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.


226 thoughts on “Democratic Triumph for Catalan Separatists

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    • Loony

      Well it is a form of news, a form of news that does not seem to require facts.

      Like the fact that Spain is not the same as the UK. When is the last time that a British General was placed under house arrest for threatening to invade Scotland in order to forestall Scottish independence?

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/1507390/Spanish-general-under-house-arrest-after-unity-warning.html

      Mindless support for the Catalan cause is exactly equivalent to seeking to foment civil war in Spain – something that a professional diplomat must surely be aware of. This of course being the same person that has has railed against the fomenting of civil strife in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and who has warned of the dangers of expanding this policy into Iran. But then suddenly when it comes to Spain…Let’s try and start as much trouble as possible.

      • Chris

        How is the independence movement being fomented by external forces? Reporting news and showing enthusiasm is hardly funding an insurgency.

      • Rola Joint

        One may agree/disagree but to equate the democratic choice of Catalans with that of Syria is a bit of a leap. Syria’s destruction has been on the cards for years. Syrians have not had the opportunity to decide for themselves, Catalans freely went to the polls. If that means a change in borders for Spain then so be it. No country has the inalienable right to exist without the agreeement of its people. That too does not fully confer the right to exist, as an occupying power’s people should not have the right to vote on whether or not they can hold occupied lands.

        • michael norton

          I wonder if the Syrian people will be given a vote on their willingness to let Israel rob them of
          The Golan?

          • Rola Joint

            I doubt they will be allowed a free vote by any side as they may vote the wrong way. Israel can rob whoever they want, it seems that is acceptable to the so-called free world.

      • Charles Bostock

        I agree with Loony. The contents and tone of Murray’s latest article are are over the top and merit the description demented. Luckily for everyone concerned, the influence of such individuals on developments in Spain is zero.

        The chances of an independent Catalonia turning into a nasty little intolerant and authoritarian statelet are infinitely greater than the chances that Spain as presently constituted will turn “fascist” (to use Murray’s favorite term of abuse).

        • Andrew Ingram

          Beating old ladies for having the temerity to vote in an ” illegal ” poll is pretty fascist.

          • Athanasius

            As I constantly have to remind people, fascism is a left wing political philosophy.

          • pretzelattack

            you probably also have to constantly remind them that the moon landing was fake.

          • Athanasius

            A shocking claim, to be sure, pretzel, but check it out. Faking the moon landing would be a piece of cake compared to what it took to convince the world that fascism was a right wing movement.

          • Andrew Ingram

            @ Athanasius

            Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that fascism is a left wing philosophy?
            Wiki has it as a right-wing philosophy.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ingram

            If occasional violence by the police against demonstrators were the hallmark, then most of the countries in the world would be “fascist countries.

            But they are obviously not.

            The above remark includes liberal democracies, theocratic states, Communist states, authoritarian states, one party states, “Bolivarian” states and just about any other form of state you’d care to mention.

          • Athanasius

            @ Andrew Ingram,

            Lenin certainly thought of it as left wing. When Mussolini founded the Italian Fascist party, Lenin sent him a telegram of congratulations. Mussolini is remembered as something of a buffoon today, but in his time, he was one of the premier theorists of communism in Europe. It’s important to remember that the First World War was a disaster for communism because it was assumed without question that the working class would refuse to fight. When they did fight, communists and socialists — like Mussolini and, indeed, Hitler — realized something was badly wrong with the theory. That something was nationalism. People still gave allegiance to their countries, so the left co-opted nationalism to the cause and adjusted the theory to suit. Fascism was envisaged as an intermediate state, with a command economy where governments directed the market, but did not nationalize it fully. In its time, Fascism was certainly perceived as left wing. It was only after the Second World War that it began to be placed on the right by academics: it had become an embarrassment to the left and it had to be “recreated” as a right wing cause. Hitler’s problem with the Soviets was not that they were socialists, it’s that they were INTERNATIONAL socialists.

          • Andrew Ingram

            @ Bostick

            Fascism is the use of violence or the threat of violence for political purposes by the state. Those doing the beating in Catalonia were trucked into Catalonia by the Spanish state and were safe in the knowledge that they had free rein to brutalize old ladies who had made or were about to make a political statement through a ballot box. Rajoy could have ignored those statements instead he chose to order his forces to go in heavy handed. Unwarranted violence on the part of the state is a fascistic political statement.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ingram

            By that criterion, Venezuela is a good example of a fascist state. Lots of demonstrators injured and even shot dead by the police and military.

      • Ian

        As per usual, a hysterical over reaction with ridiculous inflated claims from resident loony. You can disagree with Craig’s analysis of election results but it isn’t ‘mindless’. Rather, such a descriptor would be more accurate for someone ostentatiously declaring that (mild) support for Catalan voters who didn’t vote for the right is ‘exactly equivalent’ to fomenting civil war. Such over the top Telegraph hysteria is laughable. But predictable. And food for the Francoist nut jobs.

      • Merkin Scot

        “Mindless support for the Catalan cause is exactly equivalent to seeking to foment civil war in Spain – something that a professional diplomat must surely be aware of.”
        .
        Nonsense, as usual.
        Most of the ‘mindless support’ seen on this site is that shown by you for the enemies of Scotland.

        • Loony

          What is wrong with Scottish people?

          No-one cares about Scotland – no-one cares if it is independent and no-one cares if it remains part of the UK. No-one cares about the inanity of wishing to sever Scotland from the UK and at the same time wishing to be part of the EU.

          Sure you will find a few politicians and media types doing what they always do and inverting the truth. But the fact remains that no-one outside of Scotland has any intention of shedding sweat but less shedding blood over Scotland.

          The situation in Spain is the opposite. Political parties cannot countenance Catalan independence because the people demand unity.

          Spain will pay any and every price to remain a unified country. No-one in the UK will pay any price at all. For all the English care Scotland can be donated to Oxfam.

  • willyrobinson

    The news from Catalonia today is that three separatist leaders in exile including Puigdemont (and Pontsanti in Scotland) have been struck off the ballot in the upcoming European elections because they are not registered as Spanish voters living abroad. Not surprising as they’d probably be arrested at the Spanish embassy. Either the EU deals with this sort of state bullying, or there will be no EU.

    https://www.eldiario.es/politica/Junta-Electoral-Puigdemont-Comin-Ponsati_0_893811172.html

    It will be interesting to see if the pseudo-socialist government wait until the results are in from the European elections before forming a government with the right-wing Citizens party. Todays editorial in El Pais (Spain’s Guardian equivalent in all the worst ways) paves the way for that: “In this regard, Ciudadanos is in the most difficult position and it bears the greatest responsibility: if it persists in its point-blank refusal to make governing deals with the [socialists] – as gruffly expressed during the campaign – it will turn its warnings about the unity of Spain into a self-fulfilling prophecy.” (note how they feel they have to encourage the right-wingers, not the socialists).

