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Spain...destroying themselves from the inside

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Banning Democracy in Catalonia

There is a fundamental disconnect between the real Catalonia and the Catalonia the political Establishment and its lackey media want us to believe exists.

All of the major Western broadcasters, plus newspapers like The Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times, have repeatedly pumped out the mantra that it is only a minority in Catalonia that support Independence. They have never attempted to explain why therefore Carles Puigdemont is President, and why the pro-Independence parties got 48% at the last Catalan elections while the Spanish Nationalist parties got 39%.

There is a vital point here. The plan of the Spanish government to force new Catalan elections in January is not obviously going to give a different result. The national spirit aroused by the 2014 Scottish referendum resulted in a huge boost for the SNP at ensuing parliamentary elections. The same is likely to apply. Plus, there are indeed societies in which people en masse  will vote for you if you send armoured thugs to bludgeon their grannies. But I do not think that the Catalans are such a society. Catalans are not likely to have been convinced to abandon their hopes by the actions of the Guardia Civil.

So what happens if Rajoy calls new elections and the pro-Independence parties win again, which is highly likely? Social media shows that a great many Catalans believe that Rajoy’s answer will be to ban the pro-Independence political parties and not allow them to contest the election.

That is not as fantastic as it seems. Spanish ministers have been briefing the media that, if Independence is declared, Puigdemont will be arrested for sedition. Two major Catalan civic society leaders are already imprisoned for the same ludicrous offence, and the Head of the Catalan Police is on trial.

One commodity of which Spain is not in short supply is corrupt, Francoist judges. It will not be difficult at all to find a fascist judge who will rule that campaigning for Independence in itself constitutes “sedition”, and that pro-Independence political parties and pro-Independence campaigning should be banned as unconstitutional, an affront to the sovereign, traitorous and other such nonsense. In fact that seems to be the inescapable logic of the Rajoy position.

Indeed, the calling of a new election makes no sense at all unless the supporters of Independence are banned from contesting it. Many other measures – all an undeniable breach of human rights – are being undertaken to try to reduce the capacity of the Independence movement to campaign. TV and radio stations are being taken over by Madrid, websites and social media communication blocked. The banning of pro-Independence parties really is not a very large step further down the road. Meanwhile Rajoy has almost certainly concluded that there is no breach of human rights so blatant that other European governments will not back it as the “rule of law”.

There is no sense in which the current hardline moves of the extremist Spanish nationalists in power in Madrid will end the crisis in Catalonia. They will merely plunge it into a much more vicious phase.

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1 hour ago, Kim said:

Banning Democracy in Catalonia

There is a fundamental disconnect between the real Catalonia and the Catalonia the political Establishment and its lackey media want us to believe exists.

 

 

So what happens if Rajoy calls new elections and the pro-Independence parties win again, which is highly likely? Social media shows that a great many Catalans believe that Rajoy’s answer will be to ban the pro-Independence political parties and not allow them to contest the election.

That is not as fantastic as it seems. Spanish ministers have been briefing the media that, if Independence is declared, Puigdemont will be arrested for sedition. Two major Catalan civic society leaders are already imprisoned for the same ludicrous offence, and the Head of the Catalan Police is on trial.

One commodity of which Spain is not in short supply is corrupt, Francoist judges. It will not be difficult at all to find a fascist judge who will rule that campaigning for Independence in itself constitutes “sedition”, and that pro-Independence political parties and pro-Independence campaigning should be banned as unconstitutional, an affront to the sovereign, traitorous and other such nonsense. In fact that seems to be the inescapable logic of the Rajoy position.

Indeed, the calling of a new election makes no sense at all unless the supporters of Independence are banned from contesting it. Many other measures – all an undeniable breach of human rights – are being undertaken to try to reduce the capacity of the Independence movement to campaign. TV and radio stations are being taken over by Madrid, websites and social media communication blocked. The banning of pro-Independence parties really is not a very large step further down the road. Meanwhile Rajoy has almost certainly concluded that there is no breach of human rights so blatant that other European governments will not back it as the “rule of law”.

There is no sense in which the current hardline moves of the extremist Spanish nationalists in power in Madrid will end the crisis in Catalonia. They will merely plunge it into a much more vicious phase.

who wrote this? is it from the guardian?

anyways, only two more things:

-I think , before the spanish government makes the people in the catalonian government go away and they take control , the catalonian elected government will call for elections this year, so the spanish  government will have an 1-october again.and, if everything it´s legal, the proreferendum people will win, by far. PP has believed its own lies about the silent mayority.They also believed them in 2001 in the basque country, and they had a mayor los against the nationalist parties after months of calling everybody terrorist if we weren´t going to vote for them. and, if it´s not legal, a lot of people will vote again...are there going to be two governments? the legal one and the chosen by the people?

 

-Socialist party´s people in catalonia are divided with this 155. it´s been only a few hours, and some mayor important socialists from catalonia have said that are against this

 

-after all these shit in the next months, what will happen? nothing calmed, dialogued.

 

-The 155 will be voted next week, on friday I think, by the senate.The PP has absolut majority in the senate, they don´t need any other political party,because the way the votes are counted is different. It´s counted by provinces, ech of them has some, then some of the senators are chosen freely by the king-government I think, others by the most important parties in each region I think but without being voted by the people.It was designed to make the less radical parts of the country have the power to decide, to make right winged parties stop the laws.The cities have less political weight than the towns, so the changes go slower. This system works very well for PP and PSOE, that´s why they don´t change it. And when somebody asks anything, they say that the senate doesn´t work, that it´s a waste. No, it´s not a waste. It was designed to stop changes, to control progessist people,an it works.

and, even more strangely, there´s nobody from PP PSOE elected from catalonia to go to the senate, but, the senate will decide their future...

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1 hour ago, promise to try said:

who wrote this? is it from the guardian?

The whole thing was written by the same guy whose article I printed before.

The Guardian would never write that! (they are Blairites, pro-Unionist, were anti-Corbyn etc. Left of centre, but certainly not left)

As for the rest of what you wrote, well it seems that democracy stands for nothing in 2017 Spain. There should be European outrage. If there's not, then we should ALL be very, very worried.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Kim said:

The whole thing was written by the same guy whose article I printed before.

