Thanks for your advice: I have burnt my television, then bought today’s Spanish newspapers and also burnt them without reading them. I shall instead read a history book about Benidorm for the rest of my half-term holiday and ignore Catalonia. The Catalans are just attention-seekers.
This was a Whatsapp message sent in reply to Spanish teacher colleague Elena who had been reading my blog and she said I needed to be dragged away from the Catalan situation or I would just “go loco like everyone else…”
There is some wisdom in this view. The Catalan madness – or let’s just be rude and use the word hysteria – has been quite infectious and the only people who have benefitted from these crazy weeks in Spain have been the manufacturers of flags. (Even that won’t benefit the Spanish economy, as the only shops selling flags are those that sell every type of plastic junk made in China.)
Thanks, Elena. It is good to have people around you who can keep things in perspective. My colleague teaches Spanish literature and Valenciano and has shown very little interest in the Crisis en Cataluña or the Desafio Catalan (Catalan Defiance) as it is called in the newspaper strap-lines. In the end, everything remarkably returns to normal life this Monday, and Elena is absolutely right: I should have spent my time more productively grooming the donkeys, picking olives or re-arranging my collection of GCSE Geography exam papers and putting coloured sticky labels on them.
If only the plot had fizzled out so quickly in July 1936! What would have happened if the pilot Captain Bebb and his MI6 passenger Major Pollard, hired to fly Franco from the Canaries to Morocco to start the Spanish Civil War, had got drunk on cheap brandy and soda in the Las Palmas Club Nautico and fallen into the harbour? But I digress…
What I suggested in yesterday’s commentary on the situation was a sense of great confidence that the Spanish government had overcome the desafio and implemented effective constitutional means to guarantee the majority of the Catalan people a return to normality. Today this situation looks even more consolidated, with a remarkable lack of resistance from the Catalan police, the Mossos d’Escuadra, to the idea of working under orders from the Ministry of the Interior in Madrid, via their new commander who was appointed after the treacherous former commander Trapero was sacked for being a puppet of the separatists.
There is still one point of significant resistance which interests me: the television station TV3. Madrid has said it will decapitate the management of the separatist propaganda TV station (paid for by all of our taxes in Spain!) and stop it from presenting an entirely one-sided view of the news and indeed Catalan life and culture. I am very interested to see how that will be possible. I will return to this point later, as I want to try and find out what practical steps are being taken to return TV3 to being a more responsible public broadcaster.
And sorry Elena but I haven’t burnt my television: it was a joke. But not one of my more complicated unintelligible jokes.
11.30 am 30 October 2017
This will be another live blog day with updates later. Tomorrow will be a normal Rubí Tuesday blog and I’ll hand over to Rubí donkey to write her stuff while I just go and harvest olives.
Playwright Albert Boadella explains why he draws parallels between Cataluña 2017 and Germany in 1933. The scene with the Barcelona firefighters – the bomberos – is a bit scary: a respected body of public servants paid by the taxpayers, chanting “votarem” in a choreographed scene to persuade Catalans to vote in the illegal referendum on 1 October. (Later today I shall return to the question of TV3.)
Boadella is one of those who want to see TV3 and some other Catalan nationalist public media closed down and re-founded, in order to disinfect them from the nationalist influence and propagandistic role.
14.30 BREAKING NEWS
Sensational news now confirmed by the Spanish Home Office, relayed to La Sexta: Carles Puigdemont is in Belgium, together with a number of ex-Catalan government top people, who have fled the country shortly after it was announced they were to be charged with rebellion – an offence which could lead to 30 years maximun in prison.
Well, it will be even quieter in Cuckoo Land now they’ve all buggered off to Belgium. 🙂