Someone, somewhere, sometime

Socialist cadres must realize that when they comment on big issues, they are not addressing unthinking fans, should these still exist, but reasonable citizens. In the light of yesterday’s news reports, the above warning concerns two blatant cases. First, the apathetic or even callous remarks by National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis who characterized the burgeoning wave of bankruptcies and growing unemployment as normal economic phenomena. And, second, the speech by Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis on corruption and PASOK’s internal crisis, in which he proposed the solution of «radical change.» The only thing one could say about Christodoulakis is that – due to the office he holds – he is the last person who has the right to make abstract or reassuring claims about the economy when all of society shares in the anxiety over the growing number of workers who are joining the hordes of the unemployed. For his part, Skandalidis recommended sweeping replacements «where there are signs of establishment mentality» and radical change «in the structures, power relations, baronies and the equilibria that have evolved over the years.» «Our interventions and initiatives must not be reduced to mere government reshuffles,» Skandalidis added. His recipe is simple: When you admit and condemn the party’s «establishment mentality,» the «baronies» and the illicit «power relations,» calling for extensive party shake-ups, then you are obviously exempting yourself from these ailing phenomena. As a result, the coming meeting of PASOK’s Central Bureau is likely to see the entire party adopting Skandalidis’s allegations. Therefore, ordinary people will be expected to deduce that any instances of corruption, despotism and entanglement occurred in a different party, in an alien country, in another era.

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