I wasn’t going to do another update today, but as I was stuck indoors waiting for patient transport to bring the other half home from the hospital, I caught up on some news from Iberia. The news contains an interesting omission, and an interesting replacement.
El País publishes an English language version once a week, El País in English. This week’s edition has an English translation of Sunday’s major interview with Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy. That’s the interview where he was asked three times about the “new blow to an independent Scotland’s EU hopes” which was touted all over the Scottish media the other day.
Here again is the link to the original Spanish version of the interview, and here is the link to the English translation published in El País in English. I had intended to post the link here at some point so that Scottish people interested in what Rajoy really said could read the entire interview.
However from the point of view of Better Together, and their fond belief that Rajoy was making an important intervention in the debate on Scottish EU membership, it must come as an immense disappointment that El País’s English translators have entirely omitted the passages of the interview relating to Scotland. The passages concerned were those where he declined three times to give an answer to the question about whether he’d veto Scottish membership of the EU.
There are only two possible explanations for the missing section of the interview, which contained such supposedly important news that was a major blow to Alex Salmond. The first is that El País’s English translators took one look at Rajoy’s answers and decided that they made no sense in Spanish, never mind in translation. Seriously, this guy gives interviews like a Johann Lamont who knows how to use subjunctive verbs.
The other reason is that what Rajoy said about Scotland is not news, not in Spain, and not anywhere in the English speaking world. All he did was to confirm what la Moncloa has been saying from Day 1: that constitutionally Scotland and Catalonia are in very different situations. The interview was as close a confirmation as we’re going to get of what those of us who keep a close eye on independence related developments in both Spain and the UK have been saying all along – Spain has no intention of vetoing Scottish membership of the EU.
So the passages could safely be omitted by the decidedly unionista El País as they add nothing new to any anti-independence campaign, whether in Spain or in the English speaking world.
The message to take from this is don’t believe what the UK press reports about Spain’s attitudes to an independent Scotland.
But it’s not all bad news for Better Together. Scotland may become independent, but Iberia offers a replacement. A group of Galician activists have started a petition to get David Cameron to accept Galicia as an integral part of the UK to replace Scotland if it goes.
If Westminster is sensible enough to accept the offer, the rUK would still contain a country which is mountainous, it rains all the time, where they play the bagpipes, and where they even have a Celtic football team of their own. The food is better, the rUK fishing industry would get to blag most of the Atlantic fish stock quotas, and chippies could start selling octopus suppers.
Galicia even has an ancient diocese called Britonia, founded by migrants from Britain, which had a series of bishops with Welsh names and retained a distinctive British Celtic identity for many generations. Admittedly the Britons migrated after the fall of the Roman Empire in order to escape the Anglosaxon invasions, but the Galicians are quite willing to put all that nastiness behind them.
Plus the Galicians get a shot at having an independence referendum of their own.
You can sign the petition by clicking here.
It’s a win-win for everyone. Except for Mariano Rajoy.
And finally. Many thanks to everyone who asked after my partner’s health. He’s made a fantastic recovery.