If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
— George Orwell
Der Katalane Josep Borrell, Unionist und Außenminister der spanischen Regierung von Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) verliert in diesem Interview mit der Deutschen Welle gleich mehrfach die Contenance:
Kritikfähigkeit scheint nicht zu seinen Stärken zu zählen. Aus der Fassung bringen ihn die unnachgiebigen Nachfragen von Tim Sebastian zu Katalonien, Menschenrechten, Waffenexporten und den spanischen Ansprüchen auf Gibraltar.
The reality of where we are just now is that even if we do come to a consensus to extend Article 50, any one of the 27 countries in the EU could veto that extension. We already know that Farage and his pals have been round lobbying different countries like Italy, Hungary, Poland … and it’s ironic that he wants other countries to block the will of the very parliament he wants to have so much control. But all it takes is one country out of 27 and we are out on the 29th with no deal. Because the EU is a union of equals.
[The UK] is not a union of equals. And it gets summed up best by a good friend of mine, and a former member of this place, actually – Jim Sillars. And he summed it up best when he talked about Scottish independence, and he said that on the September 18 , between the hours of 7am and 10pm, Scotland is in control of its own future. And the question is whether at one-minute past ten we hand back that power or we keep it for ourselves. Now, we chose to hand that power back to this place. And look what has happened.
Excerpted from today’s speech of Mhairi Black (SNP) in the House of Commons (text by The National)
The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is one I absolutely do not subscribe to. […] If people cannot control their own emotions then they have to start trying to control other people’s behaviour.
John Cleese, Gründungsmitglied von Monty Python
Zwei Vorfälle bei deutschen Karnevalssitzungen erhitzten unlängst die Gemüter. Zunächst war es ein Redner, der sich über Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauers Doppelnamen lustig machte, was eine Frau dazu bewog, den Redner auf offener Bühne wegen Frauenfeindlichkeit zur Rede zu stellen. Und dann war es die neue CDU-Vorsitzende Kramp-Karrenbauer selbst, die in einer Büttenrede mit einem Witz über das dritte Geschlecht für Empörung sorgte.
Es sei festgehalten, dass beides grottenschlechte Witze waren, was eigentlich ja wiederum karnevalstypisch ist. Zum einen aber finde ich, dass es auch ein Recht gibt, niveaulose Witze zu machen. Und zum anderen bin ich der Überzeugung, dass Humor und die Maßgabe einer strikten Political Correctness nicht kompatibel sind. Humor lebt von Stereotypen und vom Bruch der Erwartungshaltung. Oder wie John Cleese es ausdrückt: “All humour is critical”. Es gibt keine Witze, die nicht auf Kosten von irgendjemandem gehen.
Und wenn ich mich zwischen den zwei menschlichen Errungenschaften Humor und Political Correctness entscheiden müsste, dann würde ich im Zweifel immer den Humor als Ausdruck geistiger Schaffenskraft wählen. Man stelle sich nur vor, wie ein Film wie “Life of Brian” aussehen würde, würde man alle politisch unkorrekten Witze über Minderheiten oder Menschen mit Behinderungen bzw. besonderen Neigungen streichen. Es wäre eine traurige und intellektuell trostlose Welt.
Today the trial of 12 Catalonian politicians who, persuant to their electoral campaigns — they were democratically elected to the Catalan parliament… these 12 politicians did what they had to do: to organize a referendum on the issue of self-determination. Self-determination, as you know, is ius cogens, self-determination is article 1 of the Covenant on civil and political Rights, and article 1 of the Covenant on economic, social and cultural Rights, self-determination is affirmed in the UN Charter and it is one of those pillars of the United Nations Organization. Notwithstanding, Spain says that self-determination means only decolonisation. And as I told some spanish professors and advisors of the then prime minister Mariano Rajoy, “I’m afraid, you guys stayed in the 1960s and never percieved the fact that there is a progressive development of international law. You’ve never felt that the dissolution of the Soviet Union into 15 separate, sovereign entities or the dissolution of Yugoslavia into seven separate entities, or the friendly divorce of the Czech Republic from the Slovak Republic actually created precedents.” And one thing that I reminded them… “please read paragraph 80 of the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo.” The serbs asked the question which principle or which norm has priority: territorial integrity or self-determination? And the Court was very candid, the Court said “every time that in a United Nations document, resolution, in the UN Charter itself — article 2 paragraph 4 —, where territorial integrity is invoked is to regulate the relations between states.” Meaning: state A cannot invade state B, state A cannot annex the territory of state B. Never is it used in the internal context, and it cannot be, because self-determination is one of the pillars of United Nations, self-determination is a right of ius cogens. And it says very clearly: every people has the right of self-determination. And article 1 paragraph 3 says [that] every state party has the obligation to promote the realisation of the right of self-determination by all peoples. So, when the advisors of Rajoy say that it does not apply in Spain I say: “There again, you’re wrong. Read your own constitution. Article 10, paragraph 2 and article 96 are very clear that international law takes priority over national law and that national law must be interpreted in the light of international law, in particular in the light of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the other human rights instruments of which Spain is a state party.”
Madrid does not want to negotiate, Madrid doesn’t show any good faith at all. […] It’s not just shocking that you have political prisoners in Spain, meaning within the European Union, not just shocking that persons whose only “crime” is conducting a self-determination referendum, speaking in favour of self-determination, they have been kept in preventive detention under infra-human conditions for 16 months. Now we’re not talking about a banana republic, we’re not talking about an under-developed country, we’re talking about a country member of the European Union, bound by the Treaty of Lisbon, bound by article 2 of the Treaty of Lisbon that obliges every country in the European Union to respect and promote democracy, the rule of law and human rights. So here you have massive violations of human rights by the central government in Madrid and they’re moving ahead with a kangaroo trial based on the supposed crimes of rebellion and sedition.
