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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  • Seandwave

    We,catalans have it clear. Today Rajoy’s announcement of article 155 is just the REAL COUP D’ETAT! And what’s more interesting, aplying it, he brakes his “beloved Constitution”!
    We will never give up trying to avoid fascism awakening in our small but also lovely country called Catalonia. Let’s hope for the better future to come. We deserve it.Visca Catalunya!

    • Duncan Sutherland

      One can always be unfortunate anywhere, of course, and a great deal can always depend on one’s own attitude as perceived by others. Personally, I find the Catalans to be a charming and welcoming people with whom I feel very much at home.

      It helps, of course, to be able to respond to some extent in a little basic Catalan and/or Spanish, as that establishes an immediate rapport. In my case, in Barcelona on referendum day, October 1st, I found myself in deep conversation with an elderly Catalan lady in a café where I was having breakfast. She wanted me and anyone else who would listen to her, i.e. everyone present, to know why it was that she was utterly determined to go off to vote in the independence referendum despite the risk of being subjected to mistreatment by the Spanish Guardia Civil and National Police who had been sent in to disrupt the voting . . . not to mention the fact that a heavy shower of rain had just come on.

      Later in the day, while I was having dinner in another café, again slightly off the tourist track, another Catalan woman approached me with a view to determining whether I had voted yet and would have conducted me to the nearest polling station if I hadn’t explained that I had already voted on independence . . . in Scotland in 2014. Broad smiles all round.

      Even the woman assistant who had sold me a rather special, if quite expensive, silk tie in El Corte Ingles in Catalonia Square the day before could not have been more charming, although she was not herself much interested in the political goings on even though outside, draped across a prominent building in the square, was a vast campaign sign on which one could read the following: “Vote Yes. Hello Democracy!”

      One sour note, though. After I conspicuously took a photograph of the said campaign advertising for the illegal referendum, from a position near a Civil Guard vehicle which made it possible for me to include a couple of Catalan police (Mossos d’Esquadra) vehicles in the picture, one of the heavily armed Spanish paramilitaries from the vehicle quite unnecessarily let me know in no uncertain terms that he did not appreciate the gesture, whereupon, sensing that discretion might be the better part of valour in this instance, I moved on swiftly.

      Moving on swiftly has, of course, something to be said for it if you find yourself in a situation with which you are not content and about which it may seem that nothing can be done. That applies generally but, simplistically and in a nutshell, happens to sum up the pro-independence Catalan position in the present constitutional crisis, I venture to suggest.

  • giyane

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’.

    Are we going to be taken in by a former diplomat talking about democracy. I mean, the only way you can get democracy to mean independence is if you exclude the majority of the Spanish voters. Yes I know that’s what Rajoy said. Obadi also said it last week. e.g. The majority of Iraq want Iraq to stay intact. So when that argument fails to impress, the independence movers want the federal government to over=ride the will of the majority on their behalf. Gosh. How do they get rabbits out of hats? How do they do it?

    I know nothing about Spain, but I do know that the history of Kurdish independence has been very undemocratic. It wasn’t democratic of the Kurdish to align themselves against their Ottoman rulers and expect Britain to reward their rebellion with the gift of the Caliphate. And it wasn’t very democratic to invite an Islamist army trained by Israel and Saudi Arabia to attack Baghdad.

    And so on and so forth. We were lied to by pollticians and diplomats about the EU being a democratic institution. It’s a peace-making institution and a trade-barrier-removing one, but it isn’t democratic. Therefore those who originally lied to us that it was democratic should kindly shut up about it abandoning being democratic. It never was democratic. Live with it. Overcome the bollocks of it. There is nothing whatsoever democratic about it. End of subject.

    having said that there might be good reasons for doing things even though the people may not like it. Please tell us what those benefits might be and we can talk about that. As to Scotland Freddy’s link to the Express led me to a story about Glasgow being very beset by youth knife crime. Well there’s something to talk about and get to grips with. Does it help teenage knife crime if Scotland becomes independent? If so let’s forget diplomat-speak and do something that addresses reality, before our brains get total burn-out.

    • tony_0pmoc

      giyane,

      I would love to meet you down the pub and have a conversation with you…but I don’t do Birmingham.

