The (partial) memories of Álvarez de Toledo, a revenge against Casado, the PP and the press


The (partial) memories of Álvarez de Toledo, a revenge against Casado, the PP and the press

“There was something about Casado that did not quite convince me. He seemed to me, yes, a man of variable empathy. A sentimental chameleon. What is strictly called a welcome or a weather vane. “The description signed by Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo in the partial autobiography that she has just published is not that of a person disillusioned and disillusioned with a political project. The former PP parliamentary spokesperson had that idea of ​​her future, and brief, head of ranks before he offered him what, in his own words, was an irrefutable proposal. The doubt that arises with the profile he makes of Pablo Casado and the PP in the more than 500 pages of Politically undesirable (Ediciones B) is why he accepted his offer to head the ballot for Barcelona in the double election date of 2019.

The answers are various, but of all the reasons one appears throughout the book. The concept that Álvarez de Toledo has of herself is very high, and this is how she admits it at the start, when she recounts the meeting she had with Casado on March 11, 2019. “It was the only offer that she could not refuse. She had it. all for a person of my ideals and my arrogance, “says the author, who from the beginning makes her provocative vocation clear by seeing herself as” a Madrilenian presenting herself for a Catalan province. “

The provocation was of little use. Very little. She was the only PP elected in the second constituency that contributes the most deputies to Congress. One of 32 got his match. Between the proposal and the acceptance, barely a week passed: “I answered lying on the bed. —Pablo. —Caye… —Barcelona. —Really? —Yes!”

Álvarez de Toledo does not save almost anyone from the PP in his memories. The portrait he makes of Casado is that of a calculating person, who approaches each other in order to rise to the top of the food pyramid, which is a political party. A climb, a word that the author does not use but which the author draws all the time: “Asking for advice is something common in Pablo, a skillful way of relating to the disciple’s humility. In fact, it was used by many: by Esperanza Aguirre, by Manuel Pizarro, José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy. Of these last two at the same time “.

“I have no instinct for power. Pablo does,” says the still deputy about the one who is still her boss. “Sharpened”, point. Even so, Álvarez de Toledo enjoyed the triumph of Casado over Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría in the extraordinary congress of 2018 called for the succession of Mariano Rajoy. The environment helped: Álvarez de Toledo relates that he heard his speech “from the beach of Tarifa, the sky ripped with kites from the kitesurfs “.

The Cadiz landmark is not the only one dedicated to its favorite destinations. Politically undesirable also exhibits the story of a bon vivant that she seems not to be fully aware that she is, perhaps because she always has been, as she herself relates. Thus, the author travels, as she weaves her revenge, from “the house of the Montes de Toledo” to the Portuguese Algarve; from “a small town in the French region of the Jura” to its “refuge on Rue de Grenelle” in the country’s capital, passing several times through the other “refuge of Mallorca”, surrounded by almond trees and from which you can see in the background “a thread of the sea”. In between, it goes through the Cueva de Joselito, the Ritz or the Barcelona Coure.

The still MP for the PP also tells of her time in the Swiss ski resorts and her stay in Venice. Between these last two, one of his fiercest enmities was resolved: that of Manuela Carmena. Álvarez de Toledo reveals that he was in Switzerland, in a “sumptuous hotel in Verbier” drinking wine and enjoying a fondue “after a perfect morning of skiing” and “an afternoon of spa”, when the Three Kings Parade that motivated that “I will never forgive you”. “Never” for Álvarez de Toledo is 365 days because a year later, in the city of canals, he decided to forgive the mayor after a kind of operatic epiphany on a night walk on the way to the church of San Giorgio defli Schiavoni, according to her herself.

Perhaps the hardest blow against Casado, in perspective, is given when he states: “The coronavirus crisis turned Ayuso’s policy into the only alternative to Pedro Sánchez. And to her, a national leader.” The analysis coincides with the one carried out in Genoa, which is why it seeks cut the wings of Casado’s ex-girlfriend. The Madrilenian president and the parliamentary export speaker have devoted themselves in recent days to the media, delving into the infinite internal quarrel in which the PP is involved and that the head of ranks has rated as “talent show” to tell Ayuso that there is no room for soloists in the PP.

But Álvarez de Toledo not only makes a suit for Casado, who makes it clear that they have never been friends. Almost nobody in the PP is saved. From Rajoy, his Interior Minister Jorge Fernández and his vice-president Sáenz de Santamaría, passing through the regional presidents that he classifies as “soft barons”: Feijóo, Moreno Bonilla, Mañueco and Alfonso Alonso, who, according to him, “undertook an internal campaign and media “so that she was not appointed parliamentary spokesperson. The objective, he says, was to place himself in the line of succession of Casado himself, whom they saw, according to Álvarez de Toledo’s thesis, “tender, hesitant and weak.” “And with good reason,” he concedes.

If the exportavoz does not have many contemplations with Casado, with his number two, Teodoro García Egea, directly goes to slaughter. Throughout the book she accuses him of having devised a plan to end her in what she calls a “slow-motion dismissal”, through journalistic leaks and obstacles, she says, to the work she wanted to develop in a a group that he didn’t hold in high regard either, to put it mildly.

