The Freedom of Courage 297

Hundreds of thousands of people are already gathered outside and inside polling stations across Catalonia, defending them from the squads of paramilitary police who are fanning out from Barcelona port. The atmosphere is currently festive and the determination to vote of ordinary, decent vote is inspirational.

When a people permanently withdraws its consent to be governed, and finds the courage to defy the agents of authorised state force, there is no way that the government can reimpose itself unless it is prepared to spill quite serious quantities of blood. I do not refer only to today’s referendum, which hopefully will go ahead peacefully but could not be stopped without physical force. In the long term, having eschewed the democratic route in favour of force, Spain will not be able to repress Catalonia without plunging still deeper in to the kind of tactics which reveal the very real Francoist political roots of its Prime Minister and many of its ruling party.

The ironic point, of course, is that had Spain agreed to a referendum process, they had a fair chance of winning it. It worked for continuing Westminster control of Scotland, although the Spanish government do not have the mainstream media monopoly in Catalonia which the unionists enjoyed in Scotland. It will be astonishing if the contempt for the views of the Catalonian people shown by Spain over the last month, has not instead propelled a large number of Catalans into the Independence camp, the more so given Rajoy’s blundering insistence on changing things today into a physical confrontation.

The British and other western governments have painted themselves into the most embarrassing position. As paramilitary forces are looking today to prevent crowds of solid and peaceful citizens from voting, the entire political Establishment across the European Union has declared on the side of the paramilitaries. The Guardian editorial states that in the UK only a few Scottish nationalists support the Catalans. Yet again, the Establishment promotes its own opinion as that of the people. I am quite certain that the view of the average British person is not one of support for the Spanish government in suppressing the vote.

The most extraordinary thing of all is the falling in line of the entire political Establishment, right across the EU, and all of its mainstream media, with the mantra that the Catalonian referendum is illegal. The right in international law of a people to self-determination cannot be constrained by the domestic legislation of the larger state from which that people is seeking to secede. NATO itself went to war ostensibly to enforce the right to self-determination of the Kosovans, which Kosovan secession was claimed as illegal by Serbia in precisely the same terms the Spanish claim. The hypocrisy of NATO governments is breathtaking (as always).

Nor can the Catalan people be bound in perpetuity to any arrangement they agreed immediately after the demise of Franco. The right of self-determination of peoples is inalienable, and the Catalan situation is a perfect illustration of the meaning of inalienable in this sense. In fact, by arguing that Catalonia specifically signed up to the current Spanish constitution, all the Spanish government and its supporters are doing is offering conclusive evidence that the Catalans are indeed a people with the right of self-determination.

In 2015 Rajoy’s right wing extremists in power enacted a law making it illegal to film Spanish police, with a fine of up to 30,000 euros. So those getting out footage of police attempts to disrupt voting will be breaking that law. I am not sure to what extent that explains the coyness of BBC coverage so far, or to what extent it is just part of their normal BBC propaganda effort. It is worth noting that the British government is planning to privatise the power of arrest to companies like G4S and Serco, giving them a whole new range of people they can beat up, rather than just prisoners and illegal detainees.

The Establishment all round the world seeks to enforce its will, and to protect the vast wealth a tiny minority have been allowed to rob through manipulating the institutions of society. When you see the right wing Establishment worldwide, pus the entire mainstream media, united against the ordinary people as we see today in Catalonia, it is a no-brainer which side you should be on.

297 thoughts on “The Freedom of Courage

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  • reel guid

    Lots of prominent Scottish unionists tweeting smugly about the Edinburgh Agreement and how that is how to handle things democratically instead of Madrid’s way.

    Utter hypocrisy. Can anyone name a prominent unionist who supports having a second Scottish independence referendum on principle, seeing as a majority of MSPs at Holyrood voted for one?

    Cameron signed the Edinburgh Agreement in 2012 because he naively thought the Yes vote would be contained around 20%. Not because of a cherishing of democratic principles. And since the British Establishment got a fright with 45% – and a Yes majority among the non-OAPs – they’re refusing to agree to a second.

    • giyane

      reel guid

      There will never be anything naive about David Cameron. He had already been made the fall-guy for Obama’s destruction of Libya using the CIA’s policy of eat-your-own-vomit islamist terrorists. He was only save from a worse fate in Syria by the fact that nobody believed any of the evidence manufactured about Syria using chemical weapons, and he wanted OUT.

      I believe he has the use of a free 17 million pound house in London, so why would he want to end up like Blair, foaming, sectionable mad? it’s different with Boris , he’s already been lobotomised. if they lock him up he’ll think he’s back at Eton where he can pay others to do his fag duties. It could be worse, William Hague has been forced to buy the ugliest house in South Wales. Double punishment:- shooting your pheasant and eating it – full of lead shot.

  • Sharp Ears

    The other fascists have started their conference in Manchester.

    They should have booked the village hall. The conference centre is pretty empty. A long shot reveals rows and rows of empty seats.

    Nationally, their membership is now around 100,000 cf Labour’s 570,000!

    Theresa is there with Philip in the front row. She’ll be out very soon.

    • reel guid

      May might be out soon. But the Tory government isn’t likely to be out soon. The DUP are doing very nicely from the arrangement and will want to keep it going long term.

    • Anon1

      At least it’s an improvement on the cult-like adoration of the overblown student canteen operative exhibited at the Labour conference.

      I see the Corbynistas were charming the delegates with the new kinder, gentler politics by placing a huge “Hang the Tories” sign outside the conference, complete with swinging dummies hanging off a bridge!

  • Republicofscotland

    The Catalonian government asks the EU’s Claude Junker, to apply Article 7 of the European Union Treaty and suspend Spain as a member state.

    Article 7 of the European Union Treaty states,
    “Suspension of any Member State that uses military force on its own population.”

    • reel guid

      That’s why Madrid will be careful to use only police and not the army Ros. The Spanish government can then argue that they only upheld the law with police forces. Bullshit of course. But it’ll probably be enough to get them off the hook with Brussels.

      • batbiteBCN

        The Guardia Civil are not police officers. They are a paramilitary outfit – soldiers,essentially.

        • reel guid

          The Guardia Civil is a police force. Yes, it is run on military lines. And it can be sometimes deployed along with the Spanish armed forces, usually as military police. It is a police force nevertheless.

      • Old Mark

        BoJo’s silence over the repression in Catalonia is hardly surprising; he is probably glad just the once not to be only Foreign Minister to break with EU unanimity on this issue.
        Corbyn has however had his patience tried to destruction and has called the violence of the Guardia Civil ‘shocking’.
        Juncker is also (surprise surprise) still keeping mum, ignoring the pleas of the Catalan government for EU action under article 7.

        • MBC

          Foreign Office spokesman just issued a statement supporting Spain and the rule of law, according to Guardian live blog.

  • Paul Barbara

    Bit of decent reporting from the Independent:
    ‘The scale of repression over Catalonia is exposing the crisis of the Spanish state’:

    ‘….Significantly, this legal overreach hasn’t been limited to Catalonia, and nor has the popular response to it. Judges in Madrid and Bilbao have ruled public debates on the Catalan question illegal. While both events eventually went ahead despite the court suspensions, the apparent attempt to use criminal law to suppress political expression recalls some of the darkest moments of Spain’s recent history.
    The scale of state repression in Catalonia and its extension to the rest of Spain mark a significant shift in the ongoing dispute over the national question. The conflict is less and less about competing conceptions of democracy and increasingly about the defence of the basic rights like freedom of assembly, speech and the press…..’

    ‘….Is this a revolt with a national current? Undoubtedly. But there is something else going on, too. Wednesday’s rallies were not the highly organised, disciplined affairs that characterise the annual demonstrations of the independence movement. Their spirit owed something to the anti-establishment “indignados” movement that occupied the squares of Spain’s major cities in May 2011 and politicised a generation.
    Protesters alternated between collective renditions of the Catalan national anthem, “Els Segadors” and the libertarian and anti-fascist chants of “the streets will always be ours” and “no passaran”. As night fell, the air was filled with the sound of people banging pots from their balconies in protest, even in neighbourhoods where support for independence is relatively low. Elsewhere in Spain, emergency solidarity protests were held in more than 20 cities, using the hashtag #CataluñaNoEstásSola, “Catalonia, you’re not alone”……’

    Hopefully, Rajoy & Co. have bitten off a lot more than they can chew. This is NOT limited to Catalonia.

  • K Crosby

    You’re right about the unionist corp-0-rat media monopoly in Britain but I think you still underestimate the Snats as bourgeois shits who want to supplant the unionist boss class, like the pro-Treaty IRA in the 20s, rather than demolish it. I think that plenty of people in Scotland would vote independence if the Snats weren’t the obvious beneficiaries.

  • reel guid

    Scottish Labour’s nuclear power enthusiast Brian Wilson has tweeted nothing about Catalonia since retweeting one of the anti-independence articles in The Guardian before the violent crackdown by the authorities.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The Establishment all round the world seeks to enforce its will, and to protect the vast wealth a tiny minority have been allowed to rob through manipulating the institutions of society. When you see the right wing Establishment worldwide, pus the entire mainstream media, united against the ordinary people as we see today in Catalonia, it is a no-brainer which side you should be on.

    The Establishment’ still appears to be supporting the EU concept with all its might. Global imperialism vs. local nationalism…hard choice, and perhaps not a no-brainer, after all. It’s tempting to describe Spain as (still) being Fascist. But fascism, in Mussolini’s definition, applies globally now. Suppressing democratic referenda likely to disadvantage the global establishment will be the coming thing. You may even have read it here first.

    With a sprinkling of fairy-dust, Catalonia may leave Spain but remain somehow in the EU (all the anti-Brexit arguments prevailing. Ironic. Frying pan to fire) If it is economically successful, it will be paying into the EU, just as much as it would into the Spanish exchequer, while the EU uses part of its contribution to prop up an impoverished Spain. If it becomes an economic basket case due to the next derivatives/debt crash*, it will become mortgaged to global financiers, just as Greece is now. I’d be careful what I wished for if I were a Catalan.

    *visible on the horizon.

    • SA

      I have expressed similar misgivings later in this post. Unless the system of globalisation is change, fragmentation into nationalist units will make these units more not less vulnerable to the whims of the globalists.

  • reel guid

    [Mod: Kindly stick to a simple handle, no slogans in username. ]

    Corbyn has finally discovered Catalonia and tweeted about it. He says the “police violence” is shocking. And the Spanish government must act to end it.

    Ah. So there will be Jeremy’s tactic. It’s “police violence”. Not government violence.

    That way he can tacitly support the Francoists in their repression against nationalist separatism while still ostensibly opposing the violence.

  • Old Mark

    The Belgian PM Charles Michel has become the first EU leader to breach collective omerta on the violence in Catalonia today-albeit in the rather anodyne form of condemning ‘all forms of violence’ and in calling for ‘dialogue’.

    Not too surprising perhaps, since the inhabitants of wealthier, linguistically distinct northern half of his country would also probably prefer the status of an independent republic, like the Catalans.

  • Republicofscotland

    Julian Assange says:

    “Catalan police say 221 of 2,315 polling stations, just under 10% (i.e > 90% not closed), have been closed as of 15:10 today. Unclear how many have been re-opened after closing. Government says 96% open.”

    The yes voters of Catalonia, might yet have the last laugh.

  • Chris

    Catalonia is a rich region trying to break away so they don’t have to subsidise poor people, like if the home counties tried to leave the UK.

  • reel guid

    Ruth Davidson has just told a meeting at the Tory conference that

    “It’s time for us – all of us – to unite and fight.

    Unite and fight for the union of our nation”.

    Just like her co-ideologists in Madrid are doing?

