This Is Not A
Letter Sent (Redux)
It is widely enough recognised by now that there are certain political positions one is not allowed to defend against calumny in the self-described English 'liberal' press.
One of them, it seems, is movements towards autonomy by nations long submerged beneath the flapdoodle and sewage of so-called 'multi-national' states; Greater Gammonia (or 'England', as it used to be known), Spain...
For example, first please peruse this letter (the first one on the page) in the Blairischer Beobachter from last Sunday week.
In amongst some reasonable statements about the parlous state of democracy and human rights under the Kingdom of Spain, Mr Warbis of Poole then gives us this little crumb of wisdom:
"Podemos has placed itself on the far left, while Vox, along with the Basque and Catalan nationalists, occupies the extreme right."
This mischaracterisation could only come from someone sitting in a country which is itself sitting upon - depending on your definitions - two, three or even four other nations, each of which is similarly deemed to be unutterably rude to demand autonomy.
But, of course, Brits are never, but never 'nationalists' m'dear; perish the very thought! I mean, all this Union Jacking off and Great Britishtittery is just high spirits, and it brings in the tourists, don'tchaknow?
Despite my recent experience of failure in trying to balance out the misconceptions of coddled colonialists, I felt an obligation nonetheless to try to balance the record out with something more closely approximating to reality than the original correspondent; I mean, in the last few days alone, the natural heirs (that is to say, 'bastard offspring') of the Falange have been busy beating up, rubber-bulleting and running over unarmed people in the streets of Barcelona for the 'crime' of protesting against the arrogant presence of the imperial Spanish government in their capital city; a 'socialist' (that is to say, 'corporate neo-liberal') government which has proven to be as deaf to reason as its openly neo-fascist predecessor.
So I set to it and sent it in.
It will be of little surprise that it wasn't published in the Obscurer yesterday. So, once again, to prevent the point being lost, I append the missive in question:
I object very strongly to David Warbis (Letters, 16 December) characterising the movements for autonomy in Euskal Herria and Catalunya as being on 'the extreme right'.
"As with all such movements, there is a spread of political opinion within both, generally running from what (in pan-European terms) would be called the centre right to the moderate left. There may be some elements of the hard right which have sought to attach themselves to those movements, but they are small in size and minimal in influence; certainly less influential than, say, UKIP in England. That the pro-autonomy campaigns in both those nations (especially Catalunya) have adhered strongly to the principles of democracy in seeking to achieve their aims - even in the face of repressive responses from Madrid - totally undermines Mr Warbis' claim.
"Or this is merely another example of the self-described 'liberals' and 'progressives' in England seeing the word 'nationalist' and immediately thinking only of Hitler, Mussolini and - yes - Franco, rather than recognising that there are as many 'nationalisms' as there are nations, and that achieving self-determination by non-violent and democratic means is one variant of it?