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This has interesting parallels with Spain's Adolfo Suárez...
For the past 30 years rumours that the security services were plotting against the Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson and that preparations were being made for a coup have been dismissed as a paranoid fantasy. The general tenor of press comment has been that Wilson was already in the grip of the Alzheimer's disease that eventually killed him when he made his allegations of a plot against him. But a recent BBC documentary has confirmed that the security services, top military figures, leading businessmen and members of the royal family were conspiring against Labour governments led by Wilson in the 1960s and 1970s.

The programme was broadcast on March 16 to coincide with the anniversary of Wilson's resignation in 1976. It was based on interviews that BBC journalists Barry Penrose and Roger Courtiour conducted with Wilson and his private secretary Marcia Williams shortly after he resigned. The tapes were made secretly and have never before been broadcast or made public. Despite their considerable historical value, they have remained in Penrose's attic ever since. Only a small portion of more than 70 hours of recording were dramatised in the documentary.

Various rumours were circulated to explain Wilson's sudden resignation--as the result of threats by the security services to reveal evidence that he was a Soviet agent, that he had compromised himself by having an affair with Marcia Williams, or more prosaically that early stages of Alzheimer's disease had convinced him that it was time to go. But the documentary made clear that Wilson wanted to expose those who were seeking to discredit him and wanted the activities of the security services investigated. He invited Penrose and Courtiour to his house with the specific intention of telling them about his suspicions and gave them valuable leads that would enable them to pursue their inquiries. Far from being afraid of exposure, Wilson wanted the case brought out into the open.

Nobody really knows why Adolfo Suárez resigned as PM of Spain. The 23-F 1981 coup took place during the Parliamentary investiture session of his successor, Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo, and therefore succeeded in taking hostage the entire Lower House. Unfortunately, Adolfo Suárez has had Alzheimer's for several years now, and according to his daughter he doesn't remember being Prime Minister. So, unless he recorded his inside view of the Spanish Transition to Democracy before he went senile, we'll probably never know what happened.

The Spanish Wikipedia says:

Fue una etapa de gobierno llena de dificultades políticas, sociales y económicas. En 1980, el PSOE presentó una moción de censura que, aunque derrotada de antemano, deterioró aún más la imagen de un Suárez desprovisto de apoyos en su propio partido. Finalmente la falta de sintonía con el rey Juan Carlos y las tensiones crecientes en su propio partido, le llevaron a presentar su dimisión el 29 de enero de 1981. En su mensaje al país afirmó:It was a government period fraught with political, social and economic difficulties. In 1980, the PSOE introduced a motion of no confidence which, although sure to be defeated, further eroded the image of Suárez, lacking support within his own party. Finally, the lack of understanding with King Juan Carlos, and the growing tensions within his own party, led him to resign on 29 January 1981. In his message to the country he stated:
Yo no quiero que el sistema democrático de convivencia sea, una vez más, un paréntesis en la Historia de España.
I do not want the democratic system of convivality to be, once again, a parenthesis in the history of Spain.
Esto que dio pie a pensar que renunciaba por la presión de los militares. Esta teoría pareció confirmada por el intento de golpe de estado que tuvo lugar durante la investidura de Calvo Sotelo. Sin embargo, algunos autores, Javier Tusell y Charles Powell entre ellos, insisten en el cansancio y la falta de apoyo de la Corona como principales factores para su dimisión.This prompted thoughts that he was giving up pressured by the military. This theory seemed confirmed by the attempted coup which took place during the investiture of Calvo Sotelo. However, some authors, among them Javier Tusell and Charles Powell, insist on fatigue and lack of support from the Crown as the main factors for his resignation.

Can the last politician to go out the revolving door please turn the lights off?
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 3rd, 2007 at 12:07:43 PM EST
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