The Guardian would never write that! (they are Blairites, pro-Unionist, were anti-Corbyn etc. Left of centre, but certainly not left)

As for the rest of what you wrote, well it seems that democracy stands for nothing in 2017 Spain. There should be European outrage. If there's not, then we should ALL be very, very worried.

 

 

they won´t do anything. and, that the spanish government is doing shit doesn´t make the others saints

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1 minute ago, promise to try said:

he whole thing was written by the same guy whose article I printed before

interesting.I only wanted to know who is paying attention to this situation outside spain, and it´s not following the oficial sources

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This idea of independence lacks of substance imho. Democracy came about so that we could build a world based on unity and freedom. When these people are saying they're exercising their rights they sound so stupid and pretty ignorant. I would go as far as to say they're simply disgusting human beings full of hate and  ideas of supremacy and division. Now we are having people who are using our democratic values to bring back dictatorships, Nazism and God knows what else. We need to wake up. If we are not careful we will get ourselves into major conflicts or even civil wars. The pretentious ones will try to justify all of this by explaining or try to explain how we got here. That is or at least should be irrelevant at the time being. That's not going to change the situation. If anything it will create more divisions and fights. 

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On 20/10/2017 at 1:39 PM, Kim said:

On one hand you say it's wrong that the state imposes direct rule over an autonomous region, then you say Catalonia would use that to spread fake news about the illusion of oppression. If direct rule happens, then that WILL be oppression - fact.

And Puigdemont did the RIGHT thing by asking for talks and dialogue with Madrid. Why aren't you commenting on the fact that this request has been ignored rather than scornfully dismissing it with "with whom and about what"? And I imagine it would be about coming to some agreement over giving more autonomy to the region, devolving more powers - you know, those powers stripped and reversed from it by the constitutional court in 2010? OR a new and binding independence referendum to decide the issue.

In fact, the ones spreading fake news are those in this thread repeating the lines about "nations should only be independent IF they are 'oppressed' " or that every type of nationalism is bad -  equating right-wing nazi-esque nationalism with democratic civic left-wing nationalism, which are the lines that awful article posted a few days ago parroted.

The EU has shown itself as the corrupt self-serving institution that most already suspected it was, but never to such an extent as we've seen with this issue. AS IF it's mouthpieces France and Germany would say any different.

That the echo chamber in this thread just keep on repeating the kind of state-sanctioned propaganda coming straight out of the Francoist Madrid govt. offices is disheartening to say the least (Promise to Try excepted). Now it's being treated as a joke..."oh isn't this over already". Vile. We'll see how "over" it is when/if Spain sends in the thugs (again) to attempt to take over the governance of Catalonia by force and/or setting up a series of farcical elections in the region.

I agree 100%

The government will make a huge mistake imposing a resolution by force. It will be perceived as an act of opression and it will only add fuel to the fire of separatism. Dialogue as proposed by the catalans is the only viable option and shouldn’t be ruled out like that by the spanish authorities.

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Spain's response to this has been absolutely terrible. I don't even necessarily think that Catalonia becoming independent is a great idea, admittedly I don't know enough about it (though if it were to happen, it probably wouldn't be all that bad, either) but what the Spanish government have been doing is quite frankly inexcusable and I'd imagine that Spain's reaction to the "referendum" has only pushed more Catalans towards a pro-independence stance.

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right now the only ones that should be happy are the radical in both sides: the CUP were praying for something like this to happen when they left angry the catalonian parliament last week when the president didn´t proclaim the independenceNow they are thelling him to do it next week.

and also the PP radicals: catalans are going to have the lesson  they deserve,finally this crap thing called the autonomous communities are going to start losing power,nobody is talking about our corruption...

 

The only posibility to fix this is a new government in spain.But I´m afraid PP is going to win again, with more votes. Maybe, in 5 years time, the next  elections...politicians would have thought about this better

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and the newspapers...!!!! El pais!!!! pure propaganda! thank god we have know other ways of cummicating ideas and facts!

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Funny how Puigdemont talked about Franco in his last speach: "worst attack on Catalan institutions since the dictator General Franco ordered the end of our autonomy”.

Oh but I forgot, they all moved on, :rotfl:

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3 hours ago, BrendanT1993 said:

Spain's response to this has been absolutely terrible. I don't even necessarily think that Catalonia becoming independent is a great idea, admittedly I don't know enough about it (though if it were to happen, it probably wouldn't be all that bad, either) but what the Spanish government have been doing is quite frankly inexcusable and I'd imagine that Spain's reaction to the "referendum" has only pushed more Catalans towards a pro-independence stance.

Exactly my point of view. Not sure independence is the answer, but at least give them the chance to express themselves about it, in a legal way. 

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14 hours ago, MeakMaker said:

This idea of independence lacks of substance imho. Democracy came about so that we could build a world based on unity and freedom. When these people are saying they're exercising their rights they sound so stupid and pretty ignorant. I would go as far as to say they're simply disgusting human beings full of hate and  ideas of supremacy and division. Now we are having people who are using our democratic values to bring back dictatorships, Nazism and God knows what else. We need to wake up. If we are not careful we will get ourselves into major conflicts or even civil wars. The pretentious ones will try to justify all of this by explaining or try to explain how we got here. That is or at least should be irrelevant at the time being. That's not going to change the situation. If anything it will create more divisions and fights. 

Idiot.

1 hour ago, promise to try said:

and the newspapers...!!!! El pais!!!! pure propaganda! thank god we have know other ways of cummicating ideas and facts!

On the Sunday morning political programmes here, the BBC had Spanish foreign ministers on this morning, talking about how all the scenes we saw the other week were fake and no force was used against anybody and the whole of Spain is on the govts side and blah blah propoganda blah (no-one on from the other side of course). That's what leads to idiots like him above making such foolish statements.

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18 minutes ago, Kim said:

Idiot.

 

How classy.... Showing your true colours. Stop insulting people because they don't agree with your divisive mentality. You're not always right. 

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Just now, runa said:

Funny how Puigdemont talked about Franco in his last speach: "worst attack on Catalan institutions since the dictator General Franco ordered the end of our autonomy”.

Oh but I forgot, they all moved on, :rotfl:

or maybe it is actually the worst attack against their autonomy. Their autonomy was there before 1978´s constitution, way before.

and of course, franco didn´t event spain, he invented a way of being spanish, or at least he empowered it as the only way if being a good spaniard.

