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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  • reel guid

    Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign Secretary, has tweeted that she’s on the 2.30 from King’s Cross to Darlington. Apparently she’s ‘going up norf’ to speak at Stockton North CLP’s annual dinner. Lucky them.

    Nothing about Catalonia so far. Lot of tweets about trains though.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    You persist in the attempt to dissociate right-wing(ooh, horrible!) from left-wing (you have nothing to lose but your chains, bro) nationalism. But they’re the same thing. When nationhood is threatened (or imagined) then you get nationalism.The only distinction to be made is the brand of opportunist demagogue who harnesses the unthinking masses to his bandwagon.

    • Carnyx

      No they are not, civic nationalism is based on democratic consent to be ruled by democratic institutions, as such, civic nationalism is changeable according to human needs. Ethnic nationalism is based on the claimed eternal distinctiveness of a group, therefore democracy isn’t so important to it, so long as it is ruled by a member of that group who claims to embody it’s unchanging eternal and distinctive will.

      Whether a particular nationalism is ethnic or civic is determined by the situation or cultural influences on the group in question.

      Saying they are all the same on the basis that both could get violent under threat means you cannot distinguish national disputes from any other, like say religious or linguistic. Hence you are effectively presuming all violent dispute to be ethnic nationalism, which is circular logic.

      • Muscleguy

        An excellent deconstruction of the argument. The defenders of British Nationalism cannot afford to recognise civic nationalism is it is a direct and valid challenge to ethnic and exceptionalist British Nationalism.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        Carnyx
        “Saying they are all the same on the basis that both could get violent under threat means you cannot distinguish national disputes from any other, like say religious or linguistic.”

        Ethnic wars? Nationalist wars? Religious wars? Linguistics wars?

        Hang on. Linguistic wars? Do you mean chomsky?

        Anyway, all these wars. You think wars are really fought for god, for country and stuff. Lots of people buy into these rationals, these illusions, but always at the root of conflict lies the struggle for resources. Always. Well, nearly always.

        It’s not just Great Britain mate. Your Scotland too, like all countries, is nothing but a fiction conjured by those who seek to rip you off. Work hard, sleep well, shut up. All an independent Scotland offers you is a slightly changed ruling class under a new flag. You might get a few concessions short term by an SNP desperate to marry the impossible but you will be a susceptible to the cultural shifts that follow economic tides. History shows this time and time again. But no. You think this time you will tame the beast. Your nationalism is inclusive, your capitalism forgiving. So forgiving you like to call it socialism. It’s hilarious. Putting them together gets ya snipped.

        You blame the English or Westminster or the Tories or whatever particular group of non-Scots you personally blame for your woes this week. You are destined for disappointment.

        • Carnyx

          Phil

          “Ethnic wars? Nationalist wars? Religious wars? Linguistics wars?”

          No, I mean conflict between groups who speak different languages, the difference between Croat and Serb is only religious, the difference between Ukrainian and Russian is linguistic.

          “Anyway, all these wars. You think wars are really fought for god, for country and stuff.”

          Depends, people at least die altruistically in the names of such, most wars have multiple contributing factors.

          “It’s not just Great Britain mate. Your Scotland too, like all countries, is nothing but a fiction conjured by those who seek to rip you off.”

          Nations are imagined communities that construct a sense of collectivity in modern economically diverse societies, this was my point when I explained nationalism and nations are ever changing. I think you’ll find most cultural and political institutions and phenomena are human inventions, so really there’s no need to patronise me pal. You might recognise from my above language that I’ve already thought on the issue longer than you as opposed to requiring you to repeat the Engel’s C19th standard centralising line as if I’ve never heard it before.

          “You blame the English or Westminster or the Tories or whatever particular group of non-Scots you personally blame for your woes this week. You are destined for disappointment.”

          Ehm I would kindly thank you not to presume anything for me. Do you think you are some kind of Priest or something?

          I blame the British state, I think it’s institutional culture is corrupt decript and outmoded. I want popular sovereignty, I want a state in which my vote is more powerful, I want a state that prioritises the well being of it’s citizens rather than spending money on nukes and aircraft carriers for the sake of global prestege. The top down institutional culture of the British state corrupts it’s dominat group “middle England”, due to their identitfication with it, it makes them more reactionary continually seeking to return to some past golden age, once the UK breaks up the English will be free to reinvent themselves without the imperial baggage and move into the future.

