On the watering down of the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy


Spanish and Catalan politics have always been somewhat academic matters for me because although I've lived here for over two decades, I can't vote. This is my own fault entirely, given that I am a fanatic who refuses to apply for a Spanish passport on the grounds that I do not feel I am living in Spain. So I have ended up watching the comings and goings of the local politicos with a detached air, laughing at the slip-ups, frowning at the frequent abuses of power, and hoping, above all, that they won't do anything that might affect me personally.
However, the recent knock-on effects of the new Catalan Statute of Autonomy did manage to shake me up a bit. As I watched the right-wing party Convergència i Unió make a deal under the table with the Spanish socialists to accept a watered down version of this Statute, as I listened to chief Statute negotiator Alfonso Guerra boast that he had 'planed the Statute right down' (the verb for 'to plane' in Spanish being 'cepillar', which also carries a popular meaning of to kill), as I watched Esquerra Republicana - which prefers the original, unabridged draft of the Statute - being booted out of a government it had been instrumental in creating, I started to get a nasty feeling that we inhabitants of Catalonia had been roped into taking part in a huge, carefully scripted circus, designed to keep an audience of Spanish centralists from both the Left and Right in stitches.
There's an old anarchist saying: 'If voting could change anything, it would be illegal'. The Statute as it stands now, if accepted, will leave Spain as uniform (and as persistently begrudging to its internal minorities) as before.
So I am seriously considering getting a Spanish passport, for the sole purpose of voting a big fat NO in the imminent referendum.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -