Misdirection and Catalonia 257


The Spanish Government’s refusal yesterday of the offer of a 20 December election in Catalonia vividly highlights that the thing they are most scared of is any kind of free and fair vote. They wish to take over all the Catalan institutions and media, and institute a judicial ban on pro-Independence campaigning, before they allow any election – that is why they prefer a six month delay. All of which yet again highlights the outrageous lie the western corporate and state media have been repeating and repeating for weeks, that only a minority in Catalonia support independence. At the last Catalan parliamentary election the explicitly pro-Independence parties gained 48% and explicitly anti-independence parties gained 39%, while the most recent recent poll, by GESOP, indicates that would not change in a new election.

Madrid prefers its elections rigged. Albert Rivera, leader of Rajoy’s coalition partners Ciudadanos, admitted it explicitly, saying that elections in Catalonia must only be held when the government can guarantee the result.

This is no surprise as Ciudadanos and Mr Rivera have only the most tenuous link to democracy. It is well known to everyone in senior diplomatic and intelligence circles of the major Western powers, that Ciudadanos originated as a highly successful astroturf operation, funded and organised by the German overseas security service, the BND. The rise of Podemos threatened the collapse of the Euro project, and Germany realised the loss of credibility of the established Spanish political parties would not enable them to counter Podemos. It was therefore decided to produce a “grassroots anti-establishment” movement, which in fact would help impose the harsh economic austerity on Spain the German interest in the Euro demanded.

When I served as Ambassador in Uzbekistan, Germany was undergoing profound foreign policy changes which finally set aside the extremely passive overseas stance Germany had adopted after World War II. This was absolutely a conscious process by the German Government. The airbase they opened at Termez in Uzbekistan, to operate into Afghanistan, was the first overseas military base Germany had opened anywhere since 1945, which they constantly told me. Side by side went a much more aggressive approach by the BND. Piggybacking on the Termez airbase, the BND created the “Islamic Jihad Union” as their first post World War II false flag operation, to provide political cover for their alliance with the Uzbek dictatorship. That precedent, re-establishing the BND role in active overseas operations, was followed by the creation of Ciudadanos, which is arguably one of the most successful intelligence operations of all time. So when you see Rivera calling for the election result in Catalonia to be “guaranteed”, that is Merkel speaking.

Franco died peacefully, still in power. 1975 is not that long ago. I was born in 1958, and by 1975 had already campaigned actively in two parliamentary elections and organised a couple of demonstrations against the American nuclear base at Mildenhall. There are plenty of prominent Spanish politicians older than me, so some of them must have a proud record of anti-dictator resistance pre-1975, right? Err, not so much.

There has never been any reckoning with the crimes of the dictator or the vast section of Spanish establishment that collaborated willingly with him. There is an unwillingness in the West to recognise the explicit Francoist DNA in Rajoy’s political party, which was founded by seven Franco ministers avowedly to continue the Franco legacy, and which Rajoy joined not long after Franco’s death, when to do so was an unabashed declaration of Francoist belief. Strangely enough, the best exposition of the current situation was given by Jake Wallis Simons on Sky News three days ago when he related what he himself had witnessed of the non-marginal prevalence of fascism in the Spanish nationalist demonstrations, and talked of the fascist salutes addressed to the Guardia Civil in their support, which the Guardia received as a compliment.

In their desire to prop up Spain and deny Catalonian rights, every single “liberal” western media outlet of note – the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Economist, etc etc – has run an article on how Catalonian independence must be stopped or it will lead to a sweeping tide of secessionism for regions across Europe. These articles never consider that perhaps, if there really is a popular desire for smaller states, it might be good to respect it. They also vastly exaggerate the likelihood of some fringe movements making ground, and fail to distinguish between regions – which do not have the right of self determination under Article 2 of the UN Charter – and peoples, which do have that right.

But they are all an exercise in misdirection. Smaller states are not a great danger to anyone. The crushing of democracy in Catalonia, the fascist salutes on the streets and the unabashed return of Francoist doctrine, is the real danger. And it is a danger all across Europe. The far right is entering government in Austria. The AFD are returning Nazi doctrine to the German parliament. Anti-Semitic slogans are infecting Italian football support. In both Poland and Hungary, Eastern Europe’s own brand of nasty right wing authoritarianism is in power.

An independent Catalonia, or Scotland, or Wallonia, does not threaten Europe. The lack of respect for liberal democratic values threatens Europe. That threat is an extremely real one. It is epitomised by the fact that even extreme police violence against the Catalans and the suspension of their democracy draws nothing but approbation from European political establishments and the EU. These are dangerous times indeed.


257 thoughts on “Misdirection and Catalonia

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  • Joan Pujolar

    For those confused about the founding of Ciudadanos, the party has had two births, the first as a small Catalan party to oppose moves for greater autonomy and to oppose policies in favour of the Catalan language. The second, the one Craig Murray probably refers to, is when the party leader, Mr. Albert Rivera, was selected and somehow miraculously propped as a new political leader in the whole of Spain. For months and months, he appeared everyday in all Spanish TV channels. The intervention of the BND must then have been welcome by powerful Spanish sectors. He even fot the public support of Spain’s former president José María Aznar. It was a bold move in the sense that Albert Rivera is Catalan, and Catalan political leaders have always fared badly in the past no matter how anti-Catalan they claimed to be. Spanish people have never accepted the idea to vote for a Catalan, and I wonder if this fact may still prove to be a problem for him at some point.

  • Penelope Willis Fleming

    Finally someone who a) understands what is going on an b) is prepared to write about it! Bravo!

  • Robert McKnight

    Sorry, what offer of elections on the 20th of December? that’s a blatant misrepresentation of the facts or in plain old English – a lie. Madrid prefers its elections rigged??? I have lived in Spain for 30 years. I’m left-wing or PSOE. Spain may have its defects as does the UK and the USA but rigged elections is not one of them.

    • Kurt

      Regarding rigged elections, I suspect it’s quite possible. In fact there are proven suspicious liaisons between the ruling party, the Partido Popular and Indra, the company providing IT infrastructure to last elections and probably future ones, including the 21D

  • ANDREW RADLEY

    Great article,thanks for telling the truth while so many lie for their own ends (EU).

  • Audrey Skoudy

    I agree completely with this article. As the french say chapeau.I have lived in Barcelona for over 53 years and managed to vote on the 1st of October for Catalan independence.

  • Andrés Badia

    Carles Puigdemont attorney in Barcelona and councilors of PDeCAT, Alonso Cuevillas, reported that imprisoned members Govern yesterday suffered a humiliating treatment by the Spanish police when they were transferred to prison. He explained that handcuffed behind and that during the ride van they put the anthem of Spain playing in a mobile, while making comments like “you are going to find out.” They had to be treated by medical personnel for injuries made by the handcuffs. This is the Spanish “democracy”.

  • Andrés Badia

    The far-right party VOX has announced that this Saturday initiate action to outlaw PDeCAT, ERC and CUP. He has announced its president, Santiago Abascal, in a tweet where indicated: “VOX begin tomorrow actions to outlaw criminal organizations serving the coup: CUP, ERC, PDeCAT”. In short : All parties suspected of being separatists. More Spanish “DEMO-CRACY”

  • Thomas

    Your analysis shows clearly you have no idea about what is happening in Catalonia and Spain. Elections in Catalonia on 21st december, called by the Spanish Governement. Yo u should apología for your comments. Please, keep your credibility on issues you can add somehing.

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