Catalonia: Rajoy Moves Towards Extreme Measures 145


Things have taken a much more sinister turn in Catalonia, without sufficient notice being paid internationally. The leader of the Catalan regional police force has been formally arraigned for sedition by the Spanish attorney general, for refusal to comply enthusiastically with the beating up of old women. That carries a minimum jail sentence of four years. It is the first step towards major imprisonment of Catalan leaders. It is also extremely significant that this first step is aimed at decapitating the only disciplined and armed force under some measure of Catalan government control. What does that tell you about Rajoy’s next move?

This extreme action against Major Trapero is precisely in line with last night’s ultra hardline address by a man with the comic opera name of Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia. It is hard to take seriously anyone named after a whiskey, but we live in such a strange world that this unelected, far right and immensely corrupt, inbred buffoon could spout about democracy and accuse anyone who did not bow the knee to him of disloyalty and sedition. That precisely prefigures the legal action taken against Major Trapero. It can only be a precursor to a Spanish attempt to impose physical control on Catalonia and imprison its leaders. Having rejected both dialogue and mediation, I see no other direction Rajoy will take.

The Catalan government has said it will declare Independence within days. I am not, and have never been, a pacifist. A vital duty of any state is the defence of its citizens. Once Catalonia declares Independence it will be in a different position as a state than as a movement for Independence within Spain. The highly impressive and disciplined non-violence of the Independence movement will no longer be appropriate. But physically, I am not aware of any capacity to defend itself against the Spanish forces which there is every sign Rajoy will unleash immediately after any Declaration of Independence. Catalonia will also need to move instantly to dismantle any parts of the state fabric, and particularly the judiciary and prosecutorial service, which may remain loyal to Madrid,

The EU failed to draw a line in the sand when Rajoy’s Francoist paramilitary thugs beat up old ladies, en masse, before the eyes of the whole world. Rajoy will be certain to calculate that if he now invokes article 155, seizes Catalonia by force, and imprisons all the Catalan leadership for 30 years for rebellion, that the EU will continue to back him. Following the “royal” address yesterday and the extreme charges against Major Trapero today, the Francoist solution seems to me to be where we are heading, with nobody in any position of authority in Europe making the slightest effort to stop it.

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145 thoughts on “Catalonia: Rajoy Moves Towards Extreme Measures

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  • reel guid

    Anyone who refuses to take sides on this and talks about it being a complex situation etc is a fascist fellow traveller.

      • reel guid

        I would maintain – not being a fascist – that you’re allowed to. But you’d be wrong.

    • craig Post author

      Agree 100%. What has been truly scary is discovering just how many Unionists are delightedly cheering the fascists on.

      • Phil Ex-Frog

        You nationalists are hilarious. Calling all sorts fascists. Deleting comments. Defending the EU as it murders brown people but taking exception when nationalists heads are hit. Your indignation is nothing but self interest.

        You also seem to think that what seperates a social democratic from a fascist state is the use of violence. Hilarious. Spain is social democratic. Social democracies have a long history of using violence against dissent.

          • Phil Ex-Frog

            Correct. Both politicians in social democracies. This calling anything in a social democracy that you don’t like as fascist is idiotic.

        • Alan Knight

          Well, that sounds good Phil, let’s crack a few more ‘nationalist’ heads then, shall we? FFS!

  • John Goss

    “Following the “royal” address yesterday and the extreme charges against Major Trapero today, the Francoist solution seems to me to be where we are heading, with nobody in any position of authority in Europe making the slightest effort to stop it.”

    People control has always been the aim of government. For government the end result is important not the way it is achieved. I am sure the Yanks having given increasing powers to the NSA will be watching very closely how things develop. The Saker thinks they may have a hand in it though I have no evidence of such involvement.

    http://thesaker.is/maidan-in-spain-and-some-new-dog-whistles/

    • Kempe

      Neither has “The Saker”.

      ” Don’t get too emotional and don’t get fooled by the “police brutality” footage, unless you absolutely know that it’s authentic and wasn’t filmed a month ago in Latvia with the crisis actors ”

      So nothing to worry about, it wasn’t real blood spurting out of that old woman’s head and she’s a paid NWO actor anyway!

      • John Goss

        The trouble is Kempe when they have used actors so often in apparently real events, like the Boston marathon, it gets to a stage when, as I suspect with The Saker, that you start to question everything. We get little but lies. There is a limit to how many lies we can comfortably gobble up before we are sick.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      The Saker’s analysis is extremely interesting. I am very much aware, that some such events are partially or totally faked. That does not mean that this event was faked. I suspect but don’t know, that the vast majority of it was completely real. Faking a terrorist attack in a controlled area is relatively trivial matter for a State government. Even Film companies have been doing this for years, to make fictional movies. They simply ask the local authority for permission. But faking an entire election on this scale, would be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Otherwise, I think The Saker’s analysis re the future of Europe is probably very accurate.

      Who exactly is defending Europe from control and destruction from and by The USA crazies in Washington, who have largely already destroyed much of what was The USA – in case you haven’t noticed. read Paul Craig Roberts on this. If anyone knows what is going on it is him.

      Tony

  • reel guid

    I hadn’t realised until recently that a Spanish rap artist called Valtonyc had been sentenced this year to three and a half years in jail by a Spanish court for insulting the crown in his lyrics. Spain has been moving back bit by bit towards fascism somewhat under the radar. It’s no surprise that the people of Catalonia want independence. All true democrats must support them.