    • Trx

      You mean the “pseudo-socialist government” that A) helped eject right-winger Tory darlings out of ruling Spain, B) pulled jack-booted thugs sent by fascists back and tried to defuse the situation, and C) already started talks with podemos? Because I can’t see them doing so, especially when left-wing parties collectively have majority and can govern even without formal coalition as they all had very similar election programs…

      • willyrobinson

        First of all, that should read pseudo-socialist party, not government (my error), but they’re going to form whatever government comes out of these results. I criticise them for drifting Blair-like to the centre right, but in fact their position on the political spectrum doesn’t change the fact that they are unionist first and foremost.

        I think this overriding unionism will lead them – with all the appearances of reluctance – to a pact with Citizens after the European elections. A) Like New Labour they’re more comfortable with stock market-friendly policies than they are with Podemos, B) Not only are they unionist, they’re also monarchist – so their current coalition partners give them a real headache when sweeping issues under the carpet from a weak and thin-skinned king, or scandals involving his father, and C) The hard-right opposition have shown a willingness to impeach Sanchez as a traitor if he even appears to negociate with separatists. This might sound far-fetched, but all they need is a parliamentary majority (just a few unionist rebels in government).

        I hope I’m wrong, or that Albert Rivera is such a right-winger he wont even consider a coalition with them.

  • pretzelattack

    MI6’s print media mouthpiece, the Guardian.

    depresssingly accurate description.

  • John Goss

    Thank you for that. So true about MSM not reporting this important news. Even RT concentrated more on the right surge, which based on Spain’s history is worrying if the trend continues. It is hard to get a proper angle on what is happening in the world today. As Orwell said in Barcelona after the civil war in which he fought: “No one who was in Spain during the months when people still believed in the revolution will ever forget that strange and moving experience. It has left something behind that no dictatorship, not even Franco’s, will be able to efface.”

    It seems he may have been right.

  • Herbie

    I mean, who’s running the Spanish elites, and who’s running the Catalan breakaway group.

    Peeps need to know who’s offering the better deal.

    It’s a Democracy, innit.

  • Loony

    Why do you conflate the PP with Vox.

    The PP are a broadly right wing Conservative Party. Vox are a fascist party and are heir to the legacy of Franco. Aside from the one seat won long ago by a party called Nuevo Fuerza, Vox are the first fascist party to win any seats in the Spanish parliament. Vox have won 24 seats – up from zero, so that is quite a gain.

    Obviously there are some fascists in Spain – but, until yesterday, an insufficient number to gain representation in the Cortes Generales. So what has changed?

    Why step forward Catalan thieves, liars and cheats supported by international idiots, communists and anarchists. This will be resisted at any and every cost. Hopefully current Vox representation will be sufficient to prevent any more equivocation from Sr. Snachez – but if it is not then more and more people will vote for Vox.

    Obviously if the Spanish were smart like the Anglo merchants of death then they would nave made no move. Just sit around and say nothing, and force the EU to reveal its true self. But the Spanish are not smart, they are just unyielding. These are the same people as their forefathers. The people that when taught about trench warfare preferred instead to stand on top of the trench as do so afforded a better view – and anyway lying in a trench was not really a way to demonstrate an appropriate contempt of death.

    Make no mistake it is people like you and the words that you write that have created Vox. You are responsible for the creation of the very thing that you claim to loathe and fear. Sure you know a lot of words – and you’re very read. its well known, bit now you are facing a force that absolutely will not yield, a force that cannot be frightened, and cannot be intimidated. The only hope is for mature reflection and a genuine inquiry into whether Catalonia is all that it seems to the outside world.

    • Carnyx

      Vox are a PP breakaway party gaining votes from disillusioned PP voters, who have voted PP for the last few decades specifically because they then provided the best home and cover for former Francoists. The Catalan moves towards independence, together with EU austerity, PP corruption and reactions to the Wolf Pack rape case have fed into the resurfacing in the open of the fascists that have always existed.

      Reading your post I was expecting you to sign of with “Muera la inteligencia! Viva la muerte!”

      I’d like to ask Craig where exactly in Catalonia Vox gained some votes?

        • Carnyx

          Thanks, I know parts of Catalonia especially around Girona province. I’m surprised they got 5ish in places like Figueres and around Empuries. Mind you there is a big Spanish army base there, in the middle of nowhere, I know because I once accidentally drove into it and seemed to cause a bit of a security alert.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            I’ve had that experience too! Beautiful country.

            On the PP-Vox relationship you are of course correct. Vox was formed by disgruntled PP people.

    • willyrobinson

      “Make no mistake it is people like you and the words that you write that have created Vox.”

      I hear this a lot from even the most high-minded Madrid-based journalists, but in the end it’s blaming rape victims for wearing short skirts. It’s mendacious and inaccurate and it shouldn’t be tolerated.

    • Ian

      More hysterical hand wringing from loony tunes. Your contempt for the Spanish is notable.

    • Mary Pau!

      Knowing, I freely admit, very little about internal Spanish political parties and their platforms, I read Loony’s comments as saying that the Spanish electorate have voted into their parliament, 24 representatives of vox, a fascist party, up from one member previously. And that they have done this in protest against events in Catalan so
      as toforestalll /block any potential separatist vote coming out of the Catalan region from the “thieves liars and cheats” who live there . Is this correct?

      g

    • Jimmeh

      Um, the PP are unrepentant Francoists.

      There are people who claim that Francoism is not a kind of fascism. I can go with that, if you can accept that the term ‘fascism’ applies strictly to the corporatist-socialist policies of Benito Mussolini. Then I’ll say that the PP are violent, authoritarian, far-right, anti-democratic nationalist extremists with close affiliations to a Christian denomination with a nasty reputation for brutal child-abuse. Is that OK with you, or do you perhaps prefer the term ‘fascist’?

      • Herbie

        You’re right.

        Fascism is best used for Mussolini’s Italy, authoritarian Nationalism for Franco’s Spain and Chile, and some weird mixture of both for Nazi Germany.

        The point is, Fascism is at least a political philosophy, the others just coups in reaction to Leftism.

  • FranzB

    The BBC were probably wetting their panties in the hope that Vox would get loads of seats. Here are some of the BBC’s (manufacturing consent) straplines:

    ‘Spain’s Socialists are considering their next move after failing to gain a majority in Sunday’s general election.’
    ‘Pedro Sánchez: Spain’s accidental PM on a roll’
    ‘Spain election: Socialists win amid far-right breakthrough’

    What actually happened was that the socialist party gained 38 seats and are now the largest party by a country mile in the Spanish parliament. The far right popular party lost 69 seats (retaining 66 seats), and Vox picked up 24 of the 69 seats the popular party lost, i.e. the far right lost 45 seats as a whole, which doesn’t seem like much of a breakthrough to me.

    Katya Adler, the BBC’s Europe editor was baffled by it all:

    ‘After weeks of Spain’s resurgent far right hogging all the headlines, didn’t the centre-left just win a resounding victory?
    Did Spaniards have a last-minute change of heart?’

    I like the question marks.

          • glenn_nl

            If you’ve got a problem with that, you should speak to your good friend Loony. Have you noticed how free he is in labeling anyone who he doesn’t like a fascist? Strange you didn’t take that up with him.

          • Charles Bostock

            Glenn

            I’ve always thought that Loony was very parsimonious with the word “fascist”. More so than, for instance….you.

            I challenge you to do a comparative word count.

            Stones, glasshouses, accuracy, good manners.

          • glenn_nl

            Come now, Charles. You have made the claim, so you provide the evidence. Your claim sounds the very opposite of the truth, but I look forward to seeing your back it up.

            Bit of a sly diversion tactic, wouldn’t you say? Maybe even passive-aggressive? Try to get a correspondent to produce work you would probably dispute anyway, defend a rather unhinged Trump supporter you could never say a word against (a bit like the way Trump never counters Putin, even when pressed), and get a lazy insinuation all at the same time.

    • SA

      The citizens party,also gained some seats at the expense of the PP and the net result is a redistribution of the votes in the right but with a net loss of 30 seats.

  • nicksey

    The Guardian has sought relentlessly to portray public opinion in Catalonia as anti-Independence,

    well, it’s split evenly,like it or not

  • Vila

    You missed a couple of details. ERC only got 3 more votes than PSOE (15 against 12). I voted the socialists and they aren’t pro-independence. Leftist doesn’t mean to support the independence. Socialists support multiculturalism which is not the same as independence. Pro-independence parties got 36% of votes in total. In the province of Barcelona, which has around 50% of Catalonian population, PSOE got more votes than ERC. You should be more unbiased taking into account that more than half of Catalonian population are against independence.

    • craig Post author

      Vila,

      I haven’t anywhere stated the socialists are pro-Independence. In fact I specifically state a small but significant minority of their voters are.

      • jordi L

        And data corroborates it:
        https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/independentisme-majoritari-joe-brew/
        nearly a quarter of podemos voters are independentists. And, indeed, a significant part of the PSC voters and, also, (until now, at least) catalan PP voters.
        To remind: PSC is an independent party of PSOE. PSC was in support of a referendum about the independence issue (an accorded kind) while it defends a federal system. That means a catalan state federated with the spanish state (im saying, in the case someone doesnt know that federalism means).
        The point is: in general elections, until now at least, catalan voters always voted to the spanish parliament in terms of “useful vote”, backing leftish parties to make them strong in spain against right wing parties. That produced a duality on the results: sustained majority of catalan parties for the catalan parliament ( http://www.historiaelectoral.com/acatalunya.html ) while sustained majority of left wing spanish parties for the spanish parliament ( http://www.historiaelectoral.com/e1970cat.html ) until now, that, as 1st time, is perceived for a majority of catalans that is better to vote a lefwing independentist party for the spanish parliament. PSC/Podemos still would a bit more than half million independentist voters who voted them to the spanish parliament to avoid a majority of right wing spanish parties. As far as we know, more than 2 million catalan voters are pro independence, and the amount is steadily increasing since 2010, and still growing.

    • kapelmeister

      Multiculturalism is, as you say, not the same as independence. But it’s not a substitute for it either. Also the two things are not in the least incompatible.

  • SA

    For balance there are certain things that need to be stated here:
    There is no provision in the Spanish constitution for a ny region to carry out a pro separatist referendum. It is therefore illegal under Spanish law and the sentences handed over to the separatist leaders is just a judicial application of the law, nothingore nothing less. It is therefore only possible to carry out a separation of Catalunya by either changing this law or by unilateral secession with all the possibility of a civil war. That is the stark choice and this must be made clear.
    The second point is that this election was precipitated by the refusal of the Separatists who were part of the previous coalition with the Socialists, to pass a budget and this led to a large socialist win. So Spain as a whole voted for the socialists.

    • craig Post author

      SA

      A complete non-point. It is, as the British government pointed out in its legal submission to the ICJ over Kosovo, almost by definition illegal in domestic law for secession to take place. But, as the British government also pointed out, that does not matter because Independence is a matter of international not of domestic law.
      Here is the UK Government submission:
      5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
      the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
      of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
      State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

      5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
      of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
      fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
      the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
      predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
      which the secession is occurring.

      5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
      independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
      law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
      authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
      institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
      the scope of already conferred power.

      The question of who won the elections in the rest of Spain is irrelevant.

      • SA

        Not really. International law can only be implemented if powerful nations wish to implement it as we all know. In the case of Kosovo, indipendence was effected by an act of foreign aggression which includes the U.K. contributing to this aggression. On the case of Crimea, despite a peaceful plebiscite overwhelmingly in favour of secession the non recognition by foreign powers seems to make this de facto peaceful act illegal, again based on politics and not ‘International Law.
        But in any case as it is illegal for Catalunya to even hold a referendum on indipendence , the Spanish judiciary have to deal with the proposed secession according to Spanish law, a judicial, not a political act. It is only if the secessionists manage by civil war or outside help to secede and garner support from powerful nations that your point will become relevant. It is also doubtful that a violent secession by Catalunya from Spain will be supported by the rest of the EU , UK and US for purely political reasons.

        • Andrew Paul Booth

          One route forward would be to reach a political consensus in all Spain to change the Constitution so that a proper referendum on independence can be held in Catalunya (and maybe in any other autonomous community that wants it). With all the proper guarantees of honesty and transparency – including a proper propaganda watchdog to expose lies (unlike, say applied to the Brexit leave camàign). I very much doubt the leavers, in the Catalan case, would prevail.

          Another route would be to negotiate even higher levels of autonomous self-government for Catalunya inside Spain and the EU (and why not for others, too, if they so wish, across the EU?)

          • Jimmeh

            Problem is, Catalunya is Spain’s cash-cow. They don’t want to let it go; most of the industry is there. There will never be a majority in Spain as a whole to allow Catalunya to secede.

            So the only way they can gain independence is to hold an (illegal) referendum, or to declare UDI (also illegal under the Spanish constitution). So any such independence necessarily depends on the support of the international community, or at least enough of it to make it stick.

            Craig used to advocate for a Scottish Citizen’s Council, which is not AFAICS a violation of the UK constitution. They would simply announce the independence of Scotland. Isn’t that a route the Catalans should be looking at?

      • Charles Bostock

        Murray

        SA’s point is perfectly pertinent. But because you do not agree with it – and because it is true – you dare to call it a non-point.

        You should learn that it is not clever to call other people’s points non-points just because they happen to put a spoke in the wheels of your latest beef.

          • Charles Bostock

            If Murray really wanted to post about people’s freedom, there are far better countries to write about. Spain is very free (politically) compared to – just as two examples – Russia and China.

