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barcelona-protests

If reports that 700,000 came out in Barcelona are accurate, then Spain in its current borders is likely done for.

This is about as high a percentage of the Barcelona metropolitan area’s 5.4 million as the 500,000 Ukrainians who came out at the height of Euromaidan in the 3.3 million Kiev conglomerate area – and the latter drew from a country of 45 million versus less than 8 million Catalans.

For comparison, the largest of the protests that “shook the Kremlin” during the 2011-12 election season garnered about 100,000 people in a city of well more than 10 million.

I am not writing Spain off entirely. But Madrid’s challenges going ahead are huge.

Around 51% of the all Catalan voters expressed their desire for independence in the recent referendum. After the police violence, and the hardline response of Rajoy and now the King – in itself yet more evidence that Madrid has settled for a police response – this will have surely jumped by another 10% to 20% points.

Good luck trying to arrest the Catalan government under these conditions once they declare independence in a few days. It’s not going to be pretty.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Catalonia, Spain 
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  1. FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The uncomfortably-named Espanyol will finish a very distant second, and Gerona– your choice of three different pronunciations– an even more distant third.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Both Rangers and Celtic need to be nuked. Not a full H-bomb, of course. Just as many of these as necessary to disperse the players and fans on match days: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)
    , @Anonymous
    Soccer is gay.
    , @Randal

    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.
     
    The Catalan separatists have already started talking about Barca playing in the French, Italian or English league, apparently:

    Catalan’s sports minister had already said that teams like Barcelona and Espanyol would be eligible to play in England, France and Italy, as well as Spain, and used teams like Monaco and Swansea of examples of Uefa allowing it.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me. I mean, British football gets all sorts of special treatment basically because it was established so early, but UEFA and FIFA hate that fact with a passion and their apparatchiks probably grit their teeth every time the subject comes up. Monaco plays in the French League because it's a city state with no league of its own.

    That said, there do seem to be quite a lot of teams playing in other countries' leagues for all kinds of reasons:

    List of sports clubs playing in the league of another country

    I imagine the Premier League would be quite tempted by the money-spinning opportunities of having Barca, and are probably less inhibited by motivations other than profit than most other leagues, although clubs that see themselves as on the margins of annual qualification for the Champions League money fountain might object to the entrance of another likely certain qualifier - Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and a few others. Geographically, the French league makes most sense if there's too much ill feeling to play in the Spanish League, although in travel time terms Italy is probably no different.

    Most likely there will be some already very fat lawyers looking forward the most to the possibilities arising out of conflict, chaos and change.
    , @c matt
    But the real question is:

    Will FIFA recognize Catalonia as a past World Cup champion?
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  2. Seems like all of the separatists are now guilty of treason against the Crown.

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  3. It seems to me that a lot of bloodshed is just around the corner.

    On the probably fiddled official voting figures, nearly three million voters are unaccounted for.

    In any event, there were few checks on voter fraud in the illegal referendum. Anybody could download a ballot paper off the internet and return it. Any person with a national ID card could go into any polling station and vote, with no checks between voting locations.

    I suspect that all these points will become academic. There will be no velvet divorce, and Mr Puigdemont will be seen by history as the frontman for a savage conflict.

    But never fear – the Atlantic Council already published a document (back in 2014) about how NATO would cope in the event of Catalan secession.

    I predict that all those Brits now retired down there will be desperately trying to come back, but with no buyers for their holiday homes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Hey Nicky, can you provide a reference for the relevant Atlantic Council document? So far, all I have found is this:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/defense-industrialist/the-military-implications-of-scottish-and-catalonian-secession
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  4. @Reg Cæsar
    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it's going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The uncomfortably-named Espanyol will finish a very distant second, and Gerona-- your choice of three different pronunciations-- an even more distant third.

    Both Rangers and Celtic need to be nuked. Not a full H-bomb, of course. Just as many of these as necessary to disperse the players and fans on match days: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    NFL and College Football are even more obvious candidates. Erase them and a lot more white Americans might start thinking again.
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  5. If Madrid has settled on a police response and arrests their whole government, public support might not matter.

    It’s like 1 player playing chess and another playing tennis.

    I guess people think it’s different because Spain is white and in the EU so it’s can’t be like Venezuela or North Korea. But at the end of the day, the EU, NATO, etc, will all support Spain. None of them will bomb Madrid like they bombed Serbia. Rajoy probably can’t get away with putting them all into forced labor camps without having diplomatic and fiscal problems. Probably still no military intervention though.

    And if you destroy a Spaniard’s Spain there’s no telling what he might do out of spite, especially if he thinks he’s screwed anyway.

    As long as all the crowd beatings are done legally by police according to civil bureaucratic procedure for beating grandmas I suspect all the powers that be will continue to support Spain, with maybe some tokens providing moral support to Catalonia. And then Spain will just have the police arrest the Catalonian government, take regional control, and the cops will wear down the protesters for a month or two with tear gas and sticks until people’s bills start piling up. Then Rajoy gets re-elected maybe.

    Madrid has a limit to how much they can act like Pyongyang but that limit is not none. If the protests escalate into terrorism (defined as whatever they start calling terrorism), he can go further. Up to and including Electric Boogaloo ultimately. But still no executing people with wild dogs. It’s not North Korea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Madrid has a limit to how much they can act like Pyongyang but that limit is not none. If the protests escalate into terrorism (defined as whatever they start calling terrorism), he can go further.
     
    I'm sure that a false flag can be arranged.
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  6. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Reg Cæsar
    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it's going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The uncomfortably-named Espanyol will finish a very distant second, and Gerona-- your choice of three different pronunciations-- an even more distant third.

    Soccer is gay.

    Read More
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  7. @Lars Porsena
    If Madrid has settled on a police response and arrests their whole government, public support might not matter.

    It's like 1 player playing chess and another playing tennis.

    I guess people think it's different because Spain is white and in the EU so it's can't be like Venezuela or North Korea. But at the end of the day, the EU, NATO, etc, will all support Spain. None of them will bomb Madrid like they bombed Serbia. Rajoy probably can't get away with putting them all into forced labor camps without having diplomatic and fiscal problems. Probably still no military intervention though.

    And if you destroy a Spaniard's Spain there's no telling what he might do out of spite, especially if he thinks he's screwed anyway.

    As long as all the crowd beatings are done legally by police according to civil bureaucratic procedure for beating grandmas I suspect all the powers that be will continue to support Spain, with maybe some tokens providing moral support to Catalonia. And then Spain will just have the police arrest the Catalonian government, take regional control, and the cops will wear down the protesters for a month or two with tear gas and sticks until people's bills start piling up. Then Rajoy gets re-elected maybe.

    Madrid has a limit to how much they can act like Pyongyang but that limit is not none. If the protests escalate into terrorism (defined as whatever they start calling terrorism), he can go further. Up to and including Electric Boogaloo ultimately. But still no executing people with wild dogs. It's not North Korea.

    Madrid has a limit to how much they can act like Pyongyang but that limit is not none. If the protests escalate into terrorism (defined as whatever they start calling terrorism), he can go further.

    I’m sure that a false flag can be arranged.

    Read More
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  8. Beckow says:

    It started with EU assisted break-up of Yugoslavia. NATO went as far as to bomb Serbia to force independence for a small province of Kosovo. A fatal error. What we see today has been inevitable since the crazy ‘humanitarian bombing’ of Kosovo.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tyrion

    It started with EU assisted break-up of Yugoslavia. NATO went as far as to bomb Serbia to force independence for a small province of Kosovo. A fatal error. What we see today has been inevitable since the crazy ‘humanitarian bombing’ of Kosovo.

    The chickens are coming home to roost
     
    No seperatism on quasi-nationalist lines did not start with Serbia and Kosovo. Don't be stupid.
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  9. Rajoy’s forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived. There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe, but only in Spain has Central Government taken the bait and tried to stop it. As Master Anatoly wrote himself, someone might have been killed. A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
    After a few weeks, things might slowly return to normality as it was realised that Catalan independence was not recognised internationally, crucially at the EU level. That would settle things in the short and medium term.
    If Rajoy and his circle decided this course of action on their own, then truly they are rash and foolish people.
    If their actions were taken on the advice of NATO, EU , other European Governments etc, you must ask cui bono ? A violent response can only result in a massive boost in independence sentiment and make Catalan Independence much more probable. Violent action is counterproductive, unless, of course, you, secretly or not, want the break-up of Spain.
    The EU has been pushing a ” Europe of the Regions” for a long time now. Regionalisation is meant to make Europe more governable for the EU superstate. But Rajoy would surely be aware of this. But you’ve got to ask, what’s in it for NATO and France and Germany. I can’t believe that Rajoy would go against the advice of Germany and France.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Rajoy’s forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived.
     
    Seems over-stated to me to get excited about the Spanish government and police's actions as "violent". Judging from the video reports, I have personally seen more aggressive and violent police behaviour at football matches (let alone the miners' strike here in the mid-1980s), and the police were basically just trying to do their job and enforce the law against wilful lawbreakers. If it had been going on in the US, or even probably in England, there'd have been a lot more heads broken and a lot less sympathy for the "victims".

    I expected some backlash against the attempt to impose central authority - that's normal human nature, but I must admit that the scale of the seeming hysteria over the "police brutality" has rather taken me by surprise. That kind of hysterical exaggeration is to be expected from partisans using it as propaganda, but not from honest neutrals and certainly not from opponents who generally should be expected to be unsympathetic towards "victims" of "police brutality" who basically asked for it by defying the law (and yes, I understand that they don't accept that law or authority as legitimate - that's beside the point). Initial reports suggested almost no sympathy for the separatists in the rest of Spain, but I have seen at least one report suggesting that might have shifted somewhat.

    Perhaps I'm getting too old to judge reactions in modern cultures accurately, or perhaps I'm right and just giving too much credence to manipulative and sensationalist reports.

    Perhaps rather than the Catalan separatists not having the stomach for a fight for independence, it will prove to be the Catalan unionists and the Spanish who don't have the stomach to suppress it. Fortunately I don't really have a dog in the fight and I can see advantages and disadvantages to either outcome - probably more, in terms of short term disruption of the EU and EU elites, from a separatist victory than from the reverse.

    I'll get some more popcorn in.
    , @Anon

    A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
     
    They did not want to risk another Brexit-like vote.
    Alienating people can be more acceptable than letting the separatists win a majority mandate to leave.
    , @BB753
    "There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe"

    I'm curious. Where exactly? Not in Corsica, not in Brittany that I'm aware of. It hasn't happened in Bavaria either, who has a greater claim to being an actual country than Catalonia. Not even in "Padania". So, where, please?

    , @Bill
    If the Spanish had done nothing, then the Catalans would have held an organized, free, fair, high-turnout and thus presumably representative ballot. That would have cut off the possibility of arguing that the balloting was so defective as to be meaningless. As it is, it is at least plausible that the results of the ballot are not representative. The "violent" response of Spain was a win.
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  10. @Cagey Beast
    Both Rangers and Celtic need to be nuked. Not a full H-bomb, of course. Just as many of these as necessary to disperse the players and fans on match days: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett_(nuclear_device)

    NFL and College Football are even more obvious candidates. Erase them and a lot more white Americans might start thinking again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Isn't it amazing that these various sports leagues and teams were originally set up to be a healthy alternative to other social vices? The various types of football (soccer, rugby, American collegiate) were meant to get working class guys and students out in the fresh air and away from drinking on their time off. Now it's used for cheering African millionaire felons.
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  11. Randal says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it's going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The uncomfortably-named Espanyol will finish a very distant second, and Gerona-- your choice of three different pronunciations-- an even more distant third.

    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The Catalan separatists have already started talking about Barca playing in the French, Italian or English league, apparently:

    Catalan’s sports minister had already said that teams like Barcelona and Espanyol would be eligible to play in England, France and Italy, as well as Spain, and used teams like Monaco and Swansea of examples of Uefa allowing it.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me. I mean, British football gets all sorts of special treatment basically because it was established so early, but UEFA and FIFA hate that fact with a passion and their apparatchiks probably grit their teeth every time the subject comes up. Monaco plays in the French League because it’s a city state with no league of its own.

    That said, there do seem to be quite a lot of teams playing in other countries’ leagues for all kinds of reasons:

    List of sports clubs playing in the league of another country

    I imagine the Premier League would be quite tempted by the money-spinning opportunities of having Barca, and are probably less inhibited by motivations other than profit than most other leagues, although clubs that see themselves as on the margins of annual qualification for the Champions League money fountain might object to the entrance of another likely certain qualifier – Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and a few others. Geographically, the French league makes most sense if there’s too much ill feeling to play in the Spanish League, although in travel time terms Italy is probably no different.

    Most likely there will be some already very fat lawyers looking forward the most to the possibilities arising out of conflict, chaos and change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @DNC
    There would be a lot more teams than just Liverpool and Arsenal objecting to Barca's participation in the PL. Barca would easily dethrone Chelsea and the Mancs.
    , @jimmyriddle
    UEFA rejected a plan to allow Celtic and Rangers to play in the English leagues.
    , @c matt
    Not to mention the various Canadian teams playing in American sports leagues.
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  12. Randal says:
    @Verymuchalive
    Rajoy's forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived. There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe, but only in Spain has Central Government taken the bait and tried to stop it. As Master Anatoly wrote himself, someone might have been killed. A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
    After a few weeks, things might slowly return to normality as it was realised that Catalan independence was not recognised internationally, crucially at the EU level. That would settle things in the short and medium term.
    If Rajoy and his circle decided this course of action on their own, then truly they are rash and foolish people.
    If their actions were taken on the advice of NATO, EU , other European Governments etc, you must ask cui bono ? A violent response can only result in a massive boost in independence sentiment and make Catalan Independence much more probable. Violent action is counterproductive, unless, of course, you, secretly or not, want the break-up of Spain.
    The EU has been pushing a " Europe of the Regions" for a long time now. Regionalisation is meant to make Europe more governable for the EU superstate. But Rajoy would surely be aware of this. But you've got to ask, what's in it for NATO and France and Germany. I can't believe that Rajoy would go against the advice of Germany and France.

    Rajoy’s forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived.

    Seems over-stated to me to get excited about the Spanish government and police’s actions as “violent”. Judging from the video reports, I have personally seen more aggressive and violent police behaviour at football matches (let alone the miners’ strike here in the mid-1980s), and the police were basically just trying to do their job and enforce the law against wilful lawbreakers. If it had been going on in the US, or even probably in England, there’d have been a lot more heads broken and a lot less sympathy for the “victims”.

    I expected some backlash against the attempt to impose central authority – that’s normal human nature, but I must admit that the scale of the seeming hysteria over the “police brutality” has rather taken me by surprise. That kind of hysterical exaggeration is to be expected from partisans using it as propaganda, but not from honest neutrals and certainly not from opponents who generally should be expected to be unsympathetic towards “victims” of “police brutality” who basically asked for it by defying the law (and yes, I understand that they don’t accept that law or authority as legitimate – that’s beside the point). Initial reports suggested almost no sympathy for the separatists in the rest of Spain, but I have seen at least one report suggesting that might have shifted somewhat.

    Perhaps I’m getting too old to judge reactions in modern cultures accurately, or perhaps I’m right and just giving too much credence to manipulative and sensationalist reports.

    Perhaps rather than the Catalan separatists not having the stomach for a fight for independence, it will prove to be the Catalan unionists and the Spanish who don’t have the stomach to suppress it. Fortunately I don’t really have a dog in the fight and I can see advantages and disadvantages to either outcome – probably more, in terms of short term disruption of the EU and EU elites, from a separatist victory than from the reverse.

    I’ll get some more popcorn in.

    Read More
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    The violence wasn't exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.

    If independence is declared, what can the Catalans do? They'll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority). Have they thought about how banking will pan out with fiscal and monetary independence? Can't see the ECB letting them print Euros, for example.

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won't be next week.
    , @Verymuchalive
    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
    It would boost independence sentiment considerably and preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully. The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
    Time will tell.
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  13. @Tsar Nicholas
    It seems to me that a lot of bloodshed is just around the corner.

    On the probably fiddled official voting figures, nearly three million voters are unaccounted for.

    In any event, there were few checks on voter fraud in the illegal referendum. Anybody could download a ballot paper off the internet and return it. Any person with a national ID card could go into any polling station and vote, with no checks between voting locations.

    I suspect that all these points will become academic. There will be no velvet divorce, and Mr Puigdemont will be seen by history as the frontman for a savage conflict.

    But never fear - the Atlantic Council already published a document (back in 2014) about how NATO would cope in the event of Catalan secession.

    I predict that all those Brits now retired down there will be desperately trying to come back, but with no buyers for their holiday homes.

    Hey Nicky, can you provide a reference for the relevant Atlantic Council document? So far, all I have found is this:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/defense-industrialist/the-military-implications-of-scottish-and-catalonian-secession

    Read More
    • Replies: @Tsar Nicholas
    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/defense-industrialist/the-military-implications-of-scottish-and-catalonian-secession

    That document is the one to which I was referring. A quotation from it here:

    Catalonia has 7.3 million people, with more than $300 billion in GDP. Spending just 1.6% of that on defense provides over $4.5 billion annually, or roughly the budget of Denmark, which has well-regarded and efficient armed forces. Catalonian military plans are more vague, but so far, they emphasize the navy. With excellent ports in Barcelona and Tarragona, Catalonia is well-positioned as a minor naval power, ‘with the Mediterranean as our strategic environment, and NATO as our framework’, as the nationalists’ think-tank on defense argues. The rough plans call for a littoral security group of a few hundred sailors at first. After a few years, Catalonia would assume responsibility as “a main actor in the Mediterranean,” with land-based maritime patrol aircraft and small surface combatants. Eventually, the nationalist ambition may include an expeditionary group with a light assault carrier and hundreds of marines, to take a serious role in collective security.
     

    H/T Tony Cartalucci
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  14. Do we really think 500,000 came out for the maidan?
    The 400 000 to 800 000 estimate in Wikipedia* comes from, er, Boris Nemstvov.
    The Maidan itself, as far as I can tell from google maps is about 30,000 msquared so about 20 persons per square metre. Or more reasonably it means they covered an area of 5 maidans.

    And this estimate was made in December 2013 – was that the peak of the maidan?

    Mind you, 100 000 against Putin in 2011/12. 400 000 against the proposed foxhunting ban in London 2002 (countryside protest).

    *perhaps not surprisingly the wiki article has changed from giving estimate and source in the text, to giving the estimate “as fact” in the facts box, but with a numbered footnote linking to an Atlantic article, which if clicked through uncovers the bizzarity that Nemstvov is the sources. History being re-written day by day

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  15. Who cares! The global indifference is more evidence of the west’s decline in importance – a ho-hum meditterenean micro ethno state “breaking free” is not news anymore.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    t. shitskin
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  16. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Verymuchalive
    Rajoy's forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived. There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe, but only in Spain has Central Government taken the bait and tried to stop it. As Master Anatoly wrote himself, someone might have been killed. A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
    After a few weeks, things might slowly return to normality as it was realised that Catalan independence was not recognised internationally, crucially at the EU level. That would settle things in the short and medium term.
    If Rajoy and his circle decided this course of action on their own, then truly they are rash and foolish people.
    If their actions were taken on the advice of NATO, EU , other European Governments etc, you must ask cui bono ? A violent response can only result in a massive boost in independence sentiment and make Catalan Independence much more probable. Violent action is counterproductive, unless, of course, you, secretly or not, want the break-up of Spain.
    The EU has been pushing a " Europe of the Regions" for a long time now. Regionalisation is meant to make Europe more governable for the EU superstate. But Rajoy would surely be aware of this. But you've got to ask, what's in it for NATO and France and Germany. I can't believe that Rajoy would go against the advice of Germany and France.

    A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.

    They did not want to risk another Brexit-like vote.
    Alienating people can be more acceptable than letting the separatists win a majority mandate to leave.

    Read More
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  17. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Psuedoshankar
    Who cares! The global indifference is more evidence of the west's decline in importance - a ho-hum meditterenean micro ethno state "breaking free" is not news anymore.

    t. shitskin

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  18. Catalonia is analogous to Donbass, not Kiev.

    To achieve something, they need to start organizing paramilitary units, arming them (by talking over police stations), and shooting at the federales – the usual. But they are pacifists, so most likely nothing is going to happen. It’ll bubble and fizzle away.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Grosser Gott im Himmel, I actually agree with you. :)

    Excellent point.
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  19. @The Big Red Scary
    Hey Nicky, can you provide a reference for the relevant Atlantic Council document? So far, all I have found is this:

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/defense-industrialist/the-military-implications-of-scottish-and-catalonian-secession

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/defense-industrialist/the-military-implications-of-scottish-and-catalonian-secession

    That document is the one to which I was referring. A quotation from it here:

    Catalonia has 7.3 million people, with more than $300 billion in GDP. Spending just 1.6% of that on defense provides over $4.5 billion annually, or roughly the budget of Denmark, which has well-regarded and efficient armed forces. Catalonian military plans are more vague, but so far, they emphasize the navy. With excellent ports in Barcelona and Tarragona, Catalonia is well-positioned as a minor naval power, ‘with the Mediterranean as our strategic environment, and NATO as our framework’, as the nationalists’ think-tank on defense argues. The rough plans call for a littoral security group of a few hundred sailors at first. After a few years, Catalonia would assume responsibility as “a main actor in the Mediterranean,” with land-based maritime patrol aircraft and small surface combatants. Eventually, the nationalist ambition may include an expeditionary group with a light assault carrier and hundreds of marines, to take a serious role in collective security.

    H/T Tony Cartalucci

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  20. Brabantian says: • Website

    A new Europe is being born. As even Spanish EU officials themselves will tell you privately, Spain is ‘over’, it is breaking up, tho the scenario could play out in different ways & at some length. The Basques could leave, also some of the Catalan-speaking areas outside Catalonia, and the Galicians north of Portugal who speak a Portuguese variant.

    What is perhaps also as important, is how the citizenry both in Spain & across Europe, have become significantly more alienated from their governmental overlords, by these events in Catalonia. A great part of all Europeans, including perhaps even the majority of Spaniards, are now sympathetic to the Catalans, whilst the politicians speak from their echo chamber blind to how silly they sound.

    That needs to be put into the context of not only Brexit, but also the East European Visegrád group countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & Slovakia – getting ready to lock borders & leave the EU over the migrant issue. Mr Karlin has a good point about foreign (German) ownership in those countries, but I don’t think that can block the nationalist wave.

    And ultimately we have the EU’s darkest secret … that countries do quite ok outside the EU in Europe, cf. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, & the 5 mini-states of Andorra (Catalan-speaking, by the way), Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, & the Vatican. That secret is becoming better known. What we have, really, is the devolution of the EU, back to what it was in the 1980s … a trade & commerce group with some cultural ties.

    We also have the fact that a faction of the international oligarchy – tied in with Zionism & Israel’s Netanyahu – quite likes the ‘nationalist’ theme as having much better political psychology than the George Soros globalist hogwash. Israel is a winner here with Catalonia becoming independent, and there are a lot of big players behind that.

    The significant wild card here, is the upcoming financial collapse of the banking & financial sector globally, which could be possibly triggered by Spain – Catalonia, though it may be sparked some months later by a fault in China’s 40 trillion debt bubble or elsewhere as well. That is when ‘local’ will seem much smarter & better, and we may see the big grand secession of our times, the break-up of the United States after the US dollar is no longer ‘reserve currency’, international debt is re-cast into the IMF’s SDRs, and the USA must pay ‘real money’ for its half-trillion annual in extra imports.

    By then, Catalonia’s independence will be small potatoes, tho we might look back & say that’s when it all started.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    I don't think there's any other significant appetite to leave except among Basques.
    , @ussr andy

    We also have the fact that a faction of the international oligarchy – tied in with Zionism & Israel’s Netanyahu – quite likes the ‘nationalist’ theme
     
    nationalism is on the uprise because it's a genuine psychological need. If a faction of Teh Juice™ are behind it, so much the better.
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  21. DNC says:
    @Randal

    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.
     
    The Catalan separatists have already started talking about Barca playing in the French, Italian or English league, apparently:

    Catalan’s sports minister had already said that teams like Barcelona and Espanyol would be eligible to play in England, France and Italy, as well as Spain, and used teams like Monaco and Swansea of examples of Uefa allowing it.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me. I mean, British football gets all sorts of special treatment basically because it was established so early, but UEFA and FIFA hate that fact with a passion and their apparatchiks probably grit their teeth every time the subject comes up. Monaco plays in the French League because it's a city state with no league of its own.

    That said, there do seem to be quite a lot of teams playing in other countries' leagues for all kinds of reasons:

    List of sports clubs playing in the league of another country

    I imagine the Premier League would be quite tempted by the money-spinning opportunities of having Barca, and are probably less inhibited by motivations other than profit than most other leagues, although clubs that see themselves as on the margins of annual qualification for the Champions League money fountain might object to the entrance of another likely certain qualifier - Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and a few others. Geographically, the French league makes most sense if there's too much ill feeling to play in the Spanish League, although in travel time terms Italy is probably no different.

    Most likely there will be some already very fat lawyers looking forward the most to the possibilities arising out of conflict, chaos and change.

    There would be a lot more teams than just Liverpool and Arsenal objecting to Barca’s participation in the PL. Barca would easily dethrone Chelsea and the Mancs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Doubt it. Regardless, Chelsea and the Manchester teams would probably still qualify for the CL most seasons anyway along with Barca. And the money to be made probably talks louder than trophies.
    , @michael dr
    No not actually. Real Madrid and Barcelona had always sold their TV rights by themselves, taking some 90% of all Spanish TV revenues. That changed in 2016 to a more democratic method and any move to the UK will mean Barcelona would have to accept an even small share of the (bigger) pot.

    Moreover Barca would certainly struggle for a season or two playing 38 tough Premier League games and 8-12 Champions League games as opposed to the 4 + 8-12 that they face in La Liga where only two teams challenge them.

    But in fact Catalonia would be a catalyst for a bigger change - where either The Premier League invites 5 or 6 European teams into a mega league (Barca, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and perhaps Juventus) or UEFA will finally get their act together and create such a European Super League themselves. On or the other is probable eventually, irrespective of Catalonia.
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  22. Randal says:
    @DNC
    There would be a lot more teams than just Liverpool and Arsenal objecting to Barca's participation in the PL. Barca would easily dethrone Chelsea and the Mancs.

    Doubt it. Regardless, Chelsea and the Manchester teams would probably still qualify for the CL most seasons anyway along with Barca. And the money to be made probably talks louder than trophies.

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  23. Even more impressive, given Barcelona is not a nationalist hotbed and is heavily non-Catalan ethnically.

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  24. @Randal

    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.
     
    The Catalan separatists have already started talking about Barca playing in the French, Italian or English league, apparently:

    Catalan’s sports minister had already said that teams like Barcelona and Espanyol would be eligible to play in England, France and Italy, as well as Spain, and used teams like Monaco and Swansea of examples of Uefa allowing it.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me. I mean, British football gets all sorts of special treatment basically because it was established so early, but UEFA and FIFA hate that fact with a passion and their apparatchiks probably grit their teeth every time the subject comes up. Monaco plays in the French League because it's a city state with no league of its own.

    That said, there do seem to be quite a lot of teams playing in other countries' leagues for all kinds of reasons:

    List of sports clubs playing in the league of another country

    I imagine the Premier League would be quite tempted by the money-spinning opportunities of having Barca, and are probably less inhibited by motivations other than profit than most other leagues, although clubs that see themselves as on the margins of annual qualification for the Champions League money fountain might object to the entrance of another likely certain qualifier - Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and a few others. Geographically, the French league makes most sense if there's too much ill feeling to play in the Spanish League, although in travel time terms Italy is probably no different.

    Most likely there will be some already very fat lawyers looking forward the most to the possibilities arising out of conflict, chaos and change.

    UEFA rejected a plan to allow Celtic and Rangers to play in the English leagues.

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  25. @Randal

    Rajoy’s forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived.
     
    Seems over-stated to me to get excited about the Spanish government and police's actions as "violent". Judging from the video reports, I have personally seen more aggressive and violent police behaviour at football matches (let alone the miners' strike here in the mid-1980s), and the police were basically just trying to do their job and enforce the law against wilful lawbreakers. If it had been going on in the US, or even probably in England, there'd have been a lot more heads broken and a lot less sympathy for the "victims".

    I expected some backlash against the attempt to impose central authority - that's normal human nature, but I must admit that the scale of the seeming hysteria over the "police brutality" has rather taken me by surprise. That kind of hysterical exaggeration is to be expected from partisans using it as propaganda, but not from honest neutrals and certainly not from opponents who generally should be expected to be unsympathetic towards "victims" of "police brutality" who basically asked for it by defying the law (and yes, I understand that they don't accept that law or authority as legitimate - that's beside the point). Initial reports suggested almost no sympathy for the separatists in the rest of Spain, but I have seen at least one report suggesting that might have shifted somewhat.

    Perhaps I'm getting too old to judge reactions in modern cultures accurately, or perhaps I'm right and just giving too much credence to manipulative and sensationalist reports.

    Perhaps rather than the Catalan separatists not having the stomach for a fight for independence, it will prove to be the Catalan unionists and the Spanish who don't have the stomach to suppress it. Fortunately I don't really have a dog in the fight and I can see advantages and disadvantages to either outcome - probably more, in terms of short term disruption of the EU and EU elites, from a separatist victory than from the reverse.

    I'll get some more popcorn in.

    The violence wasn’t exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.

    If independence is declared, what can the Catalans do? They’ll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority). Have they thought about how banking will pan out with fiscal and monetary independence? Can’t see the ECB letting them print Euros, for example.

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won’t be next week.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    The violence wasn’t exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.
     
    Exactly. It seems a handful of rubber bullets were fired when a mob threatened to overwhelm the police at one point, but that's about it for real state "brutality".

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won’t be next week.
     
    I could see attempts to use mobs to obstruct the arrests, occupations of regional government buildings etc. But if the Spanish government holds its nerve there seems no reason at the moment why they shouldn't successfully suppress any UDI. A few weeks in and it will all look a lot less appealing to the hotheads.
    , @Anon

    They’ll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority).
     
    What about Venezuela?
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  26. 5371 says:
    @Brabantian
    A new Europe is being born. As even Spanish EU officials themselves will tell you privately, Spain is 'over', it is breaking up, tho the scenario could play out in different ways & at some length. The Basques could leave, also some of the Catalan-speaking areas outside Catalonia, and the Galicians north of Portugal who speak a Portuguese variant.

    What is perhaps also as important, is how the citizenry both in Spain & across Europe, have become significantly more alienated from their governmental overlords, by these events in Catalonia. A great part of all Europeans, including perhaps even the majority of Spaniards, are now sympathetic to the Catalans, whilst the politicians speak from their echo chamber blind to how silly they sound.

    That needs to be put into the context of not only Brexit, but also the East European Visegrád group countries - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & Slovakia - getting ready to lock borders & leave the EU over the migrant issue. Mr Karlin has a good point about foreign (German) ownership in those countries, but I don't think that can block the nationalist wave.

    And ultimately we have the EU's darkest secret ... that countries do quite ok outside the EU in Europe, cf. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, & the 5 mini-states of Andorra (Catalan-speaking, by the way), Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, & the Vatican. That secret is becoming better known. What we have, really, is the devolution of the EU, back to what it was in the 1980s ... a trade & commerce group with some cultural ties.

    We also have the fact that a faction of the international oligarchy - tied in with Zionism & Israel's Netanyahu - quite likes the 'nationalist' theme as having much better political psychology than the George Soros globalist hogwash. Israel is a winner here with Catalonia becoming independent, and there are a lot of big players behind that.

    The significant wild card here, is the upcoming financial collapse of the banking & financial sector globally, which could be possibly triggered by Spain - Catalonia, though it may be sparked some months later by a fault in China's 40 trillion debt bubble or elsewhere as well. That is when 'local' will seem much smarter & better, and we may see the big grand secession of our times, the break-up of the United States after the US dollar is no longer 'reserve currency', international debt is re-cast into the IMF's SDRs, and the USA must pay 'real money' for its half-trillion annual in extra imports.

    By then, Catalonia's independence will be small potatoes, tho we might look back & say that's when it all started.

    I don’t think there’s any other significant appetite to leave except among Basques.

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  27. @Randal

    Rajoy’s forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived.
     
    Seems over-stated to me to get excited about the Spanish government and police's actions as "violent". Judging from the video reports, I have personally seen more aggressive and violent police behaviour at football matches (let alone the miners' strike here in the mid-1980s), and the police were basically just trying to do their job and enforce the law against wilful lawbreakers. If it had been going on in the US, or even probably in England, there'd have been a lot more heads broken and a lot less sympathy for the "victims".

    I expected some backlash against the attempt to impose central authority - that's normal human nature, but I must admit that the scale of the seeming hysteria over the "police brutality" has rather taken me by surprise. That kind of hysterical exaggeration is to be expected from partisans using it as propaganda, but not from honest neutrals and certainly not from opponents who generally should be expected to be unsympathetic towards "victims" of "police brutality" who basically asked for it by defying the law (and yes, I understand that they don't accept that law or authority as legitimate - that's beside the point). Initial reports suggested almost no sympathy for the separatists in the rest of Spain, but I have seen at least one report suggesting that might have shifted somewhat.

    Perhaps I'm getting too old to judge reactions in modern cultures accurately, or perhaps I'm right and just giving too much credence to manipulative and sensationalist reports.

    Perhaps rather than the Catalan separatists not having the stomach for a fight for independence, it will prove to be the Catalan unionists and the Spanish who don't have the stomach to suppress it. Fortunately I don't really have a dog in the fight and I can see advantages and disadvantages to either outcome - probably more, in terms of short term disruption of the EU and EU elites, from a separatist victory than from the reverse.

    I'll get some more popcorn in.

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
    It would boost independence sentiment considerably and preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully. The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
    Time will tell.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
     
    Because the most important thing was probably to avoid the possibility of a successful ballot that gave the separatists a clear majority mandate for secession. Now we have a counted turnout of only 43% and only 2m (out of 5.3m Catalan voters) counted votes for independence. For all it's quite reasonable for Anatoly to refer to the Catalan separatists' claims of "up to 770,000 additional votes" confiscated by the government action, that remains just contested "estimates".

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence, in a vote with quite a lot of legitimacy, albeit technically illegal under Spanish law.

    It also avoids any possibility of the separatists claiming their ballot was effectively condoned by the Madrid government and that a declaration of independence would be similarly unopposed.

    Granted there has been an inevitable surge in sympathy for the separatist cause as a result of the application of central authority, but such support is likely to be temporary and not at all committed, and Madrid can probably just wait it out. Most of the stuff about "police brutality" is sentimental nonsense anyway.

    preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully
     
    Rajoy presumably concluded that the affair was not going to fizzle out, and that the separatists were serious in their claimed intention of declaring independence. In that case, there was going to have to be force used at some point in any case.

    The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
     
    On the contrary - it's exactly the kind of issue over which rivers of blood have been shed throughout history. If neither side blinks and a compromise is not reached, then plenty of people are going to get hurt and quite possibly die as a result of it.

    Family, faith, liberty, nation. Are there in fact any less ridiculous things to die for?

    In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
     
    Presumably they will suspend the regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, take the regional police under central control, and replace its senior ranks. Presumably the separatists will attempt to resist this with mass "passive" resistance - mobs obstructing the arrest of their leaders, occupations of buildings, strikes.

    But it will be no particular skin off Madrid's nose if Catalonia stews for a while, so long as enough of the rest of Spain blames the Catalan separatists for it for the government to maintain order in the rest of Spain.
    , @Sam Haysom
    Rajoy is likely a die hard Spanish integeralist- he is from Galicia after all- who boldly saw an opputunity to claw back some the powers devolved to Catalonia in the aftermath to a failed separatist bid. I imagine the second class status of non-Catalonians fills him with anger and he would like to reverse it. A messy separatist bid as opposed to one that just fizzles out gives him the opputunity to root out the pillars of Catalonian seperatism.

    Plus it was the best way possible of testing how long his leash is. Without EU support Catalonia is screwed it is clear now that the EU will support basically any actions Rajoy undertakes including the deployment of the military should that be necessary.
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  28. Randal says:
    @YetAnotherAnon
    The violence wasn't exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.

    If independence is declared, what can the Catalans do? They'll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority). Have they thought about how banking will pan out with fiscal and monetary independence? Can't see the ECB letting them print Euros, for example.

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won't be next week.

    The violence wasn’t exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.

    Exactly. It seems a handful of rubber bullets were fired when a mob threatened to overwhelm the police at one point, but that’s about it for real state “brutality”.

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won’t be next week.

    I could see attempts to use mobs to obstruct the arrests, occupations of regional government buildings etc. But if the Spanish government holds its nerve there seems no reason at the moment why they shouldn’t successfully suppress any UDI. A few weeks in and it will all look a lot less appealing to the hotheads.

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  29. @Verymuchalive
    NFL and College Football are even more obvious candidates. Erase them and a lot more white Americans might start thinking again.

    Isn’t it amazing that these various sports leagues and teams were originally set up to be a healthy alternative to other social vices? The various types of football (soccer, rugby, American collegiate) were meant to get working class guys and students out in the fresh air and away from drinking on their time off. Now it’s used for cheering African millionaire felons.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    You shouldn't need to nuke the NFL, just abolish the players' parole and send them back to prison.
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  30. Randal says:
    @Verymuchalive
    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
    It would boost independence sentiment considerably and preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully. The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
    Time will tell.

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?

    Because the most important thing was probably to avoid the possibility of a successful ballot that gave the separatists a clear majority mandate for secession. Now we have a counted turnout of only 43% and only 2m (out of 5.3m Catalan voters) counted votes for independence. For all it’s quite reasonable for Anatoly to refer to the Catalan separatists’ claims of “up to 770,000 additional votes” confiscated by the government action, that remains just contested “estimates”.

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence, in a vote with quite a lot of legitimacy, albeit technically illegal under Spanish law.

    It also avoids any possibility of the separatists claiming their ballot was effectively condoned by the Madrid government and that a declaration of independence would be similarly unopposed.

    Granted there has been an inevitable surge in sympathy for the separatist cause as a result of the application of central authority, but such support is likely to be temporary and not at all committed, and Madrid can probably just wait it out. Most of the stuff about “police brutality” is sentimental nonsense anyway.

    preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully

    Rajoy presumably concluded that the affair was not going to fizzle out, and that the separatists were serious in their claimed intention of declaring independence. In that case, there was going to have to be force used at some point in any case.

    The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.

    On the contrary – it’s exactly the kind of issue over which rivers of blood have been shed throughout history. If neither side blinks and a compromise is not reached, then plenty of people are going to get hurt and quite possibly die as a result of it.

    Family, faith, liberty, nation. Are there in fact any less ridiculous things to die for?

    In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?

    Presumably they will suspend the regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, take the regional police under central control, and replace its senior ranks. Presumably the separatists will attempt to resist this with mass “passive” resistance – mobs obstructing the arrest of their leaders, occupations of buildings, strikes.

    But it will be no particular skin off Madrid’s nose if Catalonia stews for a while, so long as enough of the rest of Spain blames the Catalan separatists for it for the government to maintain order in the rest of Spain.

    Read More
    • Replies: @for-the-record
    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence

    Are you sure of that? The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to "No". In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If "no" voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.

    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your "informal" referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position "sin salida".

    , @Verymuchalive
    Violent suppression isn't going to work. All it means is an ever larger majority of Catalans in favour of Independence and increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad. Also, the armed forces, as in nearly all Post-Cold War countries, are too small to deal with emergencies/insurgencies of this scale. Add to which, there are almost certainly serious divisions in the military. A small minority may be sympathetic to the secessionists, but many will be very dubious about the efficacy of military action.
    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !
    , @5371
    It's impossible for a democratic government in the EU to keep up that approach for long. Spanish assets are already suffering on the financial markets; the EU attitude will change if the contagion reaches theirs, and neither will all Spanish parties stay on board. The Spanish government will either have to bend or abolish democracy.
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  31. ussr andy says:
    @Brabantian
    A new Europe is being born. As even Spanish EU officials themselves will tell you privately, Spain is 'over', it is breaking up, tho the scenario could play out in different ways & at some length. The Basques could leave, also some of the Catalan-speaking areas outside Catalonia, and the Galicians north of Portugal who speak a Portuguese variant.

    What is perhaps also as important, is how the citizenry both in Spain & across Europe, have become significantly more alienated from their governmental overlords, by these events in Catalonia. A great part of all Europeans, including perhaps even the majority of Spaniards, are now sympathetic to the Catalans, whilst the politicians speak from their echo chamber blind to how silly they sound.

    That needs to be put into the context of not only Brexit, but also the East European Visegrád group countries - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland & Slovakia - getting ready to lock borders & leave the EU over the migrant issue. Mr Karlin has a good point about foreign (German) ownership in those countries, but I don't think that can block the nationalist wave.

    And ultimately we have the EU's darkest secret ... that countries do quite ok outside the EU in Europe, cf. Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, & the 5 mini-states of Andorra (Catalan-speaking, by the way), Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein, & the Vatican. That secret is becoming better known. What we have, really, is the devolution of the EU, back to what it was in the 1980s ... a trade & commerce group with some cultural ties.

    We also have the fact that a faction of the international oligarchy - tied in with Zionism & Israel's Netanyahu - quite likes the 'nationalist' theme as having much better political psychology than the George Soros globalist hogwash. Israel is a winner here with Catalonia becoming independent, and there are a lot of big players behind that.

    The significant wild card here, is the upcoming financial collapse of the banking & financial sector globally, which could be possibly triggered by Spain - Catalonia, though it may be sparked some months later by a fault in China's 40 trillion debt bubble or elsewhere as well. That is when 'local' will seem much smarter & better, and we may see the big grand secession of our times, the break-up of the United States after the US dollar is no longer 'reserve currency', international debt is re-cast into the IMF's SDRs, and the USA must pay 'real money' for its half-trillion annual in extra imports.

    By then, Catalonia's independence will be small potatoes, tho we might look back & say that's when it all started.

    We also have the fact that a faction of the international oligarchy – tied in with Zionism & Israel’s Netanyahu – quite likes the ‘nationalist’ theme

    nationalism is on the uprise because it’s a genuine psychological need. If a faction of Teh Juice™ are behind it, so much the better.

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  32. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @YetAnotherAnon
    The violence wasn't exactly 1934 levels, was it? More like the way the UK police remove demonstrators outside a military base.

    If independence is declared, what can the Catalans do? They'll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority). Have they thought about how banking will pan out with fiscal and monetary independence? Can't see the ECB letting them print Euros, for example.

    If Spain send national police to arrest those Catalan deputies who vote to leave Spain I can see there being sullen acquiescence, followed in time by attacks on said police. But that won't be next week.

    They’ll get zero support from any national government IMHO (maybe NK, Donbass and the Palestinian Authority).

    What about Venezuela?

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  33. @Randal

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
     
    Because the most important thing was probably to avoid the possibility of a successful ballot that gave the separatists a clear majority mandate for secession. Now we have a counted turnout of only 43% and only 2m (out of 5.3m Catalan voters) counted votes for independence. For all it's quite reasonable for Anatoly to refer to the Catalan separatists' claims of "up to 770,000 additional votes" confiscated by the government action, that remains just contested "estimates".

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence, in a vote with quite a lot of legitimacy, albeit technically illegal under Spanish law.

    It also avoids any possibility of the separatists claiming their ballot was effectively condoned by the Madrid government and that a declaration of independence would be similarly unopposed.

    Granted there has been an inevitable surge in sympathy for the separatist cause as a result of the application of central authority, but such support is likely to be temporary and not at all committed, and Madrid can probably just wait it out. Most of the stuff about "police brutality" is sentimental nonsense anyway.

    preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully
     
    Rajoy presumably concluded that the affair was not going to fizzle out, and that the separatists were serious in their claimed intention of declaring independence. In that case, there was going to have to be force used at some point in any case.

    The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
     
    On the contrary - it's exactly the kind of issue over which rivers of blood have been shed throughout history. If neither side blinks and a compromise is not reached, then plenty of people are going to get hurt and quite possibly die as a result of it.

    Family, faith, liberty, nation. Are there in fact any less ridiculous things to die for?

    In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
     
    Presumably they will suspend the regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, take the regional police under central control, and replace its senior ranks. Presumably the separatists will attempt to resist this with mass "passive" resistance - mobs obstructing the arrest of their leaders, occupations of buildings, strikes.

    But it will be no particular skin off Madrid's nose if Catalonia stews for a while, so long as enough of the rest of Spain blames the Catalan separatists for it for the government to maintain order in the rest of Spain.

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence

    Are you sure of that? The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to “No”. In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If “no” voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.

    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your “informal” referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position “sin salida”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    60% are an arbitrary number.

    Why would the Catalan separatists accept it and not insist on the terms Scotland got some years ago?
    , @Randal

    Are you sure of that?
     
    Not really sure of very much at all on this issue, to be honest :-)

    The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to “No”. In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If “no” voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.
     

    This wasn't going to be an authorised referendum so there was no prospect of the central government authorising a campaign to encourage "no" voters, which in any case would just have given the result additional credibility. If Madrid wanted to do that, and to follow the Scottish route, they would have organised the referendum themselves for better control.

    If we take the figures Anatoly used on the other thread, and add the 770,000 supposedly confiscated ballots and apply the result pro rata, we get a turnout of 57% and a vote for independence by 2728544 voters - an outright majority of 51.3% of the electorate. How accurate it is depends upon the separatists' accuracy in their estimate of confiscated ballots (and of course the accuracy of the overall voting and counting process), but it seems a reasonable starting place. Then if there had been no action by the police you can assume a fair few more would have voted, probably most of them "no" voters, but all that would do is increase the turnout and therefore the legitimacy of the result while diluting the win percentage for the separatists, but it seems inconceivable that the 92% vote for independence would have been reduced to below 50%, or anything approaching it.

    I agree with you that the polls suggest the result of a Scottish-style referendum would be too close to call and if anything they have been favouring "no" recently (though with majorities for independence in the past - 2012-13 iirc). But we are not talking about a formal poll process here by any means.


    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your “informal” referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position “sin salida”.
     
    Maybe, but as I've already noted, it's also arguable that the course he adopted was a good one, and arguably better than any evident alternatives. Far from being in a position of no scape, the situation is eminently winnable for Madrid. While there's a lot of hysteria about supposed "police brutality" and "state violence", objectively that's all nonsense - it was just police tying to enforce the law and not really unduly violent. Many in Spain outside Catalonia seem to see it that way and put the blame on "both parties", and probably once heads cool and the costs of a confrontation start to bite, many amongst the half of Catalans who don't want independence will start to blame the separatist leaders for putting them in the profoundly uncomfortable position a confrontation will bring over the next few weeks.

    That's if the Madrid government holds its nerve and the wider Spanish population maintains its general opposition to Catalan independence and its support for the government. That might not happen, but there's no reason to assume it won't at the moment, as far as I can see.

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  34. @Randal

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
     
    Because the most important thing was probably to avoid the possibility of a successful ballot that gave the separatists a clear majority mandate for secession. Now we have a counted turnout of only 43% and only 2m (out of 5.3m Catalan voters) counted votes for independence. For all it's quite reasonable for Anatoly to refer to the Catalan separatists' claims of "up to 770,000 additional votes" confiscated by the government action, that remains just contested "estimates".

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence, in a vote with quite a lot of legitimacy, albeit technically illegal under Spanish law.

    It also avoids any possibility of the separatists claiming their ballot was effectively condoned by the Madrid government and that a declaration of independence would be similarly unopposed.

    Granted there has been an inevitable surge in sympathy for the separatist cause as a result of the application of central authority, but such support is likely to be temporary and not at all committed, and Madrid can probably just wait it out. Most of the stuff about "police brutality" is sentimental nonsense anyway.

    preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully
     
    Rajoy presumably concluded that the affair was not going to fizzle out, and that the separatists were serious in their claimed intention of declaring independence. In that case, there was going to have to be force used at some point in any case.