    Neoliberalism and the ill effects it has on democratic principles is the likely cause that has moved Madrid back to Francoist thinking.

  • AllyPally

    The previous king, Juan Carlos, ordered Fascist rebels back to barracks and dared them to come and shoot him as the only way to make their rebellion stick. Because of that, despite the elephant shooting and the womanising, I’ve always had a (wee) soft spot for him.

    I had reason, in Catalonia as it happens, to chide the current king when he was a teenager. I wish I’d come down on him a lot harder.

  • Walter Cairns

    Will the Catalan government actually do the deed and declare independence? I have my doubts, given that Catalonia will find itself totally isolated from all sides. Rather than staging a full-scale military operation, Rajoy could simply order an economic blockade, which would hurt millions and have the people clamouring for a return to “normality”. The EU, having formally described this as an internal matter, could hardly perform a 180 degree turn and start supporting the statelet, and I doubt very much whether France will dare to stand out and provide an outlet for them. I can see no happy outcome whatsoever to this episode.

    • Martinned

      I agree, although I’m not sure what the point of a blockade would be. The mere fact of someone standing up in the Catalan parliament and declaring independence doesn’t make it so. If Puigdemont did that, the Spanish writ would still run in Catalunya, and things would largely proceed as before unless the Generalitat – presumably through those now-famous Mossos d’Esquadra – took actual action to eject Spanish police, army, and other authorities from the Catalan territory. And that would be easier said than done.

    • Loony

      Rajoy cannot order an economic blockade as it his duty to protect the citizenry. There are many people in Catalonia who are loyal to Spain. That is why the referendum turnout is so low – people that believe it to be illegal do not vote. Rajoy is obligated to protect these people and to ensure that their rights are maintained – not to economically crush them for their loyalty.

      Therefore his only option is to arrest the leaders of the separatist faction and to strip them of their powers. If achieving this objective requires the military to be deployed then it will be deployed.

      Any over reaction on the part of Spain could tip a few (or a lot) of waverers to the separatist side. Balancing this is the fact that Spain needs to react strongly to reassure its population and to ensure that outside agitators (like many of the people on this blog) realize that Spain is deadly serious.

      Everything depends on how the Catalans react. As there are no identifiable character differences between the two sides (for the simple reason they are the same people, whether they like it or not – and they don’t) they may react with the same machismo and set the stage for tragedy.

      • Alan Knight

        Protect the citizenry, ask the Catalans about that. Most in Catalonia that support the Spanish state are Spanish. I think it’s kind of obvious why the vote turnout was lower than expected, maybe that hasn’t sunk in to you brain yet. ‘Separatist faction’ – that’s the language of a propagandist, which is what you are. ‘Outside agitators’ – more language from a propagandist, and an authoritarian. You’re last paragraph – full of absurdity. Everything depends on the Catalans! Of course, Spain is just a passive player, with a few tanks behind them in case things go wrong. ‘No identifiable character differences between the two sides’ – WHAT?? Pompous and arrogant nonsense – you sound a Tory lol!

    • Salford Lad

      Check the Geoghraphy of Catalonia. This is the land-bridge gateway to Europe along the Meditteranean Coast near Cerbere.
      Whoever controls Catalonia has a choke-point on the remainder of Spains land trade with Europe,Also it is the preferred route for oil/gas pipelines on to Europe.
      We may be suffering from a bait and switch operation with the Catalan Independence issue and the strange organised brutality of the Guardia Civil.
      A tactic guaranteed to provoke more calls for Independence .In fact, a Maidan template for an Independence movement.

  • RickyBlaze

    It’s natural to feel a little depressed and pessimistic at this time. It’s early days following a horrible event and few have had the time to sit down and think clearly about what comes next. Things don’t have to follow the negative spiral: there is no law of nature here. People have the option of deciding their future.
    The world is in the process of recognising that the Nation-state arrangement that we have enjoyed until recently is not fit for purpose, particularly when the nation is not one nation but two or more. What comes next is for these nation states to learn how split politically, exactly like the old Empires released their colonial dependencies, while maintaining close infrastructural, societal and business ties. Spain already has ample experience of a model of autonomous communities within a single state and a considerable degree of devolution of powers. Now, roughly 50% of those living in Catalonia want to gain political independence. There is no reason why this cannot be achieved peacefully and democratically. The costs? A few politicians would have slightly less power and the King slightly less territory. Big deal! The benefits? When a new arrangement for split-states ruling over their natural populations is achieved, the benefits will be enormous for all concerned. Not only in comparison to the destruction that a prolonged conflict would guarantee. The benefits would extend to all multi-nation states throughout the world.
    This is a fantastic opportunity for Spain to lead the world in showing how such a split can be achieved peacefully and how such a new model can benefit all concerned. All that is required is the good will of all concerned.

  • willyrobinson

    Calling the local police (mossos) ‘traitors’ is one of those loser narratives that we’ve become so familiar with (see: Clinton and the russians). The mossos did their work more effectively than the other police forces combined – they shut down far more polling stations I believe – but only where it was safe to do so. They did their work politely and within the framework of community policing. They have our respect and admiration despite the ballot boxes they confiscated and the polling stations they shut down.

    As craig said, they’re formally charged as traitors cos they’re not into granny-bashing. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic

  • lysias

    That particular Don Felipe de Borbon happens to be the first King Philip of Spain since Philip V, who unilaterally abolished the special local rights of the Kingdom of Aragon (including Catalonia) in 1712.

      • craig Post author

        No, the most interesting by far was that by the Commission – the slimy Timmermans, insisting on the right of the Spanish government to use force to apply the “rule of law” and refusing to acknowledge that any human rights abuse had taken place – even in his debate response after several smaller parties had mentioned human rights in their contribution.

        • Martinned

          Let’s separate out two things there:

          A state has, by definition, the monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Using force to uphold the law is what the police do every day. That’s the whole point of what they’re for. Every time someone gets arrested and thrown in jail the government is using its right to use force to back up the rule of law.

          But Timmermans also said/implied (I can’t decide) that the police actions over the weekend were proportionate, which is – to put it mildly – unfortunate, as I’m sure people are pointing out to him as I type this.

  • Redguantlet

    So, Craig is suggesting the Catalans defend themselves with arms from Rajoy’s fascist forces….

    Great idea, Craig, very 21st century…

    Just a wee reminder: the Spanish State militarily defeated ETA, who were armed to the teeth. What are the Catalans going to use to defend themselves? A butifarra?

    The only solution is a united front from the Left to democratically overthrow Rajoy, overthrow the monarchy, and inaugurate a Spanish Federal Republic… the only people who are making any sense right now are Podemos and their allies.

    UDI right now is the wrong move. You can’t declare UDI with less than half the country on your side….it’s madness.

  • Loony

    It is heartening to read that you are not a pacifist.

    Spain will not back down and it will pay absolutely any price necessary. So, if the Catalans take the same view then this all ends in blood. You could well get your chance, or could it be that you only intend cheering on the Catalans from the sidelines and then wailing as they are mercilessly crushed.

    This time the globalist/anarchist cabal have overstepped the mark. Did you people learn nothing from your provocations of Russia (which after all only has a GDP the size of Spain)? If you bother the Russians then they will kill you. If you bother the Spanish then they will kill themselves. Perhaps this is the true meaning of la vida loca!!

      • Geordie Bordie

        Zbigniew Brzezinski.

        Quite proud of it he was.

        Almost singlehandedly invoked the Wahabi menace we know and love today.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Absolutely.

            Read his books. Look up his speeches on Youtube.

            There’s even a video of him sending the terrorists to do their evil work.

            Or, maybe just do a course in geopolitics.

          • Martinned

            Are we talking while he was in office, or at some other point? Because clearly – and understandably – he had an ax to grind with Soviet communism, but I’m not sure if I remember anything from his days in the Clinton administration.

          • Geordie Bordie

            There wasn’t really an in or out of office, as such.

            Like Kissinger.

            There’s an in and out of favour.

            But it begins with Carter and continues on.

            So Clinton was the expansion of NATO, for example, and the Chechen war.

            Carter was Afghanistan.

          • Martinned

            Wait, so “we” (= America, apparently) can provoke Putin because someone who is not holding any office says or writes something?

          • Geordie Bordie

            Of course not. What nonsense.

            Zbig had been an advisor on policy since the Carter days. Kissinger since Nixon

            They hold office, then they advise through their firms.

            That’s the American way.

            Prior to the emergence of the neocons there were three main policy planners.

            Kissinger, Zbig and Scowcroft.

            And they’re all following the same broad policy.

            But Zbig is best known for making direct use of wahabi terrorists to provoke.

          • Martinned

            You do realise that your comment amounts to “of course not, [but yes]”, right?

            It’s ridiculous to claim that people who are not in office somehow speak for the government. (Just like it is ridiculous to claim that Putin being “provoked” is somehow an excuse for him invading Ukraine and/or Georgia.)

          • Geordie Bordie

            It’s not a question of speaking for the govt.

            It’s advising the govt on a course of action.

            And it being carried out.

            You see, even the neocons were attempting to carry out the policy of Kissinger and Zbig.

            Just doing it very poorly.

            But anyway.

            I’ve made these points a number of times now.

            Any observer of US foreign policy will be aware that Kissinger and Zbig were and are the foremost policy planners since WWII, rarely far from top table.

            Anyway, the names don’t matter that much to our point.

            All that matters is that provocation was the policy and Zbig explains this in his books interviews and speeches etc.

            So his books interviews and speeches etc. are simply where he tells you what is being done and why.

            Simple enough.

        • Xavi

          Spot on, Geordie. Brzezinski is the spiritual and intellectual father of the neocon madness of the past fifteen years. It’s all there in The Grand Chessboard.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Yes.

            He did change his mind towards the end, as he saw the later neocons making a complete and utter arse of the project.

