The murder of Catalan democracy

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There’s been, shall we say, a spot of falling out in certain quarters of the Scottish independence movement of late. Rattles have been tossed from prams. Dummies spat out. Feet have been stamped. I’m naming no names, and pointing no fingers, but let’s keep a sense of perspective here. This is a dispute about the means of achieving independence, it’s not a dispute about the worthiness of the goal itself. It’s a dispute about tactics, not about fundamental principles. We have the luxury of having such spats because we live in a state where the right to Scottish self-determination is legal, is constitutional, and is recognised. Even though the anti-independence parties have of late being giving a very good impression of sticking their fingers in their ears and going la-la-la-I’m-not-listening, they do understand that when all else is said and done, Scotland only remains a part of the UK as long as that is the will of the majority of the people of Scotland. That’s why they’re so desperate to avoid the question being asked, even though they understand on some level that they can’t stall it forever.

In Catalonia they don’t have the luxury that we have of openly debating different legal tactics for achieving independence. Today, Monday, the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced prominent Catalan politicians and independence campaigners to lengthy prison sentences for the “crime” of democracy. For facilitating and organising an independence referendum without the permission of a Madrid government which had refused under any circumstances to concede the right of Catalans to decide their own future, the politicians and activists were convicted of sedition and the misuse of public funds. Those who tried to vote during the referendum were brutally assaulted by police officers brought into Catalonia from elsewhere in the country, yet not one of those officers has had to face any legal consquences for their violence. Instead it was those who organised a peaceful exercise in democracy who were charged with violent rebellion.

Even though the most serious charges of violent rebellion were dropped, the sentences that were handed down were severe. Former vice-president of the Catalan government, the leader of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC, Republican Left of Catalonia) Oriol Junqueras has been sentenced to 13 years in prison. The former foreign minister of Catalonia, Raül Romeva, the labour minister Dolors Bassa, and the Catalan government spokesperson Jordi Turull were each sentenced to 12 years. Carme Forcadell, the former speaker of the Catalan Parliament, was sentenced to 11 years and six months. The former territorial minister Josep Rull and the former interior minister Joaquim Forn were both sentenced to 10 years and six months. Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, respectively the leaders of the pro independence civic organisations Òmnium Cultural and the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, were each sentenced to 9 years and six months.

In a further assault on the democratic right to self-expression of the Catalan people, the Spanish electoral authorities recently ruled that in the forthcoming Spanish General Election, the Catalan parties are not allowed to mention the phrases “political prisoners”, “exile”, or “trial of repression” in their electoral materials and the Catalan public media is prohibited from broadcasting them. In Scotland on this blog I can describe Oriol Junqueras, Carme Forcadell and the rest as political prisoners, because they have been convicted and sentenced to lengthy prison terms due to their peaceful and democratic belief in the right of the Catalan people to democratic self-determination. In Catalonia the Catalan language television channel TV3 is banned from using the same description.  Pro-independence Catalan parties are prohibited from using the same term in their election campaign materials.

In Catalonia you are not allowed to say that the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is in political exile in Belgium or that former education minister Clara Ponsati is in political exile in Scotland. You are allowed to describe them as “fugitives from justice” because the Spanish electoral commission has ruled that this highly judgemental and emotive term is a neutral description. In Spain, you’re only considered to be neutral if you support the viewpoint of the Spanish government and the Spanish establishment. So rather like the BBC in Scotland then.

The Catalan crisis is a political one. You can’t solve a political problem by imprisoning those who have a different political opinion from you. Yet that is precisely what the Spanish government seeks to do. The Spanish state has just sentenced Catalan politicians and civic leaders to long terms behind bars for the supposed crime of peacefully pursuing a mandate given to them by the electorate of Catalonia. When a peaceful democratic mandate is castigated by prison sentences, democracy is dead.

Catalans have reacted with predictable anger to these harsh, disproportionate, and unjust sentences. There is a massive demonstration taking place at Girona railway station, another at Barcelona airport. Throughout Catalonia, roads and railway lines are being blocked by protestors. The sad reality is that when the peaceful democratic route to independence through the ballot box is blocked, punished, and criminalised, then people will seek an alternative route and who knows where it’s going to end. The anger and fury of the Catalans is only going to increase, and we risk a spiral into violence and oppression as the police react violently to the protests. This is a potential tragedy of Madrid’s own making.

