The newly authoritarian tone of politics and government in Spain becomes more evident with every passing week. Following a range of laws passed by Madrid banning many forms of public protest we now have reports that the regional government in Barcelona may be prosecuted by the Spanish state following the recent ad hoc independence referendum for Catalonia where a majority of those who participated supported greater autonomy. From the BBC:
“Catalonia’s President Artur Mas has been placed under formal investigation for his role in the Spanish region’s unofficial vote on independence.
Catalonia’s High Court said it would open proceedings against Mr Mas for allegedly disobeying a constitutional ban against the vote.
The 9 November vote, which was not binding, went ahead despite fierce opposition by the Spanish government.
Catalan officials say more than 80% of those who voted backed independence.
Mr Mas, his deputy Joana Ortega, and Catalan Education Minister Irene Rigau face accusations ranging from disobedience and perverting the course of justice to misuse of public funds.”
Meanwhile in a country that was actually presented with the opportunity to vote for independence the 45% Yes / 55% No split in the Scottish plebiscite continues to have (not entirely) unforeseen consequences for the nation’s political future. From the Daily Record:
“SCOTLAND ends its momentous referendum year as a nation divided with 48 per cent backing independence and an equal number supporting the Union.
A Daily Record opinion poll has found support for independence equally split, with four per cent undecided, three months after the referendum vote.
The state of the nation poll also shows a clear majority want a referendum re-run within the next 10 years, fuelling Alex Salmond’s turn-around from his policy that a referendum would be a “once in a lifetime” event.”
With the SNP riding high in the Scottish polls and the British general election only months away the much-lauded Unionist referendum victory may look increasingly pyrrhic in the years ahead. As some suggested at the time:
I think in Scotland there were probably quite a large slice of the population who were not especially politicised, and who hadn’t really given independence much serious consideration as an actual possibility, after all this is Britain and nothing ever changes here, at least not radically and usually for the worse. So I can well imagine these people suddenly waking up to the realisation on polling day that indy was a real possibility, given the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement and the last minute up-swing in the polls etc. They thus found themselves in an unfamiliar landscape, exciting but scary. When this happens, as for instance when you stray into some unknown territory, the natural reaction is to retreat back to the familiar at least for a while to size things up. Is it safe? I’ll go back another day and cautiously look around, etc. I think this kind of instinct, for that really is just what it is, must have kicked in. They voted NO out of natural initial caution, but then when they’d had time to think it over many changed their minds, hence the rise in the potential YES vote increasing after polling day. Unfortunately those who have been imagining and dreaming about indy for decades find this attitude incomprehensible, but it’s not really, you just have to see it from their POV.
Meanwhile … Scottish Labour are living on borrowed time, there will be a hung parliament at Westminster come May, and seeing how well they worked together as Better Together (aka Project Fear) the Labour and Tory parties will combine in permanent coalition (their policies are already nearly identical, War, Austerity, Elitism …) with the SNP becoming the “Loyal Opposition” — ROTFLMAO! But it could happen, couldn’t it? 😉
Nollaig Chridheal dhuibh uile!