Under Spanish law, rebellion is defined as ‘rising up in a violent and public manner’, so how can it be that twelve Catalan leaders are now in the dock for representing rebellion when the only violence caused during the 2017 referendum was inflicted by Spanish militia on defenceless Catalans?
The Grenfell enquiry will have the same problem in getting to the truth because the truth has already been clearly defined; all blame lies at the feet of the state that presides over the enquiry.
Like every atrocious delusion played out under the guise of democracy, it’s only when evidence is absorbed and digested that we begin to see the charade. Or is it? Maybe that’s when the delusion goes up a gear, when denial is repeated so often that we actually believe it, and when, for the large majority, we enter into the process of consciously forgetting cold hard facts in order to think clearly.
Ignoring the result of a referendum has happened before. In February 2005, Spain voted on establishing a Constitution for Europe. The result was a resounding Yes (81%) but with the lowest turnout (41%) since the end of the Franco era. In May 2005, with EU masterminds sure of another momentous victory, the French rebuffed the proposed constitution by voting No (55%) with 69% voting. As if that wasn’t enough, days later, the Dutch voted No (61%) with 62% voting, which should have nailed the EU’s coffin before it had even been born.
But, while delusion is at the heart of politics, ignorance is its lifeblood, and in 2007 France’s newly elected president, Nicolas Sarkozy, pledged a re-negotiation for the constitution without a referendum, which effectively placed Europe alongside China, where political decisions are made by a hierarchical electoral system and to hell with what people think.
In the following months, the EU member states repackaged the constitution into what became the Treaty of Lisbon of 2009, which demanded in no uncertain terms that all member states give up their sovereignty from 2020.
In light of this and perhaps in an attempt to seek independence from Spain before the treaty came into effect, after which they would be forced to pit their wits against the will of the EU, Catalonia, as a sovereign entity with its own parliament, announced a referendum in 2017, which was roundly ignored by Spain as malicious and divisive. The referendum went ahead (after Spain declared it illegal) but the result, also ignored by the state, was an overwhelming 92% for independence with a 43% turnout. Diametrically opposing the 2005 Spanish referendum on Europe, this result not only demonstrates Catalonia’s dismissal of Spain, if not the EU, as ruling state. It also shows the fearless complexity of its self-determining spirit.
And so the delusion groans on like the broken chassis of a banger, an illegal referendum bumbled and booted into an equally illegal and lengthy court process, the outcome of which will have no effect whatsoever because, even if Spain gets to lock them up, all the Catalan leaders need to do is appeal to the EU and they’ll be free under the Human Rights Act.
Whichever way it goes, by the time a verdict is made (they reckon three months for the case and three months to sit on it), 2020 will be just around the corner and Catalonia will have to face the prospect of being another unwilling substate to a state it deplores while being bound to a fake treaty it never condoned.
The outcome of this pantomime will do no harm to Catalonia’s dream of independence. It was cast long ago to ward off the attentions of Franco and it will ward off Spain with as much vigour.
From what I’ve seen of daily life there, Catalonia possesses an unrivalled sense of compatriotism that can only be attained by those who have lived through hard times and earned their small freedoms.
While some may say the Catalan plight for independence is pure arrogance, pigheaded pride or even gross ingratitude, the French gilet jaune and Britain’s Brexiteers will differ, and if you can find the guidelines of the Treaty of Lisbon online, you’ll see why. With around 70% openly denouncing the EU as a fraud constitution, France seems to be on course for big change and Britain looks set for a hard ride.
It’s a shame we can’t just go back to being countries again, each fighting for the odd win here and there, but what if England are banned from playing in the next Euros? Now that really would cause a stink.