I mean, it’s clear that they all have the right of the freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly, which by the way the Catalans have observed rigorously. It’s amazing what perseverance and what patience the Catalans have shown. And for being a democratically elected parlamentarian, who was elected on a platform to conduct a referendum, to have these people criminalised and to have Brussels saying nothing about it… I mean Brussels has been opening investigations and the article 7 proceeding under the Treaty of Lisbon against Hungary and against Poland, while the situation in Spain is many times worse than that in Hungary and Poland.
Whether Madrid likes it or not, there are at least 3 million Catalans who are committed to self-determination, which does not necessarily mean secession, does not necessarily mean full independence. But at least there is an obligation on the part of the Government to negotiate.
Here we have a situation of institutionalised intransigence, I mean this is just brute force, this is just power.
It is the obligation of the European Commission to defend the right of the Catalans who happen to be european citizens. It’s not like they are interfering in the affairs of some countries in Africa or Asia. We’re talking about Europe, we’re talking about european citizens, and european citizens who are both democratic and peaceful.
Transcription and highlightings:
Alfred De Zayas, former UN Special Rapporteur, interviewed by Geopolitics & Empire (excerpts).
Poco prima che nei prossimi giorni prenda il via il processo politico nei confronti di nove imputate catalane, la sindaca di Barcelona, Ada Colau, si è rivolta al Presidente della Commissione europea, Jean-Claude Juncker, al Presidente del Consiglio europeo, Donald Tusk, e al Presidente del Parlamento europeo, Antonio Tajani, inviando loro una lettera.
Dopo aver puntualizzato di non essere una sostenitrice dell’indipendenza catalana, Colau afferma che il processo rappresenta un fallimento politico. Un’eventuale condanna approfondirebbe le divisioni e ostacolerebbe una soluzione negoziata alla questione catalana.
Ma, aggiunge la sindaca, il procedimento avrà ripercussioni anche a livello europeo — sulla stabilità politica dell’Unione e sul pieno riconoscimento dei diritti umani e delle libertà democratiche.
Ecco la versione originale in lingua inglese della missiva inviata da Ada Colau a Jean-Claude Juncker:
7 February 2019
Mr Jean-Claude Juncker
As Mayor of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, I am writing to convey my concern as well as that of the institution I represent, regarding the trial of twelve pro-independence leaders which is due to start on 12 February.
This is an anomalous situation in Europe, given the political condition of those on trial –members of parliament, ministers from the previous Catalan government and civil society leaders– and the serious crimes which they stand accused of –rebellion and sedition– carrying prison sentences of up to 74 years. Additionally, there is the case of a Spanish extreme right party could be fraudolently using the private prosecution in the trial to spread its ideology of hatred and obtain electoral gains.
Although I am not an independence supporter, nor do I share many of the decisions of the previous Catalan government, I believe that this trial is a political fiasco, placing the space for dialogue and negotiation in danger and entrusting an eminently political problem to be dealt with by the courts. Moreover, if the trial ends in guilty verdicts and sentences it will not help reassess Catalonia’s position within Spain, but it will instead serve to exacerbate division and hamper the construction of a negotiated solution.
Furthermore, I believe that the pre-trial incarceration violates the rights of the accused to prepare an effective defence, and the crimes they are accused of are completely disproportionate, as deemed by various international human rights organisations, given that they have neither instigated the Catalan people or the government to commit any violence, as some European State law courts have acknowledged. As such, we cannot ignore the fact that we are faced with a political conflict, and that the best way to address this is by strenghtening dialogue instigated recently.
I would also like to take this opportunity to present you with the Institutional Declaration which was approved by the majority of political forces of Barcelona City Council, demanding a fair and impartial trial with full guarantees, calling for the accused to be released from custody so that they can prepare their defence, and to aid the task of international observers.
Lastly, I would like to inform you that I have invited a group of members from the European Parliament to follow the trial on 20 February. This is not merely an internal affair of the Spanish State. The consequences of this trial are of interest to European institutions as a whole, and will have repercussions both on political stability –currently under threat from the new rise of xenophobic populism– and the full recognition of human rights and democratic freedoms which, for over 62 years, have been a beacon guiding the way for the construction of the European Union.
Kurz vor Beginn des politischen Prozesses gegen katalanische Politiker- und Aktivistinnen hat die spanische Regierung zwei äußerst skurrile Videos (Stichwort: Fremdscham) veröffentlicht, die Spanien als Rechtsstaat und lupenreine Demokratie darstellen sollen. Verantwortlich zeichnet España Global, eine erst im vergangenen Oktober gegründete »Image-Tochter« des Außenministeriums.
In den sozialen Medien ist die ziemlich steife Kampagne, die man auch als excusatio non petita auffassen kann, jedoch nach hinten losgegangen. Unter dem begleitend eingeführten Hashtag #ThisIsTheRealSpain werden schon seit Tagen vor allem Tatsachen über das Land verbreitet, die den Wünschen und Absichten von España Global diametral widersprechen dürften.
A society which emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate.
Pierre Elliott Trudeau (1918-2000), 15th Prime Minister of Canada (1968-1979 and 1980-1984), father of Justin Trudeau, 23th and current Prime Minister.