        • Ian

          Bstock

          Piggybacking on other people’s discussion in an attempt to inflate your own lack of any arguments and attack your host is rather feeble. You obviously have a large chip on your shoulder when it comes to Craig. Do you have a point? Any point at all?

    • willyrobinson

      “There is no provision in the Spanish constitution for a ny region to carry out a pro separatist referendum.”

      It may be necessary to amend the constitution first. When Rajoy was in government he always presented the constitutional impediment as absolute, but in fact it’s just a question of political will. It’s not that he couldn’t deliver a referendum, but that he didn’t want to. Fair enough, but that decision has consequences – the first of October vote and the declaration that followed were about democratically pushing to create the political will to get an agreed referendum like the one held in Scotland. Now we have a breach of the constitutional consensus of 1978, a show-trial, leaders in exile who are refused participation in elections, a rise of the far-right and the threat of de-facto recentralization from the less-far-right. I think if your original motivation is to protect and obey the Spanish constitution, then you have to look at the actions and decisions taken and ask if that was really achieved.

      • Loony

        Who do you think has the right to amend the Spanish constitution?

        Any answer that is not the citizenry of Spain must by definition create a class of “ubermensch” and “untermensch”

        There is no possibility of the Spanish people agreeing to change the constitution so as to facilitate Catalan independence. Does this mean that Catalonia is effectively held prisoner by Spain or does this mean that Catalans are to be seen as superior people to those living outside of Catalonia and consequently have the right to ignore the views of their fellow countrymen.

        It is indeed to odd to see the left associating itself so closely with Nazi/Nietzschean concept of the superior being. It is even odder that the chosen people are a small group of Spaniards whose only differentiating feature from the rest of the Spanish population is that they live in Catalonia.

        What happens to people living in Catalonia who do not want to live in an independent state called Catalonia? Are they to be deported to the rest of Spain? Or perhaps simply taken outside and shot.

        • Ian

          It would be odd, if it were true. But as it is an entirely fictional claim manufactured in your own rather elaborate rhetorical game, it is not worth the digital paper it is written on.

          • Loony

            So you have no idea as to an appropriate mechanism for amending the constitution but assume that an ad-hominem response will suffice.

            Assuming you are capable of rational thought then your latest comment is presumably designed to display your deep and pitiless contempt for the Spanish people.

            As I have already observed it is precisely this kind of attitude that creates fascists.

          • Ian

            Haha, your utterly and wilfully obtuse comments do not display the ‘rational thought’ you demand of others. As for your caricatures of Spanish people and your contempt for those of them who do not worship at your particularly egregious altar, they would be quite entitled to ask, who is the fascist supporter here.

          • Charles Bostock

            Ian

            Are you really incapable of ever answering anyone’s arguments other than by insults and ad hominems?

            It is not only very feeble but also very boring over time.

        • Republicofscotland

          “There is no possibility of the Spanish people agreeing to change the constitution so as to facilitate Catalan independence. ”

          Loony.

          International recognition is the real precursor for a independent nation.

  • kapelmeister

    The BBC are likely to be already making enquiries about getting the leader of Vox on Question Time.

    • D_Majestic

      And bussing-in yet another right-wing audience. It should be renamed ‘Gammon Hour’.

  • Scott

    Craig,

    The most important point for me is that you are reporting news that is being deliberately overlooked in the mainstream media, because it does not fit the dominant narrative. I really appreciate your efforts.

    The criticism on this thread seems to be coming from people who distrust the ability of readers to make up their own minds by reading a variety of news sources – yours being just one of many.

    Kind regards,
    Scott

    • nevermind

      Thanks for raising this important point, Scott, it is also the essential fact that sends our local two pets here to spit feathers. Catalunya deserves the same rights than any other EU region and it has the right to self determination if it wants to go down that road, just as Scotland has.

      But the two detractors here don’t care much that this massive news does not appear in their right wing fascist media, so they get loud and shout at Craig. Those who get angry and shout, are shouting at themselves for being wrong. They know it full well, but ignorance seems to be part of their daily life’s cycle and they carry on being wrong and loud.

      • J

        Ockhams razor: the simplest explanation of long term systematic distortion, obfuscation and misreporting in most mainstream media on almost every subject is…

  • Republicofscotland

    Well done Esquerra and JxCat in taking Catalonia. Meanwhile Clara Ponsati’s European Arrest Warrant has been dropped.

  • Hieroglyph

    Teen magazine, The Guardian, rather favors female politicians, regardless of ability. I remember back in the day I’d read The Mirror, because the sport section was good. And so it is with The Guardian. Lord know their political coverage is a joke.

    Honest question for EU supporters. GIven the ‘thuggish violence’, and EU intransigence, does this not affect your support for the EU? I suppose it’s possible to support the principle, whilst accepting the EU needs major reform (ditto the UN). I wonder though it the EU can be reformed in any way. I have concluded, no it can’t. Others, of course, may disagree.

    • Scott

      @Hieroglyph, I’m supportive of the EU concept, just wary of the neoliberalism on steroids that it seems to advocate.

      I can see both sides of the argument. Those that suggest it is the best model we have for continued stability in Europe, and that the reality of a splintered Europe would be a retrograde step in terms of international law, workers rights, health and safety, common agriculture policy, fishing / environmental protection, energy security, and even defence have a point.

      Those who argue that the capitalist model is broken, and while it is difficult to predict what should and will replace it, the neoliberal experiment needs to be countered before the politically disenchanted and economically disenfranchised citizens of Europe embrace more authoritarian leadership and take the EU to an even darker place politically (the allure of electing a strong leader or nationalist father figure, when times are hard, style over substance).

      The problem is that the choice is presented as one or the other – either in or out – when a third choice, changing the EU from within, would probably be readily embraced by the masses if there was belief that this option was credible.

      • Martinned

        @Scott: Given that everyone either hates the EU for being too neoliberal, “neoliberalism on steroids”, etc., or for not being neoliberal enough, over-regulating, etc., I’d say the EU gets it about right. Either way, the EU is not the parties that govern it. If you want the EU to pass different legislation, persuade your fellow voters to vote for different parties.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajini has spoken in support of the coup d’etat being attempted in Venezuela. “return to democracy …. which the European parliament has always supported.”. Tajini is Forza Italia. Earlier this year he spoke in support of “Italian Trieste, Istria and Dalmatia”, so he has a history of making asinine statements in a private capacity. It is to,be hoped that he will not survive implying that the European Parliament is in lock step with a murderous, military coup.
      In general, the EU has behaved deplorably in relation to the suppression of citizens rights in Catalonia by Madrid but the structure and protocols of the institution have not reached maturity.
      The European People’s Party have made a mistake in making an outright fascist like Tajini their nominee for Parliamentary President. One way or another I doubt he will be in position when the Parliament reconvenes in the summer.

    • Martinned

      @Hieroglyph: Before I answer that, could you first clarify how anything to do with the Catalan independence movement is the EU’s fault?

