FREEDOM!!!! [4]

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:24 am

This article outlines the possible choices of the regional Catalan government, and their possible consequenses, evaluated by different Catalan academics:

http://www.ara.cat/politica/moment-DUI_0_1883811706.html
Translation:
https://translate.google.no/translate?sl=ca&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ara.cat%2Fpolitica%2Fmoment-DUI_0_1883811706.html&edit-text=

To me it seems clear that the straight forward obvious choice is a Slovenian solution. When Slovenia voted to declare indenpendence in a referendum, they did not do so immediately. They decided that an Unilateral Declarration of Independence (UDI) would take place in six months. But, that was conditional on negotiations with the rest of Yugoslavia not leading anywhere. In the end, the Yugoslavian governemet denied negotiation. The rest is history.

A declaration of independence needs to happen, but making it conditional opens a potential period of dialogue. It sends an important message, but it does not automatically impose independence unilaterally. Madrid needs to realize, that the Catalan people have spoken, and that by their actions on the 1st of October, they lost any moral hat in the argument they might have had.

What are the possible consequences? Spain suspends the autonomy of Catalunya? They have that chance under art. 155 of the Spanish 1978 Constitution. But this article is a red herring. When independence is decleared Catalan independence is a matter of international law, not constitutional or national law. If a country declaring independence would have to rely on the legality in view of the constitution of the country they were declaring independence from, there would be a lot less countries in the world today then there are.

http://www.ara.cat/politica/internacional-que-prohibeix-independencia-Catalunya_0_1877212457.html
Translation:
https://translate.google.no/translate?sl=ca&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ara.cat%2Fpolitica%2Finternacional-que-prohibeix-independencia-Catalunya_0_1877212457.html&edit-text=

Even more drastic the Spanish government could suspend fundamental human rights in Catalunya and declare a state of emergency, in line with art. 116 of the Spanish constitution. Again against the democratic will of the people this would be both impossible to enforce and apply without abhorrent and violent use of force. A discipable act in any democratic country to use this kind of force against a demoratic will of the people.

And what would be the result at the end of that process? To call new regional elections in Catalunya? Which the independence side most certainly would win?

What other options are there? That Spain moves in with the military? That would be a dispicable and unheard of act that would change Europe and the EU forever. If a majority of catalans want to leave, and evidence speaks to the fact that they want to, they cannot be stopped. By police, military or any means in a society that respects human rights and democracy.

All of this does not mean the Catalan government should seek confrontation. I am completely against that. But there should be a statement of assurance, on the basis of the referendum and the demcratic will of the people. A Slovenia solution is perfect. A set time for negotiation where no doors are closed, and if that does not lead anywhere a duty to apply a unilateral declaration of independence. It puts the openess to negotiate and the impossibility of staying in the status quo in one declaration.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:05 pm

This article on the legal and political situation sorounding the possibility of a unilateral declaration of independence has convinced me completely. About everything.

http://www.elnacional.cat/ca/opinio/jordi-graupera-10-respostes-sobre-declaracio-independencia_199869_102.html
Translation:
https://translate.google.no/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elnacional.cat%2Fca%2Fopinio%2Fjordi-graupera-10-respostes-sobre-declaracio-independencia_199869_102.html&edit-text=

Not declaring independence unilaterally legitimizes the acts made by the police on the 1st of October, belittles the act made by a majority of teh population to allow the vote to take place in the face of police brutality and it leaves the Catalan institutions and the Catalan people completely devoid of a defense against further use of force against them and simmilar acts in future.

These people, the Spanish government, are authoritarians, and if you don't set your foot down it will only send them the message that their actions are legitimate and that you can be scared into doing what they want. Meaning every time there is a problem, they know how to act to make you do what they want. Surpressin the fundamental rights of your country's citizens.

In light of that, there is only one way forward.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:42 am

Bluebottle wrote:
In light of that, there is only one way forward.

Spanish Civil War II ? confused pale

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:45 am

Hopefully not. pale  But the article makes the point better than me. I just quickly sumarized some points.

Basically, after the actions on 1st of October there is no way back to the status quo. There needs to be a solution, ultimately a negotiated solution. In that regard the declaration changes nothing in how far the Spanish state is prepared to go, so that can't be an argument either way. It does however mean that the Catalan state can independently stand up for the Catalan institutions and guarantee the fundamental rights of its citizens, which the Spanish state showed it was not prepared to do in the 1st of October. If there is no declaration the Catalan government has no power to stand up to Madrid at all.

Now, the Catalan independence movement has always been peaceful. And it will most likely in all circumtances try to remain so. The writer of the article argues the declaration should contain an abolition of all military forces on Catalan soil. If Spain moves in with the military it does so against a sovereing entity, and a sovereign entity that has abolished and given up all military power. It seems a good argument again.

Further, it must be remembered that this has only come to direct conflict because of Madrid's refusal to any form of negotiation. The independene movement asked 18 times for an agreed upon referendum in the last five years. Since the 1st of October the regional government has continually sought dialogue. In both cases Madrid has said no.

Obviously no one wants escalation. But when we are where we are, where the democratic will of your people has been surpressed, and where the central state has showed that it does not respect the fundamental rights of your population. The only way the regional government can ensure anything, is as a sovereign entity. Madrid will go to the lenghts it is prepared to go in any case. But if it does so it will be its choice, it will do so against the wishes a large proportion of the Spanish population. And the only way the regional govenment can have any say in the matter is with a unilateral declaration of independence.

Ultimately, we do no longer live in the 1930s. And surpressing the democratic will of a population with large scale military force is ultimately no longer a viable option in western Europe.

Then you start a period of negotiation where no doors are closed. You can suspend the declaration and make it automatically applicable again if Madrid withdraws from negotiation or chooses to use force, as the writer argues. There might be a agreed referendum, or when you finish the proposed constitution you can let the people vote on that and other suggested solutions during the process of negotiation. Like a federal state, for instance.

It is not about closing the door, but making sure you have a seat at the table with any form of self determination, which takes into account the democratic legitimacy your public has given you. If not, you are simply a region, who's powers can be suspended at any time, and who's decisions can be overruled by a simple majority in the national parliament, in a country where your population only makes up 16%.

But again the article explains this better than me, so read that if you have the time. Smile

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:38 pm

Unfortunately no time for reading articles till it rains again. There are cranberries waiting for me in the field. Only time to drink a cup of coffee.

Then you start a period of negotiation where no doors are closed.

The longer they wait to start, the harder it gets.  Look at Palestine, or North Ireland back in the day, or SE Asia or.... I could go on and on. I've met a lot of travelers and refugees over the years, and they frequently say "We've tried talking with them but it's a waste of time! They're like animals. They only understand one thing."  Both sides say almost exactly the same words to justify not negotiating, and once it's started the longer it goes on the harder it is to break the cycle of violence.

So what's the EU's role in all this? Do they have any influence? Is there a consensus?

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:29 pm

Yeah, liberals and conservatives are pretty much at the non-negotiation point in this country.  I think Trump may actually be breaking that down at the higher levels (most political professionals on both sides hate him) but not at the grassroots.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:40 pm

{{{{ Sturgeon gave her keynote speech at Conference today and among many other things announced the creation of a Nationalised energy company to operate non-profit and provide cheap as possible fuel costs.
Speech is here- she is very good at the podium and particualry to conference crowds. }}}

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-41572145/in-full-nicola-sturgeon-s-snp-conference-speech-2017

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:55 pm

glad to see she is finally giving up the vanity project to concentrate on social and economic matters. its decades too late.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:11 am

{{{ Mmmm, lets see- no bedroom tax,prescription charges, or tuition fees. Free travel on any public travel anywhere in the country for pensioners. Free child care. Free 'baby-box' for every new parent. Government investments in renewable energy with the largest wind and wave plants in Europe. More council houses built per head of population than any other part of the Uk- what she announced is an increase in the rate of building and numbers on top of that.
1.4 billion building the Queensberry Crossing- the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world. 651 schools rebuilt or refurbished. Remaking the main motorways linking Glasgow and Edinburgh to create one continuous road between the two. 95% broadband coverage, including rural areas. Rural renewal projects (my own town currently has had the towns historic Burgh Hall which was falling into ruin refurbished and reopened as an art gallery and cafe, the main concert hall and theatre is being demolished and replaced with a brand new modern one and the promenade is being refurbished and the Victorian pier, which had also been falling into disrepair has been completely restored to its former glory) Just because the Daily Mail and co claim the SNP only ever go on about Independence and don't attend to domestic policy its best not to believe them- if the SNP did only go on about independence and not attend to domestic matters people would not keep voting them back into power. Its really as simple as that. }}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:22 pm

so why are the education system and the NHS doing so badly?
is it because all their energies were focussed on Indiref1&2.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2016/05/its-time-snps-terrible-record-government-was-exposed

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:51 pm

{{That article is a year and a half out of date- plus it leaves out the context.
Scottish education prior to devolution was taking place in falling apart buildings and was badly underfunded with large class sizes and almost no preschool child care or education.
After devolution under Labour the situation got a little better, particularly around nursery provision, but not much, buildings were still left in terrible states of repair (so bad there have been deaths of children from collapsing walls) and the standards in education had been slowly slipping for some time.
This was the situation inherited by the SNP- they first embarked on a program of refurbishing and rebuilding the schools themselves and to addressing first class sizes by recruiting and training more teachers and capping the max size a class could be, then the ongoing issue of recruiting teachers, especially for small rural schools and island schools, and finally they went on to address the curriculum itself and the continual slow slide in standards, to completely redo the system and how it works. The effects of that are only just starting to become apparent as the new methods and teaching focus comes into effect, this year was the first year to go through the SNP's Curriculum so its early to say, but early results are encouraging, though in all likelihood it will be a few years yet before the success or otherwise of all this can be evaluated.

