The 'people' of Ayuso already reigns over the Casado PP

Isabel Díaz Ayuso already reigns over Pablo Casado’s Popular Party, in a more important aspect than the organic one, although she is less afraid of her leader: that of the story. Where does it come from but the PP’s strategy these days of running to be photographed with cattle, and brandishing the accusation of a posh left, urbanite, which is far from the street. Although if the PP now exploits that vein of the “people”, perhaps it is because someone believes that a populist right can become the great party of the precarious middle classes in Spain, stealing the flag to the left, a few years away.

Namely, that “populism” is not only synonymous with demagoguery, in certain cases. By “populism” should also be understood the political appropriation of the people’s flag, confronting it in turn, without nuances, with an elite, or straw enemy. Either: “The left that wants to ruin the business of Madrid, in front of the hotelier that the president defends”, as Díaz Ayuso stated. Or in the case of Alfredo Fernández Mañueco, hereinafter: “The left that wants to ruin the agricultural sector, in front of the PP that represents it”.

So much so, that to build that discourse, so lacking in nuance, the PP had an unexpected ally for its campaign, such as the invaluable help of the PSOE. Instead of teaching what Science says, international organizations, the plans of the socialist minister himself, Luis Planas, to reduce cattle heads, or the policies of limiting the macro-farms of the most conservative barons of the PSOE, half of the government ran to disavow Minister Alberto Garzón, weak link of the Executive.

Paradoxically, the left shot itself in the foot, in the context of polarization in which Spain lives. That the socialists leave the purple ones alone will only be friendly fire and ammunition to the adversary. Never buy the story the right, in this case, will be a winning frame for the monclovita left. Especially if, to do so, the left renounces its banners: the ecological transition, social inequality, in that “posh left” complex that has entered Sánchez —explained here—.

Winning the “people’s” flag, as Ayuso herself achieved on 4-M, is the objective of Casado’s PP to broaden the base beyond Vox, in the electoral cycle onwards. On one side, because cultural struggles make popular people extremely uncomfortable. Discussing abortion, euthanasia, the LGTBI collective, gender-based violence… also gives the Genoese a very bad press and they scare them excessively, by getting into Vox’s territory. If they soon get to govern together, that would weigh to appear moderate and win over broad layers of the electorate.

Nor does it leave indifferent that members of the PP praise the agricultural sector, in front of a field of cows. Poor quality populism

Second, it happens that, until the electoral cyclone of her old university friend, Casado’s leadership had been characterized by hitting the steering wheel. A few days, Casado broke up with Vox in public. See his speech in Vox’s motion of censure against the coalition government in 2020. Other times, the president of the PP offered ministries to Vox, as in the 2019 campaign. That is to say: wandering aimlessly, hoping one day to make the wear and tear profitable. by Pedro Sánchez, in the purest style of Mariano Rajoy.

But with the flag of the “people” it is different, and more comfortable for Genoa 13. The PP is already looking for it so much, that it is curious that the right wing recovered in January an interview with Minister Alberto Garzón from December, turning him into the axis of campaign almost last a week. Nor does it leave indifferent that members of the PP praise the agricultural sector, compared to a field of extensive cattle ranching cows. Poor quality populism. Less glamorous would be to take the photo in a macro farm, of which Garzón spoke.

Photo: The Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón.  (EFE/Raquel Manzanares)

Although the PP has found a not so far-fetched intuition, in light of certain polls. That is: the idea that the PSOE government and United We Can could be giving an image of being away from the day-to-day of the precarious citizen in a pandemic context. Until now, he did so by talking too much about European funds to large companies for transformations by 2050, championing future challenges such as climate change, which require a cost to medium-sized pockets…

There is no more to draw conclusions from the latest survey of ‘El País’, when to the question, “Who do you think the government benefits from?”, 61% of respondents responded “to large companies”; another 60%, to “the population with high incomes”. Instead, in the following bands, from 31% to 19%, were the groups: people at risk of poverty, unemployed, pensioners, working class, young people, self-employed and SMEs, citizens in rural areas. That is to say, the most vulnerable people, behind the economic elite.

In Moncloa they have intensified their statements on employment, or the importance of labor reform to combat precariousness

Due to a lack of pedagogy, or due to context, the left could begin to leak on that side. Furthermore, moreover, if the PP exhausts the populist strategy of wanting to appear as the party of the precarious middle classes. For this reason, in Moncloa they have intensified their declarations on employment, or the importance of labor reform to combat temporary employment and, therefore, precariousness. For this reason, they also left Garzón lying around, achieving the opposite effect of correcting the mess.

Curiously, it was thought until now that this “populist right” that appeals to the people was going to be Vox. Even Vox himself believed it, with his campaign for sell themselves as a workers’ party, in that lepenist turn, in emulation of the French National Front. However, who swept through the popular neighborhoods of Madrid was not Rocío Monasterio, but Díaz Ayuso. The ayusista discursive trident: freedom, against the “authoritarian” left, fall back on the “interests” of the people of Madrid, and the “things to eat” or the citizen’s pocket.

In the electoral cycle that will begin in Castilla y León, it would not be surprising to see Juan Manuel Moreno next to Andalusian olive trees, when the polls open. To the Extremaduran baron next to a pata negra ham, to the Murcian riding on a boat … or to Pablo Casado himself clinging to a utility pole when there are general elections. The Ayuso route already reigns over the PP of Teodoro García-Egea and Casado.

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