    • Trx

      This couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. Thuggish violence is entirely on Spanish fascists from previous government, not EU. You can claim EU stayed silent but seeing EU was the only thing that tried to stop the march of fascists in Austria, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, I can see it having too much on its plate to deal with one more crisis, especially seeing right wing governments in biggest EU countries having little appetite to discipline their brothers. The way to fix that is to elect more left wing governments and push for change, not childish whining about leaving the EU. It can’t be reformed? How? There were two major reforms in last 20 years, please, read actual history book, not anglosaxon press for information about it…

  • Anthony

    Dear oh dear. One more shameless effort by the Guardian to distort and misrepresent reality. Perhaps an even more egregious example occurred last week with its total silence on the succession of racism, misogyny, transphobia, etc, scandals afflictiing its beloved “liberal centrist” Change UK party, which was forced to ditch numerous preferred candidates for the upcoming elections. The contrast with the Guardian’s tireless effort to depict Corbyn’s Labour as institutionally racist, misogynistic, transphobic, etc, etc, could not have been more stark.

    Richard Seymour penned a good article about it that was rejected by the Independent newspaper, another Change UK establishment propaganda sheet.
    https://www.patreon.com/posts/26357879

  • N_

    So on 78% turnout in the 2019 Spanish general election, the Catalans chose once again to blow a loud raspberry at the independencists, whose two main parties taken together won a mere 37% of the vote.

    The turnout in the unofficial independence “referendum” in 2017 was 43%.

    If a proper referendum on independence were held in Catalonia tomorrow, the nationalists would get kicked to kingdom come. Clearly they are more at home shouting their crazed message than listening to any message sent by the people.

    Curiously 37% is the same voteshare that the SNP won in Scotland in the 2017 British general election. “Catalans express massive support for staying in Spain” would be an accurate headline.

    But wait – despite getting support from little more than 1 in 3 people in Catalonia, Catalan nationalists may hold the balance of power in the Spanish parliament. No doubt they will say they “represent Catalonia”, just as Ian Blackford presents himself as “representing Scotland” in the den of arrogant English Scot-crushing monsters British parliament.

    • Charles Bostock

      Is Carlos Puigdemont still skulking in Brussels?

      And if so, what’s he living on – who is supporting him financially ?

      • Republicofscotland

        Skulking? No Charles, keeping his powder dry for another day. However the (JEC) Spain’s Central Election board, has blocked any chance of Puigdemonts from standing in next months EU elections.

        It would appear that the hand of facism extends beyond the show trial in Madrid.

          • Republicofscotland

            One wonders Charles why you’re so interested in Puigdemonts financial position. Isn’t the democratic process more important?

            Especially with the eyes of the world upon the show trial of democratically elected officials, who had been held in prison for over a year without charge. Or do you wish to bypass that as well and enquire about their financial position as well.

            On the upside Charles you’ve at least found your level amid all this, correcting spelling mistakes.

          • Charles Bostock

            RoS

            No, for now I’d be content with your answer regarding who is financially supporting Mr Puigdemont. But if you wish to also tell us who’s financing the otjer people you mention, feel free to do so.

        • Charles Bostock

          Meawhile, RoS, I’m happy to see you are no longer using the word “fascism”. I also much prefer “facism”, an altogether much milder beast 🙂

    • Republicofscotland

      You might want pause for a moment N_ the Brexit vote was advisory as well, and three years later we still haven’t a clue what’s going to happen, along the way Westminster has severely damaged its credibility on a global scale.

      Next to Westminster Puigdemont and Co, and those who voted yes to independence on a 43% turn out, at least look competent.

      Of course the fascists couldn’t let the vote go ahead in a peaceful democratic manner back in the 1st of October 2017. They beat and shot men and women and the elderly, imprisoned Catalan leaders without charge for over a year now the fascists are holding a show trial that even International Trial Watch has serious issues with.

      By defending the status quo you are defending injustice, the denial of self determination, the right to choose, the condoning of a show trial, and ultimately the sham sentencing of democratically elected officials to prison for years for exercising their democratic right to vote.

      • N_

        @RoS – I’d have no problem with a referendum being held in Catalonia (or another one in Scotland) if there were sufficiently substantial support for one (and with victory going to whichever side gets a majority of votes cast), so in that sense you could say I have no problem with national self-determination. In fact I do, because I’m against people being motivated by national identity, which rules out small-country nationalism as well as its imperialist large-country or powerful-country variants. I’d like Britain to withdraw from NATO and would probably like a rebirth of the British film industry but count me out from those who wave the Union Jack for any reason. August Landmesser had it right.

        What I am certainly not in favour of is a kangaroo referendum held by minority separatists. We are fortunate that the level of unpleasant violence in Catalonia was not much higher.

        Beware the conflation of anti-separatism with fascism. Most Catalans, just like most Scots and most Welsh people, are anti-separatist. That doesn’t mean they want the larger neighbour to oppress the country they live in.

        • Republicofscotland

          “In fact I do, because I’m against people being motivated by national identity, which rules out small-country nationalism”

          So you’re against politicians helping people to decide what best for the people of a certain nationality, because you believe nationalism, the only real driver to allowing folk to determine for themselves is bad.

          Do you genuinely believe Westminster knows best for say the people of Wales or Scotland or NI, the latter under threat of the return of the troubles, because Westminster is snubbing the GFA.

    • FranzB

      N – “If a proper referendum on independence were held in Catalonia tomorrow, the nationalists would get kicked to kingdom come”

      In the 2017 regional elections, pro independence parties won 70 of the 135 seats. This followed the independence referendum being interrupted by Rajoy’s storm troopers getting some training in for the next Star Wars film.

      https://spanishpolice.github.io/

      If the Catalonian voters really do disapprove of the nationalists, they’ve got a funny way of showing it.

  • Martinned

    This seems misguided. The more interesting fact is that the pro-independence voters moved from Puigdemont’s Junts per Catalunya to the ERC of Oriol Junqueras. Broadly speaking, this suggests support for a less confrontational approach. So it’s less a matter of the left beating the centrists, and more the conciliatory party beating the hardliners.

  • lysias

    Sinn Fein’s slogan in the parliamentary election of 1918 was: “Vote for the man in gaol.” They won by a landslide.

    • Charles Bostock

      And ushered in, in due course and after a civil war, the backward, priest-ridden, authoritarian Irish Republic whose main characteristic was the export of its citizens to other countries and in particular the old enemy, aka the United Kingdom.

      It deserves to be better known that Mr De Valera expressed condolences to the German ambassador in Berlin on the occasion of Hitler’s death (by a most un-Catholic suicide).

      • Republicofscotland

        Of course lets not forget Edward VIII, a known admirer of Hitler, and entertainer of Oswald Mosley.

        • Charles Bostock

          The difference being that EdwardVIII was not a Prime Minister/Head of State at a time when the full horror of the Nazi régime has become well known. Unlike Mr De Valera.