The deputy calls who is still her general secretary a “despot”, despises him intellectually and discursively and amuses herself by writing down the times in which she tried to ridicule him in internal meetings. All in all, it recognizes the number two of the party that his work of undermining, journalistic leaks through, was successful and ended up convincing Casado that he should dismiss her with the accusation of “going it alone.” “One of the accusations that would nailed me over and over again, first Pablo’s internal enemies; then Pablo’s environment and then Pablo himself” and that she denies that it was true. Or, rather, that he had the objective of occupying Casado’s space, because going on his own is something that he is widely proud of, despite leading a human group of 66 people, first, and 88, later.

Both met at the Wellington hotel in Madrid to try to smooth things over. This is how the memoirs relate it: “As Teodoro smiled, I thought he did too. But in two minutes I verified that the Profident and the dagger are compatible”. Not even a compliment to the good teeth of the number two it sounds like such in the mouth of Álvarez de Toledo.

But 500 pages go a long way and the PP writer falls short, so it also attacks Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Albert Rivera, for whom he had come to ask for the vote, and Pablo Iglesias, among others. To the former secretary general of Podemos, as he recalls, he set a trap in the parliamentary interpellation in which accused his father of “terrorist” taking advantage of parliamentary immunity. And against Pedro Sánchez, whom he describes as a “separatist”. All are, according to his definition, despite the fact that he admits that he tried to convince Casado, without any success, to offer a “government of agreement” with the socialist as president.

Even today, two years later, Casado remembers in each public intervention the pressure he experienced to get closer to Sánchez. Among them were those of his then parliamentary spokesman, judging by the book.

Nationalism, also the “centripetal” that he perceives in Vox (a party he despises, with the exception of Iván Espinosa de los Monteros), is clearly Álvarez de Toledo’s great enemy. The deputy assimilates it with “separatism”, in these terms: “Separatism is a concept perfectly applicable to gender ideology (…), indigenism (…) and racial revenge”. In his opinion, “the white man – the white girl – [son] guilty of birth by reason of race. Uneven. Segregated. “In short,” the idolatry of identity is devastating the conquests of the secular liberal order (…). And it is also the most serious threat that today looms over liberal democracy. ”

He even dedicates lines to Íñigo Errejón, whom he ignores on a couple of occasions due to his physical appearance, and whom he criticizes for defending at a meeting of the Board of Spokespersons, on account of the confrontation with Iglesias, which Álvarez de Toledo had “legitimized the previous regime by qualifying an organization that fought against it as a terrorist “. The author censors that Errejón justified “the murder, legitimizing terrorism, with the argument of anti-Francoism” and compares it with the dilemma of shooting an SS officer who is in a bar, it is understood that in a break from his duties as an SS officer.

Without saying it, it is intuited that it does not seem right to him. A position, that of Álvarez de Toledo, that may surprise the reader because of the continuous glosses in the book to former Canadian politician Michael Ignatieff, who published in 2005 a controversial essay dedicated exclusively to justifying torture and selective murder in the fight against The terrorism. The Lesser Evil it was called the treaty, published in 2005 in the heat of the Iraq war and when scandals such as those of the Abu Grahib prison or the illegal detentions in Guantánamo had already been revealed.

In this sense, Álvarez de Toledo recounts a private conversation with the then Junts candidate, Laura Borràs, after a television debate. “Let’s see, Laura. For what you did, it was cheap. One eye cost you the operation,” he wrote. The deputy of the PP thus refers to Roger Español, the man who he lost vision in his right eye on October 1 after a shot by the National Police.

With whom he also expands is with the media, to whom he dedicates a good part of his memoirs, and with journalists. With names and surnames. Despite saying, in reference to Pablo Iglesias, that “a politician cannot point to or threaten a journalist.” In the same paragraph, she rates Ok daily and Eduardo Inda as “sewer journalism”.

It is just an example. Álvarez de Toledo reviews his public and private confrontations with editors of The world, The country, ABC, The reason, La Sexta, National Radio, The vanguard, Cadena SER, RAC1 … On rare occasions it is to applaud their work, and the names of those referred to are rarely saved, although with some it does, it is not clear if due to lack of memory or for another reason. His darts are directed against executives, editors and famous presenters, but also against pens that sometimes they just passed by. Some of the most mentioned are Ferreras, Zarzalejos, Marhuenda, Javier Moreno, Ana Pastor, Évole or El Gran Wyoming. With others, everything is congratulations. Even with an important signature from your journal, The world, as is Emilia Landaluce, of whom he reveals that he promoted Casado’s candidacy to lead the PP “through the circles of Madrid.”

Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo publishes these memories when she is already a low-level deputy of the parliamentary group that she led for a few months. A position that, according to what is written in the book, will hold until the end of the legislature. As he decided in Olhão (Portugal), where he put an end to the book, “with his nose held high and until the end”.

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