      Tony

      • giyane

        Tony
        It’s only because the UK Muslims support Islamic State that I swear in public. If anyone from the Muslim community was logical, sensible and informed, I would attached myself to that. Now they are running to help the Rohingas who have been made homeless by Saudi jihadist training of Myanmar men to do the CIA’s will against their government and eventually China. Result: China attacks the Qur’an.

        Why are political Muslims so stupid? Why ally themselves with USUKIS, destroying centuries of work in grinding down imperialism/colonialism of the West? When Islam eventually reaches our shores, its members race after capitalism like it was Heaven and adamantly oppose the left. For that reason I would almost agree to enter a pub, as I did last week in order to eat my lunch, just to put two fingers up to UK Muslim stupidity.

        Do Turkeys vote for Xmas? Yes, UK Muslims want Islamist Facism sponsored by colonial hegemonists. It’s as if they want to shred Islam by their own hands.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          giyane,

          I understand, but I would still love to meet you in a pub, and buy you a pint of beer. You don’t have to drink it – it would just be a friendly gesture.

          My wife might come too and you can buy her a pint of Cider & Black

          She doesn’t like beer.

          Tony

          • giyane

            Tony
            I don’t do Birmingham either. All cities eventually become run by the ethnic groups that have sought asylum there. Once they control the construction contracts, the local politics and the religious outlets you no longer have a city, just a collection of village-minded rich idiots.
            However, in racist Britain it’s a brave person who steps outside the turf of these little local mafias. That’s why I’m underexcited about Catalonian independence. We all know that the smaller the city or administrative area, the stronger the power of the ethnic mafias. Independence in Scotland would increase the power of the corrupt local elites. I can’t understand why Craig likes the small. methane filled duck-pond of Edinburgh, after swimming in the open water of the London Estuary.

            For a man who believes in the EU, it does seem rather a self-imposed handicap to place himself in the constraints of Scotland. Is it a case of the grass always being greener? Is the grass greener in an independent Catalonia, I ask myself? No, but the pond-weed on the surface is greener.

  • Sharp Ears

    BBC holds the establishment line cont’d

    Marr will have the Spanish Foreign Minister on this morning ‘to get the view from Madrid’s. Of course.

    • Parth

      To be fair, there is nothing wrong with having a representative of the Spanish government on, as long as his viewpoint is challenged in a robust manner by the interviewing journalist. If he is allowed to come on the BBC and spew his propaganda without that being questioned, then that would be disgraceful. But if his propaganda is questioned and challenged, then it would be a positive.

  • freddy

    If Catalonian “politicians” do or have already announced
    UDI from Spain,
    if Spain begrudgingly lets Catalonia go and all of what was Spain, collapses, financially, integrally and socially,
    so far that people are starving, looting and killing,
    would the Catalan people think that their succession, overall, would be
    a good thing?

    • willyrobinson

      That’s quite a disaster movie you’re scripting there Freddy.

      I would say that if Catalan independence leads to the scrapping of the 1978 constitution which is not fit for purpose in 2017, then yeah, that would be a good thing for all the regions of Spain.

      • freddy

        If Catalonia brings Spain to CIVILWAR2
        and five years of utter turmoil, perhaps the “politicians” will have benefited
        but most ordinary people, will not have benefited.
        Look at
        Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, East and West Pakistan,
        plenty of examples that splitting, quickly leads to destruction and never ending troubles.
        This is the history of Europe. It is a history wanted by “politicians” but endured by the masses.

      • Loony

        I take it that you personally have no intention of sharing in the disaster that is postulated.

        This is a classic case of where all parties hold losing hands – and the only sane thing to do is not to play.

        If Catalonia is able to achieve independence and maintain its wealth then the rest of Spain is headed for abject poverty very fast. The only way that Catalonia can escape with wealth is to not partake in the massive (but largely hidden) debts of the Spanish state – debts that have been incurred with the connivance and encouragement of the EU. A Catalan exit from Spain will surely tear down the curtain behind which these debts are hidden.

        What is the motivation for Spain to permanently impoverish itself whilst allowing the Catalans to exit stage right with all the money? Even if the Spanish government wanted to do this then they would spark truly massive unrest throughout Spain.

        It may be possible for Catalonia to force through some form of independence where they assume their proportionate burden of obligations – but at the same time they would alienate themselves from the rest of Spain – no more Telefonica. no more Repsol, no more AVE and no more Barcelona in La Liga. All this does is impoverish Catalonia. Look at Kosovo – it is a failed state but has some measure of support from the UK, the EU and the US. Not so for Catalonia. Its future under this scenario is Kosovo squared.

        What happens to all the newly impoverished Catalans? Do they all invest in tech start ups and move to Silicon valley? or do they all try to move to Spain? It is so hard to know. This then leaves Spain needing to deal with a self created refugee crisis. Why would they do this?

        Those that are left in Catalonia are likely to be die hard zealots and then you can hello to a 21st century version of Albania under Enver Hoxha.

        All of the foregoing is the best case scenario as it assumes that you do not spark a debt contagion that quickly engulfs Italy. Under such a scenario how long do you think Deutsche Bank can survive for? Do you really think migrants have moved to Germany because they love Germans or because Germany offers a comprehensive social security system? What happens if these social security benefits cannot be paid because Southern Europe is on fire?

        Catalans are not oppressed. How can they be when Catalonia is the wealthiest part of Spain? What kind of oppressor enriches those that it oppresses? There is no logical reason for Catalonia to be the spark that burns down Europe. The only winning move is not to play.

        • freddy

          Loony, I am one hundred percent in agreement, with your piece.

          The destruction of Spain, will certainly lead to the destruction of the European Union, decades of destruction awaits.

          • Laguerre

            Why would the independence of Catalonia lead to the destruction of the EU? If there were more independence movements (and it’s far from certain, after the bad experience Catalonia is going to have, though they may succeed), they would all want to remain in the EU, as Catalonia does.

          • Loony

            Laguerre – Read the remarks of Mark Carney.regarding the legal validity of derivatives contracts in a post Brexit world. Check the off balance sheet liabilities of Deutsche Bank (Euros 46 trillion) contrast that with the aggregate EU GDP ($16 trillion).

            Peer through the ECB created smokescreens and try to reach a reasonable conclusion on ECB purchases of Spanish bonds. Note the vote today in Lombardy and Veneto

            Spain can never repay its debts under any circumstances. A Catalan exit will likely crystallize this fact and contagion will spread to Italy (which is in a similar or worse position than Spain). This is certain to impact banks, most notably Deutsche Bank whose derivative exposure is almost 3 times the size of the entire EU economy.

            What cannot go on forever will not go on forever. It is very simple – the only unknown is whether Catalonia is to act as the trigger for European economic armageddon.

          • Laguerre

            Loony, everyone has derivative problems, and have had since before 2008. In theory, yes, they are going to collapse all western economies. They were going to in 2008, but somehow didn’t. Why will today be different, and why only for countries you want to condemn? I quite agree that the financial system is out of control. I haven’t seen much enthusiasm in Britain for changing it.

          • Loony

            Oh but they did – they initiated a slow motion collapse, the speed of the collapse was constrained by unlimited money printing. This has led to an ever increasing polarization between rich and poor. Asset prices are inflated and real wages are in decline almost everywhere.

            All of this leads to a lot of pissed off people. People are manifesting their discontent through things like voting in Trump, Brexit, and the crisis currently developing in Catalonia. Elsewhere you see the rise of “populist” parties throughout Europe.

            A lot of people are obsessing over symptoms of the disease – far fewer people seem interested in actually tackling the disease itself and so it will continue to metastasize – today Catalonia, tomorrow perhaps Lombardy, but definitely somewhere.

            The thing holding it all together is the rule of the law for the masses and the selective abandonment of the rule of law for large systemically important institutions. This is unsustainable and it will break. No-one is going to force banks to obey the law and so at some point the people will cease to obey the law. Then you have the destruction of the rule of law and widespread anarchy.

          • giyane

            All 3 of you are talking much too much sense for a Monday morning. Wages are stagnant and property prices are rampant. In 2008 they chose to fill their tyres with self-healing foam and nitrogen. A blow-out at 90 mph would see them upside-down and back-to-front on the wrong side of the motorway central barrier. The economy is now back at 90 mph.

            In the meantime over in Kurdistan the conclusion of last weeks confrontation in Kirkuk is that 600 lost their lives. Kaifa Chota/ who cares? That’s a perfectly acceptable death toll for one week in one location in the Middle East. The BBC was lying through its teeth.

    • Loony

      When you say “This is the fucking truth” then you had better be very certain that what you are recommending as the truth is in fact the truth.

      This video states “Spanish police used a degree of force never seen before in a European member state” This is demonstrably false as British police used greater force over an extended period of time throughout the duration of the 1984/5 miners strike. In the UK the actions of the police were supplemented by other agencies of government so as to seek to make the economic position of British miners and their families so intolerable that they would have no choice but to surrender.

    • Martinned

      Which international law, specifically? Art. 2 ECHR? Despite the ECtHR’s creativity around the murders in Katyn, I’m afraid it’s a bit difficult to apply the procedural/investigative obligations of art. 2 to murders that happened decades before Spain ratified the Convention in 1979.

        • Martinned

          OK, read. But that doesn’t specify the international law that is violated by Spain refusing to investigate the Franco mass murders. Crimes against Humanity are included in the Rome Statute, that’s why they are a crime. But before the entry into force of that treaty they are something that you’d want investigated, but where there isn’t necessarily a rule of international law that requires such an investigation.

          (Like I said, art. 2 ECHR would do it, but that only applies to Spain from 1979 onwards, so you’d have to do something creative like the court did with the Katyn case to get there.)

      • freddy

        I think you will find, The Syrian “Civil” War
        started in 2011.
        Several years before Islamic State came into existence.

        • Laguerre

          I said jihadists, not Da’ish. Jihadists were already a, if not the, major part of the Syrian revolt even in 2011. I well remember the videos. Now, it’s 100%. Al-Qa’ida (al-Nusra) in Idlib, and the remains of Da’ish on the Euphrates.

          Just to avoid you having to take the time to deny it, the 2011 videos always showed their women veiled to the eyeballs. That was never the case in pre-revolt Syria, in my not little experience.

    • freddy

      SYRIA:
      U.S.A. coalition ‘wiped Raqqa off Earth’, Russia says
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41714754
      Russia has accused the US-led coalition of bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa “off the face of the earth” during the fight against so-called Islamic State.
      Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took Raqqa last week and on Sunday said they had taken Syria’s largest oilfield.
      Pictures suggest much of Raqqa is in ruins, and Moscow compared it to the Allied destruction of the German city of Dresden in World War Two.
      The US-led coalition says it tried to minimise risks to civilians.

  • Republicofscotland

    Separatists, a Catalan disaster economically, Catalan’s acting like they’re the victims.

    This shit rag really has gone downhill, and to cap it all off, they have a donate to them article at the bottom, with reviews from people (probably employees) saying how wonderful the papers is – It isn’t.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/21/catalonia-separatists-attrition-spanish-government

    This must be the most biased headline in Britain today.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/guardian/status/921859798278311937/photo/1

    It all brings back memories of the complete bias of the media in general during the 2014 Scottish indyref.

    • Loony

      I agree the media is completely biased. Let us try and bring some objectivity to the subject.

      Would you say that Barcelona is richer or poorer than Badajoz, is Tarragona richer or poorer than Teruel, or Cambrils richer or poorer than Cadiz? Answering such questions will enable the entire situation to be placed in some objective context and will go a long way to countering media bias.

      • Republicofscotland

        Loony.

        You completely miss the concept of independence, it has gone way over your head.

        For the majority of those regions around the world, who are struggling for self-determination through independence, it’s not about the economic side of things.

        It about making decisions for the people, to move in a direction, culturally, econmically, infact in all, walks of life, that are different from the state they’re currently part of. Economics plays a very small part in that, for self-determination, through independence, is in my opinion more of a heart than mind matter.

        The media wants you to believe however that it’s all about the economy, if you leave the larger state you’ll be very sorry financially that is. Self-determination through independence (in most cases) cannot be pigeoned holed into say pounds, shillings pence, it’s a will outside any fiscal luring, it’s a leap of faith, knowning in the hearts of the people that, they’re doing the right thing.

        Once the lure of self-determintation becomes irrepressible, then nothing can stop it, not guns, not war, not even the threat of certain death.

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          Agree.
          Catalonia has proposed, and wanted to implement, a lot of social laws. They were all thwarted by the central government.

          There is a long history of silent, unnoticed, ‘repression’ of Catalonia by the Spanish central government.

          • Loony

            It is not only the Spanish central government that fails to notice this repression.

            Catalonia is the favored Spanish destination for overseas visitors. Not many tourists have raised the alarm regarding the repression of Catalans. Suppose you come from northern Europe and you travel somewhere like Mississippi or South Africa then odds are that without paying overt attention you will notice that some people are treated markedly differently to others.

            I understand that there is a lot of repression of ethnic Russians in the Ukraine – it has even been in the news.Things like cutting off state pension payments to residents of the Donbass, trying to outlaw the Russian language and so forth. I do not see anything analogous coming out of Catalonia.

            A lot of people mention the ongoing repression of Catalonia – but they seem remarkably short of specific examples. Indeed some of them tell outright lies – like the person who claimed that recent police violence in Catalonia reached a level never before seen in an EU member state.

          • freddy

            A woman claimed to have had her fingers deliberately broken, one by one,
            it later turned out, it did not happen.

  • Republicofscotland

    This was written by the Scottish Organiser of the NUJ.

    “Franco was a Spanish dictator but died in 1977. Since then the Spanish constitution has protected the country from a return to fascism supporting weaker- poorer parts of the country by the distribution of wealth. The current rag-tag anarchist Catalan coalition threatens that.”

    https://mobile.twitter.com/_/status/921876858253299712?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwingsoverscotland.com%2Fticking-off-the-boxes%2F

    Maybe he should read the NUJ’s Code of Conduct.

    https://www.nuj.org.uk/about/nuj-code/

    • Republicofscotland

      NB.

      He didn’t even get Franco’s death date correct, Franco died (Nov. 1975).

    • freddy

      POLICE Scotland has been accused of “institutional racism” by a government-funded charity.

      • Geordie Bordie

        I think all the main police forces in the UK will have been accused of “institutional racism” at one time or another.

        Is there any particular reason why you focus on Scotland, rather than simply concluding that this may be a problem with police forces more generally.

  • reel guid

    Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry finally broke her silence about Catalonia on the Marr Show. She talked about the hardening of attitudes on both sides. About the direct rule line of Madrid on one side and the insistence on independence of Catalan Nationalists on the other. And that there has to be dialogue etc.

    On the face of it that sounds all very reasonable.

    However, to equate a fascistic imposition of direct rule and a refusal to negotiate with a people’s desire for democratic independence and a willingness to have talks is pure humbug. To call both stances hardened attitudes and equate them shows that the Labour line is to pretend it’s a simple dispute between two instransigent camps.

    Yes there needs to be negotiation, but it’s the Spanish Government that is refusing talks and has been responsible for the violence and intimidation. Eventually you have to decide, do you support the Catalan people’s right to self-determination or don’t you? If you do support that right – which remember doesn’t entail actually supporting Catalan independence – then you cannot keep equating authoritarian direct rule with a people’s wish for independence.

    • Republicofscotland

      Good comment reel guid.

      Good point – you can support the Catalan’s right to self-determination, however that does not mean you have to support independence.

      Madrid does neither.

    • Resident Dissident

      You know it is not true to say that Thornberry broke her silence on Catalonia – you have already been caught out on that before. You have also said that her failure to often a running commentary after her earlier pronouncement meant that she in effect supported the “fascists” in Madrid or something similar – you have now been caught out on that as well. You are a bust flush who is just putting words in the mouths who don’t accept your uber nationalist dichotomy – my advice is to get a flag and go to Catalonia and start waving it on a street corner in a nationalist area rather than typing more of your silly stuff.

      • reel guid

        Well she did mention Catalonia before. About three weeks ago. As an aspiring Foreign Minister her reluctance to talk about it is odd.

        If my posts are silly, why do you bother to type so many replies to them? Why not just ignore them?

  • reel guid

    The reality in Spain. Francoists versus Democrats.

    The Britnat media headlines version. Lawful authorities versus angry Separatists.

  • dtreis

    It brings to mind Arnaldo Ortegi who is the leader of one of the Basque political parties (their names are too complicated to remember!). He and a few others of his party had been elected to the Spanish Congress. The Spanish government/judge decided that his non-condemnation of ETA was a crime and imprisoned him in jail. They also made his political party illegal and removed all the elected representatives of that party from the Spanish Congress. Even though they had been legitimately elected in regular national parliamentary elections.

  • freddy

    He stressed that “Israel” went to the extreme in providing all forms of direct and indirect support to ISIS terrorists as it launched repetitive strikes on the Syrian territories in support of the terrorist groups.
    http://sana.sy/en/?p=116066

    It sounds like Syria wants
    The Golan back

    Can anyone explain why Israel does not take out the Islamic State Enclave adjacent to Israeli held Golan,
    yet Israel is happy to take out Syrian Government positions?
    Not much left of IS in Syrian,
    but that enclave will become very visible soon, if it does not vanish?

    • Laguerre

      The emergence of a Da’ish enclave on the Israeli Golan border is a new phenomenon. Before, it was al-Nusra. Israel will support anything which is anti-Asad. A failing policy, as they daren’t intervene in Syria openly. The Syrians are slowly recovering anything around, though they may not recover the actual ceasefire line, as Israeli bombardments are too heavy.

      • freddy

        It is hard to understand, while Israel would sell oil to Syria.
        Do you mean Israel sells oil to terrorists in Syria or Israel sell oil to the government of Syria?
        Israel has/had almost no oil, while Syria has/had much oil/gas.
        Does anyone know if the enclave adjacent to Israeli held Golan ( occupied by Islamic State) has a name?

  • Resident Dissident

    “Yet a poll run by Barcelona’s El Periódico newspaper last week shows that, despite the outrage and sympathy provoked by the police charges, separatists have a long way to go before they can properly claim to represent the will of the Catalan people.
    According to that poll, 55% of Catalans do not think the referendum – where only 43% of people cast countable votes – is a valid basis for declaring independence. Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, has, nevertheless, threatened to ask the regional parliament to do exactly that in response to direct rule.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/21/catalonia-separatists-attrition-spanish-government

    You are of course a fascist if you are with the 55% in this poll?

    • Hailaga

      Difference between election with 90% out of 55% of population voting for independence and a single poll:
      100% of polls said Bremain the election said Brexit. Making a valid opinion poll is hard since the result is skewed by the process.

  • Laguerre

    I definitely think the Spanish should be left to resolve their own problem. So far. Things have not gone so far as to justify international intervention, from the EU or elsewhere. It is their affair.

    The government in Madrid may be francoist, but it is not undemocratic. I doubt that the British government would behave differently, if it were faced with the same problem.

    • Laguerre

      By the last, I meant that the Spanish government have behaved pretty poorly, but the British government is not better, a bunch of idiots who are leading us into Brexit disaster.

  • Jimmock

    The people of Catalonia must keep their nerve, as the YES campaign did in Scotland. The fascist government in Madrid wants to provoke violence to justify a military intervention. If they hold their nerve the Catalans will force Madrid into an aggressive action that will gain international support for the Catalan nationalists. The EU will not support them until Madrid commits atrocities that cannot be ignored; and they will.

    • Hailaga

      I don’t disagree Jimmock but you set the bar for a good outcome to require some messed up sacrifices and I am not convinced they’d suffice. The f*cked up-ness is getting inside our heads it seems.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Personally, though I thought us British were not treated that well in Catalunya – they tolerated us and occasionally made an attempt to be friendly – I thought we us British were deemed – well OK.. we don’t really like you..but we don’t hate you…

    It seemed completely obvious to me – that they thought us British were O.K…but They Just Hated The Spanish.

    This a Great Rock Club in Barcelona – Its a Classic – and there is a Great Rock Cafe – just across the Street

    Us British are not too keen on The Fascists either…

    But I believe in all The Principles of Democracy..

    And You Catalans Are Portraying It….You are Displaying it to The Entire World

    For That I Salute You…

    http://www.salarazzmatazz.com/

    Thank You,

    Tony

  • Bert.

    Something intrigues me about the way in which the Madrid Regime is so keen to invoke the strongest language to damn the Catalans. Talk of sedition etc.

    I have recently read Nancy McLean’s “Democracy in Chains” which explains how there has been a deliberate and concerted effort to covertly undermine democracy in favour of a neo-liberal or libertarian agenda. By the time I reached the ned of the Introduction I was wondering one thing: why haven’t these people been arrested and imprisoned for treason. Yes that’s right, you did not mis-read: I said “TREASON”.

    To deliberately and in secret to try and obviate the will of teh sovereign people in a democracy strikes me a treason. Yet, in the UK, there is no talk of putting the tories and their capitalist cronies behind bars for treason.

    I believe there are some accommodations available at the Tower of London.

    Bert.

  • Hieroglyph

    Sedition is such a douchebag term. It’s the modern-day equivalent of ‘treason’ against the King. Back in the day, your average King was an in-bred moron with some sort of degenerative disease, and treason was a perfectly logical consideration. If our rules are fascists and sex-criminals (as seems to be the case), sedition is a rather mild response.

    Rajoy is, quite obviously, following orders. A PM in title only. Whose orders? Ah, now that’s the question. I assume all the Francoists in the military, and some of Soros Open Society minions. But, who knows really? Playing both sides seems to be the thing these days. Maybe they want a civil war?

    • giyane

      Hieroglyph
      ” Playing both sides seems to be the thing these days. ”
      ..like the labour councillor in Dudley who invited the EDL to demonstrate in his city centre so he could appear to be mediating on behalf of peace? When challenged, the councillor said that was perfectly acceptable in modern politics.

      Inversely ‘Unacceptable’ in modern corporate-political speak does not mean ‘bad’; it means something that punctures the dual-messages/ slogan-myths of corporate-political double-speak.

    • freddy

      Spain’s political crisis has rattled its economy and raised fears of prolonged unrest.
      http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/22/anxiety-rises-in-catalonia-as-spains-political-crisis-deepens
      Puigdemont said the decision by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to fire the regional government and force a new election, which will be effective next Friday (October 27) was “the worst attack against the institutions and the people of Catalonia since the military dictatorship of Francisco Franco.”
      As Spain uses the Euro, when Spain starts defaulting, the Euro will plummet.

      It will be rats jumping overboard.

  • esssssssssss

    A unilateral Catalan declaration of independence violates no principle of international law, as ICJ precedent shows.

    http://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/141-20100722-ADV-01-00-EN.pdf
    http://www.icj-cij.org/en/case/141

    Spanish human rights derogations compromise its sovereignty. All Catalonia needs to do is accept the responsible sovereignty that Spain has forfeited:

    “In fulfillment of their right to self-determination, the peoples of Catalonia accede to the UN Charter, the International Bill of Human Rights, the Rome Statute, and to all core human rights commitments as an independent state.”

    And Spain is gone like the Soviet Union.

  • Dave

    The difficulty for nationalists is the more successful their nation becomes, it leads to internal or external imperialism that destroys the nation state or at least results in its fragmentation. Its the way of the world. That is, its success results in it expanding abroad to rule non-nationals or allowing extensive immigration of non-nationals. A nation that wants to remain a nation and made up of people that mostly constitute the identity of those who presently make up the nation, need to strike a balance of governance, limit their ambitions, be generous and keep their head down! This is possible for a while with strong institutions, but after a while the imperialists take over and ruin it, until the empire’s destroyed and the process all starts again!

    In short the Catalonian national interest is better served by being a part of Spain rather than from declaring independence, because its their generosity that keeps the rest of Spain at bay, by keeping the rest of Spain solvent. Without this the rest of Spain would head for Catalonia resulting in an actual physical threat to Catalonian nation. Already Catalonian wealth is attacking immigration from outside Spain which is fuelling the independence mood, but Catalonia needs allies within Spain, to stop this immigration that threatens, depending on the numbers, Spanish and Catalonian national sovereignty.

    In Scotland’s case the calls for a breakaway led to calls for Northern England to join them, so instead of a Greater England you would have a Greater Scotland, which I don’t think was the national as opposed to imperial idea behind the independence movement.

  • nuria

    Dear sir,
    (Excuse my poor English)
    I’m sorry about your maths. The catalán elections ( september 27, 2015), as all elections define who will represent the citizens in the Parlament, the way to fix the parlamentaries is related the Hondt rules (http://www.lavanguardia.com/participacion/cartas/20171023/432292489692/metodo-dhondt.html).
    Too many gobernments use this sistema to fix the parlamentaries all over the world. But probably this is not the best way to allow all citizens to define if the population of a región want a change as big as the one proposed in Catalonia. Maybe the proportional representation system should be applied. For the last Catalonia elections, please compare votes and parlamentaries ( http://www.lavanguardia.com/participacion/cartas/20171023/432292489692/metodo-dhondt.html ), maybe this way can reflect more accurately the catalans ideology.

    • Geordie Bordie

      Have to love the way these continentals are so much more polite than we islanders.

      You never see them getting all aggressive and bad languaged the way we do.

      Oh no.

      They still think reasoned arguments matter.

  • Sharp Ears

    Wallis Simons is reviewing the ‘news’ papers on Sky News this morning.

    He appeared to approve of the weirdo Rory Stewart’s opinion that returning British IS fighters should be killed and not rehabilitated. Lovely man.

    • nevermind

      I’m surprised Wallis Simons does not want to kill the IS top echelon, dare I call them fighters, training men in their camp and clinging to Israel’s undies/Golan border for protection from Assad. Should they be required to make a fast getaway from Assad, Israel will let them in.
      What would the international pariahs say/do should Assad take back Syria’s Golan by force?

  • Sharp Ears

    I was thinking of the close connections between the Spanish and British ‘thrones’.

    I had a little nut tree,
    Nothing would it bear,
    But a silver nutmeg
    And a golden pear;

    The King of Spain’s daughter
    Came to visit me,
    And all for the sake
    Of my little nut tree.

    Her dress was made of crimson,
    Jet black was her hair,
    She asked me for my nutmeg
    And my golden pear.

    I said, “So fair a princess
    Never did I see,
    I’ll give you all the fruit
    From my little nut tree.”

    Origins and meaning
    The first recorded instance of the rhyme is in Newest Christmas Box, printed in London in 1797. James Orchard Halliwell suggested that it was much older and commemorated Juana of Castile who visited the court of Henry VII in 1506, but did not provide any additional evidence to support the theory. In the absence of earlier attestations of or references to the song, or any internal evidence by which it could be dated, it is likely to remain a matter for speculation. Wikipedia.

    Earlier this year.
    https://static4.uk.businessinsider.com/image/5966202ee2620720008b471f-1200/queen-elizbaeth-ii-and-prince-philip-met-with-king-felipe-vi-of-spain-and-his-wife-queen-letizia-they-posed-for-a-photograph-on-horse-guards-parade-in-central-london.jpg

    Wills and Harry used to practice their skills in killing wild animals in Spain.

    Prince William flies off to shoot wild boar in Spain… days before launching a campaign to combat illegal hunting
    William and brother Harry are at country estate in Cordoba, southern Spain
    The estate is owned by one of the richest men in Britain, the Duke of Westminster
    Next week the prince is helping to lead conference on illegal wildlife trade
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554484/Prince-William-flies-shoot-wild-boar-Spain-days-launching-campaign-combat-illegal-hunting.html

  • Clydebuilt

    Who / What is behind Collabarative Scotland a John Sturrock was interviewed on BBC’s Scottish radio station. Claim they want to facilitate conversations on difficult subjects such as Brexit help to keep young folk in rural locations etc. To facilitate these conversations whilst not guiding them (my words) Aye right! I believe they have a bus set up for this . Starting today in Dornoch, following on to Wick, Thurso round to Ullapool. Independence wasn’t mentioned, Brexit was

    • reel guid

      John Sturrock is a QC who was trained in negotiation at Harvard. He founded an Edinburgh based mediation company called Core Solutions Group. Core list some quite distinguished people on their website who are available as mediators. So they’re not just some Mickey Mouse outfit.

      The question is, as you said Clydebuilt, are they being very selective in choosing the political topics for discussion in this peripatetic venture?

      • reel guid

        I should add that it’s Collaborative Scotland that are behind this venture and not Core Solutions Group. Although John Sturrock of course appears to be in both.

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