THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT’S FAILURE TO ADVANCE AN ARGUMENT HAS ALLOWED THE PRO-INDEPENDENCE NARRATIVE TO PREVAIL AS THE ONLY TRUTH
The police intervention of Sunday 1 October to prevent Catalan secession left nearly a thousand bruised and battered, and two people in hospital for a few days.
I have desperately tried to discover why the judges and government decided to take such a course of action, but haven’t been able to find anything.
Were the police charges necessary? Was it necessary to prevent voting at the limited number of polling stations operating?
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that Spain lost the communication battle on 1 October.
To give just one example.
The next day, a BBC presenter asked the present minister the same question on the evening news.
@ 1: 40 Presenter: Why just not let it go ahead as happened in 2014?
Minister of Foreign Affairs: This poll was presented as a binding referendum that could result in the independence of Catalonia. The government has to respect and uphold the law. The constitutional court dictated that this pretended referendum could not go ahead.
Faced with such a vague reply, we are left to imagine that the legal and political aim was to transmit a message of steadfastness and mark an end to the tolerance shown to the actions of the pro-independence parties in the past.
More specifically, I am referring to the permissiveness shown towards the attempts to hold a referendum in 2014 and then “plebiscitary” regional elections in 2015, neither of which resulted in a majority in favour of independence.
But no matter whether the idea was to show its determination or something entirely different, nothing can justify the silence which has surrounded the action of the government from day one. Silence not just in Spain, but, quite literally, before the whole world.
On 1 October, the Catalan and international media were inundated with opinions condemning the brutality of the police.
But nobody seemed to be offering these same channels any kind of alternative interpretation.
Why was police intervention needed in order to thwart what could be seen as the right to vote?
And why should a referendum of this kind be stifled by means of restrained but nonetheless violent police force?
That day, the leading news media shamelessly interpreted in line with their own interests events of which, for the most part, they knew next to nothing.
The government should have been eager to rebut the manipulated reports appearing in the Catalan media, but it did nothing, just like it did nothing to provide the international media with its version of events until days later.
To give just one example, the complicity of the Catalan police with the secessionist cause on 1 October was not highlighted in any way.
But never mind the response. Worse still, where was the narrative leading up to the events?
At no point was the population offered reasons to which it could refer to justify the planned interventions.
To allow it to understand and accept the firm nature of the police’s action.
Or, more crucially, to persuade that majority which feels that a referendum is the only way to solve this serious political situation of the need for such force
Neither today nor at any point in the last forty years has the Spanish Government placed the importance on communication that it deserves.
But how can it hope to achieve its objectives if it doesn’t communicate regularly and reliably?
Have we still not learned that he who lets the wind blow reaps whirlwinds?