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6 hours ago, MeakMaker said:

This idea of independence lacks of substance imho. Democracy came about so that we could build a world based on unity and freedom. When these people are saying they're exercising their rights they sound so stupid and pretty ignorant. I would go as far as to say they're simply disgusting human beings full of hate and  ideas of supremacy and division. Now we are having people who are using our democratic values to bring back dictatorships, Nazism and God knows what else. We need to wake up. If we are not careful we will get ourselves into major conflicts or even civil wars. The pretentious ones will try to justify all of this by explaining or try to explain how we got here. That is or at least should be irrelevant at the time being. That's not going to change the situation. If anything it will create more divisions and fights. 

-ok, freedom to choose if they want to be spain or not, if they want to keep the unity or not.

-these people aqre just regular people: have we really heard what are they saying? why are they saying it? is there any truth?

-Ideas of supremacy? everytime I talk to a catalan about this, there is not supremacy involved. they always use a similar example: the right to divorce.back in the day to break a marriage was not only ilegal, but utrrageous and a sin.

-In spain, I don´t know in other places but it should be similar, the democracy is under the markets´ laws this is not a real democracy, the multinationals are the ones rulling everything.it´s moeny´s dictatorship.if the banks loses ,money, we pay for it.if they want to sell our public health care system, they sell it.if you have money you can avoid jail...

of course, this doesn´t happen only with the PP, in catalonia also happen with a political party called CIU that now are called PdeCAT that now are super pro referendum.But I have the feeling some people think it will be easier to keep some social rights if they are outside spain, because the amount of PP voters is ridiculous.

 

-something happened, I really don´t know what, to make  a lot of catalans, change that much about their relation with spain.Because they are playing really hard against a consolidated power like spain´s and its friends

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57 minutes ago, promise to try said:

-ok, freedom to choose if they want to be spain or not, if they want to keep the unity or not.

-these people aqre just regular people: have we really heard what are they saying? why are they saying it? is there any truth?

-Ideas of supremacy? everytime I talk to a catalan about this, there is not supremacy involved. they always use a similar example: the right to divorce.back in the day to break a marriage was not only ilegal, but utrrageous and a sin.

-In spain, I don´t know in other places but it should be similar, the democracy is under the markets´ laws this is not a real democracy, the multinationals are the ones rulling everything.it´s moeny´s dictatorship.if the banks loses ,money, we pay for it.if they want to sell our public health care system, they sell it.if you have money you can avoid jail...

of course, this doesn´t happen only with the PP, in catalonia also happen with a political party called CIU that now are called PdeCAT that now are super pro referendum.But I have the feeling some people think it will be easier to keep some social rights if they are outside spain, because the amount of PP voters is ridiculous.

 

-something happened, I really don´t know what, to make  a lot of catalans, change that much about their relation with spain.Because they are playing really hard against a consolidated power like spain´s and its friends

Yes. Exactly what you're saying BUT haven't we learned anything from history? Why is the idea of going alone better than the one of staying together as one country? If all you're saying is true how come many Catalonians don't want independence but they're rather stay in unity? Shouldn't they have a say as well? Or they're just seen as collateral? 

Aren't Brexit, Trump, far right parties  getting more and more powerful also based on democracy? Just because millions of people would rather aim for self destruction that doesn't give them the right to actually do it. Haven't we learned anything from the Nazi and how they got into power? Where's the oppression in Barcelona anyways? ( And please, don't bring up the police violence during the ballots because that was an isolated incident and yes very condemnable) Listening to these people chanting I want democracy sounds like they're held in concetration camps or denied some sort of freedom. Is wanting to be richer and keeping all the wealth to ourselves worth all of this? Because let's not fool each other...  it's all about the money and the wealth in the end. In Italy they're having a referendum to give more powers and autonomy to two regions and guess what? They're the richest regions in the country.. I see the patterns here. Rich people want to get richer... They're tired of helping the poor parts of the country; they don't want to lose out money. Don't they realise that they have become richer because they had more investments and opportunities while the south was left struggling along with criminality and corruption? Corruption that's all over the government by the way. Northern Italy is not free of corruption amongst politicians and the ruling elite. All in all, it spawns from a culture of division no matter what sort of spin you give to it. 

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1 hour ago, MeakMaker said:

Yes. Exactly what you're saying BUT haven't we learned anything from history? Why is the idea of going alone better than the one of staying together as one country? If all you're saying is true how come many Catalonians don't want independence but they're rather stay in unity? Shouldn't they have a say as well? Or they're just seen as collateral? 

Aren't Brexit, Trump, far right parties  getting more and more powerful also based on democracy? Just because millions of people would rather aim for self destruction that doesn't give them the right to actually do it. Haven't we learned anything from the Nazi and how they got into power? Where's the oppression in Barcelona anyways? ( And please, don't bring up the police violence during the ballots because that was an isolated incident and yes very condemnable) Listening to these people chanting I want democracy sounds like they're held in concetration camps or denied some sort of freedom. Is wanting to be richer and keeping all the wealth to ourselves worth all of this? Because let's not fool each other...  it's all about the money and the wealth in the end. In Italy they're having a referendum to give more powers and autonomy to two regions and guess what? They're the richest regions in the country.. I see the patterns here. Rich people want to get richer... They're tired of helping the poor parts of the country; they don't want to lose out money. Don't they realise that they have become richer because they had more investments and opportunities while the south was left struggling along with criminality and corruption? Corruption that's all over the government by the way. Northern Italy is not free of corruption amongst politicians and the ruling elite. All in all, it spawns from a culture of division no matter what sort of spin you give to it. 

I so agree on this. Its heartbreaking to see greed masked as oppression. Is there anyone on this world that really believes Spain is an oppressive/despotic country? Its hilarious. However the violence against the Catalans was uncalled for and played hugely in their favour. Unfortunately I have the horrible feeling the same would happen after the autonomy is taken: the situation would play in their favour. Seems to me Rahoy plays it too hard. Maybe he should have tried to negotiated with Catalonia and have some minor tax reform (and they ll be happy probably) and if it doesn't happen: then he should take the autonomy if they also continue on the independence. And I don't think Scotland analogy is correct: it has been a different country prior to 1707, then it was again a country unified with England and has been considered different country always. Catalonia has had autonomy, but it has been ruled by the Aragon kingdom, then by Spain. It has been much more integrated with the other parts of Spain then Scotland is within UK. I always considered Scotland different - so different in any aspect to England, but Catalonia is not that different to Spain.