    The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
     
    On the contrary - it's exactly the kind of issue over which rivers of blood have been shed throughout history. If neither side blinks and a compromise is not reached, then plenty of people are going to get hurt and quite possibly die as a result of it.

    Family, faith, liberty, nation. Are there in fact any less ridiculous things to die for?

    In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
     
    Presumably they will suspend the regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, take the regional police under central control, and replace its senior ranks. Presumably the separatists will attempt to resist this with mass "passive" resistance - mobs obstructing the arrest of their leaders, occupations of buildings, strikes.

    But it will be no particular skin off Madrid's nose if Catalonia stews for a while, so long as enough of the rest of Spain blames the Catalan separatists for it for the government to maintain order in the rest of Spain.

    Violent suppression isn’t going to work. All it means is an ever larger majority of Catalans in favour of Independence and increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad. Also, the armed forces, as in nearly all Post-Cold War countries, are too small to deal with emergencies/insurgencies of this scale. Add to which, there are almost certainly serious divisions in the military. A small minority may be sympathetic to the secessionists, but many will be very dubious about the efficacy of military action.
    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Violent suppression isn’t going to work.
     
    Of course it is (or might well, at any rate), assuming by "violent suppression" you mean the kind of robust policing to which I was referring.

    It's highly unlikely there will be any need for the military except perhaps to provide auxiliary policing manpower here and there. Let's assume a UDI. How do you think that's going to go down in most of the rest of Spain, and whom do you think most Spaniards will blame for it? Not Rajoy (except obviously for the extreme leftists who would blame him for the sky being grey and cloudy just because he's not an extreme leftist). Most of them outside Catalonia will blame the separatists for acting unilaterally, or at worst say "both sides are to blame" but come down on the government side when push comes to shove.

    So when the separatists have their UDI and nobody outside Spain who matters recognises it, and their regional autonomy is suspended as the constitution entitles the government to do, and their leaders are under arrest or fugitives hiding behind mobs, and Catalonia is wracked by strikes and demonstrations and riots, who is losing the most the fastest? It's not wider Spain or the Spanish government - it's the Catalans, who are already deeply divided on whether independence is a good idea. How long before they start to blame the separatists and turn on them openly? How long before the general disorder and chaos along with police pressure grinds down the numbers of hotheads willing to take to the streets until they can be controlled by the national police riot squads? How long before the strikers run out of money, with no national union backing?

    No military crackdown will be needed. Just a few riot squads and some time.

    increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad
     
    Really? What consequences will that have? Which governments are going to recognise Catalan independence and set a precedent for recognition of regional UDI? Kosovo, perhaps? Or do you think they just might prefer to quietly green-light a tougher crackdown on the separatists by the Madrid government?

    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !
     
    Those were the days, eh?
    , @Anonymous
    Private military companies are available for a very reasonable rate to bulk up forces and can be assured not to have any traitorous tendencies.
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  35. @Verymuchalive
    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
    It would boost independence sentiment considerably and preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully. The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
    Time will tell.

    Rajoy is likely a die hard Spanish integeralist- he is from Galicia after all- who boldly saw an opputunity to claw back some the powers devolved to Catalonia in the aftermath to a failed separatist bid. I imagine the second class status of non-Catalonians fills him with anger and he would like to reverse it. A messy separatist bid as opposed to one that just fizzles out gives him the opputunity to root out the pillars of Catalonian seperatism.

    Plus it was the best way possible of testing how long his leash is. Without EU support Catalonia is screwed it is clear now that the EU will support basically any actions Rajoy undertakes including the deployment of the military should that be necessary.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    Long time no hear. Glad to hear from you again !
    There's no script for any of this. We don't know what is happening in the background, Rajoy-Macron - Merkel etc.
    Prepare to be surprised !
    , @Anon
    Very interesting. Why are Gallegos diehard integralists?
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  36. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @for-the-record
    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence

    Are you sure of that? The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to "No". In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If "no" voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.

    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your "informal" referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position "sin salida".

    60% are an arbitrary number.

    Why would the Catalan separatists accept it and not insist on the terms Scotland got some years ago?

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  37. Randal says:
    @for-the-record
    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence

    Are you sure of that? The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to "No". In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If "no" voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.

    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your "informal" referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position "sin salida".

    Are you sure of that?

    Not really sure of very much at all on this issue, to be honest :-)

    The last poll I saw was from June which gave a slight advantage to “No”. In any event, over the past few years the polls have been nip and tuck.

    http://www.politico.eu/article/catalonia-independence-spain-support-for-drops-poll/

    If “no” voters had been encouraged to vote, I think at best the nationalists would have won a modest victory, with well below 50% of registered voters supporting independence.

    This wasn’t going to be an authorised referendum so there was no prospect of the central government authorising a campaign to encourage “no” voters, which in any case would just have given the result additional credibility. If Madrid wanted to do that, and to follow the Scottish route, they would have organised the referendum themselves for better control.

    If we take the figures Anatoly used on the other thread, and add the 770,000 supposedly confiscated ballots and apply the result pro rata, we get a turnout of 57% and a vote for independence by 2728544 voters – an outright majority of 51.3% of the electorate. How accurate it is depends upon the separatists’ accuracy in their estimate of confiscated ballots (and of course the accuracy of the overall voting and counting process), but it seems a reasonable starting place. Then if there had been no action by the police you can assume a fair few more would have voted, probably most of them “no” voters, but all that would do is increase the turnout and therefore the legitimacy of the result while diluting the win percentage for the separatists, but it seems inconceivable that the 92% vote for independence would have been reduced to below 50%, or anything approaching it.

    I agree with you that the polls suggest the result of a Scottish-style referendum would be too close to call and if anything they have been favouring “no” recently (though with majorities for independence in the past – 2012-13 iirc). But we are not talking about a formal poll process here by any means.

    In retrospect, Rajoy should have perhaps said, hold your “informal” referendum, and if you can show that 60% of registered voters are in favor (justifiable given the dramatic nature of the decision) we will talk about things, otherwise forget it. But now he has put himself in a position “sin salida”.

    Maybe, but as I’ve already noted, it’s also arguable that the course he adopted was a good one, and arguably better than any evident alternatives. Far from being in a position of no scape, the situation is eminently winnable for Madrid. While there’s a lot of hysteria about supposed “police brutality” and “state violence”, objectively that’s all nonsense – it was just police tying to enforce the law and not really unduly violent. Many in Spain outside Catalonia seem to see it that way and put the blame on “both parties”, and probably once heads cool and the costs of a confrontation start to bite, many amongst the half of Catalans who don’t want independence will start to blame the separatist leaders for putting them in the profoundly uncomfortable position a confrontation will bring over the next few weeks.

    That’s if the Madrid government holds its nerve and the wider Spanish population maintains its general opposition to Catalan independence and its support for the government. That might not happen, but there’s no reason to assume it won’t at the moment, as far as I can see.

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  38. @Cagey Beast
    Isn't it amazing that these various sports leagues and teams were originally set up to be a healthy alternative to other social vices? The various types of football (soccer, rugby, American collegiate) were meant to get working class guys and students out in the fresh air and away from drinking on their time off. Now it's used for cheering African millionaire felons.

    You shouldn’t need to nuke the NFL, just abolish the players’ parole and send them back to prison.

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  39. “The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself.”

    Ridicule all you like, people may die. If they are revolting without the determination to die for it, they are making a grave mistake that cannot end well.

    As for sealing the border… that is what Turkey, Iran and Iraq have done to Kurdistan. Do you know why they sealed the border of Kurdistan instead of invading it to crush secession? Because Kurdistan has tanks. Iraq would probably win (with Iranian help and Turkish support) but it will be a full blown war. Iraqi military does not significantly outclass Kurdish military at this moment.

    Catalonia? That I can tell they still have no military. No secret build up of tanks and APCs. No plans to have the Ruskis park their aircraft carrier and open a vodka distillery/children’s hospital. No ornery Taepo Dongs they bought off the black market and stuck fissionable material on. I don’t even think they have SCUDs.

    Iraq hasn’t been able to field military in Kurdish regions for decades. Spain fields La Guardia Civil in Catalonia right now. To seal the border they would have to pull out first. Sealing the border would be de facto partitioning the country with a hostile border.

    It would be massively foolish for Spain to simply seal the borders. Why should they hold back? Unlike the Kurds, Catalonia has no means to stop them. They will invade and crush. The alternative is what, seal the border and let some twit EU mandarin judge decide the matter in international court? Seal the border and then WAIT for them to build an army to resist with before attacking it to be fair? No. Es estupido.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    I have dealt with these matters elsewhere. I think your views are very pre-modern, but you are an Etruscan after all !
    PS The correct Etruscan spelling is Pursenas.
    I expect you to alter your handle accordingly.
    , @5371
    I think nobody has invaded Iraqi Kurdistan because they are afraid it would lead to direct US intervention, rather than afraid of the Kurds themselves.
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  40. 5371 says:
    @Randal

    My point was that the forceful approach was bound to be counter-productive. SO WHY DO IT?
     
    Because the most important thing was probably to avoid the possibility of a successful ballot that gave the separatists a clear majority mandate for secession. Now we have a counted turnout of only 43% and only 2m (out of 5.3m Catalan voters) counted votes for independence. For all it's quite reasonable for Anatoly to refer to the Catalan separatists' claims of "up to 770,000 additional votes" confiscated by the government action, that remains just contested "estimates".

    If the vote had been allowed to go ahead unmolested there would likely have been a turnout well above 50% of voters and a big majority for independence, in a vote with quite a lot of legitimacy, albeit technically illegal under Spanish law.

    It also avoids any possibility of the separatists claiming their ballot was effectively condoned by the Madrid government and that a declaration of independence would be similarly unopposed.

    Granted there has been an inevitable surge in sympathy for the separatist cause as a result of the application of central authority, but such support is likely to be temporary and not at all committed, and Madrid can probably just wait it out. Most of the stuff about "police brutality" is sentimental nonsense anyway.

    preclude the affair fizzling out peacefully
     
    Rajoy presumably concluded that the affair was not going to fizzle out, and that the separatists were serious in their claimed intention of declaring independence. In that case, there was going to have to be force used at some point in any case.

    The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
     
    On the contrary - it's exactly the kind of issue over which rivers of blood have been shed throughout history. If neither side blinks and a compromise is not reached, then plenty of people are going to get hurt and quite possibly die as a result of it.

    Family, faith, liberty, nation. Are there in fact any less ridiculous things to die for?

    In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself. The corollary of that is that the French Government would seal the Catalan-French border. I do hope Rajoy has the assurance from Macron that France will do so, but can you trust a guy who sounds like a sleazy character from the Satyricon?
     
    Presumably they will suspend the regional government and arrest the separatist leaders, take the regional police under central control, and replace its senior ranks. Presumably the separatists will attempt to resist this with mass "passive" resistance - mobs obstructing the arrest of their leaders, occupations of buildings, strikes.

    But it will be no particular skin off Madrid's nose if Catalonia stews for a while, so long as enough of the rest of Spain blames the Catalan separatists for it for the government to maintain order in the rest of Spain.

    It’s impossible for a democratic government in the EU to keep up that approach for long. Spanish assets are already suffering on the financial markets; the EU attitude will change if the contagion reaches theirs, and neither will all Spanish parties stay on board. The Spanish government will either have to bend or abolish democracy.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Spanish assets are already suffering on the financial markets; the EU attitude will change if the contagion reaches theirs, and neither will all Spanish parties stay on board. The Spanish government will either have to bend or abolish democracy.
     
    The one thing we can be almost certain will not happen will be the major EU governments insisting on Spain recognising a regional UDI.

    For sure they will put pressure on both sides, as far as they can, to restore order, but in the end they are going to be on Madrid's side if the Catalans go the UDI route.

    A failure of nerve by the parties in the Spanish government, or opportunism, yes that could result in the downfall of the Spanish government, but again, the new government would still have to address a Catalonia that had declared UDI. What are they going to do, recognise it, and be responsible for the end of Spain? Podemos and the nationalists might be up for that, but unlikely the Socialists I'd have thought.

    So far, though, my understanding is that the Socialists are backing Madrid. I don't think a separatist UDI is going to make them inclined to change that, though I suppose it's possible.

    It’s impossible for a democratic government in the EU to keep up that approach for long
     
    It's certainly conceivable that a regional secessionist movement could outlast a national government in such a confrontation, given the vulnerability of the Euro and the financial system to this kind of disorder. But there seems no reason to suppose the divided Catalan "nation" would be in a position to do so.

    If there were an overwhelming consensus for independence (a hard one, not a temporary one created by sentimental hysteria over spurious "police brutality"), I could see it happening but that's not the situation in Catalonia.
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  41. @Sam Haysom
    Rajoy is likely a die hard Spanish integeralist- he is from Galicia after all- who boldly saw an opputunity to claw back some the powers devolved to Catalonia in the aftermath to a failed separatist bid. I imagine the second class status of non-Catalonians fills him with anger and he would like to reverse it. A messy separatist bid as opposed to one that just fizzles out gives him the opputunity to root out the pillars of Catalonian seperatism.

    Plus it was the best way possible of testing how long his leash is. Without EU support Catalonia is screwed it is clear now that the EU will support basically any actions Rajoy undertakes including the deployment of the military should that be necessary.

    Long time no hear. Glad to hear from you again !
    There’s no script for any of this. We don’t know what is happening in the background, Rajoy-Macron – Merkel etc.
    Prepare to be surprised !

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  42. @Lars Porsena
    "The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself."

    Ridicule all you like, people may die. If they are revolting without the determination to die for it, they are making a grave mistake that cannot end well.

    As for sealing the border... that is what Turkey, Iran and Iraq have done to Kurdistan. Do you know why they sealed the border of Kurdistan instead of invading it to crush secession? Because Kurdistan has tanks. Iraq would probably win (with Iranian help and Turkish support) but it will be a full blown war. Iraqi military does not significantly outclass Kurdish military at this moment.

    Catalonia? That I can tell they still have no military. No secret build up of tanks and APCs. No plans to have the Ruskis park their aircraft carrier and open a vodka distillery/children's hospital. No ornery Taepo Dongs they bought off the black market and stuck fissionable material on. I don't even think they have SCUDs.

    Iraq hasn't been able to field military in Kurdish regions for decades. Spain fields La Guardia Civil in Catalonia right now. To seal the border they would have to pull out first. Sealing the border would be de facto partitioning the country with a hostile border.

    It would be massively foolish for Spain to simply seal the borders. Why should they hold back? Unlike the Kurds, Catalonia has no means to stop them. They will invade and crush. The alternative is what, seal the border and let some twit EU mandarin judge decide the matter in international court? Seal the border and then WAIT for them to build an army to resist with before attacking it to be fair? No. Es estupido.

    I have dealt with these matters elsewhere. I think your views are very pre-modern, but you are an Etruscan after all !
    PS The correct Etruscan spelling is Pursenas.
    I expect you to alter your handle accordingly.

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  43. 5371 says:
    @Lars Porsena
    "The idea that anyone could die as a result of this nonsense is ridiculous.
    Now Puigdemont, a guy who looks like the 5th Beatle, is predicting UDI in a couple of days. In the event, the sensible thing would be to seal the border that Catalonia has with the rest of Spain, rather than attempt to crush secession in Catalonia itself."

    Ridicule all you like, people may die. If they are revolting without the determination to die for it, they are making a grave mistake that cannot end well.

    As for sealing the border... that is what Turkey, Iran and Iraq have done to Kurdistan. Do you know why they sealed the border of Kurdistan instead of invading it to crush secession? Because Kurdistan has tanks. Iraq would probably win (with Iranian help and Turkish support) but it will be a full blown war. Iraqi military does not significantly outclass Kurdish military at this moment.

    Catalonia? That I can tell they still have no military. No secret build up of tanks and APCs. No plans to have the Ruskis park their aircraft carrier and open a vodka distillery/children's hospital. No ornery Taepo Dongs they bought off the black market and stuck fissionable material on. I don't even think they have SCUDs.

    Iraq hasn't been able to field military in Kurdish regions for decades. Spain fields La Guardia Civil in Catalonia right now. To seal the border they would have to pull out first. Sealing the border would be de facto partitioning the country with a hostile border.

    It would be massively foolish for Spain to simply seal the borders. Why should they hold back? Unlike the Kurds, Catalonia has no means to stop them. They will invade and crush. The alternative is what, seal the border and let some twit EU mandarin judge decide the matter in international court? Seal the border and then WAIT for them to build an army to resist with before attacking it to be fair? No. Es estupido.

    I think nobody has invaded Iraqi Kurdistan because they are afraid it would lead to direct US intervention, rather than afraid of the Kurds themselves.

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    • Replies: @iffen
    because they are afraid it would lead to direct US intervention

    Oh no!

    Didn't I read that the Israelis kick-started the Peshmerga? Or was that just here in the UR comments where someone listed it among the one thousand and one evils of the J-ws? What if the Iranian false flaggers attack the Kurds? What if the US did come to the rescue? Who could have dreamed of such a scenario?
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  44. hyperbola says:

    There are other possible scenarios. The present PM (Rajoy) does not have a majority in Parliament (175 votes). Loosely, the present Parliament consists of two right-wing parties.

    Partido Popular (137) & Ciudanos (32) = 169

    and two left wing parties

    Partido Socialista (85) & Podemos (71) = 156

    The remainder of the seats are “nationalist” regional parties that include

    Catalunya: ERC(9) & PdeCAT (8) = 17

    Pais Vasco: PNV (5) & EH-Bildu (2) =7

    Canarias: CCA(1)

    In principle it is possible that Rajoy could be dislodged from the government by other Parliamentary alliances that involve the nationalist parties and the two left-wing parties.

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  45. c matt says:

    Any person with a national ID card could go into any polling station and vote, with no checks between voting locations.

    That’s more verification than Cook County or El Lay.

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  46. Randal says:
    @Verymuchalive
    Violent suppression isn't going to work. All it means is an ever larger majority of Catalans in favour of Independence and increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad. Also, the armed forces, as in nearly all Post-Cold War countries, are too small to deal with emergencies/insurgencies of this scale. Add to which, there are almost certainly serious divisions in the military. A small minority may be sympathetic to the secessionists, but many will be very dubious about the efficacy of military action.
    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !

    Violent suppression isn’t going to work.

    Of course it is (or might well, at any rate), assuming by “violent suppression” you mean the kind of robust policing to which I was referring.

    It’s highly unlikely there will be any need for the military except perhaps to provide auxiliary policing manpower here and there. Let’s assume a UDI. How do you think that’s going to go down in most of the rest of Spain, and whom do you think most Spaniards will blame for it? Not Rajoy (except obviously for the extreme leftists who would blame him for the sky being grey and cloudy just because he’s not an extreme leftist). Most of them outside Catalonia will blame the separatists for acting unilaterally, or at worst say “both sides are to blame” but come down on the government side when push comes to shove.

    So when the separatists have their UDI and nobody outside Spain who matters recognises it, and their regional autonomy is suspended as the constitution entitles the government to do, and their leaders are under arrest or fugitives hiding behind mobs, and Catalonia is wracked by strikes and demonstrations and riots, who is losing the most the fastest? It’s not wider Spain or the Spanish government – it’s the Catalans, who are already deeply divided on whether independence is a good idea. How long before they start to blame the separatists and turn on them openly? How long before the general disorder and chaos along with police pressure grinds down the numbers of hotheads willing to take to the streets until they can be controlled by the national police riot squads? How long before the strikers run out of money, with no national union backing?

    No military crackdown will be needed. Just a few riot squads and some time.

    increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad

    Really? What consequences will that have? Which governments are going to recognise Catalan independence and set a precedent for recognition of regional UDI? Kosovo, perhaps? Or do you think they just might prefer to quietly green-light a tougher crackdown on the separatists by the Madrid government?

    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !

    Those were the days, eh?

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads. Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society. The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn't have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.
    The Black and Tans delayed the independence of the Irish Free State by a matter of months. They were completely unnecessary. And before you interject, this comes from a Unionist with relatives in Tyrone and Fermanagh.
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  47. c matt says:
    @Reg Cæsar
    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it's going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.

    The uncomfortably-named Espanyol will finish a very distant second, and Gerona-- your choice of three different pronunciations-- an even more distant third.

    But the real question is:

    Will FIFA recognize Catalonia as a past World Cup champion?

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  48. c matt says:
    @Randal

    FC Barcelona is dominant enough as it is in the Spanish Empire. Now it’s going to look like Celtic in the Ranger-free SFA of the past few years.
     
    The Catalan separatists have already started talking about Barca playing in the French, Italian or English league, apparently:

    Catalan’s sports minister had already said that teams like Barcelona and Espanyol would be eligible to play in England, France and Italy, as well as Spain, and used teams like Monaco and Swansea of examples of Uefa allowing it.

    Seems pretty unlikely to me. I mean, British football gets all sorts of special treatment basically because it was established so early, but UEFA and FIFA hate that fact with a passion and their apparatchiks probably grit their teeth every time the subject comes up. Monaco plays in the French League because it's a city state with no league of its own.

    That said, there do seem to be quite a lot of teams playing in other countries' leagues for all kinds of reasons:

    List of sports clubs playing in the league of another country

    I imagine the Premier League would be quite tempted by the money-spinning opportunities of having Barca, and are probably less inhibited by motivations other than profit than most other leagues, although clubs that see themselves as on the margins of annual qualification for the Champions League money fountain might object to the entrance of another likely certain qualifier - Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and a few others. Geographically, the French league makes most sense if there's too much ill feeling to play in the Spanish League, although in travel time terms Italy is probably no different.

    Most likely there will be some already very fat lawyers looking forward the most to the possibilities arising out of conflict, chaos and change.

    Not to mention the various Canadian teams playing in American sports leagues.

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  49. Randal says:
    @5371
    It's impossible for a democratic government in the EU to keep up that approach for long. Spanish assets are already suffering on the financial markets; the EU attitude will change if the contagion reaches theirs, and neither will all Spanish parties stay on board. The Spanish government will either have to bend or abolish democracy.

    Spanish assets are already suffering on the financial markets; the EU attitude will change if the contagion reaches theirs, and neither will all Spanish parties stay on board. The Spanish government will either have to bend or abolish democracy.

    The one thing we can be almost certain will not happen will be the major EU governments insisting on Spain recognising a regional UDI.

    For sure they will put pressure on both sides, as far as they can, to restore order, but in the end they are going to be on Madrid’s side if the Catalans go the UDI route.

    A failure of nerve by the parties in the Spanish government, or opportunism, yes that could result in the downfall of the Spanish government, but again, the new government would still have to address a Catalonia that had declared UDI. What are they going to do, recognise it, and be responsible for the end of Spain? Podemos and the nationalists might be up for that, but unlikely the Socialists I’d have thought.

    So far, though, my understanding is that the Socialists are backing Madrid. I don’t think a separatist UDI is going to make them inclined to change that, though I suppose it’s possible.

    It’s impossible for a democratic government in the EU to keep up that approach for long

    It’s certainly conceivable that a regional secessionist movement could outlast a national government in such a confrontation, given the vulnerability of the Euro and the financial system to this kind of disorder. But there seems no reason to suppose the divided Catalan “nation” would be in a position to do so.

    If there were an overwhelming consensus for independence (a hard one, not a temporary one created by sentimental hysteria over spurious “police brutality”), I could see it happening but that’s not the situation in Catalonia.

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  50. Verymuchalive,

    Your expectations don’t always come true. You are right about the spelling though.

    IMO my views are not ‘pre-modern’ but merely truthful. Modernism is a lie meant to obscure the enduring truth of reality and confuse the plebes about where the power is. We shall see in Catalonia whether their land is ruled by the will of the people or just the will of the people with money and tanks.

    These old school views have fallen out of fashion but it does not seem to bother people they still explain world affairs better than the new views do. The new views have the benefit of being emotionally satisfying and are supported by all the modern state propaganda organs. Increasingly it seems like these views are targeted at a people who can’t tell the difference between wanting a womb and having one. Those who do not study Life of Brian are doomed to repeat it.

    One of my big interests in spectating Catalonian separatism is seeing how much of the old Conservatism old Spain has left. We will see. Spain has seen better days. But Rajoy’s grandpa never would have lost Spain to a protest. We’ll see what Rajoy does. This could be a real world test to see how the world actually works.

    5371,

    Possibly. I don’t know if the US would actually intervene or not though. But maybe, neither does Iran. And we DO have boots on the ground so some things could certainly blow up if they came too close. You may be right that the Kurds themselves aren’t the deterrent.

    All the more reason why Catalonia needs a cross aligned foreign power with a bed to hop into. Show Uncle Vlady how much you love him Catalonia.

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  51. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Verymuchalive
    Violent suppression isn't going to work. All it means is an ever larger majority of Catalans in favour of Independence and increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad. Also, the armed forces, as in nearly all Post-Cold War countries, are too small to deal with emergencies/insurgencies of this scale. Add to which, there are almost certainly serious divisions in the military. A small minority may be sympathetic to the secessionists, but many will be very dubious about the efficacy of military action.
    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !

    Private military companies are available for a very reasonable rate to bulk up forces and can be assured not to have any traitorous tendencies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    They're called mercenaries and they all have their price. Loyalty level = zero.
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  52. @Randal

    Violent suppression isn’t going to work.
     
    Of course it is (or might well, at any rate), assuming by "violent suppression" you mean the kind of robust policing to which I was referring.

    It's highly unlikely there will be any need for the military except perhaps to provide auxiliary policing manpower here and there. Let's assume a UDI. How do you think that's going to go down in most of the rest of Spain, and whom do you think most Spaniards will blame for it? Not Rajoy (except obviously for the extreme leftists who would blame him for the sky being grey and cloudy just because he's not an extreme leftist). Most of them outside Catalonia will blame the separatists for acting unilaterally, or at worst say "both sides are to blame" but come down on the government side when push comes to shove.

    So when the separatists have their UDI and nobody outside Spain who matters recognises it, and their regional autonomy is suspended as the constitution entitles the government to do, and their leaders are under arrest or fugitives hiding behind mobs, and Catalonia is wracked by strikes and demonstrations and riots, who is losing the most the fastest? It's not wider Spain or the Spanish government - it's the Catalans, who are already deeply divided on whether independence is a good idea. How long before they start to blame the separatists and turn on them openly? How long before the general disorder and chaos along with police pressure grinds down the numbers of hotheads willing to take to the streets until they can be controlled by the national police riot squads? How long before the strikers run out of money, with no national union backing?

    No military crackdown will be needed. Just a few riot squads and some time.

    increasing odium for the Spanish Government abroad
     
    Really? What consequences will that have? Which governments are going to recognise Catalan independence and set a precedent for recognition of regional UDI? Kosovo, perhaps? Or do you think they just might prefer to quietly green-light a tougher crackdown on the separatists by the Madrid government?

    Old Englishman, this is NO time to send in the Black and Tans !
     
    Those were the days, eh?

    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads. Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society. The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn’t have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.
    The Black and Tans delayed the independence of the Irish Free State by a matter of months. They were completely unnecessary. And before you interject, this comes from a Unionist with relatives in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads.
     
    Why not?

    There's seemingly no shortage of Catalans who want nothing to do with independence and are going to be seriously pissed off with the separatists for bringing them all the trouble a UDI will bring. In fact the biggest of the parties supporting Rajoy's party in government is of Catalan origin, apparently. Here are some extracts from their Wikipedia description:

    It was founded in Catalonia, in whose Parliament it has 25 deputies and is strongly opposed to Catalan nationalism.[17][18][19][clarification needed] The leader of the party uses the phrase "Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future" to outline the party's ideology.
    ....
    In nationalist and separatist circles, where opposition to their views is the main determinant of where a party is positioned on the political spectrum, they are considered far-right. Podemos and other far-left parties who hold a more conciliatory strategy towards separatist movements also tend to position Ciudadanos in the far right.
    ....
    Ciudadanos supports the current autonomous rights granted to autonomous communities in Spain, but rejects the autonomous communities' right to self-determination outside of the Spanish state. As an originally Catalan party it specifically opposes Catalan nationalism as an outdated, authoritarian and socially divisive ideology which fuels hatred among both Catalans and Spaniards.[42][43][44][clarification needed] Rivera uses the phrase "Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future" to describe the party's ideology.

    The party opposes separatist movements such as the Catalan independence movement[45][5][6] and opposes federating the autonomous communities.
     
    Do they sound to you like the kind of people who will be impressed by a regional nationalist UDI?

    Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society.
     
    Yes, that's exactly why they aren't going to be very happy when nothing's working around them.

    The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn’t have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.
     
    There is no military resistance to require a military occupation, nor any plausible prospect of one with any really significant support amongst Catalans.

    It's quite possible that a political/police suppression of the current separatist bid will generate a Basque/IRA style secessionist terrorist movement, but it's going to be very slow starting and, given the example of the Basque failure, unlikely to attract much support.

    A problem for tomorrow, not for today, as far as Madrid is concerned imo.
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  53. @Anonymous
    Private military companies are available for a very reasonable rate to bulk up forces and can be assured not to have any traitorous tendencies.

    They’re called mercenaries and they all have their price. Loyalty level = zero.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Why would they accept a price from rebels if they can confiscate their assets instead? That's silly. It'll be over for Catalonia commies in a month, perhaps less.
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  54. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Verymuchalive
    They're called mercenaries and they all have their price. Loyalty level = zero.

    Why would they accept a price from rebels if they can confiscate their assets instead? That’s silly. It’ll be over for Catalonia commies in a month, perhaps less.

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  55. iffen says:
    @5371
    I think nobody has invaded Iraqi Kurdistan because they are afraid it would lead to direct US intervention, rather than afraid of the Kurds themselves.

    because they are afraid it would lead to direct US intervention

    Oh no!

    Didn’t I read that the Israelis kick-started the Peshmerga? Or was that just here in the UR comments where someone listed it among the one thousand and one evils of the J-ws? What if the Iranian false flaggers attack the Kurds? What if the US did come to the rescue? Who could have dreamed of such a scenario?

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  56. Randal says:
    @Verymuchalive
    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads. Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society. The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn't have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.
    The Black and Tans delayed the independence of the Irish Free State by a matter of months. They were completely unnecessary. And before you interject, this comes from a Unionist with relatives in Tyrone and Fermanagh.

    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads.

    Why not?

    There’s seemingly no shortage of Catalans who want nothing to do with independence and are going to be seriously pissed off with the separatists for bringing them all the trouble a UDI will bring. In fact the biggest of the parties supporting Rajoy’s party in government is of Catalan origin, apparently. Here are some extracts from their Wikipedia description:

    It was founded in Catalonia, in whose Parliament it has 25 deputies and is strongly opposed to Catalan nationalism.[17][18][19][clarification needed] The leader of the party uses the phrase “Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future” to outline the party’s ideology.
    ….
    In nationalist and separatist circles, where opposition to their views is the main determinant of where a party is positioned on the political spectrum, they are considered far-right. Podemos and other far-left parties who hold a more conciliatory strategy towards separatist movements also tend to position Ciudadanos in the far right.
    ….
    Ciudadanos supports the current autonomous rights granted to autonomous communities in Spain, but rejects the autonomous communities’ right to self-determination outside of the Spanish state. As an originally Catalan party it specifically opposes Catalan nationalism as an outdated, authoritarian and socially divisive ideology which fuels hatred among both Catalans and Spaniards.[42][43][44][clarification needed] Rivera uses the phrase “Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future” to describe the party’s ideology.

    The party opposes separatist movements such as the Catalan independence movement[45][5][6] and opposes federating the autonomous communities.

    Do they sound to you like the kind of people who will be impressed by a regional nationalist UDI?

    Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society.

    Yes, that’s exactly why they aren’t going to be very happy when nothing’s working around them.

    The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn’t have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.

    There is no military resistance to require a military occupation, nor any plausible prospect of one with any really significant support amongst Catalans.

    It’s quite possible that a political/police suppression of the current separatist bid will generate a Basque/IRA style secessionist terrorist movement, but it’s going to be very slow starting and, given the example of the Basque failure, unlikely to attract much support.

    A problem for tomorrow, not for today, as far as Madrid is concerned imo.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    " A problem for tomorrow, not today..."
    So thought many in Ulster in 1968-9, but the IRA established itself quickly enough, as several of my older relatives will attest.
    You really are a certain sort of old Englishman - learnt nothing, forgotten nothing.
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  57. Matra says:

    There’s seemingly no shortage of Catalans who want nothing to do with independence and are going to be seriously pissed off with the separatists for bringing them all the trouble a UDI will bring.

    Do these Spanish ‘loyalists’ have the kind of cohesive identity that Ulster’s Protestant loyalists do or are they a mixture of different peoples united only by what they are against? I’m guessing they are mostly just a couple of generations removed from other regions of Spain but I don’t know as there’s little information about them in English.

    Also, do they have any kind of geographical base like, say, Croats in Bosnia, or are they just sprinkled everywhere?

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    • Replies: @Randal

    Do these Spanish ‘loyalists’ have the kind of cohesive identity that Ulster’s Protestant loyalists do or are they a mixture of different peoples united only by what they are against?
     
    The latter I'd guess, but that's all it would be.

    Also, do they have any kind of geographical base like, say, Croats in Bosnia, or are they just sprinkled everywhere?
     
    Again, not that I know of. Probably more anti-independence types in the more cosmopolitan cities I'd guess, but again, that's all it would be.
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  58. Randal says:
    @Matra
    There’s seemingly no shortage of Catalans who want nothing to do with independence and are going to be seriously pissed off with the separatists for bringing them all the trouble a UDI will bring.

    Do these Spanish 'loyalists' have the kind of cohesive identity that Ulster's Protestant loyalists do or are they a mixture of different peoples united only by what they are against? I'm guessing they are mostly just a couple of generations removed from other regions of Spain but I don't know as there's little information about them in English.

    Also, do they have any kind of geographical base like, say, Croats in Bosnia, or are they just sprinkled everywhere?

    Do these Spanish ‘loyalists’ have the kind of cohesive identity that Ulster’s Protestant loyalists do or are they a mixture of different peoples united only by what they are against?

    The latter I’d guess, but that’s all it would be.

    Also, do they have any kind of geographical base like, say, Croats in Bosnia, or are they just sprinkled everywhere?

    Again, not that I know of. Probably more anti-independence types in the more cosmopolitan cities I’d guess, but again, that’s all it would be.

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  59. neutral says:

    I do not care for either side in this, but from my casual observation (so I stand under correction) is that that the neocons/neoliberals/cuckservatives want to keep the status quo and thus support crushing Catalonia independence, but surely it would be wiser for them to let it go. Having people dying at the hands of a government in a supposed peaceful US run NATO state is not exactly going to look good for them.

    I also need to add that normally in history to win independence (and to crush it) one must be willing to accept a big death toll. Neither side seem to have much of a stomach for a real fight, and I don’t think that is because both sides are hoping for the other to kill first and thus give the some kind of moral supremacy. Both sides are made up of soft leftists and I don’t see any massive death toll happening, its going to be more like online forum debates, a lot of back and forth screaming that never changes anyones mind, it will be interesting how this will end.

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  60. BB753 says:
    @Verymuchalive
    Rajoy's forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived. There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe, but only in Spain has Central Government taken the bait and tried to stop it. As Master Anatoly wrote himself, someone might have been killed. A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
    After a few weeks, things might slowly return to normality as it was realised that Catalan independence was not recognised internationally, crucially at the EU level. That would settle things in the short and medium term.
    If Rajoy and his circle decided this course of action on their own, then truly they are rash and foolish people.
    If their actions were taken on the advice of NATO, EU , other European Governments etc, you must ask cui bono ? A violent response can only result in a massive boost in independence sentiment and make Catalan Independence much more probable. Violent action is counterproductive, unless, of course, you, secretly or not, want the break-up of Spain.
    The EU has been pushing a " Europe of the Regions" for a long time now. Regionalisation is meant to make Europe more governable for the EU superstate. But Rajoy would surely be aware of this. But you've got to ask, what's in it for NATO and France and Germany. I can't believe that Rajoy would go against the advice of Germany and France.

    “There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe”

    I’m curious. Where exactly? Not in Corsica, not in Brittany that I’m aware of. It hasn’t happened in Bavaria either, who has a greater claim to being an actual country than Catalonia. Not even in “Padania”. So, where, please?

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    There was the Venetian independence referendum of 2014 ( unofficial ) for sure. Look it up on Wikipedia. There are others, but I'm going off to bed and will dig them up tomorrow.
    PS You seem to be a new contributor. Hope you continue.
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  61. @BB753
    "There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe"

    I'm curious. Where exactly? Not in Corsica, not in Brittany that I'm aware of. It hasn't happened in Bavaria either, who has a greater claim to being an actual country than Catalonia. Not even in "Padania". So, where, please?

    There was the Venetian independence referendum of 2014 ( unofficial ) for sure. Look it up on Wikipedia. There are others, but I’m going off to bed and will dig them up tomorrow.
    PS You seem to be a new contributor. Hope you continue.

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    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    There was also the Unofficial Catalan Referendum of 9 May 2014 and the Unofficial South Tyrol Self determination poll completed in May 2014. There are probably others
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  62. @Randal

    Catalonia is not going to succumb because of police action, least of all a few riot squads.
     
    Why not?

    There's seemingly no shortage of Catalans who want nothing to do with independence and are going to be seriously pissed off with the separatists for bringing them all the trouble a UDI will bring. In fact the biggest of the parties supporting Rajoy's party in government is of Catalan origin, apparently. Here are some extracts from their Wikipedia description:

    It was founded in Catalonia, in whose Parliament it has 25 deputies and is strongly opposed to Catalan nationalism.[17][18][19][clarification needed] The leader of the party uses the phrase "Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future" to outline the party's ideology.
    ....
    In nationalist and separatist circles, where opposition to their views is the main determinant of where a party is positioned on the political spectrum, they are considered far-right. Podemos and other far-left parties who hold a more conciliatory strategy towards separatist movements also tend to position Ciudadanos in the far right.
    ....
    Ciudadanos supports the current autonomous rights granted to autonomous communities in Spain, but rejects the autonomous communities' right to self-determination outside of the Spanish state. As an originally Catalan party it specifically opposes Catalan nationalism as an outdated, authoritarian and socially divisive ideology which fuels hatred among both Catalans and Spaniards.[42][43][44][clarification needed] Rivera uses the phrase "Catalonia is my homeland, Spain is my country and Europe is our future" to describe the party's ideology.

    The party opposes separatist movements such as the Catalan independence movement[45][5][6] and opposes federating the autonomous communities.
     
    Do they sound to you like the kind of people who will be impressed by a regional nationalist UDI?

    Large numbers of people live in a complex urbanised society.
     
    Yes, that's exactly why they aren't going to be very happy when nothing's working around them.

    The number of military required would be immense, including the number of military specialists. Spain, like all Western countries, doesn’t have the size of military to do this. Also, the military itself is divided, as will soon become apparent.
     
    There is no military resistance to require a military occupation, nor any plausible prospect of one with any really significant support amongst Catalans.

    It's quite possible that a political/police suppression of the current separatist bid will generate a Basque/IRA style secessionist terrorist movement, but it's going to be very slow starting and, given the example of the Basque failure, unlikely to attract much support.

    A problem for tomorrow, not for today, as far as Madrid is concerned imo.

    ” A problem for tomorrow, not today…”
    So thought many in Ulster in 1968-9, but the IRA established itself quickly enough, as several of my older relatives will attest.
    You really are a certain sort of old Englishman – learnt nothing, forgotten nothing.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    Catalonia is not Northern Ireland (it's not even the Basque country) and Spain is not the UK. There are almost no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.
    , @DFH
    Ulster is nothing like Catalonia.

    The majority of the Northern Irish population do not and never have wanted to join Ireland, despite the attempts of terrorists to conquer them against their will
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  63. Randal says:
    @Verymuchalive
    " A problem for tomorrow, not today..."
    So thought many in Ulster in 1968-9, but the IRA established itself quickly enough, as several of my older relatives will attest.
    You really are a certain sort of old Englishman - learnt nothing, forgotten nothing.

    Catalonia is not Northern Ireland (it’s not even the Basque country) and Spain is not the UK. There are almost no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    Kinda like not comparing the US Civil War to current day Catalonia.
    , @Anon
    Since Catalonia can't reasonably protect itself and has no non-hypocritical stance on borders I don't see why Spain can't infiltrate any number of counter-protesters into Barcelona.

    (Maybe)
    Some of these will be soldiers "on leave"* who will be ready to pre-empt armed resistance by seizing key points.

    *Or Requetes.
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  64. iffen says:
    @Randal
    Catalonia is not Northern Ireland (it's not even the Basque country) and Spain is not the UK. There are almost no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    Kinda like not comparing the US Civil War to current day Catalonia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    There's no general rule that says there can't be valid and significant parallels between, and potentially lessons to be drawn from, a past situation and applied to one today. In fact quite the contrary is generally regarded as being the case - see for instance the recent elite discussion of a proposed example of exactly that, from a two and a half millennia old Greek war to the modern US confrontation of China.

    Each case stands or falls on its own merits.
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  65. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Randal
    Catalonia is not Northern Ireland (it's not even the Basque country) and Spain is not the UK. There are almost no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    Since Catalonia can’t reasonably protect itself and has no non-hypocritical stance on borders I don’t see why Spain can’t infiltrate any number of counter-protesters into Barcelona.

    (Maybe)
    Some of these will be soldiers “on leave”* who will be ready to pre-empt armed resistance by seizing key points.

    *Or Requetes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Probably counter-protesters will be easy to find within Catalonia after a UDI, and become easier and easier to find as time goes on and things get grimmer for the inhabitants and for the substantial minority (up to half) who always opposed independence or were unenthusiastic about UDI all along.

    I don't think there will be any organised armed resistance to pre-empt, but if there were, then yes it would presumably be easy for the Spanish government to pre-empt or overcome it.
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  66. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Catalonia is analogous to Donbass, not Kiev.

    To achieve something, they need to start organizing paramilitary units, arming them (by talking over police stations), and shooting at the federales - the usual. But they are pacifists, so most likely nothing is going to happen. It'll bubble and fizzle away.

    Grosser Gott im Himmel, I actually agree with you. :)

    Excellent point.

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  67. notanon says:

    we can all revisit our predictions later

    mine is machiavelli was right: you can either be decent or 100% evil and anything in between makes it worse ergo Spain has lit a fuse it won’t be able to put out

    which in terms of getting liberals to see the EU in its true form (which they would already have done over Greece if they weren’t innumerate) is a good thing

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  68. Miro23 says:

    Spain is something of a “Canary in the Coalmine”.

    World War II was already underway in Spain in 1936, with Nationalists fighting Bolsheviks, and plenty of international involvement ( Germany, Russia and Italy).

    In 2017 Spain-Catalonia is a microcosm of the Western face off between traditional society (Constitution based in Spain and the US) and a leftist counter-cultural ragbag seeking power and shouting about their “Freedoms” with claims of victimization.

    A problem for the Catalan “Independistas” is that Catalonia is already the richest province in Spain. The Spanish government has for years bent over backwards to give them a very high level of autonomy – so they are a strange sort of “victim”. They have a free press, can publically say what they like about Spain and Spanish politicians (which they do), and they can travel freely and are in no way “oppressed”.

    It’s still not clear what Spain is going to do, but a strong possibility would be Direct Rule from Madrid, the same as the British did in Northern Ireland from 1972 to 1998.

    The British had an aggressive minority in British Northern Ireland rejecting British sovereignty, but the British government still held local elections – with the difference that elected members went to the British parliament in London rather than to the (closed) Northern Irish parliament.

    On security, the British deployed troops in Northern Ireland to deal with IRA terrorism, but it was reactive and defensive and kept within the law. The British knew for years who the terrorists were, and who was giving them political cover.

    It’s an open question what Spain will do, but a clear negative is that the Spanish seem to be much angrier with the Catalan “Independistas” than the British were with the Northern Irish Republicans. Also Catalonia is a much larger and more economically important part of Spain than Northern Ireland is of Great Britain, and if the Catalans break away, so will the Basques (i.e. it’s an existential crisis).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    An excellent summary of the situations in Northern Ireland and Catalonia respectively. I couldn't put it better even if I tried.
    Despite errors and flaws, British Policy was essentially " reactive and defensive and kept within the law." The British Government knew it was in for a long haul and generally acted in a stolid manner.
    Rajoy's government seems to be reacting in an angry manner, which is never a good thing when dealing with emergencies. His actions have precluded the affair fizzling out peacefully in the short term. If he attempts to suppress the secession by force, then insurgency/terrorist groups will almost certainly form quickly.
    As you say, this is an existential problem for Spain and it's an open question what Spain will do.
    I hope things can be resolved peacefully, but I'm not hopeful.
    Meanwhile, the EU, Macron and Merkel are AWOL. Have they given Rajoy carte blanche to do what he likes or are they going to hang him out to dry if things go wrong ?
    , @BB753
    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don't seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It's not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement. Puigdemont, a centrist, has a tenuous grasp on power and CUP, Esquerra and Podemos, all far-left and pro-independece parties, really call the shots in Catalonia, both in the regional government and in the streets. Already, the Socialist Party and Podemos (literally: We can") want to oust the current ruling centrist party from the national government in Madrid. And Rajoy is very weak.
    A similar situation happened in 1934, We all know what happened next, a couple of years later.
    It's as if reporters are unable to even read the Wikipedia and do some basuc research before writing their pieces. Google CUP, Esquerra Republicana, Podemos.
    Just watch the panic that has seized the two major banks in Catalonia: Caixabank and Sabadell. The latter has already decided to leave Catalonia.
    , @Anon
    Basques do not want to leave.
    They have already a significant autonomy, more than Catalonia and have no reason to risk this favorable deal.
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  69. Randal says:
    @iffen
    no significant parallels between the two situations and no useful lessons to take from one to the other.

    Kinda like not comparing the US Civil War to current day Catalonia.

    There’s no general rule that says there can’t be valid and significant parallels between, and potentially lessons to be drawn from, a past situation and applied to one today. In fact quite the contrary is generally regarded as being the case – see for instance the recent elite discussion of a proposed example of exactly that, from a two and a half millennia old Greek war to the modern US confrontation of China.

    Each case stands or falls on its own merits.

    Read More
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  70. DFH says:
    @Verymuchalive
    " A problem for tomorrow, not today..."
    So thought many in Ulster in 1968-9, but the IRA established itself quickly enough, as several of my older relatives will attest.
    You really are a certain sort of old Englishman - learnt nothing, forgotten nothing.

    Ulster is nothing like Catalonia.

    The majority of the Northern Irish population do not and never have wanted to join Ireland, despite the attempts of terrorists to conquer them against their will

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    That's because the majority (or plurality) have been Protestants. If Ulster were 65% Catholic it would be a different story.

    It's my impression that Catalonia would be like Ulster if Ulster were 65% Catholic.

    (according to wiki Catalonia is 65% Catalan).
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  71. @Verymuchalive
    There was the Venetian independence referendum of 2014 ( unofficial ) for sure. Look it up on Wikipedia. There are others, but I'm going off to bed and will dig them up tomorrow.
    PS You seem to be a new contributor. Hope you continue.

    There was also the Unofficial Catalan Referendum of 9 May 2014 and the Unofficial South Tyrol Self determination poll completed in May 2014. There are probably others

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  72. @Miro23
    Spain is something of a "Canary in the Coalmine".

    World War II was already underway in Spain in 1936, with Nationalists fighting Bolsheviks, and plenty of international involvement ( Germany, Russia and Italy).

    In 2017 Spain-Catalonia is a microcosm of the Western face off between traditional society (Constitution based in Spain and the US) and a leftist counter-cultural ragbag seeking power and shouting about their "Freedoms" with claims of victimization.

