Tuesday, December 6

leader or weathervane

In politics, sometimes, the condition of leader is generously granted to anyone who is at the head of a party without many of those who receive this name pass the cut of what is understood by leadership, which has been what is defined as the influence exerted on a group of people to encourage them in the pursuit of a common goal. The cemetery of politics is full of the corpses of supposed leaders who did not measure up as such.

Then, it would be necessary to distinguish between those who are organic leaders of their own “tribe” -by vote or acclamation- and those who have that condition, however, lack majority social recognition to reach the proposed goal.

And finally, there is the eternal debate about whether the leader is born or made. There is no doubt that leadership must be demonstrated. With decision making. With the emission of unequivocal signals about the possession of an own and autonomous project. With keeping a certain distance from those who orbit around him only for partisan, ideological or business interests. With empathy. With emotional strength. With the pursuit of common interest. With principles. With concrete ideas. With accredited capacity to take charge of the majority state of mind. With skill and nose to capture the significance of certain moments and situations. And with determination, above all, to abstract from all kinds of interference.

And all this comes on account of Alberto Núñez Feijóo’s fear of the reaction of the judicial, political and media right to the agreement between the PP and the Government to unblock the renewal of the General Council of the Judiciary and the Constitutional Court. A pact that, according to negotiation sources, was practically closed and only waiting for Genoa, 13 to decide what was the most appropriate time to announce it.

More clearly: Feijóo’s legs trembled before the editorials of the “friendly press”, which understood that Pedro Sánchez was not deserving of any agreement with the main opposition party, even though the law and the Constitution establish it.

Those who from minute one wanted to blow up the pact, maintain the blockade and prolong the serious institutional crisis that the Judiciary is experiencing, had already prepared the ammunition against the president of the PP whatever the terms of the agreement were. They are the same ones that beat each other in the chest in defense of the Magna Carta. The champions of democratic regeneration. Those who ask for state pacts only when the right governs. And those who bask in the tartness of polarization and confrontation when it is the left that inhabits La Moncloa.

The president of the PP will have to choose, and do so now, between meeting his constitutional obligations or cowering in the face of harassment and the guidelines of the most radical wing of the political and media right. Between those who encourage him to avoid further institutional degradation or those who prefer to maintain the blockade at the cost of severe democratic deterioration. Between the common interest or that of a few. Between showing whether he is a true leader or just a weather vane for the headlines dictated by the right-wing media.

The electoral clock was running against him, and not only because the polls of the related media have already begun to consider the so-called “Feijóo effect” amortized and to register a slight setback in the intention to vote for the PP, but also because after half a year since his election as national president of his party, it was time to demonstrate with facts if he was the statesman he claims to be or a puppet of a sum of private interests.

And, in the end, Feijóo succumbed to the pressure. A stern warning in an editorial, a radio comment solemnly announcing his “political death”… And Boom! The PP’s statement with the suspension of negotiations with the Government reached the newsrooms. Hours earlier, in La Moncloa, the worst was already feared when President Sánchez, from Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, showed signs that his patience was running out, according to his words: “The only thing missing is the political will. You have to say yes or no.” Everything else, including the commitment to review the appointment system and the names of the new CGPJ and the Constitutional Court, had been done.

Feijóo used the umpteenth excuse. This time, the announced will of the Sánchez Executive to reform the crime of sedition. In four years, there have been many others: an alleged leak by former minister Dolores Delgado about the name that was going to preside over the Supreme Court, the criticism of United We Can, the vetoes of judges Rosell and De Prada, the pardons of the prisoners of the process, the depoliticization of the Council…

Yes, it was clear that the ex-president of the Xunta was going to be rained down with sharp edges and editorials against him, but that is also what leadership consists of, in fulfilling the obligations of the position, in showing a sense of responsibility, in maintaining the political autonomy, having their own criteria and enduring criticism, wherever they come from. The president of the PP has not endured it and has bowed to the harassment of those who promised to end him if he closed the agreement in a clear demonstration that he is more weathervane than leader.