Europe Hostage to the Ludicrous Hyperbole of the Spanish Constitution 111

Borders shift, over time, as the tides of human history and interaction ebb and flow. They always have and they always will. A Historic Atlas of Europe at 100 year intervals shows up the constant flux.

All within only the last 100 years, even a really major state like Poland has started by not existing at all, having been abolished 130 years previously, then come back into existence for two decades, then been abolished again, then been reinstated once more but entirely shifted a full two hundred miles westward from its previous incarnation.

There have been six truly major boundary and status changes to Germany in the last 150 years, the last only 27 years ago.

A glance at a historical atlas of Europe century by century shows a kaleidoscope of continuing shifts in states as they form and reform, move, merge and dissolve. It is the normal state of Europe. Nor is it in any sense slowing down; this is not a process which has stopped. Even in the short period since I left university, eight states currently members of the European Union have undergone truly drastic changes to their national boundaries or nation state status.

Even Hitler was only nuts enough to think his Reich would last for a thousand years. Spain (which incidentally was almost entirely Muslim a thousand years ago) tops Hitler for mad ambition. Spain believes its current borders will last forever. The Constitution specifies the “indissoluble unity” of Spain. This plainly mad claim is the entire basis of the “legalistic” stance of Rajoy. An excellent article today by Gerry Adams in the Guardian points out that Rajoy is making negotiation impossible by insisting on the precondition that it is illegal even to discuss Catalan independence.

I do not know how long the human race will last. I tend to the optimistic assumption that it will have a good few thousand more years to run. It is vaguely amusing that some people believe that, whatever the state of Europe and human societal organisation in 3017, there will still be an indissoluble Spanish nation with its existing frontiers. I suspect those people like to forget that in 1017 their ancestors were Muslims. They also, of course, do want to see a border change in having Gibraltar returned to Spain – something in which I always supported them unequivocally, until the Guardia Civil in Catalonia beating old women one Sunday, and the fascists marching down the street the next, gave me doubts.

I suppose if you are a right wing Catholic you are more inclined to a mystical view of indissoluble human unions that people whose life view is more grounded in reality. Nobody in their right mind believes any of Europe’s current political boundaries will last forever. The entire Western Establishment and media did not just recognise, but pushed for, their dissolution when it was Yugoslavia or Serbia in question. But they have now, for reasons of right wing solidarity, adopted Spain’s “indissoluble union” hyperbole. Even Establishment outlets like the Economist which once claimed intellectual credentials, proclaim this daft clause as though it were God’s writ.

The boundaries of Europe change, all the time. They have throughout human history. The pace of those natural shifts has not slowed. It is part of the ebb and flow of human societies on this wonderful, culturally rich continent. To attempt suddenly to freeze all national borders is not just gross hypocrisy, given the attitude of the same political leaders to other border changes and to Spain’s demand for Gibraltar. It is an effort that could only be sustained by ever-increasing use of violence.

Spain has decided to stand on the crazed idea that it is indissoluble. The logic of that is that, if 100% of Catalans or Basques were to seek Independence, it still should not be allowed. Is that really a position Europe’s politicians wish to adopt?

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111 thoughts on “Europe Hostage to the Ludicrous Hyperbole of the Spanish Constitution

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  • Douglas Stuart Wilson

    Thank God for Josep, a poster who actually knows what he is talking about…shock!…horror!

    The idea that Spain was ever Muslim is patent nonsense. The invading Berbers can roughly be compared to the Normans in Britain – a ruling warrior caste who arrived and took over the country for their own ends. But who lived side by side with Jews and Christians for centuries… I guess Craig never heard about the tradition of “the three cultures” in Cordoba and Granada, or the Toledo School of Translation.

    As for Catalonia, well the main objection to Catalan independence is the fact that it does not have a clear border with the rest of Spain. The “paisos cataláns” start in France and end south of Valencia:

    If Catalonia becomes an independent State, “the nationalist question” will relocate to Valencia most probably.

    The violence which took place yesterday on the streets of Valencia comes as no surprise..

    There is no such issue in the case of Scotland and England…

    • Republicofscotland

      Yeah, Puigdemont, looked nervous, and appeared very cagey as too openly declaring UDI. I think he kind of suspended the usual 48 hours later declaration. In order to have a dialogue with Madrid.

  • Republicofscotland

    Spanish government considers Puigdemont’s speech to be a declaration of independence and is preparing to respond.

  • John Munro

    I note that the Spanish constitution of 1978 has been rolled out in support of the Spanish government’s position that the Spanish state is constitutionally indivisible and that, therefore the Catalan referendum was illegal. This position leaves out how when and why the constitution was drawn up. Who drew it up and why it was passed by referendum.
    The Spanish constitution of 1978 was drawn up in the aftermath of Franco’s death and the end of his regime. However, the military, security services and civil service survived Franco and were fully in place when the new constitution began to de drawn up. The party in power when the drafting commission was selected in 1977 was the OCD; a party which provided a bolt hole for many of Franco’s supporters. 3 of the 7 man commission were OCD members. A fourth was Manuel Fraga, a hard line Francoist ex minister. At the time the commission was meeting there were right wing threats and actual violence going on. Left wingers were being murdered by Fascists including the ‘Atocha Massacre’ when 5 Communists were murdered by by Spanish and Italian Fascists. There were also clear red lines laid own by Franco’s military and police. There had to be a monarchy. Spain had to remain undivided and either inside or outside the new constitution there had to be a complete amnesty for and forgetting of the many crimes carried out by Franco and his supporters. Despite the massive amounts of historical evidence nobody was ever called to account or asked to give up money and property corruptly or dishonestly acquired during Franco’s regime.

    The constitution was submitted to referendum and was passed by a population frightened that the still existing Francoist military and police would launch a coup or otherwise take the country back to the Francoist nightmare. Incidentally, the aforementioned Francoist ‘hangman’ minister was also, surprise, surprise the founder of Rajoy’s political party, the Partido Popular.

  • Velofello

    There is a painting of the Muslim exodus from Spain in Denia museum. Can’t provide a date.

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