Catalan Referendum

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks
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The Modernist
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 12:09

Toby wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I think if a particular area has always thought of itself as an independent country or state then they should be allowed to be one. It's relatively straightforward for me.


That's a bit of a simplistic attitude. So if Catalonia wants to be an independent state, then perhaps Andalusia and Galicia want to be too, because, why not?

There wouldn't be a Spain left. I suspect that none of those regions are rich enough to be fully economically independent - that's why Spain exists in the first place to facilitate these regions economically.


There is not the same drive for independence in those states as far as I'm aware. But if there was, then , yes, they too should have independence if they wish. The same principle exists; I believe people in any area or defined place have the right for self-government if that is what they wish. I would always place the wishes of the people above that of the state.
Of course if it is economically not viable for them then people are unlikely to vote for it anyway (in most cases, Brexit may be an exception!).

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Geezee » 02 Oct 2017, 12:18

The Modernist wrote:
Geezee wrote: I think most people recognise that what the Catalan gov has done is illegal and undemocratic.


Well the legality is neither here nor there, but why is it "undemocratic" ?


It is very much here or there - in fact it is by some distance the most important part of this. The national government is fully within its rights to clamp down on illegal separatism. I'm by no means convinced that most avenues of political dialogue had been sought out to have a potential orderly devolution and/or proper, legal referendum.

And it is entirely undemocratic, because the Catalan government will now be declaring independence on behalf of a referendum where the voice of 60% of the electorate has not been heard - and not because of police brutality, but because the referendum was illegal, and by far the majority of the people who were against it did not vote precisely because of that.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Geezee » 02 Oct 2017, 12:25

The Modernist wrote:
Toby wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I think if a particular area has always thought of itself as an independent country or state then they should be allowed to be one. It's relatively straightforward for me.


That's a bit of a simplistic attitude. So if Catalonia wants to be an independent state, then perhaps Andalusia and Galicia want to be too, because, why not?

There wouldn't be a Spain left. I suspect that none of those regions are rich enough to be fully economically independent - that's why Spain exists in the first place to facilitate these regions economically.


There is not the same drive for independence in those states as far as I'm aware. But if there was, then , yes, they too should have independence if they wish. The same principle exists; I believe people in any area or defined place have the right for self-government if that is what they wish. I would always place the wishes of the people above that of the state.
Of course if it is economically not viable for them then people are unlikely to vote for it anyway (in most cases, Brexit may be an exception!).


But the wishes of the population, through successive polls through the years, have shown at the very least a total split on the question, and the majoirity have been against independence. so how are you defining "they wish" or "wishes of the people" or "a particular area"?
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Geezee » 02 Oct 2017, 12:28

Toby wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I think if a particular area has always thought of itself as an independent country or state then they should be allowed to be one. It's relatively straightforward for me.


That's a bit of a simplistic attitude.


Indeed, simplistic is an understatement here.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 12:40

Geezee wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
Geezee wrote: I think most people recognise that what the Catalan gov has done is illegal and undemocratic.


Well the legality is neither here nor there, but why is it "undemocratic" ?


It is very much here or there - in fact it is by some distance the most important part of this. The national government is fully within its rights to clamp down on illegal separatism. I'm by no means convinced that most avenues of political dialogue had been sought out to have a potential orderly devolution and/or proper, legal referendum.

And it is entirely undemocratic, because the Catalan government will now be declaring independence on behalf of a referendum where the voice of 60% of the electorate has not been heard - and not because of police brutality, but because the referendum was illegal, and by far the majority of the people who were against it did not vote precisely because of that.


But you keep using the phrase legal or illegal as if it has some moral value when it really doesn't. It is "illegal" to make any criticism of the government in China, doesn't make it right.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 12:44

Geezee wrote:
Toby wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I think if a particular area has always thought of itself as an independent country or state then they should be allowed to be one. It's relatively straightforward for me.


That's a bit of a simplistic attitude.


Indeed, simplistic is an understatement here.


What I'm saying is simple -because it is based on a core principle - but not simplistic.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 12:48

Geezee wrote:
But the wishes of the population, through successive polls through the years, have shown at the very least a total split on the question, and the majoirity have been against independence. so how are you defining "they wish" or "wishes of the people" or "a particular area"?



