Porridge to Catalonia! SNP position mirrors Madrid not Barcelona

Porridge to Catalonia! SNP position mirrors Madrid not Barcelona

by Jonathan Stanley
article from Wednesday 20, September, 2017

EFFIE DEANS makes some brilliant contributions to ThinkScotland. She dissects nationalism into those based on people and territory, and those that look outward and inwards.

The UK, France and USA are very much projections of their peoples' power beyond their borders. The Italian Risorgimento was blood and soil nationalism but again driven by the need to resist Great Powers like the Third Empire and Second Reich.

Irish nationalism is a classical ethno-nationlist movement in that it believes all Irishmen by descent can be Irish and that, yawn, an external impurity soils its destiny.

Ditto Russia. Russia appears to be wherever Russians are. Given profound changes to its borders over a few centuries this was inevitable.

Spanish and Scottish nationalism are far more territorial in nature. They are old countries and their irregular borders were forged in the wars of yore. Spain has had various nationalities and regional identities for over a millennium. Scotland is Scotia occupied Pictland if we're honest, our Gaelic derived from primitive Irish. 

Both have an ambivalent relationship to their monarchies and are still adjusting to being former global leaders (in our case as part of the UK).  

Catalonian nationalism is both economic and cultural. It is massive net creditor to Spain and has a very widely spoken regional language Gaelic has never matched. It's driver is not territory but demos. Compare this to indyref where the only qualifier for voting was EU citizenship and residency in Scotland. That is territorial nationalism, not a demos.

The UK has a stake in this porridge going on in Catalonia like it or not. We are a G5 power. Our Gibraltar is claimed by Spain for purely territorial reasons and Catalonia would likely exit the EU on independence. The vote would be extremely close based on current polling and this leaves us in a bind.

Bosnia had such a vote 25 years ago. The unionist Serbs boycotted it. We know the rest. Oh and yes Spain has had a civil war within living memory. This could become a massive event and we are barely aware of it. Madrid is getting tough by locking Barcelona out of the handling of state funds and seizing independence literature.

It's scared, panicking and making mistakes. It knows well the risks. Dropping in Boris to discuss Gibraltar and Catalonia over a game of wiffwaff might raise Pythonesque wit but in truth it's not a joke.

If the SNP love Europe they'd do well not picking sides at all. The UK should go further and initiate mediation via the UN. Leaving the EU allows us to be neutral yet healthily interested in Catalonia. We have very close links and its economy and our citizens deserve stability and safety.

Dump the nationalist picking of favourites and let everyone in Scotland push for UN mediation before this porridge thickens any further.

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