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Mon Oct 23, 2017, 03:25 PM

 

Scots launch Catalan Defence Committee to defend democracy

http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scots-launch-catalan-defence-committee-to-defend-democracy-1-4590452

An online campaign is calling for Scots to show their support for Catalonia and ‘defend democracy’ in the aftermath of the contentious referendum in the north-east province of Spain.

The newly-launched Catalan Defence Committee Scotland follows the establishment of sister groups across Europe and has already won support from several prominent politicians and campaigners, including lawyer Aamer Anwar and Scottish Greens co-campaigner Maggie Chapman.


It promises to lobby MSPs and the Scottish Government “to do all it can” to support the civil rights of Catalans, as well as organising regular public demonstrations.

The Spanish Government was widely criticised for its response to a plebiscite organised by the devolved Catalan parliament on October 1, which the authorities in Madrid had previously declared illegal.

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scots launch Catalan Defence Committee to defend democracy (Original post)
Ken Burch Oct 2017 OP
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #1
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #2
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #3
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #4
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #5
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #6
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #7
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #10
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #11
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #15
Denzil_DC Oct 2017 #8
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #9
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #12
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #13
Denzil_DC Oct 2017 #14
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #16
Denzil_DC Oct 2017 #17
Ghost Dog Oct 2017 #18
Denzil_DC Oct 2017 #19
T_i_B Oct 2017 #20
Ken Burch Oct 2017 #21

Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 05:24 PM

1. It is good to see all such groups supporting Catalan and Spanish civil society

and the Spanish government against the anti-democratic nationalist insurgency in Catalonia.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 05:33 PM

2. It's the Spanish government that is anti-democratic

 

it can't be democratic to use the Spanish Army and the Guardia Civil(yes-Franco's Guardia Civil, a police force that was preserved for no good reason in the post-Franco "constitution" that was imposed by the Francoists in exchange for allowing nominal elections)to stop a referendum through voter intimidation. What Rajoy did can't be called anything but fascist.

I'm neutral on independence-and btw, nobody with anything close to progressive or secular political views in "Spanish civil society" supports the ultra-centralism of the Rajoy's Falange-sorry, but with this action, the "Popular Party" has proved it never stopped being Francoist at all-but there was nothing that was happening that justifies Rajoy's actions here.

The Spanish Right has never been about democracy. If it was democratic, it would never have launched a military coup against the elected Spanish government in the Thirties, and it would never have imposed a Castellano-supremacist policy on language and culture).

And what you don't seem to realize is that, as the senseless execution of the Easter Rising leaders created a massive consensus for independence in Ireland that did not previously exist, Rajoy's Falangist brutality has created a massive increase in support for either independence or some sort of radical-autonomist alternative to the status quo.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 05:47 PM

3. Well, then, I have to recommend you re-check (and improve the quality of) your sources.

Last edited Mon Oct 23, 2017, 08:48 PM - Edit history (1)

The Spanish government's actions, and those being supported and/or taken by the majority of Catalan civil society are constitutional (or they will otherwise be challenged in the relevant Courts) and Spain's constitutional arrangements are democratic. Consider, for example, the details expressed in this recent opinion piece from the author Javier Marías (translated):

... The greatest offenses have been against the people of the world, both past and present. These offenses are the result of constantly trivializing serious, weighty words that cannot be used lightly without causing affront. A land with a higher degree of self-government than any equivalent entity in Europe or the Americas (greater than Germany’s Länder or than US states); where people have been voting freely in various elections for nearly four decades; where the language is protected and no restrictions of any kind placed on it; a land that is, or was, one of the most prosperous places on the continent; where there is, and has been, absolute freedom of speech and freedom to defend any and all ideas; where people live, or used to live, in peace and comfort; a place praised and admired by the rest of the planet, and rightly so, for its extraordinary cities and villages and for its dazzling cultural traditions…; despite all this, for the last five years its governing leaders and its fanatics have been plaintively crying out “Visca Catalunya lliure!” (Long live a free Catalonia) and displaying signs with the slogan “Freedom for Catalonia.” They claim to be “oppressed,” “occupied,” and “humiliated,” and constantly appeal to “democracy” while brazenly violating the very same democratic principles that they wish to eliminate in their “republic” without dissidents, where judges will be appointed and controlled by politicians, where freedom of the press will be curtailed if not eliminated altogether, where those who are considered hostile to or unenthusiastic about the regime will be reported (“desafectos,” for hostile, and “tibios,” for unenthusiastic, are terms that were once used by the Franco regime in its own insatiable purges). They take the liberty of calling Joan Manuel Serrat and Isabel Coixet, along with over half of the Catalan people, “fascists,” while the writer Juan Marsé is described as a “traitor” and a “renegade.” Nobody should feel bitter or downcast about this: it is as though Mussolini’s minions were to call them “fascists.” Imagine the value of such an insult from the lips of those who are issuing it...

... The way words are being mishandled and defiled represents the biggest offense and the greatest lack of respect. Even more so than the way numbers are being twisted out of shape, such as when at the last Catalan election a result of 47% or 48% was turned by the chieftains and witch-hunters (not by all the separatists, of course) into “a distinct majority” and “a clear mandate” emanating from the Catalan people. That was the warning sign that we are, to all effects and purposes, in the presence of Mussolini imitators who oddly describe themselves as oppressed, humiliated and without freedom, and who perpetrate the infamy of calling “fascists” those who could soon become their victims.

https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/23/inenglish/1508745387_134918.html


... And (on edit) from film director Isabel Coixet:

... Until now, this harassment was limited to online lynching. I dealt with this by not having a Facebook or Twitter account (the latter was hacked, as was my WhatsApp profile, which was then used to send out a message that I did not write). Although there is always someone on hand to inform you about the tide of trash being piled on you in the social media. But this is the third time that they have yelled “fascist” at me so far this week (and the first time that I have answered back). And I find that something inside me is breaking.

I see now, with horrifying clarity, that no matter what happens next, there is no room here for me or for anybody who dares to think independently, even though this is my place of birth. Today it is insults against me, yesterday it was insults against members of my family; the day before it was insults against friends of mine whose other friends openly criticize the fact that the former are still friends with me. And tomorrow, it will be something worse.

It makes no difference whether you unequivocally condemn police brutality, or whether you demand Rajoy’s resignation (in my case, I have been asking for that since long before any of this happened).

Because if, when you condemn the Spanish government’s actions, you don’t also condone the Catalan government’s actions, you immediately become an enemy, a fascist, a fascistoid, a Franco follower, the scum of the Earth. And you think about the fear that has already covered, like spores, the skin of all those people who keep quiet but who secretly come to tell you that they’re on your side – that they are grateful for what you are doing, and then they tell you that they don’t even talk about the situation inside their own homes, for fear that their children will hear them and get into trouble at school.

These are not mere anecdotes. This is the reality on the ground for those of us who live here...

https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/10/04/inenglish/1507107040_799383.html

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 05:53 PM

4. (on edit)I read that editorial

 

there was nothing in that editorial but invective. All the writer did was object to the claim that the actions of the Guardia Civil and the Spanish military were "torture". The whole thing could be summarized as nothing but "things are worse in other places".

And he offered no evidence for his bizarre assertion that the Catalan government was following the path of Mussolini other than "they're like Mussolini because I said so".

Rajoy isn't defending democracy...he's simply defending the power of the wealthy and the power of the centralized state. In Spain, centralization is indistinguishable from opposition to all change.

And the writer of that piece is basically saying "my dad was persecuted by Franco-so it's ok when I'M authoritarian".

There are hundreds of thousands of people in the streets of Barcelona protesting Rajoy. With the Spanish military there, with the Guardia Civil(and institution that has no reason to have survived the Franco era and which should have been abolished the moment Franco died, being replaced by a politically and socially neutral police service)patrolling, these people are risking their lives.


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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 06:04 PM

5. "Risking their lives" is a massive exaggeration, but par for the propaganda course...

Of course the highly radicalised and mobilised crowds out in support of independence are part of civil society, and a highly relevant part very much to be taken into account in democratic processes, but they are part of a minority in Catalonia and they are doing great damage to Catalan and to Spanish society.

Police behaviour... generally, is perhaps a separate subject to be discussed in its own context? In this context, it was not good. Especially when in front of "international media", a cynic might say. But not grounds for smashing Spain in retaliation.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 06:10 PM

6. It can't be democratic to suppress Catalan sovereigntism by state violence.

 

And there is nothing in what the Catalan government is doing that deserves to be compared to Mussolini.