I'm saying precisely that!
I don't know what you're saying. If there isn't a clear majority in favour of it, then of course it shouldn't happen.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Nick » 02 Oct 2017, 13:03

The Modernist wrote:But you keep using the phrase legal or illegal as if it has some moral value when it really doesn't. It is "illegal" to make any criticism of the government in China, doesn't make it right.


In principle, of course.

In practice, there are very big differences between the governments and political systems of China and Spain.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 02 Oct 2017, 13:03

Geezee wrote:
Tactful Cactus wrote:Franco being anti-Catalan doesn't really explain the criticality of a referendum in September 2017.


This does seem as if you are wilfully trying not to understand the context of all this.


I was just hoping for a better answer, which martha then provided.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Fireplug » 02 Oct 2017, 13:05

Martha's post explains it well.

There are indeed split opinions in the Catalan population, previously around 50/50. There is also a colossal amount of political fuckwittery going on in both Madrid and Barcelona.

Had Madrid accepted the legitimate desire of many Catalans to hold a real referendum on this issue at any point before yesterday, I believe the result would have been against independence. But the Spanish government has repeatedly refused to budge an inch, claiming that it is unconstitutional (true) and that the constitution can't be changed (false; they've done it before) and that any such referendum, should it happen would have to allow all of Spain to vote. Which is no-one's idea of self-determination, outside of the delusional "kindly authoritarian" self-image the Spanish government seems to have. Why the hardline attitude? Because they need the support of the anti-Catalan, hard-right element within Spain that constitutes the base of the ruling PP (Partido Popular) and that element demands a "no surrender" attitude when it comes to threats to the motherland, which is how they view any referendum at all.

So the Catalan separatist politicians, after scraping a tiny majority of seats at the last regional elections (run as a plebiscite) pushed through a unilateral "process", which included a referendum they knew to be illegal, to be followed by a declaration of independence. Like Madrid's "all Spain" referendum, the separatists knew that this too was bullshit and rigged because it excluded many Catalans, who refused to vote in it. The separatists remained, however, at all times open to a real referendum, knowing it would never happen due to Madrid's intransigence.

The Catalan leaders have made grave mistakes. They should have accepted the narrow win in those regional elections as motivation to get back out there and win over the undecided, of whom there were many, until yesterday. With a 66%+ popular vote, their position for holding a unilateral referendum would have been very strong. However, they wanted to rush their agenda through. This was cynical, or naive, take your pick. What they haven't ever done is sanction violence. They also represent a very legitimate grassroots movement of at least half of all Catalans.

Here's where the murky grey areas separate into black and white, right and wrong. The PP yesterday sent in the police as troops, to assault people voting peacefully (albeit pointlessly or at best symbolically) in a pseudo-referendum that the PP said wasn't happening and didn't count. Instead of ignoring it, the government applied state violence on a large scale. It was a PR own goal of enormous proportions. It has all but ended the debate and made further, worse violence all but inevitable. The violence went down well with many right wing Spaniards, but it tipped international opinion against Madrid and turned millions of Catalans into reluctant independence supporters, regardless of the consequences.

Yesterday I watched 12 vans of armed and masked men storm the primary school where my children play at weekends, and attack my neighbours. My wife's uncle, an elderly, gentle, cardigan-wearing teachers was struck and thrown to the ground. It felt like an invasion. And the public response has been near-universal: fuck you, Spain.

It's tragic. And it's going to get worse.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 02 Oct 2017, 13:07

The Modernist wrote: "vital protests" (whatever they might be)


Kurdistan. The parallels drawn in the press led me to asking the question. It seems like a pivotal moment for the Kurds with ISIS abandoning territory that might otherwise default back to the Iraqi state. I just couldn't see why Barcelona was getting equal billing.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 13:10

Nick wrote:
The Modernist wrote:But you keep using the phrase legal or illegal as if it has some moral value when it really doesn't. It is "illegal" to make any criticism of the government in China, doesn't make it right.


In principle, of course.

In practice, there are very big differences between the governments and political systems of China and Spain.