    A problem for the Catalan "Independistas" is that Catalonia is already the richest province in Spain. The Spanish government has for years bent over backwards to give them a very high level of autonomy - so they are a strange sort of "victim". They have a free press, can publically say what they like about Spain and Spanish politicians (which they do), and they can travel freely and are in no way "oppressed".

    It's still not clear what Spain is going to do, but a strong possibility would be Direct Rule from Madrid, the same as the British did in Northern Ireland from 1972 to 1998.

    The British had an aggressive minority in British Northern Ireland rejecting British sovereignty, but the British government still held local elections - with the difference that elected members went to the British parliament in London rather than to the (closed) Northern Irish parliament.

    On security, the British deployed troops in Northern Ireland to deal with IRA terrorism, but it was reactive and defensive and kept within the law. The British knew for years who the terrorists were, and who was giving them political cover.

    It's an open question what Spain will do, but a clear negative is that the Spanish seem to be much angrier with the Catalan "Independistas" than the British were with the Northern Irish Republicans. Also Catalonia is a much larger and more economically important part of Spain than Northern Ireland is of Great Britain, and if the Catalans break away, so will the Basques (i.e. it's an existential crisis).

    An excellent summary of the situations in Northern Ireland and Catalonia respectively. I couldn’t put it better even if I tried.
    Despite errors and flaws, British Policy was essentially ” reactive and defensive and kept within the law.” The British Government knew it was in for a long haul and generally acted in a stolid manner.
    Rajoy’s government seems to be reacting in an angry manner, which is never a good thing when dealing with emergencies. His actions have precluded the affair fizzling out peacefully in the short term. If he attempts to suppress the secession by force, then insurgency/terrorist groups will almost certainly form quickly.
    As you say, this is an existential problem for Spain and it’s an open question what Spain will do.
    I hope things can be resolved peacefully, but I’m not hopeful.
    Meanwhile, the EU, Macron and Merkel are AWOL. Have they given Rajoy carte blanche to do what he likes or are they going to hang him out to dry if things go wrong ?

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  73. AP says:
    @DFH
    Ulster is nothing like Catalonia.

    The majority of the Northern Irish population do not and never have wanted to join Ireland, despite the attempts of terrorists to conquer them against their will

    That’s because the majority (or plurality) have been Protestants. If Ulster were 65% Catholic it would be a different story.

    It’s my impression that Catalonia would be like Ulster if Ulster were 65% Catholic.

    (according to wiki Catalonia is 65% Catalan).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    More because there's no tradition of terrorist violence in Catalonia, no strong religious/ethnic divide, no loyalty on the part of the secessionists to an external power, no cross-border supporters with access to covert government support.

    Most of the main factors that led to the violence in Northern Ireland, in other words, are almost entirely absent in Catalonia.

    That's not to say that armed secessionism might not arise in response to suppression of independence hopes, but it is to say that if it does it's not going to arise quickly, or likely be particularly widely supported.
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  74. BB753 says:
    @Miro23
    Spain is something of a "Canary in the Coalmine".

    World War II was already underway in Spain in 1936, with Nationalists fighting Bolsheviks, and plenty of international involvement ( Germany, Russia and Italy).

    In 2017 Spain-Catalonia is a microcosm of the Western face off between traditional society (Constitution based in Spain and the US) and a leftist counter-cultural ragbag seeking power and shouting about their "Freedoms" with claims of victimization.

    A problem for the Catalan "Independistas" is that Catalonia is already the richest province in Spain. The Spanish government has for years bent over backwards to give them a very high level of autonomy - so they are a strange sort of "victim". They have a free press, can publically say what they like about Spain and Spanish politicians (which they do), and they can travel freely and are in no way "oppressed".

    It's still not clear what Spain is going to do, but a strong possibility would be Direct Rule from Madrid, the same as the British did in Northern Ireland from 1972 to 1998.

    The British had an aggressive minority in British Northern Ireland rejecting British sovereignty, but the British government still held local elections - with the difference that elected members went to the British parliament in London rather than to the (closed) Northern Irish parliament.

    On security, the British deployed troops in Northern Ireland to deal with IRA terrorism, but it was reactive and defensive and kept within the law. The British knew for years who the terrorists were, and who was giving them political cover.

    It's an open question what Spain will do, but a clear negative is that the Spanish seem to be much angrier with the Catalan "Independistas" than the British were with the Northern Irish Republicans. Also Catalonia is a much larger and more economically important part of Spain than Northern Ireland is of Great Britain, and if the Catalans break away, so will the Basques (i.e. it's an existential crisis).

    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don’t seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It’s not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement. Puigdemont, a centrist, has a tenuous grasp on power and CUP, Esquerra and Podemos, all far-left and pro-independece parties, really call the shots in Catalonia, both in the regional government and in the streets. Already, the Socialist Party and Podemos (literally: We can”) want to oust the current ruling centrist party from the national government in Madrid. And Rajoy is very weak.
    A similar situation happened in 1934, We all know what happened next, a couple of years later.
    It’s as if reporters are unable to even read the Wikipedia and do some basuc research before writing their pieces. Google CUP, Esquerra Republicana, Podemos.
    Just watch the panic that has seized the two major banks in Catalonia: Caixabank and Sabadell. The latter has already decided to leave Catalonia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don’t seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It’s not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement.
     
    Well...be that as it may...what exactly that "leftist revolutionary movement" wants to accomplish here?

    Would they have some manifesto, plan...what's their end game?

    In order to challenge the power of the state it would be simply criminally irresponsible to entice people into something serious without clear and achievable goals.
    Not that populist egomaniacs can't do that, but still......

    So, say, they declare independence and Spain doesn't go hard. Just for the sake of conversation.
    What, according to the leadership (or smarts behind that leadership) happens next?

    ECONOMY?
    International treaties?
    Etc?
    End goals...steps to achieve them....price to be paid for it....etc...etc?

    Written anywhere in plain language?
    Known to people who voted for independence?
    , @Anonymous
    Independence, nationalist, and national liberation movements have generally been associated with leftist revolutionary politics. Conservatives and the right generally favor the status quo.
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  75. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Miro23
    Spain is something of a "Canary in the Coalmine".

    World War II was already underway in Spain in 1936, with Nationalists fighting Bolsheviks, and plenty of international involvement ( Germany, Russia and Italy).

    In 2017 Spain-Catalonia is a microcosm of the Western face off between traditional society (Constitution based in Spain and the US) and a leftist counter-cultural ragbag seeking power and shouting about their "Freedoms" with claims of victimization.

    A problem for the Catalan "Independistas" is that Catalonia is already the richest province in Spain. The Spanish government has for years bent over backwards to give them a very high level of autonomy - so they are a strange sort of "victim". They have a free press, can publically say what they like about Spain and Spanish politicians (which they do), and they can travel freely and are in no way "oppressed".

    It's still not clear what Spain is going to do, but a strong possibility would be Direct Rule from Madrid, the same as the British did in Northern Ireland from 1972 to 1998.

    The British had an aggressive minority in British Northern Ireland rejecting British sovereignty, but the British government still held local elections - with the difference that elected members went to the British parliament in London rather than to the (closed) Northern Irish parliament.

    On security, the British deployed troops in Northern Ireland to deal with IRA terrorism, but it was reactive and defensive and kept within the law. The British knew for years who the terrorists were, and who was giving them political cover.

    It's an open question what Spain will do, but a clear negative is that the Spanish seem to be much angrier with the Catalan "Independistas" than the British were with the Northern Irish Republicans. Also Catalonia is a much larger and more economically important part of Spain than Northern Ireland is of Great Britain, and if the Catalans break away, so will the Basques (i.e. it's an existential crisis).

    Basques do not want to leave.
    They have already a significant autonomy, more than Catalonia and have no reason to risk this favorable deal.

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  76. Randal says:
    @AP
    That's because the majority (or plurality) have been Protestants. If Ulster were 65% Catholic it would be a different story.

    It's my impression that Catalonia would be like Ulster if Ulster were 65% Catholic.

    (according to wiki Catalonia is 65% Catalan).

    More because there’s no tradition of terrorist violence in Catalonia, no strong religious/ethnic divide, no loyalty on the part of the secessionists to an external power, no cross-border supporters with access to covert government support.

    Most of the main factors that led to the violence in Northern Ireland, in other words, are almost entirely absent in Catalonia.

    That’s not to say that armed secessionism might not arise in response to suppression of independence hopes, but it is to say that if it does it’s not going to arise quickly, or likely be particularly widely supported.

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  77. Randal says:
    @Anon
    Since Catalonia can't reasonably protect itself and has no non-hypocritical stance on borders I don't see why Spain can't infiltrate any number of counter-protesters into Barcelona.

    (Maybe)
    Some of these will be soldiers "on leave"* who will be ready to pre-empt armed resistance by seizing key points.

    *Or Requetes.

    Probably counter-protesters will be easy to find within Catalonia after a UDI, and become easier and easier to find as time goes on and things get grimmer for the inhabitants and for the substantial minority (up to half) who always opposed independence or were unenthusiastic about UDI all along.

    I don’t think there will be any organised armed resistance to pre-empt, but if there were, then yes it would presumably be easy for the Spanish government to pre-empt or overcome it.

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  78. Bill says:
    @Verymuchalive
    Rajoy's forceful, not to say violent response to the illegal referendum in Catalonia seems completely misconceived. There have been unofficial referenda elsewhere in Europe, but only in Spain has Central Government taken the bait and tried to stop it. As Master Anatoly wrote himself, someone might have been killed. A sensible Central Government would have stood down the police and let the polling take place. Afterwards, it would say that the poll had no legal basis and that the EU and other countries did not recognise it.
    After a few weeks, things might slowly return to normality as it was realised that Catalan independence was not recognised internationally, crucially at the EU level. That would settle things in the short and medium term.
    If Rajoy and his circle decided this course of action on their own, then truly they are rash and foolish people.
    If their actions were taken on the advice of NATO, EU , other European Governments etc, you must ask cui bono ? A violent response can only result in a massive boost in independence sentiment and make Catalan Independence much more probable. Violent action is counterproductive, unless, of course, you, secretly or not, want the break-up of Spain.
    The EU has been pushing a " Europe of the Regions" for a long time now. Regionalisation is meant to make Europe more governable for the EU superstate. But Rajoy would surely be aware of this. But you've got to ask, what's in it for NATO and France and Germany. I can't believe that Rajoy would go against the advice of Germany and France.

    If the Spanish had done nothing, then the Catalans would have held an organized, free, fair, high-turnout and thus presumably representative ballot. That would have cut off the possibility of arguing that the balloting was so defective as to be meaningless. As it is, it is at least plausible that the results of the ballot are not representative. The “violent” response of Spain was a win.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    If the Spanish had done nothing, then the Catalans would have held an organized, free, fair, high-turnout and thus presumably representative ballot.
     
    Not sure about 'representative'. Separatists are highly motivated, while those satisfied with the status quo are mostly disinterested, I imagine.
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  79. peterAUS says:
    @BB753
    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don't seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It's not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement. Puigdemont, a centrist, has a tenuous grasp on power and CUP, Esquerra and Podemos, all far-left and pro-independece parties, really call the shots in Catalonia, both in the regional government and in the streets. Already, the Socialist Party and Podemos (literally: We can") want to oust the current ruling centrist party from the national government in Madrid. And Rajoy is very weak.
    A similar situation happened in 1934, We all know what happened next, a couple of years later.
    It's as if reporters are unable to even read the Wikipedia and do some basuc research before writing their pieces. Google CUP, Esquerra Republicana, Podemos.
    Just watch the panic that has seized the two major banks in Catalonia: Caixabank and Sabadell. The latter has already decided to leave Catalonia.

    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don’t seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It’s not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement.

    Well…be that as it may…what exactly that “leftist revolutionary movement” wants to accomplish here?

    Would they have some manifesto, plan…what’s their end game?

    In order to challenge the power of the state it would be simply criminally irresponsible to entice people into something serious without clear and achievable goals.
    Not that populist egomaniacs can’t do that, but still……

    So, say, they declare independence and Spain doesn’t go hard. Just for the sake of conversation.
    What, according to the leadership (or smarts behind that leadership) happens next?

    ECONOMY?
    International treaties?
    Etc?
    End goals…steps to achieve them….price to be paid for it….etc…etc?

    Written anywhere in plain language?
    Known to people who voted for independence?

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    No, people didn't know what independence really entails. What about the state pensions? Social Security? Everybody assumes Catalonia is rich but in fact it is broke.
    As for what CUP, Esquerra and Podem stand for, it's sheer Marxism. Look them up.

    Here's CUP:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Unity_Candidacy
    In a nutshell: anti-capitalism, socialism, republicanism, municipalism ( in russian, "soviet"), environmentalism, Catalan indepence, pancatalanism (i.e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia), etc

    Here's Esquerra de Catalunya:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Left_of_Catalonia
    Much like CUP, but less antifa in outlook, more of an old-style socialism, but they also claim part of France. Yes, there's a bit of French territory where people historically speak Catalan and these nuts want it very badly:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roussillon

    Podemos: known in Catalonia as En Comú Podem, is a major player in Spanish politics. Rather a coalition than a real party, it has regional branches and alliances, such as the aforementioned Podem. It's basically a Stalinist party, I'm not kidding.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podemos_(Spanish_political_part
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_Com%C3%BA_Podem
    Furthermore, all of these parties want to leave the EU and Nato. They also love Cuba and Venezuela. And they have political and financial ties with Iran and Venezuela, at least Podemos!
    Although my knowledge of Catalan and Spanish politics is not restricted to the Wikipedia, here's what anybody can learn by themselves in 30 minutes or so.

    Now, the current government cabinet in Catalonia, headed by Puigdemont, relies on the alliance between Esquerra and Convergencia (now called Partido demócrata de Catalunya, Puigdemont's centrist republican (anti monarchical) pro-independence party), but they are also supported by Podem and CUP.
    So, basically, 3/4 ths of the Catalan Parliament are far left, and could get rid of Puigdemont easily.
    Still ok with Catalan independence?
    Because the ultimate goal of the Left in Spain as a whole, is for a takeover of the central government (in the US, administration, while the US definition of government in Europe is called the State Administration) by the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Podemos in the event of a Catalan secession, which would topple Mariano Rajoy's (Partido Popular) already shaky cabinet. Let me repeat: Podemos is a Stalinist party, which would ultimately gobble up the Socialist Party.
    I hope it makes sense. Admitedly, I'm no expert in Spanish or Catalan politics, but I have lived there for a good number of years and I try to keep up with current events.
    Believe me, the situation is very scary. Rajoy is a tool, and the king is freaking useless.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    You seem to think that everyone plans ahead. You should know that isn't the case.
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  80. @Bill
    If the Spanish had done nothing, then the Catalans would have held an organized, free, fair, high-turnout and thus presumably representative ballot. That would have cut off the possibility of arguing that the balloting was so defective as to be meaningless. As it is, it is at least plausible that the results of the ballot are not representative. The "violent" response of Spain was a win.

    If the Spanish had done nothing, then the Catalans would have held an organized, free, fair, high-turnout and thus presumably representative ballot.

    Not sure about ‘representative’. Separatists are highly motivated, while those satisfied with the status quo are mostly disinterested, I imagine.

    Read More
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  81. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Sam Haysom
    Rajoy is likely a die hard Spanish integeralist- he is from Galicia after all- who boldly saw an opputunity to claw back some the powers devolved to Catalonia in the aftermath to a failed separatist bid. I imagine the second class status of non-Catalonians fills him with anger and he would like to reverse it. A messy separatist bid as opposed to one that just fizzles out gives him the opputunity to root out the pillars of Catalonian seperatism.

    Plus it was the best way possible of testing how long his leash is. Without EU support Catalonia is screwed it is clear now that the EU will support basically any actions Rajoy undertakes including the deployment of the military should that be necessary.

    Very interesting. Why are Gallegos diehard integralists?

    Read More
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  82. BB753 says:
    @peterAUS

    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don’t seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It’s not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement.
     
    Well...be that as it may...what exactly that "leftist revolutionary movement" wants to accomplish here?

    Would they have some manifesto, plan...what's their end game?

    In order to challenge the power of the state it would be simply criminally irresponsible to entice people into something serious without clear and achievable goals.
    Not that populist egomaniacs can't do that, but still......

    So, say, they declare independence and Spain doesn't go hard. Just for the sake of conversation.
    What, according to the leadership (or smarts behind that leadership) happens next?

    ECONOMY?
    International treaties?
    Etc?
    End goals...steps to achieve them....price to be paid for it....etc...etc?

    Written anywhere in plain language?
    Known to people who voted for independence?

    No, people didn’t know what independence really entails. What about the state pensions? Social Security? Everybody assumes Catalonia is rich but in fact it is broke.
    As for what CUP, Esquerra and Podem stand for, it’s sheer Marxism. Look them up.

    Here’s CUP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Unity_Candidacy

    In a nutshell: anti-capitalism, socialism, republicanism, municipalism ( in russian, “soviet”), environmentalism, Catalan indepence, pancatalanism (i.e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia), etc

    Here’s Esquerra de Catalunya:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Left_of_Catalonia

    Much like CUP, but less antifa in outlook, more of an old-style socialism, but they also claim part of France. Yes, there’s a bit of French territory where people historically speak Catalan and these nuts want it very badly:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roussillon

    Podemos: known in Catalonia as En Comú Podem, is a major player in Spanish politics. Rather a coalition than a real party, it has regional branches and alliances, such as the aforementioned Podem. It’s basically a Stalinist party, I’m not kidding.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podemos_(Spanish_political_part

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_Com%C3%BA_Podem

    Furthermore, all of these parties want to leave the EU and Nato. They also love Cuba and Venezuela. And they have political and financial ties with Iran and Venezuela, at least Podemos!
    Although my knowledge of Catalan and Spanish politics is not restricted to the Wikipedia, here’s what anybody can learn by themselves in 30 minutes or so.

    Now, the current government cabinet in Catalonia, headed by Puigdemont, relies on the alliance between Esquerra and Convergencia (now called Partido demócrata de Catalunya, Puigdemont’s centrist republican (anti monarchical) pro-independence party), but they are also supported by Podem and CUP.
    So, basically, 3/4 ths of the Catalan Parliament are far left, and could get rid of Puigdemont easily.
    Still ok with Catalan independence?
    Because the ultimate goal of the Left in Spain as a whole, is for a takeover of the central government (in the US, administration, while the US definition of government in Europe is called the State Administration) by the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Podemos in the event of a Catalan secession, which would topple Mariano Rajoy’s (Partido Popular) already shaky cabinet. Let me repeat: Podemos is a Stalinist party, which would ultimately gobble up the Socialist Party.
    I hope it makes sense. Admitedly, I’m no expert in Spanish or Catalan politics, but I have lived there for a good number of years and I try to keep up with current events.
    Believe me, the situation is very scary. Rajoy is a tool, and the king is freaking useless.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon

    .e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia)
     
    who are of course, not generally fans of the idea.
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  83. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @BB753
    No, people didn't know what independence really entails. What about the state pensions? Social Security? Everybody assumes Catalonia is rich but in fact it is broke.
    As for what CUP, Esquerra and Podem stand for, it's sheer Marxism. Look them up.

    Here's CUP:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popular_Unity_Candidacy
    In a nutshell: anti-capitalism, socialism, republicanism, municipalism ( in russian, "soviet"), environmentalism, Catalan indepence, pancatalanism (i.e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia), etc

    Here's Esquerra de Catalunya:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Left_of_Catalonia
    Much like CUP, but less antifa in outlook, more of an old-style socialism, but they also claim part of France. Yes, there's a bit of French territory where people historically speak Catalan and these nuts want it very badly:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roussillon

    Podemos: known in Catalonia as En Comú Podem, is a major player in Spanish politics. Rather a coalition than a real party, it has regional branches and alliances, such as the aforementioned Podem. It's basically a Stalinist party, I'm not kidding.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podemos_(Spanish_political_part
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/En_Com%C3%BA_Podem
    Furthermore, all of these parties want to leave the EU and Nato. They also love Cuba and Venezuela. And they have political and financial ties with Iran and Venezuela, at least Podemos!
    Although my knowledge of Catalan and Spanish politics is not restricted to the Wikipedia, here's what anybody can learn by themselves in 30 minutes or so.

    Now, the current government cabinet in Catalonia, headed by Puigdemont, relies on the alliance between Esquerra and Convergencia (now called Partido demócrata de Catalunya, Puigdemont's centrist republican (anti monarchical) pro-independence party), but they are also supported by Podem and CUP.
    So, basically, 3/4 ths of the Catalan Parliament are far left, and could get rid of Puigdemont easily.
    Still ok with Catalan independence?
    Because the ultimate goal of the Left in Spain as a whole, is for a takeover of the central government (in the US, administration, while the US definition of government in Europe is called the State Administration) by the Socialist Party (PSOE) and Podemos in the event of a Catalan secession, which would topple Mariano Rajoy's (Partido Popular) already shaky cabinet. Let me repeat: Podemos is a Stalinist party, which would ultimately gobble up the Socialist Party.
    I hope it makes sense. Admitedly, I'm no expert in Spanish or Catalan politics, but I have lived there for a good number of years and I try to keep up with current events.
    Believe me, the situation is very scary. Rajoy is a tool, and the king is freaking useless.

    .e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia)

    who are of course, not generally fans of the idea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    A minority in those regions like the idea. There's also a strong separatist movement in the Balearic Isles. They want to be left alone both by Spain and by Catalonia.
    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.
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  84. BB753 says:
    @anon

    .e., claiming Valencia and the Balearic Isles as part of Catalonia)
     
    who are of course, not generally fans of the idea.

    A minority in those regions like the idea. There’s also a strong separatist movement in the Balearic Isles. They want to be left alone both by Spain and by Catalonia.
    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.
     
    That's true of Valencia city and the larger towns , but there's a spoken divide in the villages and small towns. They speak plenty of Valenciano (another dialect of Spanish related to Catalan) and it is politicized.

    A condition of public employment in these places is fluency in Valenciano. Also, they give subsidies to business owners to use Valenciano shop signs, and have converted all non national/motorway road signs to Valenciano (although some are erased or overwritten in Castillian (Spanish), and Valenciano lessons are compulsory in local schools.

    The more extreme wing of Valenciano speakers do have romantic "independista " ideas, with the same leftist counter-cultural background, and are, in fact, very similar to the Catalan nationalists (although many non-radical Valenciano speakers in the villages would identify with traditionalist Constitutional Spain).

    It's complicated, but the equation seems to be; leftist counter-cultural radical = Independista activist.

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  85. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @BB753
    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don't seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It's not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement. Puigdemont, a centrist, has a tenuous grasp on power and CUP, Esquerra and Podemos, all far-left and pro-independece parties, really call the shots in Catalonia, both in the regional government and in the streets. Already, the Socialist Party and Podemos (literally: We can") want to oust the current ruling centrist party from the national government in Madrid. And Rajoy is very weak.
    A similar situation happened in 1934, We all know what happened next, a couple of years later.
    It's as if reporters are unable to even read the Wikipedia and do some basuc research before writing their pieces. Google CUP, Esquerra Republicana, Podemos.
    Just watch the panic that has seized the two major banks in Catalonia: Caixabank and Sabadell. The latter has already decided to leave Catalonia.

    Independence, nationalist, and national liberation movements have generally been associated with leftist revolutionary politics. Conservatives and the right generally favor the status quo.

    Read More
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  86. @peterAUS

    Most foreign and even Spanish observers don’t seem to realize the true character of the events in Catalonia. It’s not just about independence, but rather a leftist revolutionary movement.
     
    Well...be that as it may...what exactly that "leftist revolutionary movement" wants to accomplish here?

    Would they have some manifesto, plan...what's their end game?

    In order to challenge the power of the state it would be simply criminally irresponsible to entice people into something serious without clear and achievable goals.
    Not that populist egomaniacs can't do that, but still......

    So, say, they declare independence and Spain doesn't go hard. Just for the sake of conversation.
    What, according to the leadership (or smarts behind that leadership) happens next?

    ECONOMY?
    International treaties?
    Etc?
    End goals...steps to achieve them....price to be paid for it....etc...etc?

    Written anywhere in plain language?
    Known to people who voted for independence?

    You seem to think that everyone plans ahead. You should know that isn’t the case.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    You seem to think that everyone plans ahead. You should know that isn’t the case.
     
    Correction: I know that some plan ahead. I also know that most don't.
    Or, some elites plan, masses don't.
    Now, nobody says that those plans are competent. Worse, nobody says that they even care for consequences.
    What's important in this case is who are those planning.

    It looks as "left" elites (this left as salon, intellectual types.......make of that what you will) are trying to use popular sentiment for own goals.
    Own goal, apparently, to get power in Spain. Podemos....(the same type as Syriza).
    Now, knowing what happened with Greece, it just looks as an attempt of naked power grab by certain elements of Spanish society (those salon types.......).

    If that's the case they'll fold if/when Spanish Government pushes hard.
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  87. peterAUS says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    You seem to think that everyone plans ahead. You should know that isn't the case.

    You seem to think that everyone plans ahead. You should know that isn’t the case.

    Correction: I know that some plan ahead. I also know that most don’t.
    Or, some elites plan, masses don’t.
    Now, nobody says that those plans are competent. Worse, nobody says that they even care for consequences.
    What’s important in this case is who are those planning.

    It looks as “left” elites (this left as salon, intellectual types…….make of that what you will) are trying to use popular sentiment for own goals.
    Own goal, apparently, to get power in Spain. Podemos….(the same type as Syriza).
    Now, knowing what happened with Greece, it just looks as an attempt of naked power grab by certain elements of Spanish society (those salon types…….).

    If that’s the case they’ll fold if/when Spanish Government pushes hard.

    Read More
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  88. Miro23 says:
    @BB753
    A minority in those regions like the idea. There's also a strong separatist movement in the Balearic Isles. They want to be left alone both by Spain and by Catalonia.
    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.

    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.

    That’s true of Valencia city and the larger towns , but there’s a spoken divide in the villages and small towns. They speak plenty of Valenciano (another dialect of Spanish related to Catalan) and it is politicized.

    A condition of public employment in these places is fluency in Valenciano. Also, they give subsidies to business owners to use Valenciano shop signs, and have converted all non national/motorway road signs to Valenciano (although some are erased or overwritten in Castillian (Spanish), and Valenciano lessons are compulsory in local schools.

    The more extreme wing of Valenciano speakers do have romantic “independista ” ideas, with the same leftist counter-cultural background, and are, in fact, very similar to the Catalan nationalists (although many non-radical Valenciano speakers in the villages would identify with traditionalist Constitutional Spain).

    It’s complicated, but the equation seems to be; leftist counter-cultural radical = Independista activist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @BB753
    The further you go inland in Valencia, the less you hear Valencian spoken. It's the opposite in Catalonia, where the local language in rural places inland is close to 100%. What I mean is that almost nobody speaks Valencian in the Western parts of Valencia, and haven't for centuries.
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  89. BB753 says:
    @Miro23

    Valencia, to the South of Catalonia, strongly supports Spanish union.
     
    That's true of Valencia city and the larger towns , but there's a spoken divide in the villages and small towns. They speak plenty of Valenciano (another dialect of Spanish related to Catalan) and it is politicized.

    A condition of public employment in these places is fluency in Valenciano. Also, they give subsidies to business owners to use Valenciano shop signs, and have converted all non national/motorway road signs to Valenciano (although some are erased or overwritten in Castillian (Spanish), and Valenciano lessons are compulsory in local schools.

    The more extreme wing of Valenciano speakers do have romantic "independista " ideas, with the same leftist counter-cultural background, and are, in fact, very similar to the Catalan nationalists (although many non-radical Valenciano speakers in the villages would identify with traditionalist Constitutional Spain).

    It's complicated, but the equation seems to be; leftist counter-cultural radical = Independista activist.

    The further you go inland in Valencia, the less you hear Valencian spoken. It’s the opposite in Catalonia, where the local language in rural places inland is close to 100%. What I mean is that almost nobody speaks Valencian in the Western parts of Valencia, and haven’t for centuries.

    Read More
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  90. notanon says:

    from reading the comments it seems there may be three incompatible (?) components within these independence movements which may complicate matters *or* make it easier to reach escape velocity:

    - regions that are more left wing than the average for the larger polity leading leftist groups to want independence

    - nativists & nationalists

    - in relatively wealthy regions people who want to throw off poorer regions for muh taxes reasons

    (the first two applied in Scotland and the third less so)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    the first two applied in Scotland and the third less so
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Scotland%27s_oil
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  91. @notanon
    from reading the comments it seems there may be three incompatible (?) components within these independence movements which may complicate matters *or* make it easier to reach escape velocity:

    - regions that are more left wing than the average for the larger polity leading leftist groups to want independence

    - nativists & nationalists

    - in relatively wealthy regions people who want to throw off poorer regions for muh taxes reasons

    (the first two applied in Scotland and the third less so)

    the first two applied in Scotland and the third less so

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Scotland%27s_oil

    Read More
    • Replies: @notanon
    Right.

    North sea oil is a factor but iirc it's a declining factor so Scotland *might* be better off outside the UK due to the oil now - i've heard competing arguments - but maybe not long term?

    If so that might negate/dilute the 3rd case above.
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  92. notanon says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    the first two applied in Scotland and the third less so
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_Scotland%27s_oil

    Right.

    North sea oil is a factor but iirc it’s a declining factor so Scotland *might* be better off outside the UK due to the oil now – i’ve heard competing arguments – but maybe not long term?

    If so that might negate/dilute the 3rd case above.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits. It's the "damned Moskali ate our salo" phenomenon.

    It's understandable: since ethnic nationalism (by definition) exaggerates intra-ethnic and downplays inter-ethnic solidarity, then it's only natural to assume that your group is forced to cooperate by the larger entity (by other groups) for the purpose to exploit, to victimize.
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  93. @notanon
    Right.

    North sea oil is a factor but iirc it's a declining factor so Scotland *might* be better off outside the UK due to the oil now - i've heard competing arguments - but maybe not long term?

    If so that might negate/dilute the 3rd case above.

    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits. It’s the “damned Moskali ate our salo” phenomenon.

    It’s understandable: since ethnic nationalism (by definition) exaggerates intra-ethnic and downplays inter-ethnic solidarity, then it’s only natural to assume that your group is forced to cooperate by the larger entity (by other groups) for the purpose to exploit, to victimize.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    It’s the “damned Moskali ate our salo” phenomenon.
     
    Your marxist-atheistic-materialistic w0rldview permeates your thought process and isn't able to countenance some higher spiritual axioms:

    'Man shall not live by bread alone,'
     
    Mathew 4:4

    That's not to say that bread isn't important, for the same wise man I'm quoting taught his disciples to pray to God and ask for his blessing in receiving their daily bread. People have aspired to more from their political institutions than just a robust economy - this is why, in my opinion, smaller nations are fighting back against the tyranny of large ones, and desire to have their local language and culture respected!

    , @notanon

    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits.
     
    sure but to that i'm adding the possibility of people who come from the other direction i.e. people who aren't nationalist by nature but who jump on the bandwagon for economic reasons.
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  94. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits. It's the "damned Moskali ate our salo" phenomenon.

    It's understandable: since ethnic nationalism (by definition) exaggerates intra-ethnic and downplays inter-ethnic solidarity, then it's only natural to assume that your group is forced to cooperate by the larger entity (by other groups) for the purpose to exploit, to victimize.

    It’s the “damned Moskali ate our salo” phenomenon.

    Your marxist-atheistic-materialistic w0rldview permeates your thought process and isn’t able to countenance some higher spiritual axioms:

    ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,’

    Mathew 4:4

    That’s not to say that bread isn’t important, for the same wise man I’m quoting taught his disciples to pray to God and ask for his blessing in receiving their daily bread. People have aspired to more from their political institutions than just a robust economy – this is why, in my opinion, smaller nations are fighting back against the tyranny of large ones, and desire to have their local language and culture respected!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know. I was saying that (presumed) economic gains is a significant element of that movement.

    As for "nations are fighting back against the tyranny", I'd say: sometimes there are legitimate grievances of course, but often it's merely perceived tyranny, silly victimhood mythology, and hysteria whipped up by cynical politicians for their personal gains (including, of course: "they are steeling our stuff!").

    Presumably, you don't feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to 'fight back against the tyranny'?

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  95. @Mr. Hack

    It’s the “damned Moskali ate our salo” phenomenon.
     
    Your marxist-atheistic-materialistic w0rldview permeates your thought process and isn't able to countenance some higher spiritual axioms:

    'Man shall not live by bread alone,'
     
    Mathew 4:4

    That's not to say that bread isn't important, for the same wise man I'm quoting taught his disciples to pray to God and ask for his blessing in receiving their daily bread. People have aspired to more from their political institutions than just a robust economy - this is why, in my opinion, smaller nations are fighting back against the tyranny of large ones, and desire to have their local language and culture respected!

    We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y’know. I was saying that (presumed) economic gains is a significant element of that movement.

    As for “nations are fighting back against the tyranny”, I’d say: sometimes there are legitimate grievances of course, but often it’s merely perceived tyranny, silly victimhood mythology, and hysteria whipped up by cynical politicians for their personal gains (including, of course: “they are steeling our stuff!”).

    Presumably, you don’t feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to ‘fight back against the tyranny’?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    " We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know,"
    No you weren't, as you know nothing about Scotland or Scottish Nationalism.
    Since the 1930s, the SNP's vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back. It won its first seat in Parliament in February 1945, DURING WWII ( so much for British social solidarity ).
    It has continued to grow since, often regardless of the economic situation.
    , @Mr. Hack

    Presumably, you don’t feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to ‘fight back against the tyranny’?
     
    They will have no reason to feel the 'tyrannical' Ukrainian arm. The language laws are being promulgated in accordance with European standards and are being reviewed by EU structures for equity and relevance. What's good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.
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  96. @Mao Cheng Ji
    We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know. I was saying that (presumed) economic gains is a significant element of that movement.

    As for "nations are fighting back against the tyranny", I'd say: sometimes there are legitimate grievances of course, but often it's merely perceived tyranny, silly victimhood mythology, and hysteria whipped up by cynical politicians for their personal gains (including, of course: "they are steeling our stuff!").

    Presumably, you don't feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to 'fight back against the tyranny'?

    ” We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y’know,”
    No you weren’t, as you know nothing about Scotland or Scottish Nationalism.
    Since the 1930s, the SNP’s vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back. It won its first seat in Parliament in February 1945, DURING WWII ( so much for British social solidarity ).
    It has continued to grow since, often regardless of the economic situation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Jeez, you people are touchy. I know something: I am aware of the north sea oil controversy. And I wasn't talking to you, I was talking with someone else. Is it okay, do I have your permission?
    , @notanon

    Since the 1930s, the SNP’s vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back.
     
    other way round - it was almost completely stagnant for decades until very recently.

    in terms of a simple tripartite model
    1) nationalists (complicated in Scotland by religion)
    2) leftists
    3) economic voters

    i'd say Scottish independence was mostly (1) for most of its history then after the discovery of north sea oil it became more (1) and (3) but its big break came with the UK Labour party not being as left wing (cos it had to appeal to England as well) which gave the SNP the chance to outflank them on the Left leading to their recent success. However at the same time the economic argument was getting weaker so instead of a (1) + (3) coalition becoming a (1) + (2) + (3) coalition it became a more (1) + (2) coalition and thus not quite enough to get over the line.
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  97. @Verymuchalive
    " We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know,"
    No you weren't, as you know nothing about Scotland or Scottish Nationalism.
    Since the 1930s, the SNP's vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back. It won its first seat in Parliament in February 1945, DURING WWII ( so much for British social solidarity ).
    It has continued to grow since, often regardless of the economic situation.

    Jeez, you people are touchy. I know something: I am aware of the north sea oil controversy. And I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking with someone else. Is it okay, do I have your permission?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    I know that you are a thin-skinned individual. You haven't answered any of my substantive points. If you don't want replies from other commenters, don't use this website. Get a life !
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  98. @Mao Cheng Ji
    Jeez, you people are touchy. I know something: I am aware of the north sea oil controversy. And I wasn't talking to you, I was talking with someone else. Is it okay, do I have your permission?

    I know that you are a thin-skinned individual. You haven’t answered any of my substantive points. If you don’t want replies from other commenters, don’t use this website. Get a life !

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    • Replies: @Anon

    I was talking with someone else
     
    It's a free site. As long as people observe basic civility I don't see a problem with this.

    The one thing not to do is what once happened to me: someone jumped into my conversation with another party to tell me that he (the jumper) was the "wrong person to ask"!
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  99. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Verymuchalive
    I know that you are a thin-skinned individual. You haven't answered any of my substantive points. If you don't want replies from other commenters, don't use this website. Get a life !

    I was talking with someone else

    It’s a free site. As long as people observe basic civility I don’t see a problem with this.

    The one thing not to do is what once happened to me: someone jumped into my conversation with another party to tell me that he (the jumper) was the “wrong person to ask”!

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  100. notanon says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits. It's the "damned Moskali ate our salo" phenomenon.

    It's understandable: since ethnic nationalism (by definition) exaggerates intra-ethnic and downplays inter-ethnic solidarity, then it's only natural to assume that your group is forced to cooperate by the larger entity (by other groups) for the purpose to exploit, to victimize.

    I suspect every separatist everywhere believes, deep inside his heart, that independence of his nation would bring great economic benefits.

    sure but to that i’m adding the possibility of people who come from the other direction i.e. people who aren’t nationalist by nature but who jump on the bandwagon for economic reasons.

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  101. notanon says:
    @Verymuchalive
    " We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know,"
    No you weren't, as you know nothing about Scotland or Scottish Nationalism.
    Since the 1930s, the SNP's vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back. It won its first seat in Parliament in February 1945, DURING WWII ( so much for British social solidarity ).
    It has continued to grow since, often regardless of the economic situation.

    Since the 1930s, the SNP’s vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back.

    other way round – it was almost completely stagnant for decades until very recently.

    in terms of a simple tripartite model
    1) nationalists (complicated in Scotland by religion)
    2) leftists
    3) economic voters

    i’d say Scottish independence was mostly (1) for most of its history then after the discovery of north sea oil it became more (1) and (3) but its big break came with the UK Labour party not being as left wing (cos it had to appeal to England as well) which gave the SNP the chance to outflank them on the Left leading to their recent success. However at the same time the economic argument was getting weaker so instead of a (1) + (3) coalition becoming a (1) + (2) + (3) coalition it became a more (1) + (2) coalition and thus not quite enough to get over the line.

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    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    Your claims are not very coherent and are erroneous. Since 2011 the SNP ( in complete control of the Scottish Parliament ) has followed policies well to the right of the Scottish Labour Party. It has not outflanked it on the left. Indeed, its policies are remarkably similar to the previous coalition Westminster Government and the present Conservative one.
    It continues to claim that Scotland is being denied its full share of UK revenue, that any cuts are caused by the UK Government - even when they're not - and that otherwise the SNP is following Social Democratic policies - especially when they're not.
    The claims seemed to have worked. Despite having an overwhelmingly pro-Unionist press, they seem incapable of countering any of these arguments. Indeed, the press have been unable to lay a glove on the SNP for decades, especially under old leader Alex Salmond.
    The important consequence of the SNP surge in the 21st Century has been the defection of the Glaswegian public sector salariat to the SNP. Gordon Brown, a sullen, miserable ghit, who masqueraded as British PM for several years, thought that he could increase the Labour vote by increasing the number of public sector bureaucrats. In Scotland, the plan completely rebounded against Labour. The salariat saw a better offer and jumped ship.
    You're saying, none of this makes a great deal of sense. True, but a lot of life doesn't make a great of sense. It happened, I was there.
    Please criticize if I'm wrong. Please criticize me if you know better. This is a public website. It's like writing a letter to a Newspaper. Anyone can write back. Obviously, it is up to the proprietor if and in what form you and I are published. Thankfully, Mr Unz seems quite tolerant of us lot.
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  102. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    We were talking about Scottish nationalists, y'know. I was saying that (presumed) economic gains is a significant element of that movement.

    As for "nations are fighting back against the tyranny", I'd say: sometimes there are legitimate grievances of course, but often it's merely perceived tyranny, silly victimhood mythology, and hysteria whipped up by cynical politicians for their personal gains (including, of course: "they are steeling our stuff!").

    Presumably, you don't feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to 'fight back against the tyranny'?

    Presumably, you don’t feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to ‘fight back against the tyranny’?

    They will have no reason to feel the ‘tyrannical’ Ukrainian arm. The language laws are being promulgated in accordance with European standards and are being reviewed by EU structures for equity and relevance. What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    So, no "higher spiritual axioms" for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?

    As for the "European standards" (by which, I presume, you mean "typical European practices"), historically speaking, Europe (and the West in general) certainly is the most barbaric culture in regards to ethnic/religious persecution. These days, for example, Muslim veils are being banned all over the place. Building minarets is forbidden in Switzerland. The mayor of Riga is fined for speaking Russian in informal settings. I don't see how "being reviewed by EU structures" helps: everything in Europe is politicized up to the eyeballs.

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  103. Tyrion says:
    @Beckow
    It started with EU assisted break-up of Yugoslavia. NATO went as far as to bomb Serbia to force independence for a small province of Kosovo. A fatal error. What we see today has been inevitable since the crazy 'humanitarian bombing' of Kosovo.

    The chickens are coming home to roost.

    It started with EU assisted break-up of Yugoslavia. NATO went as far as to bomb Serbia to force independence for a small province of Kosovo. A fatal error. What we see today has been inevitable since the crazy ‘humanitarian bombing’ of Kosovo.

    The chickens are coming home to roost

    No seperatism on quasi-nationalist lines did not start with Serbia and Kosovo. Don’t be stupid.

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  104. @Mr. Hack

    Presumably, you don’t feel that Russian- Romanian- or Hungarian-speaking populations (to name a few) on the territory of the former state of Ukraine are entitled to ‘fight back against the tyranny’?
     
    They will have no reason to feel the 'tyrannical' Ukrainian arm. The language laws are being promulgated in accordance with European standards and are being reviewed by EU structures for equity and relevance. What's good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.

    So, no “higher spiritual axioms” for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?

    As for the “European standards” (by which, I presume, you mean “typical European practices”), historically speaking, Europe (and the West in general) certainly is the most barbaric culture in regards to ethnic/religious persecution. These days, for example, Muslim veils are being banned all over the place. Building minarets is forbidden in Switzerland. The mayor of Riga is fined for speaking Russian in informal settings. I don’t see how “being reviewed by EU structures” helps: everything in Europe is politicized up to the eyeballs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    So, no “higher spiritual axioms” for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?
     
    If that's what they're doing in the enlightened West (although they're not!) then as I've already stated:

    What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.
     
    BTW, in enlightened Russia, under Czar Putin's rule, ethnic minority schools are almost non-existant. Ukrainians, which number somewhere between 6-10 million don't have even one single school where they can have their children taught in their own native language! Even the Kazakhstanis are much more liberal and culturally in tune with the needs of their Ukrainian ethnic citizens:

    In an effort to differentiate the Ukrainian and Russian communities in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh government has actively supported Ukrainian cultural aspirations.[3] It has funded a Ukrainian newspaper. Ukrainian organizations operate freely in Kazakhstan, and currently there are 20 Ukrainian cultural centers that sponsor Sunday schools, choirs, and folk dancing groups. Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, has a Ukrainian high school and Sunday school.[4] The shared sufferings of the Kazakh and Ukrainian peoples at the hands of the Soviets are emphasized by Kazakh-Ukrainian activists.[3]
     
    Shame on the barbaric and backward Russians! :-(
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  105. Randal says:

    Re the accusations of shocking police brutality by the Spanish government having been so loudly proclaimed by sympathisers of the Catalan separatists and their rather sentimental and overly credulous dupes, and so effectively used as propaganda, here’s a cautionary note that should be kept in mind:

    Violence in Catalonia needed closer scrutiny in age of fake news

    “We’ve seen a lot of fake pictures on people who have been hurt by the police, but were really pictures from different demonstrations,” said the head checker for the El Objective TV show. He produced web pictures of bleeding protesters that went viral – but they were old stuff from a miners’ strike five years ago. That woman who had all her fingers broken. She hadn’t. That six-year-old boy, paralysed by police brutality? It didn’t happen. Serious injuries on the day: just two.

    When you plough through this account and many others, different perspectives begin to surface. Not that the civil guard’s truncheon-wielding interventions weren’t violent and frightening. But that the reporting of what happened – including the detail of those 893 injured voters – hadn’t been independently checked.

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  106. OTOH been hearing claims they were bussed in for free from all over Spain.

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    • Replies: @Randal
    It shouldn't be any surprise that separatists are more highly motivated to come out into the streets than unionists, for much the same reason radicals in general usually demonstrate whereas conservatives don't.

    The underlying reality though is that the separatists have been trying to push UDI on a population that is probably only around 50/50 in support of it.

    When things start to get really unpleasant for the population of Catalonia (if they do actually make the mistake - imo - of not backing down on UDI), that will come back to bite them big time, and the unilateralist separatists will most likely be primarily blamed for the situation by all but the most committed of their supporters.
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  107. Randal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    https://twitter.com/broderick/status/916960058726080512

    OTOH been hearing claims they were bussed in for free from all over Spain.

    It shouldn’t be any surprise that separatists are more highly motivated to come out into the streets than unionists, for much the same reason radicals in general usually demonstrate whereas conservatives don’t.

    The underlying reality though is that the separatists have been trying to push UDI on a population that is probably only around 50/50 in support of it.

    When things start to get really unpleasant for the population of Catalonia (if they do actually make the mistake – imo – of not backing down on UDI), that will come back to bite them big time, and the unilateralist separatists will most likely be primarily blamed for the situation by all but the most committed of their supporters.

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  108. @notanon

    Since the 1930s, the SNP’s vote has moved steadily upwards, despite the occasional
    fall back.
     
    other way round - it was almost completely stagnant for decades until very recently.

    in terms of a simple tripartite model
    1) nationalists (complicated in Scotland by religion)
    2) leftists
    3) economic voters

    i'd say Scottish independence was mostly (1) for most of its history then after the discovery of north sea oil it became more (1) and (3) but its big break came with the UK Labour party not being as left wing (cos it had to appeal to England as well) which gave the SNP the chance to outflank them on the Left leading to their recent success. However at the same time the economic argument was getting weaker so instead of a (1) + (3) coalition becoming a (1) + (2) + (3) coalition it became a more (1) + (2) coalition and thus not quite enough to get over the line.

    Your claims are not very coherent and are erroneous. Since 2011 the SNP ( in complete control of the Scottish Parliament ) has followed policies well to the right of the Scottish Labour Party. It has not outflanked it on the left. Indeed, its policies are remarkably similar to the previous coalition Westminster Government and the present Conservative one.
    It continues to claim that Scotland is being denied its full share of UK revenue, that any cuts are caused by the UK Government – even when they’re not – and that otherwise the SNP is following Social Democratic policies – especially when they’re not.
    The claims seemed to have worked. Despite having an overwhelmingly pro-Unionist press, they seem incapable of countering any of these arguments. Indeed, the press have been unable to lay a glove on the SNP for decades, especially under old leader Alex Salmond.
    The important consequence of the SNP surge in the 21st Century has been the defection of the Glaswegian public sector salariat to the SNP. Gordon Brown, a sullen, miserable ghit, who masqueraded as British PM for several years, thought that he could increase the Labour vote by increasing the number of public sector bureaucrats. In Scotland, the plan completely rebounded against Labour. The salariat saw a better offer and jumped ship.
    You’re saying, none of this makes a great deal of sense. True, but a lot of life doesn’t make a great of sense. It happened, I was there.
    Please criticize if I’m wrong. Please criticize me if you know better. This is a public website. It’s like writing a letter to a Newspaper. Anyone can write back. Obviously, it is up to the proprietor if and in what form you and I are published. Thankfully, Mr Unz seems quite tolerant of us lot.

