The Mills of God Grind Slowly. Particularly in Spain. 685

One of these two is a dreadful spiv and crook. The other is Arthur Daley.

That’s Luis Barcenas, former Treasurer of the ruling Francoist successor Popular Party in Spain and long time confidante of Prime Minister Rajoy, happily now in prison for his part in a corruption scandal in which, over twenty years, hundreds of millions of euros in kickbacks from taxpayer-funded projects were channelled into the Popular Party coffers, and then doled out in secret payments to party leaders. Rajoy himself had to give evidence in court and the judgement made plain he was not believed.

This is the obvious cause of the no confidence motion that may lead to the Popular Party being removed from power tomorrow. The power of the brown envelope may yet save Rajoy, and the constitutional role of a monarchy which is itself financially corrupt will also come into play.

It says everything about the state of Spanish politics, that in responding in Parliament to the charge of corruption in the no-confidence debate today, Rajoy should turn to the leader of the opposition and declaim “And who do you think you are, Mother Theresa? Your hands are not so clean”. It says even more about Spain that this has not caused shock and “you are corrupt too” is not seen as a wildly inappropriate defence. It is true that the Socialist Party has no shortage of its own skeletons.

What may bring down Rajoy is the fact that the Basque parties, whose support Rajoy had bought with subsidies even more obvious than those lavished by May on the DUP, cannot be seen to prop up Rajoy after his enthusiastic policy of clubbing Catalan grandmothers over the head and imprisoning Catalan leaders. Only the neo-con fake opposition Ciudadanos, originally sponsored and financed by the German BND security service to head off Podemos’ perceived threat to the Euro, is doing its utmost to maintain Merkel’s close ally in power.

If Rajoy finally pays a political price for his appalling persecution of the Catalans it will be a moment of joy, even though the Socialists who would replace him have themselves been shamefully playing to Spanish Nationalist opinion throughout the crisis. But the downfall of one of the nastiest and most vicious and corrupt politicians in power that Europe has seen in decades is nevertheless devoutly to be wished.

685 thoughts on “The Mills of God Grind Slowly. Particularly in Spain.

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  • craig Post author

    Every comment that does not begin with words to the effect of “That’s hilarious! He really does look just like Arthur Daley” will be deleted without mercy.

  • Matt D.

    Who’s Arthur Daley?

    Seriously though, the Socialists cannot be blamed for their vocal stance against separatism, as it is what the non-Catalan Spanish public demands almost unanimously. What I suspect they will do, though, is offer a face-saving compromise to the separatists, which will allow an orderly exit from the current crisis. All for the better. Until this week, I thought we’d have to wait a few more years for this to happen.

    • Muscleguy

      The Socialist leader says he will reopen dialogue with the Catalan independentista parties and government. Whether that consists of more than hectoring remains to be seen, but it at least hints at a difference in style.

  • Stu

    I don’t know. Arthur Daley has some charm and humour. Barcenas just oozes sleaze.

    It’s worth mentioning that Barcenas’ wife will avoid prison by paying 200,000 Euros. Unlike the rapper Valtonyc who has been sentenced to 3 years in prison for his anti government lyrics.

  • Victor Martin Hunt

    I would like to say how much I enjoy your Tweets & articles of thought Craig Murray i Thank You .

  • glenn_nl

    Clearly, the picture shows a paid liar who passes off the lies he tells as a necessary and obvious requirement of his profession.

  • Loony

    All Spanish political parties are corrupt – it is in practice built into the constitution. No less a figure than Felipe Gonzalez once observed that nothing could be accomplished in Spain absent a little corruption to oil the wheels of progress. I cannot recall whether he made that observation before or after he decided to construct the fist AVE line from Madrid to Sevilla (his hometown) as opposed to Madrid to Barcelona – the only route that made economic sense.