          There can be no socialism if there are dominant centres of power and exploited peripheries, which is exactly why the Soviets failed. Large states need to disintegrate before a free egalitarian society can be achieved, large states have failed, so we many take out own paths to a better society, instead of sitting back and letting our betters do it for us.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Comrade, you forget the famous last quote from the July Salsburg letters “it is bonny but would a caveman have worn it?” Meaning, you talk of civic nationalism as if a friendly, peaceful nation is a new idea rather than something that has repeatedly delivered people to the ravages of capital and war.

          • Carnyx

            Phil

            I do not, and did not make any distinction between “bad ethnic” and “nice civic” nationalism, I did not attach moral judgement on either and wouldn’t do so in such simplistic terms. Both can be violent I entirely conceed. Many anti-imperialist struggles I’d support use ethnic nationalism, ethnic nationalism provides a powerful narrative which can be used to resist exploitative outside rulers. Notice how Ireland and India haven’t had devistating famines since the British left? British nationalism has been civic, same as the US or France and yet are they sinless? Of course not, but at the same time that doesn’t take away their right to self determination.

            The problems with ethnic nationalism begin once those foreign rulers have been driven out, because the exclusive logic can start to spread suspisions within the new nation, can those who speak differently or who hold a different religion be trusted? Ethnic nationalism first arose in Germany in responce to Napoleonic invasion, Napoleon claimed to be freeing Germans from feudal backwardness and bringing enlightened republicanism, the German responce was to decide no Frenchman had a right to rule Germans. They both had a point. Ethnic nationalism spread through central and eastern Europe partly as a result of German influence and partly due to Eastern Europe being dominated by feudal empires like the Habsburg, Ottoman, Tsarist Russia, and Polish-Lithuanian or Swedish at an earlier date. Ethnic nationalism suited their situation.

            You are advancing the ahistorical primitivist conception of nationalism. that regards nationalism is akin to tribalism and has thus always existed as some primitive “cavemanesque” in-group-out-group instinct. A sort of collectivist Hobbesian state of nature, which we must rise above by pledging alliengence to some (socialist, in your case) global sovereign.

            I’m taking the modernist position, in which nationalism is a distinctly modern means of creating a sense of the collective in economically diverse societies. Nationalism is distinct to tribalism, tribalism is based on kinship or extended family. In societies that have a strong family or tribal emphasis modern democratic nationalism doesn’t function properly because everyone in the civil service is trading favours between families, their prime loyality is towards family not all citizens, such a situation requires a strong man patriarchal leader to distribute the goodies, like between the squabbling sons. This is why Iraq isn’t becoming like post war Japan or Germany as the neocons said they intended. Middle Eastern dictators are the result of their social conditions, not the cause, removing them isn’t going to create a liberal democracy.

            Nations, tribes, bands are all polities of different types. Before we had tribalism we had band societies, the most egalitarian form of polity humanity has seen “primitive communism” as it’s sometimes called, and was in fact nothing like Hobbes’s state of nature, there is barely any evidence of warfare until the neolithic revolution. And yet prior to agriculture we had more little “nations” (i.e. bands, polities) than we have today. Hence the problem isn’t the existence of seperate polities, it’s the attempt of polities to expand and hold their territories. We need more smaller nations, not less larger ones that become so powerful they could exterminate all life on earth.

          • Phil the ex-frog

            Carnyx
            “You are advancing the ahistorical primitivist conception of nationalism. that regards nationalism is akin to tribalism”

            No I’m not. Nothing I said relies on an allusion to tribalism.

            “Hence the problem isn’t the existence of seperate polities”

            I never said separate polities were a problem. Nor anything like that. You are answering your own conclusions. I can’t be arsed to argue straw men.

            Also, you are hilariously wide calling me a socialist. Not that it matters.

          • Carnyx

            Phil

            Hey it’s not my fault if you can’t or can’t be bothered to articulate yourself fully, you were the one who referenced “cavemen”.

      • Phil the ex-frog

        But just how will the Scottish people be sovereign? The SNP look like just any other ultimately self interested bunch of chancers party to my old eyes. Watch their intake succumb.

        Do you imagine the state hasn’t already a plan for a Scottish secret service? Do you imagine Scottish cops won’t protect the grand estates? Do you imagine Scots less liable to be seduced by power? Do you imagine the SNP, flush with victory, are going to ask the Scottish people about any of this?

        I know, I know, Scotland will not fall to the forces that ail every other comparable country ever. Inclusive nationalism and friendly capitalism – the fresh idea from Scotland.