    Read More
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  109. @DNC
    There would be a lot more teams than just Liverpool and Arsenal objecting to Barca's participation in the PL. Barca would easily dethrone Chelsea and the Mancs.

    No not actually. Real Madrid and Barcelona had always sold their TV rights by themselves, taking some 90% of all Spanish TV revenues. That changed in 2016 to a more democratic method and any move to the UK will mean Barcelona would have to accept an even small share of the (bigger) pot.

    Moreover Barca would certainly struggle for a season or two playing 38 tough Premier League games and 8-12 Champions League games as opposed to the 4 + 8-12 that they face in La Liga where only two teams challenge them.

    But in fact Catalonia would be a catalyst for a bigger change – where either The Premier League invites 5 or 6 European teams into a mega league (Barca, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and perhaps Juventus) or UEFA will finally get their act together and create such a European Super League themselves. On or the other is probable eventually, irrespective of Catalonia.

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  110. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    So, no "higher spiritual axioms" for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?

    As for the "European standards" (by which, I presume, you mean "typical European practices"), historically speaking, Europe (and the West in general) certainly is the most barbaric culture in regards to ethnic/religious persecution. These days, for example, Muslim veils are being banned all over the place. Building minarets is forbidden in Switzerland. The mayor of Riga is fined for speaking Russian in informal settings. I don't see how "being reviewed by EU structures" helps: everything in Europe is politicized up to the eyeballs.

    So, no “higher spiritual axioms” for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?

    If that’s what they’re doing in the enlightened West (although they’re not!) then as I’ve already stated:

    What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.

    BTW, in enlightened Russia, under Czar Putin’s rule, ethnic minority schools are almost non-existant. Ukrainians, which number somewhere between 6-10 million don’t have even one single school where they can have their children taught in their own native language! Even the Kazakhstanis are much more liberal and culturally in tune with the needs of their Ukrainian ethnic citizens:

    In an effort to differentiate the Ukrainian and Russian communities in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh government has actively supported Ukrainian cultural aspirations.[3] It has funded a Ukrainian newspaper. Ukrainian organizations operate freely in Kazakhstan, and currently there are 20 Ukrainian cultural centers that sponsor Sunday schools, choirs, and folk dancing groups. Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, has a Ukrainian high school and Sunday school.[4] The shared sufferings of the Kazakh and Ukrainian peoples at the hands of the Soviets are emphasized by Kazakh-Ukrainian activists.[3]

    Shame on the barbaric and backward Russians! :-(

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Private schools and groups of families practicing "family education" are abundant and diverse in Russia. You can find one for every particular need. Have you looked for any filling the Ukrainian niche?

    (By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn't mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people. Even though my personal sample is biased in favor of native speakers of Ukrainian, I know only 3 examples, all of which are now more comfortable speaking in Russian than in Ukrainian having lived here for more than half of their lives.)

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  111. What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.

    What does it mean? Could you elaborate please. I’m guessing: you seem to be implying (without providing any evidence) that the government of the Russian Federation is somehow suppressing Ukrainian language and culture (are there any laws to that effect? can you link to them, please?), and then you’re saying that a (hypothetical) Ukrainian government should suppress the Russian language and culture in retaliation. Is this correct? And that’s the enlightenment/higher spiritual thing you’ve been talking about?

    Okay, sure. And what about Magyar-speaking, Romanian-speaking, and other populations under Kiev’s control – is it the same thing: they must forget about the “higher spiritual axioms” and suffer quietly for whatever sins you’ll accuse the states where people speak their languages?

    Enlighten me, please. It’s very interesting.

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    • Replies: @AP

    you seem to be implying (without providing any evidence) that the government of the Russian Federation is somehow suppressing Ukrainian language and culture (are there any laws to that effect? can you link to them, please?), and then you’re saying that a (hypothetical) Ukrainian government should suppress the Russian language and culture in retaliation.
     
    The government in Russia doesn't supply any Ukrainian-language secondary schools. The Ukrainian government just passed a law eliminating Russian-language secondary schools in Ukraine (AFAIK - I haven't actually seen the text of the law). So now the two governments are on the same page with respect to each other's policies. Either they are both discriminatory, or neither one is, but not one or the other.
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  112. @Mr. Hack

    So, no “higher spiritual axioms” for the Russians (including in the Baltic states), Rusyns, Carpathian Hungarians, and all the rest of them, eh?
     
    If that's what they're doing in the enlightened West (although they're not!) then as I've already stated:

    What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.
     
    BTW, in enlightened Russia, under Czar Putin's rule, ethnic minority schools are almost non-existant. Ukrainians, which number somewhere between 6-10 million don't have even one single school where they can have their children taught in their own native language! Even the Kazakhstanis are much more liberal and culturally in tune with the needs of their Ukrainian ethnic citizens:

    In an effort to differentiate the Ukrainian and Russian communities in Kazakhstan, the Kazakh government has actively supported Ukrainian cultural aspirations.[3] It has funded a Ukrainian newspaper. Ukrainian organizations operate freely in Kazakhstan, and currently there are 20 Ukrainian cultural centers that sponsor Sunday schools, choirs, and folk dancing groups. Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, has a Ukrainian high school and Sunday school.[4] The shared sufferings of the Kazakh and Ukrainian peoples at the hands of the Soviets are emphasized by Kazakh-Ukrainian activists.[3]
     
    Shame on the barbaric and backward Russians! :-(

    Private schools and groups of families practicing “family education” are abundant and diverse in Russia. You can find one for every particular need. Have you looked for any filling the Ukrainian niche?

    (By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn’t mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people. Even though my personal sample is biased in favor of native speakers of Ukrainian, I know only 3 examples, all of which are now more comfortable speaking in Russian than in Ukrainian having lived here for more than half of their lives.)

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    • Replies: @AP

    Private schools and groups of families practicing “family education” are abundant and diverse in Russia.
     
    Sure. And nothing in the Ukrainian laws makes it worse for Russians or Romanians from this perspective. Nobody is banning private individuals or organizations from teaching Russian. I actually haven't come across any indication that Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) won't be offered as a course in Ukrainian secondary schools. The schools simply won't use Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) as their primary language of instruction.

    By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn’t mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people.
     
    There are several thousands Ukrainian-at-home-speakers in Moscow whose efforts to have the government provide a Ukrainian-language school were repeatedly rebuffed. This is, of course, Russia's absolute right; it is their country, after all. But the hypocrisy of whining about Ukraine pursuing similar policies is amazing.
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  113. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    Private schools and groups of families practicing "family education" are abundant and diverse in Russia. You can find one for every particular need. Have you looked for any filling the Ukrainian niche?

    (By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn't mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people. Even though my personal sample is biased in favor of native speakers of Ukrainian, I know only 3 examples, all of which are now more comfortable speaking in Russian than in Ukrainian having lived here for more than half of their lives.)

    Private schools and groups of families practicing “family education” are abundant and diverse in Russia.

    Sure. And nothing in the Ukrainian laws makes it worse for Russians or Romanians from this perspective. Nobody is banning private individuals or organizations from teaching Russian. I actually haven’t come across any indication that Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) won’t be offered as a course in Ukrainian secondary schools. The schools simply won’t use Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) as their primary language of instruction.

    By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn’t mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people.

    There are several thousands Ukrainian-at-home-speakers in Moscow whose efforts to have the government provide a Ukrainian-language school were repeatedly rebuffed. This is, of course, Russia’s absolute right; it is their country, after all. But the hypocrisy of whining about Ukraine pursuing similar policies is amazing.

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Hi AP.

    Just to clarify, since my intentions seem to have been misunderstood:

    I'm genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever). The Ukrainian communities in Canada and the US are quite dedicated to this sort of thing.

    Also, I have no doubt, as you say, that there are thousands of families speaking Ukrainian at home in Moscow, and I wish them and everyone else the best of luck in finding the form of education that works best for their children. But I'm quite sure that 1 in 25 must be an exaggeration. Though if someone claimed that about "Uzbeks", it would be more plausible.

    As for policies of the Russian and Ukrainian governments, I personally don't have a horse in that race, and haven't made any complaints one way or the other. But as a disinterested observer, it seems to me that the Ukrainian government has a much stronger practical incentive to provide Russian language schools than the Russian government has to provide Ukrainian language schools. According to Wikipedia, the 2010 Russian census has about %2 of people identifying as ethnic Ukrainian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainians_in_Russia. So that suggests 1 in 50 as a reasonable (and probably very generous) upper-bound on the number of native speakers of Ukrainian in Russia. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, 3 in 10 people in Ukraine are native speakers of Russian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ukraine.) Let me emphasize that I am not making a moral point, but a pragmatic one: the Russian government can afford to ignore requests for the creation of Ukrainian language schools and suffer few political consequences, while the Ukrainian government runs the risk of alienating a significant proportion of the population by discontinuing a service that it already provides.

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools and pat themselves on the back as having taken the high road. But that would be to subtle for them.
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  114. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    What’s good enough for the goose, should be good enough for the gander.
     
    What does it mean? Could you elaborate please. I'm guessing: you seem to be implying (without providing any evidence) that the government of the Russian Federation is somehow suppressing Ukrainian language and culture (are there any laws to that effect? can you link to them, please?), and then you're saying that a (hypothetical) Ukrainian government should suppress the Russian language and culture in retaliation. Is this correct? And that's the enlightenment/higher spiritual thing you've been talking about?

    Okay, sure. And what about Magyar-speaking, Romanian-speaking, and other populations under Kiev's control - is it the same thing: they must forget about the "higher spiritual axioms" and suffer quietly for whatever sins you'll accuse the states where people speak their languages?

    Enlighten me, please. It's very interesting.

    you seem to be implying (without providing any evidence) that the government of the Russian Federation is somehow suppressing Ukrainian language and culture (are there any laws to that effect? can you link to them, please?), and then you’re saying that a (hypothetical) Ukrainian government should suppress the Russian language and culture in retaliation.

    The government in Russia doesn’t supply any Ukrainian-language secondary schools. The Ukrainian government just passed a law eliminating Russian-language secondary schools in Ukraine (AFAIK – I haven’t actually seen the text of the law). So now the two governments are on the same page with respect to each other’s policies. Either they are both discriminatory, or neither one is, but not one or the other.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    We're talking about "higher spiritual axioms". Highly spiritual shit, well above your level. Don't change the subject.

    I want to know if Magyar-speaking folks on the Kiev controlled territories are entitled to answer the high calling (as per Matthew, the apostle) and combat the tyranny, to have their language and culture respected! And I demand an answer!
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  115. Mr. Hack says:

    Even though my personal sample is biased in favor of native speakers of Ukrainian, I know only 3 examples, all of which are now more comfortable speaking in Russian than in Ukrainian having lived here for more than half of their lives.)

    Of course the 3 examples that you write of are more comfortable now speaking in Russian than in Ukrainian after spending more than half of their lives living in Russia – the Russian govenmenr has done very little if anything to encourage Ukrainians from using their own native language! If even 1 in 25 Ukrainians still speak in Ukrainian in most day to day activities, that’s still a lot of people who would probably opt for having their children learn some formal Ukrainian? That’s 240,000 very conservatively speaking! I suspect that a lot of Russian speaking Ukrainians in Russia would send their children to such schools too.

    Certainly, there are a lot more Ukrainians living in Russia than in Kazakstan, and should therefore have a lot more, not a lot less schools, clubs and cultural organizations to accommodate their needs, don’t you think?

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  116. @AP

    you seem to be implying (without providing any evidence) that the government of the Russian Federation is somehow suppressing Ukrainian language and culture (are there any laws to that effect? can you link to them, please?), and then you’re saying that a (hypothetical) Ukrainian government should suppress the Russian language and culture in retaliation.
     
    The government in Russia doesn't supply any Ukrainian-language secondary schools. The Ukrainian government just passed a law eliminating Russian-language secondary schools in Ukraine (AFAIK - I haven't actually seen the text of the law). So now the two governments are on the same page with respect to each other's policies. Either they are both discriminatory, or neither one is, but not one or the other.

    We’re talking about “higher spiritual axioms”. Highly spiritual shit, well above your level. Don’t change the subject.

    I want to know if Magyar-speaking folks on the Kiev controlled territories are entitled to answer the high calling (as per Matthew, the apostle) and combat the tyranny, to have their language and culture respected! And I demand an answer!

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  117. @AP

    Private schools and groups of families practicing “family education” are abundant and diverse in Russia.
     
    Sure. And nothing in the Ukrainian laws makes it worse for Russians or Romanians from this perspective. Nobody is banning private individuals or organizations from teaching Russian. I actually haven't come across any indication that Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) won't be offered as a course in Ukrainian secondary schools. The schools simply won't use Russian (or Romanian, or Hungarian) as their primary language of instruction.

    By the way, I suppose 6-10 million Ukrainians in Russia doesn’t mean 6-10 million native speakers of Ukrainian. 6 million speakers of Ukrainian would be roughly 1 in 25 people.
     
    There are several thousands Ukrainian-at-home-speakers in Moscow whose efforts to have the government provide a Ukrainian-language school were repeatedly rebuffed. This is, of course, Russia's absolute right; it is their country, after all. But the hypocrisy of whining about Ukraine pursuing similar policies is amazing.

    Hi AP.

    Just to clarify, since my intentions seem to have been misunderstood:

    I’m genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever). The Ukrainian communities in Canada and the US are quite dedicated to this sort of thing.

    Also, I have no doubt, as you say, that there are thousands of families speaking Ukrainian at home in Moscow, and I wish them and everyone else the best of luck in finding the form of education that works best for their children. But I’m quite sure that 1 in 25 must be an exaggeration. Though if someone claimed that about “Uzbeks”, it would be more plausible.

    As for policies of the Russian and Ukrainian governments, I personally don’t have a horse in that race, and haven’t made any complaints one way or the other. But as a disinterested observer, it seems to me that the Ukrainian government has a much stronger practical incentive to provide Russian language schools than the Russian government has to provide Ukrainian language schools. According to Wikipedia, the 2010 Russian census has about %2 of people identifying as ethnic Ukrainian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainians_in_Russia. So that suggests 1 in 50 as a reasonable (and probably very generous) upper-bound on the number of native speakers of Ukrainian in Russia. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, 3 in 10 people in Ukraine are native speakers of Russian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ukraine.) Let me emphasize that I am not making a moral point, but a pragmatic one: the Russian government can afford to ignore requests for the creation of Ukrainian language schools and suffer few political consequences, while the Ukrainian government runs the risk of alienating a significant proportion of the population by discontinuing a service that it already provides.

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools and pat themselves on the back as having taken the high road. But that would be to subtle for them.

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    • Replies: @AP

    I’m genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever).
     
    There are. There is also a Ukrainian cultural center on Arbat.

    You are correct about there being different cultural circumstances. True, there are many times more Russian-speakers-at-home in Ukraine than in Russia (about half of Ukrainians spoke Russian at home prior to Crimea and Donbas leaving, so now the number is probably around 40%). However, two points:

    1. Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies.

    2. The Ukrainian language is probably harmless in Russia (unless in border areas, but even here it's not like Ukraine has any chance whatsoever of seizing Russian territory). On the other hand, maintaining a large monolingual Russian-speaking ghetto in Ukraine is probably not n the interests of the Ukrainian state. I find it funny when Russian nationalists say this ghetto ought to be maintained in Ukraine, for purposes of stability, etc. Yeah - Russian nationalists have the best interests of Ukraine in mind. It's like Jewish neocons saying that invading Iraq would be the best thing ever for the Iraqi people.
    , @Mao Cheng Ji

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools...
     
    The Russian Federation is a federation, you see. Federal governments don't normally deal with schools, other than on the most general level (like federal standards).

    As for the Ukrainians permanently living in Russia, they, as I understand, mostly belong to Russian-Ukrainian families. And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that's still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself. Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there's really no problem there.
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  118. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    Hi AP.

    Just to clarify, since my intentions seem to have been misunderstood:

    I'm genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever). The Ukrainian communities in Canada and the US are quite dedicated to this sort of thing.

    Also, I have no doubt, as you say, that there are thousands of families speaking Ukrainian at home in Moscow, and I wish them and everyone else the best of luck in finding the form of education that works best for their children. But I'm quite sure that 1 in 25 must be an exaggeration. Though if someone claimed that about "Uzbeks", it would be more plausible.

    As for policies of the Russian and Ukrainian governments, I personally don't have a horse in that race, and haven't made any complaints one way or the other. But as a disinterested observer, it seems to me that the Ukrainian government has a much stronger practical incentive to provide Russian language schools than the Russian government has to provide Ukrainian language schools. According to Wikipedia, the 2010 Russian census has about %2 of people identifying as ethnic Ukrainian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainians_in_Russia. So that suggests 1 in 50 as a reasonable (and probably very generous) upper-bound on the number of native speakers of Ukrainian in Russia. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, 3 in 10 people in Ukraine are native speakers of Russian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ukraine.) Let me emphasize that I am not making a moral point, but a pragmatic one: the Russian government can afford to ignore requests for the creation of Ukrainian language schools and suffer few political consequences, while the Ukrainian government runs the risk of alienating a significant proportion of the population by discontinuing a service that it already provides.

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools and pat themselves on the back as having taken the high road. But that would be to subtle for them.

    I’m genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever).

    There are. There is also a Ukrainian cultural center on Arbat.

    You are correct about there being different cultural circumstances. True, there are many times more Russian-speakers-at-home in Ukraine than in Russia (about half of Ukrainians spoke Russian at home prior to Crimea and Donbas leaving, so now the number is probably around 40%). However, two points:

    1. Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies.

    2. The Ukrainian language is probably harmless in Russia (unless in border areas, but even here it’s not like Ukraine has any chance whatsoever of seizing Russian territory). On the other hand, maintaining a large monolingual Russian-speaking ghetto in Ukraine is probably not n the interests of the Ukrainian state. I find it funny when Russian nationalists say this ghetto ought to be maintained in Ukraine, for purposes of stability, etc. Yeah – Russian nationalists have the best interests of Ukraine in mind. It’s like Jewish neocons saying that invading Iraq would be the best thing ever for the Iraqi people.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    "Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies."

    This is an extraordinary claim. Are there reliable opinion polls on this matter?
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  119. @The Big Red Scary
    Hi AP.

    Just to clarify, since my intentions seem to have been misunderstood:

    I'm genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever). The Ukrainian communities in Canada and the US are quite dedicated to this sort of thing.

    Also, I have no doubt, as you say, that there are thousands of families speaking Ukrainian at home in Moscow, and I wish them and everyone else the best of luck in finding the form of education that works best for their children. But I'm quite sure that 1 in 25 must be an exaggeration. Though if someone claimed that about "Uzbeks", it would be more plausible.

    As for policies of the Russian and Ukrainian governments, I personally don't have a horse in that race, and haven't made any complaints one way or the other. But as a disinterested observer, it seems to me that the Ukrainian government has a much stronger practical incentive to provide Russian language schools than the Russian government has to provide Ukrainian language schools. According to Wikipedia, the 2010 Russian census has about %2 of people identifying as ethnic Ukrainian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainians_in_Russia. So that suggests 1 in 50 as a reasonable (and probably very generous) upper-bound on the number of native speakers of Ukrainian in Russia. On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, 3 in 10 people in Ukraine are native speakers of Russian: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Ukraine.) Let me emphasize that I am not making a moral point, but a pragmatic one: the Russian government can afford to ignore requests for the creation of Ukrainian language schools and suffer few political consequences, while the Ukrainian government runs the risk of alienating a significant proportion of the population by discontinuing a service that it already provides.

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools and pat themselves on the back as having taken the high road. But that would be to subtle for them.

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools…

    The Russian Federation is a federation, you see. Federal governments don’t normally deal with schools, other than on the most general level (like federal standards).

    As for the Ukrainians permanently living in Russia, they, as I understand, mostly belong to Russian-Ukrainian families. And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that’s still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself. Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there’s really no problem there.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there’s really no problem there.
     
    What a bunch of stereotypical nonsense! It's plain to see that you have very little real contact with every day Ukrainians (a short vacation there doesn't count for real experience!).
    , @AP

    And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that’s still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself.
     
    Total nonsense.
    , @The Big Red Scary
    Indeed, Russia is a federation, and if ethnic Ukrainians had their own republic or okrug, then they would have their own schools. On the other hand, the central government does seem to have quite significant influence over the school system, so far as I can tell, and could almost certainly get whatever it wants by applying pressure behind the scenes. Anyhow, I was merely acknowledgeing AP's point about hypocrisy, and suggesting a way the Russian government could undercut that, if they had more subtlety.

    However, I think the current policy is more or less sensible. For example, in Moscow oblast there are two options for the mandatory class on ethics: Christian and Humanist. In Muslim regions, I believe there is an option on Muslim ethics. But I think it would be a bad idea to offer N options where N is the number of subgroups passing some low threshhold. Otherwise we'd have options on sovok ethics, Rodnover ethics, hippie ethics, transhumanist ethics, and so on.

    Of course, one sensible option, as I mentioned above, is to opt out of the system altogether.
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  120. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools...
     
    The Russian Federation is a federation, you see. Federal governments don't normally deal with schools, other than on the most general level (like federal standards).

    As for the Ukrainians permanently living in Russia, they, as I understand, mostly belong to Russian-Ukrainian families. And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that's still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself. Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there's really no problem there.

    Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there’s really no problem there.

    What a bunch of stereotypical nonsense! It’s plain to see that you have very little real contact with every day Ukrainians (a short vacation there doesn’t count for real experience!).

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  121. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools...
     
    The Russian Federation is a federation, you see. Federal governments don't normally deal with schools, other than on the most general level (like federal standards).

    As for the Ukrainians permanently living in Russia, they, as I understand, mostly belong to Russian-Ukrainian families. And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that's still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself. Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there's really no problem there.

    And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that’s still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself.

    Total nonsense.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    It's true, actually. The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents), while everyone outside the relatively small Polish-Ukrainian regions are far more used to the Russian-Ukrainian dialect of the Soviet times. The current one, not only it's not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don't know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.
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  122. @AP

    And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that’s still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself.
     
    Total nonsense.

    It’s true, actually. The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents), while everyone outside the relatively small Polish-Ukrainian regions are far more used to the Russian-Ukrainian dialect of the Soviet times. The current one, not only it’s not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don’t know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents)
     
    Total nonsense. The "new official language" is the one derived in Kharkiv in the 1920s, based on the Poltava dialect, that was replaced in the 1930s by an attempt to streamline Ukrainian more with Russian (for example - replacing Ukrainian "g" with "h" and making it equivalent with Russian "g").

    Here's a text in Ukrainian from 1798, written in the Poltava dialect:

    http://lib.ru/SU/UKRAINA/KOTLYAREVS_KIJ/eneida.txt

    Not much different from modern Ukrainian.


    The current one, not only it’s not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don’t know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.
     
    It's pretty easy to learn Russian from Ukrainian, or even Polish. Figuring out the small differences between the 1920s standardized language, that Ukraine returned to in the early 90s, from the 1930s version isn't hard. You are just writing more nonsense.

    You are repeating fairytales written by Russian nationalists and making yourself look very foolish in the process.

    , @Mr. Hack
    TOTAL B.S.!!!

    Where in the world do you obtain this spurious nonsense, anyway??? :-)

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  123. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    It's true, actually. The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents), while everyone outside the relatively small Polish-Ukrainian regions are far more used to the Russian-Ukrainian dialect of the Soviet times. The current one, not only it's not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don't know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.

    The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents)

    Total nonsense. The “new official language” is the one derived in Kharkiv in the 1920s, based on the Poltava dialect, that was replaced in the 1930s by an attempt to streamline Ukrainian more with Russian (for example – replacing Ukrainian “g” with “h” and making it equivalent with Russian “g”).

    Here’s a text in Ukrainian from 1798, written in the Poltava dialect:

    http://lib.ru/SU/UKRAINA/KOTLYAREVS_KIJ/eneida.txt

    Not much different from modern Ukrainian.

    The current one, not only it’s not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don’t know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.

    It’s pretty easy to learn Russian from Ukrainian, or even Polish. Figuring out the small differences between the 1920s standardized language, that Ukraine returned to in the early 90s, from the 1930s version isn’t hard. You are just writing more nonsense.

