Francoist Clampdown in Catalonia 270

I have received an email appeal from the Candidaturas de Unidad Popular in Barcelona to say that their party HQ is under siege by the Guardia Civil and that its leaders are resisting arrest.

There is a peculiar reluctance in the British and other European mainstream media to state the truth about the very real Francoist origins of the Spanish government. The current government of Spain are the direct political heirs of Franco and that many of their ministers have personal and family connections to his rule. Rajoy, Spain’s current Prime Minister, started his political career in 1981 by joining the People’s Alliance, a party founded in 1979 and led by 7 of Franco’s ministers to carry on the Francoist legacy. The People’s Alliance became the major component in the now governing People’s Party. It is a directly Francoist party.

The fascist instincts of the Madrid government when faced with the entirely legitimate desire for a democratic vote on Catalonian Independence are therefore part of the very political DNA of the ruling party. It is a truth which it is more convenient for the Establishment to avoid, particularly in Britain where it is feared Catalan Independence might encourage Scottish Independence.

The European Commission has shown commendable rectitude in warning both Poland and Hungary in strong terms of the consequences of their right wing lurches away fro democracy. It would be good to see the Commission and European governments warning Spain now, for actions which are a bigger threat to democracy than the Polish or Hungarian right have so far dared. But that would not suit the agenda of the neo-liberal ruling Establishment, so do not hold your breath.


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270 thoughts on “Francoist Clampdown in Catalonia

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  • John Monro

    There won’t be many posting here whose knowledge of Spain is other than superficial, and that would include me, but I think the effort to link Catalan independence and Scottish independence is fraught. A quick Google search produced this page . The major point I take from this is that Catalonia is a very important economic part of Spain, much more so than Scotland is of the UK if, of course, you exclude North Sea oil, which I believe one should, as it is a fast depleting and polluting resource. The Spanish government, business and many Spanish people would no doubt fear, with some reason, the economic consequences of a secession of Catalonia, with the Spanish economy only just beginning to turn the corner of a horrendous economic and fiscal crisis. There are other regions of Spain with just as strong self-identity as Catalonia, I’d suggest the Basque country or Gallicia, perhaps there is a genuine fear about the ultimate break of Spain? Craig makes some interesting and credible points about Francoism / Fascism in Spain; however, the EU’s position in regard to Poland and Hungary though is a politically complicated rather than a “commendable” one, perhaps hypocritical some would say, considering how that same organisation has treated Greece and other members of the so-called PIGS; I suspect there are many issues under the surface, such as refugees, rather then a repugnance of a “right wing lurch”.

    • J R Tomlin

      Catalans have a right to self-determination whether it is convenient to Spain or not. As for Scotland, you might want to look a bit more into Scottish economics. 1. The oil is not about to run out. They’ve been spouting that lie for 30 years now and it still isn’t true. 2. Scotland has enormous assets besides oil particularly those of food, drink and tourism. Scottish food and drink are the largest and most profitable of all the UK exports in those categories.

    • Njegos

      The problem is that PP pig-headedness has led to the situation we see today. I am generally not pro-separatist but Rajoy showed zero imagination and took refuge in the Constitution, repeating ad nauseum that a referendum is illegal. At least Zapatero wanted to talk. Rajoy may soon have a revolution on his hands which by definition is anti-constitutional!

  • Loony

    So the poor Catalans are being threatened by the Jackboot of Madrid – all so simple.

    What happens if Catalonia becomes independent? it is the richest part of Spain, so where does that leave the rest of Spain? Why is it OK for the Catalans to vote for independence but it would not be OK for the UK to vote that the North East of England become independent, or for the US to vote that Detroit become independent.

    Why is this, do you think? What happens to places like Extremadura and Andalucia in a Spain shorn of Catalonia?

    What is Catalonia? Is it confined within its current borders, or does it include parts of Valencia whose inhabitants speak a form of Catalan? In a suddenly much poorer Spain do you not think that all of those speaking a Catalan dialect would agitate to form a “greater Catalonia”

    Catalonia is a generally left leaning Region of Spain and it provides balance to the Spanish body politic. Without Catalonia Spain could indeed revert to a more Francoist ideology. Who would this help? Certainly not the Basques – a people that arguably never surrendered to Franco. So they will be back looking for their own independence – possibly spearheaded by ETA. Ah is that the ringing bell of progress I hear.

    But oh look France aint what it used to be – what with all those warm Parisian nights now punctuated by random acts of barbarism. Maybe this time around the French Basques may be more supportive of their Spanish brethren, Catalonia then gets to be the spark for a wider conflict. Happy days.

    Catalan independence and Scottish independence have as much in common as a shark and a sheep – still why waste an opportunity to muddy the waters in order to encourage a few more devotees to pay homage at the alter of Soros.

    • J R Tomlin

      The Catalan people have the right of self-determination whether it is convenient to anyone else or not.

      • Loony

        Really? So in your opinion Catalan rights of self determination trump the rights and obligations contained in the Spanish constitution. In other words you claim that the rights of Catalans are more important than the rule of law.

        Franco once opined that he was willing to kill half of the population of Spain in order to gain control over other half. The Constitution was put in place, in part, to forestall a return to such thinking. So what you are really saying is that the rights of Catalans are so important that they must be maintained even if that requires the extermination of 50% of the Spanish population.

        No doubt you do not consider yourself to be representative of the types of policies espoused by such historical figures as Hitler, Stalin, Franco and Pol Pot. Sadly in reality your opinions are exactly equatable with such historical figures.

        The road to Hell is paved with good intentions – think about it.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      Whilst some of it was good, the Catalonians gave us (around 500 old farts) a pretty hard time last year, that we haven’t experienced in other countries such as Spain and Greece. The reality is that most of us, couldn’t wait for the flight back home. I’ve never expereinced this in Scotland, nor even France. In fact I find Scottish people really nice and friendly. they can have their own independence if they like – I really don’t care one way or another. I am sure neither the English or the Scots can be bothered to rebuild Hadrian’s Wall, but it would be funny if they did (a bit like the economics of digging a hole just to refill it, to keep people employed and off the dole).