  • N_

    The ironic point, of course, is that had Spain agreed to a referendum process, they had a fair chance of winning it.

    And that is why such referendums should be held legally where possible. Many opponents of the local authority’s favoured result desist from participating for reasons that include the vote’s illegality. Thus the result of the boycotted vote is delegitimised. You cannot rightly argue that that’s the abstainers own lookout, that they should take part in whatever vote the local authority holds, even if the courts say it’s illegal. This is not hypothetical. It happened in Catalonia in 2014 with the answer-question-2-if-you-answer-question-1-how-we-want plebiscite.

    Be aware that Artur Mas is very friendly with Israel. Got to wonder what the involvement of Jerusalem Venture Partners is in Catalonia.

    Spain is being destabilised.

    This isn’t pretty. Anyone with an account at Santander should get their money out fast.

    • N_

      When many in Catalonia fought real fascism – and lost, leading to hundreds of thousands of them getting murdered by the fascists, who were supported by the British elite for the next 40 years – very few of the anti-fascists were keen on Catalan independence. A similar point can be made about the Makhnovists in the Ukraine, the Clydeside shipbuilders in Glasgow, and so on. All nationalism stinks.

      • Republicofscotland

        So in your opinion, the Catalonian’s attempting to vote on self-determination, is a form of nationalism, and it stinks?

        I presume you feel the same way about Scotland taking control of its affairs through a second indyref?

        • N_

          I disagree with your premises. (And by the way the people are called Catalans, not Catalonians.) It’s not “the Catalans” attempting to vote. It’s some of them. Nationalism is an ideology based on the idea that people of all classes and castes who share a supposed ethnicity should believe they are in the same boat against outsiders, and it comes together with a concept of treachery or at best self-hatred applied to those of the same ethnicity who reject it. And “Scotland taking control of its own affairs” – sheesh. Can “Shetland” take control of its? Can “London”? Can “Britain”? Can I take control of mine? A nation is a brand.

          • Republicofscotland

            I must disagree with you, the civic nationalism that the Scottish government promotes is a open and inclusive one.

            Unlike the Westminster governments, xenophobic approach, where Johnny Foreigner is demonised.

            Holyrood needs all the levers of government, to carry out what’s best for the many ethnicities that live in Scotland. Only independence will see those levers return to Holyrood.

            Until then Westminster can use Henry VIII laws, and false promises of the only way to remain in the EU is to vote no, or the laughable Vow, etc.

            No you are looking at the negative form of nationalism, which is isolationist, xenophobic, and almost always anti-multiculturalism.

          • fred

            “I must disagree with you, the civic nationalism that the Scottish government promotes is a open and inclusive one.”

            Yeh…our nationalism is superior to all those foreign nationalisms.

          • JOML

            Well done, Fred – you’ve finally managed to see civic nationalism from a different perspective.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            A nation is a brand
            Straight to the point, like it. But why is it such a popular brand? Maybe we need to look at the behaviour of other pack apes. It confers a survival advantage on your genes if you and your relatives act together to grab resources and exclude apes with other genes. Tribalism is hard wired not just into our brains, but our genomes, which determine how our brains’ connections form. It’s how we got here. Nationalism is tribalism writ large, and had we any means of bypassing it, would be largely redundant in genetic terms. But we haven’t. It’s still a survival mechanism at base. We can deny nationalism individually, but that doesn’t affect the less-cerebral group mentality a bit. And I am inclined to view globalism, with its liquidiser approach to individual cultures and its neoimperial objectives, as tribalism writ larger still than nationalism. This is implemented by a new tribe of very wealthy and unscrupulous people who don’t talk to, or listen to, lesser mortals in other tribes; a frequently-noted characteristic of the predators at the top of the economic food chain.

            I’m no more against tribalism than I am against canine teeth, but don’t we need to be clearer about what it is we are discussing?

          • Lemon

            There are 2 types of Nationalism:

            The 1st says that our people are superior and therefore it is their right to subjugate other peoples. This is how empires throughout history have been built and justified.

            The 2nd says we don’t want to be subjugated, we want to decide our own destiny. And every time a people it has been called illegal.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            @ Lemon: They’re the same thing. (1), when it is successful, morphs into (2). It’s inevitable that a successful nation begins to believe it is superior. Much the same happens with tribal football fans.

  • N_

    Whatever view people hold, please GET REAL about the media reporting of the situation in Catalonia.

    The mainstream media is supportive of the Catalan independence movement, or to be more exact, it is promoting the whipping up of conflict between the opponents and supporters of Catalan independence – the destabilisation of Catalonia, Spain, and probably very soon, further afield in Europe. The idea that they are conspiring with evil Spanish imperialists to keep the plucky little Catalans under the iron heel of “fascist” Spanish rule, is total bullshit. Anybody who believes that that is what they are getting from the media at the moment is standing on their head.

    Look at the headlines…

    BBC: “Catalan referendum: ‘Hundreds hurt’ as police try to stop voters”
    Reuters: “Catalans queue early to vote in referendum banned by Spain” (sounds like a Harrods sale)
    Euronews: “Clashes in Catalonia as police seize ballot box”
    The Independent: “Catalonia referendum: Firefighters attacked by Spanish police as they form human shield to protect voters”
    NBC: “Hundreds Injured as Spanish Police Clash with Defiant Voters in Catalonia”
    Guardian: “Catalan government: ‘465 injured by Spanish police violence’ during referendum – live”

    …and my favourite…

    Metro: “Spanish police drag away old lady trying to vote in Catalonia referendum”

    Do you see any support for the Spanish courts, government or police in those articles?

    Where do you think the idea of the “Spanish police” even comes from? Most police officers in Catalonia, including the Guardia Civil, are Catalan.

    • Geordie Bordie

      “Where do you think the idea of the “Spanish police” even comes from? Most police officers in Catalonia, including the Guardia Civil, are Catalan.”

      They were shipped in.

      Try to keep up.

  • reel guid

    “We have a duty to remain one united nation” says Ruth Davidson to the Tory conference.

    Strange phrase to utter given on the same day as the events in Catalonia. A duty by definition is something that excludes alternative courses of action.

    So if Ruth Davidson thinks it’s Scots’ duty to stay in the UK then that must mean she would be prepared to see force used to prevent another independence vote.

    This phrase “a duty to remain one united nation” is a subliminal endorsement of the Guardia Civil’s actions.

  • N_

    I despair of anyone reading this who cannot recognise that the mainstream media in the US, western Europe (outside Spain), Russia and much of the Middle East are all helping to promote Catalan nationalism in the way they are reporting today’s events in Catalonia.

    A lot of you here consider yourselves to be critical of media propaganda. Well if you can’t spot what the message is in today’s propaganda concerning Catalonia, you’re not as independently-minded as you think you are.

    • Loony

      The amazing thing is, is that what you write is so obvious and seemingly very few can appreciate the blindingly obvious.

      • Geordie Bordie

        On apparent mass media support for the separatists:

        “The amazing thing is, is that what you write is so obvious and seemingly very few can appreciate the blindingly obvious.”

        The heavy police crackdown, lends added support to the separatists.

        Why aren’t you seeing that?

    • Stu

      How exactly did you come to that conclusion?

      What is happening is that ordinary people are being attacked by fascist thugs. The MSM are reporting this but they have no other choice considering that it’s all over social media where anyone can watch dozens of videos of violent assualts.

      • Republicofscotland

        Agreed the media must report on it, because as you say it’s widespread on social media.

        However the media in some quarters are putting their own unique slant on it. In an attempt to play down or minimise what’s really going on in Catalonia.

      • Loony

        What is happening is that people who have voluntarily chosen not to obey the law are in open conflict with the Police who are tasked with upholding and enforcing the law.

        What is the alternative here?