As to the crowds...if another country's army was in the streets of your country, YOU would protest that.

There's no way you could seriously think even the people who chose not to vote could be ok with Spanish troops and the Guardia Civil(Franco's death squads) showing up in Barcelona. In what universe is that defensible?

Rajoy's party is the successor to the Falange. He's willing to kill to save his reactionary notion of "Spain".

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #6)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 08:11 PM

7. Please read more widely, reflect more deeply.

The Catalan government is that of an autonomous region of Spain, not that of a separate country. Acts of the Catalan parliament leading to the widely boycotted 'referendum' and the 'referendum' itself were declared illegal by both Catalan regional and Spanish national Constitutional Courts. The independence movement's leaders are deliberately and openly defying the Rule of Law in a Constitutional Democracy member of the EU! In the UK the 'establishment' of the day might just make up whatever kind of 'constitution' they fancy as they go along but that's not the way it works here in Spain! It's the law and under that law Catalans are some of the most autonomous, free and prosperous people on this earth!

Ah, but some, and some of the most well-connected, are profoundly corrupt. And that's very relevant related history...

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #7)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:05 PM

10. In Spain, the "Rule of Law" is an essentialky Carlist/Fascist concept.

 

Spain has never been a country of equality under the law, nor a place where the Law has ever had humane or democratic intent, There, the Law is about privilege and nothing else.

I'm sorry, but every word you've posted sounds like it was written at Popular Party HQ. You are simply repeating Rajoy's "line". And you don't seem to have noticed that the anti-Catalan rallies in Madrid are now almost totally in the hands of the far right.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:12 PM

11. You know these things how, may I ask?

What are your sources?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #11)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:16 AM

15. Oh, I see. What a silly question to pose to a post-truther

English-speaking historical and legal "expert" (who needs to read and study neither).

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #3)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 08:45 PM

8. I don't think quoting an opinion piece by a non-Catalan author,

especially one who's long been a champion of the Spanish state's anti-Catalan stance, from El Pais, a state mouthpiece, some of whose journalists have complained about heavy-handed editorial interference over the Catalan issue, is particularly helpful or illuminating.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:01 PM

9. Madrid-based El Pais is no more a "state mouthpiece" than London-based Guardian is.

El País does claim to represent the 'status quo', as does Barcelona-based La Vanguardia. Catalonia is and has always been a part of Spain. I am relaying to you some selected observations and thoughts from intelligent people on or close to the ground. I also have personal experience here.

Where do people such as yourselves get your information from? Can you provide some real examples of oppression in Catolonia in recent years? What about examples of liberation? I suggest you attempt to get on air on TV3 in Catalonia voicing a point of view opposed to the fanatics.

(The Government of) Spain's stance is not anti-Catalan. This is where the propaganda misleads you. Spain's stance is pro-Catalonia and against those who seek to cause great damage to Catalonia and to all its people by proceeding along this unconstitutional and quite suicidal (worse by far than Brexit for Catalonia) course.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:12 PM

12. It was not always part of Spain.

 

It was conquered by Spanish troops in 1714.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:27 PM

13. It was then a part of Spain. That was a civil war (about Monarchy), with much outside interference.

Please read the history of the War of Spanish Succession and in particular of the Siege of Barcelona (1713–14).

... On the whole the people of the Crown of Castile had rallied to support Philip V, but in the autonomous Crown of Aragon there had arisen centres of discontent. In the Principality of Catalonia, as in other parts of the peninsula, the people had differing opinions about supporting the Duke of Anjou or Archduke Charles, but there was a strong anti-French feeling rooted in recent experience, especially the attack on Barcelona in 1697. In early June 1705 a small number of Catalans[104] – in return for men, weapons, and support for their own constitutional liberties, or Catalan constitutions – committed themselves to support Charles and the Allied cause. This new allegiance encouraged the English to prepare an expeditionary force to Spain's Mediterranean provinces, thereby opening a two front war in the peninsula: Das Minas, the Huguenot Earl of Galway (Schomberg's replacement), and Baron Fagel attacking from Portugal; and the Earl of Peterborough and Charles III campaigning in the north-east. The arrival of the Allied fleet off the Mediterranean coast not only influenced disaffected Catalans, however. In the Kingdom of Valencia there was strong anti-French feeling based on trade rivalry, but there was also repercussions of a recent peasant rebellion against the Valencian nobility, which was never fully extinguished and which the Allies were able to exploit. In the Kingdom of Aragon there was also strong Francophobia, based largely on commercial rivalry and proximity, but Philip V's attempts to raise taxes for the war effort without the approval of the Catalan Courts, to appoint a Castilian viceroy, and to move and quarter French and Castilian troops within the kingdom, were also causes of friction, which went against the spirit of their own Constitutions.[105]

The internal divisions in the Crown of Aragon prepared the way for early Allied victories in the region in 1705, culminating with Peterborough taking Barcelona on 9 October, and Juan Bautista Basset y Ramos capturing the city of Valencia on 16 December.[106] The defeats in the north-east provinces were a major set-back to the Bourbon cause; a problem exacerbated when Philip V and Tessé failed to retake Barcelona in May 1706. Moreover, the concentration of French forces in the north-east had enabled the Allies under Das Minas and Galway to make progress on the Portuguese front, where they quickly captured several towns. Berwick could not halt a mainly Portuguese-allied army advance led by Das Minas, and on 25 June, Portuguese, Dutch, and British forward elements entered Madrid; by the time they took Saragossa on the 29th, they controlled the four chief cities of Spain. But the gains were illusory. Although several nobles joined the Habsburg cause the majority of Castile remained loyal to Philip V, and the Allied army, far from its supply ports, could not maintain their position so deep within the country. When Charles III and Peterborough moved to join Das Minas and Galway they failed to take decisive action, and after Berwick received French reinforcements the Allies retreated to Valencia, allowing Philip V to re-enter Madrid in early October. Although the Allies captured the key Valencian town of Alicante, and Leake took the islands of Ibiza and Majorca in September, the Allied retreat from Castile brought forth the reversal of Philip V's fortunes in the peninsula, and softened the blows of Ramillies and Turin. By the time Cartagena fell to Franco-Spanish forces in November, the territories of Castile, Murcia, and the southern tip of Valencia had returned to Bourbon obedience.[107]

In an attempt to regain the initiative in 1707, Galway and Das Minas led the main Allied army of 15,500 Portuguese, English, and Dutch troops into Murcia, prior to advancing once again on Madrid. Opposing them stood Berwick who, reinforced with troops released from the Italian front, now commanded 25,000 men. When Berwick advanced towards the Allies on 25 April Galway accepted the challenge. The result was the Battle of Almansa and complete defeat for the main Allied army.[108] With the Allies in full retreat the Duke of Orléans, newly arrived from Italy to take command in Spain, now joined with Berwick to retake much of what had been lost in the earlier campaigns: Valencia city and Saragossa fell in May, d'Asfeld reduced Xátiva in June, and Lleida fell in November. Most of Aragon and Valencia returned to the obedience of Philip V, and the Allies were pushed back to Catalonia and beyond the line of the Segre and the Ebro.[109] The Bourbons also made gains on the Portuguese front, notably the Marquis of Bay's recovery of Ciudad Rodrigo on 4 October. Young King John V had been on the throne in Portugal for less than a year following the death of Peter II, but his country was exhausted and in danger of defeat if the Allies could not make progress in the Crown of Aragon.[110]

Following the Habsburg victory in Italy the Emperor could at last send Charles III assistance in early 1708. Joseph I's resources remained limited and he was still unwilling to assign a high priority to the war in Iberia. Nevertheless, the Austrians agreed to send reinforcements, as well as Guido Starhemberg to assume supreme Allied command in the peninsula. James Stanhope – the English envoy to Charles III – became the new British commander in Spain, and in September he and Admiral Leake captured Menorca and the key harbour, Mahón. This success followed hard on Leake's capture of Sardinia in the name of Charles III in August. However, Philip V's generals on the Spanish mainland continued their advance on Charles III in Barcelona. Orléans took Tortosa in mid-July, while on the Valencian coast d'Asfeld re-captured Dénia in mid-November, and Alicante (though not its citadel) in early December.[111]...


... Must I continue..?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 23, 2017, 09:34 PM

14. Really? The Guardian's even worse than I thought then (which is pretty bad).

Last edited Mon Oct 23, 2017, 10:21 PM - Edit history (4)

From 2015:

Miguel Ángel Aguilar, 72, had worked on and off for El País, Spain’s biggest news daily, since 1980. Since 1994 he had written a weekly column for the paper and he is one of the country’s most respected political commentators.

But this week El País pulled the plug on Aguilar’s column after he told the New York Times that the Spanish newspaper’s financial problems were compromising its editorial line.

“Working at El País used to be the dream of any Spanish journalist,” he was quoted as saying in the New York Times article, published on November 5. “But now there are people so exasperated that they’re leaving, sometimes even with the feeling that the situation has reached levels of censorship.”

The article looked at how the Spanish media’s heavy debts meant it was often in hock to corporate interests and that El País was one example, allegedly censoring its own journalists’ articles about companies that were financing its parent firm.

https://www.politico.eu/article/el-pais-goes-to-war-with-the-new-york-times/


From 2017:

El Pais sacks Times essayist John Carlin for Catalonia article attacking King of Spain

A veteran British journalist has been sacked by El Pais, the Spanish newspaper, over an article in The Times criticising the handling of the Catalonia crisis by Madrid and King Felipe.

The centre-left daily ended the contract of John Carlin, 61, who has been contributing to El Pais since 1998, as a result of his essay in Saturday’s Times that was headlined “Catalan independence: arrogance of Madrid explains this chaos”.

Carlin, who has a Spanish mother and lived for 15 years in Catalonia, wrote that Mariano Rajoy and his conservative government had largely provoked the crisis by failing to understand feelings in the region and refusing compromise.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/el-pais-sacks-times-essayist-for-article-attacking-king-of-spain-s3cl95bms

(See also:
El País goes to war with the New York Times)


Columbia Journalism Review: Spain’s Not-So-Free Press

Columbia Journalism Review: Under Spain’s gag law, covering the news could cost you

Irish Times: Parable of 'El País' bodes ill for democratic media

New York Times: Spain’s News Media Are Squeezed by Government and Debt

Freedom House: Freedom of the Press 2016 Country Report - Spain

European Centre for Press & Media Freedom: The politicisation of the media over Catalonia

BBC: Catalonian media reflect polarised Spanish society

Index on Censorship: Catalan referendum: The media becomes a target as tensions escalate

And for balance, if we're relying on artists for opinions, here's a range of them: How artists view Catalonia's independence crisis

I could go on, but it's late here, and I doubt you're persuadable anyway.

Suggest what you want. I'd no more expect to get a full picture of Spanish-Catalan tensions from someone whose sole long quote on the issue in this thread is a column by Marías, whose long-held views on this are well known, posted as if it were gospel, than if someone who lived in London (Jersey might be more apt in your case, I guess) quoted an establishment columnist's opinion as the last definitive word on Scottish separatism (and as an adopted Scot, I know not to bother looking in the Guardian for much balance in coverage of Scottish affairs).

Oh, and:

I suggest you attempt to get on air on TV3 in Catalonia voicing a point of view opposed to the fanatics.


I think Rajoy's ahead of both of us there:

UK Press Gazette: Spain threatens takeover of Catalonian public broadcaster over pro-independence propaganda claims

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 09:48 AM

16. Ah, a little nuance

and some English-language sources! How refreshing, pero me rindo, I give up, homage to the superior races, two plus two must indeed make five when one senses the presence of room 101 right there, and after all life is short and growing uglier and there's a game of chess waiting at the café down the road from where we all disappear inevitably.

So now what? Let's say peaceful negotiations lead to divorce. Since all those commie EU countries are also fascist (ah, of course, same thing) and support Spain against the divine Catalan Republic (spiritual center Montserrat; has own Cardenals/Bishops/Opus Dei, rewrites history) the new Republic will do business, pay its debts and pay its way in the world how?

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #16)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 10:56 AM

17. Not sure I get your drift, nor appreciate your tone.

The situation is indeed more complex and politically loaded than a couple of glib quotes from pundits can summarize.

What I will say is that language like "nationalist insurgency", "highly radicalised and mobilised crowds", "fanatics", "the divine Catalan Republic" hardly make me consider it worthwhile spending much more time debating this with you, any more than I would with our more ardent and blinkered unionists in the UK.

In years to come, if Scotland pursues its own independence, then I imagine we'll be portrayed in much the same light as you're painting the independentist Catalans, and with as much understanding and an equally broad brush. We and our elected representatives are readily demonized in the UK's yellow press even now, using many of the same arguments and same arrogant tone you offer, simply for suggesting we may again seek to exercise our right to self-determination if a clear majority of our population support it. We don't know what the true support for independence in Catalonia is because Rajoy won't allow a vote. I suspect it's higher now than it was before he unleashed the Guardia and renewed his drive to suppress the media and suspend democracy in Catalonia.

What has been an unfortunate side effect of Rajoy's violent hamfistedness is a decline in support for the EU among those who support Scottish independence. They look at Catalonia and wonder who's standing up for the smaller sub-state polities in the EU.

This thread started because interest in Catalonia is nothing new in Scotland. Its predicament and fate has some superficial similarities to ours, and there have long been cultural exchanges and expressions of solidarity, including some of our elected representatives forming part of the international mission to monitor the recent referendum, where a number of them witnessed shocking scenes that should shame any country that claims the label of democracy and the high ground of constitutionality and legality.

You decry nationalism while vehemently embracing Spanish nationalism, you dismiss counter-narratives as propaganda while apparently failing to see the propaganda under your own nose and conveying the impression you think your resulting perspective is the only correct one.

That's a poor basis for dialogue. Sadly, Rajoy's regime is no more mature or far-sighted, and appears only too glad to have a convenient whipping boy to distract from its own corruption and mismanagement.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #17)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 12:46 PM

18. Fine. If it's all about the selfish interests of (some people of) Scotland,

UK and the USA, then of course, as usual and on the basis of self-confessed ignorance, by all means continue to use, abuse and trash other civil societies, other democracies (&/or commie-fascist regimes(sic)) to such ends as usual and without considering the consequences (for others). There's a huge overt and covert political war machine, surveillance and professional post-truth propaganda empire behind you, after all.

¡Mi madre!

I'd prefer to discuss Scotland/Uk/International issues separately.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #18)

Tue Oct 24, 2017, 05:42 PM

19. But these issues aren't separable. We are linked and mutually interdependent in a finite world.

It's the terms on which we interact and the degree to which we do it that can lead to conflict.

The extreme alternative in terms of separation would be the idiotic, self-destructive post-imperial strutting that's accompanied the UK's drive for Brexit and an ill-conceived isolationism that embraces the fantasy of a country being granted everything it desires from some sense of misplaced entitlement while ceding little or no ground in return.

If Scotland wanted to behave "selfishly", as you frame it, then it would have kept a low profile during the current Catalonian unrest. Much has been made in the past of the likelihood of Rajoy opposing any idea of Scotland's accession to the EU if Brexit proceeds and another referendum leads to Scottish independence. He in fact chose to differentiate the Catalan and Scottish situations, but he doesn't seem like the sort of leader one wants to cross when he can wield a veto. So the selfish, conveniently diplomatic course would have been to cravenly remain silent.

As it happened, Sturgeon was one of the first leaders within a EU country to express public concern at the violence surrounding the Catalan referendum and the intransigence of the Rajoy regime, closely followed by Belgium, then some of the Nordic countries.

Note that neither she nor I have stated categorically that Catalonia should be independent. The principle of self-determination means precisely that. But if Rajoy is so certain of the majority Catalan opinion, then logic would dictate that he'd let a referendum proceed and not send in the stormtroopers against nonviolent crowds.

As it is, it looks like there'll be elections in Catalonia in a few months' time. Unless Rajoy chooses to incarcerate the entire leadership of all the opposition parties in that region or restrict voting rights or otherwise suppress turnout by whatever means, then maybe we'll have a clearer indication of public opinion.

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Response to Ken Burch (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 05:19 AM

20. UK 'won't recognise' Catalan independence

No good can come of what is happening in Catalonia.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41783238

The UK will not recognise the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence, Downing Street says.

Theresa May's official spokesman said the declaration was based on a vote that had been declared illegal.

The Scottish government said it understood and respected Catalonia's position.

The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, while the Spanish parliament has approved direct rule over the region.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 04:14 PM

21. A Tory government backed Franco in the Thirties.

 

With the Tories, nothing has changed.

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