          • Salford Lad

            @ Martinned
            It is tiresome to hear the Western media propaganda rolled out here .
            The facts on Ukraine are; it was a USA and Nato supported coup, that overthrew the corrupt but democratically elected Govt of Yanukovich, A neo-Nazi dominated illegal regime was installed in its place.
            Russia did not invade Ukraine,. Crimea ,which has a majority of ethnic Russians ,did not wish to be part of this regime.They had an internationally supervised referendum and over 90% voted to rejoin Russia..Crimea had been part of Russia since the days of Catherine the Great.
            Ukraine was signed over to Ukraine for Administrative purposes by Kruschev,during Soviet Union times in 1954.
            The Russians had a Naval base at Sevastopol,with a 40 year lease and the right to station 25k troops, They did not invade,they were already there legally.
            Sevastopol was the prize that NATO sought.
            Georgia invaded South Ossetia and Abkhazia, supported by US and Israeli ‘advisers” both countries are Russian protectorates, Russia threw the invaders out. This was a test run by the US to test the strength of the Russian political and military will.
            Mikhail Sakhasavili is a US puppet, was Mayor of Odessa in Ukraine and wanted in Georgia on corruption charges, recently barged his way back into Ukraine,without passport of visa papers. Ia at present a thorn in the side of Porosenko,another agenda at work here by the usual suspects.

  • reel guid

    Reading Theresa May’s conference speech text.

    She never mentioned Catalonia.

    She mentioned Scotland once.

    She did mention something she calls the British Dream. She referred to it 22 times.

    May’s brief single reference to Scotland had something quite revealing.
    She said that the case for a second independence referendum had been “denied”.
    We know the referendum was denied. But how could the case for one have been denied since she never debated it with anyone?

    You only defeated the case against indyref2 in your British Dreams.

    • Martinned

      I understand she didn’t really mention Brexit much either, so maybe that speech says more about her than about Britain/Europe.

      • Geordie Bordie

        She’s going to be building some houses, apparently.

        Pity herself and previous Tory admins (including Blair’s) didn’t think of that before they opened borders to all and sundry.

        • Martinned

          Because it’s much easier to build lots of affordable housing if all the work has to be done by those vast numbers of unemployed British bricklayers?

          • MJ

            If enough houses were built to house everyone, ie to boost supply sufficiently to meet demand, then house prices would fall and more banks would collapse because the book value of their assets would decrease markedly.

            Therefore it won’t happen.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Correct.

            Increasing nominal house prices are a central part of the UK economy, and more important now that so many foreign elites are stashing their wealth in UK housing.

            Disgraceful, and why the Tories have to go.

          • Martinned

            house prices would fall and more banks would collapse because the book value of their assets

            Wait, you think that banks own houses? They hold mortgage loans, and presumably a reduction in house prices wouldn’t affect people’s ability to repay those. (In fact, a drop in house prices would encourage demand for housing, meaning that more people move and the banks make more money in charges. Repayment risk isn’t a factor if the debtor simply takes out a new mortgage, particularly in an environment with higher spot interest rates.)

          • MJ

            Mortgagees legally own the property until the mortgagor repays the loan in full. Pretty basic stuff – didn’t you know? If you have a mortgage read the small print. The mortgagee’s income might well be unaffected but the value of its asset falls.That’s why I referred to the book value.

          • Geordie Bordie

            “Yes, except that Labour would be faced with exactly the same problem.”

            Not really

            Unlike a Tory govt, Corbyn wouldn’t have to hold to a policy of keeping house prices high.

            He would have to deal with banking though.

            It’s banking that enacts the policy.

          • Martinned

            Mortgagees legally own the property until the mortgagor repays the loan in full.

            No they don’t.

            https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/8-107-6863?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true&bhcp=1

            As a result of the Law of Property Act 1925, a legal mortgage over land is now normally created by a document creating a “charge by deed expressed to be by way of legal mortgage” rather than by the mortgagor transferring the legal title to the land to the mortgagee.

          • MJ

            “a charge by deed”

            That’s how legal title is transferred these days. It’s not legally possible to transfer title of the land itself because that is retained within the Crown’s fee simple. You can only transfer the ‘estate’, a legal construct.

  • Stu

    Rajoy and the idiot King are probably stupid enough to try and use military measures but I don’t think the other European nations will allow them to. An independent Catalunya can be easily absorbed into the current European order, Barcelona being occupied would completely shatter the illusion of democracy that covers over the incredible levels of inequality in Western Europe.

  • AS

    “The EU failed to draw a line in the sand when Rajoy’s Francoist paramilitary thugs beat up old ladies, en masse, before the eyes of the whole world. ”

    And that surprised you? Populist democratic movements are not the EU’s thing (see Greece). Which makes its basically laissez-faire attitude to ‘Brexit’ all the more revealing. They’re fully aware that it’s controlled by the right. As long as the unregulated capitalist industries and financial corporations are in charge of the UK at the end of Brexit process, the EU will be just fine with the end result.

    But what does that say about Scottish Independence and the EU? For the EU to evolve politically , it would need to channel itself much more through regions than nations, rebalancing local and European-wide governance. Is that remotely possible?

    • Martinned

      Which makes its basically laissez-faire attitude to ‘Brexit’ all the more revealing.

      Unlike this referendum, Brexit was “in accourdance with the UK’s constitutional provisions”. If Catalunya and/or Scotland can find a way to secede legally, they’d have nothing but support in Brussels. But rule of law is important in Europe. It’s how we defeat the fascists.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    A 2012 liaison well worth bearing in mind:

    “Ruth Davidson had held secret talks with a delegation led by the Partido Popular’s Esteban González Pons during the Conservatives’ recent conference in Birmingham.”

    (The Partido Popular is of course the party of Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy-supporting Taoiseach Leo Varadksr’s party, Fianna Fáil, is aligned with the PP in Europe.)

    Newsnet.scot is down at the moment due to hacking but, when it is back, here is the archive link to article:

    http://newsnet.scot/archive/tories-admit-secret-eu-meeting-but-deny-deal-to-block-scottish-membership/

    Meanwhile, here for more context is an excerpt from the Catalonian ‘BATXILLERAT’ blog, november 10, 2012, (see link below):

    “While the Foreign Minister and the Spanish ambassador to the UK stress the constitutional and legal differences between Scottish and Catalan independence, the ruling Partido Popular makes no secret of its attempts to build a European-wide alliance of parties opposed to independence movements within EU states and to give a “joint response” to all such movements. Mr Trillo-Figueroa’s letter to the Financial Times came the day after British Conservatives were forced to deny that they had reached an agreement with the Partido Popular to combat Scottish and Catalan aspirations to independence, and to ensure that a future independent Scotland or Catalonia would be expelled from the EU. A spokesperson for the Conservatives said that there was no pact and insisted that the party had no plans to enter any such pact at any time in the future. However, despite the Conservatives’ denials, the party admitted that Scottish leader Ruth Davidson had held secret talks with a delegation led by the Partido Popular’s Esteban González Pons during the Conservatives’ recent conference in Birmingham. In an interview with a Spanish newspaper, Mr González Pons claimed that he had reached an agreement with British Conservatives to give a “joint response” to the Catalan and Scottish independence movements. It was also reported in the Spanish media that Mr González Pons, the PP’s Vice-Secretary for Studies and Programmes, would be holding additional meetings with Conservative and Labour figures in Scotland this December. Newsnet Scotland has contacted the Conservative and Labour parties to ask for clarification of the purpose of these meetings and the topics to be discussed – we await answers to our questions.”

    http://batxillerat.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/spanish-ambassador-stresses.html

    • Geordie Bordie

      “(The Partido Popular is of course the party of Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy-supporting Taoiseach Leo Varadksr’s party, Fianna Fáil, is aligned with the PP in Europe.)”

      Fine Gael. Fine Gael!

      The Blueshirts!

      Get it right.

      • Martinned

        FG are in the EPP and FF are in ALDE because, as a matter of pure coincidence, FG were in power when Ireland joined the EEC, and so they got the first pick of which group they wanted to join. (In any sane world, they’d both be in the EPP, but I understand that FG has always blocked that.)

        • Geordie Bordie

          Well aware of the tweedledum tweedledee nature of these clowns.

          But important to correct the teashop’s party affiliation.

          It’s Fine Gael.

      • Victor Value

        Ah yes…Taoiseach Leo Varadksr’s wasn’ he the new face of a modern Ireland a few weeks ago. The darling of all the snowflake progressives fighting Brexit.

      • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

        In reponse to Geordie Bordie’s “Fine Gael. Fine Gael! The Blueshirts! Get it right.”

        My profound apologies. Of course you are correct. Varadkar is of course FINE GAEL. I blush at my mistake. Moreover, a typo entered his name in my post. Gabh mo leiscéal ó chroí. Earráid mhíchúramach ba ea é. Bhí mé faoi bhrú. Iomarca deifre orm.

        • Geordie Bordie

          Don’t worry. I made too much of a simple error.

          They’re both the same these days anyway, with Fianna Fail supporting the Fine Gael govt on a supply and confidence basis, same as the Tories and the DUP.

          Cheers.

    • Salford Lad

      @ Fergus ,son of Finley,
      Leo Varadkar is the Irish PM or, as Gaeilge the Taoiseach. He is the Leader of Fine Gael, the Govt Party

  • Habbabkuk

    “The leader of the Catalan regional police force has been formally arraigned for sedition by the Spanish attorney general, for refusal to comply enthusiastically with the beating up of old women.”
    _______________________

    Wrong and misleading. The sedition charge relates to his refusal to uphold the law in the face of an attempt to hold an unconstitutional and illegal “referendum”.

    • reel guid

      Sedition means actively trying to undermine the state. How can refusal to uphold the law be sedition? Since to refuse implies passivity and not activity. Also the Catalan referendum was only illegal in a civil sense and not in a criminal one. Police officers beating up people who were only peacefully transgressing civil law are actually breaking the law themselves. And those officers were breaking the criminal law and not civil law. So actually Trapero would only have been breaking the law if he’d joined the Guardia Civil in beating voters.

      • Habbabkuk

        To save you the effort, reel guid, the Spanish penal code considers guilty of sedition, anyone who rises publicly and tumultuously to stop, be it through violence or outside the law, the correct application of the Law or any authority, official corporation or civil servant, the legitimate exercise of their functions or agreements, or of the administrative and judicial resolutions.

        It’s that definition – the defintition under Spanish law – and not yours which should guide our considerations.

    • Geordie Bordie

      Ahhhh.

      So now you’re saying that it was unnecessary to beat people up to do the job.

      Caught!!

    • Geordie Bordie

      Oh dear.

      That’s how N Ireland started off.

      Army to support the police.

      Six weeks, they said.

      Lasted 30 years.

      God help the poor Catalans.

      • reel guid

        And when the British Army first went to Ulster it was ostensibly to protect Catholic communities from Loyalist violence. Many Catholics welcomed the presence of the Army at first. But the British Army sided with Loyalism before long and then there was Bloody Sunday.

        It’s possible that Madrid could be pretending it’s sending in the Spanish Army to protect people from the ‘excesses’ of the Guardia Civil. At first.

        • Geordie Bordie

          If you read General Kitson’s book you’ll see how dirty it can become.

          Lays it all out, more or less.

          False flags aplenty and innocents dying.

          Funny thing is the way the principals on both sides mange to make it through.

          If there is a broader geopolitical aspect to this it could get very dirty.

          • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

            Has there been any progress in the case against Kitson brought by the family of one of those Catholics murdered by one of his low-intensity gangs?His defence seems to be that he was not in direct charge of the operation but only worked with a very broad brush. The Telegraph predictably saw the case as persecution of a poor honest soldier enjoying his retirement years in the Devon countryside.

          • Geordie Bordie

            That was a few years ago now, two or three. Haven’t heard anything about it since.

            It would certainly be an interesting one to see come to fruition.

      • fred

        Yes. I expect they will be to keep essential services going after the Spanish government dissolves the Catalan parliament.

        • Geordie Bordie

          The British did that in NI too.

          Prorogued the parliament.

          Disarmed the police.

          Funny watching the police cars getting stopped and searched by the army.

          Red caps all over the shop.

  • Bugger (le Panda)

    “Felipe Juan Pablo Alfonso de Todos los Santos de Borbón y Grecia. It is hard to take seriously anyone named after a whiskey,”

    and Ouzo

  • david

    So Craig has finally woken up and smelt the coffee. The EU is a shocking thing and has been for a long time, all we need now is for him to acknowledge that actually most brexiteers are not racist its just the spin put on it by MSM in order to undermine a democratic process.

    Funny really because anything else MSM says is utterly derided on this blog…. with that one exception.

    Once a “people” declare themselves independent what happens then ? I mean in law. If Spain says get lost and sends in the troops who helps the Catalans ? I don’t believe any referendum is illegal, at worst its simply another way to protest, like a demo without the risk of violence…. well unless you send in paramilitary units to cause trouble. The Spanish Government is a disgrace.

    • nevermind

      ‘Most brexiteers are politically inept, maybe that is the better description of some lazy racists who have persuaded a large majority of numb-nuts with lies and political innuendo, without any intentions ever to go past the bent banana issues.

      You see if you got a largely shit, much interfered with education system, indoctrinated with all things religious/royal and traditional, you must not be surprised that they have no idea of EU affairs, how it not functions/works for its voters, or what real democracy entails. masochsist begging for more punishment.

      why are you concerned of being labelled racist? Do you think I give two hoots about the primitives who have called me a Nazi more than I can count, here in your glorious non racist cuntry? not one iota, I pity them.

      • Martinned

        You see if you got a largely shit, much interfered with education system, indoctrinated with all things religious/royal and traditional, you must not be surprised that they have no idea of EU affairs, how it not functions/works for its voters, or what real democracy entails. masochsist begging for more punishment.

        Sure, but how do you excuse former Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph Boris Johnson?

        • Geordie Bordie

          “Sure, but how do you excuse former Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph Boris Johnson?”

          He knows that the EU is collapsing, and everyone who can is trying to jump ship with as much decorum as possible.

          The easiest way to stop China in its tracks (the Bannon policy) is to ensure they have no markets in Europe into which to sell.

          Buggers Russia too.

          So, how do you think you might engineer a situation in which Europe is a much much reduced market for Chinese goods?

          • Geordie Bordie

            The idea is that we won’t be as attractive a market as once we were. Europe, I mean.

            Like after WWII.

            That slows China down a lot.

            That’s Bannon’s policy and seems to be the direction we’re heading.

            The US mission then is to slow China by impoverishing Europe and then build up US production.

            Europe is sacrificed to US interests.

            Sure beats trying to contain them militarily.

            Anyway, the Chinese recently outlined their OBOR to the EU and were a tad miffed they didn’t seem too interested.

            Dunno if that bowing to the US will save them though.

            The US will want to be sure.

            It’s America first!

        • nevermind

          no excuse for megalomaniacs like him. His increasingly Churchillian demeanour shows us what he’s made of, fgs he even tries to walk like him.
          His plans of becoming PM and mayor of London in tatters, he’s now undermining anything TMay is saying by spouting his mouth off in public, just to have a chance to compete with Amber Rudd PLC and Rees Mogg, the anti – abortion abortionist money raker.

          Oh what fun the next election will be, soon

  • Frazer

    I feel that a call will be soon put out to enlist for a new International Brigade. Hell, I’m in !

  • J Galt

    I wonder if Felipe’s half brother in London will be used to read the riot act to the rebellious Scots if they dare hold a second referendum?

    • Habbabkuk

      I have thought carefully about your question and i would say that the answer is “no”. Hope that helps.

      • J Galt

        Yes he’s not in the same position as Felipe yet – but not too far away I would have thought.

        The first Bourbon – Anjou King of England – revenge for the Armada indeed!

        • lysias

          Felipe V, the king who unilaterally abrogated the fueros of Aragon,.was the first Bourbon king of Spain — and the last Philip, before the current one. What was Juan Carlos thinking, giving his son such an ill-omened name?

    • Martinned

      Legally, the Scottish position is actually quite similar to the Catalan one. (Hence Craig’s intemperate comments.) Scotland, too, does not have the devolved power to hold a referendum without the permission from Westminster. (Although I vaguely recall an English lawyer setting out the contrary position in a blog post, but that’s a few months ago and I don’t think I could find it again.)

      • Martinned

        Actually, it was a Scottish lawyer.

        https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2016/07/07/graeme-cowie-scotland-and-a-second-independence-referendum/

        Also, just for Craig’s amusement, it turns out he discusses various litigation around the Quebec referendum and then says:

        Even if the Scottish Parliament found a way unilaterally to hold a referendum, the implications of a Yes vote are not clear. There is no “unilateral” right to secede from the United Kingdom, notwithstanding the largely empty sentiments expressed for decades about the “sovereignty of the Scottish people” imposing a qualifier on the UK principle of the legislative supremacy of Parliament. Other constitutional orders reached similar conclusions, in the Secession Reference and the Tribunal Constitucional judgment on the Catalan “Declaration of Sovereignty”. Politically, a decisive result may be difficult to ignore, but legally and constitutionally, referendums are not binding, as the UK has been all-too-spectacularly reminded in relation to the EU Referendum and the non-invocation of Article 50.

        (I guess this Scottish lawyer, writing about how one might go about organising a second indyref, is now also a shill for the status quo. Reality has a well-known… etc.)

      • Loony

        Scotland and Catalonia are not in similar positions at all. To suggest otherwise is flat out false and dangerous.

        The situation in Spain is very grave and a whole load of lunatics are jumping aboard a bandwagon for something that either do not understand or are unwilling to understand.

        You people claim to have an interest in human rights and yet all you can do is cheer lead for tragedy, and cheer lead based on pure ignorance – like the ignorance of claiming that the positions of Scotland and Catalonia are in any way analogous.

      • William Purves

        The Scottish Government can rescind the treaty of the union whenever it likes, the same as the U.K. rescinding the treaty of union with Europe.

  • Martinned

    Reading tip on the EU politics of this mess, here is Jean Quatremer in Liberation: http://bruxelles.blogs.liberation.fr/2017/10/04/catalogne-lue-soutient-madrid-et-isole-barcelone/

    (He is basically the most knowledgeable EU correspondent there is.)

    Intriguingly, he points out that Catalunya – unlike Scotland – is in the Eurozone, so that any Catalonian independence without it immediately joining the EU would amount to a region being ejected from the Eurozone.

    Mais, à la différence de l’Écosse, la Catalogne est membre de la zone euro. Comment justifier aux yeux des marchés l’expulsion de l’une des régions les plus riches de la zone alors que la Commission a tout fait pour éviter l’expulsion de la Grèce dont le PIB est bien inférieur, et ce au nom d’un risque de contagion ? Si après la Catalogne, l’Union expulse d’autres régions qui auraient la mauvaise idée de se déclarer indépendant, peut-on avoir confiance en la pérennité de l’euro ? Aucune réponse de la Commission qui préfère sans doute ne pas anticiper le problème…

    • Laguerre

      Yes, I did notice that one of the biggest obstacles for the Catalans is that they use the Euro. If they’re not instantly admitted by the EU, they won’t have any currency, other than using a foreign currency. It’s been projected, as one possibility, for independent Scotland to continue to use the UK Pound. It would be the same in Catalonia.

      • reel guid

        A country doesn’t have to be in the EU to use the Euro. Montenegro uses it and it’s outside the EU. Several non-EU micronations also use it.

      • Martinned

        To be fair, there are a few other countries that use the Euro even though they are not in the EU. Off the top of my head that’s what they do in Montenegro and Kosovo. The consequence is mostly that you don’t have a seat at the table when they decide interest rates, etc. at the ECB. But then neither does Denmark, and yet they don’t mind pegging their Crown to the Euro.

  • reel guid

    The Tories and the DUP.

    They’ll always be together
    However far it seems
    They’ll always be together
    Together in British Dreams

    • nevermind

      they are still dreaming of this billion promised, whilst the UK is talking of setting Stormonts budget, rule from London over and above those elected…..
      But they are used to bending over for ancient British rituals.

  • nevermind

    A little bit of reality that is going on regardless of who makes the next move in Catalonia

    ” when companies fear that continued uncertainty undermines their lawful situation, many will leave such an environment”. According to economist Eckart Woertz.

    Does this sound familiar? the first company to leave, Oryzon Genomics, not a ground breaker, saw its share price go up by 30% due to their move away from Catalonia. Some 800 German firms have a plan B in the drawer due to the historic past of Catalan struggle, the largest will relocate into different regions of Spain, they say.
    This is a fast moving environment and many US firms in Barcelona could move away over night.

    Includes a picture of King Felipe for all those brought up on Royal cap duffing
    And its in German, now less popular than Mandarin Chinese in this country.

    http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/soziales/katalonien-unternehmen-verlassen-katalonien-oder-planen-den-moeglichen-umzug-a-1171243.html

  • Republicofscotland

    It is beginning to look like Madrid will take back full control of the Catalan region by force.

    However, the only real glimmer of hope I can see before Monday’s military invasion. Is that I understand that Catalan’s still want to keep close ties with Spain.

    Catalan’s feel they have been treated poorly by successive Spanish governments, especially regarding their culture and language.

    I wonder if Rajoy and Puigdemont, could come to some sort of agreement, possibly giving Catalonia more autonomy, on matters still to be agreed on, and in return Catalan’s agree to remain part of Spain.

    I say this knowning that if Madrid sends the tanks in on Monday, that innocent citizens will inevitably be killed in the brutal quelling process, if Sunday’s behaviour of the Guardia Civil is anything to go by.

    I do hope an agreement can be reached before then.

    Still feelings are strong and tempers are running high on both sides. If no agreement is forthcoming, I fear those Catalan’s who stand up against Madrid, will feel the full force of the Spanish military.

    Who will come to their aid, the UN? the EU? Or will we have only the media reports, and widespread condemnation but no concrete action to halt the oncoming onslaught.

    • lysias

      And the Spanish government will then be as unpopular in Catalonia as the British government was after its treatment of the Easter Rising leaders.

      Most Irish people initially thought the rising was madness. The British reaction to the rising quickly changed their minds.

      • Republicofscotland

        If the Spanish authorities start execution badly injured Catalans, in chairs because they don’t have the strength to stand up, as the Brits did in Ireland.

        Then that might be what it takes for the rest of the world to say enough, we recognise the Catalan state.

  • Patricia Murray

    If you are making excuses for what is happening you are part of the problem. We cannot ever let fascism win.

      • nevermind

        Catalonia has a history of trade and cooperation with the whole Mediterranean region, the Americas, the Byzantium, their nationalism is open to immigrants and people from elsewhere.
        Their massive tourism outshines that off Madrid and I suppose the King and his vassal Tajoy want to bring in the tanks to level some of these historic icons of Catalan culture and history.

        I hope that Barcelona and Catalonia will greet these troops by dancing the Sardana everywhere, in every square, just to remind these leftovers of fascism were their history lies, with the Caudillo.

  • Vinatea

    Sir, I’m afraid you are flogging a dead horse here. Just a couple of notes for you to reflect:

    1) How would you call a government that includes politics in the children channel of their public TV? – That’s precisely what the catalan government has been doing for years. Just from today: http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2017/10/04/59d4c90d468aeb12108b4651.html
    You should check if catalan children did have politics in kids TV programs under Franco. And then compare and report back your findings in here, your forum.

    In your report, don’t spare videos of the songs children are taught and sing in schools from the mid 1980s through today. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Knees and toes.

    Your readers will massively enjoy your analysis of the last 30 years of education in Catalonia.

    2) The composition of the catalan government is also interesting. You wrote about the CUP in a previous post. You should check any connections with anarchism. Start here:
    https://elpais.com/ccaa/2015/10/28/catalunya/1446050845_397884.html
    http://www.elmundo.es/cataluna/2015/10/28/5630cab946163f772e8b45ac.html

    So, if the catalan police arrests anarchists suspect of terrorism, the CUP might reject any negotiations with their government allies as they have done in the past. By the way, like you, the CUP also rejects the European Union.

    Someone will be most pleased to see a bunch of anarchist terrorists down las Ramblas of an independent Barcelona chanting heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Not to worry. At that point, the catalan police will stop them. Or that is the plan anyway.

    It has been quite astonishing to see the ideological drift of Craig Murray in the last couple of weeks. Now you find yourself flirting in the same ideological camp than: people who run politics in children TV channels, anarchists who protest the detention of terrorist suspects by the catalan police… and Nigel Farage leading Scotland out of the European Union.

    In any case, who cares? Very soon Scotland will be out of the European Union and all this won’t be your problem anymore.

    • nevermind

      Have you complained to the rogue nation that steals land for teaching their children how to hold and shoot guns?
      How many people had TV under Franco, do you think we are thick?
      Why do you think non violent Catalans have hidden in shelters from Franco’s Italian crewed bombers and Germans who done the dirty deed for him?

      If Spain thinks that armed intervention is their only measure left, they are poor, dead souls bereft of humanity.
      This is not the time for another Spanish inquisition, this is the 21st. century.

      Time to follow George Orwell, says Frazer, maybe he is right.

      • Vinatea

        Thanks for the history lesson.
        My family was in the shelters when Italians and Germans bombed us. My grandma was scared of power cuts as a result of the experience into her nineties.
        My fifteen year old uncle was taken out of the house and sent to the front line.
        My family was there when they came to steal the crops to feed the army. They survived catching rats. When they could catch any.
        My family was indoctrinated under Franco for forty years.

        I’m afraid a rich bourgeois Englishman like Orwell has very little to teach my family about fascism in Spain. To start with, because he run away from the mess as soon as he could and did not come back to suffer 40 years of consequences.

        Time to read a little bit more Frazer, says Vinatea.

        Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Knees and toes.

  • Laguerre

    I presume that if the Spanish government sends troops into Catalonia, it will be functionally the same as Britland sending troops into Northern Ireland.

  • Allan Hain

    If the EU is not going to condemn Spain for their brutal violence towards the Catalonians and if they seize Catalona by force without comdemnation from EU will they then, in time, progress, without fear of comdemnation to seize Gibraltar in the same way?

    • Geordie Bordie

      I expect that the cowardly Spanish fascists, like all cowards, are happier beating up old women and civilians than they are taking on someone their own size.

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