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Catalonia independence for an Englishman

By on 20/11/2012 in Boxed Society, Top Artículos with 35 Comments

Just imagine the Americans never came to the rescue and England was left alone to fight fascism… and lost.

She was imposed to pay reparations and join a Germanic Union. English language was forbidden at schools, whose classes always started with the Über Alles. Cricket was prohibited as it was considered a weak sport. Anyone found singing or whistling Jerusalem was deported to concentration camps.

Those who had fought lost their homes and business to the friends of Mosley and the court of King Edward VIII’s. Windsor changed its name back to Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

After the Northumberland trials, which demonstrated war crimes, Churchill was executed at the Tower of London and was buried next to the princes.

However, with the dictator’s death in the 70’s, a wave of reform spread throughout Europe.

A new Constitution was voted, which permitted regional governments and democratic elections. Nevertheless, it imposed an indivisible sovereignty for the whole of the Germanic Union. The right of self-determination was forbidden by constitutional mandate. It was still voted in favour by a huge majority, even in England, as the alternative was to remain a dictatorship.

Westminster revived. With democracy and free trade, England expanded its economy, though not at its full capacity.

The central government in Berlin still had the monopoly of economic policy and taxation. Of the total revenue collected in England, only 70% returned to the English administration. The remaining 30% was left to fund high speed trains in Ukraine, to guarantee Berlin’s market exposure and oil supply from the Caucasus. The institutional framework was designed to reinforce central competitive advantage in detriment of its periphery.

No funds were left to invest on the Eurostar. Heathrow, the only London airport, remained with one runway. There was no NHS. All financial services were concentrated in Frankfurt. Still, during economic expansive cycles, and thanks to a push of internal trade, England grew.

However, financial deregulation led to an economic turmoil and global recession in 2007-2008. The new coalition government tried to cut expenditure, rebalance the economy and increase private profitability after the mess left by the previous labour government.

Austerity didn’t work. While public spending decreased, also did revenues. Regional finances collapsed. Schools and hospitals closed. Unemployment rose to 20%.

From the business sector and the population increasing demands claimed for total control of regional finances.

David Cameron went to the Germanic Council to negotiate a new fiscal deal which would increase England’s budget. But the door was closed. Largely hit too by the financial crisis, its consequent unemployment, public debt and entering depression, the central government needed more than ever the extra revenue from its regions.

On the 5th of November 2012, 4 millions of Englishmen gathered in Hyde Park in a march to Trafalgar Square.

There had always been marginal independence supports by the youth of east London and the Midlands, and from the left wing of the Labour Party.

Now, with the crisis, all social classes united with a unique demand: we want to collect our taxes, we want to control our budget, we want our own state to help economic recovery and to protect the welfare state, and we want a referendum to decide our future. We want full democracy.

While such demonstration was unprecedented, the central authorities soon fought back, with powerful arguments, which filled the FFT –Financial Frankfurt Times- pages:

- In the middle of such harsh crisis it was no time to change the fiscal geographic redistribution of the Germanic Union.

-Democracy is a nice ideal. But, in England, it is subjected to the constitutional law, which doesn’t allow a referendum on independence. And, if such Constitution has to be changed to allow it, all Germans, Austrians and Ukrainians should vote too.

-If the houses of Parliament voted to do a referendum or to proclaim independence unilaterally it would be illegal and the SS would be sent to Dowing Street and English autonomy would be dissolved.

-England has never ever been independent. The Saxons were Germans, the Danish were Germans, and the Normans were Germans. The Romans were nearly Germans. England has no historical right to claim independence. England is and always will be German, and democracy cannot change that.

 

ENGLAND DON´T LOOK ASIDE Catalonia independence for an EnglishmanIn 1704, 350 Catalans joined the English forces expedition which captured Gibraltar. The Catalan Bay on the east coast is a remaining witness.

In 1936-1939, upto 4000 Britons joined the republican side in the Spanish Civil war, being the biggest voluntary participation on a foreign war in British history.

In 2012-2014, the fight against centralism and Spanish nationalism persists. The Catalan referendum on independence will only be possible if the friends of democracy from all countries stand up for it.

Whose side are you on?

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  1. Marc says:

    Thank you very much for your support and this very explicit example. Hope other countries can read this. Hope democracy comes not only to Catalunya, but everywhere. People has the right of vote what it is better for them, open and safely. Thanks again!

  2. asdasd says:

    Do not forget the cultural status in Catalonia. This is not just for the money!!!
    Visca la terra!!!!

  3. Marc says:

    A eye-opener, I hope.

