They didn’t crush us with Francoism

The Spanish state has clearly not learned any lessons, and as I feared the support it has received from the EU and the international community has only emboldened it in its harsh and hardline stance against any negotiations with supporters of Catalan indepedence. In a major escalation today (Thursday), the Spanish High Court has decided to imprison Oriol Junqueras who is the Catalan Vice-President, and half of the Catalan government. Also imprisoned are Raül Romeva the secretary for External and Institutional Relations, Dolors Bassa i Coll the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families, Joaquim Forn the Minister of the Interior, Josep Rull the Secretary for Territory and Sustainability, Jordi Turull the Secretary to the Presidency, Meritxell Borràs the Secretary for Local Government and Public Administration, and Carles Mundó the Justice Secretary. The Secretary for Business and Education, Santi Vila i Vicente was freed on bail of 50,000 €. Vila i Vicente was treated more leniently as he resigned from his post shortly before the Catalan declaration of independence.

The Spanish High Court has acceded to the demands of the Attorney General to send the members of the Catalan government to prison pending investigation of the charges against them. The current Attorney General is the arch-conservative José Manuel Maza, who previously upheld the disqualification of the campaigning Judge Baltasar Garzón, after Garzón had sought to open an investigation in crimes committed by the Spanish government during the Franco era.

Another six members of the Catalan government, including the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Carmé Forcadell, possess parliamentary immunity and the charges against them can only be heard by the Spanish Supreme Court. This hearing has been scheduled for November 9. In the meantime the Supreme Court has agreed to a request from the Attorney General that the six be put under police surveillance. The Court has ordered them to present details of their home address and telephone numbers to the national police, who have been authorised to keep them under close surveillance.

The charges laid against the Catalan ministers by the Spanish state are rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds. The accused are facing possible prison sentences of up to 30 years. The wheels of Spanish justice turn very slowly, and the decision to imprison the Catalan government means that the politicians are potentially facing years in jail before the courts finally hear any case made against them. The decision also prevents them from participating in the snap elections called in Catalonia by the Spanish government. The election is due to be held on 21 December.

Meanwhile, the public prosecutor of the Spanish High Court demanded that an international arrest warrant be issued for Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and four members of his cabinet, who are beyond the reach of the Spanish authorities in Brussels. In Brussels with Puigdemont are Clara Ponsatí the Secretary of Education, Lluís Puig the Minister of Culture, Toni Comín the Health Secretary, and Meritxell Serret the Secretary for Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food.

Puigdemont had previously stated that he was not seeking asylum in Belgium and would be prepared to return to Spain in return for guarantees of dialogue and discussion. The decision of the High Court to imprison half of his government is the clearest signal possible that the Spanish government has precisely zero interest in any negotiations. Judge Carmen Lamela of the High Court acceded to the demand, and an international arrest warrant has been sent to the Belgian authorities for the five Catalan government members currently in Brussels.

Spain is sending the clearest signal possible to the Catalan independence movement that dialogue and negotiation are not on the table. Spain doesn’t want compromise, it wants victory. Mariano Rajoy’s hardline stance has so far only succeeded in alienating many ‘soft noes’ amongst the Catalan population, where numerous opinion polls have shown a huge majority in favour of holding a referendum. The most recent poll, taken earlier this week, shows that support for independence has now risen to 48.7%, a rise of 7.6%, while support for remaining a part of Spain is now at 43.6%, a decline of 5.8%. When don’t knows are excluded, that produces a pro-independence majority of 53%. The actions of the Spanish courts today will only serve to increase pro-independence sentiment, as many in Catalonia reflect upon a Spanish government which is refusing to permit a referendum and which is criminalising those who have democratically and peacefully expressed an alternative view.

The eight government ministers who were sent to prison today will join the two prominent pro-independence campaigners, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who were imprisoned on 17 October. Spain, a modern European democracy, a pillar of the EU, now has ten people who are in jail for the supposed crime of allowing the Catalans to vote on their future. The Catalan independence movement has reacted with understandable outrage. If, as seems quite probable, the Catalans elect another pro-independence majority government in the elections due in December, will Madrid imprison them as well? Many are asking themselves what is the point of voting if the mandate of those you elect is ignored, traduced, and they are imprisoned for trying to put it into effect.