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2 hours ago, MeakMaker said:

Yes. Exactly what you're saying BUT haven't we learned anything from history? Why is the idea of going alone better than the one of staying together as one country? If all you're saying is true how come many Catalonians don't want independence but they're rather stay in unity? Shouldn't they have a say as well? Or they're just seen as collateral? 

Aren't Brexit, Trump, far right parties  getting more and more powerful also based on democracy? Just because millions of people would rather aim for self destruction that doesn't give them the right to actually do it. Haven't we learned anything from the Nazi and how they got into power? Where's the oppression in Barcelona anyways? ( And please, don't bring up the police violence during the ballots because that was an isolated incident and yes very condemnable) Listening to these people chanting I want democracy sounds like they're held in concetration camps or denied some sort of freedom. Is wanting to be richer and keeping all the wealth to ourselves worth all of this? Because let's not fool each other...  it's all about the money and the wealth in the end. In Italy they're having a referendum to give more powers and autonomy to two regions and guess what? They're the richest regions in the country.. I see the patterns here. Rich people want to get richer... They're tired of helping the poor parts of the country; they don't want to lose out money. Don't they realise that they have become richer because they had more investments and opportunities while the south was left struggling along with criminality and corruption? Corruption that's all over the government by the way. Northern Italy is not free of corruption amongst politicians and the ruling elite. All in all, it spawns from a culture of division no matter what sort of spin you give to it. 

There is NOTHING WRONG with regions of a country wanting more autonomy over their own affairs rather than a central government controlling everything. The situations in each country is DIFFERENT as has been explained to you over and over again. The Italian question has nothing to do with Catalonia, and NONE of it has anything to do with your two other favourite subjects you know nothing about - Trump and Brexit. Your argument is so twisted that don't even realise you're parroting a right-wing narrative yet backing it up with left-wing ideas about "helping the poor" and government corruption. 

What you people who keep extolling this "oppression" LIE (oh how easy fake news works...even on an internet forum) is that it the oppression of a people to DEMOCRATICALLY DECIDE THEIR OWN FATE that is at question here, not whether the cause of Catalan independence is right or wrong or why they want independence in the first place.

Instead of admittedly revelling in your own ignorance, maybe try broadening your reading a little.

_____________________________

Borders shift, over time, as the tides of human history and interaction ebb and flow. They always have and they always will. A Historic Atlas of Europe at 100 year intervals shows up the constant flux.

All within only the last 100 years, even a really major state like Poland has started by not existing at all, having been abolished 130 years previously, then come back into existence for two decades, then been abolished again, then been reinstated once more but entirely shifted a full two hundred miles westward from its previous incarnation.

There have been six truly major boundary and status changes to Germany in the last 150 years, the last only 27 years ago.

A glance at a historical atlas of Europe century by century shows a kaleidoscope of continuing shifts in states as they form and reform, move, merge and dissolve. It is the normal state of Europe. Nor is it in any sense slowing down; this is not a process which has stopped. Even in the short period since I left university, eight states currently members of the European Union have undergone truly drastic changes to their national boundaries or nation state status.

Even Hitler was only nuts enough to think his Reich would last for a thousand years. Spain (which incidentally was almost entirely Muslim a thousand years ago) tops Hitler for mad ambition. Spain believes its current borders will last forever. The Constitution specifies the “indissoluble unity” of Spain. This plainly mad claim is the entire basis of the “legalistic” stance of Rajoy. 

It is vaguely amusing that some people believe that, whatever the state of Europe and human societal organisation in 3017, there will still be an indissoluble Spanish nation with its existing frontiers. I suspect those people like to forget that in 1017 their ancestors were Muslims. They also, of course, do want to see a border change in having Gibraltar returned to Spain – something in which I always supported them unequivocally, until the Guardia Civil in Catalonia beating old women one Sunday, and the fascists marching down the street the next, gave me doubts.

I suppose if you are a right wing Catholic you are more inclined to a mystical view of indissoluble human unions than people whose life view is more grounded in reality. Nobody in their right mind believes any of Europe’s current political boundaries will last forever. The entire Western Establishment and media did not just recognise, but pushed for, their dissolution when it was Yugoslavia or Serbia in question. But they have now, for reasons of right wing solidarity, adopted Spain’s “indissoluble union” hyperbole. Even Establishment outlets like the Economist which once claimed intellectual credentials, proclaim this daft clause as though it were God’s writ.

The boundaries of Europe change, all the time. They have throughout human history. The pace of those natural shifts has not slowed. It is part of the ebb and flow of human societies on this wonderful, culturally rich continent. To attempt suddenly to freeze all national borders is not just gross hypocrisy, given the attitude of the same political leaders to other border changes and to Spain’s demand for Gibraltar. It is an effort that could only be sustained by ever-increasing use of violence.

Spain has decided to stand on the crazed idea that it is indissoluble. The logic of that is that, if 100% of Catalans or Basques were to seek Independence, it still should not be allowed. Is that really a position Europe’s politicians wish to adopt?

Most of the states existing in the world – including pretty well all of Africa bar Ethiopia, much of Asia, and the former Soviet Union – achieved independence in my own lifetime. In virtually every case, it was – almost by definition – illegal at the start of the process for the country to break away. All of the most famous liberation campaigners did jail time. Within the European Union, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia did not obtain Independence by a process negotiated from the start with the Soviet Union. The actions which initiated their Independence were illegal.

So it is a meaningless truism to say that it is illegal for Catalonia to hold a referendum on Independence. The idea that the right to self-determination of a people can be alienated by constitutional arrangements is rejected by international law. It is truly pathetic to see the Establishment throughout Europe hiding behind the miniscule fig leaf of the Spanish Constitutional Court to state that Catalonia cannot secede, and therefore the gross repression by the Spanish government is legitimate.