        • Shatnersrug

          Phil I think the SNP have British establishment written all over them myself, standing for Westminster was the give away.

          Salmond, himself I feel was genuine but after the vote why did he stand down? It was almost like the pressure was far beyond just party or media like he had the full force of the state up his backside. I think most Scots would have been happy with him staying on and leading on, and initially he appeared to be doing that.

          I’m sorry call me a cynic but the post referendum SNP have behaved like little more than “managed opposition” and they have done an excellent job of keeping labour in their place and out of office.

        • Carnyx

          The SNP are irrelevent, they will probably disband once independence is secure.

          I know the left in Scotland is more powerful than the left in the UK or in England, hence the left in an independent Scotland will be significantly more influential on the govt than the British left is in the UK. Further it will be undeniable that the independence movement was predominantly leftist, hence iScotland will be a nation at least having to credit leftist values for it’s existence which will further preserve the influence of the left within it. Why should I want to remain in a UK in which my likes has little or fleeting influence, almost none as a Scot, when I can have so much more?

          Further if an independent Scotland tends to the left of England and is successful, that can only empower the left in England by comparison, the English will rightly ask why they can’t do the same.

  • fred

    US State department statement.

    “Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

    A tweet from Donald Tusk

    “For EU nothing changes. Spain remains our only interlocutor. I hope the Spanish government favors force of argument, not argument of force,” Tusk tweeted after the Catalan vote.

    Declarations do not an independent country make. That requires international recognition.

  • Doug Scorgie

    fred
    October 27, 2017 at 15:47

    “A lot of people in Catalonia do give a monkey’s and would like to know how their MP voted on the issue but they won’t. The Catalonia ballot was secret, the MPs didn’t put their names to their votes.”
    ………………………………………………………………………..

    Secret ballot?

    How do you know this Fred?

    Can you give a link or reference to back that up?

    Thank you.

    • Muscleguy

      Even if it was secret if that was the routine practice of the assembly it is valid. Also those present and those who voted are known as are the positions of the parties on the constitutional question. So it is not hard to work out who voted which way especially with the walkout by the unionist parties.

      • Muscleguy

        BTW the only point of a walkout is if it removes a quorum from the assembly as does not seem to be the case in Catalonia in which case it is just sour grapes and an abandonment of their responsibility as representatives.

        • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

          Yep. Not representing your people AND not participating in a democratic elected parliament vote IS inherently undemocratic.

  • Doug Scorgie

    Republicofscotland
    October 27, 2017 at 16:05
    O/T.
    Is this clown for real.

    “Jacob Rees-Mogg says that women who seek abortion after rape are committing a “second wrong”
    ………………………………………………………………..

    This man is a stupid idiot that seeks to be the next Tory leader!

    • Tony Forrest

      That would be a good point if it was true. He does not want to be the next Tory leader, he’s been very direct in saying he does not seek leadership of the party at all. To be clear, I’m not a fan of his. His idiocy in this particular situation is fuelled not by political beliefs but by religious beliefs; the historic brainwashing of humanity.

  • Seamus

    London should declare independence then, they are financing the UK same argument as the Catalans.

      • Shatnersrug

        You are presuming that london actually acknowledges the existence of the rest of the country.

        • Old Mark

          And you are assuming that most Londoners feel a sense of solidarity with their fellow citizens out in the sticks. That’s hardly a given, since native white Brits only comprise 45 per cent of London’s population (2011 census refers)

          • Shatnersrug

            No I’m not, I feel absolutely no solidarity with anyone based on where they live. I don’t like England though – it’s full of idiots. London’s good, Glasgow and Edinburgh, I like.

            England [shudder] full of self entitled daily mail numpties who’d happily cut their own arms off is long as it meant the bloody foreigners got a kicking. No it’s not a good place.

            If a can’t get noodles and a late and 4 am on a Wednesday night, Mark I’m not happy, you understand?

  • fwl

    Break down confidence in politicians and governments, ferment discontent and pave the way for what:

    1) democratic grassroots utopia or

    2) blockchain dystopia?

  • Republicofscotland

    I’m hoping that Scotland becomes the first country to recognise the Republic of Catalonia, if no other nation beats us to it.

    Maybe Slovenia will too, if it hasn’t already.

    • West Ender

      Diplomatic relations with foreign countries (including, obviously, recognition) are a matter for the UK central government. Hence your hope is a forlorn one as I’m sure Ms Sturgeon – unlike you – is well aware.