  4. Felipe says:

    Nationalists, Patriots, Tribalists.
    We should look at Iberia as an entity, not just Spain; with a small central government and highly autonomous regions.
    Small does not work. Separatism is devisive, exclusive and backward.
    We are in the c21st. The world is a smaller place.

  5. max says:

    Mr. Boxed press and all you pro-indipendence:
    If I were to use the same historical arguments for the indipendence of my hometown and region, Bologna, I would have a thousand more than the same you Catalans have – historically and economically.
    What shall we do next, then? Declare the independence of Emilia-Romagna (a nort-east region of Italy). We have almost the same GDP as Catalunya with half the population (and a higher pro-capita average income) and speak a different dialect to Rome. We have an excellent public sector and admin (if compared to most regions in Europe). We have excellence in most fields: from Ferrari to Parmigiano to engineering, we own some of the most reputable brands in the world. We even have invented tortellini, one of the grandest things in history of humankind ;) And I am not even started with fiscal expoliation that comes from Italy in general. But good god, I would never try and go the EU parliament and ask: hey, we want indipendence. Nor is Bavary doing that, nor any richer region of France.

    Such a decision of indipendence can’t be based on tha fact that during a secession war catalunya was re-absorbed by the large Spanish country in 1714, nor on the basis that there is a fiscal imbalance between north and south.
    Such a decision involves a much larger decision making process and lots of resources on both catalunya and europe side. As a matter of fact, I believe nobody sees that such a process iwould involve people who have business in your region (myself for instance), the rest of Spain and Europe.
    Now the question is:
    why should we accomodate your requests as europeans, why should we spend money and support you all at a sudden? What’s in it for us in the short and medium term?
    Now, please talk about present facts, not history books.

    • Marc says:

      We’re not doing it for you Europeans, we’re doing it for us. And we expect you to support the will of Catalan people because Europe is said to be democratic.
      If you only look at the economic side, an independent Catalonia would finally allow the mediterranean railway, which has been banned by Spain for the last 15 year- to be constructed as Europe wants. It would allow Barcelona’s port and airport to work as an international hub. That’s a lot of new business opportunities.

      I apologize for my poor English

      • max says:

        wow! Marc, you sure look like a great negotiator. You gave me lots of reasons to believe in Catalans and Catalunya. A railway. Oh, and the opportunity for me to be democratic. ahahahahahahah

        • Marc says:

          I could give you many more reasons. I understand you don’t know the impact of this long-awaited European infrastructure, but anyway, why do you need a reason to believe in Catalonia? I’m not asking you to do so. But just curious, why are you against it?

          • max says:

            >I understand you don’t know the impact of this long-awaited European infrastructure> jeez I do know that, but…do you really believe that would change the asset of southern Europe? oh, c’mon.
            Beside, if that will not create problems to my business and to my associatees business, I do not have anything against Catalunya.
            But you do not realize that you are asking support for your ‘desires’ from a large majority in Europe. And that does not happen, you see? Enough will be to see the responses of the english people to the article of Quim Monzò on the Guardian. With all the good things you could do, you managed to seem ridicoulous and dishonest in the face of the majority that surrounds you.
            That is my two cents anyway, I hope for you the future will prove me wrong.

        • Marc says:

          I reply to this message because it won’t let me reply to your latest comment.

          The Guardian changed that article: http://www.vilaweb.cat/noticia/4058369/20121124/conversa-matthew-tree-quim-monzo-larticle-catalunya-guardian-retallat.html

          Anyway it’s funny that you say nationalism is funny and ridiculous because of a single article. You make no sense at all.

          • max says:

            i say that your nationalism is ruìidicooulous because i have lived and studied in catalunya durig the last 5 years. nevermind mate, you’ll have your revolution. hope it will bring you joy and prosperity.

        • Marc says:

          You keep failing to give one single argument to support your legitimate opinion that catalan nationalism is ridiculous. If you just can’t, this conversation is going nowhere.

          • max says:

            so is it not enough what I said before? In any case I guess that the best proof that you are divided and weak, and therefore that you are not candidates to be a nation are the results of the elections.
            The enemy is among yourselves, Marc, as history repeats. That is what makes you ridicolous: the fact that you go screaming and shouting for liberty (which you in fact have got already, you should work on that a little bit more, refining that bit by bit) but haven’t the bollocks to really pay for that.
            That’s my two cents anyway. I might be wrong.
            Have a good revolution Marc!

        • Marc says:

          No it’s not at all! You say we are divided and week but 2/3 of our parliament are separatist parties! So as I said you just make no sense at all!

