THE Spanish State is investing multiple resources to publicise, internally and externally, the excellent level of its democracy, the separation of powers, judicial independence, etc.

For a state to exercise this kind of propaganda operation, it can only mean the recognition of its own weakness, or, rather, to the manipulative will to cover its own shame. Yet there is no imaginable campaign that could counteract the fact that Catalan political representatives and social leaders have been in pre-trial detention for more than a year. At the trial, with a court chosen for the occasion, formalities are met on the outside, but several basic needs of the prisoners are violated: simultaneous translation is denied to them, so that they can’t effectively declare in Catalan, their mother tongue, but have to use Spanish instead; and their physical needs are neglected or abused (during several months,they will have to make five or six long trips a week from the prison to the court in poor conditions, and at the end of the session they will have to return to the prison, where strict timetables render contact with their lawyers difficult).

Applying ordinary rules to an extraordinary procedure that will last for months, without considering that the physical and psychological exhaustion of the accused will affect their defense, is evidence of a judiciary system that seeks to ratify an exemplary punishment which has been decided beforehand.
Amadeo Palliser
Cifuente Via Email

IF a substantial number of people wanted their bank deposits returned as actual cash in a financial panic, that would present a problem for the banks, where cash is now only 3% of the money in circulation, but it would not be insurmountable.

Government would start the presses and print banknotes, and once it was seen that some people were actually getting their money as cash, demand would fall as others were reassured. Then the banks would close for three or four days a week, to slow the cash outflow, until people began to believe that their money was actually there in cash, and they need not worry.

When Northern Rock had its bank run, most people were repaid by cheque, and then went to another bank to deposit that cheque. A meaningless digital movement of money in cyberspace. So you don’t need actual cash money to satisfy depositors, it would seem.

Now the banks are trying to digitalise money and get rid of cash. And without cash there is no refuge for the depositor, as the difference between private and public money vanishes, and the private individual can be compelled to contribute to the bailout of a bank or even the country, as the condition of a loan from the IMF, or whoever.

The real worry for Britain now, deeply in debt and continuing to borrow, would be a failure to meet interest payments. But in that case – but only for a period – the banks would merely lend the government more of their magic money for those payments to be made, as they effectively do now. But with interest payments of almost £1 billion a week at present, one asks how long that situation could last.

In reality, the UK is managing debt, as opposed to managing actual wealth created from commercial endeavour. There is no real money there at all, and to remedy this situation is the greatest opportunity to be grasped by an independent Scotland.

Freed from bank debt, and with a properly managed currency and central bank, an economic future based on reality would set Scotland apart, and on the road to a success that the present banking and financial system will always prevent. The banks own the UK. They must not own the new Scotland.
Malcolm Parkin

AT 10am, Monday, March 11, 2019, Karl Claridge and Wren Chapman will be True Tartan Spartans and take “the pride in their stride”, heart on their sleeves and gear on their backs as they both put their best foot forward to walk #Another500Miles to Westminster from Holyrood, Edinburgh.

The aim to take the message to their not-so-far front door that we the people will not be going back in our boxes. Two of Scotland’s original 2018 #500mile walkers are doing, as the Proclaimers song goes, “500 miles more”.

This is all being done in shoe-string style, and it will cost no one anything to join us partially on the route. The walk itself is estimated to take 18 days. Saor Alba.
C. J. Serbie
Via email

APPARENTLY, if the UK leaves the EU and Scotland manages to avoid that pitfall and remains in, it will set up a trading border between Scotland and England (The “No Maltesers for an independent Scotland” argument), and this will be a “bad thing”.

On the other hand, apparently the UK setting up 27 trading borders with all the other members of the EU will be a “good thing”.

Can anybody explain this to me?
David McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll