Viva Catalonia!

As I travelled home from UKIP Conference yesterday I was watching the news come out from Catalonia and couldn’t help but think that there was no better illustration of the intrinsic link between patriotism and the struggle for national freedom than what was happening in Spain. Not just that but there is no better illustration of the European Union’s craven contempt for democracy.

This is not the first time that the Catalan people have voted for their freedom only to be ignored and suppressed. In 2012, numerous Catalan towns declared themselves free of Spanish rule, in 2014, a similar referendum to the one held yesterday showed 80% in favour of independence. Spain’s government has consistently acted to frustrate the desire of the Catalans for freedom. Most often they do so through the mechanism of the Constitutional Court of Spain as the Spanish Constitution does not allow for a vote on the independence of any Spanish region while also deeming it illegal without its consent. However, Catalan national identity is far from a modern phenomenon with the term “Catalan” and “Catalonia” emerging near the end of the 11th century.

Traditionally, nationalism in Catalonia, certainly since the time of the Spanish Civil War, has been identified with left-wing politics and indeed, it is not hard to spot the conspicuous sympathy of both the BBC and The Guardian for the current insurrection against the Spanish state. However, this should not be allowed to blind us to the brutal authoritarianism of the Spanish government in suppressing a general movement for national liberation. Even before today, during Operation Annubis, different headquarters of the Generalitat de Catalunya were searched and 14 people were arrested, including high-ranking administrative staff, and company CEO’s involved in the preparation of the referendum. Simultaneously, several printing companies were searched looking for ballot papers and ballot boxes.

It is hard to imagine a clearer democratic mandate than the 90% victory for independence in the latest referendum. However, true to form, the European Union has nothing to say and our government, in the shape of Boris Johnson, has said the issue of the legality of the referendum presents “difficulties”. So, the struggling Catalan people are quickly finding out that people they thought were their friends have in fact been flying a false flag. In the longer term therefore what is quickly becoming pretty much a national revolutionary movement, pro-independence activists have called for a General Strike on October 3rd, could have massive implications for the future of the EU as much as Spain. No doubt this is why Eurocrats are maintaining a stunned silence.

Catalonia’s people are faced with the same authoritarian repression which is implied in the suppression of our move towards Brexit. Luckily, we have been spared police raids and tear-gas but imagine a scenario in which Brexit is finally reversed, arguably the most likely outcome, and it leads to protests and unrest and it is not hard to see that we may end up rowing in a very similar boat. We should wish Catalonia’s people well as we continue to fight for our freedom and face a belligerent state totally unwilling to bow to the democratic wishes of the people.


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1 Response

  1. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    It makes a welcome change to be proud of our country. UK/GB were told from Scotland, that independence was wanted from British union. We did not, and do not agree with that, but a Scottish vote was held, with agreement that the majority view would be followed. We even agreed to the change in the age of those able to vote, on the request of Scotland. The vote was held, and continued union won the vote. All was done by the principal of Democracy, which was viewed by the world.
    Now look at our EU partner, Spain. Did they learn anything from our example ? – No ! They treat Catalonia to force, and Democracy dies. Worse still, the EU backs the action. Further proof, (as though it were needed), that our voted wish to leave the EU was the correct decision for UK/GB. In a short space of time, the EU will fall apart or become a loathsome entity, last seen in the guise of CCCP, and I can only hope that the same fate is shared by the EU. Meantime, the people will have to share what has become the lot of the Catalans.
    It is worth remembering, that the personal view of UKIP’s new leader, has been reported in the hope to assign the comment with that Party’s policy, but it has fallen flat. My view, on this is the same as UKIP’s leader, and the Scottish question. I am not in favour of more separation, however it is necessary to understand that the Catalonian question has been there for many more centuries than Scotland’s, and has to be cleared, but in good order. One last point is that we must be clear about Gibraltar. Just like the Falklands, it is the resident peoples wishes that must come first. Spain, take note !

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