Democratic Triumph for Catalan Separatists 226

The Spanish General election in Catalonia was a stunning victory for the Catalan Separatists, their best ever election result, achieved despite their leadership being exiled or political prisoners and despite an avalanche of MSM propaganda against them. Four of those elected are currently in jail. The Spanish state has reacted by declaring the two major separatist candidates, Clara Ponsati and Carles Puigdemont, ineligible for the European Parliament elections.

The Catalan Republican Left won the biggest share of the vote, which negates the continued false propaganda being put about Catalonian Independence being a right wing movement. Over 60% of the vote in Catalonia went to avowedly left wing parties.

It is further worth noting that there is a very plain correlation between the geographical location of the 3.6% of the vote that the neo-fascists of Vox gained in Catalonia, and the Spanish occupation garrisons in the country.

You will struggle very hard indeed to learn any of the above facts from British mainstream media; I had to get them all from Catalan sources.

The Guardian has published 55 articles in the last three years boosting Ines Arrimadas, the leader of the Catalan branch of the right wing “Spanish” Citizens Party, including at least three op-eds written by Ines herself. The Guardian has sought relentlessly to portray public opinion in Catalonia as anti-Independence, and Arrimadas as its true representative.

Typical photo from the Guardian of their right wing anti-Catalan pin-up.

Yet in the Spanish General Election, Arrimadas’ party got only 11.6% of the vote in Catalonia. The right wing nationalist Spanish parties, the fascist Vox, the Francoist PP and Arrimadas’ foreign security service promoted Citizens, got a pathetic 20.1% of the vote between all three, in a stunning Catalan rejection of Spanish nationalism.

The Citizens Party started life as an astroturf effort to help counter the left-wing and anti-EU populism of Podemos. To that end it was funded and assisted by the German foreign intelligence service, the BND. It remains a favourite tool of foreign intelligence services, particularly MI6 which of course sees the links between Catalan and Scottish nationalism. Hence the peculiarly active link between Ciudadanos and MI6’s print media mouthpiece, the Guardian.

It is impossible to correlate directly from party results to potential referendum results, as a number of parties including Podemos and the Greens hold ambivalent positions on Independence, and a percentage of voters will have a view on Independence which differs from the party they support. For example a small but significant number of Socialist Party supporters of PM Pedro Sanchez, also support Catalan Independence.

Given the thuggish violence of Francoist paramilitary forces against the ordinary voters in Catalonia’s referendum, given the imprisoning and exile of its peaceful leadership, given the extraordinary Madrid dictated barrage of MSM propaganda, the Catalan nationalist victory in the General Election is a wonderful triumph for the human spirit. Now you won’t hear that in the MSM.

GE 2019 results from Catalonia by municipality. Yellow are left wing separatists, pink are centrist separatists, red is Socialist.

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226 thoughts on “Democratic Triumph for Catalan Separatists

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  • Fwl

    Fascism: is it right or left wing?

    It’s authoritarian control by a strong man or elite group without democratic checks and balances.

    It can be dressed up as racist (eg Nazi German) or Nationalist (eg Mussolini’s Italy) or as a workers Class movement (eg USSR) or it can even appear softer (eg FDR’s Blue Eagle NRA of 1930’s USA) or some would say it can dress itself up as pseudo democratic or environmentalist or globalist or free market or even as (and I don’t if there is a term for this but you will know what I mean) a sort of emergency defence measure albeit prolonged against perceived threats such as terrorism.

    It’s hall mark is authoritarianism and a fundamental lack of basic checks and balances so that top dog can get go get his wicked way.

        • Jasper

          Why not a strong woman or a top bitch (in the canine sense)? You couch your argument in male terms. Historically, authoritarianism is gender neutral.

          • fwl

            I see (yawn). My argument was not intended to refer to any genders whether M F or any of the alternates. My apologies I am very old and inadvertently a tad patriarchal, but matriarchy is fine by me too. Yup sure have been plenty of top cat empresses in history who have also run away with all the milk. I thought maybe you were alluding to some sort of pseudo feminist authoritarianism.

          • Jasper

            I accept your pseudo apology. Perhaps it’s time for bed (yawn). We’re all getting old.

          • Fwl

            Just thought I’d qualify what I said about FDR: under FDR John Collier was appointed Commissioner of Indian Affairs and brought the the New Deal to the reservations through the Indian Reorganisation Act. So, as so often in life nothing is straight forward. It’s also kind of curious how Nixon did so much more than other US Presidents for Native Americans.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Charles Bostock April 30, 2019 at 23:46
      ‘…Luxemburg snd Switzerland got away with money laundering on an industrial scale until very recently…’
      So, of course, did the CIA and Vatican Bank (in tandem), and I’m sure they still are.

  • lysias

    Catalonia, like Ireland, has a long history of periodic revolts against its domineering neighbor. In Catalonia’s case, since the 17th century. So it is hardly just about money.

    One of the provisions of the statute of autonomy that the Spanish high court struck down in 2010 had to do with the rights of the Catalan language.

    • Republicofscotland

      I suppose one must take into account that Spain only moved towards democracy after 1975, and the death of General Franco.

      What’s not so well known is that Spain can boast of one of the oldest constitutions in the world, established in 1812 by the Cortes of Cadiz.

      It was quite liberal for its time, it included freedom of the press, a parliamentary system, universal suffrage for men (alas no vote for women). It was repealed by King Ferdinand VII in 1814, who re-established an absolute monarchy.

      • lysias

        The republic against which Franco rebelled in 1936 was also democratic, and it gave autonomy to Catalonia.

    • lysias

      The one in which the U.S. is currently attempting to bring a puppet government to power in a coup?

      • Tatyana

        I’m greatly sorry, just cannot keep the joke about a country with zero oil reserve 🙂
        “Moses led the children of Israel through the desert for 40 years, to find the only place in the Middle East with absolutely no oil”
        khm, sorry again

        • fwl

          It has gas. But anyway isn’t that a point about Israel about making it against the odds not because of them.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            As oil exploration was not paramount for well over amillennium post Moses, I do not think Egypt vs Palestine for des res Numero Uno was primarily decided by oil supplies.

            More likely rainfall, fertility along the side of the Nile etc…

          • uncle tungsten

            Moses ended up in land occupied by a foreign invader and made partnership with them. Along came a lage tsunami and snotted them both. The Pharoe seized the hour and routed what remained of them. They fled east off Egyptian lands.

        • Hmmm

          Blessed is the land without oil, for it shall not be fucked over by the great satan..

  • ricardo2000

    Thank you for this analysis of the recent Spanish elections. The only other thing I read concerned the collapse of Podemos and the resurgence of the formerly disgraced ‘Socialists’.

    It sounds like a silent repudiation of Spain by Catalans was declared. The ‘Socialists’ have a major problem. Let us see if they merely demonize or engage Catalans. This will tell me everything I need to know about the PSOE politics.

    • lysias

      I would suggest working to restore the 2006 statute of autonomy, which might require a constitutional amendment, in view of the behavior of te Spanish courts. That might be enough to satisfy most Catalans and defuse the situation.

      • Laurens

        Personally, I’m starting to have trouble with a few things.

        Voting against things, rather than for them, is probably at the top. I have stopped voting now because it’s easier to charm people into voting against things – which is what our (NL) elections have become.

        Not too far after, there’s defusing, being reasonable, rising above it – when the situations calls for a goddamn riot (at the very least). Now, I understand that’s usually not the best route to success. But this eternal dance of giving in – that is surely the route to hell.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Prime Minister of Quebec says he is “perplexed” by the decision of the Canadian government to reject the entry of Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont into the country and asks Justin Trudeau to explain his decision.

    “The Premier of Quebec, François Legault, expressed his surprise that Canada had decided to deny permission for a visit to the country by exiled Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, which was to include a visit to the National Assembly of Quebec. Puigdemont had been invited to the country by Maxime Laporte, president of leading Quebec cultural organization the Société Saint-Jean-Batiste de Montreal (SSJB). However, the Canadian authorities revoked the travel permission he had been granted just one day before the scheduled departure date.”

