Enthusiastic rhetoric is a necessity for every new endeavor, though in no way ensures its success. However passionate the words being used, the real problems cannot be wiped away or covered up enough to appear that they’re gone. So it is perfectly understandable that Fofi Gennimata chose to end this weekend’s conference of the Democratic Alliance with the phrase “Yes, we’re back.” Not that this assurance by the leader of PASOK sent tingles down anyone’s spines, not even erstwhile PASOK or Democratic Left voters. Nor does it veil in any significant way the ongoing and age-old battle behind the use of the plural “we,” a battle that is not exactly ideological, nor exactly political.
No matter how much Gennimata tries to ward off the evil of reality by claiming that Democratic Alliance is not a “collection of warlords but a people’s movement,” the lines between the parties in the grouping are clear and their lust for power unfettered. If defining yourself as a movement was enough to make you an actual movement, then George Papandreou’s Movement of Democratic Socialists would also be just what it claims and would not have needed to add its logo to that of the other parties in the group.
There is nothing new about a party or a politician using the mistakes or transgressions of others as an alibi or exculpatory argument for their own failed state. Gennimata followed this well-worn path when she accused ruling SYRIZA of “betraying the progressive citizens who trusted it.” She added another assurance: “We are not in the land of lotus-eaters.”
SYRIZA does indeed produce an enormous amount of denial and disappointment. Given, however, that the accusation of betrayal was first heard against PASOK and is being justified by the likes of Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Yiannos Papantoniou, among others, citizens would indeed have to eat a huge amount of lotus flowers to believe that what is hailed as the “New Change” has managed to purge itself of its own sins – ones that it prefers to remain stoically silent about too.