          • Republicofscotland

            On the contrary Charles he was king, a position back then held in much esteem.

          • Charles Bostock

            I stand corrected. I was unaware that Edward VIII was King in 1945, the year Adolph Hitler killed himself and Mr De Valera addressed condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin.

      • Ciaran

        Bostock you are correct about the priests and Dev but not even they could intentionally drive a million from their lands and starve to death a million more whilst the island was a net exporter of food.

      • Herbie

        “And ushered in, in due course and after a civil war, the backward, priest-ridden, authoritarian Irish Republic”

        Clueless, as usual, habby.

        The Free State set the scene for the “backward, priest-ridden, authoritarian” stuff. the Republic came much later.

        “whose main characteristic was the export of its citizens to other countries and in particular the old enemy, aka the United Kingdom.”

        They were Pastoralised and then used as Reserve Labour. Nothing quite like farmboys for a spot of hard labour.

        This will have been agreed internationally.

        By Terence O’Neill’s time as PM of NI even he couldn’t retain NIs heavy industry.

        That by international enforcement.

        Churchill and others wanted to Pastoralise the Germans after WWII.

        Seems they were out-voted.

    • Charles Bostock

      Yes, and ushered in – in due course and after a bloody civil war – the backward, authoritarian, priest-ridden Irish Republic, whose chief characteristic for 40 years or so was the export of much of its population to other countries and in particular the UK.

      A flavour of the Irish Republic in 1945 can be tasted from the fact that Mr De Valera expressed his condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin on the occasion of Adolph Hitler’s death in 1945 (this is fact).

      • N_

        How did the British Foreign Office poshboys treat the German ambassador Herbert von Dirksen who remained in London until about a fortnight before Britain declared war on Germany? Were they as courteous as Eamon de Valera? Or when they met Dirksen officially or at a party did they say things like “Oh it’s you, you vile c***” and “Let’s hope your fuhrer croaks”?

        You should change your handle to Charles Bostroll.

        • Charles Bostock

          N_

          What a silly post. Of course the ambassador would have been treated courteously even two weeks before the start of the war. And when leaving the country after the outbreak of war he would still have been treated courteously. As, indeed, would the British ambassador in Berlin.

          Are you suggesting that Mr De Valera addressed condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin on the occasion of Hitler’s death because he was inspired by or following normal diplomatic practice?

          I do not think that many other PMs or Heads of State addressed such condolences to the German ambassador in their countries. Not even the PMs or Heads of State of other neutral countries such as Sweden or Switzerland or the South American republics.

      • Ciaran

        As for the bloody civil war it seems to be a gift the crown bequeathed upon independence. Ireland, the United States, Kenya I’m sure their are others and true to form your dragging your heels leaving the EU. For God’s sake man just go, I’m sure you will not be missed BOS.

        • Jay

          They will be missed about as much as they are missed in any of the countries they looted and raped for centuries.

          • Charles Bostock

            Well, it did, in the sense that one lot of Irishmen accepted it and another lot of Irishmen didn’t and so those two lots of Irishmen started fighting each other.

            As I said, a purely Irish production with no Brits involved.

          • Ciaran

            So the partition of the island had nothing at all to do with the ‘Brits’ ? Nothing to do with the civil war ?

          • Charles Bostock

            It did, Ciaran, in the sense that one lot of Irishmen from the Irish Free State who were unhappy with partition started fighting against another lot of Irishmen from the Irish Free State who accepted partition.

            History records that there was a civli war in the Irish Free State after the foundation of that State. Why do you find it so difficult to accept that?

      • Herbie

        “A flavour of the Irish Republic in 1945 can be tasted from the fact that Mr De Valera expressed his condolences to the German ambassador in Dublin on the occasion of Adolph Hitler’s death in 1945 (this is fact).”

        Yes, it’s a fact.

        But, what does it mean?

        You could easily see the Freestaters rushing to sign.

        But, a Republican?

        Anyway, was Ireland shunned after this. No. Quite the reverse. Becomes the poster boy for wee free independent states all across the world.

        Assisting some wee wannabee free states with tactics and so on:

        “Irish and Israeli representatives celebrate the 50th anniversary of the planting of the Eamon De Valera Forest, which was planted in the Lower Galilee in 1966 by the Dublin Jewish Community in honor of Irish President Eamon de Valera.”

        http://www.kkl-jnf.org/about-kkl-jnf/green-israel-news/november-2016/eamon-de-valera-forest-50-years-galilee/

        Your history is much too superficial to fit with the facts and the reality.

        • Herbie

          This is the key passage in term’s of habby’s nonsense.

          “Irish President Eamon de Valera was a long time politician and Head of State who always showed respect to the Jewish population of Ireland and protected them. In 1966, the Eamon de Valera Forest was planted by the Dublin Jewish community in honor of de Valera, who was president at that time.”

          So, really what I’m asking, habby, is how your interpretation of Dev’s signing the Condolences book is so at odds with the reality of the Dublin Jewish community’s very great respect for him?

          I mean, they did live through that period, when he signed the big bad book which is supposed, by you, to blacken everything about him.

  • Charles Bostock

    Earlier on, I characterised Murray’s content and tone as demented.

    To their credit, the Mod(s) let the comment stand.

    I think it was Orwell who once wrote about the particular quality of extremist writing – the violence, the hysteria, the exaggeration, the mendacity, the use of words to mean something other than thy normally mean.

    With that in mind, I invite readers to re-read, carefully, Murray’s post , noting in particular the following :

    ” their leadership being exiled or political prisoners ”
    ” the Spanish occupation garrisons in the country”
    “It remains a favourite tool of foreign intelligence services”
    “the thuggish violence of Francoist paramilitary forces ”
    ” the imprisoning and exile of its peaceful leadership”
    “the extraordinary Madrid dictated barrage of MSM propaganda”

    • Tony

      The quotes you list for particular attention are all accurate descriptions of events and current situations. You should raise your disagreements, with reasoning, if you want to be taken seriously.

      • Charles Bostock

        You are right when you say that ideally one should back up the expressions one uses with reasoning. I suggest that Craig (or you, if you agree with what he’s written) could start by giving us his reasons for suggesting, for example, that army barracks in Catalonia represent a “Spanish occupation” and that the Spanish guardia civil is “Francoist”.

        Does the nuclear submarine base at Holy Loch indicate a British military occupation of Scotland? Is the French CRS Vichyite or fascist?

        • Tony

          Charles, Craig didn’t mention the army,. Guardia Civil bases are referred to as ‘barracks”. Guardia Civil were brought in from outside Catalonia to break up the referendum vote by using violence. This is classic fascist behaviour.

      • N_

        Reality check.

        Franco died in 1975, which is closer in time to the civil war of 1936-39 than it is to today.