      The reality is (from my perception) that Scotland is much closer to England, than Catalonia is to Spain.

      Catalonia is in effect a different country – and They are All Going To Get Really Annoyed – if Spain carries on like this…

      Surely this is a joke – if not – I’m sure the Catalans can give the Spanish a much harder time than they gave us British…

      (some of the comments are really interesting – and I had thought of the same thing before I read them – though it’s nowt to do with me)

      May go back to Benidorm though…but that is more British than Blackpool.


      • Loony

        The Catalans and the Spanish are far more similar than they would like to admit.

        Obviously I don’t know why you were given a hard time in Catalonia – but a lot of them (Spanish and Catalans) are not too keen on British tourists. They have a thing against “turismo de borrachera” which roughly translates as tourism of drunks.

        Lots of British go there with the sole purpose of drinking to oblivion. Spanish (or Catalan) TV have run news items featuring British people vomiting in supermarkets and generally being deeply unpleasant.

        …and yes the Spanish have moved the Guardia Civil to within striking distance of Catalonia – they do not intend to let this referendum go ahead. This could be a counter productive move, but then the Spanish are not known for either their productivity or their flexibility.

        I recall a bar owner haranguing me because I had taken my custom to a Chinese emporium. Well your bar was closed. That is not the point, you could have waited until we opened. – and on it goes.

  • reel guid

    Willie Rennie is another one who hasn’t mentioned Catalonia in his tweets. Although there are many principled Liberal Democrats at the grass roots it’s the case that you don’t rise in that party unless you’re a hypocrite.

    Rennie wants another EU referendum because he thinks Brexit will be a disaster. But he doesn’t even want to consider a second indyref fro Scotland. Even though it’s likely the only way Scotland can avoid the disastrous Brexit. So Willie thinks people should only get the chance to make important democratic decisions if it’s done in a way that suits his prejudices.

    Willie retweets The Europa Institute’s tweet that Willie’s talk on Scotland and Brexit in Edinburgh next week still has “a few spaces left”. If it’s a Rennie speech then I reckon “a few spaces left” means whole rows of unsold tickets.

    • Loony

      Instead of just posting the same stuff all of the time why not sit back and ask yourself why Scottish nationalists routinely refer to a “disastrous Brexit” and why in 1975 the same Scottish nationalists routinely referred to the EEC as being disastrous for the cause of Scottish independence.

      How important is Scottish independence? Some think it is very important which is why Arthur Donaldson thought about the possibility of doing a deal with Adolf Hitler who he thought may offer Scotland a form of independence based on the Quisling model. Obviously that would have been much better than remaining under the jackboot of English domination.

      And yet,,,and yet. No-one in London chartered a load of ferries, packed them with 16,000 policeman and anchored them on the River Clyde. in order to forestall Scottish independence. Maybe that tells you that outside of Scotland and a few chattering idiots not one cares one way or the other whether Scotland is independent or not.

      If you really want independence then you should agitate for the English to have a vote – I am quite confident that they would vote for you to go away. That is the thing about the English, for all their manifest failings they never did consider getting into bed with Hitler.

      • JOML

        Loony, what about Oswald Mosley and his supporters? (I suppose members of the Royal family don’t count as English.) ?

        • Loony

          I thought it was common knowledge that the Royal family was German.

          Mosley was a peripheral figure – he was not the leader of the main (only) single issue nationalist party. The Rwandan genocide was all about killing people. Peter Sutcliffe was all about killing people – but I do not consider there to be any meaningful comparison to be made between the two.

          • fred

            The last member of the royal family to be born in Germany was Prince Albert. born in 1819.

            To me if someone is born in Britain they are British. As what colour their skin is, if their parents came from Africa, Asia or the Caribian it makes no difference, they are as British as anyone else born in Britain is.

          • Loony

            The important thing is not what you consider people to be, it is what people consider themselves to be.

            Cliff Richard was born in India – my guess is he considers himself British and not Indian. Terry Butcher (a former Captain of the England football team) was born in Singapore, but evidently considers himself English and not Singaporean.

            Boris Johnson was born in New York and yet is the British Foreign Secretary and NOT the US Secretary of State. This could be a clue that he considers himself British and not American.

            Joe Strummer of The Clash was born in Turkey, but did not consider himself Turkish. There are numerous examples that prove this point.

            So, if lots of people born in countries that are not the UK consider themselves British then it is a racing certainty that a lot of people born in the UK will not consider themselves British. What people consider themselves to be is the decisive point.

            What you or I or anyone else may think is irrelevant. A failure to understand that simple point is a root cause of many of the current troubles that assail the west.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Loony September 22, 2017 at 00:00
            And Barack Obama was born outside the US, but lied and became President.

          • Republicofscotland

            Unless it’s Donald Trump, then he’s Scottish, even though he wasn’t born in Scotland.

  • Loony

    Those who play with fire get burnt – an old adage that the EU and its largely ignorant supporters would do well to recall.

    There are vicious political hatreds that seethe and boil in Spain – much more so than in many other Western European nations. After all it was only on the Iberian peninsula that fascist governments were allowed to remain in place. Elsewhere they were removed by force. Whether you like it or not, history matters, and so does national character.

    Take the British – at their worst they can be a brutal people, and at their best they play things like cricket. Spaniards by contrast are a cruel people and one of their national sports is bull fighting. Compare and contrast the practices of the Guardia Civil with the practices of the British police. Look at how the Spanish deal with road traffic accidents compared to the British. Little things can inform a great deal.

    What is to be gained by playing with fire when the risk is to unleash another round of fratricidal cruelty.

    • Ian

      Lol, you’re hardly one to take the high ground over ‘ignorance’. Those dastardly foreign types, eh?

      • Loony

        I simply try to clear up ignorance.

        The British maintain an obsession with World War 2. In some ways this is a cohesive obsession as substantially everyone in the UK fought on the same side. World War 2 also had a beneficial effect of not killing that many British people and can be portrayed as a simple matter of good vs evil (where naturally the British play the role of the good).

        A lot more Spaniards died in the Civil War and a lot of Spaniards were murdered and/or tortured in the years following the Civil War. The murdered and the murderers and the tortured and the torturers all tended to be Spanish. This means that the descendants of torture victims are living side by side with the descendants of the torturers. Perhaps you can appreciate how this might cause certain tensions.

        It has nothing whatsoever to do with “dastardly foreign types” and everything to do with the simplistic ignorance of the British – who are themselves foreign types whether dastardly or otherwise to the overwhelming majority of humanity.

        • fwl

          Loony is no lunatic. Self determinism is a nice ideal. British federalism is one think but nationalism another. What happens when the hawk hunts the flock of little birds? It flies in to the flock to divide and divide again. Nationalism was invented by elites to tie people to them. This came about when the printed word eroded the power of the pulpit. Now nationalism is used by elites not to unify a group but to divide? Why – who benefits? Who facilitates the process?

          • JOML

            fwl, or in Scotland’s case, it could be ‘if you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows’. I understand what you’re saying about elites and it’s clear who the elite are in the UK. However, I can’t see any particular elite behind Scotland’s self-determination movement – if there isn’t any elite, perhaps this explains the significant opposition to the movement by the mainstream media and state broadcasting.

          • fwl

            Well who would want (a) the EU to be weaker and (b) the UK to be weaker?

            Factionalism is on the increase in the US – who benefits there?

          • JOML

            fwl, the U.K. Is a rogue state that does not comply with international law. Therefore, the breakup of the UK would be a positive event, not to mention providing the Scots self-determination. It’s bizarre that people think it’s grand for their country to have self-determination, yet state it’s unreasonable for Scotland to have the same status.

          • fred

            In Scotland we have self determination. We had a referendum in 2014 and determined we wanted to remain part of the UK.

          • JOML

            Correct, Fred, and if the Scottish electorate decided to have another referendum, then they will. I’m glad you support democracy and not sticking with the last result as the basis for eternity.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            I think nationalism is a natural consequence of being repeatedly invaded by people who want to steal your assets. A functional nation at any point in time is an entity within defensible borders, in which a common culture has evolved due to its separation from other cultures. If the borders aren’t defensible, the nation ceases to exist – it might be argued that this happened to Scotland, both economically and militarily.

            The national ‘elites’* have a strong interest in preserving the nation, sure, but so does everyone else when push comes to aerial bombardment. However, with the rise of transnational oligarchical corporations, the global ‘elites’ – into which many of the national ‘elites’ have morphed – find they can enrich themselves faster by dismissing national borders as irrelevant, homogenising cultures and insisting on the free movement of global capital and labour. To your advantage? I think not.

            But even allowing that this is a good idea, we come up against a problem. Which is that some nations have different oligarchical traditions. They are very happy (as Britain used to be) to trade globally, but they are insistent (as Britain used to be) on maintaining, and do not rule out expanding by force, their national borders to suit their own commercial advantage. Globalisation exists in economic terms, but it does not exist in geostrategic terms, and as we are beginning to see this is a very dangerous situation.

            Finally, the debate on Brexit can be seen, increasingly as the main players in the EU move towards an EU army**, in addition to tariff barriers and other measures against outsiders, as a conflict between the UK’s integrity as a nation and the EU’s own <b<nationalist aspirations. I’d suggest the EU’s supernationalism is exactly comparable with the nationalism of the old British Empire, (its roots being in the Austro-Hungarian empire – it’s not as innovative as it looks) and it is driven by the same force, commercial profit. Its elites are our elites with added networking.

            * Let’s not fall into the trap of the easy epithet. ‘Elites’ avoids any consideration of how our power-brokers got there, and what they want to do. And it’s too general. ‘The state-sanctioned writers of debt’ might be better?

            **Obviously. All nations need to be defended, especially very big ones, and even if you think the nation next door is a cuddly bunny.

          • fred

            “Correct, Fred, and if the Scottish electorate decided to have another referendum, then they will. I’m glad you support democracy and not sticking with the last result as the basis for eternity.”

            Not eternity, a generation like the Nationalists said, “once in a lifetime” they said and that is about right for decisions on constitutional changes.

    • glenn_uk

      ” Why does it deal with states according to double standards?

      Why? Because America. That’s why. Nothing more to discuss here. Next up on the agenda for discussion… just how evil are those filthy Iranians/ Koreans/ all other Official Enemies of today?

  • nevermind

    “Take the British – at their worst they can be a brutal people, and at their best they play things like cricket. Spaniards by contrast are a cruel people and one of their national sports is bull fighting. ”

    Ablas capitano Locco. The Spaniards are cruel, just look at their bull fighting, whilst the British, at their worst, can be brutal, just look at Afghanistan, NI, Libya, Syria, and soon to be in all the loony cinema’s, North korea, Mrs. May, just advised by Bojo’s stiff little finger, yes he did poke his pointy at the US delegation when he raised his hairy hands at the UN, was adamant that we will support Trumpistic Empirical ambitions.
    Joke aside, Trump will appoint six members of the Federal Bank of America, leaving one republican already in the bag and one other. Rumours have it that Trump will appoint Homer Simpson to lead the new Fed judges, for his foresight and forehead.

    • giyane

      Spain is an example of what happens to a country which gives in to xenophobia. Under the Spanish Inquisition, which was led by the foreign superpower of the time, the Vatican, they expelled first the Muslims who had a far superior religion, and then the Jews who were vastly more educated than most native Spaniards.

