Spanish Populist Leader: Conservatives Are Just Behind-the-Times Socialists

MURCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 12: The president of Vox, Santiago Abascal, speaks at the meeting to present the candidates for the upcoming elections, at the Plaza de Toros, on 12 February, 2023 in Murcia, Region of Murcia, Spain. Under the title 'Starting with what matters', VOX presents in this meeting …
Edu Botella/Europa Press via Getty Images

Santiago Abascal, the leader of the Spanish populist party VOX, has slammed the establishment-right conservative People’s Party (PP), remarking they act like the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (SPOE), just on a ten-year delay.

Abascal made his comments on Sunday at a rally in Murcia saying, “the PP is the PSOE with 10 years of delay,” and added, “I celebrate that there is no longer a cowardly right. Now they are directly a centre-left party.”

The anger from Abascal is likely connected to a proposed motion of censure that VOX has sought against the current left-wing government and has been calling on the People’s Party to support to no success, the newspaper El Mundo reports.

“It’s enough of these shenanigans,” Abascal said and added, “it’s lip service, they don’t dare to speak clearly,” regarding the moderate route the People’s Party has taken on issues, and said, “there has not been a single [ideological] flag that they have not thrown to the ground.”

The criticism echoes a classic attack on conservatism from the right as voiced by thinkers like GK Chesterton, who wrote in 1924 on the failure of conservatives to ever achieve anything:

The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins.

Spanish populist Abascal’s comments come ahead of the Spanish municipal elections set to take place at the end of May along with elections in twelve different regions of the country and other areas, including the Balearic islands and the Spanish Canary Islands.

Murcia, where VOX held its event, has seen some of its biggest electoral successes and is believed to be an area in which the party will succeed in May’s elections.

While VOX and the PP have formed an alliance in the region of Castile and León and formed a coalition government, recent events have brought conflict between the two parties, specifically issues on abortion.

Last month, Castile and León vice-president Juan García-Gallardo announced a number of pro-life policies to be introduced in the region, including allowing pregnant women the option to listen to the heartbeat of their unborn child.

However, the leftist national government pushed back against the proposals, claiming they violated the country’s abortion laws and the right of a woman not to be influenced or coerced from having an abortion.

Earlier this month, the People’s Party agreed with the leftist parties to amend the abortion law so that regions would not be able to implement policies such as those proposed in Castile and León.


Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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