You can’t solve a political problem by criminalising those you disagree with. The actions of Mariano Rajoy’s government might deal harshly with this current crop of pro-independence politicians, but he will only succeed in producing another generation of pro-independence campaigners who have as little interest in negotiation and compromise as Rajoy does. That would be a tragedy for Catalonia, and a tragedy for Spain. What happened today has only made Catalan independence more likely, not less likely.

Marta Rovira, the Secretary General of the Equerra Republicana Catalana, the party to which Oriol Junqueras belongs, warned today that a “state which persecutes independence supporters for their ideas … in the future could imprison anyone who wants to change society.” Meanwhile Antoni Castellà of Junts pel Sí warned that Catalonia was now facing a battle between good and evil under a “tyrannical Spanish government”, and called for independence supporters to mobilise on the streets. He added, “They didn’t crush us with francoism, what makes them think that they can crush us now?”


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47 comments on “They didn’t crush us with Francoism

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug They didn’t crush us with Francoism The Spanish state has clearly not learned any lessons, and as I feared the support it […]

  2. Macart says:

    It’s been a week for having your faith in certain things knocked. Nations, institutions and individuals. Oh hell, humanity in general it seems.

    We never seem to learn. Always determined to push things to the very edge, or until the inevitable occurs. You’d think Spain, of all countries, would appreciate this quotation: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana.

  3. Son of Perth says:

    I am reminded of the way the British state reacted to Irish nationalism in the early part of the 20th century. Jailing people and worse in the case of Britain only made the cause stronger. Spain may think they are crushing Catalan independence but they are in fact sowing the seeds for a free Catalonia.

  4. AnnieM says:

    There was me thinking that no government could behave in a more stupid manner than the present UK one, but I think the Spanish one takes the prize at the moment!

  5. tintochiel says:

    Who could believe that such political repression could take place in an EU country?

    These measures are an affront both to democracy and the principle of self-determination. Does the EU not understand the huge damage which is being done to its credibility by ignoring the return of fascism in a member state?

    I find all this astonishing and depressing: my saltire and EU-flag badges put away in a tin until further notice, probably never to see the light of day again.

    • monkmains says:

      And to think that some of us were looking to the EU as some sort of a counterweight to the intransigence of Westminster! How naive do I now feel! And what was all that business of a standing ovation for Alyn Smith about, if not for a small, would-be independent nation wishing to remain in the EU? I used to think that Verhofstadt was one of the good guys.

      • Marconatrix says:

        We need an EU of sorts, but clearly not the one we have now, one dominated by just a few large multi-national/multi-ethnic ex-colonising states. Where for heavens sake are all the little nations of Europe, many not long free themselves? Why aren’t they speaking out? What have the big bully nations got over them? Someone help me to understand this. Until I do, I’m pretty well finished with the EU, and it seemed such a Good Thing for a while 😦

      • Saor Alba says:

        It is about HYPOCRISY monkmains. I feel the same as you do.

    • Guga says:

      I suppose the Rajoy-Franco fascist government has become more enlightened, in a way. Under Franco himself the Catalan government would have been shot out of hand, without trial. I don’t think that the current fascist Spanish government would be so insane as to do that though, as that would result in a genuine international uproar.

      As the EU and the UN haven’t got the moral decency to object to the illegal actions of the fascist Spanish government, maybe the rest of us should start taking action ourselves by boycotting any and all Spanish goods and services, and declining to take any further holidays in that benighted country.

  6. mogabee says:

    I’ve felt down before when watching our hopes dashed after Sept 18th, but now? Now I can hardly believe what’s happening in Catalunya and the nastiness of it all.

    At least we had a renewed vigour and a chance to try again. I just cannot imagine how people are coping with all this. 😦

  7. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    World seems to have gone mad Trump in States, Russia interfering behind the scenes, madness in North Korea, Tories caught with their trousers down.

    Then would you believe it fascists in Spain again.

    Silence or worse from EU.

    Deny a people of democratic rights you will eventually push them to violence.

    What is happening in Spain cannot be allow to continue, the madness has to stop.

    • Marconatrix says:

      At least the image of the Tories debagged is mildly amusing … but “nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!” (Sorry, but if you don’t laugh you go insane)

    • Guga says:

      Your comment about “Russia interfering behind the scenes” is largely rubbish. If your really want to know about who is,and has always been interfering behind the scenes, I suggest you read up on the history of the likes of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe etc. I also suggest you get hold of a copy of the book “Puzzle Palace” to see who has been spying on everyone in the world, and for how long.

      If you believe in all the utter garbage being spouted by the American MSM and by their ignorant politicians in an attempt to explain away why Hillary Clinton didn’t get elected, then you’ll believe that children no longer use the excuse to their teachers that “a dog ate my homework” but tell their teachers that it was “a Russian dog that ate my homework”.

      Bear in mind also that America is the most corrupt country in the world.

  8. Mark Russell says:

    A move that will undoubtably be endorsed by the British Government. Can you imagine May sending Sturgeon, Salmond et al. to the Tower to face charges of treason as soon as they called for another referendum? The way things are going, it might just happen.

    Holyrood would be raised to the ground. The one across from the Parliament.

    • Guga says:

      I’ll bet that the English government would love to gaol every member and supporter of the SNP. In a way that might be a good thing as we would gain our independence very quickly after that.

    • Marconatrix says:

      I can’t understand Catalan, although some words and phrases are fairly intuitive, but the sure know how to make speeches. I do like their style, and indeed to stand up and make speeches like that tonight must require real courage. Just jump in anywhere towards the middle to feel the flavour and the vibe. What a people! 🙂

  9. Colin Mccartney says:

    The veneer of western european democratic government wears thin.
    Like many, I look on in horror at what the EU has done, or failed to do. As always, its left to the normal, decent, socially minded members of society to show what is required.

  10. soutarblog says:

    The wee lab fae scotland pitched up in Westmonster to say that businesses were leaving Catalonia..but you say that no businesses have baled out. So, (and I’m sorely tempted to deny anything the Labs in Scotland say) please. PLEASE supply your proofs that NO businesses have left Catalonia.

  11. Aikenheed says:

    I think it was Craig Murray who said only emails re new hq registered addresses had left?

  12. Robert Graham says:

    Good points Paul – by their actions the Spanish government have removed the comfort blanket most people had in regard to the Institutions of this EU , all the things we took for granted vanished .as mentioned by a few people do we really trust this version of the EU to protect our rights .

    This brings me to think , all these fine words expressed and the very cordial meetings our government had with EU leaders , were they taking the Piss & playing Political games in order to annoy the English negotiators , because in the end as shown with the Spanish situation they only ever deal with member states not regions of member states .

    I think we should think very carefully about thinking about the EU as being our saviour , and we have on and around our shores things they need ,

    Frying Pan & Fire comes to mind here . this EU have have Morphed into a different beast since we voted to join , fine words from them are just that fine words .

  13. scotsgeoff says:

    The EU hypocrisy stinks.

    Interfering in the Ukraine to have a (albeit corrupt) democratically voted-in government ousted and then turning a blind eye (effectively) to the goings-on in Catalonia.

    i voted ‘remain’ in EU ref but would want nothing to do with EU (other than via a Norway-type access) now.

  14. Good on Donalda for managing to find every Tory Brexiteer in the Kilmarnock area and packing BBCQT bleachers with so many John Lewis checked shirts.
    What a farce this wee Propaganda outlet for British Fascism this publicly funded load of toss has become.
    Last question from a big fat lad: Ruth Davidson for PM?
    Christ on a bike.
    What the fuck is going on here, Donalda?
    Davidson was not on the panel, the world is crumbling around us, politicians are being rounded up and thrown into jail, and Dumblebar sits smugly grinning and giving the Wee Fat Toad yet more free publicity and airtime.
    Put you big fat Johnson away, Dimbelbey. No cigar.
    As Ruth gathers with Professor Two Jobs WATP Adam Tomkins and 7 times political failure and all ’round Reformation bigot The Queen’s Eleven Murdo Fraser on Sunday around the bonfire to burn a Kafflik in effigy, we can rest assured that she and her tawdry wee band of smutty, bigoted, racist, homophobic perverted slime balls would be a seamless replacement for Johnson, Fallon, and her soulmate Arlene, and the UK would trundle along as usual.
    Madness envelopes the media.
    I bags the top bunk when they come for us, Paul.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Jack Unless you know the methods used on Question Time you would be blissfully unaware of whats going on , once its pointed out , its then you think how could i have been so dim , so stupid as not to notice whats going on , now it all makes sense .
      Ha HA yes the final Question was a stormer up there with the best of them , i wonder where they got the questioner he seemed to blend in with the rest of the crowd , all that was missing was his union jack suite .
      I wonder why ruthie was marked absent she usually likes to shout her opinion at anyone who stops to listen.
      Excellent choice in Jeannie Freeman not rattled even when ambushed at the end with Dimbleby including the named person act in a question about smacking sorted both out calmly and clearly ,
      Kezia was almost normal last night but she lost it and reverted to type at the re-tax prior to the she agreed with SNP policy on a few things , do you think she is on the turn ha ha . Maybe listening to her dad for a change .