          Anyway I’m aware that it would be very difficult to achieve independence of Catalonia, and you seem to agree with me pointing difficulties out (hipotetic weakness -which is not, but anyway- divided parties, etc.). But I don’t understand why you are mistaking current difficulties with arguments against the whole idea of Catalonia’s independence.

          And what is that crap about liberty and paying for it? I don’t ask for liberty and don’t have a clue about what you are talking about. I just ask for a State Administration that cares about my culture and doesn’t force me to pay more taxes than other citizens just because I live in a specific region. I’d love that State to be Spain but we’ve been waiting for 30 years for that to happen and we can’t wait anymore (btw, THAT’s an argument).

          I’m not sure I will be able to reply again because I already replied to all the comments this shitty forum allows me to, so take care!

    • Enxaneta says:

      Oh, well, let us have an Italian give us a lesson on how to carry out a democratic revolution… because, of course, you Italians know a lot about it and along history you have shown the necessary guts to change your corrupt politic environment. Don’t make me laugh, mister: you say to have lived in Catalonia for five years but you don’t have learned anything about my country.

  6. Peter says:

    No need for referendum. Unilateral declaration of independence is sufficient as 300 years ago the Castillian and French armies conquered Catalonia, which is therefore unlawfully and violently occupied and this was never approved by Catalan people. Thus, a declaration of independece would be logical without a previous referendum. Afterwards, people opposing such status may try to organise a referendum to unify with Spain or other countries if they wish…

    • jake says:

      read more History of your “country”, pls, i mean the whole country not only your area. Catalonia was not conquered by one side and following by the other. It took part on a secesion war after the death of the legitimate king without successor, the spanish.

      That part was the loser one but in the desire to avoid a great war against France half of Catalonia was given to them by the new king.

      and also, remember that you are not living en the 17th century but in the 21st one. Only 36 years, not 300 years, most catalonians voted democratically to have a common country called Spain, and now you are spitting on that democratic decision.

      ¿and now you want democracy? cinical and childish

      • Enxaneta says:

        We Catalans are in the 21st century and that is why we are in a position to ask for and expect democracy from democrats. The question is if you are one of them.

        • jake says:

          you only espect democracy from the ones who agree with your desire but refuse the vote of the rest of the country that already shares its past and future with Cataluña. Still thinking of anarchy with a band in your eyes put by certain selfish gobernors who only wish their egolatry come greater. Do not claim the name “we catalans” because you dont speak for all of them. Your vote is one, same as mine, that´s real democracy.

  7. jake says:

    Sci-fi section here

  8. Josep1919 says:

    If you are going to tell the history you should tell the hole history. Just two little things you didn’t said:
    1.) Catalonia has never been a country, Corona de Aragon was a region which Catalonia was part of it.
    2.) During the civil war the catalan people where not the only people who were part of the Republicans many people who now you hate where also part of them. In fact many Franco leaders where from Catalonia.

  9. miki says:

    I have read the article, and i have to say that your comparasion of spanish civil war, with the wwII is just nonsense, in the spanish civil war wasn´t a war betwin catalonia and spain…

    was a war betwin fascism and democracy, there was people from all around spain who died defending catalonia in (la batalla del ebro) and if u want to dig deeply you will find that a nacionalistic party call ” lliga catalanista” suport for the wealthy borgeois of catalonia gave the necessary financial suport to fascist before hitler or musolini does, because this lliga catalanista was worried about losing their privilege in favor of the working class, who reclame rights,

    and the represion wasn´t only in catalonia was all arrownd spain, and remember before the civil war, spain was allready a nation, who fougth twogether agains napoleonics armies…

    now a days spain is democratic country, formed by people who have much more in common that diferences, but nacionalist want to put more enphasis in the diferences…

    i dont say catalonian citizens doesn´t have the right to have an independient country if the people really want it, but now this nacionalistic isue has become more importan because of the crisis and the hability of nacionalist politicians who blame the rest of spain fot all their problems, and tell the people that they will be better with their own country ( thing that nobody really knowns) but when people are losing their jobs, houses etc, they can suport whatever… take a look what happens in germany in 1933….

    • Marc says:

      I’m a nationalist and have many more reasons for independence that you say.

      But yes, this comparison is not the best in the world.

  10. Pedro says:

    All in all… the desire for independence in a global world, after 500 years together as part of Spain (Spanish crown, if you want, which merged 2 kingdoms), after a significant level of autonomy in the past 35 years… means just one thing: FAILURE.

    Failure of Spanish politicians (both in Madrid and Barcelona) to make a useful political structure that SERVES the citizen. It´s all about THEIR power. La Generalitat is not more of a government of mine than the Spanish Central Estate. BOTH are MY government. If I am not properly attended by either of them (crisis does not come from one or the other, but from both incompetence, even if one has more power than the other)… their best approach is to demand MORE? More of me?

    I DON´T WANT independence. I don´t want that those that have been my family and shared citizenship and many more things for my whole life and dozens of generations before me… are not going to be anymore but uncomfortable neighbours, just because politicians on both sides were INCAPABLE of managing MY money and deciding the best way to take decisions for ME and my fellow citizens.

    I raise a question… what would happen if you don´t have a majority in that referendum that you want to have held? Will you stop asking for independence? No… you won´t. Democracy will have spoken, but you will still want to fight for what you believe is the best decision. You will try to convice more people, and blame as much as possible on the Central Government to keep pushing for independence. I am Catalan as I am Spanish, and also European… I am not giving up on any of those status because some people believe that some are incompatible.

    If all this is a matter of money… it has certainly an easy fix.
    If it´s because of hatred against a state that you don´t feel that represents you… maybe you could change your approach, and try to make it your state, instead of fighting against it.

    But don´t expect that people will keep quiet forever. The same as you fight for what you believe.. .some others that think the opposite will start fighting, advocating for more centralism (and maybe also being more efficient) and… yet again… who wins with all this fighting?

    • Davinia says:

      I am as Catalan as you and I DO WANT to have the opportunity to decide if we are to continue in Spain or not. Democracy is not builded upon suppositions and preferences as yours or mine but with the only thing that really counts: the votes of people. If you are a democrat, why are you so scared? Let people show what they want by the only democratic way: by voting!

  11. Ikea says:

    Generally, people comment on what I should do “other” people, when actually they are not “the affected people” … Your opinion is worthless.

    Others talk about stories that happened many years ago …. To become independent, we do not have to justify anything, just say so. It is a right.

    And if, despite all the mobilization that we are carrying out, people do not want to be a free state (like any other, by the way), we will continue trying until WE decide, because, after all, this is OUR problem (…time and hopes spent), not yours.

    • Pedro says:

      Ikea… You can tell that to the jews massacred in the Germany of the 30´s and 40´s. Tell that to the population that has been outcasted, that has been forced out of the places where they were born, where they had their wealth and their living… because of their religion, their race or because they were not part of the “WE” that you so loudly state.
      We are not a world in which we do whatever we like… regardless of the others.

      That said… I think it´s good that anyone can have an opinion on whatever matter they want. Better if it´s well documented (or they will just be fools), but an opinion is just an opinion… and surely the opinion of those “who are not concerned” will have much less impact that the one of those “who are concerned”. It happens, though… that Europeans are concerned about this matter (and by the way, the current Catalan regional Government is policing for Europe to be involved on their side… so ANY European has the RIGHT to have a say on the matter, I would say).

      A state is not free in nature… as you seem to think. One can have a nation and not have a state. Do you think the Italians from Geneva are less of a nation than the Sicilians? They both were FULLY independent in their past as well… so… let´s go back to those times?

      To become independent, like any other action that has implications… would require some justification… or else, it´s just a question of your will against other´s wills… or power. I have been educated to believe and promote that a better world is not made only by imposing one´s beliefs, but by respecting the other´s… and using arguments and other means than power to make it possible to live together.

      By the way… I am Catalan as well. I am not independentist (in case it was not obvious). And this is MY problem as well as yours.

      I understand your points and your reactions to this “foreign-based foro”, but it´s not a bad thing to look around and learn and also have others to learn about problems that… you know?… it´s not the first time that happens in history… despite of the stupid things that one side and the other get to say today to justify their position.

  12. Flipe Fernando says:

    This is so good….I never read so much history fiction. Catalonia is pure anarchy. Never happy. Always crying –as Gasol in the Lakers–. They gave a hard time to the kingdom of Aragon. Later they almost kill Fernando. They proclaimed a Republic in 1640. They asked and got protection from Luis XIII of France only to get back to España few years later. They supported the Ausburgh against the Bourbon, but the Bourbon came in the wining side. So the Bourbon gave them hell. Añways in the loosing side.Their nationalism is such a big pain. They, the paranoic nationalists– no the catalans, catalanists or not –are so pathetic with all this posture of a grandeur that never was. It is almost a mithology. A ridiculous and bad mithology. A looser’s mithology. I pray that France take them back. It is an autonomy with a large debt and deficit. It has received from the Central Goverment more than 5,0000 Euros almost the double of what Valencia requested. Almost the same as all other regions combined. It also got a large amount from the EU. And then, the idea of that Empire that never was: Valencia, Baleares, Aragón… Pretty soon Sicilia and all the South of Italy….even of it was a Castilian the one who won those territories…and yes, let’s not forget that Columbus was catalan…pretty soon, Buddha, Krishna, Amon Ra and every God that ever existed will have their origin in Cataluña, what a waste.