      This should be a blue flashing light to the UK as the arseholes of this country, the Nasty Party, follow the Great Satan, the white supremacist superpower of out time, to a racist Brexit, removing centuries of asylum and welcome to foreigners. Apparently the only political party that is able to resist this gross stupidity is the party that was unable to resist putting chief arsehole in chief David Cameron in power. We are witnessing the British Inquisition which will put this country into the same Dark Ages as former Spain.

      It would be a good start to the conference season if the Liberals pledged to put Corbyn in power to make amends for their once in a century boo boo of backing the Conservatives. But will they ever do it? No because Vince Cable is just a vape in the Nasty Party’s backside. Pathetic.

      • Loony

        …and you would appear to be an example of someone who has elevated ignorance into the highest of virtues.

        Open you eyes and look at Spaniards, look at a Spanish dictionary and ask yourself what kind of things you see.

        Remember you are free to write “…Muslims who had a far superior religion…” What would happen to a person in Saudi Arabia who wrote “…Christians who had a far superior religion” You think that would go unnoticed and unremarked? Or do you think bad things would happen to the author, and do you think those bad things would be justified on some kind of religious basis

        • giyane

          Funny that one of your examples calls itself Roman and the other Saudi. Yet everyone else outside the striking distance of these 2 localities practices free speech. Doesn’t that tell us that these two are political entities?
          The poet John Milton had discovered Islam at a time that it was so totally unacceptable to say that God is One, that he feared for his life and that was a long time after William Luther and Henry VIII. The UK participated in the enslavement of Africa, India, China, Australia, America all in the name of the superiority of Christianity, but in practise for political, colonial ends.

          I have no doubt that Saudi Arabia is the same. Nothing whatsoever to do with religion itself.
          Why does Murdoch call his wank machine Trinity? I so wish all that Murdoch garbage didn’t infest my computer day in day out. I so wish Usama bin Laden’s bonkers ideas would stop infecting the Muslims as well. I do so hope one day both bin Laden and Murdoch’s USUKIS garbage will get put in the bin bag. There is hope yet…

          The petrodollar might collapse sooner than we think.

        • Laguerre

          Try telling Fundies in the Bible Belt what a terrible religion Christianity is, and see if you survive 24 hours. Even 24 hours would be a bit much to expect. What happens in Saudi is nothing unusual.

          • Loony

            So the original example (“Muslims who had a fart superior religion”) did not fit your prejudices and consequently you change it to Christianity being a terrible religion. Why might this be?

            You then conflate stereotypical individual prejudice (which does exist) with state policy. Why might this be?

            You may as well analyse the views of the Kray twins and then claim that they were representative of British state policy. Alternatively you could analyse Osama Bin Laden and claim that he is representative of all Muslims. Of course you would never do that, but you are quite prepared to non specifically identify a few hicks in the deep south and then pretend that they are representative of an entire religion.

          • Jeremiah Jones

            “You may as well analyse the views of the Kray twins and then claim that they were representative of British state policy.”

            That was certainly the intent.

            An early fail, but subsequent efforts by others have proved much more fruitful.

          • Laguerre

            Because, Loony, you’re trying to make an isolated case a general truth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a so-called state or not. Saudi Arabia is not a (nation) state – it is a private family estate. The clue is in the name, and the Saudis have always recognised it.

      • MJ

        “Muslims who had a far superior religion”

        If the buildings in Granada and Cordoba are anything to go by they certainly had a far superior architecture.

        • Jeremiah Jones

          “If the buildings in Granada and Cordoba are anything to go by they certainly had a far superior architecture.”

          But, it’s the Masons have the best “architecture” these days.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘The banging of pots and pans is heard at 10pm every evening in Barcelona these days, a low-tech call to solidarity and protest. The atmosphere in Barcelona is a mix of anticipation and tension as the annual Merce festival coincides with the lead-up to the disputed Catalan independence vote which will be held on 1 October.

    The cacerolada started on 20 September, the day the central government in Madrid sent National police to arrest 14 Catalan government officials involved in organising the vote. Millions of printed ballots have been seized from printers, and two cruise ships have been moored in Barcelona’s harbour to house hundreds of national police reinforcements. The current political controversy has combined with the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the city on 17 August has created an atmosphere of unease for some habitants.’

    Catalonia referendum: Fears in Barcelona as biggest annual festival comes amid independence unrest
    The annual Merce festival is under way in Barcelona, but tensions are high in the lead-up to the disputed Catalan independence vote, due to be held on 1 October

    • Brianfujisan

      The Arrival of 3 Large Ships in Barcelona Yesterday – to accommodate almost 4,000 extra police – looked to me to be a seriously ominous move..

      But now – In defiance, the Catalan dockworkers decided to stand up for “civil rights defense.” Deriding the cruisers as “repression ships,” the Organization of Port Workers of Barcelona (OEPB) announced they wouldn’t serve the vessels.

  • Anon1

    As has already been pointed out, the Catalan independence movement is all about the country’s richest and most successful region freeing itself from subsidising the rest of Spain, much of which is poor and backward. Some socialists you all are.

    • Tony_0pmoc


      You seem very naive. I have met these people in Catalonia last year. It is not about money. I wanted to pay them more and buy more..but They said No. It’s about Local National Independence and making their own decisions. It’s DEMOCRACY.The people who live there and work there. O.K. The Catalonians in The North May work harder, longer hours and be more productive than those in The Country Surrounding Them. But why should the Catalans have the proceeeds of their hard work stolen from them by another county.? The other countries should trade with them…and they will. Just give them an Independent Label..

      Catalonia or whatever THEY choose. It’s their Country – they can call it what they like.

