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.