Ser catalá és treballar dur i amb les idees clares

Being Catalan apparently means working hard without thinking very much, but where does that leave us?

President Montilla and friend, photo <a href=''>CC by Sooky</a>

President Montilla and friend, photo CC by Sooky

Despite a phenomenally incompetent candidate, proliferating embezzlement scandals, and a complete lack of credibility, the PSC is doing surprisingly well in the regional election campaign. Part of this is due to similar problems affecting CiU, but credit must also go to its propaganda team.

This poster of theirs–with our without my donkeys–appeals to the racism of conservative Catalan nationalism, without which vote Montilla will not triumph in a meaningful sense on November 28, but also to the fascism of “progressive” Catalan nationalism, which says that you will be accepted, generally in a grossly subsidiary role, as long as you swear to imitate faithfully the mediocre monotone we, the chosen people, have dreamt up for ourselves. (More anon of the ethnic supremacism underpinning Catalan left nationalism and Iberian anarchism in the 1930s.)

It’s clear that donkeys satisfy those conditions (Catalan donkeys are the best in the world, of course), but it’s pretty clear that those lazy, confused Andalusians who Montilla left behind don’t, and by this measure even voting for CiU’s Artur Mas must surely throw one’s Catalanity into doubt. I’m not altogether clear that a burning sense of what is right is an appropriate qualification for a politician, or that Montilla–who, for example, thought fines for using Spanish were fine until elections loomed–has that quality.

Perhaps it was naive to expect that the elections would be about stuff like hundreds of euros mysteriously going missing from teachers’ pay cheques in October and the scrabble to borrow money from anyone, at any rates, in order to be able to say on November 27 that the Catalan government isn’t bankrupt. A friend I had a drink with tonight certainly shares no such illusions–he’s going to as many different party meetings as he can, and shaking as many hands as he can without opening his mouth too much (just as well–he thinks Feijóo is the lehendakari), because all this will translate into contracts from whoever wins. Guns, goons and gold, as Mr Taylor says.

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  1. It’s intriguing to think that you could spend all Sunday an Andalusian and wake up Monday a Catalan. But maybe these are necessary but not sufficient conditions.

  2. In Andalucia we most certainly do not pay taxes. This is a feature, not a bug… and don’t let any cross between a pooch and a cur tell you otherwise.

  3. @Candide re gonads: I had a head explosion yesterday when someone thrust LaVa at me with Mas saying that he too contributed to household chores – by filling the dishwasher – cue picture of him in suit doing so. Designed to convert or enrage PSUC? And where was the photo of the housemaid? And WTF does this kind of shite get printed?

  4. I saw it too. Homestory gone awry. Very revealing of the idiocy of it all, so no need for a headache, but a good and sane laugh instead.

    This is my answer as a person, and as a journo.

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