ALTHOUGH I generally agree with the extensive sympathetic discussion of Catalonia among supporters of Scottish independence, it serves virtually no practical purpose.

No country has expressed the slightest solidarity, and where any has come out it has been on the side of Madrid. The EU’s response has been even more mortifying than required by the treaty provision which enjoins members to respect the constitutions of every other member and not interfere in such matters, and the attempted breakaway is widely and unquestioningly described as illegal by governments and the leading media, parroting Madrid.

I am not aware of any attempt by Catalonia itself to rebut the charge of unconstitutionality, but until that is overturned, Catalan independence will never be achieved (notwithstanding the theoretical primacy of the right to self-determination).

The sole part of the Spanish constitution on which the charge is founded is a tiny morsel of pure candy floss: “The constitution is based on the indissoluble unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards.”

It is self-evident that Catalan secession cannot possibly amount to dissolution of the unity of the Spanish nation (which would still exist) and at least questionable that the loss of a minor portion of the territory of the Spanish state can be equated with division of whatever the wooly concept of “homeland” means.

As long as Madrid owns the issue, it is their political but fanciful interpretation which will rule. In order to get it in front of an impartial panel, I hope that those who have been charged with rebellion will appeal their inevitable convictions to the hilt, to beyond Spain. What might the European Court of Human Rights say about it, for instance? And might the true reason for Madrid having abandoned its extradition request for Puigdemont be fear of a Belgian judge lifting the Spanish hem to expose the cloven hoof of oppression?
Alan Crocket

YESTERDAY, Theresa May emphasised her support for Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy as he arrived at Downing Street for talks, adding that the countries were working together to counter international terrorism.

Why are they trying to link a peaceful and democratic process with international terrorism?

May said: “I would ... like to reiterate my support for Prime Minister Rajoy on Catalonia. It is important that the rule of law is upheld and that the Spanish constitution is respected.”

So she supports the use of government-sanctioned violence against peaceful democratic voting? She also supports the political interventions compromising Spanish court autonomy by Rajoy’s party and supporters, which is a direct abuse of his office against the free will of the Catalonian people and the democratic status of Spain as a whole.

The Spanish constitution only has validity over those who chose to live under its rule. If people are forced to live under its authority then it becomes a dictat, meaning the Spanish Government would become an occupational dictatorship in Catalonia.

Rajoy said that without democracy we would simply be going back to the dark ages and that constitutional arrangements needed to be safeguarded

So which is it: democracy, or forced constitutional arrangements? He chose the latter when he refused to legitimise a referendum which had the support of more than half the population and then criminalised the procedure and the people who exercised their right to self-determination.

Rajoy chose the path of a dictator and May supports him?
T Donnelly