The edge of the abyss


In just ten days time, the government of Catalonia is determined to hold an independence referendum that the government of Spain is equally determined to prevent. What’s happening in Spain is heading towards the logical conclusion of what you get when the loyalist defenders of the central state refuse to countenance that a country within that state has a right to self-determination. The situation in Catalonia is growing fraught, it’s getting dangerous.

The Catalan independence movement shares an important and highly praiseworthy feature in common with the Scottish independence movement. Apart from the activities of a tiny fringe group during the 1980s called Terra Lliure ‘Free Land’, the Catalan movement, like its Scottish counterpart, is dedicated to peaceful and legal protest, and to achieving its aims by persuasion and through the ballot box. Like members of the Scottish independence campaign, the Catalans believe that the kind of independent state you achieve is determined by the kind of campaign you run in order to win your independence. A violent campaign with no respect for democracy and the rule of law creates a new state born in blood, one in which democratic rights cannot be assured. That’s not the kind of Catalonia that anyone wants. That’s not the kind of Scotland that anyone wants either.

Carnation-White-StemEarlier this week Madrid took effective control of the pursestrings of the Catalan government. They haven’t suspended the Catalan administration, although Clause 155 of the Spanish constitution does permit such a step, but they have taken control of the finances of the Catalan government. Senior government officials have been arrested, and 700 pro-independence mayors have been threatened with legal action if they dare to facilitate the referendum. Even Catalan newspapers which are not pro-independence are describing this as a coup d’etat against the government in Barcelona. Catalonia is standing on the edge of an abyss, staring into the darkness of the days of the Francoist dictatorship. It has been driven to this point by a government in Madrid which is the political heir of Franco in democratic drag.

Today the Spanish newspaper El País, which is roughly equivalent to the Guardian in terms of its politics, is reporting that the Spanish Government together with the main Spanish opposition party the PSOE, are offering to negotiate with the Catalan government “within the constitution and the law”, on condition that Catalonia drops the referendum. It’s hard to see how this offer can be in any way attractive to Catalonia, as “within the constitution and the law” is code for “without any mention or possibility of independence”. The Madrid government and parties have made it clear that they’re only prepared to talk about Catalonia’s funding. They’ve made it equally clear that they’re going to maintain the same constrictions on Catalan democratic expression.

Meanwhile the central state continues its pressure. The Spanish Supreme Court has ordered that the members of the Catalan Electoral Commission are to be fined €12,000 a day each. The Spanish Treasury, the Ministerio de la Hacienda, has frozen the bank accounts of the Catalan government. Today (Thursday) in Barcelona there’s a demonstration of thousands of citizens in front of the Catalan Supreme Court, calling for the release of the government officials arrested last week. Hundreds of red and white carnations, the symbol of the independence movement, have been left outside the court office which ordered the detentions. Neither side seems likely to budge. Catalonia stands on the verge of serious civil disorder, and it’s the central government in Madrid which is largely to blame because it refuses to concede the legality of the democratic will of the people.

A group of SNP MSPs has written to the President of the EU Commission Donald Tusk, requesting that he intervene. The cross party grouping on Catalonia in the House of Lords has also written in support of the right of Catalonia to self-determination and to request that the Spanish government allows the vote to go ahead.

The Catalan public service broadcaster has been warned by the courts that it faces legal action if it continues to report on events or actions that could lead to the referendum being held. Scotland’s own public service broadcaster doesn’t need any legal threats to stop it covering events in Catalonia. It’s far more interested in the fitba. As far as BBC Scotland is concerned, there’s absolutely parallels between Scotland and Catalonia that anyone in Scotland might be interested in. Our so-called national broadcaster remains as resolutely parochial as the status to which the UK wishes to consign Scotland. The Spanish Supreme Court and Mariano Rajoy would be so proud of a broadcaster which fell over itself to give huge prominence to the musings of even minor Spanish Unionists during Scotland’s independence debate, but which seemingly prefers to place events in Catalonia in the same category of Scottish public interest as local government elections in Mongolia.

The central state nationalist intransigence on display in Spain is present here in Scotland too. Ruth Davidson, whoever it is that’s going to end up leading Labour’s Scottish accounting unit, and Wullie Rennie, refuse to recognise the mandate that the Scottish government possesses to hold another independence referendum. Ruth Davidson is on record as stating that there is no mandate for another independence referendum in Scotland even if more than 50% of the voters opt for the SNP in an election. Kezia Dugdale said something very similar. When a majority of voters choose a particular path, but the leader of a minority party not only claims there is no mandate, but is able to block that mandate due to support she receives from within the state, but outside the country in question, democracy is a sham. Ruth should be ashamed of the statement she made and should disavow it.

The lesson for Scotland from Catalonia is a lesson in democracy that Scotland’s British nationalists must pay heed to. This is what happens when so called Unionists refuse to respect the legitimate mandate of a democratically elected devolved government. It creates the risk of civil disobedience. It creates the risk of bringing the rule of law into disrepute. It creates risk of confrontation between the people and the police. It creates the risk of social disturbances. Ruth Davidson preaches against division, but it takes two to create a divide, and Ruth has her own role in its creation.  In Scotland, we do not want the kind of brinkmanship and confrontation that the Spanish nationalist establishment has created in Catalonia.

The lesson to learn is that the will of the people as it is democratically expressed through the ballot box must always be respected. Democracy isn’t a one off event. Democracy in Scotland did not stop when the country voted No in 2014. The result of that referendum is being respected. Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, that’s what respecting the result of the referendum means. But that doesn’t mean that Scotland surrendered the right to revisit the question of independence at a time of Scotland’s choosing. It doesn’t mean that Scotland has no right to reconsider the matter when circumstances have changed. When democracy is frozen at one point in time, democracy dies. There is a mandate for another referendum, one that was democratically and peacefully achieved. Scotland will have another referendum and we must support the right of our brothers and sisters in Catalonia to hold theirs.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.

gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

77 comments on “The edge of the abyss

  1. Bill McDermott says:

    I noted your comment about a group within the House of Lords who support self-determination for Catalonia. Do you know anyone apart from Daffyd Wigley who would do that and support Scottish aspirations at the same time, or is this the usual case of double standards when it comes to Greater England – I mean the separate nations of the UK?

  2. Perfectly expressed, Paul. The ethnic, blood and soil nationalist simply never seems to learn from history.

  3. 2p3rf3ct says:

    The Catalan sitting opposite me says:

    ‘A point of disagreement: “El Pais” could have been equivalent to The Guardian 20 years ago. Those times have been pushed to the left now and they have become a caricature of what they were when founded 40 years ago’

  4. Andy Anderson says:

    A very interesting article Paul. I like the way you contrast Catalonia’s problems with Madrid and ours with the Britsh Nationslists within Scotland. Democracy is threatened here due to the internal yoons, Westminster and the Brexit repeal bill. Interesting times.

    Thank you for this, your Spanish knowledge is obvious.

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug The edge of the abyss In just ten days time, the government of Catalonia is determined to hold an […]

  6. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    When people cannot access democracy they turn to other means to achieve their aims.

    The Spanish regime is a disgrace, no more holidays in Spain the Smoothpiece family shall be holidaying in Catalonia from now on.

    I shall not buy any Spanish goods from now on unless from Catalonia, I am known to enjoy a Vino Rojo from that part of the world but got to support friends.

    • Saor Alba says:

      An excellent post Paul. Thanks for this.

      We all knew what this odious Spanish regime would be capable of.

      “Catalonia is standing on the edge of an abyss, staring into the darkness of the days of the Francoist dictatorship. It has been driven to this point by a government in Madrid which is the political heir of Franco in democratic drag.”

      The Spanish Government is just as capable of another Guernica as the earlier monsters of the Franco regime.

      Giles Tremlett’s excellent book “Ghosts of Spain”, published by Faber & Faber is very much worth a read and takes you on a journey through Spain’s hidden past, the uncovering of mass graves from the civil war and Spain’s amnesia and the ‘pact of forgetting’. The ghosts of the past are everywhere in Tremlett’s journey and he reveals feelings that persist even to this day. The Generalisimo’s spirit is still alive and well in many parts of Spain.

      It is utterly astonishing just how much in common the Britain’s Unionist Nationalists have with the Spanish Unionist Nationalists. This is not the Civic Nationalism of either Catalunya or of Caledonia. This is an abhorrent and right wing nationalism that is capable of extreme evil, both in Spain and in the British Isles. Spain and its government is a black blot on the European landscape in my opinion, as is Britain. The pretence of democracy is there, but autocracy springs to the fore when the state is questioned.

      A book on Britain’s dark and hidden past should eventually and inevitably be forthcoming and will uncover it’s own ghosts of the past. This will make shocking reading as the horrible truth slowly emerges in the death throes of the British state. Those who are able to reason see the truth before it emerges, while those with closed minds or vested interests will remain in great denial. Both state’s will do anything to preserve power and violence can be expected from them when they are cornered. History has always demonstrated this time and time again.

      I hope I have succeeded in keeping my anger in check whilst writing this.

      “Tyrants are more afraid of good people than of bad people” – Thomas Aquinas.

      “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” – Albert Einstein.


      Viva Catalunya!

      Saor Alba.

  7. chicmac says:

    Paul, a wee while back, I asked you from the floor at your event in Dunning whether the British State would use the UK Supreme Court to declare an indyref2 illegal.

    At that time, you were of a mind that there was no way they would do that.

    Do you still hold that view?

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yes I am. The UK doesn’t have a written constitution like Spain does, and there is no legal reason why Holyrood can’t hold a consultative referendum or a plebiscite election (which would effectively turn Holyrood elections into a referendum).

      • chicmac says:

        Thanks Paul, I had thought the May and co might have seen a ‘copycat’ op. with recent events.

      • Jimmy Waugh says:

        Then as far as I can discern you are saddly deluded and have failed to understand the history of the Westminster Elite legality is immaterial Political expediency has always reigned supreme.

        • Muscleguy says:

          You need also to remember that May had her legal fingers burned over the Brexit vote and the need to consult parliament.

          The risk of a non binding referendum is legal challenge from non state actors to frustrate it. The question is whether the courts are nimble and principled enough to expedite that so as not to hold the vote up. That is where political backroom pressure could be brought.

          Useful idiot challenges it and the Establishment uses every trick in the book to kick it into the long grass.

          That is how we could end up like Catalunya. The difference is there is no Guardia Civil equivalent here and Police Scotland are controlled by Holyrood so Westminster’s only recourse is the military which would not look good internationally and they would have to use non Scottish regiments which would cause trouble and then how would the Scottish regiment react?

          Westminster will not be sending tanks to quell Yellow Tayside.

          • Robert Harrison says:

            They are desperate to keep Scotland don’t underestimate these English power grabbers losing Scotland means losing everything and the English will lynch them if ever they wake up and find they really needed Scotland

      • Saor Alba says:

        This is good to hear.

  8. manandboy says:

    The Tories in particular among British Nationalists, have ditched any respect for Democracy, the Rule of Law, human rights, and Truth and Justice.
    As for Scotland, the British Establishment simply don’t do respect for the indigenous people in any of their Colonies.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      The English never changed the further south into england you go the worse the empire mentality is they still think they are superior to everyone else it’s also why they hate foreigners as shown by brexit when the mask came off and hate crime there sky rocketed

  9. manandboy says:

    If there was such a device as a seismometer capable of detecting tremors indicating political and social movement, such an instrument might well be forecasting an approaching earthquake as the tectonic plate of right wing neo-liberal politics resists the opposite moving force represented by the movement for social change in substantial sections of national populations.

    When the masses have had enough and the neo-liberal ruling class can’t control their appetite for wealth and power then sooner or later the pressure will produce movement of one kind or another.
    The Immovable v The Irresistible.

    I’m no soothsayer, but that’s the way things seem to be heading in the UK, with the EU and Brexit, in the USA and now in Spain.
    Truth is I think we all know where this could well be going.
    A time maybe to ca’ canny here in Scotland if ever there was one.

  10. An excellent and thoughtful piece, Paul. You express what I’ve been thinking and feeling for some time about the situation between Spain and Catalonia. As you rightly say, no-one wants a new State born of violence and bloodshed. My fear is that the draconian actions of the Spanish State will provoke just that. One can only deny people their democratic rights for so long before they explode …

    The reunified Germany and the other States reborn upon the collapse of the Soviet Union may have achieved a “bloodless revolution” but that was because even the leaders of the old Soviet Bloc no longer believed in their own hegemony. There is no such grasp of reality in the Spanish State or in Westminster.

    I hope that both Scotland and Catalonia will achieve self-determination through the democratic will of the people. I fear that this may not be possible while Spain and Westminster remain so utterly intransigent.

  11. Gavin C Barrie says:

    manandboy, ca’ canny!

    I suggest you google Peterson Institute for International Economics and listen to the forecast on Brexit for the UK. the presenter finishes with a reference to a future Little England.

    The events in Catalonia are alarming.

    We in Scotland are facing a double whammy due to Brexit, A threat to democracy – 111 reserved matters will be returned to Westminster, and Westminster will determine which if any will be passed to Scotland. And as the Peterson article explains we are facing a dire dire economic prospects post-Brexit.

    Seen May’ audience at the UN? Seen all the little Union Jacks on products at your local supermarket?Noticed the emphasis, and funding on UK sports?

    Finally, assume you run your own business, would you offer employment to – May?Johnson? Gove?…etc etc. If not why not?

    They are empowered to govern Scotland.

  12. AnnieM says:

    I loved Gabriel Ruñan’s passionate speech in Madrid yesterday. Rajoy’s face was a picture when Gabriel said, “Get your filthy hands off the institutions of Catalunya”! He said that this was no longer just a struggle for independence, but a struggle for basic human rights.

    He finished up with a classic. “Please excuse us, we are now leaving to march in support of our friends”. With that the Catalonians left the building to loud applause from the rest of the house!!

  13. Gavin C Barrie says:

    ITV national news headlines, on now – May will offer the EU £20 billion; search goes on for a missing person; a UK team heads off to a sporting event. Catalonia? No mention, but for the internet we wouldn’t know would we?

  14. One_Scot says:

    ‘When democracy is frozen at one point in time, democracy dies.’

    That is it in a nutshell.

  15. David Agnew says:

    Its not just that they disregard the SNPs mandate – ( in interviews that frankly most satire writers would regard ad too idiotic to parody.) It is also that they cannibalized their votes and their identity to such an extent that they act and behave as one party. One could run with this and say with an air of verisimilitude, that their previous opposition to one another was simple theater. That Scottish unionist politics was a convenient fiction for them, a dreadful danse macabre for everyone else.

    And it is done with the childish conceit that there are no consequences for them politically. I have said before that I think they would gladly immolate themselves if it could mortally wound the SNP. This Kamikaze unionism lays bare the lie that we are equals and our votes respected. No serious believer in Union would take an axe to their nations place within that union and bring it low…just to try and prove how utterly worthless Scotland is. But people who believe Scotland to be nothing more than a region of England…would.

  16. gavin says:

    Wee Willie and the Big Bahookie have both now stated there will be a British Nationalist coalition at Holyrood after 2021. Ruthie as FM with Wee Wullie and Anas as her Deputy Dugs—-enter stooge left.

    The literal meaning of fascism is “bound to the State”. In Spain and the UK both.

    • Saor Alba says:

      There are 3 Fascist Unionist parties in Scotland – all bound to the state, with utter contempt for the electorate.

  17. Jan Cowan says:

    I’ve been re-reading ” ‘FOR FREEDOM ALONE’ THE DECLARATION OF ARBROATH, 1320″ by Edward J. Cowan.

    “….from time immemorial the kingdom of Scotland has rejoiced in every kind of liberty and has a prescriptive right to liberty with support in this from the common law…..”

    The people of Scotland have the right to choose their own future.

    Likewise, the people of Catalonia.

  18. Andrew Gallacher says:

    I recommend reading this to understand why Scottish independence supporters should have nothing to do with what is happening in Catalonia. My wife, who is from Barcelona and a strong supporter of Scottish independence, will not back Catalan independence partly because of the issues highlighted in the following article.

  19. Saor Alba says:

    It is NOT about legal rights, it is about HUMAN rights.

    • Andrew Gallacher says:

      I’m guessing that comment was in response to the article I shared. I think you have missed the point. The process being followed by the pro-independence government is not legal, not democratic, and nothing to be admired. It is a bloodless (at the moment) coup d’etat. To try to achieve independence in this manner is unacceptable. The hypocrisy is staggering. If Scotland was to go down the same route as Catalonia I would turn away from supporting independence. The taste of victory gained in that way would be too bitter for me to stomach.

      • Kestral says:

        Andrew – I find myself in disagreement with the article on a number of points

        Spain has known for at least 2 year that this was coming – have they made any attempt to facilitate a legal referendum and to allow the people to hold this vote?

        The article is correct that the Yes side has less than 50% support – however it does not add in the No side in your total number of citizens who wish to undertake a vote

        I believe that stand at 80% of the voters wishing to have the right to vote whether that be for yes or no – so the democratic will of the people is overwhelmingly to be allowed a right to vote

        So I suppose the question must be – do you really believe the people would have received the right to hold a vote from the spanish government?

        You know the No side were up until 3 days ago set to win this vote – now I believe with the actions of Spain they will lose this vote – I can imagine any maybe yes maybe no voters have had their minds well and truly made up watching the last few days unfold

        Sadly I believe 1 or more people are going to die in all this……..don’t get me wrong – I believe the spanish police are trying as hard as possible to not be heavy handed – but it only takes one blow in the wrong place to kill

        Spain had every chance to find a way to allow this vote – Spain has chosen not to and also to send the police in – absolute insanity they way they have handled this

        • Andrew Gallacher says:

          While the Spanish government haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory in the way they have handled this, neither has the Catalan government. You can’t put forward the argument that the Spanish government has acted undemocratically and then behave in an equally undemocratic manner. The referendum bill not only broke Spanish law, but was also in breach of the rules of the Catalan estatut. The opposition was denied its legal right to review the bill, and only given two hours to present amendments. The Catalan equivalent of the Solicitor General for Scotland was denied the right to speak in parliament on the competency of the bill. The list of infractions goes on and on. I agree with the author of the article I shared that this amounts to a coup d’etat. How can any supporter of Scottish independence possibly align themselves with this?
          I would like to add that I am extremely angry and disappointed with the comparisons being made between current events and the era of the Franco regime. I find it totally disrespectful to people like my wife’s parents who lived through those times.

          • Kestral says:

            Sorry – but the fact of the matter is your are excusing the spanish government action by comparing to the NOW actions of the Catalan government – something that wouldn’t have been required if the spanish government had acted to provide the right to a vote

            Honestly do you really believe the spanish government would have ever granted a vote – what 20 years, 50 years – is that how long they should have waited before being granted the right to a vote

            From what I have read both spanish and catalan governments are utterly rife with corruption

            but that doesn’t and shouldn’t negate the people’s right to want to have a fair legal vote – sorry but spain has never….. and never will allow that

            From my readings catalonia, might never have been a nation – but does have a long history of independent governance of itself

            Spain offering more money – it is unfortunately exactly like devo max that scotland didn’t have the chance to vote for…… but way too late to be offered by spain now….kinda like the vow

            Franco, yes I can understand the hurt at the debasing of serious suffering, suffered by ALL people in Spain, being used in this fight, but you must admit that spain’s actions ie over reaction and heavy handed intervention is quite scary and in the end could lead to death…..

            Bloody Sunday – sometimes called the Bogside Massacre[1] – was an incident on 30 January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, Northern Ireland, when British soldiers shot 28 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march against internment

            So ask yourself……… does it take the death of 28 people in spain to create a history of pain and so much effort to make peace again…… or should spain have granted a fair legal vote

            ironically you seem to wish it all to be perfect BLACK AND WHITE, but life never is, people compare things to a past they never lived through

            so ask your wife’s parents…….would they ever wish their fights on their children, i know the answer, no, so you must ask them ……….would they live it again in their fight for right, would they die for their children, would they ever not support a peaceful right to a vote, when they had no such choice

            100 times over they will answer yes……..nothing more than what they thought they had gifted their children already

        • You have answered just as I was going to do … but more eloquently, Kestral. Many thanks.

      • Saor Alba says:

        Remember that yours is an opinion Andrew, not fact.
        I have not missed the point, I just do not agree with your opinion.

        Legality does not mean that something has to be correct or indeed just.
        Rules are set by Government. If rules do not serve society well, the electorate must have the right to question them. Indeed, what is wrong with asking for a vote on self determination? The very same thing that you wish for Scotland?
        Why did Spain not allow a vote on this? Do you think that is democracy?

        The democratic will of the people must be listened to. Humans have basic rights and this is one of them. Elected representatives are there to serve the people and should be answerable to the people. They should NOT RULE the people.
        They are not rulers and have no right to refuse a referendum vote. There has been no attempt to solve this in a democratic way.

        I do agree completely with Kestral, who has also responded to you.

        A vote will settle this, but history has demonstrated that Spain is not a democracy, and it is more likely that the Government will be the ones to spring to violence in order to protect the power of the state. The Spanish record on democracy over the last century leaves much to be desired and the legacy of the Generalissimo is alive and well in Spain.

        • Oh, well said, Saor Alba! I absolutely agree.

        • Andrew Gallacher says:

          No, what I stated about the breaking of laws and rules by the Catalan government are facts, not opinions. If you want we can discuss if that was the right way to achieve their goal, then we would be exchanging opinions. It seems that because you don’t agree with hard facts you label them as opinions in order to justify disagreeing with them.
          You talk about the electorate having the right to question the rules if they do not serve society. Did the Catalan government ask the electorate for their opinion prior to breaking those rules ahead of the vote on the referendum bill?
          At no point have I said there is anything wrong with Catalonia having a vote on self determination. My entire argument relates to the process and the hypocrisy of the Catalan government who decry the actions of the Spanish government as undemocratic then themselves act in an equally undemocratic manner.

          • Andrew Gallacher says:

            While we obviously disagree on the legitimacy of the actions of the Catalan government, I would ask you to please refrain from making comparisons with the Franco era. Talking of the “legacy of the Generalisimo” being “alive and well” is frankly crass and, as I said earlier, disrespectful to those who lived through those times.

            • When laws are oppressive and anti-democratic then it IS acceptable to break them. Whilst not all Catalans support Independence, 80% of them support a vote on the subject. I am sorry that you feel so strongly about comparisons with the Franco era but I do not believe that it is disrespectful to do so. I believe it is not only acceptable to warn that this is the direction in which the Spanish government are moving, it is imperative to do so.

              • Andrew Gallacher says:

                You continue to miss a crucial point. The Catalan government have broken the rules of THEIR OWN PARLIAMENT. That is one of the reasons why not a single member of my family in Catalonia will support this process. The majority of Catalans, for and against independence, support having a referendum. The majority do not support this unilateral referendum, but Scottish independence supporters with little or no connection to the region continue to pontificate on the subject.

                As for the comparisons with the Franco era, I’m curious to know if you have many Spanish relatives who experienced it. Mine have expressed their anger and disappointment at the comparison. Yours?

                • So … unless I was there I have no right to an opinion, is that what you are saying? That would prevent me from having an opinion about any history, wouldn’t it? In fact there would be no way of teaching history at all if the only people who were entitled to speak on the subject were people who had actually been there. I do not for a moment suggest that your relatives are not entitled to their view or their feelings on the subject, or that their direct experience is not valid. However, to take the stance which you are taking is as oppressive as the stance of the Governments in question, is it not? Perhaps you would do me the courtesy of accepting that my views, while different from those of yourself and your relatives, are equally valid and that I am entitled to hold them? As I understand it that is what freedom of speech and democracy are all about …

                  • Andrew Gallacher says:

                    I would accept your opinion and that of others who hold the same opinion as you on this subject if you would stop ignoring the facts relating to the undemocratic actions of this Catalan government. The holier-than-thou attitude that only the Spanish government is guilty of acting undemocratically is what I can’t accept. You refuse to accept that one side is as bad as the other. Both are suppressing the rights of their opponents, but you are blind to the actions of the Catalan government as they do not suit your agenda. You talk of freedom of speech yet think it is acceptable to deny the opposition parties in the Catalan parliament their rights to have the procedures followed correctly, to deny them reasonable opportunity to present amendments, deny them time to discuss the bill, deny them the opportunity to hear the legal advice on the competency of the bill. That makes you a hypocrite. A defender of democracy, but only when it is the democracy that suits you.

                • Kestral says:

                  however surely you must agree that had the spanish government granted a vote – these now actions would never have happened, if the people wish a vote – be that yes or no, they should have a right to that vote

                  Again I will ask – how soon do you believe spain would have granted that vote

                  20 years
                  50 years
                  100 years

                  if you honest answer is ANY of the above, then I would hope you would atleast begin to understand the frustration that must be felt

                  So what was your answer to all this, what was your extended families answer to all this – just keep on going demanding a vote, maybe 2-3 generations later you might get it

              • Saor Alba says:

                I am in total agreement A’bh NicCoinnich.

    • Absolutely, well said!

  20. manandboy says:

    Scottish Independence was the only game in town in 2014.
    In 2017/2018, clearly that is no longer the case.

    Brexit is a process involving two sides, Westminster and Brussels, although the British Establishment Media are only presenting one side.
    One thing is certain viz. Westminster refuses to be open and transparent with both the EU and the UK public, preferring its Colonial habits of deceipt and treachery.

    It is these elements which the Scottish Government has to deal with, hence the reason why Indy 2, with no hard data from Brexit, cannot proceed.

    Add the conflict in Spain, continuing civil unrest in the USA, and tensions with N Korea and instability and uncertainty continues to prevail. Hence the ca’ canny approach.

    Like buying a house without a survey.

  21. One of my friends, a retired accountant – so ‘brainy’ – emailed me today saying that she was off to Barcelona for a 10 day holiday. I emailed her back, saying I hoped she would not get caught up in the political tensions but what an interesting time to be there!

    She emailed me back ‘What are you on about?’. She had heard nothing about the ‘unrest’ in the press or papers.Well she knows a lot more about it now!

    Great piece of writing, as always, from Paul. Thank you.

    Recommend the two part film currently showing on PBS, ‘The Scots Who Fought Franco’, with interviews over 20 years from Scots International Brigaders. Some very poignant, from the Scot nursing a raped & shot nun who died in his arms to the Glaswegian sniper in a bell tower apparently the last of his group to die, to the monies raised by working Scots as the British Govt choose to ignore the whole affair…. Plus ca change…

    Catalunya now is a continuing chapter in the ‘Spanish’ Civil War. The fascists did not die out in Madrid, they are slithering out from under their rocks and up from their pit, as they are here in Scotland too.

  22. I watched QT last night.
    It is surreal now.
    There were several topics which had a ‘Scottish ‘ dimension, including of course Brexit, Tuition Fees, and the fall and fall of the Lib Dems into a poor 4th at WM. The Lib Dems holdin the balance of power?
    Not a mention of Scotland Not a mention of the 35 SNP MPs.
    No analogy between Scotland’s University Funding and the disastrous English/Welsh student Debt Mountain. Brought in by Tony Blair when he was dry humping George W and killing 100,000 ‘s of innocent men women and children, it was discussed as the norm in the studio last night Just like the US of A, English kids need to pay College fees to get an education.
    That and Netflix, just about sums up Further Education in the South..
    Blair and Johnson want England to become the 51st State. There’s billions to be made if they can pull that off.Boris is a Yank any way.

    A mainly white old age Merrie England ardent Brexit gang, unbelievably ignorant about the impact that leaving the EU will have on their lives, talked of ‘England’ winning back control.
    Not the UK, not Norn Ireland, not Wales, certainly not Scotland ; the politicians and columnists kept it light.
    The English are all for the Charge of the Light Brigade, and a corpulent gentleman salivated over the lovely trade deals with China.
    We leave EngWaland to it in October 2018.
    There is no way we can stand by and let Mundell, Baron Duncan, and Davidson ‘do a Madrid’. Just let themn fucking try.
    Grand Vizier Mundell,you will ignore us no longer.
    We voted one way, your beloved England voted another. Fuck off South.
    You will no longer rape Scotland.
    There will be civil disobedience here.
    I fancy chaining myself to a bench in the Doctor’s waiting room.
    If a hundred thousand Grey rebels do that, Scotland will grind to a halt?
    Madrid’s treatment of the Catalans will be used as a template by Ruth, Rowley, Rennie, and the wee gang of Brit Northern Nazis, to oppress Scotland when things heat up here in October 2018.
    Davidson will be getting her wee uniform pressed, and her guns oiled.
    I predict a riot, of raucous laughter.

    • Whilst no-one in their right minds would actively seek a violent revolution in pursuit of self-determination, Jack, I fear you may be right. It is worth noting that England would not relinquish it’s vice-like grip on Ireland – or indeed any of its other colonies – until blood had been shed. If the BritNats are taking notes about what is happening in Catalonia then I fear for us …

      • May’s speech in Florence: Brexit but ‘now is not the time’.
        Nothing on the Irish question, which includes the CTA, nothing on borders, nothing on the status of 3 million EU workers in the UK, nothing on a future Trade Deal.
        There will be no Freedom of Movement, no Norway or Canada Trade Deals, nor staying in the Single Market and nothing on Scotland and the 62%. There will be Hard Brexit, but ‘now is not the time’.
        She wants another couple of years. Meanwhile the EU27 sit on their hands while the Arch Right Brit Nat Little Englanders spend more time screwing Europe.
        May expects to continue with the present EU rules and trade deals for another two years while Liam Fox competes with the EU in winning trade deals with Brazil, India, the US, and China.