        If the Catalans are allowed to disregard the law then it is likely that riots will break out in other parts of Spain. The police would then be forced into conflict with people demanding that the law be enforced. That would force the police to side with lawbreakers. What kind of police force acts to protect law breakers?

        Sure the police are violent but this is Spain and Spanish police are violent. I am not saying that this is a good thing, merely that this is what is – and the Catalan protesters/law breakers are fully aware of the nature of the Spanish police.

        • Stu

          Where in Spain do you think people will riot if Cataluya votes for independence?

          The videos are disgusting. We are seeing fascism creeping back into Europe and anyone who supports the riot police who are attacking women and the elderly is likely a fascist themselves.

          • Loony

            Try Madrid – they have already taken to the streets for a rendition of cara al sol. There are large amounts of Spanish flags being draped from apartment blocks and a lot of Madrid residents are wholly supportive of police actions in Catalonia.

            I imagine there to be similar sentiments in other towns and cities throughout Spain.

            …and yes there are fascists in Spain. What do you expect? The country was a fascist dictatorship from 1939-1975. A lot of people were supportive of that regime. Obviously a lot weren’t. Fascism was never removed by force and so there will be a larger fascist remnant in Spain than say in the UK (whose citizens fought the Nazi’s) and Germany, where Nazism was removed by force. Spanish fascists tend not to be ashamed of being fascists and so aside from the fact that they tend not to speak English British style smear tactics will likely not be that effective.

            Spain will not be unhappy by the videos that are emerging. They want people to understand that they will pay any and every price in order to maintain the unity of Spain. There will be no climb down and no compromise. If Catalans and their ill informed and largely ignorant supporters really want Civil War 2.0 then they can have it.

            Will your disgust be in some assuaged by an escalation in conflict.

          • Stu

            People in Madrid are not going wreck their own city or fight the right wing police officers who they are in sympathy with. Bigger versions of the rally yesterday might happen similar to the remain march after Brexit.

            The idea that a nation of people – which the Catalans are – are bound forever by a agreement which was voted for by no one born after 1961 is ridiculous. The constitution is wrong here, not the people. Only one peaceful solution exists.

          • Lemon

            Loony, so just to get this clear in my head. The killing of 176 (many of them school children) in the Soweto Uprising in 1976 was justified because the whites in Cape Town might have rioted ?

          • Loony

            The only peaceful solution that exists is for Catalonia to remain part of Spain. It can do that with a very large degree of regional autonomy.

            Spain will not contemplate secession and if necessary will fight in order to maintain unity. This may not seem like a good idea to you, but it is the reality.

            The globalist anarchists have picked the wrong fight here – or it has picked a fight with people that will most definitely fight back. This about something far more than material comfort and well being and Spain is prepared to pay absolutely any price.

            Most of the people so keen to express their ideas on this and other public forums have no intention of paying any price at all. So there you have it: People who think their opinions are so virtuous and so moral versus people who are prepared to pay any price including the price of their own economic and/or physical destruction.

          • Stu

            It’s not anarchists, it’s normal people. Barcelona has been covered in Catalan flags for the past 3 or 4 years and when i’ve visited people have been keen to talk about independence when they hear I am Scottish.

            The state can’t fight the people in Europe in 2017. The violence today is terrible but what i’ve seen online today is actually far more restrained than what I personally witnessed two days in a row in 2011 when the Guardia Civil cleared the student protesters from Placa Cataluyna then there was major rioting after FC Barcelona won the European Cup the following night. Social media and camera phones has returned some power to the people. If the Spanish Government attempt to do anything more violent than today it will lead to wide spread social unrest which all of the EU governments will want to avoid.

          • JOML

            Loony, bowing down to the oppressors is not a solution. Any promises of more power will not be genuine. Status Quo is not for everyone….

  • reel guid

    Corbyn has tweeted again about “police violence”. This is a cop out. Pun intended.

    It’s state violence first and foremost. To persist in calling it police violence is to help shield the Madrid government.