The Scottish NHs is in a far better state than the English one. It has remained publicly owned not part private, and new state of the art hospitals have been opened. There is a funding issue as there always is with the NHS, the block grant we have to pay for it from comes out of what Westminster gives us. This is why the SNP are looking at altering the tax bands to increase public spending on the NHS in Scotland.
Target times in Scotland are set by the SNP themselves, -waiting time targets in Scotland for example where increased fomr the 80% levels of the previous Labour government to 90% of people meeting them- they SNP missed that target but hit 83.8%
Meanwhile in England- ' NHS England’s chief executive, has announced that the NHS is significantly relaxing the requirement on hospitals to treat, within 18 weeks, 92% of all patients in England who are waiting for a hip or knee replacement, cataract removal, hernia repair or other non-urgent operation...Stevens said rolling back the 10-year-old 92% target was necessary so that hospitals could concentrate on more urgent priorities, particularly in terms of easing the strain on overloaded A&E departments.'
And this from a recent BBC comparison of NHS in different parts of the UK-

England- The proportion of patients being treated or discharged in time fell below 78%, with nearly half of hospitals declaring major alerts because of a shortage of beds....An estimated one in five patients ended up facing long delays for a bed after an emergency admission - double the normal rate - while ambulance crews reported problems handing over patients to A&E staff....NHS bosses set out a five-year vision for the NHS, which involved a greater emphasis on keeping people well in the community. But savings also have to be made - there is a £22bn target for 2020.
This has led to the development of 44 local plans to overhaul services - some of which involve closing hospitals and cutting staff.'

Scotland- 'Out of all the four nations, hospitals in Scotland seem to have fared the best.
Weekly data shows four-hour performance in major units hovering around the 90% mark during January.
Much of the credit has been given to the way councils and the health service are working together.
Budgets have been pooled, encouraging a close working relationship to help get frail patients out of hospital by providing extra rehabilitation services in the community.
In terms of cancer treatment, over 87% started treatment within 62 days, according to the latest figures, below the 95% target.'

So certainly not without issues, but moving in the right direction of more social care and better working relationships between local health boards and local council providers of social care in the community. I can tell you as a care worker its all way more connected up than it used to be, way more.
And given a choice I would rather be using the Scottish publicly funded model of the NHS than whatever the hell the mess in England's NHS is right now.}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:31 pm

well its a good job the SNP are now concentrating on the real issues and not pie in the sky.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:38 am

I am not so sure it is so pie in the sky. Wait until the effects of brexit starts to become evident, with the disastrous job the tories are making of negotiating a deal, and unlike last time you might very well see major Scottish businesses and the Scottish business class on their feet to get out and stay. Of the UK, that is. Razz

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:24 pm

only most people want to stay in the UK and the SNP will be hammered by Labour in the next general election.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:18 pm

{{ If thats true Figg then it aint showing up in the polls or the votes- at the last General Election with Labour under Corbyn they came third, beat by the Tories of all people in Scotland!- since then they have made up a little ground on the Tories (not on the SNP however) but they are least 18 points trailing the SNP- nowhere near at the moment- and given that Scottish Labour is an ongoing carcrash and currently doesn't even have a leader, hard to see that changing soon. Though never impossible I suppose. }}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:18 pm

Well, obviously it is ultimately the choice of the Scottish people whether they want independence. I certainly agree that if we had had a SNP supported UK Labour government now, Scottish independence would be a lot less likely.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:22 pm

My point of interest however was more to point out that some of the powerful business groups and interests that sided against Scottish independence for economic reasons, might find themselves supporting the other side for the same reasons in case of a bad deal brexit or a no deal brexit. Razz

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:40 pm

https://en.delfi.lt/opinion/catalonia-spain-twilight-for-europe.d?id=76089993

Lithuanian angle on the independence of Catalunya. They have been there themselves, and it tells.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by David H on Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:40 am

I still remember discussions with Catalan independence activists in the hostels and pubs of Barcelona back in the 1980's. What's changed since then is the "grey beards" on both sides -- the men and women who had lived through the chaos and slaughter of the 1930's civil war, and who understood from personal experience the human cost of lighting that fuse. In the 1980's and 90's they were counseling compromise and diplomacy to the younger firebrands, but now those pragmatists are mostly gone and it would seem the young idealists I was meeting 30 years ago are now calling the shots. Very interesting, but very sad Sad

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by halfwise on Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:06 pm

This is why history repeats itself: you don't believe it can happen to you until it does. Then first-hand memory dies out and it the temptation comes back.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:21 am

I am obviously biased, but every time Spain escalates as an answer to an offer of unconditional dialogue, I believe a little more in the Catalan cause and a little less in the Spanish cause. On the one hand, you got progressive political values and self-determination, openness to dialogue, on the other you got repression violence and authoritarianism, and "What I say goes!". And when that is the choice, people should know which way to go.

The attack on Catalan institutions the Spanish government is proposing might be the last straw for a lot of people, because catalans are immensely proud of their autonomous institutions and their parliament, which is among the oldest in the world. The Spanish state has set the aim of taking control of the catalan autonomous government, dissolve the autonomously elected parliament, (in a regional election which had the largest turn out of any vote in catalan history) reconvene elections, (which constitutional experts say the paragraph they are utilizing does not allow) take control of the catalan police force and take control of catalan public broadcasters, to return them to "neutrality". (Spanish media is currently an echo-chamber of nationalism, and the Spanish public broadcaster if effectively a government outlet.)

A further move will probably be to outlaw independence parties, and pro-independence civili society organizations. The Spanish prosecutor is already looking into this, and two catalan civil society leaders are already jailed after a highly political and biased trial.

Does this sound like a democracy to you? No, me neither.

Finally, the argument for Catalonia staying can't be "Oh, they will force you to stay if you try to leave." If a distinct majority of catalans want to leave they will. As a response to Spain closing the door on dialogue Catalonia will most likely declare independence next week. Then it will be up to the catalans to make it effective.

Interestingly, in international law terms the move against autonomy actually finally lends Catalonia international law legitimacy of a unilateral secession. It has been a widely used argument that catalans are living in a free democratic country and are not suppressed. (That "fact" is obviously changing.) And as such a unilateral secession would not be legitimate in the sense of international law. But in the case of unilateral suspension of autonomy it is.



The future of Catalonia is ultimately in the hands of the catalans, anything else is secondary. Now they have to make a choice.

“On one side you got a set of values that’s doom, death, degradation and despair being dealt out like cards off the bottom of the deck by a gray-faced man who hates you. And on the other side you got a girl running through a field of flowers, half-naked and high and laughing in the sunshine. And you offer those two alternatives to a child — a child is too smart to make that mistake. It is not going to go for that gray-faced dude with the cards.”
- David Crosby

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:43 pm

Today Catalonia has delcared independence!

https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/923923607604137985

The Spanish state is however expected to try to crack down on it heavily. A Catalan republic has however been declared, and it is now in the hands of the catalan people to grasp it. If a significant majorit stands up for it, there is no way to stop them. And when they face repression from Madrid, the choice between the two sides shouldn't be difficult.

Things like this was part of what made me argue strongly for Scottish independence, in the ethical black hole that is UK politics. It is a voice Europe needed. Sadly, the Scottish people weren't ready to grasp it.

External Affairs Secretary comments.

Speaking following events in Catalonia today, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

"We understand and respect the position of the Catalan Government. While Spain has the right to oppose independence, the people of Catalonia must have the ability to determine their own future. Today’s Declaration of Independence came about only after repeated calls for dialogue were refused.

"Now, more than ever, the priority of all those who consider themselves friends and allies of Spain should be to encourage a process of dialogue to find a way forward that respects democracy and the rule of law. The imposition of direct rule cannot be the solution and should be of concern to democrats everywhere.

"The European Union has a political and moral responsibility to support dialogue to identify how the situation can be resolved peacefully and democratically.”
https://news.gov.scot/news/statement-on-catalonia-1?

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:49 am

{{Spain have dissolved Catalan autonomy, sacked all the heads of the police there and are replacing them- control of the region has been given to the Spanish PM. The EU as a whole, and the UK, France and Germany in particular have all said they do not recognise the independence of Catalonia and support Spain. No }}}

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by azriel on Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:29 am

Well they would. Its a power hungry game. Sadly its the indigenous people that are hurt in the cross fire. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" & when your at the shitty end of the stick the fight is harder than you can imagine.

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Re: FREEDOM!!!! [4]

Post by Lancebloke on Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:53 am

Will be interesting to see how this plays out. Could get very ugly over the next couple of days.
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