The egregious and reduced Executive of just 22 ministers who are trying to make the ideas of the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, a reality, assume the role of the heads of the departments that have fallen to their lot through the use of three main instruments, which they mount at will as if they were battle horses.
Spurred on at will and synchronised, there is not a high-ranking official in the PSOE-Unidas Podemos coalition who does not make them his or her own, lock spurs and launch them at a gallop to collide with their political adversaries or society, which the socialist acquis calls the citizenry. But always under the dictates of the Presidency.
The first and main workhorse used by President Sánchez and his cronies is the Official State Gazette, the well-known BOE. This is not an originality. It has been used as the supreme artifact of power by all the predecessors in office of the acclaimed current tenant of the Moncloa Palace, the prince of coherence, whose genius and great credibility are admired by the highest dignitaries of the five continents.
As the official organ of the State, the BOE is the institutional medium in which laws, general provisions of State bodies, international treaties and conventions and acts of mandatory insertion are published. It also publishes the resolutions and acts of ministerial departments and public administrations when so established by law or royal decree.
Its pages reflect Decree-Laws, which are supposed to be provisional legislative provisions issued by the national government in cases of extraordinary and urgent need, but which require subsequent ratification by the legislature. The Sánchez government is the champion of Decree Laws in the history of Spain, with more than 120 in just four years.
It matters little in Moncloa that there are ingredients that can be labelled as null and void. As long as they serve their intended purpose, go ahead with them, because the consequences for the government are, in most cases, between zero and none. Among those struck down by the Supreme Court are the first and second state of pandemic alert - which should have been treated as states of emergency - and the closure of congressional sessions by COVID-19.
The second instrument that the Sanchez government employs with relish in collaboration with the powerful PSOE machinery is propaganda, through all its techniques, but always, of course, alluding to the common good. It is about transmitting supposedly timely and truthful information through the media and social networks managed by the Secretary of State for Communication. The clearest example of this is the agreement that has just been signed with two production companies to film a documentary series dedicated to "transmitting to society the functions and daily work of the Presidency of the Government".
Another recent propaganda event was held on 5 September at the Moncloa Palace, with the focus on President Sanchez surrounded by 50 anonymous guests. Among them, according to the newspaper 20 Minutos, were the PSC deputy mayor of the Catalan city of Rubí, the chief of staff of the same city council and PSOE officials from Castilla-La Mancha and Madrid. What a coincidence that those chosen by the Holy Spirit did not ask the president about the rise in inflation, basic products, gas or electricity.
Another case of crude propaganda is the campaign orchestrated by Moncloa and Ferraz, with the stellar participation of the Minister of Justice, Pilar Llop, to try to convince Spaniards of the goodness of pardoning José Antonio Griñán for the ERE case in Andalusia. A law graduate and labour inspector by competitive examination with the number 3 in his promotion, he was president of the PSOE between 2012 and 2014. In other words, he is not stupid at all!
But it turns out that when he was Minister of Economy, vice-president and then president of the Junta de Andalucía, Griñán did not find out, poor him, about the system of corruption in early retirements, subsidies and fraudulent commissions organised by the Andalusian administration to grant illegal social and labour aid worth more than 600 million euros.
And then the evil Supreme Court upholds the sentence of 6 years in prison handed down by the Seville High Court in 2019 for a continuous crime of prevarication and embezzlement of public funds! What is this?! The answer: the biggest system of institutionalised economic corruption in the history of Spain.
And now we come to the troika's third workhorse, the well-known K factor. Ah, but don't you know what the K factor consists of? Surely you do. Nevertheless, I am going to remind you. It stands for ¡¡¡Kacen lo que quieren!!!! -in pure Spanish, they do what they want-, or in the plural that they apply in Ferraz Street: ¡Kacemos lo que queremos! Yes, what they want or what they are allowed to do by their fellow travellers, Unidas-Podemos and those who pull their chestnuts out of the fire, the pro-independence, secessionist and related parties.
They do what they want, because they face a democratic opposition that often takes too long to react or gives the impression of being deluded. So the government often acts with the cry "Ancha es Castilla! Let's apply the K factor and then we'll see! The second vice-president, Yolanda Díaz, could be considered a K-factor professional.
Of the many uses of the K factor, just two examples that make many people's blood boil. The granting of pardons, so often denied by President Sánchez, to the 9 sentenced for leading the Catalan independence process. Supposedly to "open a new stage of dialogue to bring about a reunion in Catalonia". Those pardoned are still laughing.
Another similar case that is now dormant due to the contrary reaction of most of Spanish society is the aforementioned attempt to pardon José Antonio Griñán, applying the K factor to the ERE sentence. The arguments put forward by the PSOE to apply such a measure of grace are... ridiculous.
It is clear that the PSOE has mobilised its troops and is counting on the applause or complicit silence of its officials, affiliates and sympathisers. It is true that many are scandalised, but they keep their mouths shut because their perks are at stake. Will Griñán get his longed-for bull or, on the contrary, the feared general mockery?