Pedro Fernández Barbadillo: “The Left has always known how to support its own; on the Right there are many who have yet to learn this lesson”
Pedro Fernández Barbadillo is a journalist and contributor to various media, such as “Libertad Digital”, “Actuall” or “Informa Radio”. He is the author of numerous books related to politics and history, such as “Manual para españoles sin complejos”, “Los césares del imperio americano: De George Washington a Donald Trump” and “Eternamente Franco”.
Álvaro Peñas: Do you think there will finally be a new government of Pedro Sánchez with communists and separatists?
Pedro Fernández Barbadillo: Yes, I think there will be such government because the numbers are right for Sánchez to continue, and for all the enemies of Spain there can be no better government.
Compared to what may come, will the previous legislature seem “moderate” to us?
Last term the laws demanded by Podemos, now mutated into Sumar, were passed, and the Socialist Party supported all those laws. Now is the time when many of these laws, for example, the animal welfare law, will start to be applied, and we will begin to see their real effects. But, as we have seen, this is never enough and we will have to continue passing progressive laws.
At the moment Sumar has already agreed with the PSOE on tax rises, reduced working hours and restrictions on domestic flights due to the climate change.
It’s unrealistic, for we are talking about working less in the country with the highest unemployment rate in the EU. Why don’t we talk about everyone working? This would be the truly revolutionary thing to do. The proposed measures are not going to yield more productivity or more employment. What they are going to achieve is more people dependent on their subsidies. We are the country with the highest youth and general unemployment rates, and we are proposing idiocies instead of copying models that work like Austria, Poland or the Czech Republic, with unemployment below 5% and a per capita income that surpasses that of Spain. But neither socialists, nor businessmen, nor the Popular Party, nor trade unions, have ever wanted to look for other types of policies.
There is a huge difference between what the partitocracy and the media say and the reality. The published EPA (Labour Force Survey) shows that, compared to 11% of unemployed Spaniards, we have 16% of unemployed foreigners. This is to say that immigrants have a higher unemployment rate, but according to the media immigrants should continue arriving to work and pay pensions. It makes no sense, unless you want cheap labour or wish to alter the demographic composition of the Spanish and European society, because this also happens in other countries.
There is a huge dose of demagogy and propaganda used to sell these “social” measures, which in the end would lead to the closure of small and medium-sized businesses, and more people becoming unemployed.
Yes, this is like what happened with the increase in the minimum wage. It ends up being paid by small businesses, and as no type of compensation has been introduced, in the long run it generates more poverty. There is no aid for them, nor for the self-employed, nor is there any intention to introduce it. I will give you another figure from the EPA. The number of hours worked continues to fall, although there are more people working. This means that there are more people working part-time, which has its consequences for wages and contributions.
Unfortunately, it seems that this, and many other things, have not been enough to keep many Spaniards voting for the left. Pedro Sánchez has pardoned the Catalan coup plotters, changed the penal code by eliminating embezzlement and sedition, approved euthanasia, supported radical feminist laws that criminalise men, immigration has been unleashed, etc. Seven million votes! Pedro Sánchez has a free hand to do whatever he wants.
Another of PSOE and Sumar's agreements is to desacralise the Valley of the Fallen and throw out the monks. Do you think the Church will stand up to this new outrage? After removing Franco and José Antonio from the Valley, is the next objective the Cross?
The Cross, apart from reminding the Left that they lost the war, is the symbol of Christianity, that is, of everything they hate. I imagine that the idea of desacralising the Valley is a step towards turning it into a Popular Front theme park, but I don't think they dare, as yet, tear down the Cross. The problem is that the hierarchy in Rome is on their side, and the Spanish hierarchy leaves everything in the hands of Vatican. For that reason, the Church is one of the most discredited institutions. If the Church hierarchy has treated Franco, who saved Catholics from genocide in the Civil War, in this way, it is hardly surprising that fewer and fewer people are defending them. Recently a statistic came out about Basque religious schools, and only 10% of the students graduating from these schools believe in God. What is the point of these schools, or is it just business?
Apart from Sumar, Sánchez needs all the separatists parties. Do you think their demands regarding the referendum on self-determination could be the ones that break the coalition government?
I think the socialists are willing to accept anything as long as it doesn't hurt them in the polls. We have already seen that the institutions that could have stood up to what is happening, such as the Constitutional Court or the Monarchy, have turned a blind eye to everything. But yes, the possible breaking point may lie in the separatists’ claims, which are getting more and more extreme.
Regarding the Monarchy, many have singled out the King for commissioning Sánchez to form a government, despite needing the support of the party of a fugitive from justice and all the separatists. On the contrary, others defend him by saying that the King cannot be asked to do what the rest of Spaniards have not done.
The King is the head of state and captain general of the armies, and the Constitution gives him the power to arbitrate and moderate the functioning of public institutions. No other Spanish citizen has these powers. In the past, Juan Carlos’ courtiers told us that we had a King we did not deserve, and now Felipe’s courtiers are telling us that the King should be left in peace. They are succeeding in turning the Monarchy into a superfluous institution, but when it becomes this, it will collapse.
And what do you think of the role of the Partido Popular and Alberto Núñez Feijóo?
Feijóo is turning out to be as pathetic as former president Mariano Rajoy. The PP, instead of calling on people to protest, is keeping a low profile and seems to be waiting to see what happens. And they have returned to the strategy of attacking and blaming VOX for their electoral failure. They have no capacity to accept their mistakes and constantly blame others. Their short-sightedness does not allow them to see something that already began with Zapatero, namely that the Socialist Party no longer wants alternation with the PP. It wants a regime like the PRI in Mexico, with a domesticated opposition that will never return to power. And for this they have formed a political bloc with all the enemies of Spain, something, by the way, that was already done with the Popular Front.
VOX is the only party which is clearly protesting against the amnesty and the coalition government, but the impression is that its capacity to mobilise people has lost momentum. It is true that they have lost electoral support, thanks largely to the Popular Party’s infamous attack campaign. But it does not seem that they will become, for the moment, a truly populist party, a term that I do not consider an insult. VOX must address the losers of globalisation and mobilise people on these issues as well.
What do you think Spaniards should do in the face of what is coming?
We have to make the most of the vote. Those who don’t want you to vote say that voting doesn’t fix anything. Yet with your vote you can throw out a disastrous government, as has happened in Valencia and Valladolid. And we must not stop denouncing and bringing to light everything this government does, such as the case of the NGO that has taken 180 illegal immigrants to a spa in Medina del Campo. This NGO, which has 405 members, received last year 139 million euros in subsidies from our taxes, which is a real scandal.
But most importantly, within our means, we must mobilise and support the associations that do not stop fighting. For example, Christian Lawyers have won a lawsuit against the Community of Madrid for sanctioning a teacher for stating the truism that there are only two sexes. And we must also support all the channels that fight for the truth: from the Sacristy of the Vendée, which has 45,000 subscribers, to Agustín Laje's channel, which is followed by millions. The Left has always known how to mobilise and support their own - but there are many on the Right who have yet to learn this lesson.
The regional and local elections of 28 May marked a change of course in Spanish politics