      Allmost nothing much will have changed. Everything will be much the same. It’s like us English saying to The Welsh – you can be Welsh if you want…we really don’t care, and by all means if you feel so inclined – form your own Central Bank and Trade in Welsh Punts Gweldau & Pennys

      us English will still love you and trade with you even if you are Welsh.

      It is seriously not worth fighting about. I am not going to fight the Welsh, so that they can be Independent

      if they want to be Independent fine. Where do we all sign for their Independence.

      I am English, and I don’t want to try and control the Welsh.

      Do you??

      Are the Welsh going to fight to stay in The UK when we Tell em to Eff Off?

      “Oh we Love You English”???

      We want to stay.

      Go your own way


      • Muscleguy

        Where were you in 2012 to 2014? living under a rock? There was an endless parade of Scottish Unionists begging us to vote No. Wales is infested with the type too.

        You can’t force people into independence. NZ tried with Niue, ran a plebiscite there under the good offices of the UN Decolonisation Program and offered lots of sweeteners. Niue, with far more people in NZ than Niue, said No Thanks.

        NZ was saddled with responsibility for Niue by the declining Empire. We got the Cook Islands, semi-independent and we invaded German Samoa in WWI at Britain’s behest and annexed it and renamed it Western Samoa. That is independent. There’s Tokelau as well and probably somewhere else I forgot. We might have had Tonga for a while too, that is independent too. Last cyclone hit they said China would provide, no aid from you please.

        After NZ hosted the Pitcairn paedophile trials for pragmatic reasons Britain enquired whether we wanted that too. NZ declined. We’re trying to get rid of our rocks and atolls of empire.

        • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

          Those rocks and atolls are also valuable stones in the go game of laying out claim to ocean bed riches, as the Spratleys dispute shows.I see little prospect of an independent Scotland yielding Rockall to Ireland or the Faroes
          .BTW ,what are the plans for St Kilda once the British troops have left?

          • jake

            FYI…the St Kilda thing has already been sorted out. Scotland gets to keep one third of it. Joint sovereignty I believe the term is. The Uk Government are not short of skilled trade negotiators when it comes to selling out the interests of Scotland.

        • Tony_0pmoc


          It seems you are largely agreeing with me. Are you Scottish moved to NZ – or NZ moved to Scotland? I must admit several times over my life – including quite recently, I have quite fancied moving to Christchurch in New Zealand, and I am not bothered about minor things like earthquakes, and you guys might survive the coming WWIII well at least for a few years. If things get even more insane, might try it for 6 months. My Mum did when she was a baby during WWI.


    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Heaven forfend- almost a slight agreement with a comment from you.
      I think it IS troubling that many ‘movements’ are traceable to manipulation by vested interests which might stand to gain, and quite often false or unrealistic perceptions about identity, or in some cases a sense of personal gain from some change.
      Domination and exploitation,(economic and cultural) by larger, more powerful groups of another, is almost an absolute of human relations.
      In picking our way through the complexity, it is probably important to recognise that cultural and social identity are useful in many ways but may tend towards xenophobia.
      What is disturbing at the moment is that some of the fears and doubts about allowing some degree of expression of identity have been suspended. The expression of Scottish or Catalonian identity and a degree of economic autonomy are useful but the fact remains that we are indelibly interdependent.
      What I sense is that the changing economic environment is causing polarisation, and the taking of refuge within sometimes spurious identity categories. I identify clearly as Scots but my grandparents were a mix of Scottish, Irish and english. By that i mean ‘geographic’ origins. God knows what the origins of my English (Yorkshire) grandfather were.
      In many ways the identification with ‘Geography’ is futile and a residue of deeply offensive misinterpretations and distortions of 19th century ideas about evolution, and the gross exaggeration of ‘differences’. The genetic differences are not significant.
      So somewhere like Catalonia may have some responsibility to ensure that their neighbours and their former citizens and relatives are not seriously disadvantaged.
      I actually think there are considerable advantages to localised forms of decision making and democracy i.e some degree of independence. Large scale government entities create all sorts f problems of exclusion and the capacity to manipulate and bully by people who manage to become key within the administrative systems. Accountability is very difficult in ‘large’ entities. we see this with the EU but also in the UK where there is a very tenuous connection between the majority of the population and the key symbolic and administrative elements of the government, such as the Royal family, who live within a bubble of undeserved privilege and the political actors who seem to operate with some form of (admittedly curious) immunity. I.e an elite with circles of influence which are actively excluded from the great majority of people. The attraction Of Craig’s blog is that he provides insight into this rather closed (for most people) world
      I think ‘administrative and electoral independence of modest sized regions leads to more satisfying personal relations, and interactions, more overall diversity, variety of language, artistic expression and experience. The trend of the last political era has been governed by an assumption of continuous technical expansion and there has been a concomitant move towards a more homogeneous experience of life and a strong dependence on a destructive consumerism as a way of propagating these ideas. This era is rapidly closing as we speak, but regardless we have to find ways of countering this destructive process without harming out fellow humans. It is an enormous challenge.
      The disappointing aspect of this ‘problem’ is that the response to it has been the lunacy of the Grand Numpty- (Trump)b and the bitterness and childish tantrums of Brexit.
      At heart it is a problem of a world which is being stressed by powerful (unforeseen) forces and effects

  • Sharp Ears

    This is off topic but I came across this ref Marine A- Sergeant Blackman. See that the Heil was involved.

    The Daily Mail set up a fund to pay for a new legal team to represent Al. To date this fund has reached approximately £800k. The generosity of the public has been described by Al and the family as extremely humbling. The Daily Mail fund has now been paused while the new legal team progress Al’s case.

    There are two fundraising accounts available if you wish to support Al and his family with a donation.

    A group of Royal Marines’ mums have set up a JustGiving fundraising page to support Al and his family. This fund is supported by the Royal Marines Association. You can donate online via the RM Mum’s JustGiving page using the link below.

    The Royal Marines Association has also set up a fund to support Al and his family. Please make any cheques payable to the Royal Marines Association and do not forget to mark them FAO Alexander Blackman. Please send cheques to:

    Royal Marines Association Central Office
    Building 32
    HMS Excellent
    Whale Island
    PO2 8ER

    Thank you so much for your generosity.’

    NB undated.

    £23,000 was raised on the RM Mums Just Giving page. Closed now.

    All of the £800,000 cannot have gone to lawyers.

    • reel guid


      This Tory idiot off the teaching register. Tory Councillor Majury thrown out as a Boys’ Brigade officer. Douglas Ross Tory MP investigated by his employers the SFA. The Scottish Tories have a very generous tolerance towards those who hold elected office in their name.

    • Jeremiah Jones

      Franco preserved the wealth of Spanish elites during their decline.

      An elite servant.

      The Republicans were globalists.

  • reel guid

    Still no tweets from Corbyn and McDonnell is support of the people of Catalonia. Likewise no tweet about it from Labour Shadow Foreign secretary Emily Thornberry.

    It lets us know what these people will do to oppose the Tories’ Brexit power grab against Holyrood. Precisely nothing. They’ll look the other way whilst parroting their empty ‘For The Many Not The Few’ slogan.

    Corbyn tells Scotland we have to Brexit against the wishes of 62% of Scottish voters. Because he and his party leadership clique have decided we have to. So their slogan should really be ‘For The Few To Decide For The Many’.

    In the 1930s many Labour people went to Spain to fight against fascism. This time when democracy there is imperilled Labour opt to pretend nothing important is going on. Lowlifes.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        mark golding,

        May is irrelevent. Trump is irrelevent. They are all puppets of the scum infested NAZI mob, who assassinated President John F Kennedy and Princess Diana.

        No one has the courage to stand up to them, and Face and Confront The Evil.


        But They will., or We are all Dead.


        • mark golding

          ‘They’ are of course not just people – ‘they’ are those with reverse intention to counter ‘them’ where ‘them’ are the gods that seek to control us whether by enslavement, fear or destruction.

          “Even in death love survives.”


    • tony_0pmoc

      Go Catalonia


      and we will come back in Love & Peace

      Just Vote. You guys are keeping DEMOCRACY Alive.

      Só voto. Vostedes están mantendo a DEMOCRACIA Viva.

      Tony xxxx

  • reel guid

    Labour’s leader remains unmoved by the plight of Catalonians. As he is equally unmoved by the plight of Scots being made to leave the EU against a democratic choice.

    Corbyn has now made it clear that he subscribes to what the French thinker Jacques Ranciere calls ‘the police version of history’. As in ‘move along there’s nothing to see here’. It’s quite a Tory trait to say the least.

    He’s now told The Mirror in a pre-conference interview that he wants to be PM for 10 years. So he’s decided he’s won a second GE before he’s even won a first. Sounds like there’s a hell of a lot of unrealistic personal ambition mixed in there with the, no doubt, genuine wish to do good.

    Scotland can’t and musn’t be beguiled in any way by such an unreliable man. The last thing we need at this juncture is a blinkered guy sold on that police version of history. There’s plenty to see here in the trashing of Catalonian democracy Mr. Corbyn. Plenty to see here in the trashing of Scottish democracy.

      • reel guid

        Well Scotland ought to have a second indyref, justified by the change in material circumstances brought about by the EU vote. We voted to stay and there’s no democratic union if Scotland is made to do things against our majority wish.

        With independence Scotland can be free for good from Tory rule.

        Do you want Scotland to have more years under Theresa’s nasty party?

        • reel guid

          Clearly Corbyn is unperturbed about the prospect of Catalans having more years under the heel of the neo-Francoists in Madrid.

        • MJ

          “there’s no democratic union if Scotland is made to do things against our majority wish”

          There’s no democratic union if Scotland can just behave as if it’s an independent nation, regardless of the democratic will of the union as a whole.

          • reel guid

            By democratic will of the union as a whole you mean of course that England decides for Scotland by virtue of numbers.

            A multi nation state whereby the largest nation decides constitutional issues and the smaller nations don’t have the power of veto is not democracy. It’s the antithesis of democracy.

            The unionist parties and media lied and cheated their way to a 55% majority win in 2014 and are now trying to use that as an irreversible mandate to trash devolution and the right to hold another independence referendum.

            An enhanced status for Scotland in the UK was what Gordon Brown and others promised for a No vote in 2014. Instead it’s hard brexit and the virtual ending of devolution that are the rewards of a No vote.

          • Republicofscotland

            There is no union to begin with Westminster is sovereign. Scots must reclaim their right to sovereignty through independence.

            As for a democratic union, if it’s such a democratic union then why can’t Scot remove Trident?

            Why is there a second unelected house at Westminster stuffed full of wealthy lords, where’s the democracy there?

            If it’s such a democracy then why hasn’t broadcasting been devolved, even Catalonia has its own rights.

            I could go on and on but you get the picture.

          • MJ

            “By democratic will of the union as a whole you mean of course that England decides for Scotland by virtue of numbers”

            I meant exactly what I said. Of course, in a democracy, numbers do matter rather a lot.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I meant exactly what I said. Of course, in a democracy, numbers do matter rather a lot.”

            Oh please give me a break.

            Unless of course the numbers are a
            majority to hold a second indyref, by Holyrood.

            Then Theresa May and Westminster brush off the thin veil of democracy and say now is not the time.

          • MJ

            Your break is granted.

            Don’t you think Sturgeon heeded May’s words a little to readily? Actually they got her off the hook. Another referedum now would have been a humiliation for Sturgeon and she would have had to resign.

      • Sharp Ears

        Revealed: plots by cabinet’s ‘big four’ to seize May’s crown
        Blow to prime minister as divisions widen over Brexit
        Tim Shipman, Political Editor
        September 24 2017
        Photo: Davis/Johnson/Hammond/Rudd
        Caption:Tim Shipman on the lack of trust at the heart of cabinet

        The fragility of Theresa May’s grip on power was laid bare last night as it was revealed that four of her senior ministers had made plans to replace her after the general election.

        With the prime minister already presiding over growing cabinet divisions after her big speech on Brexit, she faces a fresh blow today with the news that Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond, David Davis and Amber Rudd were embroiled in leadership plots after she surrendered the Tory majority.

        In a move that could have brought down May, the chancellor texted the foreign secretary at about four o’clock in the morning after the election signalling that he was prepared to back Johnson if he ran for the leadership.

        A source who discussed the leadership with… paywall

        Shipman used to work for Rothermere/Dacre’s Heil.

  • mog

    Craig writes:‘It would be good to see the Commission and European governments warning Spain now, for actions which are a bigger threat to democracy than the Polish or Hungarian right have so far dared.

    An interview reply from Podemos MP Manolo Manereo :
    ‘Europe is not going to do anything. The EU is an instrument primarily designed to defeat the popular classes. After Brexit, Spain’s weight has increased and Rajoy has done everything demanded of him by the European institutions in terms of structural adjustments. So the EU is going to back him. It has not intervened in Poland or Hungary and it won’t here. What is fundamental to the EU is the imposition of neoliberal reforms; questions of free speech and social rights are secondary.

    Catalan, Basque, and Galician nationalism have typically seen European integration as key to their independence, particularly those on the Right. They have been pro-Europe, believing the EU could resolve Spain’s historical problems. Now they realize this will not be the case. Europe is reinforcing the position of the Spanish state. Spain under Rajoy is a key ally for Merkel.

    So, our question — what is the point of Catalan independence within a German-dominated Europe when your sovereignty has already been robbed by the economic powers? — is becoming more, not less, relevant.’

    Would that last sentence makes sense in the same way with ‘Catalan’, replaced by ‘Scotland’…?

    • Old Mark

      Craig is right to point out that the authoritarian reaction of the Rajoy government to the actions of the Catalan nationalists in power in Barcelona exceeds by some distance (including the deployment of the ‘national’ police force) the authoritarian actions of the Warsaw and Budapest governments.(The size and nature of the Fidesz mandate is also much more secure, whereas the Barcelona government is a coalition of various leftists and neo anarchists). The awkward silence on the developing Spanish crisis on the part of the Brussels Commission is thus revealing of both the Commission’s hypocrisy and it’s understandable desire not to fight on multiple fronts.As Podemos’s Manereo points out above, it is usually sympathetic to the needs and aspirations of regional governments (a ‘Europe of Regions’ being part of the standard counter argument by Europhiles to the democratic deficit at the heart of the ‘project’. As for the hypocrisy on display, the Commission truly does have a nationalist mindset, albeit ‘civic’ nationalist – in that it is very mindful of and protective towards its own self interest. It is ‘supra-national’, and thus an agent for peace and ‘dispute resolution’, only when it is in its interest to be so- it thus displays the mindset of what the EU really is- middle ranking state actor on the diplomatic stage.

      The Commission thinks that, by applying financial penalties on Warsaw and Budapest, it can get these governments to back off and accept their diktak on the ‘painless’ relocation of thousand of refugees from their status as unwanted squatters in the front line Mediterranean countries, to the hitherto homogeneous homelands of Kaczynski and Orban- a pious Merkelian wish, which can have painful consequences, as the news today from Germany demonstrates.The actions of Kaczynski and Orban also clash with one of the fundamental ‘values’ of the present day EU, namely multiculturalism, whereas Rajoy’s actions simply do not clash- his high handed authoritarianism are seen instead as a type of noble form corruption, and are tacitly endorsed by the EU as a result.

      The hypocrisy of the Commission on display here also has a Brexit connection. Brussels believes, rightly in my view, that regardless of May’s bleatings in Lancaster House and Florence, the UK hasn’t a pot to piss in, and will have to back down (they are helped in this of course by the May government’s refusal to give EFTA membership any consideration at all as the basis for a future final settlement, something which forestalls the UK being treated as a ‘third country’ by the EEA, an outcome which would be disastrous.). One of the shocks to the UK of becoming a ‘third country’ in March 2019 will be a severe interruption in cross channel and cross Irish border trade- hence the Commissions insistence on getting Irish border issues out of the way before before the real ‘trade talks’ begin- and one of these important trading relationships is with cheap fruit and vegetables imported here from the poytunnels of southern Spain. Of course, Iberian fruit and veg exports to nearly all of Western Europe leave Spain via Catalonia- so the region as a whole could be seeing shortages of some perishable foods in just a few weeks- a development which should concentrate minds in Brussels, Madrid and Barcelona.

      The other Brexit resonance is of course in the warm relations Brussels enjoys with regional governments, which is reflected in Scotland by a generally Europhile outlook on the part of the Scots public. Scotland would also, as a small supplicant state, be much easier for them to handle than a recalcitrant UK of well over 60 million inhabitants- as the SNP will soon find out if they can hold Indyref2, and win it, before March 2019. ( Immigration also plays a part of course, as Craig’s constant harpings about ‘I’ve never met a non racist Bexiteer’ demonstrate. Mind you, if native Scots were now a minority in their own capital city, as ‘white British’ Londoners are in their theirs, and good percentage of these extra incomers were Balkan and central European Roma, and rough sleepers from all points East of the Oder with ‘drink and drug related issues’ , the ‘welcoming’ and internationalist attitudes about which Craig and his countrymen collectively pat themselves on the back might well be less evident).

    • Sharp Ears

      Quite close geographically. Air travel distance is equal to 370 miles. The air travel shortest distance between Sardinia and Barcelona is 595 km= 370 miles. It takes 0.66 hours.