Of course Nick. But democratic governments can sometimes act in undemocratic ways as I'm sure you'll agree. It was the rather absolutist way with which 'legal' and 'illegal' were being used in this case. They don't confer anything beyond a legal requirement to do or not do certain things in that country.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Fireplug » 02 Oct 2017, 13:12

It's also worth noting that the former Barcelona mayor, Arthur Mas, who is today denouncing the "use of batons" used Catalan riot police (minus their ID badges) to brutally attack peaceful anti-austerity protestors a few years ago, in scenes not far removed from those of yesterday. I don't trust any of the bastards.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 13:12

Tactful Cactus wrote:
The Modernist wrote: "vital protests" (whatever they might be)


Kurdistan. The parallels drawn in the press led me to asking the question. It seems like a pivotal moment for the Kurds with ISIS abandoning territory that might otherwise default back to the Iraqi state. I just couldn't see why Barcelona was getting equal billing.


I don't see that has any relevance at all to Spain. I find your point incredibly bizarre.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 02 Oct 2017, 13:41

The Modernist wrote:I find your point incredibly bizarre.


Its not even everyday bizarre. I read an article in the paper about the referendums and it presented them both as a struggle against a cruel nation state. I didn't understand how Catalan could be perceived as a "European Kurdistan" which is why I tried to find out the significance of Catalonia and a referendum in a prosperous Western European city that drew billy-clubs.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Geezee » 02 Oct 2017, 13:42

The Modernist wrote:
Tactful Cactus wrote:
The Modernist wrote: "vital protests" (whatever they might be)


Kurdistan. The parallels drawn in the press led me to asking the question. It seems like a pivotal moment for the Kurds with ISIS abandoning territory that might otherwise default back to the Iraqi state. I just couldn't see why Barcelona was getting equal billing.


I don't see that has any relevance at all to Spain. I find your point incredibly bizarre.


Here I agree with you entirely.
Nobody denies that the Kurdish vote is momentous - but why it has any impact on a referendum 100s of miles away beyond the superficial (but perhaps interesting) parallels of an independence vote is beyond me. I don't see anything in the news today that makes a Catalan independence more or less important.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 13:43

Fireplug wrote:Martha's post explains it well.

There are indeed split opinions in the Catalan population, previously around 50/50. There is also a colossal amount of political fuckwittery going on in both Madrid and Barcelona.

Had Madrid accepted the legitimate desire of many Catalans to hold a real referendum on this issue at any point before yesterday, I believe the result would have been against independence. But the Spanish government has repeatedly refused to budge an inch, claiming that it is unconstitutional (true) and that the constitution can't be changed (false; they've done it before) and that any such referendum, should it happen would have to allow all of Spain to vote. Which is no-one's idea of self-determination, outside of the delusional "kindly authoritarian" self-image the Spanish government seems to have. Why the hardline attitude? Because they need the support of the anti-Catalan, hard-right element within Spain that constitutes the base of the ruling PP (Partido Popular) and that element demands a "no surrender" attitude when it comes to threats to the motherland, which is how they view any referendum at all.

So the Catalan separatist politicians, after scraping a tiny majority of seats at the last regional elections (run as a plebiscite) pushed through a unilateral "process", which included a referendum they knew to be illegal, to be followed by a declaration of independence. Like Madrid's "all Spain" referendum, the separatists knew that this too was bullshit and rigged because it excluded many Catalans, who refused to vote in it. The separatists remained, however, at all times open to a real referendum, knowing it would never happen due to Madrid's intransigence.

The Catalan leaders have made grave mistakes. They should have accepted the narrow win in those regional elections as motivation to get back out there and win over the undecided, of whom there were many, until yesterday. With a 66%+ popular vote, their position for holding a unilateral referendum would have been very strong. However, they wanted to rush their agenda through. This was cynical, or naive, take your pick. What they haven't ever done is sanction violence. They also represent a very legitimate grassroots movement of at least half of all Catalans.

Here's where the murky grey areas separate into black and white, right and wrong. The PP yesterday sent in the police as troops, to assault people voting peacefully (albeit pointlessly or at best symbolically) in a pseudo-referendum that the PP said wasn't happening and didn't count. Instead of ignoring it, the government applied state violence on a large scale. It was a PR own goal of enormous proportions. It has all but ended the debate and made further, worse violence all but inevitable. The violence went down well with many right wing Spaniards, but it tipped international opinion against Madrid and turned millions of Catalans into reluctant independence supporters, regardless of the consequences.

Yesterday I watched 12 vans of armed and masked men storm the primary school where my children play at weekends, and attack my neighbours. My wife's uncle, an elderly, gentle, cardigan-wearing teachers was struck and thrown to the ground. It felt like an invasion. And the public response has been near-universal: fuck you, Spain.

It's tragic. And it's going to get worse.


Great post. Thanks.
Why was the primary school stormed btw? Was there a political meeting there?
One just hopes saner voices will prevail, although those voices will not be coming from the politicians on both sides from what you say.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Diamond Dog » 02 Oct 2017, 13:46

Fireplug wrote:Martha's post explains it well.

There are indeed split opinions in the Catalan population, previously around 50/50. There is also a colossal amount of political fuckwittery going on in both Madrid and Barcelona.

Had Madrid accepted the legitimate desire of many Catalans to hold a real referendum on this issue at any point before yesterday, I believe the result would have been against independence. But the Spanish government has repeatedly refused to budge an inch, claiming that it is unconstitutional (true) and that the constitution can't be changed (false; they've done it before) and that any such referendum, should it happen would have to allow all of Spain to vote. Which is no-one's idea of self-determination, outside of the delusional "kindly authoritarian" self-image the Spanish government seems to have. Why the hardline attitude? Because they need the support of the anti-Catalan, hard-right element within Spain that constitutes the base of the ruling PP (Partido Popular) and that element demands a "no surrender" attitude when it comes to threats to the motherland, which is how they view any referendum at all.

So the Catalan separatist politicians, after scraping a tiny majority of seats at the last regional elections (run as a plebiscite) pushed through a unilateral "process", which included a referendum they knew to be illegal, to be followed by a declaration of independence. Like Madrid's "all Spain" referendum, the separatists knew that this too was bullshit and rigged because it excluded many Catalans, who refused to vote in it. The separatists remained, however, at all times open to a real referendum, knowing it would never happen due to Madrid's intransigence.

The Catalan leaders have made grave mistakes. They should have accepted the narrow win in those regional elections as motivation to get back out there and win over the undecided, of whom there were many, until yesterday. With a 66%+ popular vote, their position for holding a unilateral referendum would have been very strong. However, they wanted to rush their agenda through. This was cynical, or naive, take your pick. What they haven't ever done is sanction violence. They also represent a very legitimate grassroots movement of at least half of all Catalans.

Here's where the murky grey areas separate into black and white, right and wrong. The PP yesterday sent in the police as troops, to assault people voting peacefully (albeit pointlessly or at best symbolically) in a pseudo-referendum that the PP said wasn't happening and didn't count. Instead of ignoring it, the government applied state violence on a large scale. It was a PR own goal of enormous proportions. It has all but ended the debate and made further, worse violence all but inevitable. The violence went down well with many right wing Spaniards, but it tipped international opinion against Madrid and turned millions of Catalans into reluctant independence supporters, regardless of the consequences.

Yesterday I watched 12 vans of armed and masked men storm the primary school where my children play at weekends, and attack my neighbours. My wife's uncle, an elderly, gentle, cardigan-wearing teachers was struck and thrown to the ground. It felt like an invasion. And the public response has been near-universal: fuck you, Spain.

It's tragic. And it's going to get worse.


Top post Steve and thank you.
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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby The Modernist » 02 Oct 2017, 13:46

Tactful Cactus wrote:
The Modernist wrote:I find your point incredibly bizarre.


Its not even everyday bizarre. I read an article in the paper about the referendums and it presented them both as a struggle against a cruel nation state. I didn't understand how Catalan could be perceived as a "European Kurdistan" which is why I tried to find out the significance of Catalonia and a referendum in a prosperous Western European city that drew billy-clubs.


So your problem was with the newspaper article rather than the actions of Catalans. It was very unclear from your original post that this was the context which instigated your comment.

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Re: Catalan Referendum

Postby Tactful Cactus » 02 Oct 2017, 13:50

The Modernist wrote:So your problem was with the newspaper article rather than the actions of Catalans. It was very unclear from your original post that this was the context which instigated your comment.


I'll concede that context was lacking.