    Maybe the Basque Parties cannot support the Partido Popular – but the Rajoy crackdown on Catalan separatists pales in comparison to the Gonzalez crackdown on the Basques. There real Francoists were used to assassinate members of ETA and other people who the Francoists failed to identify as having nothing to do with ETA.

    It is a bit rich to read from that a member of the British establishment considers Rajoy to be “one of the nastiest and most vicious and corrupt politicians in power that Europe has seen in decades” Have you so quickly forgotten your own Tony Blair – destroyer of countries, and dripping in the blood of millions of innocents.

    Regardless of the fate of Rajoy, nothing will change. No-one will contemplate surrender to the anarchists in Catalonia. No-one will seek to free Spain from the crushing yoke of the EU and the euro. Still they will live by the maxim of Ortega y Gasset that “Spain is the problem and Europe is the solution” and hence Spain will continue to be economically dismembered, and the rich will avoid the consequences of their policies through resorting to ever more corruption.

    Despite all of these problems Spain, unlike the UK, will not fall.

    • JohninMK

      Aside from the point you make about the Tony Blair, British political corruption seems to be much more related to a kind of performance bonus. Toe the line, do as asked and the reward will follow after you have moved on. Compare this to the US Congress where the rewards, sorry political contributions, pour in during their time in office.

      The obvious British examples are John Major, Tony Blair and George Osborne all of whom have been handsomely rewarded post Government.

      These Western systems of government where vast sums are doled out are not regarded as corrupt only due to their careful masking from the populace whilst in those countries actually regarded as corrupt tend to be those where small sums are paid to low levels of bureaucracy.

    • Basil Fawlty

      Blair is a scumbag, but he’s not actually in power – so you’re kind of wrong.

  • jazza

    This isn’t funny – when is Melanie Shaw following a secret UK court hearing was imprisoned in solitary confinement in a UK prison two years ago and has no knowledge of when she will be released?

  • Simon

    Wanted to see the conments on this in the independent, but it seems all.comments, on all.stories have been suspended altogether. The last and only reason for going there at all now looks like it’s going the way of all the other msm propaganda shits, sorry, sheets

      • Muscleguy

        Firefox seems to be the problem. The new version broke webpage logins, opening a new tab despite being logged in on the homepage meant you were not logged in on the new tab. Reloading the home page signed you out.

        Then yesterday some sites began to behave indicating the sites were adapting to some new stricture.

        The Indy have been having major problems with their comment system auto modding people and posts for no reason. I complained about being modded and not knowing the reason or the term etc and got a reply admitting to the problem.

        I expect they have taken their comment system offline whilst they try and fix it. Even logged in posts disappear. I would counsel patience and hope they manage to fix the system. But Firefox does seem to be part of the problem more widely.

    • Walt King

      I gave up buying the i and yesterday cancelled my subscription to the online Independent. The main reason being that although they take accuracy “very seriously” they never print a retraction or correction and I have supplied several in the past months.
      But lately something else has irritated me. Their middle east reporter manages almost every day to insert that Hamas “seized control in 2007” ignoring the salient fact that they won a fair election.
      I have asked for more balanced reporting but there was another one inserted yesterday.
      I think she is trying to placate the Zionist lobby. Take a look here, if you can bear it:

      So only the Financial Times left now. At least they know that “data” is a plural noun.

      • Walt King

        Sorry this was supposed to be a reply on the observation that the Independent has stopped comments below the line.

    • Andyoldlabour

      I think they got fed up of failing to deter posters who went against the establishment line on Russia, Skripals and Syria. The fact that I was constantly having posts deleted/censored/moderated and was a well known “Putinbot” or “Russian troll” along with many others – the majority I feel, meant they had no choice but to silence us all.
      1984 and all that.

  • Andrew Nichols

    “That’s hilarious! He really does look just like Arthur Daley” Are you sure it’s not actually him? Didnt AD abscond to Marbella in the late 90s. He’ll survive well unless he gets “Me Too”ed by angry ex girlfriends.

