“One of the things the independence movement hates most is that left-leaning people are against them…”

With the separatist Catalan government claiming that 90%, of 43% of the electorate, voted for independence, and ahead of a week of further uncertainty for all of Spain, the BBC’s Patrick Jackson gives a voice to some young Catalan Spaniards – some of whose views may, or may not, sound familiar…  ANYhoo… Here’s a lengthy excerpt from the BBC report.

“We feel Catalan and Spanish and I’m not going to allow independence supporters to take my culture away,” says David.

“I am who I am thanks to all of Spain, not only Catalonia. Catalonia is my home but the rest of Spain defines my personality as well.

“In Spain we’ve got lots of amazing things which make all of us better people, and nobody has the right to remove those things from our lives.”

Sergio fears Catalan Spaniards are being excluded from the future state that independence campaigners advocate.

“The Catalan government currently speaks only in the name of the nationalists, referring to the ‘Catalan country’,” he says.

“The first thing Puigdemont said was ‘the Catalan people are more united than ever’. Not true! The Catalan people are more divided than ever but as he only addressed one part of the people, obviously those are united.

“But beware that we too are united.”

“Some of us feel insecure because if you take the Catalan flag you are a democrat, but if you take the Spanish one, you are a fascist,” Juan says.

“I don’t like flags, any of them,” he goes on.

“It is not politically correct to say that you feel Spanish if you want to be ‘progressive’ or a democrat. One of the things the independence movement hates most is that left-leaning people are against them, which I think is really coherent because parties of the left are historically internationalist, not nationalist.”

“Just opening your mouth doesn’t make you a fascist,” says David.

It should be said that the CUP, the junior and more volatile partner in the separatist alliance, is an anti-capitalist party, and independence campaigners have sought to portray their cause as being above traditional party politics.

“All of Spain helped build Catalonia’s powerful industries, subsidising its goods,” Dani says.

“Are they really saying they are morally superior, that only in Catalonia people know what democracy is?

“For years they’ve been saying ‘Spain is stealing from us’ but can you call 40 million people thieves after they paid for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, for example?”


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  • Karl

    China will be confident enough to hold elections in Tibet soon, when they know there are enough Han to outvote the Tibetans. There are many examples globally of where the migration was less contrived and orchestrated and over a longer time, but it doesn’t make it any less invidious.
    So were 55% of the residents of Scotland voting against an independent Scotland or Scottish independence?
    The idea that non Catalans should have a say in the independence of a nation strikes me as ridiculous.
    Where it gets complicated is allocating land and resources to the to the new state.

  • notimetoshine

    “It is not politically correct to say that you feel Spanish if you want to be ‘progressive’ or a democrat”

    Well of course it isn’t, the all consuming obsession of Francoist Centrism, subsuming all identities to the altar of Castellano superiority has ensured that Spanish nationalism is forever tainted with nearly six hundred years of oppression against the regional identities of those on the Iberian peninsula. It should come as no surprise to people that touting a Spanish identity is somewhat suspect.

  • Mister_Joe

    Your last sentence hits the nail on the head. If Catalonia declares independence, what will then happen if a region of the new Catalonia declares that it wants its own independence or wants to remain part of Spain, what then?

  • jporter

    The quotes are from ‘young Catalan Spaniards’ and hence I would speculate that the Spanish identity doesn’t have the same historical connotations for them as it would for older Catalans.
    Maybe a bit like the Brexit debate, where younger folk are happy with a European identity that they’ve grown up with and have relatively little suspicion about.
    Although I’ve read that pro-independence sentiment is much higher among young Catalans, similar to Scotland, so who knows?

  • Surveyor

    Seems Pete is getting worried.

  • Karl

    Countries with constitutions saying they are indivisible and insoluble are like children saying no backsies.

    It might make them feel good but in practice it doesnt make things more equitable or dampen the desire for more equitable solutions.

  • Mister_Joe

    Can you define “more equitable”?

  • Karl


    But thats in the eye of the beholder.

  • aquifer

    The Spanish civil war was prosecuted by the fascists with murderous cruelty, and Spanish democracy is still young, and then lacerated by the 2008 financial crisis. But time can heal. It could be that for the separatists it is now or never, where they think that conflict is their best bet.

  • james

    So….38.7% of the electorate voted for independence? That makes for a minority in favour – so it seems there will be no change there then.

  • Abucs

    By the same rubric people could argue there is only a tiny minority in favour of a political continuation with Spain. As we know in Northern Ireland, there is no hard and fast rubric for democracy that everyone always agrees with.

  • Do I look worried?

  • sabi88

    Young European lefties are internationalists with little attachment to national identity. More news at eleven.

  • james

    Well, yes, you can prove many things with statistics – but for me the most telling fact is that given the opportunity to vote for independence over half of those eligible didn’t even bother to turn up.

