Dreams of Catalonia 131


Good luck to Catalonia today in breaking free from the suffocating grip of Spain. I hope that the Francoists in power in Madrid do nothing to provoke violence.

There may be an important precedent here on how to proceed in the event of the central government refusing to grant a referendum. I was pleased that Alex Salmond came out last week and said that a referendum is not necessarily the only route for Scotland. While that position is undoubtedly correct in international law, I had suffered pooh-poohing from Leadership Loyalists in Scotland every time I mentioned it. Hopefully now Salmond has spoken, the sheep will stop bleating. We do not know how things will pan out with Westminster and we must not close off our own options.

There is one interesting side issue in Catalonia. The astroturf anti-independence organisation Ciutadans (Ciudadanos in the rest of Spain) is a classic creation of Western security services. Its purpose is to counter both Catalan Independence and still more, Podemos, and maintain a secure right wing Spain in NATO. But unusually it is not the CIA that has been in the lead, but the BND, the German overseas security service. This is an outlier for a newly assertive policy by the BND, so the results will be watched particularly closely in the more obscured corridors of Berlin.


131 thoughts on “Dreams of Catalonia

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  • 5566hh

    What’s your source for that claim on the BND?

    Also, unrelatedly, have you considered being more active on Twitter? Or of making YouTube videos?

  • 5566hh

    Thanks. Are you expecting anything similar to be cooked up in the UK over Corbyn? And please consider posting more on Twitter – you might find it fun.

  • jake

    I’ll be interested in the outcome of the European Commissions investigation into the translation of an answer given by Jean-Claude Juncker to a question asked by center-right MEP Santiago Fisas. It is clear that the “answer”, which was published in Spanish in the press wasn’t just altered by some subtlety of translation but had a whole paragraph inserted.

    https://euobserver.com/news/130412

  • Anon1

    The key difference between Catalonia and Scotland is that a majority of Catalans want independence.

  • Peter Beswick

    I was aware that probablitiorists exist but that did come as a shock.

    It is true that if 300 or more people randomly selected people gather and two don’t share a birthday the probability of that happening is virtually zero, it follows then that if it does occur the outcome of anything that group decideds on is impossible to predict.

  • Tony M

    At one time more than half of Westminster MPs from Scotland being Scottish National Party MPs was regarded as a threshold at which independence could be regarded as following from that automatically.

  • Mary

    I was looking to find out what Aznar is doing.

    Remember him signing up for the Iraq war with Bush and Blair in the Azores?
    https://powerbase.info/index.php/File:Jos%C3%A9_Mar%C3%ADa_Aznar,_Bush_and_Blair.jpg

    After he left office in 2004 succeeded by Rajoy, ‘he presided over the FAES think tank, which is associated with the PP. After a 2005 reform, promoted by the current Prime Minister of Spain Rodríguez Zapatero, former prime ministers were admitted into the Spanish Council of State, a position from which he later resigned.

    Aznar was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in April 2004. In this position, he teaches two seminars per semester on contemporary European politics and trans-Atlantic relationships in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Additionally, he teaches a course on political leadership, convened by Professor Carol Lancaster, with former Polish President Kwasniewski. Aznar leads public dialogues on pressing contemporary concerns in collaboration with other members of the faculty; he was awarded an honorary degree at Universidad Francisco Marroquin.

    In 2007, Aznar was appointed to the advisory board of Centaurus Capital, a London based hedge fund,[16] an appointment which proved to be short-lived. In 2006, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of News Corporation, the media conglomerate of Rupert Murdoch.[17] He is also member of the European Advisory Panel of The European Business Awards and the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation.

    Aznar is a member of the Club de Madrid,[18] an independent non-profit organization created to promote democracy and change in the international community, composed by more than 100 members: former democratic Heads of State and Government from around the world.

    Aznar was also one of the signatories and promoters of the Prague Charter.[19]

    Aznar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from CEU Cardinal Herrera University.

    Since 2013, Aznar has served on the Leadership Council for Concordia, a nonpartisan, nonprofit based in New York City focused on promoting effective public-private collaboration to create a more prosperous and sustainable future.’

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Mar%C3%ADa_Aznar

    Laughable.

  • El Sid

    Come on Craig, are you implying that Ciutadans is a creation of the BND? Albert Rivera (chief of Ciutadans) came out of ESADE, a private Business School. Won a prize for the debating team, and it shows.

    Pablo Iglesisas (Podemos), looks and acts like someone who’s attempting to infiltrate the Indignados movement: started the party January, yet hasn’t come out with any policy since. In the Catalan elections he’s joined with local “social groups” to form Catalunya, sí es pot (Catalonia, yes we can) —sound familiar? Earlier they called themselves “El dret a decidir” (The right to decide), claiming the right to decide without deciding anything before the election.

