The bou embolat and Catalonia’s bastard politicians

Last week, Catalonia’s political parties sent their latest signal in their campaign to made it clear that they’re petty, thick and best ignored.

Having achieved a great thing by banning bullfighting over the summer, Catalonia had once again managed to paint itself as an advanced and forward-thinking region. Accusations were made that this was only done to attack allegedly ‘Spanish’ culture, in revenge for the constitutional court deciding to cut Catalonia’s statute of autonomy.

So just as Catalan politicians enjoyed their first taste of a kind of international political capital, they went and fucked it all up by voting to exempt certain cruel ‘Catalan’ bull torturing festivities, including the corre-bou and the bou embolat.

Bou embolat - Photo taken from Racó Català (

The reason that the parties have exempted these practices from the ban is simple: in some rural communities, these ‘festes’ are still popular. CiU, ERC and the PSC are all desperate to hold onto votes in these communities and so like the disgraceful way they pandered to anti-immigrant fervour by banning burqas, so they are now revealing themselves for the bare-faced hypocrites they are. Only Iniciativa (ICV – the Green-Communist group) voted against the exemption.

Christ, imagine if we were a separate country. We’d be screwed.

82 thoughts on “The bou embolat and Catalonia’s bastard politicians

  1. Well…

    · Bou embolat is pretty bad. I would ban it.

    · Correubous and similar things are fine with me as long as they don’t set the horns of the bull on fire, etc. I mean, if some guys wanna deal with a bull in a square, the bull having free move and the dudes jumping and trying to avoid him (while not touching him), that’s fine with me.

    · I don’t understand why you’re mixing this with the burqa. I’m totally for a ban in public administration buildings (where visual identification is a must) and I think the goverment should use some soft power and education to eliminate its use. I’ve lived in Turkey for a while and I dealt with these things, I’m not against headscarf but burqa is just savage opression (by the way, in Turkey, a muslim country, it’s already ilegal). Are we racist because we don’t allow a Nigerian father to cut his daughter’s clitoris off?

    1. “I don’t understand why you’re mixing this with the burqa” – it’s really quite simple. CiU and the PSC reacted to the fascist campaign made by PxC not by rejecting fascism but by appeasing it. They pushed to ban burqas in places like Tarragona, where only two women are known to have worn the burqa. If you think that has anything to do with gender equality, I’m afraid you’re wrong. The laws were always brought in as ‘security’ ordinances.

      This is why I loathe the PSC more than any other party. It’s the most craven, hypocritical political party in a very bad bunch indeed.

      1. Turkey is technically secular but it does appear to be moving towards becoming Islamic (it seems to depend on whether the government can get rid of the generals before they organise another coup).

        That said, there have been clear moves by senior clerics in some Muslim countries (like Egypt), against the burqa and the niqab.

  2. Officially, Turkey is a secular republic but the majority of its population are muslims, not atheists. Hell, the current government is the muslim equivalent to the christian democrats in Europe (or hopefully they are, we’ll see if they become more radical).

    I consider the ban in public buildings (schools, government buildings, police stations…) a good thing. You should not be able to deal with the police if they can’t identify you, get an ID if they can’t see your face, attend school if the teacher can’t see who you are…

    1. Fine, that much about principles, some of which (I mean that one, actually) sound reasonable. But then, you spoke of “the outcome”. What good things have you been able to observe on that end?

  3. Not many since the burqa is not a real problem in Catalonia yet but it could eventually become one and it’s better to have the legal framework beforehand.

    1. Sorry, but is that the “outcome” you saw as “overall good”? Or are you now admittedly downtoning an absolute evaluation to “eventually” and “could”?

      What facts do you actually base your opinion on?

  4. Jesus, it may be a problem with my English (I’m not a native speaker). All I wanted to say was that these new rules apply to the values I want for my country and that they will be useful if the burqa thing starts being an everyday problem in Catalonia.
    Do you thing a legislation for all races having the same rights is useless if all the population is white? Well, I think the ones making law must thing of likely future scenarios and yeah, I think it’s a good outcome to pass a new law that a) prevents a future bad situation and b) goes in the direction of the values we want for our country.

  5. Back to the Correbous….

    Can some middle ground not be found? My own village runs a daily Correbous every day throughout our festa, I can categorically state that no harm at all comes to the bulls. However, the village next door runs it’s bulls into the sea, a practise that obviously doesn’t sit easy with me.

    No bull should be made to wear fireworks on their horns, nor should they be beaten or tortured in any way, but I don’t see why the Correbous can’t continue in a more controlled manner.

    1. Yes, I think that a correbous conducted with care should probably be permitted. After all, animals take part in Sant Antoni and Tres Tombs events, without being subjected to stress/fear.

      1. Yes, back to the main issue.

        As a result of the Great Work of our “parlament”, two debates remain open: how to achieve the humane treatment of animals by means of legislation, and how to get rid of the nationalist bias in lawmaking.

        The very honourable men and women in charge of this territory are leaving an interesting legacy when their term ends this november. In some not-so-weird ways, the Original Sin is nothing against it, and personally I still wait to see the very real Fall of the Catalan Politician.

        Until this does not happen -and it never will, even if we make good use of Barcelona’s lampposts AND traffic lights- we (not them) are condemned to open every day’s newspaper with a heartfelt sigh, or worse.

        As usual.

        1. What you call “nationalist bias” is what normal people know as “cultural bias”. In India transportation and slaughter of cows (but not mules) is punished with a fine and 6 months in prison. This is a cultural issue. The thing is, if this is how the Indians feel about cows, who are you to tell them they’re wrong and impose your allegedly unbiased views upon them? Democracy, is not about having “unbiased laws” (and what is that supposed to mean, anyway?), is about government of the people, by the people. So, your approach to this issue is massively misguided.
          Tying torches to a bull’s horns is totally out of order and it should be banned, and I think so because I’m (in your words) nationalistically biased against animal cruelty.

          1. In English, there is never a comma between the subject and the corresponding verb (predicate) of a sentence; even if you love the word “democracy” very much.

            (In Spanish and Catalan it’s just bad style, I’m afraid.)

          2. You’re right. I did not mention that the rule applies when the S is immediately followed by the P, which indeed was the case in your phrase.

          3. I’d be very careful about ‘rules’ in English. There are a few, but many that are taught are utter bollocks.

            Besides, there are few things ruder or more asinine in debate than correcting your interlocutor’s spelling or grammar. It’s like criticising someone’s dandruff.

        2. Oh, you’re right on both accounts, Tom. But that was me resorting to irony when faced for the n-th time with being misquoted and/or the attempt to twist my words.

          Most obviously, I’m no authority in English language.

  6. In the rest of Spain, we don’t split the bull’s hairs with quite the same skill. Either Bullfighting good, Correbous good (huh!); or Bullfighting good, Correbous bad; or Bullfighting bad, Correbous bad. The only fourth alternative (seen, as I say, from the rest of Spain) is: Catalonian leaders and thinkers racist, selfish and cruel.
    Now, where did I put that bottle of Freixenet?

  7. Recommended reading: La Vanguardia publishes today the letter of a lady who says she had defended Catalan lawmakers in a letter to the editor of The Economist, but after the decision about the correbous she would now rather tear her letter apart.

  8. Catalans need to start rating things according to their intrinsic merits rather than how ‘Catalan’ they are. Hopefully that would put an end to the inexplicable popularity of not just fire-bulls, but sardanas and Els Pets as well.

    1. Do you realise how stupid your criticism sounds? Maybe this will help you:

      “The English need to start rating things according to their intrinsic merits rather than how ‘English’ they are. Hopefully that would put an end to the inexplicable popularity of not just cricket, but morris dance and Pete Doherty as well.”

      Incidentally, it’s not the first time an English man explains to me how much we like to dance sardanes. In my whole life, I have never danced a single sardana. I don’t even know how to do it, or know anyone who does. Sometimes it makes me wonder if these people have had an actual contact with other members of the society, or do they live in total isolation…

      1. That’s the point Primo, Morris Dancing is a national embarrasment and I’d be happy to see it go the way of the Dodo. As to Pete Docherty, the comparison is very unfair on our Junky-in-chief. Try Status Quo and I might buy it.

          1. Yep. He’d have been better putting in fox-hunting, an activity which is typically English, and should, in my opinion, be brutally surpressed by cossacks.

            There are many possible reasons to criticise cricket, which I would disagree with because I think it is a game of infinite subtlety and variety, but thats just because I like cricket, NOT because I am English.

            If you criticise something typically British, it makes no difference at all to me because I’m not a nationalist.

        1. And I’d be happy to see fire-bulls go away. That’s not the point. Pete Doherty is a clown with no musical talent what-so-ever. Junky-in-chief? Don’t make me laugh.

    2. See, this is what happens when you spice your words with a little humour. The distinctive quality of poilitical commissars is that they have no sense of humour. Or rather: they do, but they know it’s dangerous and they’re trained to kill it.

      1. No mate, it’s just different senses of humour. If it’s not based on poo, Catalans don’t get the joke… 😉

        (smiley is there to indicate this was a joke, Primo)

    1. PD: Having provided the link I should advise not to make any comments on StrubellTroete’s page unless you’re ok with not seeing them published. In the past months the good man could be observed to be sliding ever faster towards the dissolution of his personality in some warm and wet collective soul. He’s finally home on the range and unable to put up with any discouraging word.

  9. The thing with Els Pets would make more sense if we were in the 90s and not in 2010. There are plenty of good new Catalan bands that dont sound like Generalitat Rock anymore.

    At the same time, all countries have lame mainstream music. England too. Oh, wait, England! That country that has lost its historical strength when it comes to create anything interesting in music. I also heard they have a magazine called NME that puts anything in the cover that applies to a certain prototype of English music even if its plain uninteresting bullshit.

    1. Really, Grey, sue was not being serious. He’s totally trying to hijack the debate! More on the topic is primo’s comparing of correbous to cricket. I think that is a real intellectual challenge, and I for one still fail to see who gets hurt in cricket.

      I remember to have seen a baseball match, though, in which a bird flew by in front of the batter, right into the line of fire, and got killed by a fastball.

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the boy’s criticism of fire-bulls was entirely based on their alleged lack of merit. Lack of merit, not intrinsic cruelty. Therefore, anything that can be conceived as lacking merit is a valid analogy. Q.E.D.

        1. He criticised the attitude of “rating” issues based on the observer’s ideological bias instead of the “inherent merits” of the issues.

          The rest is just you two playing with words, another field in which you have found a master to whom you should gracefully bow.

    2. Thanks for proving once again that the nationalist mind is incapable of understanding the non-nationalist mind. If you don’t like English music, that’s fine. I disagree, because I think there are still some innovative and interesting bands in England, but given I’m not in them, I’m not claiming any credit.

        1. Shit man, if we’re going to do metaphysics, I’m going to need some pills. Do you know any dealers in Bucharest?

          1. Can’t you just declare yourself aryan and get it over with? Then at least you’d be on level and we’d enjoy an honest dogfight.

            I have read that Himmler watched a corrida and was disgusted. So you’d still be safe on animal protection.

  10. Returning to the topic at hand a little. Tom is a principled opponent of animal cruelty, and I respect his coherent stance against bull torture in all its forms. He is also a non-sectarian indepentist, and is one of the few people who I would personally describe using that term rather than “nationalist”, given I believe that his politics are genuinely pro-Independence and not anti-Spaniard.

    However, I feel he is attributing a degree of intellectual honesty to his ERC coreligionaries that they don’t possess. I don’t believe that they exempted the bou-embollat for electoral advantage; I believe that a large part of this ban has always been showing that Catalonia Is Not Spain, and that many even on the Left are unwilling to threaten any Catalan tradition because they believe that catalan-ness is a good in itself, irrespective of what or who suffers.

  11. Ok, ‘nough fun and back to the issue.

    I have to share my delight that, as Tom puts it, Catalan politicians have wasted some of their international political capital. They never deserved any of such a thing, and the world is best served when better informed about this bunch of radicals, including ICV simply for being communist.

    This is the upside of the corrida vs correbous affair.

    Now the problem is that every time Catalan politicians finally show their true face for the world to see, someone has to have suffered. And given the many intrinsically nationalist positions most of these styrofoam figures support, the next time it might be people, not bulls, who are on the receiving end.

    Matter of fact, we have already entered that phase.

  12. I’m nowhere near as pessimistic as you. I think that nationalism reached its high-water mark at the estatut referendum, the strategically disasterous “consultes” showed that the vast majority of Catalans, even in very “Catalan” areas feel no burning desire for independence. Of course, the shameful ban on state schools teaching in the majority language is still a major problem, especially in Barcelona.

    The worrying rise in anti-immigrant catalanism is the most dangerous current trend, but these things are cyclical, and racism always provokes a backlash.

  13. @boynamedsue 16:37:

    This is exactly the problem, you see.

    I don’t know the reasons why you like or dislike cricket, and that’s why I will refrain from criticising you for not liking cricket on the grounds that you think all cricket players are gay.

    Your first comment constitutes a prime example of such non-sensical criticism. The attribution of thoughts and motivations to others, coupled with the stereotyping of a whole group of people, I find it disgusting and bordering racism.

    I thought all this was pretty obvious, but it seems on here one has to explain every tiny detail.

    1. That argument might have slighly more value were it not on the comments section of a blog article relating to the specific exception of “Catalan” activities from a general ban on animal cruelty.

      To doubt that catalanists prioritise cultural products and (largely invented) traditions associated with Catalonia requires a wilfull act of self-deception. Of the very kind necessary to believe sticking darts in a bull is cruel while setting its head on fire is perfectly ok…

      1. I believe an argument has a value in itself, regardless of were it is at any given moment.

        Personally, I do not doubt that some people prioritise things from their own country, nor do I believe that mistreating a bull is okay. What I say is that your comment was extremely rude, for the reasons I stated above, just so you are aware of it.

        1. An argument has no value if it is immediately contradicted by a blog post recounting undisputed facts at the top of the same page on which it appears.

          1. In your comment you state that:

            * The Catalans like fire-bulls.
            * They do so because fire-bulls are Catalan.
            * You also imply that they like a lot of other things of dubious quality for the same reason.

            To me, it’s clear that you’re trying to stereotype a whole group of people (what some might call an ethnic group), entirely on grounds of unsupported assertions about their inner thoughts and motivations. This is something that somebody, you know, in some circles, might consider to be distasteful or even racist. I certainly do.

            Forgive me, but I am unable to find any undisputed fact, on the top of this page or elsewhere, that directly or indirectly contradicts any of this.

          2. You just won’t eh, primo? “Bastard politicians” is in the title of the post.

            I see no indication that sue referred to any other group, except maybe Catalan nationalists, but never to Catalans as such. He, like me, distinguishes very well between the latter two groups.

            But you just love calling people racist, ain’t it so? It gives you such a cute victim’s role.

  14. Not letting the primo draw me again into the nonsensical, I’d like to tell you, sue, that I don’t think I am being pessimistic.

    I, too, now think that the wave has passed without much pain or glory. The insanity of independence might seem further away, but still there remains the matter of self defense against proto-fascist attempts to deny me my identity. Political oppression tends to to have this effect of getting some individuals quite angry because they feel personally attacked.

    Before this gets any more serious we should analyse the situation and prepare to, as you say, lash back.

  15. Personally, I laugh at people who rate independence as a nationalistic non-sense. It’s very funny to see all these cosmopolitan people on the side of the empire. I guess the Irish and the North-American independences were also insane. It’s really just about a community that identifies itself as one willing to rule itself given a political situation that is not comfortable for them. This is just the story of the modern world. Otherwise, we’d still living under the rule of the British Empire or the USSR.

    I don’t claim any credit for the Catalan bands that I like but I think it’s very understandable that the fact that they sing in Catalan makes me feel closer to them than, let’s say, Russian folklore. And I don’t think there’s anything sick or disgustingly nationalistic about that. It’s just relating to your own cultural identity, just like a working-class English teenager from the late 70s would most likely identify himself with The Jam rather than with turkus.

    I love English music and because I do, I feel bad for the its current state. There are still new good bands, but it’s nowhere close to its state a few decades ago.

    When I mentioned NME I did it because I wanted to show that this nationalistic bias is everywhere (bias as in overrating a band just because it’s from your country). Sometimes it looks like Catalans are some kind of green-skinned nationalistic creatures when, in fact, you can find these attitudes in any country. It bugs me when it seems like mainstream socially well-accepted nationalism from an independent country is legit and non-independent countries’ national feelings are not.

    That being said, I’m gonna listen to some music. Muammer Ketencoglu, or maybe Television Personalities.

  16. Grey, you misunderstand my point. I’ve nothing against good Catalan bands being listened to by Catalans, but I don’t like the fact that the state sponsored Catalan-language culture industry has for years supported utter trash, which certain elements of Catalan society receive enthusiastically merely because it’s in Catalan.

    1. I understand you feel bad about bands you think are rubbish getting public funding. What I don’t get is the connection you’re try to establish between this and the allegation that certain people like something merely because it’s made in the language they speak.

  17. Primo, before I enter the borgesian labyrinth of your argument, and slay the minotaur of your nonsense, can you just clarify something for me?

    Do you accept that the reason “catalan” forms of animal cruelty have been allowed to continue, whereas their “spanish” counterparts have been banned, is that many people view the catalan festivals as having an intrinsic merit and value due to them being Catalan, which the Spanish festivities do not possess?

    1. Before I continue to remain unimpressed by your questionable use of metaphors, let me answer your question.

      No, I do not accept that the reason the so-called traditional festivities with bulls were allowed to continue is that many people view them as having intrinsic merit due to being Catalan. I do not accept this because I haven’t seen any evidence that suggests so.

      First, I doubt many people think festivals with bulls have any merit at all. According to a survey from a Catalan-language news site [], 73.63% say they are against allowing correbous. 86.30% say it’s incoherent to ban bull-fights while not banning correbous.

      Second, I do not know the reason that led 114 members of the parliament to vote in favour of removing the bull-fighting exception from the animals protection law and not removing the correbous exception, on July 28th. I doubt there is a single reason. I doubt anyone can claim to know what their motives -other than the publicly stated- were with any degree of certainty.

      1. See, you are offered the possibility of seeing how foreigners make up their minds. You got both those in favour and those against independence here, and we coincide at least on the term “bastards”.

        Noone can ever tell what’s going on in any politicians head. We just make an educated guess.

        And the onus is on the politicians to be “understood”. 🙂

  18. Let’s see: the toreros are not only a Spanish thing, also a Catalan (and Occitan, and Portuguese…) thing. As a matter of fact, Olot has one of the oldest places de toros in the world. It is true that corridas are not very popular these days in Catalonia and that could lead someone to think they are not a Catalan thing but a Spanish one (as they are still quite popular in places like Madrid or Andalucía). At the same time, they voted for its ban as a result of a popular initiative, not because the political parties came up with this discussion in the Parliament.

    I see the allowance of correbous as a concession to the region Terres de l’Ebre more than a real Spanish vs. Catalan issue. Correbous are still very popular in that area and since its inhabitants have historical claims against the government in Barcelona, the politicans didn’t want to give them more reasons to be discontent. Banning corridas has little social impact because the few places de toros that we have left nowadays are not even happening that much.

    I understand the realpolitik that the Parliament has used in this case but I also find it shameful if all kinds of correbous are allowed and torture is still allowed based on territorial and political balances. I’m not for a total ban, but for a restricted kind of correbous with some ethic rules towards the animal.

    1. The current laws permit “traditional festivities with bulls” as long as the animal isn’t hurt. The problem is that then CiU promoted a different bill which explicitly mentions the “bou embolat” (the one where they tie torches to the bull’s horns) as being one of the “traditional festivities with bulls” that are allowed. To me, it’s clear that this contradicts the “no harm” principle.

    2. Oh, if that is as far as you can get not only in animal protection but in criticism of local politicans, benvingut sigui.

      Maybe some other day you will hold your representatives accountable for the really cruel and dangerous things they do evey day.

        1. Yes, yes, they are mushrooming everywhere. They’ve got a slogan and make posters. How dare they! We must do something or else they’ll continue to spread perfectly legitimate ideas in a peaceful fashion.

          1. There is nothing legitimate in the strategy of trying to gain independence of one part of the Catalan Lands (the Principat) to afterwards go and annex territories of what would then be your neighbouring states. And that is precisely the strategy here, because the whole practical debate going on today only centers on the independence of the Principate, without ever giving up the final goal. One just does not mention it much. (Which makes these “highly obscure” groups interesting.)

            While strife for independence is quite legit, annexation is not, neither is it legal.

            And while it is at the very least questionable if moving towards the independence of the Principate is good for peace, I doubt not a bit that annexation is in any case a casus belli.

            See, that is why I despise Catalan independentists so much. Because first they lie, then they manipulate and hide their true intentions, then they call themselves peaceful. And when anybody gets angry about that they call them names. Like…. “rat”. Or oppressor. Or violent.

            And all the lies revealed, just another time, in that little poster, where the main argument is not animal protection, and in itself it is a lie: bullfighting does have an autochtonous tradition in Catalonia.

            And then the manipulation: you can still burn the bulls by their horns, bacause that *is* tradition. It’s Catalan, so it’s good.

            A lie, within a manipulation, within a lie: peaceful. Thanks, primo.

          2. Political logic: you can get a majority for the independence of the Principat, but that possibility is so far removed from reality in the other parts of the Catalonia depicted in the poster that annexation (or, hey, let’s be nice and call it Anschluss) is left as the only way. A two-step strategy.

            I am yet to see a firm commitment of Catalan politicians that an independent Catalonia would have no territorial aspirations over its new neighbours. As long as this is not there, the issue remains in the table.

            Like so many others, I may add.

  19. Look, Candide, I wrote a long and serious reply for you but the browser collapsed before I could send it.
    All I have to say is that your argument is plain bullshit and lies. Your arguments are those of the most biased media, taking extremist exceptions as the norm and mixing up your personal hates with your answers.
    But, well, history will tell and shut up your mouth once we declare the independence through our Parliament and with the democratic support of our population. And if the other regions make up their minds and decide through their democratic institutions / referendum to join us, we will welcome them.
    And well, we won’t be the firsts ones. It will just be another step in the direction of the new Europe, following the steps of Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Slovenia and many others. You can’t stop us.

    1. Oh, did I touch a nerve there?

      You paint me as a hater (fine, that’s new) who relies on “the most biased media” (that one’s already grown a long beard) and want me to shut up.

      You’re going adhom! Getting nervous?

      Catalonia will not be following the examples you mention, because in none of those we had the situation that two nationalisms were rivalling over the same territory. That is a no-brainer as to Slovakia. Finland/Russia was about an empire and one of its parts; Spain is no empire, plus you’d not like to have civil war. Norway, like all the North, was much about kingdoms, not nationalisms, and the first modern king of independent Norway was… wait for it… a Danish prince.

      Slovenia, even though the internal structure of ex-Yugoslavia was more comparable to that of Spain, the rivalling nationalism was Serb and had no aspirations over Slovenia (the border conflict with Croatia was in that sense more serious).

      Yeah, and there will be many others, all equally unlike Spain and Catalonia. I see no point in making these comparisions, to me this is a unique case. Catalan nationalists, however, love going there and using history for their purposes, something I call manipulation.

      And where was your lie? Well, I already have pointed out your adhoms.

      Plus I will not shut up. Not because of you, who surely is entitled to any kind of world view, but because of those politicians and opinion leaders who have the responsibility to safeguard the security of their people, and not to put it at risk as they are presently doing. The claim of being peaceful is always the ultimate lie.

  20. Cool, now you compare us with the nazis. Great! I don’t know what’s evil in supporting an independent republic containing all the Catalan-speaking territories, really. ERC leaders have said a thousand times the only way the other territories could join us would be through a democratic process, a decision made by them. CiU doesn’t even support the idea of Paisos Catalans (Mas has said that many times too). You will understand other groups outside of the Parliament are just mere exceptions that are not really representative of the majority.

    You talk about violence all the time. The Catalan nationalist and independentist politicians in the Parliament have always said that a process of independence must include no violence.

    There could be violence. That’s true but very unlikely given the current state of things in Europe. At the same time, the violence would only come from the Spanish government/army/… and therefore you cannot blame the Catalans and tell them ‘don’t declare independence, even if it’s through democratic means, because the Spanish could bring the tanks to the streets’. That’s like ‘you Dr King don’t fight for the civil rights because some whites are gonna start killing blacks as a response’ or ‘you Americans don’t fight the British Empire’. Security is important, but you can’t tell people ‘don’t fight for your freedom’.

    1. I did not compare anybody to the Nazis but referred to a moment in history when a certain kind of manipulation took place. They, the Nazis, called it peaceful, too.

      Ah, this pacifist edge! I always have to remember a certain Ibrahim Rugova, called “the Mandela of the Balcans” for his peaceful resistance, while the prime minister of his shadow government was raising an army.

      The comparision to the American blacks is another thing I do simply not buy. They had their constitutional rights denied, a very far cry from the Catalan situation.

      And I have to correct an impression you have of me: I am not saying that Catalan independentists would be violent, neither would the Spanish state. I am speaking of a situation when violence could occur because control has been lost (usually starts on the part of small (“obscure”) groups), and I think the relatively little there is to gain from independence is not worth that adventure. Catalan society is simply too split.

      That much about physical violence. There’s a lot of other kinds of violence already there, verbal, abuse of powers. On both sides.

      To avoid the worst it would be good that everybody be more critical with their own side. Which brings us back to the lies and manipulations, to the poster, and the example when Catalan politicians were called “bastards”.

      1. This is what I call a very unsophisticated and blatantly obvious version of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt), a well known and widely used tactic employed in marketing. The simple truth is there’s a remote possibility of a bloodbath, so remote that is not even worth contemplating. The civil population is largely unarmed, largely unprepared and unwilling to fight. In the worst-case scenario, expect a few riots. The other threat is the Spanish military, a conventional army. Basically, they have both their hands and feet tied in the event of a non-violent independence process. There’s nothing they can do, and if they tried anything it would be a terrible, terrible operation in terms of public relations. They know that fully well.
        So, maybe you want to try with another type of fear. Maybe the fear of an economic catastrophe, or the international isolation (another classic), if I may suggest.

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