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You've got the head of the National Police Corps in Navarre insulting pro-independence Catalan politicians and Podemos leaders via an anonymous Twitter account and similarly praising coup-leader and former lieutenant colonel Antonio Tejero and the leader of Vox, Santiago Abascal, who he says is "to be the José Antonio1 of this century". And, on the other hand, the former PSOE leader, founder of UPyD and ex-MEP Rosa Díez, writing that the moment has arrived to get organised, in a kind of pep talk to create a 21st century Alzamiento Nacional2. Just two examples from a Tuesday with suggestions of the re-emergence of a historic Spain.

Police chief Daniel Rodríguez López has been fired by interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska. He'd been in the role for more than six years, since he was nominated in January 2012 by then interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz. Has no one from the Spanish security services been able to identify this person since he opened his Twitter account in 2016? The list of what he's written under his @Polientes1612 pseudonym is endless: he calls the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, a "functional illiterate", he hopes Gabriel Rufián might be gored by a bull, Íñigo Errejón is an "imbecile", former Chief of the Defence Staff José Julio Rodríguez is a "disgusting traitor" and he votes for Pablo Echenique to "return to Argentina". More than six years, almost seven, in such an important role with such a markedly far-right ideology isn't something to be underestimated.

Rosa Díez has written an article under the title Resistencia para defender la democracia ("Resistance to defend democracy" - someone should let her know that what she's defending is anything but democracy) which calls for people to organise so that there's no repetition of what happened in the 30s with the arrival of the second republic. She says: "Tribalistic rhetoric prevails among us; and forming part of Europe is no longer enough with a government prisoner to populists, nationalistic selfishness and the xenophobic speech of those who, calling on purebred privileges, want to break up the country".

Completing this red-and-yellow blend is former prime minister José María Aznar praising Santiago Abascal, calling Catalan independence supporters coup-plotters and positioning himself at the apex of a unified right. For the former PP leader, his dauphin, Pablo Casado, his protegé, Albert Rivera, and the young talent, Abascal, are one and the same in the face of the baddies, who are everyone else. This Spain in black and white which had been on ice for a period seriously threatens everyone's freedoms and has shown itself capable of inventing political and media stories in which two social leaders on the top of a car calling for a crowd to go home were coup-leaders. And the justice system has written that down. Terrible.

The far right of Vox has arrived without warning and is setting the agenda for PP and Cs whilst Aznar, the man who is everything but a monarchist and who one day dreamed of being the president of a third Spanish republic, is making plans.

 

Translator's notes:

1. José Antonio Primo de Rivera was son of dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera and the founder of the Falange, which would be Franco's party.

2. The Alzamiento Nacional, or "National Uprising", was the name the nationalist side used to refer to their attempted coup d'état which led to the Spanish Civil War.

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