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Nov 17.
It seems like only yesterday that Mr Junkyard was getting uppity ! I had no idea that whilst I was labouring over the keyboard the boy himself was just a few hundred clicks up the road telling the young bloods of his ambitions to rule our world.

The ground has been well prepared and the protest voices have raised the issue of weak central governance. This, being the precursor of new draconian laws designed to silence the dissidents and further punish them in an Admiral Bing style --- to encourage the others ! All that is needed then , is the formation of an European Police Force to apply the common law equally to all citizens. Of course the Civil Police would be only lightly armed as the Gens d'Arme would do the CRS and Guardia Civilie strong arm stuff. It would be some time in the future before events prove the need for an independent Army. This would, of course, be controlled from the Commissions headquarters. This may prove to be a difficulty as history usually places control in the lieu thought to be the most powerful. The lieu would also sport a name which reflects the might and importance of the state. Bruxelles is not really so endowed.

The Catalan federalists turned out in good number today. Many of them appeared to be in their fifties and younger. This is interesting ! Those aged 50 would have been into of their teens when the CE was pouring money into Spain to build it's AUTO ROUTES and modernise it's railways . It was about this time that I made my first Iberian visit since 1960 in the form of a motorbike tour. I was amazed at the change that had occurred in what was less than 20 years. To these people it must have been miraculous and even more so after Franco expired in 1976. One of the missing aspects of the life according to CE in Britain is the plethora of signs declaring the benevolence of the EEC, Ec, CE etc. Most people in Europe are left in no doubt who has funded what and where. It is even more impressive when the change from dirt roads to Auto route takes place. IN 1960 the motor car was often rare. Today Spain can boast traffic jambs as good as any in the western world. This and the the building of so many thousands of new homes of all kinds is bound to have a great effect on the population. It is easy to see how any region can pat itself on the back and take credit for a job well done.

This is about when the seeds of pride give birth to the thoughts of independence. The ordinary citizen is very uninterested in history whether ancient or modern (or even yesterday) and so rarely puts two and two together in a rational manner! The headline, screaming from the paper or radio/TV is often what occupies the memory and triggers the auto reactions. Mr Everyman is, I suspect, more likely to be swayed by public opinion than anything else.

It is now midday on Monday and the Catalan world on our south western border seems to be calm !

Things in Catalan seem to have settled down into dueling with powder puffs. The home team protagonists have sought refuge in Bruxelles. This move presumably to embarrass the Commission. This is a very unlikely outcome. The last time anyone (on a state level) supported such moves for independence was the disgraceful affair in the Balkans. The dismantling of Yugoslavia had no commercial or social justification. The installation of a Muslim government into Bosnia appeared to round off some half cocked idea that having an Orthodox, a catholic and a Muslim country would seem equitable to all residents. To then set about further dismantling of Serbia by ceding Kosavo to the invading Albanian bandits was a gross crime. I can only assume that the Americans were the prime movers. It was a stupid move as it showed the weakness's of the UN and very few Military Commanders dared to allow their humanity over ride the official policy of non intervention! A group of newly retired French Military personnel voiced the opinion that they would have preferred to have British Officers rather than the “do nothing” types in charge at the time.

I just hope that those who encouraged the blood bath which followed the dissolution have managed to live with their consciences since that wicked episode.

The conduct of the Spanish Government appears to have been moderated by the earlier disgraceful show of force. The law is sacred – it is the basis of civilisation but one of the pillars of Democracy is surely the ability to enjoy opportunities to vote on such important matters ? This is exactly what has been offered to the residents of Catalonia. Such a referendum will live or die by it's wording but at least it is a gesture so unexpected that one will be looking under the beds to seek out the tricks ! It has to be said that the first abortive effort was sullied by the apparent lack of true representation.

The UK parallel with Scotland is almost exact and any preemptive moves by the wee Sturgeon would have led to equally disagreeable scenes (in Scotland).

At first glance the approach of the now deposed premier of Catalonia to his problem (by running off to Bruxelles) is irrational. If one then listens carefully to the statements issued by the Federalist spokesmen one is regaled with threats, charges and instant punishments issuing from the mouths of politicians ! Note ! Not a legal eagle in sight or sound; Et voilà, this is exactly what ex presidente is seeking protection against. Flicking back a year or so I discovered the recording of the same guys ranting and threatening violence and other preemptive acts against Gibraltar . At the risk of being accused of tarring them all with the same brush, it does seem that the nasty streak of viciousness imported by the Middle Eastern conquistadores is fairly well spread – from politics to animal treatment and indeed human relations.

Something tells me that any of the old crew offering themselves for re election will be doing so from a prison cell far ,far away ! Not for the first time the language of Bruxelles is the same as that of Madrid.

Christmas is looking a little bleak.

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