    You are repeating fairytales written by Russian nationalists and making yourself look very foolish in the process.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.

    I get it, I get it. Why don't you calm down now, and and discuss things with Mr. Hack, who clearly is a perfectly objective observer, just like yourself? I suggest you discuss the gospels, as it applies to the titanic struggle of Ukrainian patriots against invading savage Mongol-Russian hordes. I promise I won't interfere.
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  124. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    It's true, actually. The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents), while everyone outside the relatively small Polish-Ukrainian regions are far more used to the Russian-Ukrainian dialect of the Soviet times. The current one, not only it's not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don't know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.

    TOTAL B.S.!!!

    Where in the world do you obtain this spurious nonsense, anyway??? :-)

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    • Replies: @AP
    So far, all of his sources have turned out to be people associated with the Yanukovich administration. Yanukovich was, of course, a rather ignorant oafish thug from the far east of the country so the deep knowledge about Ukraine, and honesty about its policies, history and politics, by members of his inner circle can be judged accordingly. As can the wisdom of someone who views them as some kind of authority about Ukraine.
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  125. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack
    TOTAL B.S.!!!

    Where in the world do you obtain this spurious nonsense, anyway??? :-)

    So far, all of his sources have turned out to be people associated with the Yanukovich administration. Yanukovich was, of course, a rather ignorant oafish thug from the far east of the country so the deep knowledge about Ukraine, and honesty about its policies, history and politics, by members of his inner circle can be judged accordingly. As can the wisdom of someone who views them as some kind of authority about Ukraine.

    Read More
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  126. @AP

    I’m genuinely curious as to whether there are private schools or family clubs in Russia offering Ukrainian language activities, since I know plenty of examples of private schools and family clubs filling other niches (cultural, intellectual, religious, or whatever).
     
    There are. There is also a Ukrainian cultural center on Arbat.

    You are correct about there being different cultural circumstances. True, there are many times more Russian-speakers-at-home in Ukraine than in Russia (about half of Ukrainians spoke Russian at home prior to Crimea and Donbas leaving, so now the number is probably around 40%). However, two points:

    1. Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies.

    2. The Ukrainian language is probably harmless in Russia (unless in border areas, but even here it's not like Ukraine has any chance whatsoever of seizing Russian territory). On the other hand, maintaining a large monolingual Russian-speaking ghetto in Ukraine is probably not n the interests of the Ukrainian state. I find it funny when Russian nationalists say this ghetto ought to be maintained in Ukraine, for purposes of stability, etc. Yeah - Russian nationalists have the best interests of Ukraine in mind. It's like Jewish neocons saying that invading Iraq would be the best thing ever for the Iraqi people.

    “Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies.”

    This is an extraordinary claim. Are there reliable opinion polls on this matter?

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    • Replies: @AP
    I dug around and my statement was a little strong. On the one hand, Kiev votes very strongly for parties that support aggressive Ukrainianization policies. Svoboda, the most extreme of them, gets its highest result outside Galicia, in Kiev (this was during and post Yanukovich). Already 10 years ago only 6 out of Kiev's 450 schools were primarily Russian-speaking. These were local policies.

    But this poll provides "softer" results, specifically on the language question:

    What language should in used in Ukrainian schools?

    In central Ukraine (including Kiev): Russian language should be used as much as Ukrainian, 14%; Russian should be used less than Ukrainian, but more than other foreign languages, 33%; Russian should be treated like any other foreign language, 44%.

    Based on election results, Kiev is more nationalistic than is the rest of central Ukraine, so the results in the specific city would be a little more anti-Russian than the overall total for Central Ukraine, probably around 50% would want Russian treated like any foreign language (which is the aggressive Ukrainianization policy). The aggressive position is preferred by 71% of western Ukrainians, 16% of southern Ukrainians and 10% of Eastern Ukrainians.
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  127. @Mao Cheng Ji

    On the other hand, the Russian government could certainly afford to provide some money for some Ukrainian language schools...
     
    The Russian Federation is a federation, you see. Federal governments don't normally deal with schools, other than on the most general level (like federal standards).

    As for the Ukrainians permanently living in Russia, they, as I understand, mostly belong to Russian-Ukrainian families. And the language that they speak is very similar to Russian, unlike the official (post-independence) Ukrainian language that's still hardly native to anyone, even in Ukraine itself. Ukrainian culture (except for the western regions) is very much intertwined with the Russian culture (songs, jokes, proverbs, food, and what-not). So, there's really no problem there.

    Indeed, Russia is a federation, and if ethnic Ukrainians had their own republic or okrug, then they would have their own schools. On the other hand, the central government does seem to have quite significant influence over the school system, so far as I can tell, and could almost certainly get whatever it wants by applying pressure behind the scenes. Anyhow, I was merely acknowledgeing AP’s point about hypocrisy, and suggesting a way the Russian government could undercut that, if they had more subtlety.

    However, I think the current policy is more or less sensible. For example, in Moscow oblast there are two options for the mandatory class on ethics: Christian and Humanist. In Muslim regions, I believe there is an option on Muslim ethics. But I think it would be a bad idea to offer N options where N is the number of subgroups passing some low threshhold. Otherwise we’d have options on sovok ethics, Rodnover ethics, hippie ethics, transhumanist ethics, and so on.

    Of course, one sensible option, as I mentioned above, is to opt out of the system altogether.

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  128. I’d like to register my agreement that Ukrainian is definitely a distinct language. I used to think they were more or less mutually intelligible (due to my personal sample of Russians being biased in favor of those who spent summers in Ukraine with babushka), but occasionally when trying to explain some concept to a Russian speaking friend, and finding no Russian Wikipedia article on the subject, I have observed the Ukrainian Wikipedia to be almost completely useless to native speakers of Russian.

    This whole conversation is of course relevant to the original topic of Anatoly’s post.

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    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    I used to think they were more or less mutually intelligible
     
    Again, Malorussian dialects that people actually speak are quite intelligible, but the official language not so much (for the reason I described above). This is common knowledge. Moreover, since there were no borders between Russia and Ukraine for centuries, similar surzhyks diffuse all over southern Russia.
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  129. @AP

    The new official language is a Polish-Ukrainian surzhyk (the common Russian-Ukrainian words have been (and still being) systematically replaced by Polish equivalents)
     
    Total nonsense. The "new official language" is the one derived in Kharkiv in the 1920s, based on the Poltava dialect, that was replaced in the 1930s by an attempt to streamline Ukrainian more with Russian (for example - replacing Ukrainian "g" with "h" and making it equivalent with Russian "g").

    Here's a text in Ukrainian from 1798, written in the Poltava dialect:

    http://lib.ru/SU/UKRAINA/KOTLYAREVS_KIJ/eneida.txt

    Not much different from modern Ukrainian.


    The current one, not only it’s not their mother-tongue, in some cases they don’t know relatively common words of (ostensibly) their own language.
     
    It's pretty easy to learn Russian from Ukrainian, or even Polish. Figuring out the small differences between the 1920s standardized language, that Ukraine returned to in the early 90s, from the 1930s version isn't hard. You are just writing more nonsense.

    You are repeating fairytales written by Russian nationalists and making yourself look very foolish in the process.

    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.

    I get it, I get it. Why don’t you calm down now, and and discuss things with Mr. Hack, who clearly is a perfectly objective observer, just like yourself? I suggest you discuss the gospels, as it applies to the titanic struggle of Ukrainian patriots against invading savage Mongol-Russian hordes. I promise I won’t interfere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.
     
    Nope. But when you specifically wrote nonsense (like this alleged change of the Ukrainian literary standard to one that is a Polish-Ukrainian "surzhyk"), as you have done here, I call it what it is. And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.
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  130. @The Big Red Scary
    I'd like to register my agreement that Ukrainian is definitely a distinct language. I used to think they were more or less mutually intelligible (due to my personal sample of Russians being biased in favor of those who spent summers in Ukraine with babushka), but occasionally when trying to explain some concept to a Russian speaking friend, and finding no Russian Wikipedia article on the subject, I have observed the Ukrainian Wikipedia to be almost completely useless to native speakers of Russian.

    This whole conversation is of course relevant to the original topic of Anatoly's post.

    I used to think they were more or less mutually intelligible

    Again, Malorussian dialects that people actually speak are quite intelligible, but the official language not so much (for the reason I described above). This is common knowledge. Moreover, since there were no borders between Russia and Ukraine for centuries, similar surzhyks diffuse all over southern Russia.

    Read More
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  131. JL says:

    This is definitely the first time I’ve heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it’s pretty much axiomatic. What, of course, varies is the interpretation of said transformation, and that depends on one’s political views. Indeed, it seems to be a matter of pride for Ukrainian nationalists, so I’m a bit surprised to hear AP arguing that it never happened.

    As for the new education law, the Hungarians are apparently initiating a review of the EU Association agreement, arguing that the law puts Ukraine in breach. Their only real ally on this is Romania. The Russians can’t be bothered, and probably realize that any efforts would be futile and ultimately counterproductive, while the EU bureaucracy is rather adept at sweeping any Ukrainian violations of “European values” under the rug.

    https://mno.hu/hatarontul/magyarorszag-kezdemenyezi-az-eu-sukran-tarsulasi-megallapodas-felulvizsgalatat-2420810

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014.
     
    It actually started about 10 years earlier, the politics of defining Ukraine as "not Russia". Including de-russification of the language.
    , @AP

    This is definitely the first time I’ve heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it’s pretty much axiomatic.
     
    Source? That's a bizarre claim. I've visited last summer and in 2013 and there was no noticeable difference at all.

    In the 1990s Ukraine went back to the literary standards that had been adopted in Kiev during Ukrainianzation, in the 1920s, rejecting the 1930s reforms that had strreamlined it more in line with Russian. I used to have books published in the 2000s and those from the 1970s and the changes are obvious.

    Indeed, it seems to be a matter of pride for Ukrainian nationalists
     
    Source? People talk about ending the use of surzhyk and promoting proper Ukrainian. But proper Ukrainian hasn't changed, since the return to the 1927 Kharkiv standard in the 90s.
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  132. @JL
    This is definitely the first time I've heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it's pretty much axiomatic. What, of course, varies is the interpretation of said transformation, and that depends on one's political views. Indeed, it seems to be a matter of pride for Ukrainian nationalists, so I'm a bit surprised to hear AP arguing that it never happened.

    As for the new education law, the Hungarians are apparently initiating a review of the EU Association agreement, arguing that the law puts Ukraine in breach. Their only real ally on this is Romania. The Russians can't be bothered, and probably realize that any efforts would be futile and ultimately counterproductive, while the EU bureaucracy is rather adept at sweeping any Ukrainian violations of "European values" under the rug.

    https://mno.hu/hatarontul/magyarorszag-kezdemenyezi-az-eu-sukran-tarsulasi-megallapodas-felulvizsgalatat-2420810

    argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014.

    It actually started about 10 years earlier, the politics of defining Ukraine as “not Russia”. Including de-russification of the language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @JL
    Yes, but the process accelerated rapidly, and widened in scope, beginning in 2014.
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  133. JL says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014.
     
    It actually started about 10 years earlier, the politics of defining Ukraine as "not Russia". Including de-russification of the language.

    Yes, but the process accelerated rapidly, and widened in scope, beginning in 2014.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    ...According to what sources?
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  134. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    "Many of those Russian-speakers, including a healthy majority of Kiev (90% of whose population speaks Russian at home) support aggressive Ukrainianization, so the number of people who speak Russian at home should not be assumed to indicate the number of people who would be upset with such policies."

    This is an extraordinary claim. Are there reliable opinion polls on this matter?

    I dug around and my statement was a little strong. On the one hand, Kiev votes very strongly for parties that support aggressive Ukrainianization policies. Svoboda, the most extreme of them, gets its highest result outside Galicia, in Kiev (this was during and post Yanukovich). Already 10 years ago only 6 out of Kiev’s 450 schools were primarily Russian-speaking. These were local policies.

    But this poll provides “softer” results, specifically on the language question:

    What language should in used in Ukrainian schools?

    In central Ukraine (including Kiev): Russian language should be used as much as Ukrainian, 14%; Russian should be used less than Ukrainian, but more than other foreign languages, 33%; Russian should be treated like any other foreign language, 44%.

    Based on election results, Kiev is more nationalistic than is the rest of central Ukraine, so the results in the specific city would be a little more anti-Russian than the overall total for Central Ukraine, probably around 50% would want Russian treated like any foreign language (which is the aggressive Ukrainianization policy). The aggressive position is preferred by 71% of western Ukrainians, 16% of southern Ukrainians and 10% of Eastern Ukrainians.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    Thanks for the link, but it's not working for me.

    Don't you find it concerning that 71% of western Ukrainians favor an aggressive policy while only 10% of eastern Ukrainians do? Russian nationalists notwithstanding, you don't think that is potentially (and likely already) a source of instability?
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  135. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.

    I get it, I get it. Why don't you calm down now, and and discuss things with Mr. Hack, who clearly is a perfectly objective observer, just like yourself? I suggest you discuss the gospels, as it applies to the titanic struggle of Ukrainian patriots against invading savage Mongol-Russian hordes. I promise I won't interfere.

    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.

    Nope. But when you specifically wrote nonsense (like this alleged change of the Ukrainian literary standard to one that is a Polish-Ukrainian “surzhyk”), as you have done here, I call it what it is. And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.
     
    I know, I know. Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.
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  136. AP says:
    @JL
    This is definitely the first time I've heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it's pretty much axiomatic. What, of course, varies is the interpretation of said transformation, and that depends on one's political views. Indeed, it seems to be a matter of pride for Ukrainian nationalists, so I'm a bit surprised to hear AP arguing that it never happened.

    As for the new education law, the Hungarians are apparently initiating a review of the EU Association agreement, arguing that the law puts Ukraine in breach. Their only real ally on this is Romania. The Russians can't be bothered, and probably realize that any efforts would be futile and ultimately counterproductive, while the EU bureaucracy is rather adept at sweeping any Ukrainian violations of "European values" under the rug.

    https://mno.hu/hatarontul/magyarorszag-kezdemenyezi-az-eu-sukran-tarsulasi-megallapodas-felulvizsgalatat-2420810

    This is definitely the first time I’ve heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it’s pretty much axiomatic.

    Source? That’s a bizarre claim. I’ve visited last summer and in 2013 and there was no noticeable difference at all.

    In the 1990s Ukraine went back to the literary standards that had been adopted in Kiev during Ukrainianzation, in the 1920s, rejecting the 1930s reforms that had strreamlined it more in line with Russian. I used to have books published in the 2000s and those from the 1970s and the changes are obvious.

    Indeed, it seems to be a matter of pride for Ukrainian nationalists

    Source? People talk about ending the use of surzhyk and promoting proper Ukrainian. But proper Ukrainian hasn’t changed, since the return to the 1927 Kharkiv standard in the 90s.

    Read More
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  137. AP says:
    @JL
    Yes, but the process accelerated rapidly, and widened in scope, beginning in 2014.

    …According to what sources?

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  138. Mr. Hack says:

    This is definitely the first time I’ve heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it’s pretty much axiomatic.

    I agree, this is quite the bizarre statement to make and requires substantiation to be believable. I have relatives in Ukraine, and speak with them through skype quite often and they all speak the same Ukrainian (standard) with no changes from what I remember that thy spoke in the last century. My parish has many younger Galicians going to it (including our priest) and they all speak literary Ukrainian with no ‘Galicianisms’ that I’m sure their grandparents in the village spoke with. A Ukrainian scientist is now staying with me, originally from Galicia who received her PhD from the Kyiv State University (Shevchenko) in the 1980′s. Even I was surprised to hear that although all of her courses used Russian language textbooks, her instructors, for the most part gave their lectures in Ukrainian. This was before the fall of the Soviet Union!

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I agree, this is quite the bizarre statement to make and requires substantiation to be believable.
     
    JL is not a gullible fool, like Mao. My impression of him is that he is a bright, perceptive westerner living in Moscow, who writes in good faith.

    His statement suggests that this idea is widespread (axiomatic) in the Russian media.

    I don't know, but I suspect that Russian media sources have been presenting surzhyk as proper Ukrainian, and therefore the push for people to start speaking Ukrainian rather than surzhyk has been misrepresented in Russian media sources as some kind of radical language reforms. That's my guess, at least. Because anyone actually familiar with the country directly would view that claim as bizarre.

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  139. @AP

    Everyone who disagrees with you is a Russian nationalist and Yanukovich agent, and everything they say (even most uncontroversial) is nonsense, foolishness and propaganda.
     
    Nope. But when you specifically wrote nonsense (like this alleged change of the Ukrainian literary standard to one that is a Polish-Ukrainian "surzhyk"), as you have done here, I call it what it is. And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.

    And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.

    I know, I know. Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    You used them as sources for your nonsensical claims?
    , @Mr. Hack

    Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.
     
    And now Putin, seems to have developed into the biggest Yanukovich crone of them all! having Yanukovivh so close to the Kremlin must give Putin unrelenting pleasure. I'm sure that the rent that Yanukovivh has to pay his landlord is quite steep though, don't you think? More and more news is surfacing about the mass of gold bullion that Yanukovych absconded with when he parted with his homeland. I'm sure that Batko Vova will put that to good use too! :-)
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  140. AP says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.
     
    I know, I know. Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.

    You used them as sources for your nonsensical claims?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    That's not the point, dear.
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  141. @AP
    You used them as sources for your nonsensical claims?

    That’s not the point, dear.

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    • Replies: @Anon

    That’s not the point, dear.
     
    Taking the "cat" thing a little too seriously, are we?
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  142. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    This is definitely the first time I’ve heard anyone, anywhere, argue that the Ukrainian language has not undergone radical transformation since 2014. Like the changes in Ukrainian politics since 2014, it’s pretty much axiomatic.
     
    I agree, this is quite the bizarre statement to make and requires substantiation to be believable. I have relatives in Ukraine, and speak with them through skype quite often and they all speak the same Ukrainian (standard) with no changes from what I remember that thy spoke in the last century. My parish has many younger Galicians going to it (including our priest) and they all speak literary Ukrainian with no 'Galicianisms' that I'm sure their grandparents in the village spoke with. A Ukrainian scientist is now staying with me, originally from Galicia who received her PhD from the Kyiv State University (Shevchenko) in the 1980's. Even I was surprised to hear that although all of her courses used Russian language textbooks, her instructors, for the most part gave their lectures in Ukrainian. This was before the fall of the Soviet Union!

    I agree, this is quite the bizarre statement to make and requires substantiation to be believable.

    JL is not a gullible fool, like Mao. My impression of him is that he is a bright, perceptive westerner living in Moscow, who writes in good faith.

    His statement suggests that this idea is widespread (axiomatic) in the Russian media.

    I don’t know, but I suspect that Russian media sources have been presenting surzhyk as proper Ukrainian, and therefore the push for people to start speaking Ukrainian rather than surzhyk has been misrepresented in Russian media sources as some kind of radical language reforms. That’s my guess, at least. Because anyone actually familiar with the country directly would view that claim as bizarre.

    Read More
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  143. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    And you have provided your sources a couple of times, both times they turned out to be Yanukovich cronies who now have careers as some kind of pundits.
     
    I know, I know. Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.

    Also Yanukovich cronies: Poroshenko, Timoshenko, Yatzenyuk, Turchynov, and all the rest of the Ukrainian elite, except for the most recent clowns like kazak Havryliuk and Semen Semenchenko.

    And now Putin, seems to have developed into the biggest Yanukovich crone of them all! having Yanukovivh so close to the Kremlin must give Putin unrelenting pleasure. I’m sure that the rent that Yanukovivh has to pay his landlord is quite steep though, don’t you think? More and more news is surfacing about the mass of gold bullion that Yanukovych absconded with when he parted with his homeland. I’m sure that Batko Vova will put that to good use too! :-)

    Read More
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  144. Randal says:

    “Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic,” says Mr Puigdemont.

    But he adds: “We’re suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state.”

    Yep, the separatists blinked.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    It's over. Pacifist bourgeois revolution got no chance. Government shuts down a yoga salon -- and the revolutionaries panic and surrender.
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  145. @AP
    I dug around and my statement was a little strong. On the one hand, Kiev votes very strongly for parties that support aggressive Ukrainianization policies. Svoboda, the most extreme of them, gets its highest result outside Galicia, in Kiev (this was during and post Yanukovich). Already 10 years ago only 6 out of Kiev's 450 schools were primarily Russian-speaking. These were local policies.

    But this poll provides "softer" results, specifically on the language question:

    What language should in used in Ukrainian schools?

    In central Ukraine (including Kiev): Russian language should be used as much as Ukrainian, 14%; Russian should be used less than Ukrainian, but more than other foreign languages, 33%; Russian should be treated like any other foreign language, 44%.

    Based on election results, Kiev is more nationalistic than is the rest of central Ukraine, so the results in the specific city would be a little more anti-Russian than the overall total for Central Ukraine, probably around 50% would want Russian treated like any foreign language (which is the aggressive Ukrainianization policy). The aggressive position is preferred by 71% of western Ukrainians, 16% of southern Ukrainians and 10% of Eastern Ukrainians.

    Thanks for the link, but it’s not working for me.

    Don’t you find it concerning that 71% of western Ukrainians favor an aggressive policy while only 10% of eastern Ukrainians do? Russian nationalists notwithstanding, you don’t think that is potentially (and likely already) a source of instability?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Don’t you find it concerning that 71% of western Ukrainians favor an aggressive policy while only 10% of eastern Ukrainians do? Russian nationalists notwithstanding, you don’t think that is potentially (and likely already) a source of instability?
     
    Instability depends on how strongly the easterners feel about it or whether this issue is low in their list of priorities. 2014 was the real test - areas that would have naturally resisted have already left Ukraine. Those that have stayed don't seem to be riled up about it. Keep in mind that Ukrainian is easy for Russians to learn - it's not like forcing them to learn Estonian or Latvian.

    In the long run, if the efforts succeed in creating a Ukrainian-speaking population, it will of course promote more stability though I am far form certain that such efforts will succeed.
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  146. AP says:
    @The Big Red Scary
    Thanks for the link, but it's not working for me.

    Don't you find it concerning that 71% of western Ukrainians favor an aggressive policy while only 10% of eastern Ukrainians do? Russian nationalists notwithstanding, you don't think that is potentially (and likely already) a source of instability?

    Don’t you find it concerning that 71% of western Ukrainians favor an aggressive policy while only 10% of eastern Ukrainians do? Russian nationalists notwithstanding, you don’t think that is potentially (and likely already) a source of instability?

    Instability depends on how strongly the easterners feel about it or whether this issue is low in their list of priorities. 2014 was the real test – areas that would have naturally resisted have already left Ukraine. Those that have stayed don’t seem to be riled up about it. Keep in mind that Ukrainian is easy for Russians to learn – it’s not like forcing them to learn Estonian or Latvian.

    In the long run, if the efforts succeed in creating a Ukrainian-speaking population, it will of course promote more stability though I am far form certain that such efforts will succeed.

    Read More
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  147. @Randal

    "Today I assume the mandate for Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic," says Mr Puigdemont.

    But he adds: "We're suspending the declaration of independence for a few weeks, because we want a reasonable dialogue, a mediation with the Spanish state."
     
    Yep, the separatists blinked.

    It’s over. Pacifist bourgeois revolution got no chance. Government shuts down a yoga salon — and the revolutionaries panic and surrender.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Over bar the endless talking and attempts by both sides to spin it as a "victory", of course.

    Never trust the liberal left when it comes to a nationalism issue. They will always sell you out.
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  148. Randal says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    It's over. Pacifist bourgeois revolution got no chance. Government shuts down a yoga salon -- and the revolutionaries panic and surrender.

    Over bar the endless talking and attempts by both sides to spin it as a “victory”, of course.

    Never trust the liberal left when it comes to a nationalism issue. They will always sell you out.

    Read More
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  149. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Mao Cheng Ji
    That's not the point, dear.

    That’s not the point, dear.

    Taking the “cat” thing a little too seriously, are we?

    Read More
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