21/04/2021

The PP plays with fire with Vox

2 min
Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

In the Madrid election campaign there is an elephant in the room that the front runner, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has tried to ignore: to govern she will need the support of the far right. There was a possibility that Vox would design a low profile campaign to try to hide this uncomfortable reality, but the opposite has been the case. In an attempt to avoid being swallowed up by Ayuso, Vox is running a xenophobic, racist and sexist campaign, the culmination of which has been a poster that has been seen at Sol metro station and in some train stations, which reads: "Immigrant minor: €4,700 per month. Your grandmother: €426 per month pension. Protect Madrid". The image shows two people: an older woman and a dark-skinned man, masked and hooded. The poster is inevitably reminiscent of those used by the Nazis to stigmatise Jews or the disabled, appealing also to their economic cost. If this is not fascism, it is very close. The Public Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation, at the request of Más Madrid, for an alleged hate crime, and other parties, such as Podemos, have taken it to the Electoral Board.

Logically, the poster has monopolised the electoral campaign in the last hours, and it has received criticism from Cs and PSOE. But not the PP, which is playing with fire with Vox. Ayuso maintains a difficult balance because she knows that she will need Vox to govern or, failing that, she needs the support of its voters, and that is why she always avoids any criticism of Vox. In fact, in the campaign Vox already takes it for granted that they reach an agreement, and Vox presents itself as "a loyal partner". It will be interesting to see what the popular candidate says tonight in the electoral debate on Telemadrid about her policy of alliances.

The fact is that the controversy has once again highlighted the real danger behind the Madrid elections, which is the access, for the first time since the dictatorship, of an far-right political force to government responsibilities in an autonomic executive. The PSOE decided yesterday to finally come out against Ayuso, through minister José Luis Ábalos and bypassing its candidate, Ángel Gabilondo, who incomprehensibly is avoiding facing up to the president of Madrid.

It is also true that Vox is succeeding in making the campaign revolve around them, exhibiting their unapologetic xenophobia and whipping up hatred of foreigners (it has already manipulated a document to denounce that the social rent subsidies were only for people with Arab surnames), that the campaign revolves around them. It is difficult not to fall into the provocations of the far right and one has to be skilful not to encourage their false victimhood, but what is also impossible is to remain silent in the face of these speeches. To begin with, it is incomprehensible that the JEC authorised this poster and that Metro Madrid or Renfe have placed it in a public place

And then, if Ayuso does not rule out governing with Vox, it must be clear that voting for the PP means opening the doors of the Madrid government to a party which is against constitutional values and maintains links to Francoism. And the guilty party will have been the PP.