When the truth doesn’t matter

In Congress, time, Julio Camba wrote in Diario de un escéptico, is a plentiful thing, which is always in surplus and one never knows how to use it. The popular chronicler often protested against the imposition of aggressive oratory as opposed to the clear and calm parliamentarism of those deputies who rose modestly from their seats and began to speak little by little “without ever becoming indignant, without ever breaking down, without abandoning their smile or losing their intention”. The only oratory, he defended, that has a reason to exist, since “there is no truth in the world that is worth shouting about”.

If Camba were to raise his head, he would see that nowadays Parliament is not a place where everything can be said in a half-voice. There are hardly any representations of high politics with protagonists with clear ideas and a firm pulse but with common sense, which help to shape a better political and social reality than the one we have engendered so far, among all of us.

We are all part – some more than others – of these political-parliamentary disputes that some media stir up without stopping to think how long they will be able to put up with so much lack of rigour, so much indignity and so much festival of lies and manipulation.

Get ready for another week of shouting with this one that is coming and in which seven amendments to the totality of the Budgets drafted by the Government for the year 2022 will be debated. The PP has already said that it does not rule out that in the budget negotiation between Pedro Sánchez and Bildu the release of ETA members is on the table. It hints that something remains.

Prisoners, not even ETA inmates, can not leave prison because a Government decides it. The judges, and not the ministers, are the only ones competent to ask for the release of the inmates. The release is a jurisdictional act and the decisions of the penitentiary administration are susceptible to be controlled by the courts, but the right-wing political media insists on spreading the opposite.

According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, on October 20, 2011, the day on which ETA announced the definitive cessation of its terrorist activity, there were 559 prisoners of the terrorist group in Spain. On May 3, 2018, the day before the organization made public the statement of its dissolution, the figure had fallen to 242, so in the light of the fallacious doctrine that Casado’s people use today, it could be said – and it is not said – that the PP would have released 317 ETA members without more since in those years Mariano Rajoy governed.

Far from using the data or the literalness of the penitentiary law to cross-examine the PP every time they accuse the current government of agreeing prisoners for budgets, there are media and commentators who recreate the headline and assume it as their own. Without remembering either, of course, that in 2003 there was a ruling by the Strasbourg Court that repealed the so-called “Parot doctrine” that had extended the stay in prison of many ETA members until then and that meant the early release of 54 of them. Don’t let reality spoil your defamation strategy.

Casado has also said that Sánchez will return this year to agree on budgets “with the most radical partners there have been in Spain and in the EU”. It must be that the president of the PP understands by moderation the criticisms of the European far right to migration policies, the questioning of the European Union, the rejection of globalization in favor of greater economic protectionism and the virulence with which they attack feminism and LGTBI policies. And it must also be that the Hungarian Viktor Orbán, with his staunch defence of national identity and his stance against immigration, or the Pole Andrzej Duda with his exacerbated anti-Europeanism, are much more reliable than the political options represented by Unidas Podemos, the PNV, ERC or even Bildu, of whom, by the way, Javier Maroto as mayor of Vitoria said that his legs were not shaking to reach agreements with them and that the verb exclude was not on his agenda.

“The legislature is in a dead end and they are no longer capable of solving any problem” is another of the memorable phrases that the leader of the PP has given to the audience, knowing that Sánchez, with the more than certain approval of these public accounts, has the necessary support to finish the mandate. The president of the PP is as capable of maintaining that the Government “prepares a massive tax increase” (although the novelty of these accounts is a minimum in Societies of 15% for large companies) as that the Housing Law is an attack on private property shielded in the Constitution.

When the truth does not matter, anything goes. Also overacting, lying, shouting, the staging of the right and even the fact that there are media outlets that buy the messages of aggressive oratory and full-page headlines without even questioning whether or not they are true or not, and even the fact that there are media outlets that buy the messages of aggressive oratory and full-page headlines without even questioning whether or not they are true or not.n or not true. There is too much time and not enough common sense. Between all of us we are getting a shitty country.

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