Sunday, August 14

Yolanda Díaz is emancipated from Pablo Iglesias

In the Matadero there was no blackout to consummate the liquidation. It was all in daylight, very hot. But when the act ended, the feeling that the name of the stage had a political charge that would have served so that Vázquez Montalbán would have ordered Pepe Carvalho to raise the body of the general secretary was illuminated. Listening to Yolanda Díaz, she remembered that “Intellectuals, heads of plover” from La Pasionaria that sent the PCE intelligentsia into exile from darkness in a Prague castle. Adding is, in short, the end of the above but with less drama. The succession in the formation formerly known as Podemos has been much less traumatic than the one that occurred in the PSOE or the one that ended a few days ago with the public assassination of Pablo Casado. But there is no kind succession in Spanish politics, Yolanda Díaz has launched the Ella Sumar platform and has consummated her emancipation from Pablo Iglesias.

The act was an intelligent way of dispensing with the political leadership of the present without being blamed for having dispensed with the parties of which the coalition is a part. No official, deputy or political leader participated in the act because members of civil society did it, although there were many people invited by the organization who can give a good example of where the project breathes. From Podemos were María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, an MEP who feels totally in tune with the project, and it is mutual, Alejandra Jacinto, who before becoming a deputy in the Madrid Assembly was an activist with the PAH, and María Teresa Pérez, director of Injuve . But the vast majority of those who occupied the rows of guests were the members of the commons, Aina Vidal, Ernest Urtasun, Joan Mena, as well as Enrique Santiago, general secretary of the PCE, and above all, above all, a multitude of positions and former employees rebounded from Podemos due to the old internal struggles; Pablo Bustinduy and Eduardo Maura stood out among them, illustrious members of what was the “errejonista” sector and who left the party between fights, purges and fed up. The amalgamation of presences and absences can show how the conformation of the space to which Yolanda Díaz aspires will be. Monedero was not among the guests, he was, but as one more assistant, not invited by the organization, with what that means to interpret him.

My opinion on transversality projects has been and is always critical, but I do not aspire to govern. I have always been a faithful defender of the popular fronts that do not seek favor from those who are not going to give it to them. In Podemos they thought differently, and Yolanda Díaz thinks now what Podemos thought in 2014. We do not know if the country of 2022 will accept a project that was successful with the wickers of 2014, but that is what Yolanda Díaz thinks, that a project is necessary run away from the left corner to fight in more cross terrain. I am very skeptical that in a post-pandemic moment, with rampant inflation and the existence of a far-right formation that starkly appeals to discontent, a mainstreaming project forged by the government can work effectively. I am not convinced by this type of project, although I think that Yolanda Díaz has superlative potential and if anyone can change the dynamic, it is her. But in Podemos they have always believed in those practices and discourses. What is not understood is that those who arrogantly and nonchalantly criticized us skeptics with these transverse populist projects are reluctant to a project like Sumar, which seeks to do precisely what Pablo Iglesias did by disciplining all those who were critical of the forms and practices of the primitive Podemos.

Yolanda Díaz’s commitment to Sumar is what the original Podemos put into practice, the one formed in tandem by Errejón and Iglesias, a de-ideologized language, appealing to social majorities, with calls for attention to citizens, to the people. A disruptive speech that resonated with some of us in 2014 and that continues to do so now. That is her bet, it is the chosen path. It shouldn’t bother those who made this speech an emendation to the entire left at the time. Yolanda Díaz does not want a project that is a simple amalgamation of acronyms and parties, she wants the same thing that Pablo Iglesias wanted at the time, a project from civil society, with the direct involvement of citizens, from the bottom up: “With everything respect, what we think has been shown to work is the unity of the people. Not the party unit. Do not agree above. No agreements between elites. We think that a coalition of parties would not work electorally. Another thing is that our hand is stretched out to all those who come from many places. I am delighted that people who come from IU join our project and work”.

The paradox is that Yolanda Díaz is paying attention to Pablo Iglesias. But to 2014. That of the one who censored the romantics of the acronyms. Precisely for doing that, deidealizing the nomenc (k) lature, she is not liking her bet on the purple formation. Podemos has become the grumpy smurf of Yolanda Díaz in the same way that IU was of Pablo Iglesias. Something that the leadership of Podemos did not like at the time, using a very derogatory language and discourse against those who do what he does now since he left the vice presidency. For Pablo Iglesias, the members of Izquierda Unida who did not understand his proposal were the “typical sad, bored, bitter leftist”, those who did not want to do without their initials, their speech, their ideology and their logos and names were something that repudiate, this is how Pablo Iglesias addressed those nostalgic for the acronyms and the party: “Cook yourself in your sauce full of red stars and things, but don’t get close, because you are precisely the ones responsible for the fact that nothing changes in this country. You are ashes. I don’t want political assholes, who in 25 years have been incapable of doing anything, I don’t want political leaders of the United Left, and I worked for them, who are incapable of reading the political situation in the country, to approach us.”

The only comment by Pablo Iglesias on the staging of Yolanda Díaz in Sumar, or “whatever milk is called”, is the response to this stinging comment by Juanlu De Paolis: “I see the center-left and the left of this country in a conservative way. Polite, measured speech, with little desire to annoy anyone. As if everything was fine. I suppose the last emperors of Rome spoke like this just before the barbarians carried them away. “a smart guy” added Iglesias on De Paolisalso referring to Marhuenda by an article in which he spoke of the different tone of both leaders today. It is known that now that Iglesias does not have to ask for votes or attract voters who are not frightening, it is no longer necessary to modulate the speech, or speak slowly – there is a school of cadres in Podemos that learned to speak softly – or appeal to transversality is the privilege of those of us who do not need to please timid voters or seek the favor of pressure groups, we can displease with our words without caring too much that they will never vote for us. What is censored in Yolanda Díaz now, her good words, her appeal to tenderness, is nothing more than what they all did when they appeared on the scene. To confuse the form with the substance, becoming Cayo Lara, when there was a time when the leader of Podemos called the left that he replaced to cook in his sauce of red stars.

Succession in Podemos has not been an easy road since Pablo Iglesias named Yolanda Díaz his successor without her opinion. Since their paths parted with the resignation of the leader, there has not been a single public contact between the two or an exchange of friendly comments without veiled reproaches, while there have been broadcast disappointments. It is easy to verify by simple observation that the relationship is broken, the Minister of Labor has not attended or spoken on the program that the former vice president directs and there has never been a word of closeness from the vice president to the one who appointed her. In Podemos they take it badly that the difference of opinion between the successor and the predecessor is news as if it were something accessory. The relevance of the succession and its differences is vital to understand where the new project is heading, because the leaderships imply a new conformation of the space on the left of this country, even more so when the structures of the left formations are mere transporters of leadership decisions. The differences between Yolanda Díaz and Pablo Iglesias are essential to analyze the new construct of the transformative left in Spain. Podemos will not be on the Sumar ballot in the next elections and there will be a new formation that maintains many of the people who were in the purple formation in the same way that many of the people who were active in IU were in Podemos. The left in Spain is neither created nor destroyed, it only transforms. Refusing to concretize the laws of matter only leads to melancholy and resentment. It is a new time in which Yolanda Díaz does not have to think with the head of our Togliatti, but with her own. Even more so when those who today dress as revolutionaries forever anchored our Giro de Salerno.