In 21st century Europe, we should have learned the lessons of the past. We should have learned that the right of a people to self-determination cannot be blocked, cannot be punished by prison, because that is the way that madness lies. And this is a lesson that Scotland’s anti-independence parties must take on board too. It is perfectly legitimate to oppose Scottish independence or Catalan independence. It is perfectly legitimate to propound arguments against independence, to seek to persuade people against it. It is not legitimate to prevent the question being asked. It is not legitimate to criminalise those who seek to ask it through the ballot box. It is not legitimate to seek to remove supporters of independence from democratic discourse. When democratic politicians seeking a peaceful resolution to a political issue through the ballot box are silenced behind the bars of a prison, democracy has been murdered.

Visca Catalunya lliure.


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53 comments on “The murder of Catalan democracy

  1. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    #LlibertatPresosPolitics

  2. Alan says:

    These prison sentences have left me feeling sickened and really disturbed. It’s frightening that this is happening in Europe in 2019. I think most of us expect that in a modern democracy justice should be fair, rather than a weapon owned by those in power. We take it for granted that the powerful should not be able to impose their will, through cruel and unjust laws, to destroy the lives of those who won’t submit to them. Yet here it is. Thirteen years. Twelve years. Eleven years. It’s chilling. Time is all we have.

  3. Alba Woman says:

    A tragedy for those politicians, their families and supporters. A top class piece of writing WGD. It seems the spirit of Franco still haunts the Spanish establishment.

  4. alanm says:

    I have to say I’m appalled and ashamed by the wishy-washy response of our media and our people to this developing crisis right on our doorstep. All those who believe in democracy and the right to self-determination should now boycott Spanish holiday resorts and Spanish products for as long as Spain continues to hold political prisoners in its jails. We all have a responsibility to do what we can as individuals in the absence of any political pressure on Spain from the EU or elsewhere.

  5. Robert Graham says:

    A timely and thought provoking post Paul.

    A stark reminder of the real world we all live in right now and not the La La land a lot of folk imagine ,it’s rough tough and bloody unfair with sharks and manipulating bar stewards everywhere .

    I almost got caught up in the recent hurry up – come on do something Nicola- why you waiting Nicola ,the sense of something being lost or missed was aired on a lot of blog sites and the venom expressed was something I hadn’t come across before

    This was before Nicolas wake-up call that I believe brought a lot of folk back to reality, as she said No Shortcuts just bloody boring hard thoughtful work 300 of years of propaganda can’t be erased overnight , most folk have grown to expect instant results , I believe she brought people back to reality ,the real world if you like .
    I believe it’s no coincidence another method of splitting up Independence supporters is and has been used and a lot of folk including myself were almost taken in ,

  6. Craig P says:

    It’s hard to believe a modern European state is acting in this manner.

    It’s even harder to believe that the rest of Europe is shrugging its shoulders and ignoring it.

    • Millsy says:

      ”…a modern European state ..” No , this is Spain !
      It only threw off the shackles of fascism when Franco died – although it appears that they did not throw them far enough !

  7. craigevans15 says:

    It is shocking but not unexpected. Hopefully this can go to the Europe Court

  8. gavin says:

    The “right to self determination” doesn’t exist in a fascist country. Fascist means “bound”, in this case to the Spanish State.
    That explains Spain, but the UK is not so far behind. Westminster refuses to recognise a Scottish mandate derived from a public vote on a manifesto commitment.
    Our publicly funded broadcaster acts as a UK State propaganda outlet— bigging up news favourable to the UK, censoring other items favourable to Scotland—no context–no perspective, unless it shows Scotland in a bad light.
    If Scottish pro-independence agitators were to be locked up, what response would we expect from most (if not all) of the media?

  9. FergusMac says:

    This is a tragedy for freedom and democracy in Europe. The European Parliament must not let this outrage pass without serious and continuing protest.

