Homage to democracy

It was distressing to see the Spanish paramilitary police in Barcelona behaving like the B Specials in Derry.

I mentioned that this morning to a buddy of mine who was there in October ’68 when the Orange State tried to bate manners into that pesky Civil Rights lot.

The demands of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) were those normally associated with a democracy.

However, the old Norn Iron was no democracy.

The world saw on their television screens the peaceful protestors of NICRA being met with state violence.

You know the rest…

Now everyone is a TV camera operator.

In the age of the smartphone, there was no chance of a cover-up.

Facebook and Twitter were soon full of content showing the functionaries of the Madrid state battering grannies and coming to blows with local fire-fighters.

If you find yourself deploying riot police to stop people voting then you’re on the wrong side of history.

On this island, there is a shameful history of Crown Forces unleashing appalling violence on peaceful demonstrations.

FC Barcelona has been a very public expression of Catalan ethnicity and national aspiration since the time of Franco.

I was pleased that they were not silent as blood was being spilt on the streets of Catalunya.

Thankfully the state did not use live rounds and it is a blessing that no one has lost their life due to police action.

However, yesterday the Spanish state lost all moral authority and the world was watching.

The restraint shown by the people trying to vote was impressive and with every baton blow, a nail was driven into the coffin of the Spanish state in Catalunya.

If we are witnessing the first scenes in the process of Catalan secession from Spain then I hope the trajectory it is more akin to Czechoslovakia than Yugoslavia.

I fervently desire that someone in the Spanish State will, even at this late stage,  act with good authority.

If they realise that the game is probably up for España and it isn’t worth a single Iberian life.

43 thoughts on “Homage to democracy”

  1. The late, great John Mortimer, author of Rumpole of the Bailey and a diehard Labour supporter, would be turning in his grave that some right-wing troll (probably called Robert) has decided to use the name of his masterful creation, the devilishly subversive and enlightened barrister Rumpole, as an alias when posting on this site.
    The bravery of those who joined the ranks of the International Brigade arises from the very fact that they supported a cause which the rest of Europe either connived against or shunned, the Spanish republic. Again, Rumpy decides that those who rallied to the fascist banner were ‘brave’ while those who fought for the republic were, erm, ‘communists’. Both statements are asinine distortions, as is the statement that Franco won… history suggests that, when he died, the first thing on the minds of thinking people in Spain was to shake of the malaise that his reign engendered.
    We are not at a turning point in that flight from Francoism, with the rise of independence movements such as the Catalan nationalists. When the Generalitat declares independence, as it undoubtedly will, the Scottish Parliament should be among the first to offer to recognise the new independent state…. I wonder how the Scottish Labour Party and the Scottish Lib Dems would react?
    Finally, Rumpole. I really think if you continue your Franco-friendly revisionism you should perhaps raise the subject of what it was like to live under Franco with someone who lived in Spain at the time. I think you might have to hold on to your wig when the subject of that particular cross-examination put you firmly back in your small-minded box.

  2. I noted that 42% of Catalonians voted in the stunt and 91% of those voted for independence.

    Remarkably 9% who turned out voted “NO”.

    The vast majority of voters (mostly NO voters) did not approve the unlawful vote by turning out to vote.

    If there was a legal referendum, Catalonians would vote “NO” just as Scots did. The quiet majority voices being lost to the barking mad dogs.

    Spain has nothing to fear from a referendum. Will all those crying for democracy actually respect democracy when it delivers no change?

    All those crying for democracy should consider whether all Spain should have a vote on the issue as it effects all Spain. Surely that would be true democracy.

  3. When are people of the world going to realise; there is no DEMOCRACY!!!
    Shhhhh don’t say this, don’t say that, do as your told or this is what will happen as happened in BARCELONA.
    Corporations run governments no one else, politicians are only puppets and yes men for the corporations. The french and German elections proved this. The Frenchman Macron said all the right things with the mainstream media behind him, already going against what he said he would stand for. Mental Merkel the German mainstream media brainwashing people as well. This is the same Merkel that said in 2011 that MULTICULTURALISM isn’t working in Europe, what does she do in 2015?? Let in over a million mostly illegal immigrants, and why COPORATIONS. Cheap labour for them and to hell with the rest of us. EUROPE is getting what it deserves in the near future, riots and civil war.

  4. There has been bizarre equivocation about the Catalan referendum, as liberal media in the UK attempts to keep the entire mess at arm’s length, since it betrays their partisan role in the Scottish referendum debate. There is a real hunger in Catalonia, particularly among the young and those who have suffered most from austerity, for a new settlement which has become a growing demand for the right of self-determination. Reading up on this online, I laughed out loud when I saw that the UN no less seeks to uphold this right, and the right of a people to determine their own future…WITHOUT FOREIGN INTERFERENCE. The Scottish referendum saw all of the UK media take a hostile position on the vote. Now, with the growing crisis in Catalonia, we are being urged to sit on the fence, just as the appeasers did when braver women and men joined the ranks of the International Brigade to fight Franco.
    Again, it is down to bloggers like Phil to remind us all where our sympathies should lie, and which side history and the forces of progress are on.

    1. An equal number of international women and men, if not more, joined Franco’s Divisions to crush the communist rebels.

      And they were brave and they won.

      Communism is a failed model of society. It has cost hundreds of millions of lives and ruined billions of others. It has even been rejected by Russia. A thoroughly capitalist state, with trillionaire oligarchs and run by a dictator.

      Humanity tried communism from the First World War until the start of its collapse in 1990. It has been 100 years of abject failure.

      Everyone who ever fought a communist revolution and won ended up being worse off with no nirvana.

      Imagine if Spain had been a communist state after WWII, in cahoots with the Soviet Union! Surrounding Portugal, Gibraltar and bordering France. Instead of in the EEC. The Spanish ended up better off with Franco and Euro holidaymakers.

      In addition, commies reject God.

      So they’re f*cked. They have no Angels looking after them.

    1. Not at all.

      The Prime Minister of Spain is doing his job using police to uphold the Spanish Constitution which makes the Referendum illegal.

      Upholding the rule of law is paramount in all societies. See my other posts for a solution.

      The majority of Catalonians do not want independence. What’s more, those who want it know they are in a 40% minority. It has been like this for 30 years since I first visited.

  5. I think there are far too many simplistic responses to the Catalan farce/tragedy and I feel this is one of them. There are simply no winners here. The Catalans have had their emotions whipped up by different groups of self-serving politicians in Catalonia, some with genuine beliefs and others just chancers hoping to consolidate their power. It’s a situation where many peoples’ views have simply been ignored within Catalonia whilst others charge ahead with emotional but irrational charge towards some kind of chaotic ‘independence’ that will never work if arrived at in this manner.
    The reaction by the Spanish government is typical of Rajoy’s conservative government, too late and a huge over reaction which helps absolutely no one. Rajoy has proved himself incapable of managing this situation and his usual tactic of ignoring things and hoping the go away has completely backfired. He and his government are a disgrace but so is the Catalan Govern and Puigdemont. Neither party has had any real interest in resolving the matter.
    So to describe this as some kind of battle for democracy with the ‘plucky’ Catalans fighting ‘Madrid’ is wrong and is a disservice to those who are really fighting for democracy in other parts of the world. The fact that this is framed as Madrid vs Catalonia simplifies a complex situation and country to a binary level that would make George bush proud.
    As for Barcelona FC, whilst I enjoy their football style, they have become a bunch of chancers always on the look out to make a quick buck and spout rubbish (talking about the club, not the players).

    1. Good post. But what’s the solution?

      Here’s my solution:
      1. Catalonia accept the referendum was indeed unconstituted and unlawful. As it was. Additionally, “NO” voters didn’t vote. It was a stunt.
      2. Catalonia apply to Madrid for a legal referendum.
      3. Madrid decline as such referendum is illegal under the Spanish constitution.
      4. Catalonia appeal to the EU Supreme Court.
      5. EU Supreme Court instructs Spain to adjust its constitution.
      6. Spain adjusts constitution and allows referendum.
      7. Catalonians vote. 97% turnout. 40.5% vote for independence.
      8. The vote fails.

  6. The Scottish did not appreciate the chance they had to claim freedom with no blood shed.

    Perhaps, that’s why they didn’t appreciate.

    Instead they faced the might of the Westminster propaganda machine and fell for it.

    The establishment do not give up power without a struggle, that much is clear.

    The Scottish should be looking at their reflections in theie Buckfast and Whisky bottles and wondering why they were so weak.

  7. Was in Madrid for a city break over the weekend and went to view Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. Now that the Spanish state has shown it’s anti democratic nature will the painting be taken down and put into storage?

  8. You make me laugh. The other day you branded all of those who voted “leave” in the EU referendum, fascists. More than half the population of the UK. The leave vote was premised on the rights of nations to self-determination. (Karl Marx) You seem to enjoy your life in the rich man’s club of the EU, where workers are moved around the continent like pawns to smash organised labour. I support a United Ireland, an independent Scotland and the rights of the people of Catalonia. I take it you are a buddy of the organised capitalists of the EU. I think comrade James Connolly would side with me. Stick to football.

    1. Can you tell us where Phil said everyone who voted ‘leave’ is a fascist?

      I don’t believe that everyone who voted leave is a fascist but I do believe that every fascist – and I’ll throw in racists as well – voted to leave. There is a world of difference.

      As for the police in Spain, if these are your words Phil they deserve to be in a book of quotes one day with your name next to them:

      “If you find yourself deploying riot police to stop people voting then you’re on the wrong side of history”. It says it all for me.

    2. Rob, population of Britain is 65m. Brexit voters totalled 17.4m equating to approximately 26.6%of the population. Hardly a consensus. Arithmetic lessons required.
      As for your absurd statement that the brexit vote was premised upon Karl Marx’s Right of Nations ?? It was an anti-immigration vote. Nothing more , nothing less.

      1. John

        Voting population of UK is 46.5m only 33.6m were able to/could be bothered to vote. Working class areas that prospered in the years of industrialsation but were left behind in the new market economy were the hotbed of the anti EU vote. Probably more in tune with Karl Marx than the influential chattering classes with their first world issues, I would guess. The EU is the epitome of the failure of wealth distribution in a market economy and was recognised as such. Richmond Upon Thames wanted to stay in but Middlesborough, Hodgehill, Perry Bar etc voted to leave – kind of says it all really.

      2. You seem to know the minds of those who voted, John. Are the CPGB, Scottish Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party and many other left-leaning organisations, racist? The establishment was desperate for a remain vote and was shocked when the people showed some backbone and voted leave. The repression of the people of Catalonia on Sunday was orchestrated by the EU. Soon there will be a Pan European army which will be used to crush the will the people of nation states. If your side had won I am sure you would have said that there was a consensus to remain in the EU. You lost so you think that the result should be overturned. Strange democracy, but typical EU strategy. Watch a documentary, which was produced by the Green Party of the Netherlands, called “The Brussels Business”, it may open your eyes. Good luck, anyhoo.

      3. Even if as you say it was an anti-immigration vote. It still is self determining the immigration policies of ones own country. But I suspect if you scratch the surface it was more the just a vote about immigration though that is more then likely a large portion of why it was successful.

    3. The leave vote was nothing to do with self determination as the UK already had full independence as a nation, it was merely within a series of agreed rules and trade deals which it could unravel any time it wanted to. The EU had no rights to tax, make laws or set policy home or foreign for the UK. This was just a fantasy made up by the leave side.

      1. The EU commission is unelected. The EU Parliament can not is only a recommending chamber. The EU court outreaches the UK supreme court. People wanted their laws made by people they had directly elected. The left sided with the establishment, as usual.

      2. So being part of the EU was meaningless anyway then. Why all the fuss then? Trade agreements will be hashed out they always are.

    4. 17% of the population of the UK. And considerably less of voters under 30. Those who will have to live with the consequences along with their descendants.

      1. 17 million less than 27% of the population of the UK. And considerably less of voters under 30. Those who will have to live with the consequences along with their descendants.

    5. You support a united Ireland? What if a region of your united Ireland had a referendum and decided they wanted independence – is that ok? Then what if that independent country – let’s call this new country ‘Ulster’ – later on (months, years, decades) decided on an economic and political union with Great Britain – is that ok? Or, do you support independence only for regions of countries other than Ireland?

        1. You know it wouldn’t, Phil. The Orange statelet had to gerrymander its border to give “thur peepul” an artificial majority.

        2. Forget gerrymandering. Forget missing counties. Forget everything that’s gone before. Forget existing national and county borders. One country, an island, part of which votes to be independent from the rest – is that acceptable? It’s a straightforward, hypothetical question, that can be answered without reference to history, politics or anything else, with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

          1. That doesn’t wash, Doug. There is no comparison between a nationality seeking self-determination for the country from whom they derive their very name (Catalan-of Catalonia, Irish-of Ireland) and a nationality trying to claim squatters’ rights in someone else’s country.

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