Monday, 10 January 2011

The same old song

One of the main goals pursued by the electoral strategist of CiU was to make people believe that Artur Mas had firmly turned towards positions they called "soverignist". Have they succeeded? Unfortunately, we must recognize that yes, they have done so. We have to look at the actual climate for independence that is to be perceived in the country and the results from the last elections to establish a direct correlation. What has happened? Very simple. Last November 28th, large part of Catalans thought that CiU will bring us independence at the touch of a button dancing to Caribbean rhythms.

It all began with the tune about the "economic concert", as the previous step to the construction of a future Catalan State. We cannot negate that this script, in such candid people -politically speaking- as Catalonia, had the success assured. Moreover, voting CiU meant to end the Way of the Cross of the "Tripartite". En such a favourable situation, everything was to be won by the moderate nationalists.
However, do not think that this discourse responded to that they had discovered by themselves that the coexistance of Catalonia and Spain is actually impossible. What has happened is that since the poll at Arenys de Munt, the axis of the political debate in the Principality of Catalonia has been about independence of the Nation and the traditional voters of CiU have openly positioned towards secession.

That gesture made all us believe that freedom is possible, and from that moment everything was rushed at their headquarters on carrer de Còrsega so as not to remain on the fringes of this climate of breaking from Spain that was taking over the majority of their clientele. It was about to take their profit but also to slow down the possible exciting pace that the process of independence was taking at the time.

It is not the first time that CiU has encountered the same situation. In fact, during the first term of Jordi Pujol in charge, the party had supporters of independence in their ranks. Though, that time, it was very easy for the former President to tame those elements with the excuse that Catalonia was coming out Francoism and that the collaboration to consolidate the incipient Spanish democracy. The independence business had to wait a bit. Some years later, the Baltic Republics showed us that European borders were not untouchable and that Catalans saw that Lithuanians, Estonians and Letonians were models to follow. Very quickly, however, Pujol discouraged us by saying "Catalonia is like Lithuania, but Spain is not the USSR". The process of creation of a new Catalan State stopped there and then because it was a matter to ensure the "governance and stability of Spain".

But actually, support for independence, is a lot more present in the country than when that took place. It has even been the main topic of the voting campaigns of the People's Party -PP- and Socialists -PSC-.  What has CiU done? Having no other choice, its leaders were told to say they were supporting independence too. They had to keep the pace as not too miss any vote. But, of course, for them, never is the right time to break with Spain. For one reason or the other. They cannot say that we must "reform" or "get boxed in" Spain because nobody would believe in them, so that the new slogan is that "we must take Catalonia out of the pothole". Although, what other name has this pothole but Spain?

Their problem is, though, despite having winked their eye to independence due to electoral obligations, they do not believe in a free Catalonia. Their slave mentality stops them from seeing our people with the same ties with Spain that Denmark might have, for instance, in an European framework. Independently from what they say, will continue to represent the script described by Carles M. Espinalt in 1986, in his essay L'error de certs catalanistes -The mistake of certain Catalanist- in which is said "there is a type of Catalan always willing to make politics their way of life and does not irritate in Madrid neither a lot nor a little. It is this Catalan that degrading his values to unthinkable limits, confuses political ability with lack of character and back-bowing with diplomacy, and possibilism with taking his pants down". Does Duran i Lleida do not come to your mind?

Santiago Espot
CEO Catalunya Acció

Article published at "El Punt", December 31st 2010.