Politics, the art of confusion

A borrowed verdict on the current public utterances of Spanish officials, and a suggestion that the Catalan national question may be about to be resolved in the same way it was in 1918-23.

The demolition of <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Columns'>Puig i Cadafalch's symbolic four columns</a> in 1928, CC from <a href='http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Catalunya-Barcelona-EnderrocamentColumnesMontjuic.jpg'>Wikimedia Commons</a>

The demolition of Puig i Cadafalch's symbolic four columns in 1928, CC from Wikimedia Commons

I rather liked comment 74 on Esperanza Aguirre’s endearing but rather irrelevant promise to devote whatever resources are needed to help everyone (and not just Zapatero’s lot) dig up skeletons from the 1930s:

La política es el arte del despiste. Un país virtualmente en bancarrota, con una caída en bolsa acumulada desde enero del 7%, con un territorio minúsculo pero desestructurado, con una tasa de paro en torno al 20% de media que se eleva al 28% en algunos de esos territorios, con unas instituciones desprestigiadas y vilipendiadas. Pero resulta que unos políticos hábiles como ésta consiguen que el 90% de los idiotas (es decir, de los españoles, ibéricos o como coño quieran llamarlos ahora) se dedique a matar el gusanillo de su hambre recordando lo que pasó en la Guerra de Cuba. Ya saben por qué nunca podrán ser ni como Alemania ni como GB. Son una etnia inferior, claramente. Sería de chiste, si no fuera para llorar. Y ahora continúen pegándose por ver quien se lleva la calavera seca del tatarabuelo, mientras se terminan de hundir con sus hermanos de tercermundismo mediterráneo, como Grecia.

Thinking of Barcelona I suppose you could say that it’s worth looking back–but slightly further than the Falange, the PSOE, and the separatists–to the period 1918-23. So you could draw parallels between the Catalan nationalist hysteria inspired by President Wilson’s naive championing of the concept of self-determination in Europe at the end of WWI and current enthusiasm for going Balkan and joining the EU as micro-nations, bloodied if necessary but unbowed etc etc.

And you could suggest that the shadow hanging over us, as Catalan demagogues whine on about unpopular Statutes of Autonomy while their bankers move their assets abroad and the middle classes and poor await Argentina 2.0, is more or less a repetition of the post-WWI economic crisis, which eclipsed the national issue and inter alia contributed to a war between workers’ and bosses’ mafias on the streets of Barcelona to rival anything seen in 1920s Chicago.

So if we’re going to play that game who will be our Primo de Rivera? Espe, or perhaps José Tomás?

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  1. Yeah but you never know: crisis will probably lead to some sort of instability. But quite what type is difficult to predict. It also depends on whether CiU will tie themselves to the disastrously ineffectual PP or go for a CatBloc sort of thing.

    Anyway, moderately interesting times and all. I’m told July is when it will all turn to fucking shite again, so sell those stocks now.

  2. I bought geothermal in March, so I’m alright mate. I can’t actually imagine why anyone would still want to hold cash in a Spanish caja. In fact, if you give me all your savings today, for a small fee I’ll keep them safe for you in a Nordic country while Spain turns off and drops out, and then return them to you so you can buy a mansion and the whole of Cerdanyola.

    Someone told me the other day that the Chinese, whoever they may be, actually deny all knowledge of that interesting times thing.

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