The media is already having you on about the new prime minister of Spain

Pedro Sanchez
Avatar

In the US and UK, the corporate media is already having readers on about the new Spanish prime minister. From the Guardian, to the New York Times, to the Telegraph, mainstream journalists have categorically referred to Pedro Sánchez as a “socialist”. But that’s far from the case.

Swept to power

Sánchez swept to power on 1 June after former conservative PM Mariano Rajoy lost a no-confidence vote over corruption. Judges had convicted 29 people linked to Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) of crimes such as embezzlement, fraud and money laundering.

Socialist?

Contrary to widespread media reporting, Sánchez is not socialist. The new prime minister may lead the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE). But a brief look at policy shows that Sánchez and his party are not what the label suggests. For example, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, PSOE’s former leader, implemented austerity cuts worth €15bn. Zapatero also cut public servants’ pay and froze pensions.

Similarly, Sánchez has already endorsed conservative predecessor Rajoy’s budget. He has also committed to respecting the EU’s fiscal rules, which demand counterproductive austerity in the face of deficits. And revealingly, the PSOE leader also opposes the progressive, grassroots party Podemos.

The Owen Smith of Spain?

Sánchez may have promised a left-wing turn during internal party leadership elections last year. But the rhetoric soon morphed into a ‘centrist‘ policy agenda when power came knocking.

So it’s inaccurate for the Daily Mail to label Sanchez the “Socialist ally of Jeremy Corbyn”. Because the new prime minister is more like 2016 UK Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith, who hijacked Corbyn’s rhetoric in an attempt to win votes from the membership. And Sánchez’s party is more like New Labour.

What’s in a name?

Although Adolf Hitler led the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, he was in fact a far-right fascist. A clear example that a name doesn’t determine the nature of a party.

It’s clearly the policies that count when defining the ideology of a party, not its self-appointed label. So the mainstream media should really know better. But it seems editors relish branding centrists as socialists; the aim apparently being to push the debate rightwards, and keep it there.

Let’s halt their rhetorical games.

Get Involved!

– Support The Canary, so we can keep exposing the propaganda and hypocrisy of political and media elites.

Featured image via Guillermo Fernandez/ Wikimedia

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed