Banning Democracy in Catalonia 440


There is a fundamental disconnect between the real Catalonia and the Catalonia the political Establishment and its lackey media want us to believe exists.

All of the major Western broadcasters, plus newspapers like The Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times, have repeatedly pumped out the mantra that it is only a minority in Catalonia that support Independence. They have never attempted to explain why therefore Carles Puigdemont is President, and why the pro-Independence parties got 48% at the last Catalan elections while the Spanish Nationalist parties got 39%.

There is a vital point here. The plan of the Spanish government to force new Catalan elections in January is not obviously going to give a different result. The national spirit aroused by the 2014 Scottish referendum resulted in a huge boost for the SNP at ensuing parliamentary elections. The same is likely to apply. Plus, there are indeed societies in which people en masse which will vote for you if you send armoured thugs to bludgeon their grannies. But I do not think that the Catalans are such a society. Catalans are not likely to have been convinced to abandon their hopes by the actions of the Guardia Civil.

So what happens if Rajoy calls new elections and the pro-Independence parties win again, which is highly likely? Social media shows that a great many Catalans believe that Rajoy’s answer will be to ban the pro-Independence political parties and not allow them to contest the election.

That is not as fantastic as it seems. Spanish ministers have been briefing the media that, if Independence is declared, Puigdemont will be arrested for sedition. Two major Catalan civic society leaders are already imprisoned for the same ludicrous offence, and the Head of the Catalan Police is on trial.

One commodity of which Spain is not in short supply is corrupt, Francoist judges. It will not be difficult at all to find a fascist judge who will rule that campaigning for Independence in itself constitutes “sedition”, and that pro-Independence political parties and pro-Independence campaigning should be banned as unconstitutional, an affront to the sovereign, traitorous and other such nonsense. In fact that seems to be the inescapable logic of the Rajoy position.

Indeed, the calling of a new election makes no sense at all unless the supporters of Independence are banned from contesting it. Many other measures – all an undeniable breach of human rights – are being undertaken to try to reduce the capacity of the Independence movement to campaign. TV and radio stations are being taken over by Madrid, websites and social media communication blocked. The banning of pro-Independence parties really is not a very large step further down the road. Meanwhile Rajoy has almost certainly concluded that there is no breach of human rights so blatant that other European governments will not back it as the “rule of law”.

There is no sense in which the current hardline moves of the extremist Spanish nationalists in power in Madrid will end the crisis in Catalonia. They will merely plunge it into a much more vicious phase.


440 thoughts on “Banning Democracy in Catalonia

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  • reel guid

    An excellent summing up of the situation Craig.

    This whole thing is a litmus test that shows who in Europe is a genuine democrat and who is fake.

    • Resident Dissident

      So it is ok to declare UDI on the basis of 48% support in the last elections, opinion polls that showed a majority against independence before everything kicked off, a referendum in which 40% voted, thuggery by the Guardia Civil, bloodymindedness by Rajoy etc. etc.

      A curious definition of democracy if I might say so.

      • reel guid

        A free and fair referendum agreed on by both Madrid and Barcelona and monitored by impartial overseas observers would tell us what the Catalan people want.

        • Resident Dissident

          Yes it might, but I see little encouragement of actions on your behalf that might move towards a peaceful resolution?

          Would the major cities of Barcelona and Tarragona, where views are different, be bound by the referendum result.
          Would the Catalans be presented with an option that allowed increased autonomy as an alternative to full independence
          Would Nationalist International butt out?

      • lysias

        Considerable majorities opposed independence both in the North American colonies before Lexington and Concord in 1775 and in Ireland before the Easter Rising of 1916. British overreactions in both cases changed the mind of the majority.

      • willyrobinson

        ‘So it is ok to declare UDI on the basis of 48% support in the last elections’

        Nobody (except the most extreme voices) suggested a UDI based on the last election results.

        ‘…a referendum in which 40% voted’

        I think, in fairness, Puigdemont has done everything in his power to avoid acting on that. He has tried to leverage the result to get an agreed UK-style referendum.

  • Resident Dissident

    So only 13% of Catalans voted for non nationalist parties last time. Really? Just because you are obsessed with nationalism it doesn’t mean that the vast majority of Catalonia is, nuch as you might like it to be.

    • MBC

      8.9% voted for PP in Catalonia. PP will now govern Catalonia. With ‘law’ on their side.

      But not legitimacy.

      • Lucy

        PP will govern for a maximum of 6 months and because it was legally elected as Spain’s government. Once the new elections take place in Catalonia and the new President is elected PP will leave the Catalonian Government. Btw, I see some people here are quite sure about pro-independence parties winning, but I truly think it is going to be the other way around… As a proof, In yesterday’s demonstration against the 155 imposed by PP less than half a million people showed up! And yesterday there was a clear reason to go out and demonstrate…

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          “ess than half a million people showed up! And yesterday there was a clear reason to go out and demonstrate…”

          Absolute bullshit argument.

          You are talking about 10 percent of all Catalans, able to vote, in ONE city in all of Catalonia.

  • Martinned

    It will not be difficult at all to find a fascist judge who will rule that campaigning for Independence in itself constitutes “sedition”,.

    Euh, that's exactly what sedition means. Here's the dictionary, if you don't believe me: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/sedition

    sedition (NOUN) (mass noun)
    Conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

    • reel guid

      Do you know what a legitimation crisis is? Or did they not touch on questions of political philosophy at your law school?

      • Martinned

        They did, and that’s one of the reasons why I think there ought to be a proper referendum in Catalunya. But that doesn’t change the dictionary definition of sedition. (Or the legal definition, for that matter.)

          • Martinned

            I think the word “rebel” in the dictionary definition implies disobedience to the law in some sense. So calling for independence within the pre-existing constitutional framework would not be sedition in the dictionary definition sense.

            Incidentally, none of this should be taken to mean that you should give a d*mn about the dictionary definition of sedition, just that it’s a bit odd to accuse judges of using bizarre definitions of a phrase when the definition in question is exactly the same as the dictionary definition.

          • Resident Dissident

            Craig has I think in the past called for UDI for Scotland without a further referendum in certain circumstances – but I’m sure he can speak for himself.

          • Martinned

            Incidentally, the Spanish legal definition seems to be a bit more narrow than the dictionary:

            Art. 544 Codigo Penal
            Son reos de sedición los que, sin estar comprendidos en el delito de rebelión, se alcen pública y tumultuariamente para impedir, por la fuerza o fuera de las vías legales, la aplicación de las Leyes o a cualquier autoridad, corporación oficial o funcionario público, el legítimo ejercicio de sus funciones o el cumplimiento de sus acuerdos, o de las resoluciones administrativas o judiciales.

            Google Translate:
            Are guilty of sedition who, without being included in the crime of rebellion, rise up publicly and tumultuously to prevent, by force or outside legal channels, the application of laws or any authority, official corporation or public official, legitimate exercise of their functions or compliance with their agreements, or administrative or judicial decisions.

            The key word here is “o”. Force and outside legal channels are alternative ways that a person can commit sedition, i.e. the use of force is not necessary. (But an impact on the application of the laws, etc. is.)

          • Republicofscotland

            Martinned.

            Are the Frisian people seditious as well?

            Should the FNP, be disbanded?

          • Shatnersrug

            You life since blowing the whistle has been seditious but you can’t be guilty of sedition if we don’t have a law against it. Although only recently abolished,

            http://humanrightshouse.org/Articles/11311.html

            The UK allows healthy dissent and destroys your public life if you look like you have half a chance of being taken seriously.

          • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

            “Are the Frisian people seditious as well?”

            The beauty of it, the rest of the Netherlands really wouldn’t give a shite if the Frisians would declare independence.

            The very simple fact we don’t mind, and respect each other, is the exact same reason why no part of the Netherlands wants to break away.

            And yes, we do have several differences in such a smalp country. For instance, when my grandparents speak low saxon, someone from another part of the Netherlands will not be able to understand them.

            Anyway, Spain is not a mature democracy. It shows in every action or inaction of the government in the last few months.

          • Martinned

            Are the Frisian people seditious as well?

            To the best of my knowledge, literally zero people in Fryslân want to declare their province independent. Of course, part of the reason for that is that our heitelân has been chopped into many pieces after centuries of attrition warfare dating back to the Middle Ages…

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisia

    • willyrobinson

      The definition of sedition is good, but its application in the case of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez is very worrying. They called for a peaceful demonstration on the day 11 or so officials were arrested. The demonstration resulted in the trashing of 3 guardia civil vehicles. The rest of the charges agianst them are highly dubious and not supported by video evidence, but the judge appears to justify the charges being bumped up from vandalism to sedition based on their political aspirations.

      According to El Pais: “The judge said that the events of September 20 and 21 “were not an isolated citizen protest,” but rather were “part of a complex strategy” in which Cuixart and Sànchez have been working together for some time “in the execution of a road map designed to obtain the independence of Catalonia.””

      The majority of the parlament de Catalunya signed up to that road map. It was not sedition when they were elected with this mandate. Is it only sedition when they have some success with it?

      • Martinned

        It was not sedition when they were elected with this mandate. Is it only sedition when they have some success with it?

        That seems right for many crimes. Wanting to do something is usually not a crime, nor is trying to do it in a way that is extremely unlikely to be successful. (Many interesting law school exam questions about people trying to murder people with toxins that aren’t actually toxic, etc.)

        And judging from what it says in art. 544 of the Penal Code, some actual impact on the administration of the laws seems to be required.

        • willyrobinson

          So you’re saying that the two Jordis are not political prisoners, because events leading to the vandalisation of three vehicles need to take into consideration the fact that these men have been working towards a goal heretofore considered benign but which is now treason.

          It seems very weak in law both beacuse the success of the independence movement is not all down to their actions, but also because it’s basically a thought-crime.

  • Martinned

    TV and radio stations are being taken over by Madrid, websites and social media communication blocked.

    Well, the *public* TV and radio are taken over together with all other public sector bodies in Catalunya. Do you have any evidence of the rest?

  • Martinned

    They have never attempted to explain why therefore Carles Puigdemont is President, and why the pro-Independence parties got 48% at the last Catalan elections

    Sure they have. They have explained that, while only around 40% of Catalans support independence at the moment, around two thirds support a referendum, and a similar number support a strengthening of autonomy short of independence.

      • Martinned

        Opinion polls like those carried out by the (Catalan) Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió. This seems to be the most recent one:

        http://ceo.gencat.cat/ceop/AppJava/pages/home/fitxaEstudi.html?colId=6288&lastTitle=Bar%F2metre+d%27Opini%F3+Pol%EDtica.+2a+onada+2017

        Question 31: Do you want Catalonia to become an independent State?
        Yes: 41.1%
        No: 49.4%
        Don’t know: 7.8%

        According to the graph in the English-language summary, Yes beat No only once in the last three years, in June 2016. For most of the period the support for both options was a statistical dead heat.

        Question 79: Are you in favor of celebrating a referendum about the independence of Catalonia?
        Yes, irrespective of whether the Spanish government wants it or not: 48%
        Yes, but only if it is agreed with the Spanish government: 23.4%
        No, in any case: 22.6%

        • jake

          So, it’s illegal and seditious for an elected regional government to conduct a referendum to determine to the will of the electorate, but it’s OK for Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió to sample the electorate and conduct an opinion poll. Seemingly too, it is preferable to use an opinion poll as a basis for policy making.
          I take it no one at Centre d’Estudis d’Opinió has been arrested or is facing a jail term and that none of those sampled had their skulls cracked or their fingers broken?

  • K Crosby

    Hey Craig, what’s the difference between the independence referendum in Catalonia and the annexation referendum in Crimea?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Martinned, You just confirmed, what I initially thought of you, from reading your first few posts a year or so ago. I always thought you must be female. There seemed no other rational explanation. I even agree with you sometimes. Assuming you actually do work in the legal profession, shouldn’t you assess the evidence independently and objectively. It’s entirely possible your client is innocent (or quite obviously guilty – so you may think). Shouldn’t you start with the equivalent of a blank piece of paper and assess all the evidence, before reaching any conclusion of innocence or guilt?

        Tony

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      In the Ukrainian referendum 2 questions were asked:
      1) Do you want the Crimea to become part of Russia now?
      2) Do you want the Crimea to become part of Russia after a transition period?

      And what a surprise, most voters (25 percent of the inhabitant of the Crimea are Tartars who all collectively refused to vote) were in favour of the Crimea becoming part of Russia.

      What an absolute surprise isn’t it? And what a remarkable higher form of democracy

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Henri Kerkdijk-Otten,

        Is it O.K. if I ask you a question? You of course do not have to respond, but if you do respond, I would like you to respond honestly and truthfully, about what you think…

        Do you think a majority of the population of Crimea (regardless of who actually voted) wanted again to become a part of Russia?

        Thank you, for your post. I would like to read your response.

        Tony

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          Tony, i have no idea. The referendum didn’t measure that exactly. And that is the problem with that referendum.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            Henri Kerkdijk-Otten,

            I simply cannot believe your answer..You are obviously quite highly intelligent, and must have a personal view. That is all I wanted to know.

            All my question required was, a simple Yes or No – a bit like referendums (not an analysis of whether or not the referendum was legitimate)

            Tony

          • freddy

            I understand that the people/voters of Crimea are mostly glad to continue living in their homes in Crimea,
            are mostly glad to have paid work.
            Pensioners are delighted to be getting Russian pensions.
            Very little unrest is reported in Crimea, this is very different to Ukraine, where trouble is constant and many people/voters are starving.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Any sensible person will understand that you’d have to be a complete lunatic to want to remain a part of the Ukraine given what the US was busily turning it into.

            They escaped what would have otherwise been a horrible fate.

            More generally, siding with Russia seems to be the better bet these days, over vague promises from the West who don’t even know themselves whether they’re coming or going or’ll still be here tomorrow.

            No one wants to hang around in a sinking ship.

            Nothing to do with nationality or nationalism or any other ism.

            Simple self-preservation.

          • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

            “Very little unrest is reported in Crimea”.
            And what does that prove? Impartial journalism?

            Naive remark.

          • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

            Tony
            “I simply cannot believe your answer”

            Then don’t.

            My second answer is a question for you.
            A democratically chosen government first proposed social laws and then wanted to use a democratic tool; a referendum.

            All of them were and are thwarted by the national government.

            My question to you is: does that speak in favour of democracy?

      • Carnyx

        Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

        Your description of the Crimea referendum questions is wrong, the options were

        Choice 1: Do you support the reunification of Crimea with Russia with all the rights of the federal subject of the Russian Federation?
        Choice 2: Do you support the restoration of the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea in 1992 and the status of the Crimea as part of Ukraine?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_status_referendum,_2014#Choices

        In the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (excluding Sevastopol where the pro-Russian vote and turnout was stronger) 1.233 million voted to join Russia, 32 000 voted to return to the 1992 status within Ukraine. 259,112 registered voters did not vote, which is 17%. Thus if we add together the option 2 voters with the non voters they are still massively out voted by those wanting union with Russia.The main criticism of the referendum questions was that there was no status quo option, but it seems that such an option would still have lost heavily.

        Post referendum opinion polls by western polling firms confirmed the results of the referendum, Gallup found that 83% of Crimeans thought the referendum result reflected Crimeans wishes while 74% though they’d be better off as Russians. Pew found that 91% of Crimeans thought the referendum fair and 88% thought Kiev ought to recognise the result. German pollsters GfK found in 2015 that 82% strongly supported union with Russia while a further 11% partially supported it, only 4% opposed, meanwhile 51% felt their lives had improved already as a result of union with Russia.

        GfK
        https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-02-06/one-year-later-crimeans-prefer-russia
        Pew
        http://www.pewglobal.org/2014/05/08/despite-concerns-about-governance-ukrainians-want-to-remain-one-country/
        Gallup
        https://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2014/06/Ukraine-research-brief.pdf

          • lysias

            No doubt the official results of that Austrian referendum of 1938 considerably exaggerated the extent of Austrian support for the Anschluss, but I have no doubt that a substantial majority of Austrians supported the Anschluss. I worked in Vienna the summer of 1966, and I spoke to Austrians who were there at the time.

          • Carnyx

            Resident Dissident

            Oh right sure, the Forbes report is based on an unsupported allegation broadcast by TSN, the news service of Ukrainian TV station 1+1, which made the ridiculous allegation that they’d seen a Russian report that only 30% voted and only 15% for union with Russia which is directly contradicted by other available evidence, such as the western polls I mentioned above. If only 15% of Crimeans supported union why aren’t we witnessing massive resistance? Why did the 65% ethnic Russian majority in Crimea turn against union? It just doesn’t make sense, it’s very crude propaganda for dimwits.

            Seriously, do you actually think that link was remotely credible, and if not, why on earth put it up? Either you are an idiot or you think everyone else is, my intelligence is duly insulted.

          • Resident Dissident

            Lysias

            The point was one about accepting the results of referenda held following an Anschluss – surely you do not accept their democratic validity under such circumstances, especially given the way they trash international treaties, national sovereignty and minority rights. It is worth noting that back in 1991 a majority in Crimea voted to become a part of the Ukraine in what was seen as a free and fair poll.

          • Carnyx

            Resident Dissident

            The Human Rights Council are just a bunch of advisors, including some of Putin’s critics and opponents such as Helsinki Watch activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva, and they are discussing their own estimates of the vote, they have no special insider access to the result and wouldn’t. One of the councils members Yevgeny Bobrov travelled to Crimea and conducted interviews and thus concocted his own estimate, yet Forbes attempts to pass this of as some sort of leak of vital information!

            Also on the Anschluss, Hitler only made up his mind to fully unify Austria with Germany after the invasion. Before they actually went in, Hitler expected Austrians to be more ambivalent and he thus intended to make it a puppet state under Seyss-Inquart, however the mass enthusiasm that greeted German forces and Hitler himself on arrival surprised the Germans and changed Hitler’s mind, he responded to the masses and decided to fully incorporate Austria into Germany. Hitler was responding to the crowds of Austrians he wasn’t imposing union on the majority..

          • Carnyx

            Resident Dissident said

            “But I don’t suppose our correspondent from Shushanka St”

            Aye right pal, anyone who shows you up must be a professional Russian no less, after all it’s such a clever, interesting and original retort and debating tactic … I’m slightly more than a little under impressed!

          • Geordie Bordie

            You should have been here during the Ukraine coup.

            It was all Stalin, KGB, Gulags, Beria and whatnot else.

            Even whilst the fascists were openly marching in Kiev and taking a leading role in the coup.

            It’s like the nonsense going on in US TV at the moment.

            Baby arguments.

            They’ve nothing else, you see.

          • Resident Dissident

            So now Carnyx would now appear to acknowledge that the source of the report was not the Ukraine TV station he mentioned in his first post – perhaps he should apologise for that before resorting to further deflection and distortion.

          • Resident Dissident

            As for Carnyx what says about the Austrian Anschluss I can only say that it is clear bollocks – Hitler made it clear in Mein Kampf back in 1925 that he qould do anything he could to unify Germany and Austria.

          • Carnyx

            Resident Dissident

            Your Forbes link says TSN saw a report accidently published online and then deleated by the Kremlin. I quote

            “Yesterday, however, according to a major Ukrainian news site, TSN.ua, the website of the President of Russia’s Council on Civil Society and Human Rights (shortened to President’s Human Rights Council) posted a report that was quickly taken down as if it were toxic radioactive waste. ”

            Forbes goes on to say it has found another similar source

            “The TSN report does not link to a copy of the cited report. However, there is a report of the Human Rights Council, entitled “Problems of Crimean Residents,” still up on the president-sovet.ru website, which discusses the Council’s estimates of the results of the March 16 referendum. ”

            The Human Rights Council are misleadingly being passed of as authoritive Kremlin insiders privy to all the Kremlin’s secrets, when in fact they are just a body of advisors which includes opponents of Putin and who are tasked with making recommendations on human rights to the President, which he can then ignore if he wants (the President doesn’t appoint the Council’s members). The referendum figures they mention are nothing more than a wild guess by one of Putin’s opponents within the Council after a trip to Crimea. It is not credible evidence in comparison to the official results and the later western polls that confirm the result. Indeed Bobrov’s estimate is so wildly out of line with other factors (like where did the 65% ethnic Russian Crimeans go) it damages his credibility, I’m less inclined to trust anything else he says now I know he made such a silly claim about the Crimean ref. Bobrov is frequently quoted in the English language media making various criticisms of Putin, he’s paid as an advisor by the Kremlin but he doesn’t speak for the Kremlin, he’s an opponent of Putin.

            Maybe Putin tolerates Bobrov and allows him a public platform on the Council cause he’s not very good at opposing and makes ridiculous oppertunistic claims.

            On the Anschluss, from wikipedia

            “Hitler, riding in a car, crossed the border at his birthplace, Braunau am Inn, with a 4,000 man bodyguard.[45] In the evening, he arrived at Linz and was given an enthusiastic welcome. The enthusiasm displayed toward Hitler and the Germans surprised both Nazis and non-Nazis, as most people had believed that a majority of Austrians opposed Anschluss.[51] Many Germans from both Austria and Germany welcomed the Anschluss as they saw it as completing the complex and long overdue German unification of all Germans united into one-state.[52] Hitler had intended to leave Austria as a puppet state with Seyss-Inquart as head of a pro-Nazi government. However, the overwhelming reception caused him to change course and absorb Austria into the Reich.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anschluss#German_troops_march_into_Austria

            The Austrians were far from victims of Nazi Germany, do you know Austria well Dissident? I must admit as a hiker I know upper Austria better than lower, staggeringly beautiful place and everyone’s really nice, but how to put it, you don’t leave feeling it’s the most anti-Nazi place on Earth.

          • Resident Dissident

            So you trust Russian official figures more than other sources when it comes to elections – how touching.

            As for the Anschluss I am not doubting that there were lots of Austrians who supported the Nazis – but your non sensical view that Hitler didn’t want to incorporate Austria into a single German state until after the invasion ( or invitation to occupy which I believe is the standard construction preferred by all friends of Putin and defenders of the Soviet legacy). Just go and read what hew said in Mein Kampf. There were also a lot of Austrian Communists and Jews, especially within Vienna, that opposed the Nazi who for various reasons couldn’t or wouldn’t vote ( or who weren’t even counted) in the plebiscite – but of course you may wish to ignore them just as you have done the Ukrainians and Tartars in the Crimea.

          • Macky

            @Geordie Bordie, you were here during the Ukraine Coup ?! I wished a few more people had spoken-up then; the Russophobia displayed here, and the support for the fascist staging the Coup was simply unbelievable; John Goss & myself were smeared as Russian agents, both by Craig & his loyal supporters; got so intense that I was half expecting an MI6 knock on the door ! 😀

          • Resident Dissident

            “John Goss & myself were smeared as Russian agents, both by Craig & his loyal supporters”

            No you weren’t – I am pretty sure that I made it clear at the time that the KGB may be bad but they are not stupid.

          • Macky

            @Resident Dissident,

            You consider yourself as one of Craig’s loyal supporters ?!! 😀

            I was most definitely accused being a Russian agent both directly by Craig, and at least two of his most loyal “friends”; as was John.

            Anyhow nothing new here, when you’re not agitating support for the latest Neocon war, you’re engaging in Russophobia.

          • Carnyx

            Resident Dissident said

            “So you trust Russian official figures more than other sources when it comes to elections – how touching.”

            Lets see on one hand I have the official results corroberated by independent polling results and logic considering other local and historic conditions , which I’ll list

            1) The fact that ethnic Russians are a majority,
            2) That there’s a long running secessionist movement in Crimea because of this
            3) That Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, and was only transfered to Ukraine by diktat
            4) That the govt Crimeans voted for had just been violently overthrown and Ukraine is in political and economic chaos and the new Kiev govt supported by neo-nazis act in a hostile and punitive manner towards Crimeans and ethnic Russians.
            5) Kiev withdrew pensions and cut of water and electricity supplies, Russia made up for this by awarding Russian pensions which are more generious.

            On the other hand we have the guess of a Putin opponent after a trip to Crimea, and which isn’t corroberated by other evidence and which flys in the face of other facts.

            I know which I find more convincing. Indeed it goes further, the sheer sillyness of the claims Crimeans didn’t support joining Russia actually makes the Kremlin look more credible! I’ll be more minded to trust their figures on another future issue.

            Here’s another poll comissioned by westerners and published by the very anti-Putin George Soros’s OpenDemocracy website, at least they are facing the reality that most Crimeans want to be Russian, which is better apparently than the ECFR!

            https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/john-o%25E2%2580%2599loughlin-gerard-toal/crimean-conundrum

            On the Anschluss …. of course Hitler said wanted to unify all Germans in one state, but in his early rule he was wary of public opinion, as such, he thought he couldn’t unify Austria straight away, it was something that might gradually come about as he became stronger, the Austrian reaction to the invasion is what changed his mind.

            Also it should be added Hitler was willing to compromise on the issue uniting Germans. He let Mussolini take Sudtirol, a majority German speaking region. He agreed with Mussolini that Sudtirol Germans should be transfered into Austria or dispersed around Italy, however WW II prevented them fully carrying out the plan and the German speaking population is still there and there are secessionist movements to this day which at times have involved terrorism. If you know the region you can see secessionist posters and graffiti in all around Sudtirol, or at least there was last time I was there.

          • Carnyx

            Doesn’t really matter who wrote the wiki entry, it’s corroborated by others. I was watching a TV documentary on Hitler a few months ago which used the specific example of Hitler changing his mind in Austria to make a larger point about Nazism’s relationship with crowds and the masses and general responsibility for the Third Reich. It pointed out Hitler was often reacting to the masses as he went along rather than leading them, as such it highlighted this very instance.

            If you insist I’ll provide you with the name of the 3 episode TV documentary series later, once I have time to check.

          • Carnyx

            Oop’s sorry Henri, I mistook you for Resident Dissident and misunderstood your point. Please disregard the reply above.

            It doesn’t matter who wrote the wiki entry on the Crimean referendum, it’s points are referenced with links, I also linked directly to the western polling reports confirming the results. Here is the link to the Crimean authorites referendum questions

            http://www.kryminfo.net/pri-vossoedinenii-s-osiyey-krymchane-diskomforta-ne-pochustvuyut/

            I have supplied evidence you are wrong in your description of the questions, you have supplied no evidence whatsoever, you have only supplied assertions. So far you really don’t have a leg to stand on, either support your assertions with evidence or give up.

          • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

            Dear Carnyx,

            as a test i once wrote a bullshit Wikipedia page with sources. It was accepted.
            So an article on Wikipedia as such doesn’t prove anything.
            Nice thing i learned from my History study: always scrutinize your sources beyond any doubt.
            You haven’t done that and i strongly suspect you are not able to.
            So i don’t have to prove anything.

          • Carnyx

            I’m surprised you’ve studied history Henri, since you’ve failed to grasp the need to support your assertions and seem to have misunderstand the purpose of references. References aren’t there just to make something look more credible, they are there so you can check on them yourself. I was always taught to support my arguments with evidence, especially when anything is disputed. Where did you get your degree? Further, I’d be interested in learning what your sources were considering your description was so inaccurate, I like to know which outlets I shouldn’t trust. I only got involved in this Crimea discussion because I knew what you were saying was wrong, and couldn’t let it stand. I was reading because as a Scotsnat I was interested in Catalonia rather than Crimea, although I’m opposed to having a war (even a cold one) with Russia and all the bullshit seeking to promote one (and increase arms sales).

            The wikipedia page is referenced with links to the original, I’ve supplied the links to both the Crimean authorities and reports of western polling compaines that comfirm the result. Whoever wrote the wikipedia entry is thus irrelevent, the references aren’t for show, you can check them out yourself, that’s why they are there.

  • Captain Niven

    Craig, I’d be interested to know if you have been on the ground in Catalunya and spoken to anyone? Because if not, I reckon your assessment of the numbers of Catalunians who are pro independence is tissue thin on sources. My feedback on the ground is that thuggish behaviour has meant that Spaniards who prefer the single state as it is have been forced to keep their heads down for fear of reprisal.

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      My sources state otherwise.
      You might be right. The question is; is it orchestrated or just individuals bullying individuals.

    • MBC

      I did hear from an observer who was there, that anarchist groups who support independence had threatened cafes that stayed open during the Tuesday national strike and forced them to close and observe the strike. However the same source affirmed they were a fringe minority and the mood was generally without tension and rancour. The independence movement is a spectrum. One thing is clear, and that is that a majority of Catalonians supported the right to vote in the referendum, regardless of whether they would have voted yes or no.

      • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

        MBC spot on.
        And the Spanish Government trampled all over that majority for a referendum.
        That doesn’t sit well with the majority of the Catalans and it is profoundly undemocratic.

  • freddy

    The Spanish prime minister has outlined plans to remove Catalonia’s leaders and take control of the separatist region.

    Has Carles turned the tables on Rajoy, yet?

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          Nope, recorded at the head of a mass demonstration. Plenty of photos and press.

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          Laguerre, this discussion is Craig’s internal business.
          What’s your point? We want to be internally undemocratic, so shut the fuck up?
          Spain is part of a bigger picture called the EU, where the majority of the citizens still value democracy and human decency.

  • Sharp Ears

    BBC – The establishment line is being held on Catalonia. Fo!lowed by Brexit. Isis in ME.
    Dateline London chaired by Jane Hill, a BiBiCee newsreader.

    Panel
    Aaronovitch! Filling his chair very well.
    Jeffrey Kofman @ ABC London Bureau reporter
    Mina Al-Oraibi Editor in Chief @The National!
    Spanish journalist whose name did not come up.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09bjk4c

  • reel guid

    Still no denouncing of Rajoy’s actions from British unionists politicians.

    O/T

    Predictably Murdo ‘Queen’s XI’ Fraser has been tweeting his indignation about the Greens and SNP plan to ban smacking children. It seems Murdo thinks the right to give the weans a good smack is an indispensable part of civilization.

    He’s not the only one. Journo Kevin McKenna in the Herald thinks a smacking ban would be “class war by the Holyrood elite on the marginalised” or some such piffle.

    These folk – along with James Kelly Labour MSP, who wants to bring back sectarian songs at the fitba – would like to take Scotland back to the 20th century. Much the same as Rajoy & Co want Spain back there too.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Basque president announces his support for the government of Catalonia.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/CatalansForYes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwingsoverscotland.com%2Fheres-to-you-mr-robinson%2Fcomment-page-1%2F%23comments

    Does Spain and Rajoy for that matter, have any credibility left?

    First almost a thousand people including old women and children were beaten, and shotgunned with rubber bullets, one man was shot in the eye, on voting day and he was no General John Sedgewick, just a citizen voting for independence, or not for that matter.

    Now it looks like Rajoy, possibly afraid of a backlash, (EU, or other nations) has decided a new rigged referendum will settle the matter once and for all, it won’t.

    Madrid may suppress the people, history shows that to be a fascist trait, but suppressing the will of the people is a completely different matter.

    A rigged vote in my opinion, will cause resentment and anger, and lead to conflict

  • giyane

    Methinks Rajoy is like the devious masterminds of racist Brexit who tell us that the EU needs desperately needs us. Catalonia doesn’t need Madrid and The EU doesn’t need us. There is very little in the way of food that the EU cannot source from the new agriculture of Poland etc. There is very little in terms of technology that Catalonia cannot source from its other neighbours Italy and France.

    Reality is therefore that the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal, and Catalonia will crash out of Spain too. because the only glue holding the status quo together is a one-sided need. Anyone who has had to put up with the misery of a divorce will know that looking back it was the right thing to do. Catalonia is strong enough to survive and make new friends in spite of Rajoy’s displeasure and the EU is strong enough to do it too.

    What will poor little Spain and the UK do? I sense the tingle of romance here.
    Like Flanders and Swann’s Misalliance:

    ” Flanders: This may seem a rather strange subject for a song, but we have written what is perhaps a rather strange song. Anyway, it’s called “Misalliance “.

    Both: The fragrant honeysuckle spirals clockwise to the sun,
    And many other creepers do the same.
    But some climb anti-clockwise, the bindweed does, for one,
    Or Convolvulus, to give her proper name.
    Rooted on either side a door, one of each species grew,
    And raced towards the window-ledge above.
    Each corkscrewed to the lintel in the only way it knew,
    Where they stopped, touched tendrils, smiled, and fell in love.

    Said the right-handed honeysuckle to the left-handed bindweed,
    “Oh, let us get married, if our parents don’t mind, we’d
    Be loving and inseparable, inextricably entwined, we’d
    Live happily ever after” said the honeysuckle to the bindweed.

    To the honeysuckle’s parents it came as a shock.
    “The bindweeds,” they cried, “are inferior stock!
    They’re uncultivated, of breeding bereft,
    We twine to the right and they twine to the left.”

    Said the anti-clockwise bindweed to the clockwise honeysuckle,
    “We’d better start saving, many a mickle macks a muckle,
    Then run away for a honeymoon and hope that our luck’ll
    Take a turn for the better” said the bindweed to the honeysuckle.

    A bee who was passing remarked to them then,
    “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,
    Consider your offshoots, if offshoots there be,
    They’ll never receive any blessing from me”.
    “Poor little sucker, how will it learn,
    When it is climbing, which way to turn?
    Right, left, what a disgrace,
    Or it may go straight up and fall flat on its face!”

    Said the right-hand-thread honeysuckle to the left-hand-thread bindweed,
    “It seems they’re against us, all fate has combined.
    Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Colombine,
    Thou art lost and gone forever, we shall never intertwine”.

    Together, they found them, the very next day,
    They had pulled up their roots and just shrivelled away.
    Deprived of that freedom for which we must fight,
    To veer to the left or to veer to the right!

    • Dave Lawton

      giyane
      You are misinformed it was that evil propagandist Norman Reddaway who manipulated the people of the UK into the EU in the first place you need to study history. It is nothing more than Karma.

  • Republicofscotland

    Rajoy’s madcap plan to hold a rigged vote, whilst the eyes of the world watch.

    Is almost as ludicrous as the (WHO) World Health Organisation, proposing Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, as a World Health Organisation goodwill ambassador.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-41702662

    Mind you Mugabe could give Rajoy a few tips on how to rig a referendum.

  • MJ

    “The national spirit aroused by the 2014 Scottish referendum resulted in a huge boost for the SNP at ensuing parliamentary elections”

    I thought it was because Miliband represented the last knockings of a failed, neo-liberal manifestation of the Labour Party and the Scots at least had someone more left-wing to vote for. Not really national(ist) spirit at all.

  • Roderick Russell

    MARTINNED (your comments above) – I appreciate your comment on the legal definition of sedition, and your comments on an earlier thread on “Immemorial custom” as a guide to legally defining the wishes of the people.

    However it does seem to me that there is a problem relying on “long established customs” to legally determine the consent of the people – that is who interprets these customs to whatever the situation at hand is? While I accept that judges can performs this function honestly 99% plus of the time, I am unconvinced that in the real world they are capable of “independent” decision making on issues that are important to our established power elites. I would doubt that Spain works to a higher standard.

    In my view, the only way to determine the consent of the people on really contentious issues is the Swiss method of direct democracy. By this I mean legally binding referenda, to a question that can be chosen by the people as well as by government.

    • Martinned

      That quote was from the Digesta, i.e. the Roman law written in the first 2.5 centuries AD and collated by Justinian in the 6th century. They do not represent the law today, or indeed a sound reasoning about the law today. They are based on a model of Rome that wasn’t even correct when it was written, of the Roman citizens coming together on the fields of Mars to vote laws, just like the Athenians did in classical days.

      I think the error in your reasoning is that the consent of the governed does not need to refer to individual laws, but to the system for making laws. Requiring consent for individual laws exposes society to various NIMBY-style problems. (Hence Rawls’s veil of ignorance.) And the governed may well prefer government by politicians they trust to direct democracy where they at the mercy of each other.

  • nevermind

    well. they are going to get an election after some repressions by Rajoy, lets see what that comes to. If I could put a fiver on it, I ‘s day that The Catalans will vote at least 65to 35 for the parties that support Catalan Independent candidates.
    The EU will look like some old sour puss that did not get its brand kittychow.

  • Republicofscotland

    Fellow arsehole Trump, is realising the JFK assassination files soon, possibly the end of the month. If they aren’t redacted to death, although they probably will be, maybe Rajoy could learn a lesson from them.

    Such as don’t piss too many people off, it’s not good for your health.

    probably will be

  • Dave Lawton

    You can take the Franco out of Spain but you cannot take the fascism out of Madrid.
    Guardia Civil they are no more and no less than a bunch of trained thugs.I know that from
    personal experience when I tried to intervene to stop them pistol whipping Moroccans who were on route to France.They still have secret police lurking everywhere quite easy to spot though as they are not very subtle.Spain still has that feeling of a hidden paranoid State.

    • freddy

      Spain’s public prosecutor is also preparing a lawsuit against Mr Puigdemont over the independence vote.

      He could be facing a prison sentence of up to 30 years for organising a “rebellion” against the Spanish constitution.

      The crime of rebellion is defined as an uprising designed to “repeal, suspend or totally or partially modify the Constitution” or “declare independence of a part of the national territory”

      It’s expected he will be arrested if he declares independence however separatist supporters have vowed to protect him by forming a human shield around parliament if they have to.

      The Daily Express

  • MBC

    What really sickens me about the press both here and internationally, is their total want of curiosity to ask the fundamental question of why independence movements arise in modern advanced European societies. They all just follow the herd and trot out the usual crap about populism and nationalism = bad, and that independence movements are ‘separatists’, not democrats. It never seems to occur to them to probe the roots of dissent, which are as much based on aspiration in a globalising world of diversifying opportunities as disaffection with the constraints of the status quo. It never seems to occur to them that legitimacy is based on the consent of the governed, and when a ‘region’ or submerged stateless nation starts to consistently articulate a different vision than the state of which they form a part, then the legitimacy of the status quo has been lost. And it never seems to occur to them that this emergence of national aspiration amongst suppressed nations could be benign and generally beneficial to all.

    • BSA

      MBC. you have it in one paragraph. 45% of the Scottish electorate are in favour of dissolving a 300 year old union state which once ruled the world and the media never thinks to really ask why we are in such an revolutionary situation. A 5% win for the Union trumped everything else and it could be put to bed. In the same vein, but much worse, they had an armed insurrection and a civil war (a civil war ! ) in Northern Ireland and they never examined the complacency and arrogance of the British government which was quite relaxed for decades about the fact that half the population of the Province were denied civil rights that the rest of Europe took for granted. The same superficial establishment treatment is happening with Catalonia.

    • andros

      MBC.
      Let me tell you that you need to study something about Spanihs and Catalan story.
      The Catalan parliament was instituted much before of the England’s one. This is a tip only.
      Came back if you need to learn some more.

      • fred

        Yes we know, Catalans are superior to everybody else, they invented parliaments.

        This blog is more used to hearing how Scots are superior to everybody else and how they invented everything else besides parliaments.

        MBC, if you’re looking into why independence movements arise that’s a couple of hints for you there.

        • Geordie Bordie

          I think you’ll find it’s the English who have an obsession with inventing parliaments.

          There’s being the “mother of parliaments”, according to them.

          And there was nothing more superior in attitude to others than the English elite.

          Read Darwin or any of his relatives. Read Ruskin. Read Rhodes. Read Lord Alfred Milner.

          That’s the reason the periphery want to leave.

          And not your incessant English projection upon them of your own English superiority.

          “I am a Nationalist and not a cosmopolitan …. I am a British (indeed primarily an English) Nationalist. If I am also an Imperialist, it is because the destiny of the English race, owing to its insular position and long supremacy at sea, has been to strike roots in different parts of the world. I am an Imperialist and not a Little Englander because I am a British Race Patriot … The British State must follow the race, must comprehend it, wherever it settles in appreciable numbers as an independent community. If the swarms constantly being thrown off by the parent hive are lost to the State, the State is irreparably weakened. We cannot afford to part with so much of our best blood. We have already parted with much of it, to form the millions of another separate but fortunately friendly State. We cannot suffer a repetition of the process.

          — Alfred Milner”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Milner,_1st_Viscount_Milner

          • fred

            “Read Darwin or any of his relatives. Read Ruskin. Read Rhodes. Read Lord Alfred Milner.”

            What user names do they post under?

          • MBC

            Well said Georgie Bordie. Brexit is all about English exceptionalism, English nationalism and imperialism dressed up as British to give it more of an ‘inclusive’ and cosmopolitan gloss and to fool the Celtic nations to keep them supine. And the right wing posters here can’t see it, can’t see that the dissatisfaction of the subdued nations of Europe is an objection to an earlier phase of imperialism when the elites controlling the larger European blocs like Spain or France or England subdued their smaller neighbours. In an age of European Great Power games and rivalry which spilled over into continental war with great loss of life, it might have suited the smaller nations to come under these umbrellas. But no more. The international system has changed, it has evolved somewhat, and these large national blocs no longer offer the opportunities and protection to the smaller nations that they once did. In fact they are stifling the smaller nations and preventing them from fulfilling their potential. Brexit will be far more damaging to Scotland than to Home Counties England that voted for it, but our democratic wishes and our economic rights are being sacrificed for English hubris and English nationalist delusion. We are not fooled.

          • fred

            @Geordie Bordie

            Why do Nationalists always resort to personal abuse and insults?

            @MBC

            Personally I campaigned and voted against Brexit as I campaigned and voted against Scotland breaking away from the Union for the same reasons I argue against the Catalan separatists.

            The cause of nationalism is frequently people who find they can get power for themselves and control others by telling them they are better than everybody else, which people are all too happy to believe, by pointing to invented racial traits in another people, just as GB points to people like Darwin and Rhodes and makes the ridiculous deduction that all English people are the same as they were.

            There are oppressed people in the world, people genuinely without self determination, such as Palestinians who were born and died in Jordanian refugee camps and they are the people we should be fighting for not to feather the nests of Scottish or Catalan nationalist rabel rousers.

          • Geordie Bordie

            “just as GB points to people like Darwin and Rhodes and makes the ridiculous deduction that all English people are the same as they were.”

            I don’t draw that conclusion at all. Far from it.

            I know that ordinary English people are as much victims of their elites as others are victims too.

            Indeed that’s the whole point.

            And it’s all rather obvious now, isn’t it.

            That elite mentality hasn’t changed.

            And they seem to run things. It’s not the ordinary people who run things, is it..

            The problem is that you claim that anyone who wants to escape these elites is somehow dubious.

            These are simply people trying to escape their abuser.

            One can only conclude you’re a supporter of these elites and their programs, or you simply don’t fully understand the implications of your position.

            You’re like someone who wants the wife to remain in an abusive and debilitating marriage.

            Because, according to you, you’re a horrible person if you want to leave.

            There’s no logic to your position.

            And certainly no humanity.

    • SA

      There is of course a lot of truth in what you say but also a lot of traps for the unwary because it is impossible to generalise. Not all independence movements are the same and some of these are pretexts for power grabbing and ethnic cleansing- and before I am attacked as undemocratic by many in this blog, I am not referring to Scotland or Catalonia. There have to be prerequisites to such votes and there has to be a framework. As we have learned from the Brexit vote, not all such ‘democratically’ expressed votes lead to the best results, and I am afraid that vote was influenced by base racism in a minority which has then tipped the balance. The amount of information that needs to be grasped by the electorate in a referendum is massive and cannot be distilled into a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote.

      • MBC

        Not all independence movements are the same! You are just trotting out the conventional line without asking why the submerged nations of Europe are in revolt. I would agree with you if you had said, ‘not all nationalism is the same’ because the nationalism of nations which are already independent like Hungary, Austria, Poland, Spain and England, are based on hubristic and xenophobic tropes, but those submerged nations that are chafing under them are seeking democracy not imperialism.

        • SA

          Your tropes are a bit exaggerated. Some of of the countries you named with increasing nationalism such as England and Austria had empires, one may still be aspiring to retain and regain empire but Austria imperialistic aspirations? Baffling. Both the Czech Republic and Hungary have been subjected to various empires but it dies not look to me that they have much aspiration to conquer Europe.

  • J Arther Rank

    What strikes me about the Catalonia situation is how utterly useless the European Parliament has been. Here was the opportunity to raise the debate,assert itself and draw the focus of Europe to its supposed political center. But not a whimper from the bought and paid for grifters.

    • MBC

      All the EU cares about is that the loans to German bankers continue to be serviced. That is why Macron and Merkel back Spain, because without Catalonia Spain could easily default on its debts. We’ve seen it with Greece, and now we’re seeing it with Catalonia.

  • andros

    There’s a very long list of insults, boycotts and humiliations the Catalan people suffered for many years.
    I’m more than 70 yo and since i remember I heard only negative words on us.
    Don’t forget that Catalonia is the economic engine of Spain. So, if Catalonia is impoverished Spain will go to bankrupticy.
    The only important for Spanish government is to maintain its boot on Catalan’s neck.
    Catalonia is a colony as a product of a war booty. With other words but it is idea expressed years ago by Manuel Fraga Iribarne. Domestic affairs with Franco and president of the Junta de Galicia.
    Thank you very much Mr. Murray. Go ahead, please!

    • Loony

      I notice that you do not provide any examples of the “insults, boycotts and humiliations” of the Catalan people. From your perspective this is surely helpful in preventing any informed response.

      It is though somewhat strange that a region subject to “insults, boycotts and humiliations” is nonetheless the economic engine of Spain. Other places that have been subject to such “insults, boycotts, and humiliations” – for example Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Syria, Haiti have not managed to be much of an economic engine for anything.

      It is true that if Catalonia is is impoverished then Spain will go into bankruptcy. It follows logically that if Catalonia remains wealthy but outside of Spain then Spain will go into bankruptcy. This kind of idea will surely be a major vote winner in Extremadura – oh I forgot there is no intention of allowing them to vote is there?

      • andros

        Hi Loony. I don’t like to reproduce here the insults but if you need I can, here you have some smaples: POLACOS (Polish because they don’t understand our language) CATALUFOS (This is a mixture of catalonian and pigs, galufo in arabic) CATAMIERDAS or CATALANES DE MIERDA I think you don’t need translation.
        About boycotts. They were promoted by relevant members of the Peoples Party (Partido Popular, PP for friends) but not only now, years ago. The actual Spanish PM run along of several thousands of kilometters collecting signatures agains Catalonia. You can check it in the press.
        About engine. Catalonia has 16% of Sapnish population and generates about 22% of Spanish DGP and 25% of export.
        If you’re interested to go deeper I’m sure you’ll be able to find some more information.
        Here you have a link to fech some information: http://www.lluisvives.com/servlet/SirveObras/jlv/12472749922389384210435/ima0094.htm
        There’s some historic dates very useful, if you can read Catalan language.

        • Geordie Bordie

          Typical.

          They abuse you, abuse you, abuse you.

          And then wonder why you want to leave.

          Are the Madrid elites related in any way to Harvey Weinstein.

          It’s not just Hollywood starlets who are being abused by elites and their servants.

          Whole populations are being shafted each and every day by these self-same predatory weirdo elites.

  • Antoni

    Hi Mr. Murray. Our public news agency in Spain is called Agencia EFE. This agency was founded during the Spanish Civil War. Anybody knows for sure if the letter EFE means Francisco Franco or Falange, the single and totalitarian party. Our public radio, the Radio Nacional de Espana was also founded during the Spanish Civil War in Salamanca. Adolf Hitler shipped to the rebel army the powerful radio station that had worked during the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. In this case Nacional means the rebel troops. We have also a public foundation called Fundacion Nacional Francisco Franco that remembers the dictator and that receives money from the public budget. Could you imagine a foundation like this in Italy or Germany…

    Greetings from Barcelona

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      Antoni,

      yep, and the PP of Rajoy is the old party of Franco.
      Franco personally picked his successor, but that successor was blown up by the ETA. That when the PP decided to go down the path of “democracy”.

      Can you imagine that “democracy” (or the Spanish definition of it) came about because of the ETA?

      Anyway, no, we cannot imagine that the old Nazi party, without Hitler but still very much the same, would still reign in Germany.

  • Oliver Tickell

    This analysis is almost certainly correct. And when legitimate, peaceful means of achieving aspirations are taken away, what remains?

      • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

        Spot on!

        Roosevelt said that patriotism is all about to stand by the country, not to stand by the president.
        You can swap country for people.

    • nevermind

      What remains is a hollow EU, Oliver, this whole affair was an opportunity to reiterate and amplify the European idea, but the EU parliament failed to readdress the ideals of the Rome statute, it made no attempt to guide a dialogue or helped in quelling the reactionary forces who seem to have picked up where they left of in the 1950’s.
      Why? very likely because the industrial establishment has taken over the unelected commissioners full time, there is no room for democracy or voters. In 2019 we will see another election, we will still take part,afaik, and we will appoint a Commissioner favourable to the Government of the establishment here.

      It would be refreshing to hear that we will not play the game and show the EU how to elect a commissioner at the same time we elect the selected and favoured party politicians to this now stale EU, a last blast of what should have happened during the 1960’s/70’s.

      I do not hold my breath though.
      What will be the resolve of the EU should the candidates who favour Catalan Independence win at this forced election, if they see the general public who had this vote forced upon them with truncheons, fists and tear gas?……

  • Dave

    If “sedition” is illegal, will defence counsel face prosecution for “sedition” if they defend those charged with “sedition”? This prospect faces defence council in Germany, when defending “holocaust deniers”.

  • FranzB

    Victor Klemperer, in his book LTI (Lingua Tertii Imperii – Language of the Third Reich) has an early chapter on the first three words he associated with the NSDAP regime.

    The first was Strafexpedition = punishment expedition. Klemperer associated it with a colonial punishment expedition. This seems to be Rajoy’s mentality. The only answer to those seeking to democratically express their opinion is to send the Guardia Civil thugs to Catalonia to beat up voters in the referendum.

    Klemperer’s second word was Staatsact – Act of State (such as the opening of the Reichstag with Hindenburg in all his pomp). Rajoy’s act of state seems yet again aimed at democracy, i.e. direct rule from Madrid. Perhaps worth noting is that in its final years, Weimar Germany was governed by a cabinet rather than through a parliament. Rajoy seems to be organising this attack on democracy through
    his cabinet.

    Klemperer’s third word was historisch – historic. Plenty of that about. It took the UK three years from sending in the army to N. Ireland in 1969 to imposing direct rule in 1972. Rajoy’s moved from sending in his thugs in September to direct rule in Catalonia in 1 month.

    If an election is forced onto Catalonia, Puigdemont should get the OSCE to send in monitors. Perhaps he could get the UN to supply peacekeepers to keep Rajoy’s thugs from beating up voters.

    If Catalonia is forced into another election, Puigdemont

    • lysias

      One of the Nazis’ favorite expressions was “geschichtlich einmalig”, I.e., “unique in history”. Note that the phrase used “geschichtlich” rather than “historisch.”

      Nevertheless, I consider Klemperer’s LTI a great work. I actually sat through many hours reading the whole thing in the Bodleian Library, as books cannot be borrowed from there.

      • Geordie Bordie

        Yeah, so.

        What did you learn from reading your books.

        Can you sum it up, simple like.

        Would there be a recurrent theme, for example.

        Like a way things work, kinda thing.

        Or is it all just details.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that Franz B, and the principal actors who then supported Klemperers NSDAP doctrine was the industrial elite, not just in Germany but also in Switzerland and Austria. For example, a well known Swiss multinational today sporting a little bird in a nest, how fitting, supported the NSDAP with 33.000 Reichsmark.

      Its like going back to 1933

  • Josep

    Craig, I am very surprised by you being surprised because of the EU reaction to Catalonian conflict. You are a former diplomat and a very smart person. You know very well that International affairs are ruled by Real Politik, Western countries have had totally different positions in Crimea, Kosovo, Catalonia or Montenegro.
    In Crimea almost all western countries were against any referendum there, I know you disliked “that” referendum but not a “clean one”, but that was not the point of USA or the EU big countries. In Kosovo they supported that that province achieved independence without even a referendum using Serbian agressivity and (a proven false) genocide, in Montenegro and other eastern countries they supported referendums, etc..

  • Peter

    I think the Guardia Civil did a splendid job getting the Riffraff off the street before they could do any serious damage. This independence madness reminds me of the reformation. In the end the various fractions started killing each other because they couldn’t agree on the interpretation of the sciptures. In the case of the Catalans a couple of bruises and hurt egos are a small price to pay for a failed revolution.

    • willyrobinson

      No matter how much I disagree with you, I sincerely hope it never happens to your granny.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Be it Catalonia and Scotland (Independence) or Crimea (reunification), there are some very fundamental problems affecting the human race…and its particularly hard on the younger generation, cos they look at all us old people, who had hope and determination and real opportunities to work hard and be so successful that we could afford a mortgage on our house, and actually pay it off during our working lives…

    How can all but a very small percentage of the younger generation 18-30 have a hope in hell of doing that – or even have a home (their home) to bring up their kids?

    We were innocent. I am glad I was born when I was, Everything gradually got better.

    It is not the same now for kids.

    The propaganda is a nightmare and some of it is true.

    Tony

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      Tony, agree. Same feeling here.
      However, generations before us started world wars, etcetera. So it never is and was a good then, bad now situation.

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