      The best the Scottish Assembly could do, provided that the SNP could scrape together a majority in the Assembly, would be to pass a resolution of sympathy and support – although it is difficult to see in what such “support” would consist in practice.

      Perhaps the best thing the now dismissed Catalan government could do is to flee abroad and set up a GOVERNMENT IN EXILE with the claim that it is this government which is the only true voice of the aspirations of the entire Catalan people.

      Although such a government in exile would not be recognised by any serious state (I include the Russian Federation in that category) it is entirely possible that it could be recognised by joke “governments” in countries such as Venezuela or North Korea or by the Palestinian Authority.

  • Roderick Russell

    Craig- Great article with much food for thought.

    As you say – “The lack of respect for liberal democratic values threaten Europe”. Unfortunately though they pay lip service to liberal values such as democracy and the rule of law, our power elites and much of their media haven’t followed these values for eons.

    Back in the 1930s, when she was a student at London School of Economics, my late mother marched “Arms for Spain”. This was when the liberal democracies washed their hands of Spain, refusing to arm the democratic forces in the Spanish civil war, leaving the ground to totalitarianism – and we all know what happened then.

    These are dangerous times indeed. The EU needs to get involved, in this and other similar issues, to act as a “neutral” honest broker without any prejudices in favour of either side. Sadly, I think that increasingly the EU sees itself as a new Holy Roman Empire and not as the embryonic European democracy that I once hoped for.

    • Shatnersrug

      Just as in the thirties – no modern careerist politician has the mental capability of thinking past two questions “what’s in it for me?” and “what do I do now?” Both these questions are asked to their advisors who work for large corporations who are all to happy to suggests lots of great policies that will help our politicians reach their millions. Trouble is that the ultimate government for a large corporation is a fascist one – it always has been. However the public don’t like the corporate fascist and tend to pick the ethnic or nationalistic one instead.

      Where we stand right now I cannot see a way forward that won’t be a repeat of the 1930s and we all know how that ended. We also know how to prevent it from happening a lot of the worlds great minds set to work on policies that would prevent it happening again. However in 2010 David Cameron and George Osbourne decided to tear up the social contract based on Milton Friedmans daft monetarism.

      It wasn’t long before Europe followed suit and the Republican controlled house and congress put a break on Obama’s (admittedly weak) new deal.

      In 2009 all the western leaders from the Uk to the EU countries to the USA pledged to increase the money supply and spend on investment with (fairly average) Keynesian policies. In 7 years The the right and the Neoliberalists have done more damage that the last 70 years. Now we are here, the old madnesses have been reawakened and I fear there is nothing we can do but follow it to its bitter end.

  • Carnyx

    I’ve been checking out youtube to see what’s going on in the lesser known parts of Catalonia I know, so ….

    Guardia Civil arriving to stay at campsite in L’Escala
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIrTj1ff3AY
    Protesters in L’Escala keeping the Guardia Civil awake
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILkaCXYr4QI
    Spanish flag being removed in Girona
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wkhhgvVBYY
    Spanish flag being removed in Figueres
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjFsZgjtnzo

  • miel

    There is a significant mistake in your text. The Spanish Government didn’t refuse any election offer in Catalonia offer yesterday. The Catalan President is the one that can make the call for elections, and it was him and only him, Carles Puigdemont, who first announced he was going to make the call and later say that he was not going to make the call for an election the 20th December. An then you are right, this vividly highlights that the thing they (the Catalan Government) are most scared of is any kind of free and fair vote. because in a legal and regular election the Catalan independentist parties once again won’t be able to get the majority of votes from the Catalan population. Independence supporters are less than 47% of the population, even though they have a simple majority of deputies in Parliament because of the Law of Hondt that gives more representation to people from the villages that people from the metropolitan areas.

    • West Ender

      “… the Law of Hondt that gives more representation to people from the villages that people from the metropolitan areas.”

      The DeHondt voting system does no such thing.

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      Miel,
      you are off by a country-mile.

      The Catalan president offered new elections, but also asked Spain if they would promise to not invoke article 155. The Spanish government could not guarantee such a thing.
      That is when the Catalan president called for the vote.

      This is an important ommission on your part!

      • miel

        I’m sorry Henri Kerkdijk-Otten, but you talk without knowing.
        the article 155 needs a long procedure before to be approved and to used. This procedure started last saturday (almost a week ago). Yesterday morning the article 155 was in the Senate (the second chamber of the Spanish Parliament) so the president of the Spanish government coudn’t promise to stop that. This is a democracy and there are procedures that have to be respected. So Rajoy (the Spanish president) promised Puigdemont (the Catalan president) that when the article ends its approval process and comes back to the Government they would frozen the process. This is what he could promise at that moment, yesterday morning. Puigdemont has had tons of time to call for elections in Catalonia and hasn’t done it. He has been manipulating till the end and now we are living in such a mess. Shame on him.