    • Pedro says:

      Although I agree on your position about nationalism and your perception that all this claim-claim-claim is a bit tiring and a lot of energy wasted…

      I think there is some right in some of the claims.
      And if you look it with the historical perspectiva… you will soon notice that all those who today are independent… used to be a bit of a big pain for the nations that once dominated them.

      Take the Americans… they complained all day long. If the English Army defended them agains the Indians, they complained because they requested money to fund them. If the English Army left, because they were left unprotected. The taxes on the tea was a very reduced tax by comparison with other territories. So.. they complained by principle. And no… they were not innocent and nice. The American independentists went house by house asking for the position of the owner about independency. if supporter, fine. If it was a royalist (which was a defendant of the system they were in), he was killed, robbed and his property burned. Of course… this was not all over America, but there were chapters. And in the perspective of the English… the Americans were a pain in the as… and they were simply not willing to accomodate to any option that was not independence.

      Take the Germans… when you read their history, you realise that they are a bunch of whiners. Also when they travel they always find a good reason to complain. And they are RIGHT!! They have a higher standard of how the things should work. That said, complaining does not mean that they can do it better… so sometimes that level of complain is futile, a waste, and it also generates unease around them. It´s a different culture… but if you pay attention, you will notice they also complain and complain… (even if they also have more means to act on those complains).

      Now take all the other nations… there is always a fight… and it seems clear that all the means are accepted to reach the objective… from changing the history to extorsion. Sad but true… this thing is about power… and power is not very rightful… just powerful. Once they reach the power, they will have time to change things from a different perspective.

      You are right that we tend to be in the losing side. But we are still here, and we are not weak (even if sometimes we chose weak leaders, here and in Madrid). And we are not in worse shape than others. On the economics,… rest assured, there is more economic muscle here than in most places in Spain. But it is not less true that wasting it in public over-expense and low return investments can degradate our economy as it has been in other periods in history.

      On you personalisation about Pau Gasol… I think he complains rightly. He probably has a higher level of exigence than his team. Maybe a bit lower than some expected… but if you think he is a whiner… your perception seems a bit deviated to me. Maybe if you mention other whiners I can figure out what is your concept of it.
      Fernando Alonso is a whiner/”complainer”?
      Barack Obama is a whiner-complainer?

      Finally… about “France take them back”. France has shown they were worse for the interests of the Catalans than the guys in Madrid. Much worse… and that´s why we happily left them so quickly. I don´t think that will happen…

      By the way, in English it´Habsburg (not Ausburgh… you are confusing the imperial family name with a location in Germany). You will probably find some imperfections in my statements… but we have to keep the appropriate level of exigence whenever possible!! :D

      Take care and good post (despite of my sometimes objecting reply) :D

    • Marc says:

      Te das cuenta que el Gobierno central debe a Cataluña más de lo que ha pedido prestada ésta, debido a la famosa disposición adicional tercera? Y ahora Cat debe devolver esa cantidad con unos intereses monstruosos? Y que dejando de lado los impagos, este año se ha recolectado 16 mil millones de euros en Cataluña que se envían al gobierno central sin q repercutan en nada? (Eso que llaman solidaridad) Porque ese es el triple de lo que se ha tenido que pedir. Supongo que encuentras muy útil este modelo de financiamiento y que los que nos quejamos somos simplemente unos llorones. Felicidades, eres todo un estadista. Un saludo.

  13. Meyer says:

    Who will you put the blame on once you’re independent. That’ll be funny to see. You say 2/3s of the parliament is pro-independence… after 25 years of indoctrination? My cousin’s mother tongue is Spanish but lives in Catalonia, both parents are non-catalans but he’s the greatest nationalist ever. How you call that? That’s the freedeom you are talking about? A place where you cannot learn in your mother language… in your own country!

    • Marc says:

      I’ve spend 30 years in Catalonia and i still have to meet ONE SINGLE PERSON who doesn’t speak perfect Spanish. If your cousin doesn’t speak Spanish I would love to meet him so I can see this is true.

    • Davinia says:

      How do I call the fact that your cousin is a nationalist? Well, I call it FREEDOM! He/She has all the right to choose what he wants to be… just as you. Or is it that you consider your cousin an inferior being because he or she does not share your political views. What are you, a dogmatist?

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