    As you say, Dug, this has the potential to blow up in Spain’s face. The unreconstructed Francoist thugs of the Guardia Civil will behave with their normal charm, tact and diplomacy, and this will go viral on social media and the Internet. I cannot see how violence can be avoided when all peaceful alternatives are violently repressed.

    It may be that the jailed Catalan government members resort to hunger strikes as their only means of fighting back.

    I will be praying for the Catalan political prisoners and for the people of Catalunya.

    • Andrew Gallacher says:

      Have you ever heard of the Catalan independence group the Committees to Defend the Republic (CDR)? At least nine of them were arrested a couple of weeks ago with bomb making materials and plans for public buildings. The behaviour of the Guardia Civil and the Madrid government has been disgraceful, but there are plenty of extremists on the pro-independence side as well. I know of Spanish people who live in towns across Catalonia who are treated appallingly by the locals. The Catalan independence movement isn’t whiter than white. Scotland has nothing positive to learn from Catalonia.

  10. Marconatrix says:

    Makes me wonder now if we really want to remain in the EU after all, if it allows fascist scum like that to belong. The Spanish clearly haven’t changed their tune and the one thing that history teaches is you can’t reason with fascists (and these are clearly Real Fascists). Pity, I thought we’d achieved a genuine lasting peace at least in western Europe, so how long til the war starts?

    • Janet says:

      One step at a time, my friend. We deal with Westminster first. Then we have a sensible debate regarding Europe.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Why ? Fascism? UKIP and Mirage have been at the Fascist trough for years knowing their rights to be out of step were their only ticket to a healthy bank balance, not least the Mirage…
      EU individual members may deplore what has happened but have no collective control over individual constitutions. Zero, you know, the same exercise to restore sovereignty Mirage et al have been averring to, Brexit, or as it should rightly be called Erexit, which the Chinese have already trademarked for suppositories (seems fitting)…
      Abhorrence may be expressed as individual states (WTG the Finns), but the EU cannot interfere hence your logic is puzzling?
      Spaniards are not Fascists, they have their version of ERG who are allowed into the grounds annually without restraints, but they don’t elect them. They DO have a fascist background but Catalonia’s vexed history before and after Franco re Catalonia is well worth reading, yet they call it a democracy. Pfft
      I second Jane’s advice, deal with our own stramash, the rest of Europe can follow…

  11. Saor Alba says:

    As I said on here last year, the spirit of Franco is alive and well in Spain.
    If you have read Giles Tremlett’s book “Ghosts of Spain” which uncovers this country’s hidden past, you will be absolutely astounded and sickened. The Fascists are alive and kicking even to this day.

    Giles Tremlett is the Guardian’s Madrid correspondent. He has lived in and written extensively about Spain, almost exclusively since graduating from Oxford University in the late 1980’s.

    Tremlett shows how they have covered up the terrors of the Civil War and how the discovery of mass graves of the victimes of Franco’s death squads has taken place and has finally broken what the Spaniards call the ‘pact of forgetting’. He goes on a journey through Spain, discovering its hidden past. The disturbing destruction of Guernica and its inhabitants is examined, with Franco’s pal Hitler being given the go-ahead to test his bombs on the population of that little town. Spain has its monsters and it appears that they are in Government again. Franco’s spirit is working from the grave.

    Democracy – Spain is an insult on humanity and democracy.

  12. Bob Lamont says:

    “So rather like the BBC in Scotland then”…. Oof…
    It is not an unexpected result but Spain’s government will get a reaction which is unwelcome and perfectly legal.. 21st century, sedition, ffs… Then to constrain what may be said or how things are referred to ? Hello?
    The EU may be unable to observe on a member state’s constitution, but the individual member states may do so with impunity as the Finns have, but I won’t hold my breath on Johnson or his cronies denouncing it…
    The buying public however can and might, Spain like most of the EU relies heavily on internal trade with the rest of Europe, and identifying exports outside Catalonia is not so difficult… eg – My favourite Spanish wines may have to be pruned..

  13. velofello says:

    And let’s not overlook the UK’s democracy – Assange?

    • Margaret McAuslan says:

      I’d like to see and hear more protests within Scotland about the appalling and unjust treatment of Julian Assange. What are your thoughts on this repression of freedom of speech within the UK, WGD?

  14. Mark Russell says:

    It is repugnant. I guess every country has malignancies that surface from time to time, but the Spanish affliction is particularly persistent. Yes, it’s been different in Scotland – it’s cyber warfare and propaganda, not batons and prison cells. Yet. Don’t let it come to that.

    • J Galt says:

      Yes the British Establishment is much more subtle and occult – however when the time comes the fangs will show, the venom more targeted.

  15. Macart says:

    That was well said Paul.

  16. bringiton says:

    One of the major problems facing the EU is how to uniformly guarantee EU citizens’ rights within the present state represented structure.
    What is guaranteed in one state is not in another.
    I am sure that the Catalan political leaders human rights have been breached by the Spanish state but nothing is being done to bring them to account.
    What value is there now in EU citizenship when the European courts cannot uphold those rights bestowed?
    Spanish officials and politicians are the people who should be facing jail sentences.

  17. Cubby says:

    There’s been a murder right enough.

  18. Cubby says:

    Democracy ain’t that great in the Uk either. Sarah Smith on BBC tonight says straight out to Nicola Sturgeon that she will not get approval (from the UK gov) for a referendum now that the polls are saying you will win it. Some democracy that – you can only get a referendum when we think we will win it.

  19. Cubby says:

    The positive angle from the EUs non interference is that it does disprove the oft suggested point by Britnats that EU countries are not independent.

  20. I’ll certainly not be setting a foot in Spain in the foreseeable future, and like butcher’s apron bedecked produce, I won’t be buying Spanish.
    It is a rogue state now.
    What news on Gibraltar?
    Has Boris thrown the colony under the bus too?

  21. uno mas says:

    Interesting to note that there was a large demonstration in favour of the Catalan Prisoners in the center of Valencia tonight.

    Normally the Valencianas don´t get involved with the politics of Catalonia although their language (Valenciana) is a sister language of Catalan (you could say it is a dialect of Catalan if you wanted to be unkind) and their flag is an Estelada very similar to that of Catalunia, politically the Valencianas have, until recently, voted for the P.P. right wing party, much to the chagrin of socialist thro Spain and there most certainly isn´t any love lost on the football field as the rivalry between Valencia and Barcelona is just as fierce and possibly even more bitter and acrimonious than that of the Barcelona Madrid classico.

    Therefore that thousands of citizens of Valencia felt moved and angry enough about the situation is worthy of comment and leads me to wonder if Madrid has bitten off more than it can chew this time.

    I watched the Pedro Sánchez discourse to the nation on the tv this morning.
    Sheesh, what an ignorant arsehole of a man he is. All teeth and cufflinks.

    His speech could have been written by the speechwriter for the far right VOX Party so we should not be looking to him for any words or deeds of emolument to calm the troubled waters.

    What was it that that Chinese guy said about living in interesting times?

    • Davie Oga says:

      That’s interesting. I lived in Valencia for a time. Never found much sympathy for the independentistas in Catalunya at all. Exact opposite in fact. Heartening to know that humanity and decency trumps politics and rivalry.

  22. Andrew Gallacher says:

    I’ll probably get slaughtered for this (like I have been before for my views on Catalonia), but a couple of points.
    1. The 2017 referendum was neither democratic not mandated because the pro-independence government circumvented the rules of its own parliament in order to pass the referendum bill.
    2. The convictions aren’t solely for organising the referendum and the misuse of public funds. They are also for the subsequent declaration of Independence.
    I’m no fan of the Madrid government, but neither could I ever give support to opportunistic charlatans like Puigdemont or his predecessor Mas.
    Holding an opinion regarding Catalan independence is fine. Making any kind of comparison between the situations in Catalonia and Scotland is potentially damaging to our cause.

  23. Petra says:

    We could show our support for Catalonia by taking a wee holiday there and avoiding the rest of Spain. P*ss off the other regions to the point that they want rid of them just like the English Tory Brexiteers with Scotland. That applies to Turkey too (plus an ever increasing number of other places to avoid).

