The morning after

PEDRO SANCHEZ: Leader of the party

NO surprises, then. Pedro Sanchez, long the darling of PSOE’s paid up membership – the militants according to Spanish usage for card-carriers – is once again party secretary general.

To be strictly accurate he was the darling of only 50 per cent of them, receiving 74,223 votes from the 187,949 PSOE supporters who were entitled to vote in the primaries.

Enough to torpedo Susana Diaz and sink Patxi Lopez and enough to decide that as well as PSOE secretary general he is likely to be its next presidential candidate.

In other words, enough to ensure that he will once again lead the party to one of its worst-ever defeat.

Rescue party

IN the pre-Primaries debate Pedro Sanchez told Susana Diaz that the PSOE abstention last autumn was its worst-ever error.

“The PSOE does not need rescuing from the militant membership. It has to be rescued from the PP abstention.”

Diaz claimed the party had to be saved from a third election that would have left the PSOE with even fewer than the 85 national parliament seats won in June 2016.

Since the abstention the PSOE has gradually inched its way from the third most-voted party to second.

And that was thanks to the Managing Committee that took over after ousting Sanchez.

Not the 74,223 party members who voted for him in the primaries.

On a diet

AFTER 1977 when the Spanish had the chance of voting for the far Left, relatively few did so.

The Communist party sank into a bottomless pit after morphing into Izquierda Unida because socialist voters in Spain – not the card-carrying membership – are basically Social Democrats.

For low-fat Social Democrats there is, or should be, the PSOE.

Give them the full-fat version that Sanchez is promising to promote and the party could instead slim down to skin and bones.

Saving grace 

“SPAIN emerged from the crisis, not the Spanish,” Patxi Lopez said recently.

Old-school socialist Lopez, former president of the Basque Region and briefly speaker of the national parliament following the December 2015 General Election, had only the slimmest chance of walking off with the PSOE primaries.

But he pinpointed one of the reasons why Spain’s president, Mariano Rajoy, is so disliked.

Much of the country and some in his own party groan when Rajoy shrugs off every new corruption crisis by reminding critics that he and his government saved Spain.

Rajoy merely followed Brussels’ instructions by inflicting spending cuts on those least to bear them.

And his insouciant reaction to the shame and scandal of Gurtel, Punica, Taula, Acuamed and now Lezo add insult to their injury


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