On petty politics

The prime minister says he repudiates every «unimplemented old leftist model» as well as «reactionary far-right populism.» But whoever said that this was a matter for debate for the ruling PASOK party? Did anyone ever condemn Simitis for an inclination toward one or the other «models»? His party is now paying the price for failing to create a specific policy – in between «the old left» and «right-wing populism» which would differentiate a pro-reform «center-left» contemporary party which the premier had once said he was aiming for. So, instead of the political leadership telling us what it doesn’t want to be, it should attempt to determine how it could become what it wants to be. As long as that continues not to happen, both the leader and the cadres of the governing party will be obliged to deliver many unclear and confused messages to the electorate. They will refer to a (yet to be created) «new political plan» (like Tsochadzopoulos), to the need for a common perception of progressive forces (like Reppas), to a need for a «more progressive» and «more sensitive» policy (like Venizelos). And some, like Vasso Papandreou, will maintain that PASOK would emerge from its current crisis if only it reminded itself that it is fundamentally «the party of the wage-earners and pensioners.» The prime minister says he loathes the «culture of navel-gazing and petty politics.» He’s right, but these very scourges have been created by the current stagnation of his own party.

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