      • Freeman was excellent despite the man traps(sic) set out for her to fall into.
        What a tawdry waste of our Scottish licence fees.
        Come the Revolution, Robert.
        Slap a child to discipline them?
        FFS.

  15. Andy Anderson says:

    I only hope this builds the Catalan resolve and that their soft no voters turn to Si. I think this will take a while to resolve itself.

    On the subject of Spain I also look forward to the Brexit Gibraltar issue raising its head soon.

  16. Sad, sickened and disheartened this morning BUT I am convinced that this draconian response from the Fascist Spanish Government will only harden the resolve of all in Catalunya.

  17. Macart says:

    You know, some may ask ‘why does this matter? It’s another country, another people, another culture’. Why should it matter if other nations and other governments turn a blind eye through their idea of real politik? Why should it matter if party representatives from the political class and their supporters within our own country turn a blind eye, or indeed view the Catalan situation from rule of law or their own political gain? What does it matter if the concepts of justice, peaceful expression of democratic opinion and the right to self determination of peoples are ignored in favour of ‘big’ politics?

    Sometimes the big state, the majority, the law, those perceived to be preaching from a position of strength, are in the wrong.

    So why does it matter? It matters because tomorrow it could be your politics. Tomorrow it could be you. Tomorrow it could be your children who have to stand against the intolerant and the authoritarian.

    What kind of country do you want to live in? What kind of country do you want your children to grow up in?

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Exactly that’s why I won’t turn a blind eye to this unlike the unionists will because they’re the type to say it’s not my problem

    • Well said, Sam.
      On Brian Wilson’s piece in the Scotsman, he seems to think that we must tolerate the fascist salute because Madrid has the rule of law on its side.
      Well, Wilson, pensioners were bludgeoned into terrified submission by Fascist Stormtroopers; but that’s ok, ‘we never ask questions, with God on our side.’
      What a disgusting little man he is

      Sue me, Mr Wilson. I am calling you out. You are condoning violence against innocents, and internment of political opponents.
      What if your precious Green Brigade pulkled up in Perth tomorrow and sang ‘Viva Espana’, while saluting the memory of Franco with a mass Seig Heil salute?

      Sue me, stifle free speech, see if you can flog blood from this bitter battle scarred old stone, why don’t you?
      European citizens have been violently attacked and democratically elected politicians thrown into jail for their political beliefs.
      I get the sense that Wilson and his National Socialist buddies would crack our Scottish Independence skulls and throw us into internment camps given the chance. A sort of Scottish version of Norn Irn’s H block, if you like.
      That’ll go down well in the Directors’ Box, Bri.
      We are sinking into the filthy swamps of Imperial Britain now.
      They are fondling our knees and cracking our skulls with equal measure.

      Free Scotland now.

      One of Wilson’s old colleagues, and fellow neo liberal new Labour New Conservative carpetbagger, Harriet Harman repeated a well worn Jewish Holocaust joke last night on Andra Neill’s pointless little glob of Westminster Bubblegum ‘This Week’.
      Their precious Union is done.
      It is time for Scotland to emerge from the shadows into the light of Independence.
      What a torrid old bunch this WM lot are.

      • Macart says:

        We should be grateful Jack. Mr Wilson has done the public a favour.

        He’s shown people the true source of hypocrisy, intolerance and authoritarianism in both Scotland and the wider UK. Though I’m not entirely sure the establishment parties of Westminster would thank him for his input. Apparently all that was required… was a mirror.

        • ‘Oh, wad some power, the Giftie gie us, tae see ourselves as others see us.’, Sam.

          The frightening arrogance of Blair’s spawn lacks any form of self awareness.
          As I observed elsewhere; it’s a pity he’s not under 16. We could give him a smack and the Yoons would say that we were not breaking the law.

          It’s coming yet for a’ that, Macart; and a lot sooner than October 2018.