There is a peculiar reluctance in the British and other European mainstream media to state the truth about the very real Francoist origins of the Spanish government. The current government of Spain are the direct political heirs of Franco and that many of their ministers have personal and family connections to his rule. Rajoy, Spain’s current Prime Minister, started his political career in 1981 by joining the People’s Alliance, a party founded in 1979 and led by 7 of Franco’s ministers to carry on the Francoist legacy. The People’s Alliance became the major component in the now governing People’s Party. It is a directly Francoist party.

The fascist instincts of the Madrid government when faced with the entirely legitimate desire for a democratic vote on Catalonian Independence are therefore part of the very political DNA of the ruling party. It is a truth which it is more convenient for the Establishment to avoid, particularly in Britain where it is feared Catalan Independence might encourage Scottish Independence.

The European Commission has shown commendable rectitude in warning both Poland and Hungary in strong terms of the consequences of their right wing lurches away from democracy. It would be good to see the Commission and European governments warning Spain now, for actions which are a bigger threat to democracy than the Polish or Hungarian right have so far dared. But that would not suit the agenda of the neo-liberal ruling Establishment, so do not hold your breath.

But the desire of Western governments to accept the brutal muscling aside of democracy in Catalonia by Madrid’s Francoist government, tells us something about the level of insecurity the Establishment feels. Scottish nationalists like myself have an instinctive sympathy for a similar movement in one of Europe’s other ancient nations. But in truth, there are serious differences. The Yes movement in Scotland is essentially socialist and is broadly looking to substantial economic and social reform to be initiated after Independence to create a more communitarian society. The Catalan movement is coming from a different place; of course it contains divers elements, but there is much less challenge to neo-liberalism in it. In fact there is a significant rather unattractive streak in popular Catalan nationalism that feels they are being held back by much lazier and less productive societies in the South. Catalan Independence is not really a threat to neo-liberalism. Yet, so insecure do the Establishment feel about their position in this time of rational popular discontent, any change is to be resisted.

The silence of the international community and the Establishment’s NGO’s on the repression of democracy in Catalonia is shameful.

It takes a very special kind of chutzpah systematically to assault voters, and drag them from polling booths by their hair, and then say that a low turnout invalidates the vote. That is the shameless position being taken by the Europe wide political Establishment and its corporate media lackeys. Yesterdays Guardian article illustrates a refinement to this already extreme act of intellectual dishonesty. It states voter turnout was 43%. That ignores the 770,000 votes which were cast but physically confiscated by the police so they could not be counted. They take voter turnout over 50%.

That is an incredibly high turnout, given that 900 voters were brutalised so badly they needed formal medical treatment. The prospect of being smashed in the face by a club would naturally deter a number of people from voting. The physical closure of polling stations obviously stopped others from voting. It is quite incredible that in these circumstances, over 50% of the electorate did succeed in casting a vote.

To enable this of course required some deviation from norms. People were allowed to vote at any polling station. The right wing German politician from the Bavarian Christian Democrats, Manfred Weber, leads the largest group in the European Parliament, which includes Rajoy’s Popular Party. He was therefore the first speaker in the EU Parliament debate on events in Catalonia, and managed not to mention police violence or human rights at all in his speech. He did however find time to mock the Catalan authorities for making these last minute changes in procedures to voting rules, which he said invalidated the result.

Weber is no stranger to using spurious “legalities” to support the jackbooted oppressor. His party has attempted to close down EU Commission programmes to build schools and clinics for Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, on the grounds they do not have planning permission from the Israeli authorities.

The obvious answer to the objection of Weber and others on the running of the referendum, is to have another one agreed by all and run in strict accordance with international standards. Yet strangely, despite their complaints about the process, they do not want to have a better process. They rather do not wish people to be allowed to vote at all.

There are however no arguments that the Catalan Parliament was elected in anything but the proper manner. Its suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court – a body on which 10 out of 12 members are political appointees – is therefore not due to any doubts about the Catalan Parliament’s legitimacy.

No, the Catalan Parliament has been suspended because the Constitutional Court fears it may be about to vote in a way that the Spanish government does not like.

Note that it has not even done this yet. Nobody knows how its members will actually vote, until they vote. The Constitutional Court is suspending a democratically elected body in case it takes a democratic vote of its members.

This makes the EU look pretty silly. It was looking pretty silly anyway. I telephoned the Cabinet today of Frans Timmermans, the EU Commissioner who told the European Parliament that Spain was entitled to use force against the Catalans and it had been proportionate. I spoke to a pleasant young man responsible for the “rule of law and fundamental rights” portfolio in the Cabinet. I got through by using my “Ambassador” title.

Here is the thing. He was genuinely shocked to hear that people thought the Commission’s support for use of force was wrong. He stated that it had not been the intention of Timmermans to say the use of force was proportionate, rather it must be proportionate. He became very agitated and refused to answer when I repeatedly questioned him as to whether he thought the use of force had in fact been proportionate. I suggested to him rather strongly that in refusing to acknowledge the disproportionate use of force, he was in effect lying. I pointed out that Timmermans had supported use of force and said “rule of law” over and over again, but scarcely mentioned human rights.

Here is the thing. It was plain that his shock was genuine, and he had no idea whatsoever of the social media reaction to Timmermans speech. I told him to search Timmermans on twitter and facebook and see for himself, and he agreed to do so. The problem is, these people live in a Brussels bubble where they interact with other Eurocrats and national diplomats, and members of the Establishment media, but have no connection at all to the citizenry of the EU. Nor had he seen the Amnesty International report, which I subsequently emailed him.

The rule of law is not everything. Apartheid was legally enforced in South Africa. Mr Weber’s Nazi antecedents had laws. British colonialism was enforced by laws. Nor is the administration of the law always impartial. Apartheid had its judges. Pinochet had judges to enact his version of the “rule of law”.

Actually all dictators are very big on “the rule of law”.

The most sinister thing Timmermans said to the European Parliament was “There can be no human rights without the rule of law”. Sinister because he did not balance it with “there can be no rule of law without human rights”.

What Spain is attempting now to impose on Catalonia is rule of law without democracy. I am going to be most interested to see how Brussels manages to justify that. We are seeing a whipping up of hatred by a central government against a national and linguistic minority and a suppression of its freedoms and institutions.

The highly politicised Spanish Constitutional Court, in suspending a democratically elected parliament because it does not like its views, has pointed up today that it is not sufficient for the EU to simply repeat “rule of law”. Spain currently has a Francoist Party in power with a Francoist judiciary intent on closing down democracy in Catalonia.

The rule of law within the EU has to stem from democracy, and to respect human rights. Neither is true in Rajoy’s Spain.

 

 

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When I read the argument "we are stronger when united" not sure if I should laugh or cry.
One thing these idiots tend to forget: They've been united by force, not by choice. 
Twisted logic, indeed.

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1 hour ago, Kim said:

There is NOTHING WRONG with regions of a country wanting more autonomy over their own affairs rather than a central government controlling everything. The situations in each country is DIFFERENT as has been explained to you over and over again. The Italian question has nothing to do with Catalonia, and NONE of it has anything to do with your two other favourite subjects you know nothing about - Trump and Brexit. Your argument is so twisted that don't even realise you're parroting a right-wing narrative yet backing it up with left-wing ideas about "helping the poor" and government corruption. 

What you people who keep extolling this "oppression" LIE (oh how easy fake news works...even on an internet forum) is that it the oppression of a people to DEMOCRATICALLY DECIDE THEIR OWN FATE that is at question here, not whether the cause of Catalan independence is right or wrong or why they want independence in the first place.

Instead of admittedly revelling in your own ignorance, maybe try broadening your reading a little.

_____________________________

Borders shift, over time, as the tides of human history and interaction ebb and flow. They always have and they always will. A Historic Atlas of Europe at 100 year intervals shows up the constant flux.

All within only the last 100 years, even a really major state like Poland has started by not existing at all, having been abolished 130 years previously, then come back into existence for two decades, then been abolished again, then been reinstated once more but entirely shifted a full two hundred miles westward from its previous incarnation.

There have been six truly major boundary and status changes to Germany in the last 150 years, the last only 27 years ago.

A glance at a historical atlas of Europe century by century shows a kaleidoscope of continuing shifts in states as they form and reform, move, merge and dissolve. It is the normal state of Europe. Nor is it in any sense slowing down; this is not a process which has stopped. Even in the short period since I left university, eight states currently members of the European Union have undergone truly drastic changes to their national boundaries or nation state status.

Even Hitler was only nuts enough to think his Reich would last for a thousand years. Spain (which incidentally was almost entirely Muslim a thousand years ago) tops Hitler for mad ambition. Spain believes its current borders will last forever. The Constitution specifies the “indissoluble unity” of Spain. This plainly mad claim is the entire basis of the “legalistic” stance of Rajoy. 

It is vaguely amusing that some people believe that, whatever the state of Europe and human societal organisation in 3017, there will still be an indissoluble Spanish nation with its existing frontiers. I suspect those people like to forget that in 1017 their ancestors were Muslims. They also, of course, do want to see a border change in having Gibraltar returned to Spain – something in which I always supported them unequivocally, until the Guardia Civil in Catalonia beating old women one Sunday, and the fascists marching down the street the next, gave me doubts.

I suppose if you are a right wing Catholic you are more inclined to a mystical view of indissoluble human unions than people whose life view is more grounded in reality. Nobody in their right mind believes any of Europe’s current political boundaries will last forever. The entire Western Establishment and media did not just recognise, but pushed for, their dissolution when it was Yugoslavia or Serbia in question. But they have now, for reasons of right wing solidarity, adopted Spain’s “indissoluble union” hyperbole. Even Establishment outlets like the Economist which once claimed intellectual credentials, proclaim this daft clause as though it were God’s writ.

The boundaries of Europe change, all the time. They have throughout human history. The pace of those natural shifts has not slowed. It is part of the ebb and flow of human societies on this wonderful, culturally rich continent. To attempt suddenly to freeze all national borders is not just gross hypocrisy, given the attitude of the same political leaders to other border changes and to Spain’s demand for Gibraltar. It is an effort that could only be sustained by ever-increasing use of violence.

Spain has decided to stand on the crazed idea that it is indissoluble. The logic of that is that, if 100% of Catalans or Basques were to seek Independence, it still should not be allowed. Is that really a position Europe’s politicians wish to adopt?

Most of the states existing in the world – including pretty well all of Africa bar Ethiopia, much of Asia, and the former Soviet Union – achieved independence in my own lifetime. In virtually every case, it was – almost by definition – illegal at the start of the process for the country to break away. All of the most famous liberation campaigners did jail time. Within the European Union, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia did not obtain Independence by a process negotiated from the start with the Soviet Union. The actions which initiated their Independence were illegal.

So it is a meaningless truism to say that it is illegal for Catalonia to hold a referendum on Independence. The idea that the right to self-determination of a people can be alienated by constitutional arrangements is rejected by international law. It is truly pathetic to see the Establishment throughout Europe hiding behind the miniscule fig leaf of the Spanish Constitutional Court to state that Catalonia cannot secede, and therefore the gross repression by the Spanish government is legitimate.

There is a peculiar reluctance in the British and other European mainstream media to state the truth about the very real Francoist origins of the Spanish government. The current government of Spain are the direct political heirs of Franco and that many of their ministers have personal and family connections to his rule. Rajoy, Spain’s current Prime Minister, started his political career in 1981 by joining the People’s Alliance, a party founded in 1979 and led by 7 of Franco’s ministers to carry on the Francoist legacy. The People’s Alliance became the major component in the now governing People’s Party. It is a directly Francoist party.

The fascist instincts of the Madrid government when faced with the entirely legitimate desire for a democratic vote on Catalonian Independence are therefore part of the very political DNA of the ruling party. It is a truth which it is more convenient for the Establishment to avoid, particularly in Britain where it is feared Catalan Independence might encourage Scottish Independence.

The European Commission has shown commendable rectitude in warning both Poland and Hungary in strong terms of the consequences of their right wing lurches away from democracy. It would be good to see the Commission and European governments warning Spain now, for actions which are a bigger threat to democracy than the Polish or Hungarian right have so far dared. But that would not suit the agenda of the neo-liberal ruling Establishment, so do not hold your breath.

But the desire of Western governments to accept the brutal muscling aside of democracy in Catalonia by Madrid’s Francoist government, tells us something about the level of insecurity the Establishment feels. Scottish nationalists like myself have an instinctive sympathy for a similar movement in one of Europe’s other ancient nations. But in truth, there are serious differences. The Yes movement in Scotland is essentially socialist and is broadly looking to substantial economic and social reform to be initiated after Independence to create a more communitarian society. The Catalan movement is coming from a different place; of course it contains divers elements, but there is much less challenge to neo-liberalism in it. In fact there is a significant rather unattractive streak in popular Catalan nationalism that feels they are being held back by much lazier and less productive societies in the South. Catalan Independence is not really a threat to neo-liberalism. Yet, so insecure do the Establishment feel about their position in this time of rational popular discontent, any change is to be resisted.

The silence of the international community and the Establishment’s NGO’s on the repression of democracy in Catalonia is shameful.

It takes a very special kind of chutzpah systematically to assault voters, and drag them from polling booths by their hair, and then say that a low turnout invalidates the vote. That is the shameless position being taken by the Europe wide political Establishment and its corporate media lackeys. Yesterdays Guardian article illustrates a refinement to this already extreme act of intellectual dishonesty. It states voter turnout was 43%. That ignores the 770,000 votes which were cast but physically confiscated by the police so they could not be counted. They take voter turnout over 50%.

That is an incredibly high turnout, given that 900 voters were brutalised so badly they needed formal medical treatment. The prospect of being smashed in the face by a club would naturally deter a number of people from voting. The physical closure of polling stations obviously stopped others from voting. It is quite incredible that in these circumstances, over 50% of the electorate did succeed in casting a vote.

To enable this of course required some deviation from norms. People were allowed to vote at any polling station. The right wing German politician from the Bavarian Christian Democrats, Manfred Weber, leads the largest group in the European Parliament, which includes Rajoy’s Popular Party. He was therefore the first speaker in the EU Parliament debate on events in Catalonia, and managed not to mention police violence or human rights at all in his speech. He did however find time to mock the Catalan authorities for making these last minute changes in procedures to voting rules, which he said invalidated the result.

Weber is no stranger to using spurious “legalities” to support the jackbooted oppressor. His party has attempted to close down EU Commission programmes to build schools and clinics for Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank, on the grounds they do not have planning permission from the Israeli authorities.

The obvious answer to the objection of Weber and others on the running of the referendum, is to have another one agreed by all and run in strict accordance with international standards. Yet strangely, despite their complaints about the process, they do not want to have a better process. They rather do not wish people to be allowed to vote at all.

There are however no arguments that the Catalan Parliament was elected in anything but the proper manner. Its suspension by the Spanish Constitutional Court – a body on which 10 out of 12 members are political appointees – is therefore not due to any doubts about the Catalan Parliament’s legitimacy.

No, the Catalan Parliament has been suspended because the Constitutional Court fears it may be about to vote in a way that the Spanish government does not like.

Note that it has not even done this yet. Nobody knows how its members will actually vote, until they vote. The Constitutional Court is suspending a democratically elected body in case it takes a democratic vote of its members.

This makes the EU look pretty silly. It was looking pretty silly anyway. I telephoned the Cabinet today of Frans Timmermans, the EU Commissioner who told the European Parliament that Spain was entitled to use force against the Catalans and it had been proportionate. I spoke to a pleasant young man responsible for the “rule of law and fundamental rights” portfolio in the Cabinet. I got through by using my “Ambassador” title.

Here is the thing. He was genuinely shocked to hear that people thought the Commission’s support for use of force was wrong. He stated that it had not been the intention of Timmermans to say the use of force was proportionate, rather it must be proportionate. He became very agitated and refused to answer when I repeatedly questioned him as to whether he thought the use of force had in fact been proportionate. I suggested to him rather strongly that in refusing to acknowledge the disproportionate use of force, he was in effect lying. I pointed out that Timmermans had supported use of force and said “rule of law” over and over again, but scarcely mentioned human rights.

Here is the thing. It was plain that his shock was genuine, and he had no idea whatsoever of the social media reaction to Timmermans speech. I told him to search Timmermans on twitter and facebook and see for himself, and he agreed to do so. The problem is, these people live in a Brussels bubble where they interact with other Eurocrats and national diplomats, and members of the Establishment media, but have no connection at all to the citizenry of the EU. Nor had he seen the Amnesty International report, which I subsequently emailed him.

The rule of law is not everything. Apartheid was legally enforced in South Africa. Mr Weber’s Nazi antecedents had laws. British colonialism was enforced by laws. Nor is the administration of the law always impartial. Apartheid had its judges. Pinochet had judges to enact his version of the “rule of law”.

Actually all dictators are very big on “the rule of law”.

The most sinister thing Timmermans said to the European Parliament was “There can be no human rights without the rule of law”. Sinister because he did not balance it with “there can be no rule of law without human rights”.

What Spain is attempting now to impose on Catalonia is rule of law without democracy. I am going to be most interested to see how Brussels manages to justify that. We are seeing a whipping up of hatred by a central government against a national and linguistic minority and a suppression of its freedoms and institutions.

The highly politicised Spanish Constitutional Court, in suspending a democratically elected parliament because it does not like its views, has pointed up today that it is not sufficient for the EU to simply repeat “rule of law”. Spain currently has a Francoist Party in power with a Francoist judiciary intent on closing down democracy in Catalonia.

The rule of law within the EU has to stem from democracy, and to respect human rights. Neither is true in Rajoy’s Spain.

 

 

Well, of course you can't agree with me. And trying to constrain me into a political ideology won't work. My ideology is not political. It's universal. And if you think that what it is going on in the world -Trump, Brexit, more prominent far right parties and populism on the rise-  has got nothing to do with the Catalan crisis or Italy referendums you're completely in the dark. Of course if all these events in Spain happened 5 years ago then it would be completely different but they're not and they're not for a reason. It's the neo nationalist, separatist ideology that's fuelling Catalonia independence. We see these things everyday in Europe and America. And although it's technically completely different from Brexit. The sentiments behind are pretty much the same. Denying it will reinforce those sentiments even more.

And how noble of you to remark I know nothing about such things as if I'm not witnessing any of this just right in front of my eyes. I'm allowed to have an opinion, Kim. Like it or not. No need to be a prick. If I lived by the same logic you so desperately are trying to pin on me I would have a called you a pathetic piece of shit long time ago. I didn't then.. I'm not doing it now. So please just block me and don't stress. Peace. 

#BridgesNotWalls 

#NoBorders

#Unity

#RespectDiversity

#HelpThePoor

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:rotfl:@ the hashtag, :rotfl:

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17 minutes ago, runa said:

When I read the argument "we are stronger when united" not sure if I should laugh or cry.
One thing these idiots tend to forget: They've been united by force, not by choice. 
Twisted logic, indeed.

Yes let's go back to the caves then. What's the point in being together after all? Maybe the castles on the rock were not so bad after all... Are people becoming so fed up with life that they can't stand anybody else anymore? Why is unity such a bad thing? And why are people felling forced to be united? Shouldn't respecting and appreciating others be part of who we are? 

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1 minute ago, MeakMaker said:

Well, of course you can't agree with me. And trying to constrain me into a political ideology won't work. My ideology is not political. It's universal. And if you think that what it is going on in the world -Trump, Brexit, more prominent far right parties and populism on the rise-  has got nothing to do with the Catalan crisis you're completely in the dark. Of course if all these events in Spain happened 5 years ago then it would be completely different but they're not and they're not for a reason. It's the neo nationalist, separatist ideology that's fuelling Catalonia independence. We see these things everyday in Europe and America. And although it's technically completely different from Brexit. The sentiments behind are pretty much the same. Denying it will reinforce those sentiments even more.

And how noble of you to remark I know nothing about such things as if I'm not witnessing any of this just right in front of my eyes. I'm allowed to have an opinion, Kim. Like it or not. No need to be a prick. If I lived by the same logic you so desperately are trying to pin on me I would have a called you a pathetic piece of shit long time ago. I didn't then.. I'm not doing it now. So please just block me and don't stress. Peace. 

#BridgesNotWalls 

#NoBorders

#Unity

#RespectDiversity

#HelpThePoor

See what I mean? Unable to formulate any sort of logical argument as to how YOUR right wing ideology which ignores thousands of years of history, politics, context and geography is at odds with your airy-fairy crap about diversity and the poor. The only place you clearly live is Cloud Cuckoo Land. Grow up.

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1 minute ago, Kim said:

See what I mean? Unable to formulate any sort of logical argument as to how YOUR right wing ideology which ignores thousands of years of history, politics, context and geography is at odds with your airy-fairy crap about diversity and the poor. The only place you clearly live is Cloud Cuckoo Land. Grow up.

 :brenspin:

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1 hour ago, MeakMaker said:

Yes let's go back to the caves then. What's the point in being together after all? Maybe the castles on the rock were not so bad after all... Are people becoming so fed up with life that they can't stand anybody else anymore? Why is unity such a bad thing? And why are people felling forced to be united? Shouldn't respecting and appreciating others be part of who we are? 

Following your romantic logic, no one could divorce their boyfriend when their relation is over. Talk about nonsense.

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Just now, runa said:

When I read the argument "we are stronger when united" not sure if I should laugh or cry.
One thing these idiots tend to forget: They've been united by force, not by choice. 
Twisted logic, indeed.

yes, we may be stronger united, if we want to be united, and if the union has been made  with respect, empathy...

also, I don´t really think catalonia´s case is related with greed. ok, maybe some. but others don´t, others may see that their money goes to the banks and to pay with taxes things that are not related to social issues.and others should know that they will have less money outside of spain, at least in the next decades... I really think a lot of people from catalonia that are in favour of the referendum are against the independece, they only want a way to push the spanish government to change a few laws. but again, only a part of them.

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6 hours ago, MeakMaker said:

Yes. Exactly what you're saying BUT haven't we learned anything from history? Why is the idea of going alone better than the one of staying together as one country? If all you're saying is true how come many Catalonians don't want independence but they're rather stay in unity? Shouldn't they have a say as well? Or they're just seen as collateral? 

Aren't Brexit, Trump, far right parties  getting more and more powerful also based on democracy? Just because millions of people would rather aim for self destruction that doesn't give them the right to actually do it. Haven't we learned anything from the Nazi and how they got into power? Where's the oppression in Barcelona anyways? ( And please, don't bring up the police violence during the ballots because that was an isolated incident and yes very condemnable) Listening to these people chanting I want democracy sounds like they're held in concetration camps or denied some sort of freedom. Is wanting to be richer and keeping all the wealth to ourselves worth all of this? Because let's not fool each other...  it's all about the money and the wealth in the end. In Italy they're having a referendum to give more powers and autonomy to two regions and guess what? They're the richest regions in the country.. I see the patterns here. Rich people want to get richer... They're tired of helping the poor parts of the country; they don't want to lose out money. Don't they realise that they have become richer because they had more investments and opportunities while the south was left struggling along with criminality and corruption? Corruption that's all over the government by the way. Northern Italy is not free of corruption amongst politicians and the ruling elite. All in all, it spawns from a culture of division no matter what sort of spin you give to it. 

Good grief, have you studied the Spanish civil war in any detail ?  Nothing you are saying is making sense re learning from history as you are claiming.  Kim, Runa and Promise to try keep explaining things to you and you miss the point while searching for an unrealistic and incorrect vision of Utopia.  

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8 hours ago, Jazzy Jan said:

Good grief, have you studied the Spanish civil war in any detail ?  Nothing you are saying is making sense re learning from history as you are claiming.  Kim, Runa and Promise to try keep explaining things to you and you miss the point while searching for an unrealistic and incorrect vision of Utopia.  

I know people from Barcelona and Madrid. I get info from them. U happy Jazzy? Please, don't read my post if you don't like what I'm saying. Everybody here with a brain knows exactly what I'm trying to say. Some of you are being way too intellectual without giving no concrete solutions while our world is disintegrating in front of our eyes. I'm sure if you were in Catalania you would have gone on the streets demanding for independence. Is that right? What about the people in Catalonia who don't want independence and want to stay united with Spain? Are they all crazy and stupid and with no knowledge of history like myself? 

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10 hours ago, runa said:

Following your romantic logic, no one could divorce their boyfriend when their relation is over. Talk about nonsense.

Romantic logic? Yes carry on with the mentality of division and then we ll see where we are going. And comparing our intimate relationships with world affairs when countries, regions and people are opting for conflicts and division? Really? Following your logic we should all be celebrating if civil war breaks out in Spain. Is that so? 

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