  • Paul Barbara

    @ willyrobinsonOctober 1, 2017 at 13:06
    Some of the stories are pretty rough though. Just got an audio message with the following from a woman in Girona (my translation):
    ‘Laura, listen carefully to this and explain it to everyone – I was defending old people with my arms open, nothing more than that because they were hitting kids, they were hitting old people. They threw me down the stairs and threw things at me and broke the bones in my hand on purpose, one by one. Halfway down the stairs with my clothes askew they felt my breasts and laughed and they hit me…’

    ‘willyrobinson’, is the following (from RoS) the woman you were talking about above? Did she actually send you the message?
    Any further info, such as have you managed to contact her if she did actually send you personally the audio message?

    @ RepublicofscotlandOctober 1, 2017 at 15:52
    This is what happens when you try to vote, in Catalonia, they break your fingers.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Republicofscotland October 1, 2017 at 19:18
        I am not on ‘twitter’. I just tried to sign up, but can’t as I don’t have a mobile (which they use to send out the code).
        The amount I could see before it blocked the tweets until I became a member didn’t touch on the subject.

        • Republicofscotland


          I’m not on Twitter myself, however that doesn’t stop me accessing it to read comments. Sorry you’re finding it difficult to gain access.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Republicofscotland October 1, 2017 at 20:33
            Ah, got it now. The trick is to just click the X at the top left-hand corner, and the block disappears.
            But it appeared from ‘willyrobinson’s comment that she actually knew the lady, so it would be useful to find out if that is the case, and if she did, then has she any new info (I say ‘she’, because the woman in Spain addresses the info to ‘Laura’.

    • willyrobinson

      I got an audio from a friend of a friend of a friend. I couldn’t confirm it at the time, but I’m pretty sure the two voices are the same at that this is the same woman. At the time I wasn’t capable of following the thread back – sometimes things get passed on too quickly – w

  • SA

    I am not sure what Craig’s view is of the referendum that led to Crimea voting to rejoin Russia? I guess you support that as well?
    Also I am not sure that all nationalist movements are necessarily equivalent. The motive behind some of them may be different, and in some cases can border on xenophobia. For example behind the scenes the Kurdish referendum appears to have involved a lot of prior movement of populations that may in some cases amount to ethnic cleansing and thier are many stories about how the Yazidis have been treated in the quest for kurdistan. Similar maneuvering also appears to be taking place in Syria.

    • Loony

      It is a racing certainty that he would be against the referendum in Crimea.

      Crimea voted to become part of Russia – not a small independent state with no money that would be desperate to offer cheap holidays to the rulers of the world whilst all the time opening itself up to ever more anarchism.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    This year, we are not going to Catalonia, but if we were, I would support the Catalonians wanting to vote – regardless of the democratic outcome. It seems to me that The Spanish Government has succeeded in making themselves look complete idiots with their actions likely resulting in the complete opposite of what they are trying to achieve.

    Meanwhile in England, right outside our home. I was naked except for my dressing gown…there was a bit of drama, and it went on for over 30 mins. 2 cars almost bumper to bumper. One trying to go up the road, the other trying to go down. Neither would give way, nor get out of their cars to negotiate. I just found it rather funny. At the time, I wasn’t planning to go anywhere, At the time none of our cars were parked outside our house on the road. However, this annoyed rather a lot of people.

    If I had wanted to go somewhere, I would have resolved the situation fairly quickly, but I didn’t, so I got my wife to just look, and observe how some people are completely insane.

    A woman got out of her car – and screamed at them – Move your cars you Fxxxxxx Idiots…but that had no effect.

    And then this little bloke got out of his car – obviously extremely angry and said Move your cars you Fxxxxxx Idiots…Still no effect. So he went back to his car and he got (it was very long and made of metal – looked more like a jemmy than a wheel brace…)

    And we both thought – oh shit we do not want blood on the street (our avenue) – nor two completely smashed up cars

    They took the hint, backed down, reversed, and let people pass.

    I thought well, its not really worthwhile calling the police. They have got better things to do.