      • miel

        this article is so so wrong that Spanish president Rajoy has just announced that he removes the Catalan president from his position, and after that he has made the call for regular elections in Catalonia on 21 December.

  • West Ender

    I winder if – theoretically at least – a good case might not be made for Greater London splitting away from the rest of the UK and declaring independence. After all
    – it has the critical population mass (more people than Catalonia, Scotland and quite a few EU member states)
    – the direct and indirect taxes levied are in part used to subsidise the rest of the UK (revenue transfers)
    – it could be considered to be a separate “nation” (given its ethnic and population mix, different to that of most of the rest of the UK taken as a whole).
    The new capital of rUK could be placed more centrally (with many attendant benefits).
    If I were a Londoner I might find rhe idea quite appealing.

    • Paul Barbara

      Leave me out! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been stopped on Tower Bridge because I had forgotten my visa to visit South London. But the Duty Free’s are handy.

      • Shatnersrug

        Ive addressed this issue above, for London to seek independence it would first have to acknowledge that there was a rest of the country in the first place.
        I like any good Londoner rarely go further than zone 2 and even then it’ll only be to Heathrow. Obviously I travel to Edinburgh quite regularly, but I get on at kings cross, there’s some fieldy greeny business that frankly looks awfully dull, then I fall asleep and then, there we are at Waverley.

  • Dave Lawton

    Well done Catalonia.I witnessed the brutal treatment of people of Catalonia`s by Madrid in the 1950`s and the Crypto fascists of Madrid have not changed.

  • Stu

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/27/the-guardian-view-on-conspiracy-theories-convenient-fictions

    The Guardian tells us that conspiracy theories are nonsense. They seem to have forgotten that this very year they went completely overboard promoting a story that the President of the USA was being blackmailed by Russia because they have a video of him being pissed on by prostitutes. That’s obviously completely reasonable.

    It would be nice if one of the reasonable people who know that the conspiracy is nonsense would clear a few things up.

    1. Why was Oswald able to renounce his American citizenship, defect to the USSR, return to the USA, bring a wife from Russia, travel to Mexico, be surveilled contacting a GRU agent and then return to the USA with no questions asked.

    2. Why did J Edgar Hoover tell LBJ the day after the assassination that someone was impersonating Oswald in Mexico? Why is the only photo of Oswald entering the USSR embassy not actually Oswald? Why were the tapes of Oswald phoning the embassy destroyed?

    3. Why was Oswald surrounded by CIA assets. Who told De Mohrenschildt to befriend Oswald? What exactly were the CIA connections of Ruth Paine who got Oswald the job in the TBD? Funnily enough none of the released documents seem to have anything to do with these two people who are probably Oswald’s most important acquaintances.

    • Henri Kerkdijk-Otten

      Breaking fake news:
      The EU will not recognize the UK leaving the EU.

      Britain should make some friends outside the EU, but apparantly they want no cooperation with anybody…

  • Old Mark

    Leanne Wood of Plaid has issued a statement in support of the Catalan declaration, whereas the Blessed Nicola appears to be taking her cue from the Socialists in the Catalan assembly, who refused to vote either way. Surely she can’t keep quiet on this news for much longer?

    • freddy

      Nicola does not think she can win Indyref2 therefore she understands she is history.
      She wants to hang on to what she has, until it is taken from her, she is keeping her head down.

    • Republicofscotland

      Old Mark.

      As far as I’m aware both leaders have given Catalan independence unoffical support but no recognition yet.

      However England (Westminster) has came out and blurted out that the UK doesn’t support or recognise a independent Catalonia.

      That statement by Westminster in my opinion doesnt incorporate the devolved governments true feelings on the matter.

  • reel guid

    US State Dept. spokesperson Heather Nauert has tweeted ” Catalonia is an integral part of Spain, and the United States supports the Spanish government’s constitutional measures to keep Spain strong and united”.

    So the US State Dept. thinks a central government that refuses to negotiate with a peaceful regional government, that arbitrarily suspends democracy – basing its actions on a constitution that was essentially imposed by fascists in a transition between a fascist dictatorship and a fledgling democracy 40 years ago – and that creates political prisoners in 21st century Europe is worthy of being fully supported.