    • raineach says:

      to be honest [and I travel in Iberia every year], the thing that deters me from Catalonia is the frequent blocking of roads, airports etc. I get the need for demonstration but I’d much rather not holiday in the middle of it

  24. Andrew Gallacher says:

    I’m wondering if my comments are being censored because I have a less supportive opinion regarding Catalonia. Most Scottish independence supporters who are sympathetic to the cause of Catalan independence probably can’t speak Spanish and almost certainly get most of their information from sources which support Catalan independence. They aren’t getting the whole picture. I’m fortunate in that I speak Spanish, have been married to a Catalan for 22 years, and I’ve lived in Barcelona, so I’ve learned quite a lot regarding the issue. Maybe a post about the negative aspects surrounding the fight for Catalan independence would be a good idea to emphasize what we SHOULDN’T do

    • Andrew Gallacher says:

      Apparently not. Apologies Paul for thinking this might be the case.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Your comments are not being censored Andrew.

      • Andrew Gallacher says:

        I know. I was just beginning to wonder when comments from others were appearing after I had posted and mine were still being moderated. I want to make it clear I think the sentences handed out are appalling and that I’m not opposed to Catalan independence, but I don’t think there is enough information regarding the negative aspects of the Catalan independence movement and its protagonists. I’ve encountered plenty of bigots, thugs and racists in Catalonia over the years, but I’ve hardly ever read anything in English highlighting this darker side of the pro-indy movement. I don’t recall reading in English about Junqueras’ bigotted views either, and he holds plenty of them, including the belief that Catalans are ‘genetically different’ from Spaniards. Neither have I read much about Artur Mas’ convertion to independence in 2011 and his diversionary reasons for making that switch. Then there is the biggest hypocrite and opportunist of them all, Carles Puigdemont. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the interview with Puigdemont conducted by Jordi Evolé, but it’s a real eye opener. Really worth a watch. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x62ew8a

  25. Petra says:

    Nicola Sturgeon’s stance in relation to the current Catalonian situation.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/17967848.nicola-sturgeon-responds-sentencing-catalan-leaders/

    ………………………………………….

    Ian Blackford’s speech. Another one that the BBC etc cut short, as per usual. Ian Blackford one of the very few people who talks sense in that den of iniquity, liars and thieves.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/17968152.watch-ian-blackford-tears-boris-johnson-ferocious-speech/

  26. Petra says:

    O/T

    The murder of Kurds. Would the Scots support this?

    …”A number of major European powers have unilaterally pledged to halt arms sales to Mr Erdogan’s government, including Germany, France and Finland.

    But the UK, one of the world’s largest arms exporters, is notably absent from the list, and raised further eyebrows by initially arguing against condemning Turkey during a Monday meeting of foreign ministers to draw up a common EU position.”..

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/uk-turkey-arms-sales-syria-kurds-germany-france-netherlands-eu-embargo-a9155536.html

  27. Ken says:

    The problem is the legitimacy of the Catalonia Indy Ref. They did not win the Ref to have a Ref on a 30% turnout. They still went ahead. There was a question of legality and legitimacy, The turnout was low because some people in Catalonia thought it was illegal. There are even questions about the recorded figures. What the results were with missing voters etc.

    Catalonia pop 7.6 pop 47Million pop 1/6 approx of Spain.

    The Catalonia (Ref) electorate 5.3Million .YES vote 2Million. NO votes 177,000.

    The NO did not turn out because many thought the Catalonia Ref illegal. The turnout was 43%. The YES did not win a compulsive victory. There is a question of legitimacy,

    There are 1million (eligible?)voters missing from the electoral register. Pop 7.6million, Electorate 5,3Million. There are 1Million children. Not eligible. The electorate should be 6million+ voters. (EU resident citizens from other EU countries)? Not allowed to vote?

    In Spain EU citizens (from other EU countries) can vote in municipal and regional elections but not in National elections. (Or Referendums?). EU citizens resident in Catalonia would have likely voted NO. ie to stay in the EU?

    The question of the electorate etc. The YES side did not win. The legitimacy of the organisation. The NO’s not turning out. Not winning the Ref to have a Ref. Many people in Catalonia/Spain believed the vote illegal. The questions over legitimacy and the YES declared result.