        In that war, which was started by the Francoists, people mounted a powerful military response to fascism but it wasn’t powerful enough and they lost. Their side had no support from the governments of Britain or France. The only time Britain looked ready to intervene militarily was in Barcelona in 1937 in defence of the Republic not against the Francoists but against the revolutionary working class. The British government did not oppose the large-scale murder of anti-fascist prisoners by the Francoist side. France even locked up in camps many of the anti-fascists who managed to make their way across the Pyrenees.

        To his credit, Clement Attlee in Britain had the decency to go to Victoria Station in London to greet surviving British volunteers who escaped being rounded up and executed after the fascist victory. But he was not in the government at the time – he was Leader of the Opposition.

        Anyone who says the Allies in WW2 were motivated by a desire to defeat fascism is mistaken at best. Fascism didn’t stop in Europe in 1945. It reigned in Spain and Portugal until the 1970s, and Britain kept up diplomatic relations with the fascist regimes in both countries. I imagine the British Foreign Office expressed their condolences when Franco died in 1975 as well as when Salazar died in 1970, although I can’t cite diplomatic documents to prove it.

        What has this to do with Catalan nationalism? Well…the civil war was fought in Barcelona as well as elsewhere in Catalonia and elsewhere in Spain. Many who died were Catalan. And guess what – very few of the Catalan men and women who fought against Francoism in Catalonia – alongside volunteers from many countries, including Scotland – were in favour of Catalan independence. That was because they were more concerned with real issues and the real need to resist and defeat fascism.

        A note on terminology: the fascists in Spain called themselves “Nationalists”, and even that term was given to them by Joseph Goebbels. Previously they had preferred terms such as “Crusader”. Many who fought for fascism in Spain saw themselves as fighting for Christianity, not for the ideology dear to Benito Mussolini that harked back to the Roman Empire of the time of Julius Caesar.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ N_ April 30, 2019 at 19:24
          ‘…Their side had no support from the governments of Britain or France…’
          Indeed, but Franco did have the full support of Hitler and Mussolini.
          Remember Guernica.

      • pete

        Re “The quotes… are all accurate descriptions of events and current situations.”
        This is true. Statements can be evaluative and value neutral as well as evaluative and value laden and still be true. There is no reason why Craig should not adopt the the same value laden rhetoric that the MSM uses in order to put force to his expression. Adopting a more wishy washy prose style will only lose him readers. When we visit here, if we have been here before, we know what to expect. If we are curious we can look up the facts as presented elsewhere and make our own decisions. Don’t shoot the messenger, if Chas does not like the message he/she/they/it can go elsewhere.

  • Andrew Paul Booth

    Your assertion that the Citizens Party (Ciudadanos) “started life as an astroturf effort to help counter the left-wing and anti-EU populism of Podemos” is unfortunately erroneous, Craig. It was founded in Barcelona in 2005-2006, and received over 25% of votes in the December 2007 Catalan regional election. It first ran in Spanish national elections in 2008. Podemos was not founded until 2014.

    There has been a visible transition in the Citizens Party’s socio-economic policies, other than on the Catalan separtist issue, from centre-left further and further to the right, as they compete (succesfuly) to take votes from the now moribund PP, and even from potential voters of VOX. I can quite imagine that outside interests might have been ‘advising’ the party along these lines; but it is also quite credible that Spanish politicians could do these things all on their own.

    The Catalan separatist issue is complex. Along with much infrastructure investment, much ‘social-programming’ was undertaken in educational and media fields in Catalunya by its Generalitat, the regional government, under the profoundly corrupt CiU governments of Jordi Pujol and his team and his appointed successor Artur Mas. Corruption scandals finished-off the CiU ‘nationalist-light’ business-friendly coalition. Some of those people are now with Puigdemont and the like, hoping to govern eventually in a somehow-viable small state where corruption can continue, Andorran accounts unmolested. Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, on the other hand, as a party is generally honest and sincere, as are many of its voters. It is clearly resurgent and now has 15 seats, previously nine, in the Spanish national parliament.

    The strength of left-leaning votes in Catalunya, as always, gives us the clearest picture of Catalan sentiment overall. Support for independence, not so much. By number of voters, rather than by number of seats in the Catalan parliament, there has never been a clear majority for independence in Catalunya.

    I have had a twenty-five year relationship as a member of an upper-middle class extended family in and around Barcelona. Although I now live in the Canary Islands I know that of which I speak.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The Catalan separatist ”

      Andrew.

      Thank you for your interesting comment, as Charles raved in an earlier comment on wording, its appropriate to add about your above sentence, that I almost always come across the use of the word separatist in the context of the user opposing such state of affairs. Such as from 2012 onwards those seeking independence in Scotland were classed as such.

      • Andrew Paul Booth

        The issue under discussion is the separation of Catalunya from Spain. As regards independence itself, following separation, actually I have seen little discussion anywhere of what this independent state would be like, other than it being free of Madrid and not in the EU at the outset…

        As long as a majority in Catalunya is not in favour of separation, I am indeed not in favour.

        • Charles Bostock

          From what I have heard about what the autonomous Catalan govt got up to in the matter of languages,the public services, etc, I believe an independent Catalan state would be deeply authoritarian and intolerant. Note that I do not say “the Catalans”, I say a “Catalan state”.

        • Republicofscotland

          “I have seen little discussion anywhere of what this independent state would be like, other than it being free of Madrid and not in the EU at the outset…”

          Yet there was a 43% turn out to vote on it, and clearly the Guardia Civil, felt the nerd to savagely beat those who voted, or attempted to vote on October 2017.

          Forgive me Andrew but your above comment reminds me of a unionist stance against Scottish independence back in the day.

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            Whilst it might be in Catalan separatists’ interest to seek to conflate their issues with those of Scotland (which has always been a nation, whereas Catalunya has not), I think it is not in the interest of those who would seek Scottish independence to do the same.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I think it is not in the interest of those who would seek Scottish independence to do the same.”

            Why is that Andrew?

            Could it be this you are thinking of.

            Alfonso Dastis, the Spanish foreign minister, made it clear that the government would not block an independent Scotland’s EU hopes.

            I think Spain is pre-occupied with loosening the grip of Britain with regards to Gibraltar far more than it is concerned with Scottish support for Catalonia and its independence.

          • Republicofscotland

            Ironically Andrew, Gibraltans, are claiming against Spain the exact same principle that the people of Catalonia are.

            “To the same section 2 of Resolution 1514 (XV) states: “All peoples have the right to self-determination; by virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Status_of_Gibraltar

          • Andrew Paul Booth

            I will answer, while ignoring strawmen, your question regarding my opinion as to conflation of the desires of some people to seek Catalunya’s and Scotland’s independence.