    If negotaition didn’t work, I would start with a bucket of cat’s piss. I wouldn’t just simply trash both of their cars, well not immediately, and I certainly wouldn’t personally attack them. They both had probably just been released from the local mental hospital.

    If I had been more awake, and dressed, I might have done a video of it.

    No damage was done, and no one got hurt. However, the bloke who resolved the situation, almost certainly broke the law.


    • MJ

      “If negotaition didn’t work, I would start with a bucket of cat’s piss”

      In my experience not always easy to muster at short notice.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        MJ, cat shit is though. They do try , but they don’t always succeed in burying it. We do have 3 cats.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Tony_0pmoc October 1, 2017 at 19:24
      So do you normally keep a pail of cat’s piss on hand for such situations? Or do your cats piss on demand?

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Paul Barbara, No but I do have a car polisher, and I like to top up my brake fluid, and the chainsaw (it is not electric – more like a moped – runs on petrol and oil). Fortunately my son was not at home at the time, but he has probably caught everything on his security webcam. He would have resolved the situation in less than one minute. He is very diplomatic.

  • N_

    Some notes.

    The people are called “Catalans”, not “Catalonians”.

    There has been no official “No” campaign.

    The unlawfulness of the referendum lends some legitimacy to the boycott by the anti-independence parties (who are as Catalan as their opponents, just as “Better Together” were as Scottish as the SNP). The greater the legitimacy of the boycott, the less the legitimacy of the vote. Many boycotters are not abstainers in the normal sense: they care about the issue and would vote in a referendum they considered to be unlawful

    No wonder the bigmouths among the pro-independence minority of non-emigrant Scots are so keen to punch their fists in the air while watching the television reports on this one. How they would all love a second indyref without a No campaign!

    A serious warning to everybody, regardless of what position you take: don’t keep lots of money in an account at Spanish-owned Santander. Spain is no more of a centre for long-term and wise financial sector investors (who they fuck are they anyway?) than Iceland was, or Cyprus. It’s smash and grab these days, using cutouts called “private equity funds”. Spain could go bollocks over tits. Don’t expect to walk into a Santander branch and withdraw your money if it does. You have been warned.

    • N_

      Typo: I mean of course that many boycotters would vote in a referendum they considered to be lawful.

    • N_

      The stupidity of those who believe that the police in Barcelona are all Castilian foreigners with their big imperialist boots held down tightly on Catalan necks is scary.

      (No, wait. Actually probably most who have applauded the Catalan government here probably don’t even know what the word “Castilian” means!)

      • Republicofscotland

        Actually the fascist Guardia Civil were all probably from without the region. In Catalonia it is illegal to use rubber bullets.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Probably a little unfair on Santander, which isn’t really dependent on the continued existence of Spain. Like other major banks, it’s global, and particularly prominent in S. America. That said, when the shit next hits the fan, it may prove to be as overextended as RBS did last time

    • Loony

      Yes – the reaction of Spain is counter productive. However they know this and still do it anyway. They are behaving like this both to send a message and to demonstrate their machismo. They want everyone to know that they will not back down.

      It would be helpful if people outside of Spain could understand this – but I fear there will be an error in translation.

      • Geordie Bordie

        And if they can’t defeat them with their own fascist forces then they’ll receive assistance from their fascist friends in Brussels and Berlin.

        Wouldn’t surprise me to see Barcelona bombed by the fascists again.

        From the air, or a false fascist flag blamed on the separatists.

        It’s clear the Spanish fascists are doing their utmost to inflame the situation, hoping for a response that they can then use to go more fully fascisti in the region.

    • Sperglord of Doom

      That Donald Tusk tweet is from August 17th. I suspect he was referring to some other event that happened recently in Barcelona.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes it is but someone has posted it on the pro-indy Catalan twitter feed, probably because the wording fits perfect with present Catalan narrative.

  • shugsrug

    Investing in a Spanish bank is probably as risky as investing in any other bank, to be frank. That said you have a point.

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