    That is why the EU does not comment etc. because there are question if YES won. The results are inconclusive.

    Catalonia has fiscal autonomy. It can make it’s own Laws. It is not fully fiscal autonomous. There was a dispute about €4Billion Catalonia had to contribute. A Court in Spain decided they did not have to make that contribution.

    Catalonia is one of the richest regions in Spain. Barcelona one of the wealthiest Cities. A fabulous city, There are other much poorer, rural areas in Spain, rural poverty, They get a contribution from the wealthier parts of Spain, through central Gov. Spain benefits from EU membership.

    The holiday homes banking crash 2008. Hit Spain/Catalonia hard. It caused a lot of problems. Spain/Catalonia had to be bailed out from the ECB. Loans which had to be paid back, The loans/banking scandals and collapse happened on the Costas. The tourist coasts, including Barcelona/Catalonia. These were the areas involved in the banking collapse. Holiday schemes scandals. This affected the whole of Spain.

    In Spain they put politicians, lawyers, criminal municipal town hall bribery and corruption in jail. Like the Mafia. They put them in jail. They put royalty on trial. They have a strong penal code. No messing. The Police are authoritarian to keep order. A black economy High regulation leads to a black economy. Lack of taxes. Tax evasion. A criminal element of international crook resident. From other countries. Even Latin America. They speak Spanish. A common language. Spoken in a majority of world countries trade links. Historical lies. Spanish Empire. Spain exploration. Historical world of discovery. A rich past. The Turks and the Christians. The Moors. The Iberian peninsula.

    The Law is archaic. It needs reform. Spain has only been a Constitution Democracy recently since 1978. Forty years.

    The question is the legitimacy of the Catalonian vote. If YES won, The missing votes on the register, whether if was fair and square. Questioned even among the Catalonian population and society. Whether it was a legitimate Referendum. That is why the EU Commission does not give much support. Whether the declared result won. Especially as it is not legitimate to interfere in internal matters of the member States but to up hold the Law. Including International Law and Human Rights.

    It is unlikely the full sentences will be served. It is likely they will be released through the back door, on appeal. It is a bit of a show trial. To be seen upholding the archaic Law. They do put people in jail without fear or favour. No matter who they may be,

    Spain has one of the healthiest lifestyle. Mediterranean diet. Family orientated. They look after their children and old folk in the community. Religious. Religious festivals and fiestas. They have major holidays. One month at Christmas and Easter. Two months in July, August. Too hot to work outside. Everything closed down. Except tourist areas on the Costas. They benefit from tourism and the EU. These people jailed will probably be released on appeal soon.

    Many in Catalonia/Spain do believe they broke the Law, Spain is a conservative country. Traditional. Family orientated. The question is the legitimacy of the Referendum. More could be done through the Ballot Box. Whether the YES declaration was genuine. Statistically. There were fundamental questions around the organisation and the outcome. Typical Spain.

    There is now a new Spanish Gov elected. It is more likely to sort it out. Rajoy is away. People in Spain despise the politicians with a vengeance. Lots of protests against Gov. Local and central. A lot of bribery and corruption. Misuse of public money. C’est la vie.

    There is a more left wing socialist Gov. There could be more consultation and reprieve. The people jailed have a huge support worldwide, A lot of sympathy. The outcome could be changed because of protest.

    • Saor Alba says:

      The whole point is that Catalunya should have been given the right to hold their referendum. It is a question of rights and democracy, not law.

      Any country can make laws, which can be good and democratic laws for everyone’s benefit, or they can be undemocratic and bad (even evil) laws, for the benefit of power. Spain’s law, in this case, falls into the latter category. This is emphasised by the Spanish Government’s response.

      • Andrew Gallacher says:

        The Spanish constitution prevents Catalonia from holding a referendum. That constitution was endorsed by about 80% of the Catalan electorate.

  28. Ken says:

    The EU/UN will gave to broker a peace in the Turkish dispute. Erdogan has been helping the Syrian refugees. Putting up large camps and funding them. 4Million displaced people. From a population of 20Million. The EU was funding and giving support. Not enough? Erdogan and his son were benefiting from Dealing Oil. With ISIS elements?