    • MJ

      Use a different e-mail address and link your gravatar to that new address also. You might have change slightly your username. RealBrianfujisan for instance.

  • Clydebuilt

    Today’s Scottish Mail on Sunday page 27 “Brexit Bonus” by Damian Green . . . Analysis DG, strap line makes out that Scotland will gain many new powers , but the article spells out that Westminster are going to keep controls over agriculture and fisheries, and I expect much more, Fracking, Nuclear plant new builds etc. I expect whatever is required to give Westminster the control it wants over Scotland will be Grabbed back.

    Several years back I rember reading that the EU required some powers to be devolved to Scotland. (Does anyone else )

    With the UK out of the EU, England intend to take back these powers.

    Is Westminster more benevolent than Madrid? They are certainly more sophisticated.

    • reel guid

      A Scotland forced out the EU, subject to WTO trade rules and subject to London after an anti-devo power grab is a Scotland in which there will be a majority for independence. Only 5% short of a majority last time.

        • reel guid

          Yes Ros.

          A nuclear power stationed festooned Scotland. A zero hours contract Scotland. A lack of real autonomy Scotland. Where the options for the young are to head to London or go to the British Army recruiting office. Privatised health. Environmental standards in decline. Apathy. That’s what Scotland is being offered as a reward for voting No in 2014. What Scotland is being offered by the new firm of May and Corbyn.

          • Republicofscotland

            reel guid.

            You paint a bleak picture for Scotland, however I agree, if we don’t break free from Westminster in the not so distant future, we’ll be in big trouble.

            Our loss of EU grants, will see many firms go to the wall, our farming and fishing industries will fight it out for meagre, if any Westminster grants.

            Our block grant has in real terms seen a £3 billion pounds cut.

            These are just the very tip of a very large iceberg that will hit Scotland hard, we must win our independence the next time around, or suffer the very real consequences of a Westminster political scorched earth policy in Scotland.

            I should add in that we have Scotland’s Governor General, swanning around the globe, drumming up business for the rUK, but not for Scotland.

            A treacherous bastard if ever there was one.

      • fred

        We let them decide the timing of the referendum, we let them decide the wording, we let them put their option first on the ballot paper, we let them allow children to vote.

        They still lost.

  • reel guid

    Hundreds had to be turned away for lack of space left at the Labour4Europe event at the party conference.
    Momentum losing momentum? Almost certainly.

  • reel guid

    Tory social media shows the conference yesterday of Highlands & Islands Conservatives was full of union jack drapery. One token Saltire 90% carefully hidden from view.

    The Tories of today aim to abolish Scotland and relegate Scottishness to history.

  • nevermind

    the english defence league, note, no more capital letters, was not worth recalling since their last demonstration, until Fred mentioned it.

    All but six people turned up, all the rest seem to believe that the Tories and UKIP are doing a fine job creating an authoritarian state, so they all went home.

    People like Fred and myself should definitely not get another vote in a future Independence ref. whenever it happens, they are conditioned by absolute power and oligarchic establishment figures/systems, Why should tourists to Scotland get any say on its future whatsoever?

  • nevermind

    Rajoy, despite having no support for his action in Parliament, is seeking to repress the vote on the 1.Oct., by any means, a right wing Government that punches through its will, regardless and below the belt.

    Manwhile the disastrous result in Germany is beginning to dawn on Mrs. Merkel, as the coalition partner, the SPD lost massively under Schulz and has declined a grand coalition. Now watch what is going to happen as the AfD is letting their loose canons create havoc in the Bundestag.
    It will be interesting how other parties will react to their new fascist branding.

    ” Lawmakers like Alexander Gauland, who has repeatedly made headlines for his racist comments targeting blacks and Turks, and Jens Maier, an extreme right-wing historical revisionist, will almost certainly ratchet up the rhetoric in what has long been a relatively staid if stodgy plenary. One of the key things to watch as the next parliament begins its work will be how the other parties choose to react.”

    • Hieroglyph

      How Merkel keeps ‘winning’ elections is a mystery to me. Doubtless she is smart, but charisma-free ex-communist stasi wouldn’t generally win that many votes. And, I swear, if you look at the photos, she really does have a passing resemblance to Hitler ….

      Politicians are calculating beasts, and will certainly make judgement calls based on potential voter-blocks, and new migrants are definitely viewed as a voter block, or ‘mark’ in sociopath\politician speak. I think Merkel is cynically inflating the voter role with migrants, who are generally well-disposed to her, and without them she’d be long gone. Put it this way, if she thought migrants voted for the other party, her ‘open borders’ attitude would change pretty swiftly, I’m quite sure. And, yes, I really do think politicians are that cynical.

      Of course, she could just be rigging the vote. Not that unlikely.

      It’s a shame. As a migrant myself, I’m all for people being able to move country. It’s what people have done through history, and I suspect if the Soviet Union had just let their citizens leave, if that’s what they wanted, then the Soviet Union would still exist. I agree with Craig that immigration is good, but I still baulk at the cynicism of the whack jobs who generally ‘lead’ us. They is funny in the head.

  • Njegos

    In an attempt to absolve Rajoy and PP numbskulls of their incompetence and bone-headed inflexibility, idiots in El Pais have resorted to blaming pro-Russia social media for stirring up trouble in Cataluña.

    Rajoy is reported to have gone to DC to seek help from Trump! Hell, he must be in a panic.

    Meanwhile, elsewhere pro-Russian social media are taking advantage of the Take A Knee “crisis” in the NFL to sow division in the US. You remember your history: first they came for the NFL but I wasn’t a football player. Then they came for Women’s Soccer but I wasn’t a woman. Then they came for Little League Baseball and it was all over.

    When all else fails, point the finger at the Gremlin in the Kremlin.

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