It is a terrible thing to say, but in a few years time we will be saying “today, we watched the end of Spain on TV”.
Because today is, sadly, the end of Spain.
The world watched with horror today as a modern European nation, the world’s 14th nation, resorted to tactics from its past.
Rajoy could have called Puigdemont’s bluff. He could have allowed the vote to go ahead, all the while challenging the legal basis in the courts, but without refusing the people’s right to vote.
And maybe, just maybe, out of 8 million the independent parties could have rustled up a vote of 2 million. A vote which woulde have been just as illegal, just as undemocratic, as todays.
And Madrid would have smiled, and said: “just that? Go away, you children, and come back when you have a proper democratic mandate”. And Puigdemont would have been sunk.
But no. Madrid responded, and fell into the Heffalump’s trap. With armed police and violence, and pensioners with blood uponn their faces staggering in front of the world’s TV.
And what was a spark became a flame.
Europe could no longer pretend to support the autocratic bastard who sent national police in with illegal weapons to attack those peaceful crowds who only wated to exercise their democratic right to self-expression.
Mark Stone from UK’s Sky News said it best, when he said: “I have covered the actions of riot police from the UK to Hong Kong. We can argue over their actions, but they always allowed violence to be committed before responding. Here… the police committed violence upon the innocent.”
Police, who were shipped in from “abroad”. Police, who slept in chartered ships in ports. Police, called in because the local mossos recognised that beating the peaceful was a bad idea.
Rajoy, today you destroyed España. And my son will learn in history how you did so.
And maybe, just maybe, by then the Spanish state will have grown up, and become a little more listo.
But it will also be smaller, and more improverished. Thanks to you, Sr Rajoy.