    The West were originally funding and supporting ISIS against Assad, Russia has been supporting the Assad regime declaring it legit among the population. There were division of minority but the regime was secular. Supported diversity. Some minorities were poorer. Pressure was being out on Assad for improved universal suffrage. More rights for the people to stop conflict.

    Britain denied Arab voting rights despite repeated promises. Reneged. Britain and France carved up the Middle East. The Sykes Picot agreement. May 1916, The Balfour Agreement 1917. 1WW. They gsve promises of voting rights to support the Allies. Reneged upon. The US Oil interests. There is still a question of an Oil pipeline. Extended through the Middle East.

    Trump was elected to stop the illegal wars. Reduce the US foreign presence. Stop policing the world. US military spend $622Billion. 1/3 of the world total, The highest in the world. Pop 230Million. Enough to help reduce poverty. Conflict causes poverty.

    The West took all the Oil and left the counties impoverished. Churchill took all Iran’s (Persian) Oil. The Shah re imposed. Iran is being impoverished by sanctions. Iran could have solar instead of nuclear energy. It does have Oil but not enough to support the economy.

    The problem arise from US/UK France bombing the Middle East to bits causing the migrant crisis, They were even bombing Syria, extending the crisis. There has been a long history of aggression with the Kurds. Quite complicated. The Kurds have a paternal society. Arranged marriages. Misogynist. Traditionalists although there are women fighters.

    Giving Erdogan more funds to deal with the refugee crisis might persuade him to stop the fighting and conflict. The EU/US and Russia must do it. Quite soon or it will escalate on the border.

    The majority of the Syrian refugees are in Turkey 2Million+ It is a major problem. Other countries have to pick up the cost of the UK/US France aggression in the Middle East. Brexit is a runaway of responsibility. The Tories are an absolute disgrace. So are the rest of the unionists at Westminster. The absolute mess.

  29. Petra says:

    O/T

    Says it all. Valued partner, blah, blah, blah.

    ”In case anyone has any doubt how much Scotland matters to England, just watch this disgusting scenes in Westminster as Ian Blackford rises to speak on the Queens speech.” https://twitter.com/HMRadioUK/status/1183764320955654144

    Taken from Nana’s Link site. Check it out.

    https://indyref2.space/nanas-links-2/

    • Terry callachan says:

      Fantastic
      It’s great to see the English as they really are , disgusted at Scotland wanting a say in what happens to Scotland , they don’t want to hear about Scotland’s needs only england matters to them

  30. Petra says:

    Swinson a right wee, backside-licking, attention seeking (Tory) scunner. https://twitter.com/HelenArmet/status/1183697946539364352

    …………………………….

    ‘Queen’s Speech: what you need to know.’

    http://www.snp.org/queens-speech-what-you-need-to-know/

  31. Frank Lynch says:

    Franco must have allowed himself a wry smile in his special place in Hell – fascism still has a role in the Spanish constitution,

  32. Ken says:

    The Catalonia and Scottish cause and Independence movement Ref are so different. Different, different. Too different to be called similar. Country – Province etc etc. Different economy, history, religion, politics, society structure, climate.

    Catalonia/Spain want to stay in the EU. That is not in doubt. There is an attempt to drag Scotland out by people Scotland whom Scotland did not vote. Scotland did not vote for it. It will do severe damage to the economy.

    There are fantastic plans for a world port at Prestonpans?and Shetland. It could bring in £Billions to Scotland on world trade sea routes. West to East and to the EU. For a limited reasonable investment. Environmental friendly. More sea travel for freight. Similar plans for Glasgow and the Clyde. More trade routes to Netherlands.

    Instead of congestion and centralisation of Tilbury Docks. Taking away from Ports all around Britain. Thatcher invested £Billions in Tilbury Docks. Put transport through London congestion. London S/E centralise economic policies. The North/South divide. Congestion in London S/E. Scotland depopulated and revenues taken.

  33. Graham says:

    You can’t imprison an idea.

    Die Gedanken sind frei.

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