Isabel Ayuso, is trying to capitalize on some unstable political alliances throughout the country between her Partido Popular and the centrist/center-right neoliberal Ciudadanos. Ayuso handled the first wave of the pandemic terribly, but has leaned in to this hands off approach by calling it freedom, as opposed to the evil, tyrannical left-wing coalition of PSOE and Podemos in the national government.

She called for elections and to everyone’s surprise, Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Podemos and one of Spain’s vice-presidents, announced his resignation from the national government to run for president of the region (comunidad) of Madrid.

Since then, there has been political violence at rallies, envelopes woth death threats and bullets sent to prominent politicians, a multitude of references to 1930s Spain and the civil war, as well as a normalization of the fascist party Vox and their ideology by the media.

Madrid has been a PP stronghold for 25 years while being known for corruption and privatization.

Sebastiaan Faber and Bécquer Seguín in the Nation:

For the past quarter-century, politics in the Madrid region have been spectacularly corrupt. All four of Ayuso’s predecessors have been investigated or indicted on corruption charges. Meanwhile, the region has become a laboratory for neoliberal economic policies. — Sebastiaan Faber and Bécquer Seguín in the Nation

Brendan Boyle from his article in Jacobin last year:

Ignacio Sánchez-Cuena of the Catalan-based daily La Vanguardia believes that Madrid is a relative outlier in terms of capital cities across Western Europe. London, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels have long been viewed as bastions of diversity and progressive thinking, but the substantial vote in Madrid for the far-right Vox (16 percent) bucks this trend. “The capital city is today the epicenter of an uncultured and exclusionary Spanish nationalism,” he says. “With the security and arrogance that economic well-being produces, the dominant discourse of the right wing in Madrid states that the capital represents modernity and globalization, as well as a proud, liberal, universalist Spain.”

Tomorrow is the election. The left parties (PSOE, Más Madrid, and Unidas Podemos) only stand a chance if participation from traditionally non-voters in the southern working-class cities and districts of Madrid is very high and they gain enough seats to outnumber Vox+PP and form a coalition.

Meanwhile Ayuso has much better odds but will probably need Vox’s support. I’m seeing the Bernie problem again: the only way to change things up is more voices but those voices are small and at a whisper.