  • joe giblin

    “financed by the German BND security service to head off Podemos’ perceived threat to the Euro”. If true they must be active elsewhere. Who and where?

  • quasi_verbatim

    Fully agree with your ultimate sentence.

    So what exactly is Quisling Sturgeon doing about Clara Ponsati?

    • reel guid

      Ask Jeremy Corbyn what he thinks about Clara Ponsati and he’ll likely want to know who she is.

    • Muscleguy

      The case is sub judice, the Scottish legal system is separate from the government and that separation must be and is being fiercely maintained as is right and proper.

      You also seem to be under a delusion as to the powers the Scottish govt actually does and does not have. We are Independent yet. I respectfully suggest you inform yourself properly before launching into unjustified infective. For one thing it might stop you looking foolish.

  • joe giblin

    Wow – Only one not so careful owner – only been shopping with brown paper bags. “financed by the German BND security service to head off Podemos’ perceived threat to the Euro”. Where else?

  • bj

    When Rajoy falls, Catalans should take to the streets.
    Some Schadenfreude is in order.

    • Muscleguy

      A sea of yellow, channelling Douglas Adams maybe a suffusion of yellow might be better.

  • Den Lille Abe

    “That’s hilarious! He really does look just like Arthur Daley”
    The sick man of Europe is the whole southern Europe. And no, it is not the EURO, German banks, Kohl, Merkel, Ardenauer King George V that done it. Its the people living there themselves, that has done it. By electing these criminal fok’s into power. And it happens again and again. Are these peoples criminals by DNA or what the fok is the problem ? Britain is another exsample that beggars belief, constantly voting into power people, who in my parts of the world would have been hanged and quartered on a public holliday.
    It then makes one’s head spin that the Russian CIC V. Putin, who’s ratings are above 70%, is constantly touted as the devil… When was last a western European politician close to such numbers of approval?
    In Denmark the politician with the highest trust rating, and who is impeccable with no dirt clinging is a right-wing/populist bloke, Thulesen Dahl, what gives?

  • Reg

    The late great George Cole (who played the spiv, Arthur Daley), was underrated and was quite self aware about playing what he called this terrible man.

    He after all came up with the best description of Thatcherism:
    When asked what he thought about Thatcher in character he said:

    ‘Thatcher, brilliant woman got the public services that the public already owned and sold it to them again.’

    Although the picture underneath does look more shifty, given the choice I would buy a second hand car from the picture above as he makes Arthur Daley look trustworthy by comparison.

  • giyane

    I think we know who leaked the conversations that got dis-May off the hook in the Windrush scandal. That with a prime -time shedding of crocodile tears and wringing of hands. Cameron went because Ken Clarke pushed him off the spring board and Berlusconi went but managed to wind the dive backwards and forwards a few times.
    Weird to think that there are dozens of flawed politicians out there licking their wounds and wishing / hoping the public will have them back one day.

  • he'sfromBarcelona

    Charles Pigdemon and his bourgeois elitist brats in Barcelona are petty criminals driven by cultural nationalism and neo-liberal economic self interest. They speak for a very little but loud clique. The majority of honest and hard working Catalans ,many of whom didn’t even participated in the “elections”,are for unity and prosperity for the many not for the few.

    • el sid

      Talking of thoroughly corrupt Spanish parties, a fine example is Pigdemon’s own CDC. All their party offices are embargoed due to massive kick-backs from the construction sector. The famous 3%, which in some cases could be as high as 20% going back to the party for granting construction projects to old mates.

      Hell, even Jordi Pujol, the Father of the Catalan Nation is suspected of stashing a cool couple of Billion in our Latin American provinces.

      • reel guid

        So the Catalans are too wee too corrupt to deserve freedom. I don’t believe there are higher levels of corruption in Catalonia than there are in Madrid among the power elite.

        It’s pathetic seeing Corbyn fans spin to provide their rationalisations for bolstering fascism. Disgusting to behold their total indifference to the phenomenon of there being political prisoners once again in Europe.