            It is because I think too many improbable parallels and false equivalences might be drawn, to the detriment of some Scottish hopes. For example, Scotland is an historical nation that entered into a voluntary parliamentary union with England. It is not and never has been an English region. Catalunya is a Spanish region; before the union of the crowns of Castille (incorporating León, Asturias, …) and of Aragon (which conquered previously Moorish Balearic Islands, Sicily, Sardinia, …) it was a county of the latter. It has never been a nation. In Catalan politics and in much of its business circles corruption has been rife. It is to be hoped that such is not Scotland’s case. People living in Catalunya, many if not most of whose families are of recent migration into the region, have been blasted by the Generalitat with frequently false pro-nationalist propaganda in schools as well as on TV in the fine and highly respectable Catalan language in a succesful effort to firmly instil a reinvented and frankly often fake ‘history’ and ‘culture’ in the region. Again, I see few parallels with Scotland’s case there. The most significant, open and honest pro-independence party in Catalunya is strongly left-leaning and Republican. Is there anything similar in Scotland? I could go on, mentioning, for instance, some fine Catalan anarchist friends… But enough, already. I see our host chooses not to reply to my observations regarding Ciudadanos and Catalunya above.

            Thank you for your concern. Save it for Scotland, if you will.

    • Republicofscotland

      It’s a well know fact that there’s a touch of solidarity between those in Scotland who support independence
      and Catalonia, incidently Jasper your link is from 2017.

      • Charles Bostock

        One big difference is that in Spain as a whole there is a majority against Catalan independence( because it would lose money) whereas in the UK as a whole there might well be a majority for Scottish independence (because it would save money).

        One similarity, however, is that the demands for independence are led by small groups of ambitious politicians who would prefer to be big fish in a small pond rather than small fish in a big pond. Politicians – yes, even Catalan and Scottish politicians – are politicians.

        • Republicofscotland

          “One big difference is that in Spain as a whole there is a majority against Catalan independence( because it would lose money) whereas in the UK as a whole there might well be a majority for Scottish independence (because it would save money).”

          I’m rather surprised at you of all people Charles a champion of Israel, yet you fail to understand that independence isn’t necessarily all about the money.

          I doubt when a neck-tie clad Ben Gurion gave his widely renowned speech in the Museum hall in Rotheschild avenue on 14th of May 1948 at 4pm, that his first thoughts on the newly born Israel were ones of a finanical matter.

          • Charles Bostock

            I think that the idea of Catalan independence is about little else than the money. That plus the wish of certain politicians to be big fish in a small pond rather than small fish in a big one.

            As for Ben Gurion, well, you may be right. But it could be that he was speaking against the background of the murder of 6 million of his co-religionists. Unlike Don Carlos Puigdemont.

    • Andrew Paul Booth

      There is no historical detail in the parts of the linked euobserver article where Scotland is compared to Catalunya. The two Cambridge University postgraduate student authors do, however, interestingly point out (is there finance from related sources behind the Catalan separatist movement?) that, in the area of contemporary international relations:

      “It has long been rumoured that Catalonia and Israel have been keeping friendly diplomatic contacts. These contacts are grounded in Israel’s need for Mediterranean allies, and in the currently lukewarm Israeli-Spanish relations, exemplified by the Spanish vote in the recent UN resolution against Israeli settlements”.

      And that:

      “Russian president Vladimir Putin might be looking for other ways to destabilise European unity, while seeking to increase support among Europeans for Russia’s foreign policy. There are signs that he has considered Catalonia as a suitable vessel for this: In September of 2016, rumours (soon debunked) were spread on Russian news sites claiming that the Catalan parliament had recognised Crimea as an independent state”.

      Hmmm. Why refer to debunked rumours at all?

  • lysias

    Simon Harris’s “Catalonia is not Spain” is a very interesting read. A new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, negotiated between Cstslan nationalists and Zapatero’s Socialist governmrnt in Spain, was adopted by both governments in 2006. It gave further autonomy to Catalonia, and so the Partido Popular appealed the matter to the Spanish courtz, which in 2010 struck down the statute. These developments gave a lot of impeus to secessionism in Catonia.

  • SA

    The argument that any secessionist movement is legitimate as long as it is recognised by the international community sits rather strangely in this blog whereby both host and contributors in general are against colour revolutions carried out and recognised by the so called international community. So some advocate that all it takes for the Catalans and Scots to gain independence is for recognition by this nebulous ‘ international community’. Bearing in mind that the same argument has been used by the US and their lackeys to support Guaido as president of Venezuela I wonder where does the Craig Murray community sit with regards to this. If UDI is declared in Catalonia and immediately supported by the US and U.K., would we all be cheering?

  • N_

    Those who want to oppose fascism in the Spanish-speaking world and to help spread relevant news may like to turn their attention to Venezuela, where the fascist side under Juan Guaido is trying to seize the government by force, right now.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ N_ April 30, 2019 at 19:40
      Like they have in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia (long ago), Honduras (long ago), Haiti and with Nicaragua, Cuba and Bolivia in the firing line.

    • S

      Quite interesting is that the Daily Mail seems to sit slightly against Guaido, whereas the Guardian seems to support him. Not sure what’s going on there.

  • Emma

    Democratic triumph? Together the separatist parties won 37% of the vote. The majority of catalans were sick of being held hostage by the crazy separatist alliance between corrupt right wing Arthur Mas old Convergència i Unió and the anarchist CUP. Esquerra Republicana, who are not corrupt, won 1.015.300 votes (24,59 %). PSC won 958.343 (23 %) and En comú podem 614.738 (14,89 %). I would say it was more a victory for moderate left wing non separatists.The big losers were all the right wing parties.

    • Charles Bostock

      Small countries can often be more authoritarian and more corrupt than large ones. That is facilitated by the fact that small countries have more chance of flying under the international radar. An independent Catalonia, judging by past shenanigans of various sorts, would probably be a good example.

      • kapelmeister

        Small countries that are members of the United Nations, the European Union, EFTA, the Commonwealth etc can easily fly under the international radar? Ridiculous.

        • Charles Bostock

          Certainly. A good example is Ireland, which outlawed all contraception until fairly recently. Luxemburg snd Switzerland got away with money laundering on an industrial scale until very recently. And so on.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ kapelmeister April 30, 2019 at 20:52
          It’s not that they fly ‘under the radar’, they just fly under MSM scrutiny, because the Great Satan and it’s acolytes so order it.

  • Charles Bostock

    Don Carlos Puigdemont – perhaps with his family – is hunkering down in Belgium.

    An astute move, because Belgium is unlikely to fall over itself to extradite him – because the Flemish nationalist parties are powerful and themselves have ambitions for Flanders to break away from the Belgian state.

    But Belgium is not the cheapest of countries in which to live. So my earlier question does seem to be relevant, if only for humanitarian reasons : who is financially supporting Don Carlos and his family during his self-imposed exile?

    One is often advised – including on this excellent blog – to “follow the money”. So let’s try and follow the money here.

    • Charles Bostock

      It may be, for instance, that certain sections of Catalan industry are behind Puigdemont and the independentists. Perhaps they are hoping that corporation tax will be lower in an independent Catalonia once transfers to Madrid cease.

  • 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.

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