        Aye, right.
        Seldom has a speech taught us so much about the Brit Nats stance on Brexit.

        They have nothing prepared. They have no cards to put on the table next week. Fuck Northern Ireland. Double Fuck Scotland.
        They are not ready.

        Yet No Deal is still on the table. My wife may very well be deported, and the UDA/IRA will be sharpening their sabres ready to fight for their Cause.
        The BBC World News has been trying to peddle this latest May speech as a significant move.
        We are still in the Dark Dark Wilderness where Davis Fox Gove Johnson May Farage Davidson Mundell and Rennie led us.
        Today established that this woman hasn’t long to go, that’s all.
        Why go all the way to Florence?
        What was the bill for that wee junket?

  23. We laugh in their face. When Glenn Campbell or Gordon Brewer or the BritNat Yoons spout their nonsense, we should perhaps just laugh in their face.
    When Campbell tells us the oil is running out, that the EU will refuse our membership, and that England subsidises us feckless wee Scots, from now on in, we just laugh in his face.
    As England crashes and burns in the Channel, and Lloyds insurance business moves from London to Dublin and 10,s thousands of nurses and doctors flee xenophobic England,and Sally and Jackie peddle the ‘we are all in it together ‘ Scotland too wee, etc., we merely laugh in their faces.
    It is the Grand Lie played out until the last embers of the Brit Empire fizzle out and die in Whitehall.
    This isn’t WWIII. This is England committing diplomatic social and economic suicide.
    We are not required to stand shoulder to shoulder with our English Neighbours while a right Wing Fascist Oligarchy drags them out of the biggest trading block in the world.
    Far from it.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Good let them the English can fall on there own sword I was always told growing up england would die as a nation once Scotland got free and indyref1 proved it beyond a doubt and that about the oil they been doing that lie since thatcher thanks to I now know it was going on that long.

      My next bit is the majority in England won’t do shite about this right wing fascist government they voted in they’d rather sit on there arse and wacth fitba eastenders the walking dead etc over saving there nation from the torys but we can save Scotland by saying screw you westminster twice by calling indyref2 then winning it

      • Robert MacDonald posts Adam Posen’s speech on the ‘Little England’ disaster that Brexit will be to the UK.
        Posen leaves his audience in no doubt that Brexit will be an utter disaster, but that the English will forge ahead anyway, hoping to create a ‘Singapore on the Thames’.
        That just about sums it up for me.
        A disaster for the rest of us, boom time in the ‘Home’ Counties.
        As I say, we laugh out loud when Glenn or Severin of The Times, or Toodle Oo The Noo Taylor bring up the fictitious £13 billion black hole which Scotland doesn’t got.
        My how we’ll howl when Hang On A Minute Shedload of New Devolved Powers Brewer reminds us that NS has staked her career on closing the Attainment Gap while according to Posen, ‘reality bites’, and England attempts to frog march us into the goods trucks and shunt us off to England Sur Mer while they give away the rest of our oil fields to their pals and relatives; you know, that would be the oil and gas industry that’s on its last legs, according to the liars in the Dead Tree Scrolls.
        By the close of the Financial Year, March 2018, it will be painfully obvious that England and Wales are heading for a 30’s level Depression; we are not going with them.
        1/3 of England’s Finance Sector is heading for Dublin Frankfort and New York, and that’s before Brexit bites. Edinburgh, you will not be immune.
        This writer is aware that I don’t need to be hit over the head with a hammer to know that it hurts.
        England; The Tribe That Lost Its Head.

      • Andy Anderson says:

        I like your view Robert. What a coo’s erse all this is.

  24. Mark Russell says:

    Also worth our support are the beleaguered people of Kurdistan who are seeking self determination and independence from Iraq, despite almost universal international opposition. Good luck to them – and the Catalonians.

  25. jane mcdougall says:

    well said. Thank you. especially the bit reminding the UK state that respecting democracy is shown by the fact that Scotland has respected the result of the referendum & has not declared UDI and that we also have the right to continue to campaign for independence just like those who oppose continue to campaign on their side. Denigrating and questioning the legitimacy of our devolved government is anti democratic

Comments are closed.