  • freddy

    Oil is at a higher price than it has been for more than a year.
    This is a sign, people are twitching.
    The Euro is going through the floor.
    This is a sign, people are twitching.

    • reel guid

      You’re right Ros. They’re probably in for a bit of a slog. But then the Catalans, like their friends the Scots, are used to that. Most of the people of Scotland will see the right and the justice in Catalonia’s declaration.

    • Loony

      Kosovo is a textbook definition of a failed state, its continued existence is and will remain conditional on US/UK support. The very powers that many are obsessively critical of except, apparently, when they are using their power to prop up Kosovo. A lot of people died in order to create this failed state – but who cares about them when Kosovo provides an opportunity to twist and distort facts and history in order to create more human misery. Way to go.

      • Old Mark

        Kosovo is essentially a US/EU protectorate- (the Euro is the de facto currency, Camp Bondsteel is the main US base in the Balkans): a faux state rather than a failed state. Catalonia is neither- which appears to be why its independence is being strangled at birth.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Does the cultural change, away from essays and books to a max of 140 character communication in Text Messages and Tweets, mean the end of long boring speeches? – cos we are going to a Wedding tomorrow.

    I hope no one farts during the gaps.

    Should be fun.

    I may even wear a suit and tie.

    Our Friends are Getting Married.

    Hurrahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

    Tony

  • Loony

    This blog post should more accurately be entitled “Misdirection on Catalonia”

    The self proclaimed human rights activist has nothing at all say regarding the average Catalan citizen – perhaps some of them work for some of the 1,400 companies that have shifted their corporate headquarters out of Catalonia since October 2nd.

    • West Ender

      I do not have the impression that Mr Murray cares very much about human rights except when it suits his “political” agenda of the moment.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ West Ender October 27, 2017 at 21:06
        That was an incredibly erroneous and foolish thing to say.
        Read his book: ‘Murder in Samarkand’ – he lost his very promising career, and almost his life, defending Human Rights.

    • JOML

      Well, Loony, I was speaking to an “average Catalan” citizen about an hour ago. He was very pleased with events, although apprehensive about the potential for Madrid to use violence against them. They have no guns or intentions to retaliate, against any such aggression – so the onus is very much on Madrid to negotiate. However, he does fear Madrid’s politicians are still living in the 1950s.

    • Scrum5

      Shifting HQ can be done in minutes, and can come back just as quick. Let’s see if they close factories, lay off workers, that will be more permanent. Also, there is concern that Spanish economy may crash without Catalunya contribution and need a bailout from EU. This is significant reason for EU response to date, so Spain could be shooting itself in the foot if they try to destroy Catalan economy.

      • Loony

        There is no doubt that the Spanish economy would crash without Catalonia – that is why Spain needs to keep Catalonia as a constituent part of the country. It does not want to destroy the Catalan economy. If it did then it could accept that Catalonia is independent and simply disconnect it from the national power, telecoms and transportation infrastructure.

        The fact that a malicious and malevolent Spain could do this simply by pushing a few buttons and pulling a few plugs tells you quite a lot about how the Catalan elite regard the Catalan citizenry.

        You are correct in that an HQ can be moved in minutes – however it must be doubtful that all of the companies that have moved out of Catalonia will move back anytime soon. Whatever happens some degree of risk will remain. Viewed in isolation this could actually help Spain as it could serve as a kind of proxy regional aid package. It obviously harms Catalonia – yet another pointer as to how the Catalan elite regards the Catalan citizenry.

      • freddy

        Rather
        the politicians of Catalonia are shooting the people of Catalonia through booth feet and both eyes

  • reel guid

    Finnish MP from Lapland Mikko Karna has tweeted his support for Catalonia. He’s going to submit a motion in the Finnish parliament next week for Finland to recognise independent Catalonia.

    Well done Mikko.

  • Neil Blackshire

    Hi Craig, I didn’t read the rest of your article after you stated that the Spanish government had turned down an offer of 20 december election. There was no offer of any elections from Puigdemont,just the opposite a flat refusal to hold elections. To prove that you are making this article up in your head today Rajoy announced Catalan elections for the 21st of December. Articles like this just help to divide the Catalans even more.

    • Enoycla

      The Great Intellectual loves to talk about ‘peoples’ and their right to self-determination, but ‘peoples’ who are content with staying within the wider country are evil and those that want to jump the United States of Europe ship are racists.

      The one breed of people you have to be more careful of than politicians are failed politicians.

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