    A good reason there for Quebec to hold a independence referendum again sometime in the near future. Hopefully this faux pas by Trudeau, will strengthen solidarity between François Legault and Carles Puigdemont.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Republicofscotland April 30, 2019 at 22:13
      Last time there was a serious split in the offing, the US massed forces on the border.

  • Mary Pau!

    When was the Catalan region last self-,governing? What happened to Basque independence demands?

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      Catalunya has never been more self-governing than it is now as an autonomous community of Spain with self-developed Statutes under the 1978 Constitution, at least until the illegal referendum and consequent temporary Spanish government intervention under Article 155 of that Constitution.

      • Laurens

        The illegality of a referendum is meaningless at the end of the day. It should be in any respectable modern democracy.

        But tbh, if we can’t have good things, let us have the bad so we may finally get our act together.

    • jordi L

      Was independent from 989 to 1137. ( Then, through marriage, Principality of Catalonia and Kingdom of Aragon became united within the Crown of Aragon. There both kept their own sovereignty, having each one their own institutions (“Each territory that formed the union would maintain their traditions, laws, customs, currency and, in time, would develop state government institutions.”). As a reminder: a principality is a kind of state where the monarch is not a king, just the 1st of the noble (primus inter pares). Some examples of principalities exists still now, as example Andorra or Monaco. Since is not a kingdom (where the king is there thanks to God) , institutions are different: there is more need of assambleary solutions. This is the reason because it holds one of the oldest parliamentary systems in Europe, born in the xith century: from the “Peace and Truce of God” ( ) to a steady system of doing laws through assemblies ( )
      The catalan parliament was called “lo general de Catalunya” , and its permanent representation or deputation was “deputation of lo General” also called “Generalitat”, created in 1359. It holded elections each 3 years (centuries XIVth and XVth) and 2 parties tried to win them: biga and busca.
      Becase of some problems in the XVth century, the monarch (king at Aragon, Count in catalonia) let people make assemblies and nominate representatives for their petitions (sindics). The union of those was origin of a big kind of labour union for the farm workers, the sindicate remença (here its book with the results of the meetings and the demands. Sorry, not in english, only catalan and speranto: ). Main demand of those farmers was the abolition of feudalism.
      There was a pair of civil wars on the XVth century on catalonia because of that, and as a result, in 1486, feudalism was abolished (arbitral sentence of Guadalupe).
      Thanks to that, despite catalans had forbidden to go to America during the next centuries ( until 1754 as strangers that they were to Castille, owner of America), protoindustrialization could began. the lack of feudalism opened the door to that more people would be owner on the farmer sector or more people could be involved on merchants and commerce. Bank of Barcelona was one of the oldest of Europe (1401, from Taula de canvi) and there was a deep tradition on this issue.
      Related to English (traditional allies, as like venetians ) there is a parallelism between the english republican period (crownwell, 1641-1659) and the catalan republican period (Pau Claris; 1642-1659, treaty of the pyreness). While english killed their king, catalans did the same with the representant of the king (viceroy). both countries had a deep parliamentary tradition.
      English and catalans were allied in the war of succession to the throne of the spanish monarchy (1701-1715) that ended with the defeat of the spanish in europe but also with the defeat of catalans within the spanish peninsula. From that, catalan institutions were abolished, catalan universities closed, catalan language forbidden and so on.
      So Catalonia never was a region of the kingdom and catalans never had a king before 1714 (when was conquered by the spanish monarchy).
      In the other side, Catalonia, the richest part of Spain (because of its commerce and industrial traditions), on the last 3 centuries (from 1714 to nowadays), if we take on count the monarchic periods or dictatorship periods, has seen a catalan take the seat of prime minister (or equivalent) for only 1 single day. In 300 years (here a list since 1837: ) so the integration between catalans and the spanish state we could say that has not been very good. something similar happens with the amount of ministers and high profile officials of the state.
      The Generalitat was partially restored on the 2nd spanish republic (1931-1939) and is the only republican institution that still exists, since came back from the exile before the current spanish constitution, on the transition period between military dictatorship and the nowadays state.

      sorry for the extension and my grammar mistakes. im not used to express myself in english language.