    • J

      *I have to admit, when I contrast “the majority of honest and hard working Catalans” with (presumably) corrupt lazy petty criminal nationalist liars run by neo-liberals with a fondness for local government (either I’m eating word salad or) I kinda like the crazy, sexy, anarchic and slightly contradictory sounding ‘minority.’

      Mmm, your word salad is yummy.

      Nearly forgot. The “majority of honest and hard working” Catalans who don’t participate in “elections,” are they among the 43% turnout for the referendum? Or the “770,000 votes…not cast due to polling stations being closed off” (wikipedia…)? Or the 92% in favour? Maybe they’re among those tens of thousands featured in the many hundreds of videos of people being beaten back from voting stations?

      In fact, I quite see the general point. Spanish Policemen beating men, women and pensioners with clubs indicates that those people are criminals. Why else would police beat them up? And of course, it was an ‘ilegal‘ referendum. Even if a majority of Catalans are unhappy in Spain, they have no legal remedy, that’s democracy and the rule of law, if you don’t like it just move to Tehran, eh?. You’re quite right. Next!

      I’ve asked quite a few Spaniards why Catalans should not rule their own affairs and the answers are always specific but vague. The nationalists are corrupt criminals and the Catalan people are mostly against them or have been brainwashed by media. I ask how much of Catalan MSM they have encountered or how much there is or how easily available compared to Spanish MSM? Unsure, a radio station, a tv station or two, a newspaper or two. Mostly only available in Catalonia.

      So how many Spanish media are there? A lot. Is there a diversity of opinion? Of course. How many support Catalan independence? Not sure. How many Catalans have you spoken to about independence? Silence.

  • Sharp Ears

    O/T ref Julian

    Ecuador will respect Assange’s asylum right if he obeys ‘no politics’ condition
    1 Jun 2018 | 05:04 GMT

    Julian Assange’s right to asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London will only be honored if the WikiLeaks founder “respects the conditions” of political silence, President Lenin Moreno announced.

    Ever since Lenin Moreno became the president of Ecuador last year, the liberties enjoyed by Julian Assange have been reduced due to the whistleblower’s controversial “political activity.” Over the last few months, Assange has seen bans on using the phone, the internet, and having visitors, after the 46-year-old spoke out against Britain’s response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, and following his repeated comments about Spain’s dispute with Catalonia.


  • Monster

    Good that you mentioned the corrupt Spanish monarchy, that (almost) puts ours in the shade. In true Bourbon style they are engaged in money laundering, fraud and various inconsequential misdemeanors like illegal elephant shooting and fraudulent use of state funds, banking fraud, tax dodging etc. Princess Cristina narrowly avoided prison courtesy of a few brown envelopes. Forty years on Francoism is still pervasive in the police and military; its assassination programme in the Basque country although now dormant, was on course to be revived in Catalonia under Rajoy. But now it seems Franco is dead. Long live Franco.

  • PP

    Thanks Craig for your contributions to sanity for humanity. Set up a donation.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    Whenever I see George Cole I can’t help remembering him as Flash Harry in the St. Trinians movies. More particularly he causes me to reflect on how quickly the British Zeitgeist has changed from ‘ooh-er-missus’ permissive to neo-puritannical. The last St. Trinians movie was released in 2009. Is it possible to imagine there will ever be another? A movie set in a girl’s school having the motto: In flagrante delicto? Discuss.

    • Sharp Ears

      The last St Trinian’s film was made at Charterhouse, incubator for the Dimblebores and Jeremy Hunt. A friend’s grandson (who was not a Charterhouse pupil) was an extra.

      Hunt has received a let off from the Parliamentary IPSA over his concealment on his recent property acquisitions. Of course he had a let off. He is a Tory minister overseeing the privatisation of OUR NHS. He has an important job to do.

