Whatever one’s view on Catalonia’s ‘unofficial’ independence referendum at the weekend, the response of the Spanish government in Madrid was brutal and excessive.
The sight of people being dragged from polling stations by baton-wielding police was shocking. While the response of local officials and firefighters in the face of such violence made headlines across the world as the Spanish state attempted to close the referendum down. An unnecessary intervention from Madrid that was firmly rebuffed by the people of Catalonia. And one cannot praise highly enough the calmness, bravery and nationalist spirit of the Catalan people when faced with such provocation.
The whole episode has been an inspiration to fellow ethno-nationalists across Europe and beyond.
What is deeply disturbing is the response of supranational bodies such as the European Union and the United Nations.
While the European Union may argue that this is a domestic situation, in the past it has been willing to interfere in such matters. In 2000, for example, it imposed diplomatic sanctions on Austria when the radical nationalist Austrian Freedom Party was invited to join the legitimate government of that country. And similar sanctions are being threatened against the likes of Poland and Hungary, whose governments refuse to go along with the EU’s open borders policy.
What makes Spain so different?
The British state is so morally bankrupt that little more was to be expected than the pathetic response from the Tory-run Foreign Office when it referred to Spain as a “close ally and a good friend, whose strength and unity matters to us”.
The ironic thing is that if there was any doubt previously over Catalonia’s desire for independence, going back to the Spanish Civil War, the actions of the Spanish state have pushed the likelihood of Catalan statehood even further forward. And with a massive vote for independence in the ‘unofficial’ referendum, following the police oppression, there is every chance Catalonia will secede in the next few weeks.
You can read more about the media manipulation of the situation in Catalonia.