In their efforts to present themselves as a “trusted” political actor, able to form an acceptable government for the economic powers, the Podemos leadership continue to transform their original proposals at the same time that the functioning of the party is bureaucratized.
While a Republican meeting with parliamentarians who had refused to receive the king (including Miguel Urbán, from Podemos) was celebrated in the European Parliament, Pablo Iglesias [president of Podemos] appeared smiling to greet the monarch and even giving him a gift. The royal reception was celebrating the 15th of April, just after Republican demonstrations and rallies had toured cities and counties of the country, in which Podemos didn’t participate.
In Madrid, the candidate of Podemos for mayor declared he wasn’t against the concerted education . Podemosappeared in political life as a power that would bring to the institutions the demands that social movements raised during these years of mobilizations. But now it turns its back on the thousands and thousands of students, teachers and parents who chanted in demonstrations and strikes, “Nothing, nothing, nothing / to private schools!”
Also in recent weeks, the main economic authorities of Podemos met with investment funds and international bankers as the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, a US financial giant. The news say Podemos arranged the meeting to explain to them its economic proposals and to “listen to their concerns.” A few weeks earlier, in late January, the Secretary General of Podemos – Madrid, Jesús Montero, stated: “There are two corporate cultures. One is greed, the other wants to contribute to social welfare as the Botín family, the owners of Banco Santander.”
This reversion made by Podemos is just what can’t be done by those who want to be an alternative of rupture, that aspires to represent the social movements and the “meaning” of the struggles in these years. If Podemos presents itself as an option of democratic rupture with the “regime born in 1978” it can’t give gifts to the king and turn away from the struggle for the Republic. Nor refusing to call for a self-determination referendum for Catalonia. If Podemoswants to be the voice of the masses, it can’t defend the concerted education. If Podemos wants to be with the evicted families, it can’t congratulate itself with the bankers of the Botín family, or “listen to the concerns” of investment funds.
A lot of supporters of Podemos don’t agree with this deviation and requires a correction of the course. The best example is Andalusia pela base, the organization that raised a program of rupture and demands a return to the foundational program expressed on the manifesto Mover Ficha and that the decisions and control of Podemos should be exercised democratically by the rank and file.
By not reversing this course, the Podemos leadership disappoints all those who saw it as a tool to end bipartisanship and to open the way to social changes; turns Podemos into a PSOE-2 and helps the recovery of the rightwing party in office, PP. The big task is to overthrow the PP and win the majority to carry, supported by social mobilization, a program of profound changes to resolve the main problems of the workers and the people, despite electoral considerations.
Notes: – A ‘concerted school’ is a private school subsidized with public funds, that is, its ownership and its management are private, but it profits thanks to state funding.