      Jeremy Hunt will face no further action over property complaint
      30 May 2018 ( a very skimpy report)

      Jeremy Hunt got ‘bulk discount’ on seven flats from Tory donor
      Health secretary now under investigation over purchase of luxury apartments on south coast

      He was a director of the new company he set up with his wife, Mare Pond Properties Ltd. Then he took himself off leaving her as the sole director!.

      Sadly George Cole died in March, aged 90. Denis Waterman was at his funeral. There is a video taken at one of those dreadful municipal crematoria, in Reading.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘The 63-year-old is accused of failing to take responsibility for his party’s involvement, which came to light last week after a former treasurer Luis Bárcenas was jailed for 33 years for receiving bribes, money laundering and tax crimes. The case centred on a secret campaign fund the PP ran from 1999 until 2005.

    There are fears that the Spanish situation could spark an Italian-style political crisis with knock-on effects across the European Union and global financial markets.

    Socilaist leader Pedro Sanchez is expected to take power today. Mr Rajoy failed to appear at a parliamentary debate yesterday afternoon raising further doubts about his future but PP secretary-general Maria Dolores de Cospeda later told journalists: “Mariano Rajoy will not resign.” The parliamentary debate is due to start at 8am (BST) with a vote likely around midday.’

    ex D Express (now owned by Trinity Mirror) See

  • Andrew McGowan

    I actually thought the second picture was Arthur Daly and wondered why I had never seen him without his hat before!

    Keep up the good work.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Andrew McGowan June 1, 2018 at 09:04
      I thought it was an add for Brylcreem. HTF could anyone vote for that slimeball?
      I’ve never heard of him, and know SFA about him, but that picture says it all.

  • Jeff Koons

    Like to see how England would react if Scotland called a referendum without say so to remove itself from the UK. I know how they reacted for 35 years in Northern Ireland with massive violence mainly directed at the Catholic Nationalists ,

  • johnf

    Just a comment on the Babchenko farrago which doesn’t have a thread – looking at the video of his hitman’s arrest, it unsurprisingly looks as fake as the photo of Babchenko’s blood-stained “corpse.”

    The hitman/hitman’s middle man or whoever is slouching down the street – a short fat man in a white shirt. His whole body seems cowed and perfectly aware that he is about to be grabbed from behind. He immediately acquiesces as they grab him – without the least struggling or shouting out and trying to see who is attacking him, which most people grabbed from behind and manhandled in the street by still-unseen assailants would do. He doesn’t appear to raise his voice and immediately allows his hands to be pinned behind him and handcuffed. There is an eerie calm to him throughout the filming.

    Perhaps a member of the White Helmets had been hired to film it. It has that same bad-acting feel to it.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ johnf June 1, 2018 at 09:28
      Unbelievably inept acting! The ‘public’ just stroll by, as though nothing is happening. One of the ‘arresting’ guys clearly has his hand just lying on the ‘culprit’s’ wrist, certainly not gripping it forcefully, as one would expect.
      The White Helmet’s might be sh*t actors, but even they could have done a better job.

  • giyane

    The mills of God do grind extremely slowly, sometimes , and other times astonishingly fast. Allah describes Himself in the Qur’an as being swift in punishment. I once bought a pair of side-cutters from a dodgy cash stolen goods shop and by break-time they got stolen.

    Anyway I think you’re being a bit hairist. there is nothing intrinsically sleazy about greasy grey hair being combed back like an ageing rocker. That hair-style is the highly-honoured hair-style of some of our most respected imams, after the style of our prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi was sallam.

    I am working for a man who is 100% Estuary in his accent. He sometimes says to me. “I’m sounding like you now” and I thought he was just talking normally and had temporarily removed the clothes-peg from his nose, And he is 100% Welsh originally and his white hair sticks up like a few days’ growth of penicillin on some stale chips someone forgot to put in the bin

  • giyane

    Don’t worry Sharp Ears the mills of God are definitely going to work on Jeremy Hunt’s little back-hander. Cameron’s second-hand nuclear bomb one eventually got through.

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