    But let’s backtrack. I see where you’re getting at, and it’s worth looking at to see if it passes the smell test. Back in the transition (after Franco), the German Social Democrats put a lot of money into funding the Spanish Socialist Party. (Sorry to be fussy, but I like to distinguish between Social Democracy and Socialism.) I doubt much has changed since then.

    On the independence side we have Junts pel sí: a coalition of the centre right CDC —who’ve been busy privatising social services for the last few years (with cutbacks greater than Rajoy’s government in Madrid) and deeply involved in corruption— and ERC —the Catalan Republican Left. All in all, an odd coalition.

    I live in Catalonia and, going by my earlier smell test, the whole thing stinks.

    There’s a movement afoot to Balkanise strong, and not so strong, countries, so I hear. A while back I watched Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States. One of the chapters described how Churchill sat down with Stalin and decided how to divide up post-war Europe. On a napkin an agreement was set out to give Poland to the Soviets and Greece to the Brits. Made perfect sense: the Brits already had Cyprus, Malta and Gibraltar —that’s the Med under NATO control. The west then set up dictatorships in Greece, Spain and Portugal. The Italian Communists were a bit of a bother, but that was easily taken care of on several occasions.

    Self determination is all very well, but better hope you don’t have any oil under your feet or are near any strategic crossroads, like them poor sods in the Middle-East.

  • Republicofscotland

    Looks like they’ll be a high turn out to vote, 35% had already voted by lunch time.

    Hopefully Artur Mas’s party Junts pel Si capture a majority of seats.

    The Spanish newspaper El Mundo, have stated that this vote is the most important vote since Spain returned to a democracy

    Franco must be turning in his grave.

  • Republicofscotland

    Off Topic, but still interesting.

    Russian president Vladimir Putin, will address the UN General Assembly in New York tomorrow, for the first time in over a decade.

    Putin is expected to speak on matters such as the Ukraine and Syria, he’s also expected to have one to one conversation with US president Barack Obama.

    Hopefully Putin and Obama can come to some sort of agreement over Syria.

  • Republicofscotland

    Catalonian independence supports argue that if they win 68 seats, the result would give them a democratic mandate to initiate a split from Spain that could include a unilateral declaration of independence.

    The central government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says it will use all legal means to prevent Catalonia from breaking away, an exit European leaders warn would include ejection from the European Union.

    The actions of Rajoy, are very reminiscent of the actions of David Cameron and Better Together, that independence would lead to the eviction from the EU of Catalonia, and of course Scotland.

    David Cameron, at the time of the Scottish independence vote, approached just about every EU countries ambassador to the UK, and the US president to boot, hoping for a negative comment on Scottish independence. Rajoy has probably done likewise.

  • bevin

    “Aznar was appointed Distinguished Scholar in the Practice of Global Leadership at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in April 2004. In this position, he teaches two seminars per semester on contemporary European politics and trans-Atlantic relationships in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Additionally, he teaches a course on political leadership, convened by Professor Carol Lancaster, with former Polish President Kwasniewski…”
    With teachers of this calibre the continued ignorance of the US establishment-which graduates from such places as Georgetown and Harvard-is assured. Employing men like these former PMs and true puppets to teach simply ensures that the elite’s ears are never sullied by critical thoughts.

  • fred

    “The actions of Rajoy, are very reminiscent of the actions of David Cameron and Better Together, that independence would lead to the eviction from the EU of Catalonia, and of course Scotland.”

    Alex Salmond claimed he had legal advice that an independent Scotland would keep it’s membership of the EU and veto. It cost the tax payer £20,000 to find out he was lying.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    And don’t forget when Aznar was persuaded by the British spooks that all Spain had to worry about was the jihadists living and operating in the UK, resulting in their Spanish counterparts being asleep at the switch when the terrorists struck in Madrid on 3/11.

    I wrote a Private Eye-type letter from Bill for codshit.com which was engaging and funny around then.

  • Republicofscotland

    Alex Salmond claimed he had legal advice that an independent Scotland would keep it’s membership of the EU and veto. It cost the tax payer £20,000 to find out he was lying.
    __________________________

    Alex Salmond was yesterday cleared of breaching the ministerial code when he appeared to confirm the Scottish Government had specific legal advice about an independent Scotland’s entry to the European Union.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/alex-salmond-in-the-clear-but-critics-attack-sham-inquiry-over-eu-legal-advice-1-2729577

    Oh how it must have been gut wrenching for the unionist rag the Scotsman to print this particular headline.

  • fred

    “Alex Salmond was yesterday cleared of breaching the ministerial code when he appeared to confirm the Scottish Government had specific legal advice about an independent Scotland’s entry to the European Union.”

    He was cleared of breaching the ministerial code against revealing the content of legal advice. That doesn’t alter the fact he lied and he wasted £20,000 of tax payers’ money appealing a FOI request which would prove it.

  • Republicofscotland

    Labour Conference decides to duck debate on Trident, what a complete and utter shambles the Red Tories have become.

    Trident will be the straw that breaks Labours back.

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