  • Abucs

    Well of course the people on the other side of the Spanish civil war certainly prosecuted that war with murderous cruelty.

    Was Franco a fascist though? The Fascism of Mussolini and Hitler was borne from the Left side of politics prosecuting an anti-Christian state based revolution.

    For consideration :



  • aquifer

    The Nazis did Guernica and Mussolini’s navy shelled refugees.

  • mickfealty

    Thing about Pete is he thinks a great deal more than he worries about any of the things he writes about, and in the process forces his readers to think, without actually telling them how or what to think. Some of us would do better to try and follow his example. 🤓

  • babyface finlayson

    It is quite hard to tell what with the helmet and all!

  • mickfealty

    There’s such a mixed bag of motivation for Catalans, even amongst those seeking independence. It’s always been the case, even during the Civil War when Catalonia was a jigsaw of different factions and parties. PES was on the side of the Republic, as I suspect too would have been the families of many of those in Podemos.

  • Salmondnet

    I think it is more than that. This was, in terms of the current Spanish Constitution, an illegal referendum. If you were someone who supported remaining in Spain you would, by voting in the referendum, be breaking the law of the state which you regarded as legitimate. Bit of a dilemma there.
    Only a legal and properly administered referendum will give a credible mandate either way.

  • Nevin

    No mention of the left-leaning Gerry Adams who, in this instance, has been supporting partition and offering comfort to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.

  • epg_ie

    You’ll certainly never lose brownie points in the BBC by opposing sub-state nationalism (or, equivalently, supporting British nationalism). OBEs would be more likely to come your way than P45s. It’s an inherently nationalist institution so why would it take a neutral position?

  • Salmondnet

    That is an amazing perception of the BBC, which ought to be prosecuted under Trades description legislation for the misuse of British in its title.. The gullible British public may be forced to pay for I, but. It has been so successfully subverted that the only British thing about it now is the language in which it is (mostly) broadcast.

  • Zorin001

    The Falangists were certainly Fascist though Franco himself seemed to be more in the mould of an Authoritarian Nationalist with strong Catholic leanings. He watered down and sidelined the more overt Fascists after the Civil War.

    Still a high unsavoury character though no matter what way you cut it. His shadow still lingers over Spain 40 years later.

  • PeterOHanrahahanrahan

    Brings to mind the couplet: “Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ’em / and little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.”

  • PeterOHanrahahanrahan

    It does, however, dampen down the impact of political moods; Western Australians are quite happy to agitate for independence when iron prices are to the good, but tend to keep their mouths shut when China isn’t buying.

  • Tochais Siorai

    In Catalonia it probably happened quicker that Tibet. You’ll find that an awful lot of those marching in Barcelona yesterday were either relatively recent arrivals in Catalonia or their children. The mass immigration into Barcelona, particularly in the 1960s saw the new arrivals settle en masse in the Barca suburbs with little interaction with Catalan language or culture and they’re at the core of the anti-independence movement.

  • Jack Hemsworth

    Gerry on Spain.

    “All issues must be on the agenda, with nothing agreed until everything is agreed. There can be no preconditions and no vetoes. There can be no attempt to predetermine the outcome or preclude any outcome, and there should be a timeframe. This will provide a dynamic. Participants must stay focused and be prepared to take risks and engage in initiatives to advance the process”.


  • Séamus

    The title of this post is clearly nonsense. Left-wing parties in Catalonia are almost entirely pro-independence – even Podemos is a partner in the Catalunya Sí que es Pot coalition.

    “It is not politically correct to say that you feel Spanish if you want
    to be ‘progressive’ or a democrat. One of the things the independence
    movement hates most is that left-leaning people are against them, which I
    think is really coherent because parties of the left are historically
    internationalist, not nationalist.”

    The person who came off with this is undoubtedly a Spanish nationalist, though unsurprisingly the BBC makes no reference to this – the exact same line they take with British nationalists who oppose Scottish independence, for example. But that nationalism doesn’t count, because it’s just the ‘default’ position, right?

    And let’s not forget that a Catalan person can very easily be both a nationalist and an internationalist.

  • Starviking

    The Catalan Socialists (PSC) opposed this, and Catalunya Sí que es Pot opposed the anti-democratic vote in the Catalan Parliament which set up the referendum.


  • Abucs

    True but in addition some of the ballots were confiscated by national officials and voting was stopped in many places. It works both ways.

  • Abucs

    and so? The Democrats at the same time were running the Ku Klux Klan. Yeah, the Left has a terrible history which they need to come to terms with and have a clear look at their base beliefs. That includes the fascist movement started by Mussolini and taken up by the National Social Workers Party of Adolf Hitler.

    Here is the beginning of the Fascist Manifesto written by Mussolinin and Gentile (both Marxists) in 1919. It might as well be spoken by Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn.

    We have been lied to.

  • Abucs

    You might be interested in the below video Macho Man as replied to Aquifer.