  • Catanarchyst

    Thank you all for all your messages! I’m impressed on how well informed you are overall about our land, Catalonia.

    However I would like to introduce some key points that I believe some of you are really missinterpreting: I understand that some of the sentences used on this article may seem biased and they probably are but the ones used to counter balance them are as biased or even more! For instance saying that 50%+ of catalans doesn’t want independence just extrapolating a spanish elections results is way beyond of an overstatement because media outlets only insisted on the historical participation record this last sunday in catalan polls but no big journalist really took the time to take into account the silenced abstentionism campaign some of us we did this time.

    The most conservative figures talks about at least half a million (500.000) abstentions in Catalonia and some others talk about close to a million abstentions (no reliable source to back this info though)

    This totally makes sense if you have some deep knowledge on how heavy the mental disconnection from Spain it became for many of us after 1O…. so to the anarchists like me that never voted (but showed a limited support to the catalan indy understanding it as a way to dismantle a former fascist and now an authoritarian state that Spain is) and the old school indys that never voted in spanish elections you have to add a substantial amount of what I call new independentists after the referendum of October 2017 and if you want to understand what I’m talking about just look and listen at the withnesses of the showtrial that declared this week on the showtrial as the voters themselves being beaten.

    Some of you may think this is little bit of a staged drama if you compare it to what the Gilets Jaunes are enduring in France for a 24th consecutive week of terrorist police repression with more than 17 killed protesters by the gendarmerie riot police and dozens of eye, hands, legs mutilations and broken arms, ribs and skulls with flashballs and small tnt loaded dispersion grannades that simply knocks down anyone being close to the place where those little motherfuckers explode while you try to escape from a huge toxic cloud created after hours of police shooting lacrymogen gas canisters.

    However Catalan indy supporters have not magically diminshed or being convinced to stop being indys to become unionists because someone thinks a Spanish election results suggests so.

    We simply entered on a different stage of the conflict that I call cold war, where we are reorganizing ourselves to keep standing the repression and building DIY ressiliant and ressistance structures to work on security and cyberintelligence, learning and teaching tax insubmission techniques, looking for every single international support that may eventually come in the future in the geopolitical arena, developing secret communications digital systems, doing boicott campaigns to any hostile company that fleed from Catalonia after the referendum (they’ll eventually die anyways after spanish economy collapse that is closer than it may seem)….etc and we are doing all of that meanwhile our puppet politicians are warming up the highest seats representation we ever had on the Spanish parliament and meanwhile our senior weirdos (sorry no offence intended here) are distracting and sucking the energy of the tabarnios with their yellow ribbon removal campaign by night and our worker unions become pro indy majority.

    Regarding the topic of the illegality of the UDI… yeah I’m not denying it and I know many independentists that are against it but using it as an excuse to justify the police terrorism against peaceful voters this is a big no no that spaniards will never solve until they really start to learn what history can teach them about banned referendums like the one of the Kurdistan held just 5 days before ours: Kurdistan authorities said it would be binding, Irak’s government said no way and they banned it. Kurdistan went ahead anways, Irak army went to polling stations and….. tadaaaaa!!! Nothing happened. Voting went all the way while the Irak soldiers were there standing and looking, then kurdistans counted (majority yes to secession) votes and then everybody went back home with no single injured.

    Can give you more examples but it’s getting late.

    Good luck everybody and thanks for reading!

    • Loony

      Speaking of key points that people are missing – I suppose there is some reason why, with your deep knowledge of Catalonia, you fail to mention how Ferrovial (and others) were illegally shaken down in order to finance Catalan political parties and to enrich Catalan politicians.

      For what possible reason would a free thinking citizenry wish to live in an independent country whose sole guiding principle is kleptocracy?

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      Thanks for that, Catanarchyst. Your observations and views as a Catalan anarchist are of course not at all insignificant, not least because of the role played by the CUP (Candidatura d’Unitat Popular – Popular Unity Candidacy) in all this ‘procès’.

      Thanks for reminding me that Puigdemont did actually deliver a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, which I witnessed myself streamed live through the internet by TV3, the Catalan-language pro-independence widely-watched television channel controlled by the Generalitat (the Catalan executive body) and paid for by all taxpayers in Catalunya. Immediately, literally with the same breath, Puigdemont then “suspended” said UDI. What happened next, as they say, is history: the temporary application of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 in Catalunya (and, eventually, the fall of the PP government in favour of a PSOE-led government of Spain).

      Your observations regarding the treatment received by Gilets Jaunes at the hands of French state security forces are very pertinent in the context we are discussing.

      May I ask you if anarchists’ work, as you describe it, to build “structures to work on security and cyberintelligence, learning and teaching tax insubmission techniques, looking for every single international support that may eventually come in the future in the geopolitical arena, developing secret communications digital systems, doing boycott campaigns to any hostile company that fled from Catalonia after the referendum” is entirely free of funding from the, you know, possibly unethical sources that might be funding other parts of the separatist campaign? Who pays, for example, for all the plastic yellow ribbons purchased in and imported from China, like the urns used in the illegal referendum? Do anarchists think the inevitable pollution of the Mediterranean by those ribbons is ok? (As an aside, a BBC reporter interviewed people stockpiling the urns in a village just over the border in France, reporting in supportive tones, without apparently enquiring as to the funding of the effort, how strange).

      Do anarchists in Catalunya know, do they care about who is paying for all this, (above and beyond the income received by political parties with representation in the Parlament (the Catalan parliament) which, again, receive taxpayer funds via the State), the campaigning, the production of campaign propaganda, the maintenence of the fugitives abroad, and so on? And if so can you tell us?

      Thanks again and best of luck!

      • Catanarchyst

        Hello Andrew.

        No, of course I cannot disclose everything of what we are doing, I’m anarchist not stupid.

        What I can tell you though is that spanish government has deployed a team of 200 spies working fully focused on Catalunya and although this may be not officially true I read it some weeks ago on the press.

        Now if you want me to position myself on the yellow plastic issue I don’t like it at all… is not only the sea but the rivers of some villages that appear all covered with plastic.. it worries me almost the same as the squats of Tabarnios acting at night entering on private valconies to rob or strip esteladas flags, cutting the legs of dogs as it happened on one occasion or even shooting with blank pistol to several windows that had indy flags or yellow ties hanging out.

        And of course I’m agree to oust out and retire every single catalan indy corrupt politician and entrepeneure and I condemn silly hatred messages against spanish speakers coming from Torra (despite the one that he said to the fascist that he found on a swiss air flight that decided to protest against the company because it was casting in flight information messages in catalan and he said that catalan is just a dialect of spanish… so swissair now retired catalan language from Barcelona-switzerland fligthts to please another catalanophobic mooron)

        Hate is present in both directions that’s undeniable but catalans we have a unique culture and language that has to be respected as well as much as the spanish one.

        Let’s not forget who is the strongest player of the game here so if Spain wants to crush Catalonia the only reasons why has not done this already (same happens with basques) is because both regions are the economic powerhouses of Spain but if you take a walk on Barcelona downtown poverty and homeless is just about every other corner and Spain overall is on the verge of an economic collapse.

        Issue here is that spanish people in general (including a lot of catalans) are like a boiled frog… they lost the fight culture against the powers that be and they prefer to distract themselves with football and tv shows.

        But when they try to react before the lasts signs of economic meltdown they may have lost all their working class rights and if this happens it will be too late for politics and what’s happening in france will be just a child’s game.

  • Chris Barclay

    ” … the Catalan Separatists, their best ever election result, achieved despite their leadership being exiled or political prisoners …”

    Maybe substitute ‘because of’ for ‘despite’? I suspect that many Catalans who are ambivalent about independence felt the moral obligation to show their support for the victims of tyranny. Or perhaps the brutality of the Spanish police meant that the mask has slipped and many Catalans have seen the Castilian empire state for what it is and have started to support independence.

    • Loony

      You appear to have omitted a few pertinent facts regarding the “brutality of the Spanish police” and the “Castillian empire state” Please allow me to fill in some of the omissions.

