The EU Doubles Down on Backing For Rajoy 135


The European Commission doubled down on its support for the paramilitary violence against civilians of all ages in Catalonia, in the debate in the European Parliament today. I watched in growing astonishment as events unfolded.

The Commission was represented by Vice President Frans Timmermans, who opened with a statement. He described the referendum in Catalonia as illegal and the actions of the Spanish police as justified, appropriate and proportionate to maintain the rule of law. He argued that there can be no human rights without the rule of law. I was expecting him to make the concomitant statement that there can be no rule of law without human rights, but he very pointedly did not say that.

In the “debate” the political groupings of the EU parliament got to make brief statements through one speaker each, starting with the largest grouping and ending with the smallest. It was only once you got down to the very small parties that human rights were mentioned at all, but they did it repeatedly. In responding to the debate, Timmermans ignored this angle entirely.

Timmerman said “rule of law” an amazing 12 times during his brief closing statement, and said “human rights” or “fundamental rights” precisely zero times. At no stage did Timmermans acknowledge that the Spanish Guardia Civil had viciously attacked peaceful civilians of all ages.

In fact, Timmerman’s statement and response together, with their refusal to recognise at any stage any rights of the citizen, and their forthright endorsement of the right of the state to use force, could have been uttered without altering a word by Franco or Pinochet.

The refusal of any of the larger parties even to contemplate for one moment the possibility that the Catalan people might have a right to
self-determination, was chilling. The so called “liberal” Verhofstadt, who argued that we “know” the Catalan majority is against independence so there is no requirement to actually vote, was beneath his veneer of bonhommie perhaps the most sinister of all. Only the Greens mentioned the UN Charter and the right of self-determination. Such was the extraordinary tenor of the general advocacy of crushing Catalan aspirations, that the Polish Law and Justice Party came across as more reasonable than the “mainstream” of the EU.

It was, in short, horrific. I am afraid to say that it left me in no doubt whatsoever that I have made the right choice in declining further to support membership of the EU.

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135 thoughts on “The EU Doubles Down on Backing For Rajoy

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  • John Goss

    While I may not support the European Union in its present form I am certainly in favour of a united Europe. Unfortunately that is the only United Europe we have at present. What it really needs is a Socialist United Europe. We face desperate times ahead. The wrong people have the power. The gap between rich and poor is chasmic, or perhaps even cosmic by now. The great mass of people do not realise how they are being manipulated. By the time they find out it will be too late,

    • Victor Value

      The EU is a busted flush or will be in the middle of next year after the Italian General Election. A European Commonwealth is required.

    • K Crosby

      Quite agree, I voted out of this billionaire’s masturbation club, not out of a united Europe per se.

  • Republicofscotland

    This looks like it’s about to get very ugly and soon, I fear for the people of Catalonia, they made well be made a brutal example of what happens when you try to secede.

    Someone has to step in as a mediator and soon, someone like Miroslav Lajčak, who’s currently president of the United Nations General Assembly.

    But more to the point Lajčak, was born in Czechoslovakia, and would appear to experience of such matters.

    • Loony

      There is nothing to mediate.

      Either Catalan authorities will obey the law or they will be removed by any means necessary and the law will be enforced.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Are laws immutable?”

          Indeed Courtney, Spanish law is in the most part only recognised by those who obey it.

          Most Catalan’s it would appear, want to have their own nation and laws, Madrid says no. Violence will probably ensue, and a long and protracted conflict using guerilla warfare will commence.

          Enemies of Spain, will back and fund the Catalan campaign, and the UN will eventually need to step in.

        • Loony

          It is doubtful that a majority exists in Catalonia for secession under any circumstances. It is almost certain that no such majority exists for illegal secession.

          If a majority for lawful secession could be established then Catalan authorities would need to petition for a constitutional change. Spain comprises 17 Autonomous Communities and a majority of these communities would need to be persuaded to vote in favor of the required constitutional change to allow for Catalan independence.

          Spain has been all but destroyed by the EU and this has exacerbated regional tensions. Pais Vasco has an arguably stronger claim for independence than Catalonia. If Catalonia goes then Pais Vasco will certainly go. Where does this leave the rest of Spain?

          The main drivers for Catalan independence are linked to corruption and ego. The Catalan authorities are vastly corrupt and the law is closing in on them. They see independence as a way of evading justice. Catalonia is the wealthiest Region of Spain and as such its population believe themselves to the subsidizing the rest of Spain, and they think they would be wealthier without the burden of Spain.

          Precisely the same argument could be made about London – how much wealthier London would be if it did not have to subsidize Wales and the North of England.

          What would happen if London demanded to become independent? I do not know. Maybe something could be worked out.

          But Spain is different from the UK – a different history and a different culture, more machismo, more fascist/authoritarian. It is a much more cruel society. I do not think Spain will let Catalonia go, I think they would prefer death.

          The best hope is for Catalonia to find away to enjoy the significant regional autonomy that it has as a constituent part of Spain. There needs to be something of a retreat from the developing sense of “Catalan supremacy” which has been fostered for the last 30 years in the educational system which has elevated the Catalan language over Spanish and taught a largely false history of Catalonia.

          The whole situation is complex and very dangerous – and I do not know the answer to your question. Nothing is helped by outside observers who are largely ignorant of the tensions within Spain seeking to simplify this as a simple right (Catalan) versus wrong (Spain) issue.

          Put bluntly Catalonia must compromise because Spain will not. If the Catalans will not compromise (and they may not because whether they like it or not they are Spanish and they share precisely the same mentality) then there will be blood.

          • lysias

            There may have been no such majority before this week’s events (just as there was no such majority in Ireland before the Easter Rising). But I suspect events are quickly changing that..

            Before Lexington and Concord, there was no majority for independence among American colonists.

          • Republicofscotland

            “What would happen if London demanded to become independent?”

            London isnt a separate entity or people and culture from the rest of England.

            Catalan’s however have a separate language and distinct culture from the rest of Spain.

          • Loony

            Yes Catalans have their own language – and this language has been used to inculcate a sense of “Catalan Supremacy” If this is where it leads then maybe Franco was right in banning it.

            There is a Welsh language and a Cornish language, an Irish language and a Scottish language. Does this mean that London can declare independence from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Cornwall on the basis that they have a different language? The language in Newcastle is barely recognizable as English so maybe London can dump them too.

            What is this distinct Catalan culture of which you speak but never define?

          • nevermind

            Its doubtful and you do not know at all, are merely speculating with the rest of the EU spineless enforcers.

            And you seem to be baying for blood, like a good ol fascista

          • Shatnersrug

            I’m very proud of my london language, Loony, I speak fully fledged Soft southern Shite.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Loony

            Excuse me if you’ve already mentioned it, but are you of Spanish origin?

          • Node

            … how much wealthier London would be if it did not have to subsidize Wales and the North of England. /i

            How much wealthier would the mill owner be if he didn’t have to subsidise his workers?
            How much wealthier would the UK be if it didn’t have to subsidise third world countries?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    No further support for the EU from you Craig. Fine.

    The UK is in the process of leaving the EU.

    The Scottish nationalists at present appear to want EU membership.

    So, in the event of an independent Scotland, what is or is to be the Scottish nationalist position on EU membership?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Republic of Scotland,

    Said:-

    ” Someone has to step in as a mediator and soon, someone like Miroslav Lajčak…”

    Last I recently read that Tony Blair was trying to get the job as an ‘honest broker’. ( Someone’s cruel joke – I guess – to be inflicted on the Catalonians).

  • Courtenay Barnett

    John Goss,

    You seem to be saying – some form of European Union – rather than no union?

    Have I read your preferences correctly?

    Makes sense to me. Problem is that any political grouping ends up with significant compromises gravitating away from the founding principles and none is ‘Utopia’. Utopia only exists in fiction and fantasy last time I checked. But ideals and aspirations humans must have to aspire towards something. Isn’t that how human existence operates land changed is initiated?

    • John Goss

      For me Courtenay when I could cycle freely through all the EU countries without a visa, without a checkpoint to cross, it opened my eyes to what was possible, especially when I reached countries where there were queues to get in and queues to get out. It was a liberty we all should have and we should all cherish.

      I used to associate bureaucracy with the old Soviet Union without realising it could be just as bad here in the west. Information gathering is now done in a different way. We give it freely on social-networking sites. We give it freely through health records, national insurance records and tax returns. Security services love to have this information so that anybody can be subjugated by the knowledge they have about you that you do not have about them. It is freedom that I believe we should have. That was the freedom that let me cycle through Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Austria. There were restrictions and fees to be paid in countries queueing to join the EU like, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.

      But the big advantage was if we were all united we would be less likely to go to war with one another. I was born during the last World War but too young to know about it other than the gas masks in the attic. But I knew what rationing was. Then I learnt what food mountains and milk lakes were, and how GATT became a reciprocal extra tax countries levied on one another. Being united seemed so much easier.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        John,

        My gut instinct is better the EU than not – and better in than out.
        One faith, hope and destiny -at least as some sort of ideal aspiration. And again – what are we humans without hopes and aspirations?

        Huh?

        • Victor Value

          Courtenay

          Wih respect that is the sort of defeatist talk that the UK Labour movement accepted in the late 80s. We knew what the EEC was all about but in desperation over Thatcherism, we drank the EU kool-aid and took the crumbs of the social chapter.

      • Hieroglyph

        I believe Gorbachev once remarked, towards the end of his tenure, that he couldn’t understand why Europe was using the Soviet Union as a model for closer integration. This isn’t as daft a comment as it seems: the corruption, the un-elected but powerful Bureaucrats, and the endemic secrecy – what does that remind one of? Except of course in the Soviet Union, for all it’s many flaws, people had something of a welfare state, which the UK basically no longer does.

        I’ve always been a bit divided over the EU. Some parts good, some parts bad. I no longer think total free-movement of labour is a good idea, because it just looks like a tool to drive wages down. Even if this suppression of wages isn’t deliberate (and I think it is), it’s still a consequence, because of simple market forces, and de-unionization. I don’t blame your Polish electrician for looking for work – I moved continent for better opportunities – but think some limitations should be enforced. It’s just an argument about numbers really. However, I think we all agree, ISIS fighters should be banned from Europe. Sadly, they are not. There are literal no-go areas in Sweden. I’m not Muslim bashing, but I am ISIS bashing. Not a fan of rapists, head-choppers and, apparently, sex traffickers; it’s deeply odd that they haven’t been vetted. Deeply deeply odd.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        That sounds like old blokes I used to hear talking about how good things were before the Great War when you could travel around easily and without later restrictions.

  • Ian Seed

    Glad you mention the UN charter. Yes, all people have the right to self determination. The UN Charter is something that is always strangely absent when mainstream organs speak of the “annexation” of Crimea

    “Annexation” implies it was done illegally. It was not illegal though. As the UN charter states, all people have the right to self determination.

    Is it any wonder when these august organs say “the Crimean referendum is widely agreed to have been in contravention of international law” …..

    …that they never actually offer up an international law that has been broken? That’s because they can’t find one.

    In any case, if they tried they would raise the spectre of Bosnia seceding from Serbia – which they held out to be a model of democracy in action at the time (after 78 days bombing by NATO of course). So they just agree to agree it broke international law and when repeated ten thousand times it becomes “fact”.

    I’m sure this will never put off the Russia bashers though. Don’t you know “WE ARE AT WAR”?!!
    (as Moron Freeman, that servile, boot licking, pathetic uncle Tom has been saying on behalf of his vile neocon masters recently.)

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Ian,

      Interesting points that you raise.
      The Right to Self Determination is expressly recognized in the UN Charter.
      “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace.” Per Chapter 1, Article 1, Part 2 of the UN Charter.
      Extended into – “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. ” per the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

      So – if the Catalonians feel and determine that they want to be free of Spain – de jure they appear to have a right so to do; de facto they may be faced with overwhelming odds so to do.

      Falklands = territorially within an Argentinian sphere, populated by persons who want to remain British.
      Crimea = territorially within a Russian sphere with proximity to the Ukraine, populated by persons who wanted to revert to being Russian.
      Yugoslavia = bombed into fragments with ethnic names attached to the pieces – Serbia – Bosnia – …
      Western Sahara etc. etc. etc…
      And:-
      “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
      “Adopted by General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960
      ….
      “2. All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

  • Republicofscotland

    History shows that nations are often created through bloodshed. Will that be the way the Catalan’s eventually gain their independence and will it be at a heavy cost.

    There is a statute in Glasgow, on the banks of the river Clyde, a memorial, to those UK fighters) who fell in the Spanish civil war. The statute is called La Pasionaria (Passionflower).

    The staute is of Dolores Ibarruri, a heroine of the day. If the Catalan people are to weather the Spanish onslaught and claim a country of their own, then many Dolores Ibarruri’s will need to step up.

    • Loony

      Is there some reason you omitted to mention that Dolores Ibarruri was a Basque and that she was a communist deeply enamored of the policies of one Josef Stalin? You know Stalin the man estimated to have killed some 20 million of his own people – all cheered on by the “heroine” Dolores Ibarruri

      • Republicofscotland

        Non whatsoever, I was merely pointing out that often in conflicts unlikely heroes/heroines arise, not through choice, but through circumstances outwith their control.

  • reel guid

    Frans Timmermans seems to be one of those politicians like George Robertson, who have a talent for having decorations from different countries bestowed on them. Timmermans has quite a collection according to his Wikipedia page. But nothing so far from Spain. Was he thinking about a nice addition to that collection when he made his speech in the EU parliament?

    • Victor Value

      He is a paid-up member of EU bureaucratic class. What he has he really done that’s worthwhile? He has good relations with Ukrainian Govt, need one say anymore.

  • joel

    Just one more instance of the standard hypocrisy of western liberalism, the thing it’s been most renowned for elsewhere in the world for two centuries. For the last fifty years, the EU, its member states and the US have specialized in crying rivers over human rights abuses by governments they want to overturn, in countries they want to prey upon. Now praising a brutal Spanish government as a model of democracy and constitutional rule.
    For the long view on the hypocrisy of western liberalism, check out Pankaj Mishra’s From the ruins of empire and Domenico Losurdo’s Liberalism: a counter history.

  • m biyd

    I thought the whole point of the EU was the demise of the nation state as a preventative measure against internecine warfare in Europe. It comes to pass and the EU can’t accept it? A domestic matter they say… but N Ireland isn’t?

  • RHill

    Guy Verhofstadt on the Ukrainian separatist issue – President Yanukovytch has lost legitimacy by attacking the protesters. – EU must be ready to introduce sanctions if Yanukovytch ignores democracy.

    • Victor Value

      Verhofstadt, another of the snowflake reaminers hero’s… Save my EU passport and my access Erasmus programme.

  • Douglas Young

    Thank-you Craig for all you do and write

    I have to agree with you on the EU, sadly my mind was made up on Monday to stop supporting the EU, but I was still interested to hear Verhofstadt’s comment as he usually says measured and direct things

    I was let down badly and there is nothing left but EFTA for an independent Scotland now

  • Vinatea

    Sir, I’m afraid you continue flogging the dead horse here. Just reiterate 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

      ‘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. ‘

      I call that very wise when one looks at the history of jealous repression by Madrid, you have to educate your children about political systems and life within it, especially when they ask what grandpa meant when he was talking about hiding from the Primavera singing fascists, not so long ago. We can’t all raise uneducated children as they do here.

      The UK does not dare to educate its children on how their system works, how councils, parliament make deliberate decisions, how laws are made, how they use the disproportional system to keep in power, and how the dependent organisations such as the BBC and Electoral Commission keep up the pretence of a democracy.

      But they are educated by GM companies on how brilliant the science is and how it would help society, health in the developing world and many more tales, nothing about market shares, patents and control of the food chains, they are not educated but indoctrinated by politicians who are puppets to their own and others vested interests. We must educate the consumers of the future when their parents reject these engineered genetic aberrations.
      Sadly paint balling does not appeal to me, but I might join Frazer for a good ramble and razz……..

      • Loony

        The thing about education is that it allows for a distinction of meaning between the word “education” and the word “indoctrination”

        If you are in the UK you probably qualify for a 1st Class Honors Degree (with free Phd thrown in) if you can tell whether this image is an example of education or indoctrination

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKV-toNXoAEUy9u.jpg

      • Vinatea

        Nevermind. First the anarchist terrorists came for the kids in Catalonia. I said nothing because I’m not a kid in Catalonia. Then came for the charnegos (Catalans born of Spanish parents). I said nothing because I’m not a charnego.
        Then I started singing heads, shoulders, knees and toes. And now I feel better. I don’t understand anything. Knees and toes. But I feel better now. Anyway. Nevermind. Heads, shoulders, knees and toes.

  • What's going on?

    I’m glad you have now woken up and smelled the coffee.

    Trump, Brexit, Catalonian Independence (and whatever is next) are all part of a project to keep politics in the centre ground and neutralise the extremes (both left and right)!

    Already the *irony factor* that accompanied Trump and Brexit are in full force, you are like Tories that think May and BoJo are fantastic – totally unaware of the hypocrisy evident in Puigdemont words today. The people living in Catalonia have every right to decide who governs them (although that can be indirectly as well as directly), however no group of people in Catalonia have the right to make that decision for any other group.

    The idea that if Catalonia becomes independent that helps the cause of those who want an independent Scotland is naive, simplistic nonsense. Perhaps it would be wise to learn from Brexit and devise a plan to leave the United Kingdom and how Scotland would navigate the issues that would need to be addressed as a result of such a decision.

    I have enjoyed reading this blog in the past because I am interested in the issues and like your balanced approach to them. You have unfortunately lost that balance when it comes to this issue and can’t see the wood for the trees. THINK! Do you really think that politics could be such a shambles? Did the Tory sideshow mean you missed May’s ultimatum today? If you are really interested in these topics why haven’t you taken even a shallow look at what is likely to happen in the UK in April 2019? Or do you think that the resultant shambles will help your case? The UK government will keep kicking the independence can down the road until we have made our article 49 application (I can’t see it taking more than 6 months after we leave the EU) and will use Brexit as an example of what could happen to any country leaving a union.

    Wake up!

    N.

  • nevermind

    Timmermans, a special Russian interrogator in Moskows Dutch embassy, who was also talking to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 over Ukraine, is a man who was part and parcel of the whole shady affair.
    That he is now the Vice president is indicative of the EU’s drive towards more right wing responses, as if they want to be seen as the most nasty organisation, keeping abreast of the ECR and its fascist cadres.

    This is what happens if politicians let unelected and unaccountable Commissioners get away with it. I’m disgusted with my countries complicity in destroying the Catalan identity. They are a part of Europe, a mismanaged big and unyielding institution which is now slowly disappearing from my view, like a strong and stable Titanic sinking below the waves.

    • Geordie Bordie

      It’s not just unelected and unaccountable, it’s that they’re all box-ticking bureaucrats.

      They don’t seem to have any nous with regard to people.

      They’re inhuman.

      I thought the whole point of politicians was that they were a human interface to the machine, that they could articulate and relate to the concerns of people.

      These clowns don’t have any of that at all. They just read a script. That’s what it says. That’s what you must do.

      And we see that in national and local govt as well.

      They provide absolutely no added value over a threatening letter coming through your door.

      The whole thing looks like it’s designed to collapse, and deserves to.

      This Timmermans careerist has no people skills at all.

      Neither has Rajoy, nor the king.

      Whatever transpires is the fault of these third rate imbeciles.

  • Velofello

    @ Loony; I have no knowledge of who you are or of what nationality but your comments here are simply appalling.

    “There is nothing to mediate” you say. I say you have much to meditate upon.

    Laws are for the guidance of the wise, and the obedience of fools.

    Is sending in squads of anonymous, armoured “police” a justified application of …The Law… against an unarmed population who wished to vote on their county’s future? Think of ..meditate… upon the future… of science. In a generation it could be robots, clad as these thugs were on Sunday, sent in by an elite to enforce The Law – their law – upon the masses.

    What is Spain? What is the UK? But groupings of people of diverse beliefs and cultures living cheek by jowl in a common piece of land, and with common consent. If one section of such groupings are dissatisfied with the status quo their concerns need to be accommodated or said group be allowed to leave the group.
    2 million Catalans voted for independence. On fracking in Scotland, the returns of a poll initiated by the Scottish government, returned 99% against fracking. Is it your mindset to ignore such wishes, and apply The Law, as defined by the Elite.

    Did you watch the Tory conference today? OK with what you witnessed? These are the people who define The Law here in the UK. Yes, that bunch of incompetents.

    • Loony

      Your post is in error on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to begin.

      It does not matter what either you or I may think. All that matters is what is.

      Let us say that Spain agrees to mediation. That implies that Spain must be willing to give ground. Given the level of autonomy currently enjoyed by Catalonia the choice now is binary – either Catalonia becomes independent or it does not. If Spain agrees to mediation then presumably under certain circumstances it is prepared to contemplate Catalan independence.

      I have no idea for how long you have had an interest in Catalan independence. But in 2006 Lt, General Jose Mena the Head of the Spanish army was placed under house arrest after telling officers under his command that the constitution gave the military the right to act should the unity of Spain be in danger.

      So evidence exists that were Spain to negotiate Catalan independence then there is a very real risk of some form of military intervention. It was a form of military intervention that led to the Spanish civil war and almost 40 years of fascist dictatorship. Somehow I do not think many people in Spain will be interested in mediating their way back to the position of the past. That you should suggest that they should (which you do, whether you know it or not) makes you and not I the purveyor of appalling comments.

      Spain is not just a collection of random people. It is a nation with a very dark history – a history still within living memory for many people.

      Where did this great desire for Catalan independence come from? Well if you look further up the comments section someone posting under the name Vinatea sets it out pretty comprehensively. You seriously expect Spain to mediate with these people. Even if they wanted to then they couldn’t without triggering an explosion of violence throughout Spain.

      So, I reiterate: There is nothing to mediate, for the very simple reason that to contemplate mediation is to contemplate mass violence, and the reopening of old wounds. Once reopened these wounds can only be closed by cauterizing them with an extended period of mass oppression.

      If like the sound of that then I suggest you move to North Korea and leave the people of Spain alone.

      • Hieroglyph

        I find it hard to understand why mediation leads to ‘an explosion of violence’. Surely it’s lack of mediation that, theoretically, might lead to violence? If the Spanish PM wants to send out the army to shoot people, that’s up to him. But that’s a calculated decision, entirely unrelated to mediation. And, it won’t end well.

        It would be better, to my mind, for the Spanish PM to accept defeat, and grant a legal referendum. Re-run the entire thing, keep it sane and normal. And if that means a referendum for the Basques, so be it. Naturally, the very idea would be anathema to a) the establishment, b) the military. Thus Rajoy will double-down – politicians are quite amazingly stubborn – and make life unpleasant for lots of people. He may well win the day with this strategy, and clearly has lots of support from the EU. On the other hand, it could get real messy, very quickly. Just as it’s about to get ultra-real messy in the US, which won’t be much fun for anyone.

        • Loony

          Why do you find it hard to understand?

          I have provided evidence that there is a line of thinking in the Spanish military that they, the military, have the right to act in order to preserve the unity of Spain. Do you not think that military action against a domestic population is highly likely to lead to an explosion of violence. Can you name any example of non violent military intervention?

          Rajoy does not have the power to grant a “legal referendum” as any such referendum is illegal under the constitution. For there to be a legal referendum then Spain would firstly need to effect a change to its constitution – something that the Catalan authorities are fully aware of.

          On this occasion the seemingly intransigent attitude of “the establishment” aligns them exactly with a large swathe of the Spanish population. If “the establishment” acted to betray the views of the population then there is a serious risk of unrest. How could this unrest be quelled? Why by the Guardia Civil and the military, both of whom happen to share the same views as a restless population. Will they act to suppress such people, people who likely include their own families? Or will they have an alternative idea? History provides likely answers.

          Sometimes life is just not what we want it to be.

          • Geordie Bordie

            Well, if you’ve got a fascist mentality in the Spanish police and military, then what they ought to have been doing over the past 40 years is de-fascisting the fuckers.

            The violence of the police was incredible, bizarre even. It didn’t even make sense.

            The reality here is that these fascist police and military despise the Catalan people, and we saw that in their actions and subsequently in their taunting at their hotel billets.

            The Spanish may enjoy being policed by such goons but others are entitled to a different view.

            The Catalans are well rid of Spanish bigotry and contempt.

            I have a suspicion their hatred comes from their inferiority compared to more accomplished and industrious people, whom theyve managed to enslave.

          • Loony

            Geordie Bordie – Pray tell exactly what right you have to opine as to how Spain should deal with its past?

            Did you protest el pacto de silencio? This has been in place for some 40 years so there have been plenty of opportunities. What did you do in this regard and why did you do it? What benefits have you seen at any point in the last 40 years in breaking this pact? Why has no-one heard of your arguments since about 1 week ago. 1 week is not a very long period in a 40 year time frame.

            The violence of the police made perfect sense. This is not to say that it is correct or in any way justifiable, but it made sense. It was designed to send a message – you appear to have received the message but seem unable to translate its meaning. Let me help you: It means that Spain will pay absolutely any price at all to maintain unity.

            Do you understand what that means? It means you can pile the corpses 10 meters high and still the price will be met.

            Most people (indeed all sane people) will seek to avoid this outcome. I would be very interested to know exactly how you think your comments are helpful in achieving this objective. You gave identified a fascist residue in Spain – well done. Next you will notice that there is ice in Antarctica.

            Randomly labeling people fascists and talking about people despising each other simply adds fuel to the (largely as yet unlit) fire. What on earth do you think you are talking about, and what right have you got to seek to provoke civil conflict in a country you manifestly neither know nor care about. This is Spain. It is not Iraq. Away with your war mongering.

          • Geordie Bordie

            The issue for me, and I expect many observers, is the naked brutality and bigotry of Spain’s Guardia Civil against peaceful Catalans attempting to express a view through the ballot box.

            A majority of Catalans supported that expression, if not independence itself. You see, they understand free expression whilst their overlords do not.

            But still, a heavily armed Spanish fascist gang of thugs beat them senselessly.

            You question my right to express a view.

            I say I’ve a right as a human being to express a view and I’ve a secondary right as an EU citizen to express a view.

            I understand that Spanish fascists don’t enjoy or even appear to understand contrary views, so we’ll have to disagree on that.

            Contrary to my view that the extreme violence of the Spanish fascist thugs was senseless, you say that it made perfect sense in that it showed to the Catalans that Spain will slaughter all or any Catalan who resists the Spanish fascist writ.

            So, I say that it is you and the corrupt Madrid junta who are warmongering the situation.

            And worse, for no more than electoral politics.

            Rajoy is attempting to shore up his fascist support base, invoking nostalgic memories of glorious Francisco beating the Catalan people down into the earth.

            So please, spare me your fake sentiments for Spanish unity. That hasn’t been in question as you well know.

            Rajoy’s a weak excuse of a man, simply electioneering, and that makes this a far greater crime, as you well know too.

            He’s simply playing cheap petty politics with the situation, and worse, the king is doing the same.

            All I’m attempting to do is show the central authority for the fascist thug gang it is in the hope that pressure will be brought upon them to reign in these thugs.

            I’d expect that whatever is being said in public by EU bureaucrats, and given the very poor PR behind the scenes more democratic voices are reminding the Spanish fascists of the basic tenets of democracy, or at least to pretend to a veneer of democracy.

            Spanish jackbootism just makes the EU look bad and that’s the last thing they need at the moment. They’re barely democratic themselves, but at least attempt to put on a bit of a show.

            Here’s how Rajoy’s party have been declining in support whilst the Socialists have been rising.

            Though Rajoy seems to have managed an up-tick of late by channeling fascist fuck Franco.

            Cheap politicking is all it is.

            I hope the extra votes are worth the broken skulls

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

  • shugsrug

    Very difficult to decide to not cooperate fully with your neighbours. Not that is until they are standing all over you.
    Off topic, was the P45 at the May speech a staged event?

  • Hieroglyph

    In the UK, most people will know their local MP, and the senior ranks of the Government, and opposition. Almost nobody knows who their local Eurocrat is. I’m afraid there are just way too many troughers and nobodies in position way above their ability whose sole goal is to keep the money rolling in to their own bank accounts. Of course they’ll back Franco, because they all believe in a version of the Domino Theory: that once one country falls, they all will. And, for once, I think they are correct. I suspect the EU will collapse within my lifetime, perhaps to be replaced by an EU-lite, basically a free-trade agreement. And, it will merit its’ collapse, after the horrific beating it meted out to Greece, the canary in the coal-mine for many.

    Some allege the EU was set up at the behest of the CIA and the deep-state, as a bulkwark against the commies. Nothing would surprise me these days. I’m beginning to suspect we really have been visited by Aliens. Clinton may or may not be one of them.

    • freddy

      I’d be interested to hear Neil Kinnock’s take on this.
      He is one of the biggest troughers in the E.U.

      • Victor Value

        I would rather not hear Kinnock’s view on the issue. I have no time for class traitors!

    • Dave Lawton

      “Some allege the EU was set up at the behest of the CIA and the deep-state, as a bulkwark against the commies. Nothing would surprise me these days. I’m beginning to suspect we really have been visited by Aliens. Clinton may or may not be one of them.”

      It is the truth and it was set up by the CIA fascist spymaster Allen Dulles .You can find the history here.

      https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/people/aldrich/publications/oss_cia_united_europe_eec_eu.pdf

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        Captain Ramsey, MP, who was banged up by Churchill, raised the question to him in the House:’Is the creation of a United States of Europe one of the Government’s aim in the current war?’ He got a fudged reply from Butler, I believe.
        Certainly after initial German successs there was active German preparation in 1941-3 for a European Economic Community, uncomfortably close to what was later put in place. There were also active European integration movements on the Left.So Dulles nudged things along rather than creating the EU from primal chaos.

  • reel guid

    Catalonian footballer Gerard Pique being booed by Spanish fans at the international squad’s practice. Because he supports independence and tweeted about it. These fans have no shame. Here’s a guy who won a World Cup and two European Championships for Spain. Do Spanish nationalists seriously think they can keep Spain together with this sort of disrespect and ingratitude?

  • Hans

    Thx for your work.

    One short speech, which, i think, hit the point: https://twitter.com/mattcarthy/status/915600381924790277

    Times getting harder, you dont need a dictatorship, if u can pass laws like the last years in nearly every european country. A little hope for me is the big number of people and their fearless, who take part last days in catalunya. Everyone know, while g20, what people in Germany have done after a week of brutal police-violence and one evening of clashes between people and riotcops? They scrubbed the banks… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm6yA2aFu5M

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I think Craig Murray is currently being a bit of a hero, and my venom is certainly not addressed at him.

    Despite your “measured ” IQ and your arrogance, and your family “wealth”, you simply cannot continue being a controlling parasite for very much longer…when you exhibit all the signs of also being a completely stupid idiot. It simply is not going to work is it?

    I understand the natural world under the sea, and may well observe it again tomorrow. The sharks, the fish and the whales, will simply swim to the bottom of the sea, roll over, and scrape you parasites off their backs on the sand and rocks and eat you….And then swim back to the top for some fresh air.

    You psychopath parasites are not very nice an now everyone can smell you.

    You are just a bunch of slugs – feeding on us – the human race.

    I suggest all you neocons just resign

    Have a party with Tony Blair

    Tony

  • Jeff

    Craig, In withdrawing your support for EU membership, aren’t you confusing the institution with a deplorable stance taken by the majority, but not all, of its officials? Wouldn’t it look different if we had a Labour-Corbyn government at present? And what prospect for an independent Scotland outside the EU? I think your condemnation of the Spanish government’s and EU’s position is excellent, but your conclusion on EU membership seems illogical.

    • Chris Rogers

      Jeff,

      Jeremy Corbyn & much of what remains of the UK Left has been anti-EU/EEC from the very go, just remember, that until the UK fell out with France over the devaluation of Sterling in the late 40s, it was the UK that actually had great sway in shaping post-war Western Europe, this ended with the Schuman Plan – the UK, opposed at the time to French/German efforts established EFTA as a response to European supranational integration – I, like many others on the Left, among them Harold Wilson’s main negotiator with the EEC in his 1960s administrations, always preferred EFTA as the route to European trade & friendship, and this remains true today as witnessed by JCs pronouncements on Labours policy towards Europe in the post-Brexit vote era. JC, being a good internationalist was won over by Varoufakis to support the notion of a reformed EU, regrettably with Juncker as Commission President & Macron as French President, never mind Merkel still at the helm in Germany, any reform is all but impossible.

      On a positive European note, if Melenchon, Corbyn and other old style Leftists were actually in power across Europe I believe reform would be possible. Alas, Corbyn lost in June’s election & Melenchon did not make it to the second round of the French Presidential run off – one things for sure, if I lived and voted in France I’d have abstained from the second round vote on principle, namely, I don’t support neoliberalism period & voted ‘out’ in 2016 because the EU is now but a neoliberal project, as witnessed by recent events in France, and highly neoconservative as witnessed by the debacle in the Ukraine & actions in the Baltic States – of course, in Craig’s view my vote was a racist one, but I don’t see any racism if I’m defending my European peers from economic tyranny.

      • Carl

        The reasons Craig has given this week for losing faith in the EU are, by his own logic, but a thin disguise for his deep racism against east Europeans.

  • Christian Schmidt

    Hey, Theresa May supports Catalania. She said, in her Marr interview that it is never a mistake to give people the opportunity to vote!

  • Clydebuilt

    O/T. The first comment posted on following link contains a link to an article from the newsnet.scot archive from October 2012. Refers to a meeting between the Ruth Davidson and the Spanish P.P. And hints at A deal to gain Spanish opposition to Scottish Independence.

    http://indyref2.scot/has-madrid-leant-on-the-ec-again

    Clicking on the link produces the 403 Forbidden message . As does attempting to access the newsnet.scot site by other means.

    • reel guid

      So Ruth Davidson is an LGBT and professedly democratic politician who has lots of known homophobic and Orangeist supporters and who is allied to staunch Catholic ultra-right wingers.

      It’s getting confusing.

          • Geordie Bordie

            She’s just another bullshitter, bullshitting to get your vote and then selling you off to international corporates who’ll bleed you till you’re dry.

            Pimping British infrastructure and utilities to international finance, as someone recently said.

            Look at energy and railways, and the horrific increase in charges, year on year, unrelenting, driving down everyone’s living standards whilst they get fatter and fatter.

            It’s simple extortion and parasitism.

            They truly are a filthy caste.

          • Clydebuilt

            Geordie Brodie

            Does Ruthless understand any of that. . . Or is she just a niave useful idiot with a stupid grin.

          • Geordie Bordie

            “Does Ruthless understand any of that. . . Or is she just a niave useful idiot with a stupid grin.”

            Interesting question. I often ask myself that about current affairs and news people.

            I think that to be a leader of a party you have to understand the scam, and she is a privy councilor now.

            I expect that many ordinary MPs and MSPs and media people are a bit clueless on the way it all works, and look at it the way a reasonably contented public looks at it, that politicians are generally trying to get the best deal, and that there’s some fault in them or some circumstance that makes them have to settle for less.

            Blair ensured, for example, that the 1997 intake was as full of boobies as possible and the old knowledgeable constituency grafters weren’t selected.for seats. Corbyn needs to reverse that.

            They’ve been getting rid of good news people at the BBC since the 80s, but your Andrew’s Neill and Marr, Dumblebees and so on know the score.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Maybe because it’s trying to run a script on your device and either your device or your network has blocked it. But given that European separatists are pretty well interconnected, and given the events of the last few days, Spain wanting to put a spanner in any separatist movement it can reach seems logical enough.

      As to Davidson’s various contacts (below) that suggests to me that she at least hears other opinions than her own, and may even (whisper it) be a good deal less monolithically biased than the SNP leadership. Terrible, that.

      • reel guid

        Or else she’ll make allies with anyone at all if she thinks it will advance her fame and power, seeing as she’s so vastly ambitious.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Jesus. Haven’t you sussed out that that is what politicians do, yet? You think Nicola’s working in a private blue-and-white bubble? Because if she is, she’s letting you down. (And her post-political speaking/advising career.) If Davidson’s in touch with both sides of your deplorable religious divide and Sturgeon isn’t, you’d be a lot better to vote for Davidson. Who is, in any case, a much smarter bunny, politically.

          And no, I’m not a Tory, nor likely to be one. I’m not even anti-independence for Scotland, or the SNP. Just saying you folks need to accept some harsh realities, including the economic situation, and stop living in an echo-chamber.

          • reel guid

            Are you seriously saying that any Scottish politician ought to have friendly links to the Orange Order? Davidson’s behind the scenes encouragement of OO sympathisers in the Scottish Tories is an attempt to make Scotland regress.

  • willyrobinson

    Not surprisingly the Public Prosecutor’s Office are refusing to listen to the Catalan government’s claims of police violence on sunday, and refusing to investigate events at a school in Sant Gervasi in Barcelona. If you speak Spanish you can read about it here:

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20171003/431773140942/fiscalia-avala-actuacion-policial-1o-no-afecto-convivencia.html

    The really surprising ant outrageous part is the public prosecutor’s office attempt to justify inaction by claiming that any violence that occurred was statistically irrelevant:

    En cualquier caso, el ministerio público, en un “ejercicio intelectual”, basándose en los datos proporcionados por la Generalitat, remarca que si el 1-O votaron 2.262.424 personas y 844 resultaron heridos, de ello se desprende que un 0,037 % de los votantes resultaron afectados por la “presunta violencia policial”.

    Además, al haber un único herido grave, el fiscal remarca que ello representa que hubo “un 0,000042 % de individuos afectados por la presunta violencia grave policial”.

    The equivalent would be to tell the victims of the New Years Eve sexual assaults in Cologne that these attacks affected only a tiny proportion of the total number of women in the city of Cologne that night, and therefore the accusation is too indiscriminate to merit investigation. So much for the rule of law.

  • Geordie Bordie

    Loony

    This is from Marta, who posted on the “I am obliged” thread.

    Can you address the points made, especially the one with regard to the constitution.

    Thanks

    “I do not want to stay in a country whith an obsoleted constitution (made with Franco’s regime politicians) that politicians don’t want to change it to allow a referendum but as soon was born the first daughter of Felipe but they are willing to change it so that girl will be able to be Queen (the constitution didn’t allow women) that only show us the law and justice is it equal. I do not want to be in a country who’s King is unable in his speech to show concern for the victims of police violence and like the government says the police acted in proportion.”

    • Loony

      Sure I can address Marta’s comments.

      It is relatively easy to amend laws that are largely non controversial, not so with laws that are more controversial.

      Take the US as an example. Sure they could pass lots of laws restricting gun ownership, and from a European perspective such changes to the law would appear sensible and would probably garner widespread public support. Not so in the US because it is a different country with a different culture, different history and different values. The US knows perfectly well that in the UK about 30 people are killed by firearms each year and that in the US in excess of 30,000 people are killed by firearms. They regard an annual death toll in excess of 30,000 a price worth paying for the right to bear arms. Naturally not everyone in the US agrees with this position.

      It is the same basic way of thinking that currently prevents a change to the Spanish constitution that Marta would like to see. Some people will feel aggrieved and have valid reasons so to feel. I guess the relatives of US shooting victims also feel aggrieved. She appears upset by the comments of the King. I suppose a lot of Americans will feel aggrieved by the comments of the NRA and President Trump.

      They don’t change the law in the US because they are concerned that a lot of gun nuts would not surrender their weapons and indeed would use them in order to prevent them being confiscated. This may not be a winning argument if your son or daughter has just been shot.

      They don’t change the constitution in Spain because there is no widespread national support for such a change and they are concerned that some people would take up arms to prevent any such change. This may not be a winning argument if you are a Catalan.

      The good news for Catalans is that if they think logically then they are in a much better place than someone whose family has been randomly blown away by a gun firing bona fide lunatic. The bad news for Catalans is that if they refuse to think logically then they may well be able to more fully empathize with the grief suffered by Americans whose family members have been shot for no reason at all.

      My strong recommendation is that all parties attempt to think more logically and to stay away from emotive references to the past. Not because the past did not exist, not because crimes were not committed but because nothing good can come from the reopening of old wounds. If Marta is unable or unwilling to heed this advice then her post provides the embryo of a solution “I do not want to stay” The alternative to staying is leaving.

  • Andrew

    Craig,

    I don’t think you can call last sunday’s “referendum” an act of self-determination by the catalan people. For a true act of self determination to take place there needs to be established a general consensus across all parts of said society. In Scotland there was a consensus. Of course some unionists didn’t want the referendum, butthe refrendum was legal (excepting state propaganda).

    I consider there was no consensus for the last sundays catalan referendum. This is plainly manifested by the lack of any “no” campaign within the referendum.

    The only result that matters from last sunday is that Catalan society is even more broken then before.

    Those of us on the “no” side do not enter into any debate with any independentista. The last time I found myself in a debate I asked, “And what about the constitution? because there is no model for one. The answer was, “It doesnt matter. If we end up with an ultra right government good. Because we will be independent.” And that is from a cardholding member of ERC.

    I ask, who on earth wants to vote for the potential of an ultra right government?

    This is an article published in El Pais in english by Isabel Coixet, one of Catalanya’s foremost film directors. Coixet is someone who has spoken out against the lack of transparency of “el proces”.

    https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/04/inenglish/1507107040_799383.html

    Like many others, I find myself in a silent place where there is no chanting and no slogans, a place where only white flags wave in the wind.

    Andrew

  • Geordie Bordie

    More inmates trying to escape their asylum.

    This is non-binding so I doubt they’ll be getting a full beating:

    “Two of Italy’s wealthiest regions, Lombardy and Veneto, have announced plans for referendums aimed at obtaining greater independence.”

    “The referendums will take place on October 22nd, the regions announced on Friday – and although the results of the vote will not be legally binding, they could have major implications for Italy’s general election next year.”

    https://www.thelocal.it/20170421/two-northern-italian-regions-to-hold-autonomy-referendums-this-year

    Even the old bankers are pissed off .

    https://www.thelocal.it/20170421/two-northern-italian-regions-to-hold-autonomy-referendums-this-year

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