An open letter to Societat Civil Catalana

Dear SCC,

Firstly, congratulations for the European Parliament medal and everything. I’m not entirely sure why you were nominated. You don’t seem to have done anything.  Except publish press releases and organize two or three sparsely attended demonstrations at which pretty much the only reliable will-shows were the boot boys from Democracia Nacional and Plataforma per Catalunya. Still, it’s not for me to explain the workings of the European Parliament, and I won’t ask you to either.

But I do have a question or two for you. They’re about one of your founding members. No, not Josep Ramon Bosch. I couldn’t care less if the alleged highlight of his Dad’s year was organizing a mass in honor of General Franco. The sins of the father, etc.

No, I’m more interested in Javier Barraycoa, listed as a founding member on Wikipedia. He is, apparently, also the secretary of the Catalan section of the Carlist party ‘Comunión Tradicionalista Carlista’, a party dedicated to ‘God, Fatherland, Charters and King’. CTC promotes a sort of ‘organic democracy’, (known by pretty much everyone else as ‘authoritarian democracy’), generally considered to be a key component of Mussolini and Stalin’s respective brands of totalitarian dictatorship. He’s on the record as saying that he “doesn’t believe in elections”.

Question 1: Is Javier Barraycoa a member or official of SCC? I ask because a search of your organization’s website shows no sign that he has any connection with you. But at the same time, I can’t find any press stories detailing his expulsion from SCC. So I have to ask. You understand.

Question 2: Do the values of Carlism fit with the values of the SCC?

Question 3: Did you never worry that linking your so-called ‘plural’ organization with someone from Spain’s traditionalist far right wing could look bad? Is that perhaps why his name doesn’t appear on your website?

Question 4: As proud members of a plural Catalan and Spanish society and defenders of democracy, do you as an organization condemn the military rebellion of 1936 and the dictatorship it led to?

I look forward to your responses! Have a great week!



Tom Clarke

16 thoughts on “An open letter to Societat Civil Catalana

  1. I asked my neighbour, Carlos, and he says that you are being ingenuous – you surely know that #3 of “Déu, Pàtria, Furs, Rei” refers to mink.

    What actually most worries me most, and keeps me out of the water, is the Barraycoa-barracuda thang. I can tell the difference on image search, but at dusk, with a couple of drinks inside me…

    1. Last time I saw Jim Davidson, he was in a tabloid newspaper suffering similar problem in Bangkok. It happens to the best of us. And Jim Davidson.

  2. Dear Mr Clarke,
    Thank you for your interest and for taking the time to write us.
    We are a bit surprised that you are taking information seriously that you have gained from nationalist media, which are notoriously unreliable.
    The Wikipdia entry you refer to has not been edited by us. Mr Javier Barraycoa was present in some meetings previous to the creation of Societat Civil Catalana, however he is not an associate (socio) nor is he part of our executive council (junta ejecutiva), nor does he have any link with SCC.
    SCC does not have any links to Carlism, and the debate about this political movement is beyond our reach. However, as democrats we certainly condemn any dictatorship past and present, including that of Francisco Franco.
    SCC defends the Constitution, democracy and an open society.
    We hope that these clear words have helped you to understand our position. If you should be interested to know more about us, we’ll be glad to receive you personally in our offices.
    Kind regards,
    Juan Arza
    Head of Communications
    Societat Civil Catalana

    1. Juan, thanks for your answers. I’ve got to say that you and your organization handle communications with impressive clarity and openness.

      One small clarification. You say:

      Mr Javier Barraycoa was present in some meetings previous to the creation of Societat Civil Catalana, however he is not an associate (socio) nor is he part of our executive council (junta ejecutiva), nor does he have any link with SCC.”

      Could you confirm that he was never a socio or member of your executive council?

      Would you care to speculate on why his name is constantly linked to your organization – by pro-independence media and by media outlets closer to your own position. Smear campaign, out of date info or just bad journalism?

  3. Hi, Tom,
    Indeed, Mr. Barraycoa has never been “socio” or member of our “junta”.
    Regarding your second question, I think there is a mixture of causes, depending on the case. There is a campaign against us, of course, but sometimes there is just bad journalism.

    1. Juan – you’ve been very categorical on this and I appreciate that. Could you take a quick look at this column written in El Mundo ( It appears to be announcing the formation of SCC and is written by Javier Barraycoa who is identified as a ‘socio de Societat Civil Catalana’. That doesn’t seem to gel with your previous statement. Why would Barraycoa identify himself in this way were he not a socio?

    1. Thanks, Ernest. My apologies for the way your comment was held in moderation over the holidays. Yes, this and my last comment seem to indicate that SCC is lying about Mr. Barraycoa.

  4. Hi, Tom,
    I understand your doubts. Let me clarify the situation, as I have done in other opportunities, even in some radio/TV debates or interviews.
    During our early stages and before registering the association many meetings took place with the participation of many people. Mr. Barraycoa was one of the attendants to some of these meetings (he presented himself as an historician and University professor, but never mentioned his political activities).
    Indeed, he came to Madrid with us on April 8 2014 paying his own expenses. He didn’t participate in any of the meetings we had with politicians.
    He didn’t play any role in our presentation to the public on April 23, and he distanced himself from us just after that date.
    He was never a partner of SCC. I can’t explain why he signed the article this way, considering that he had already gained prestige publishing some famous books and some articles in the press.
    I hope this information will be helpful.
    Juan Arza
    Head of Communications
    Societat Civil Catalana

  5. Juan: congratulations and thanks for your patience.

    I share with SCC the convinction that the European project is about the Union of people with a long-long shared history, full of differences, diversity and even wars, but who have learned (precisely from this history) the greatness and advantages of this project.

    I believe too that if someone is not interested in being part of a group and is willing to accept the consequences of leaving, he should be fee to go, let that group be Europe, Spain, Cataluña, his friends or his family. But those who want to stay, shall be granted the right to do so… And MANY of us here want to stay part of a country that grants this right with a legal system that provides also for enough ways to change it to those to want to stay in the legality and not fall into the (undoubtly appealing) ways of populism, a strength that I hope we will never loose again and makes me feel proud of the right to be part of this country.

    I found this compatible with the convinction of SCC, and this was as a matter of fact the only restriction that was given to me to become part of SCC: and I found that very appealing and coherent to the project, to be honest!!

    Pablo, a spaniard among many others

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