      Catalonia enjoys considerable regional autonomy. This autonomy extends to Catalonia operating and managing its own police force – the Mossos d’Esquadra. Inside Catalonia the Mossos fulfill broadly the same functions as those fulfilled by the Guardia Civil and the Policia Nacional in other parts of Spain. In instances of serious disorder the Mossos can be reinforced by detachments of Guardia Civil.

      Spanish police are notoriously violent and the Guardia Civil manifestly attacked some of those attempting to vote in the illegal independence referendum. However for your point to have merit it is necessary to establish that the Mossos are largely free of the violent tendencies afflicting the Guardia Civil.

      …and so what do we have for entertainment? Why 3 members of the Mossos each jailed for 6 years for torturing a suspect who was determined to be wholly innocent by the courts. Torture is rather different to randomly beating people.

      And how do the Mossos deal with pro independence demonstrators? Why, they beat them in largely the same manner as the the Guardia Civil beats people. See this for more background information

      And so it would appear as though a propensity for police violence is a trait to be found throughout Spain, with Spain being defined so as to include Catalonia.

  • uncle tungsten

    Thank you Craig for really informative view. As regards the newspaper of treacherous repute that you cited, I must say that Soros has been losing badly making that investment. I know there are more awful rags than that one but it really is predictably stupid. Viva Catalonia libre.

    • Martinned

      Well, judging by how many things Soros allegedly funds, he must be a trillionaire. I’m sure he doesn’t care about a billion dollar investment here or there.

  • david powell

    Personal Catalan attitudes.
    I’m married with a Catalan wife, and integrated into an extended Catalan family. Politics are discussed in a reasonable way, at family gatherings though some can be triggered as one gets closer to Spanish judiciary issues, and state responses beyond Margret Thatcher’s/Special Branch/MI5/SIS responses to the UK NUM Miners strikes. Even these triggered responses have merit when seen from the local POV. We’re close to those had cheekbones, jawbone, arms or legs broken or incapacitated for over a week with deep trauma bruising as a result of participating in a ballot box vote in a European Country. ie “Expressing the will of the people” in a EU democracy. a sentence that used to mean something. Europe sits on its hands, While in Crimea, Iran etc this is robust Human Rights issue given front page coverage and political pressure.
    Resentment and Bitterness are dangerous things, any state should take notice when they rise, beyond them comes anger, rage and vengeance, when people become triggered to this extent the pot boils over. Catalonia – Catalunya to separatists – needs healing, as frequently it’s an old wound. Study Research in epigenetics shows that trauma can pass down 3 or more generations, so one male war veteran could have 16 or more grandsons/great grandsons who carry markers at a DNA level that will surface as behaviour and attitudes. Suggesting the injustices of the Franco War and Fascist era don’t dissipate over time, instead become magnified. An apology and restitution from Madrid would go much further than entrenchment in solving this.
    (BBC has some uses!)

  • David

    I’m experiencing multi-channel co-ordinated UK media attacks on a leader of our opposition today, Sky News, LBC & BBC radio have all spontaneously decided to attack one particular (leader of a) party on the eve of the council elections in England & Wales tomorrow. Seems there is a stalinist book involved, I don’t know the details as I turned of the attack propaganda.

    BBC Breakfast news didn’t attack (at least whilst I was watching) as stories about a duck adopting a dog, or vice versa, was more important than the state of the country… listen to LBC (James Integrity) now on UK digital radio or the app or via the website if you wish to hear Catalunya type political attacks in our own country, live

  • Luis

    Facts. The pro unilateral independence catalonian parties (ERC, JXCAT, FRONT REPUBLICANO. link: have obtained 41% of the total votes in Catalonia. Should 41% of the population decide/dictate the future of everybody living in Catalonia ????. With the spanish democratic system, pro independence parties have obtained in this general election the highest number of deputies in history within the spanish parlament so they can defend their ideas. Thererfore, Can someone cast a doubt about free democracy in Spain ???- I think Craig would like to explain and share the purpose of this article, including the title elected, and whether he is actually part of some form of propaganda like the one he is refering to and critizicing.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      Yes. I think this will represent close to a maximum, because it’s a protest vote with zero harsh consequences in Spanish national elections. To which you might want to add the abstaining Anarchists who want neither a Spanish nor a Catalan State in that land: Anarchists want no State at all.

  • Gunn Lillian Kvello-Aune

    Thank you so much for this very important information!?

  • Mike Harland

    I’m sorry Craig, I agree with you on so many issues, but I cannot agree with your stance on Catalonia and your comparison with the fight for Scottish independence. In fact the only person who seems to make any calm and rational sense in the long list of submissions above seems to be Andrew Paul Booth.

    Unlike yourself, I was actually in Spain and Portugal during the last years of the Franco and Salazar dictatorships, my in-laws were republicans who suffered at the hands of fascism, and I have had friends in both countries for over 50 years. My father-in-law was actually an independent senator in the newly-restored democracy in Spain and therefore had first-hand knowledge of the drafting of the Constitution and the reasons for many of its contents. He never said before his death several years ago that the Constitution should not have been changed by now, but that it was written for that moment in Spain when all sorts of divergent interests had to be catered for in order to found to a stable and united country after not just the dictatorship but the previous 200 years of Conservative/Royalists versus Progressive/Republicans that also began with civil war in the 1830s. I have had recruitment encounters with MI6 myself in my youth, so I have for a long time been well aware of the kinds of involvement by outside forces in most countries’ political processes.

    Puigdemont is a middle-of-the road showman who grabbed what he thought was the moment for independence, going against his party’s previous (corrupt) leaders’ long-term strategy of waiting for obligatory Catalan language in all schools and higher education to work its way through third-generation immigrant Spanish families to coalesce the Catalan identity before entertaining any referendum. The idea that Catalan language and culture is repressed has little basis in an autonomy that makes it difficult for Spanish speaking families to have their own children learn to read and write in Spanish, the very immigrant families that helped build the Catalan economy (just like the Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish immigrants who helped build German economic success in the 60s/70s, the only voices I heard coming out of a German factory in 1969 when I was working on a boat moored in Cuxhaven).

    Torra is a nasty piece of work whose heroes are the Catalan militants who tried to get German fascist assistance for independence in the late 30s, and a man who had to retract a lot of extremely xenophobic comments he had made before becoming Puigdemont’s puppet president, including claims of different DNA and a total hatred for any Spanish speaking people in Catalonia. He is far right wing in my books and a big mistake by Puigdemont. No wonder Torra’s Junts Pel Si party plummeted on Sunday.

    The failed referendum cannot claim to represent more than 50% of the populace and any claims that majority seats represent a popular majority are shaky in the extreme, since rural seats require less votes than in the urban conurbations. One reason why the Barcelona region is multilingual and proud of it, votes for the traditional left wing parties and does not form an indy majority – given proportional representation the major urban centres, there would be more non-indy seats.

    Remember that the Catalonian independence movement is a broad coalition of parties from the far right to far left, including anarchists.
    You are right to say that the ERC and PSC (even other left wing parties in Spain) had a democratic triumph, but not necessarily for separatism: you fail to take into consideration the disagreements that their leaders in prison had with the leaders of the centre-right parties of the independence movement who headed for comfortable exile in Europe and who are being nicely funded by external forces. In fact Torra and Puigdemont (who have no real party platform), last year organised a coup against the moderate leader of the PDeCat in order to form a new coalition that would help remove the very plausible accusations of financial corruption against them that has been proved in their predecessors’ case. With Torra in command in Spain, the duo’s big mistake was to use Thatcher/May type forms of red-line, antagonistic “negotiation” with Sanchez, who was doing his best to find a form of negotiation that might bring a rewriting of the Constitution and at least a move to a looser ‘federal’ system giving greater power to the autonomies; much like the German system (ironically the one that gave a single German federation the power to override a German national ruling and refused Puigdemont’s extradition to Spain!). Sanchez has been proved the better political strategist, thankfully, and now has a much more important and far greater power which is majority control of the Senate: this gives Sanchez the power to bring in territorial reform of the Constitution and also nominate 30% of the judiciary of the Constitutional Court, a means of giving bringing sensible negotiation to take place with all parties and attempt to resolve the claims of all those autonomies that have separatist claims (Basque, Galician, Aragonese, Catalan, Balearic, etc., etc. … and why not even for Andalusia, the largest autonomy).

    Torra’s intransigence that brought Sanchez down (luckily only to get him reelected!) can be contrasted with the leader of the traditional left (as opposed to the faux-left parties), namely the true politician Oriol Junqueras who while in prison was far more prepared to negotiate with Sanchez and is a sensible moderate in comparison to Torra. He was ignored, and (as initially thought by some polling companies) Torra’s stupidity could have brought back a far right majority coalition, reintroduction of direct rule from Madrid and more Torra-induced violence (remember how he previously egged on the militant crowds with “give them one”, only to cause the Mossos to be corralled and put in danger, thereby losing the support of his own police force and provoking serious complaints from the police chief about his irresponsible populist/nationalist behaviour!!).

    The truth is that Catalonia is as much divided as the Scots are on ‘independence-now’ with no clear majority either way (I myself would be all for Sturgeon getting on with things as soon as possible, but I trust in her greater powers of strategy, especially compared to the Catalan presidential stooges). Similarly the UK is totally divided, the Tories and Labour parties are both totally divided and post-truth is the deep-state media strategy for the balkanisation of Europe through confusion and misinformation – ‘divide and conquer’ as we used to call it. Any non-negotiated attempt at independence in Spain would bring about its balkanisation – exactly what the likes of Trump and the 1% western oligarchs have planned for over decades (“its all about oil and the dollar” – as my father-in-law used to say – or ‘Russia, Iran and Venezuela’ for those with a more global perspective now).

    So the Spanish people as well as the Catalans are no fools, they see the underlying dangers of jumping the gun and at least now there is some hope of a negotiated way forward. Vox is not a problem as they merely soaked up the disaffected extremists within the PP – the right is no stronger than it was before. The left in all of Spain have said they would abstain and wait for a sensible way forward rather than vote Sanchez down.

    Scotland, on the other hand, is ready to do what it did before after losing a previous referendum, i.e. overturn it in a new referendum, and it has a far greater claim and the right to do so.

    If you disagree with my analysis, then I encourage you to also read Douglas Stuart Wilson’s article in Bella Caledonia, somebody who has lived, worked and observed developments in Spain right there on the spot for many years:

    Ronda, Andalusia, 2 May

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      Thanks Mike in beautiful Ronda of the late (until 1492) Kingdom of Granada! I entirely agree with this accurate analysis of events and personalities in Catalunya and in Spain you have clearly been closely following.

      Hopefully now the PSOE/PSC (Partido Socialista Obrera Español / Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya), Esquerra Republicana, Unidas Podemos and others on the left can now move forward, negotiating with other Spanish national and regional political representatives, with Constitutional and territorial reforms leading to a more Federal or a more Confederal system in which more of the desires and choices of more of the people can find a home.

      Sensible choices for all Spain will eventually prevail. Scotland will find its way. As for the UK, until electoral law (proportional representation) and constitutional (codify it now!) reform, including clear rules of parliamentary procedure and, dare I say it, international law is respected and applied where required, all I can say is, what a shame.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      … And also many thanks, Mike Harland, for the introduction to Bella Caledonia and to the well-informed and clear writing style of Mr. Douglas Stuart Wilson.

      • Dave

        The irony of the EU project to create a super-state, is it loosens the unity of existing states to create new states professing “independence” but which are probably less independent in EU that in the former state, as these new nations are replacing being a big fish in a small pond to being a small fish in a big pond thus reducing powers of self-government, particularly without control of your own currency.

  • Margarita Ravera

    First time I feel the English press publishes an article with a true picture of the Catalan independence movement: we are mostly left wing, Ciudadanos (Citizens) is not a moderate right wing party; it is a right wing party and promotes cultural hatred towards Catalan culture, language and people. If they oppose a referendum, it is because chances are that we win.

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