          These fools are actually going to walk away with No Deal, probably before Easter.

          The Money Men in the City must be backing Brex-aster.
          I wonder what the ‘Celtic Family’ think of this man supporting the Hitler/Franco Legacy?
          Bash a pensioner if you don’t agree with them. It’s not covered by the OBF legislation.
          What an utter wally.

  18. Macart says:

    Mr Rajoy isn’t really interested in ‘unity’, nor apparently ever has been. So few leaders of ‘the big state’ truly are. They are interested in the continuance of the state, the integrity of what they see as its borders and the adherence to their own political dogma. Difference of opinion from people or peoples which currently fall under the jurisdiction of said state is anathema to their worldview.

    I wonder, has it ever occurred to the leaders of these institutions, why do peoples consider secession from their state? Why do countries such as Scotland, have such significant movements considering the dissolution of international treaties? Did it never occur to these leaders that perhaps the state is in the wrong, or has been considered to do some wrong which makes life under their supervision untenable to these peoples, these movements? Apparently not.

    The theory and practice behind promoting unity isn’t hard. Just as the theory and practice behind government isn’t hard. You give people a reason to WANT to stay. You can of course, as in the case of Spain and to a lesser degree UKgov, use fear, intimidation, uncertainty, but that however is only ever a short term solution. This tactic builds resentment and anger. This strategy makes it inevitable that people will continue to revisit the need to break away from those they perceive to be their jailer, their oppressor and the source of their woes.

    Which brings you back to that phrase ‘want to stay’. Guests, partners, friends, family ‘want’ to stay where they are made to feel welcome, respected, invested and included. Prisoners, hostages, the abused ‘want’ to get the hell out of Dodge.

    Still, I’m sure the leaders of big government, the big state, don’t require ordinary folk pointing out the bleedin’ obvious to them. I’m sure they’re perfectly aware that with the application of fear and intimidation to their political opponents they’re not solving problems, or promoting unity. They’re merely ensuring the inevitable further fracturing of their own society and the power of the state they claim to be protecting.

    Their choice.

  19. Robert Graham says:

    I believe most governments would have changed direction by now , but not the Spanish they seem to be being encouraged by the silence from the EU , and in some cases like the open condemnation of this referendum by our apparent pal Mr Verhofstadt , oh dear haven’t we been fooled into thinking we were the chosen ones , the special people .
    Dont hope for assistance from the Eu Hierarchy in our quest for independence , as they openly say “they only deal with the member state ” .
    We aint the member state , so all the pleasantries are just empty words meant to get up the nose of the English Negotiators it’s a political game on their part , nice words are just nice words thats all

    • Macart says:

      I suspect they’re looking for a different solution Robert, but for that they’re going to require a different kind of response from the independence minded in Catalonia. A response that hopefully will not be forthcoming.

      • Mark Russell says:

        Interesting times. The way things are heading in London, it might not just be Spain and Catalonia holding elections in December. There can’t be be many Labour and Tory MPs left after this weekend and they haven’t even started on Boris yet. And now Broon tells us he hadn’t a clue that the Pentagon was telling porkies over Iraq’s WMD capacity and he wonders why he was a crap PM! Still the penny hasn’t dropped about 9/11 though…..that can’t quite permeate the grey fog inside the thick skull.

        Just think, if he’d studied physics instead of politics at Uni then he would have learned about Isaac Newton, freefall velocity, resistance and aviation dynamics – and by now he’d be a superhero. If only he had the balls.

        (GB Diary 12/9/2001

        4.40am: Phoned Tony and told him that it’s not possible for skyscrapers to collapse as quickly as they did yesterday unless they had been rigged with explosive. What a numpty, he still believes Dod and Benji. I’ll explain in simpleton terms in the morning.)

        They should all roast on a bonfire of their own vanities.

  20. Republicofscotland says:

    According to the media the Belgian authorities have sixty days to act upon an arrrest warrant.

    Also a country can reject a EU arrest warrant if it fears that extradition would violate the “suspect’s” human rights. Looking at Spain’s violent handling of the Oct 1st vote one could easily agree that Puigdemont’s wellbeing could be at risk if returned to Spain.

    There is an agreed EU list of 32 offences, however, neither “sedition” nor “rebellion” – two of the Spanish accusations against the Catalan leaders – are on that list.

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