The problem for the Unionist media when they try to big up some comments from a right wing Spanish politician as a major blow for Nicola Sturgeon is that it only encourages the malvados cibernaces. That’s evil cybernats who speak Spanish, in case you were wondering. Because rather than take the word of publications like the Daily Telegraph or the Express, those of us who speak Spanish, y somos muchos (and there’s a lot of us), are instead highly motivated to go and search out what those self-same Spanish nawbags have been saying to a domestic audience. Invariably what we find is far less cosy for the British Unionist establishment and far less of a blow to Nicola Sturgeon than what its tame press has been telling us.
I blogged earlier today about a report in the Telegraph about some comments made by the Spanish Partido Popular MEP Estebán González Pons and how they were really not very much of a blow for Nicola Sturgeon after all. They were in fact a blow for the hopes of the Wullie Rennies and Kezia Dugdales of this world who are still clinging to the faint hope that Scotland might get a special deal and be able to preserve some of its access to the EU and the single market while simultaneously remaining a part of the increasingly dis-United Kingdom.
Following that blog post a reader sent me a link to an article in the Spanish online news site Dignidad Digital, which is based in Asturias in the north of Spain and is an outlet for the more religiously minded tendencies of the Spanish right wing which campaigns against a woman’s right to control her fertility, gay marriage, and everything else which they think is going to bring about the destruction of civilisation. Which the Spanish right wing defines as their right to keep receiving bribes in brown envelopes without anyone complaining about it. Dignidad Digital has published a rather more detailed report on the views of Estebán González Pons, in which he shows himself to be considerably less friendly to Westminster than the “We’ll always be besties with Britain” views reported by the Telegraph.
Here’s a link to the original Spanish language article. http://www.dignidaddigital.com/noticia/gonzalez-pons-han-decidido-que-se-van-adios-amigos-buena-suerte-y-cuanto-antesbr-51000.html
Speaking in Valencia González Pons said of Britain and Brexit, “They’ve decided that they’re going, bye friends, good luck, and as soon as possible because lengthening this process can only damage all of us.” He went on to assert that the EU won’t support Scotland or Northern Ireland if they want to have a referendum in order to remain a part of the EU, but that comes under the category of “well he would say that wouldn’t he”. The Partido Popular opposed the last independence referendum too, and they opposed it far more energetically and vigorously than they will in future. But the important point to remember is that González Pons doesn’t speak for the EU any more than the SNP MEP Alyn Smith does. González Pons speaks for the Partido Popular in the EU Parliament, and saying that the Partido Popular won’t support a Scottish or Northern Irish referendum is news in the same way that it’s news to say that Ruth Davidson is against independence but is very much in favour of having her photie taken while she’s posing in shellfish processing plant with an invertebrate. But that’s not a nice thing to say about Adam Tomkins.
It was what González Pons went on to say that was a whole lot more interesting. He said, “If Great Britain has problems because England and Scotland think differently, from this moment on those are the problems of a third country.” The reason that this is interesting, and is a blow for Ruth Davidson although you won’t be reading that in the pages of the Scotsman, is because as I pointed out in the previous blog post González Pons was instrumental in organising a pan-European right wing opposition to Scottish independence during the first independence referendum campaign. He met with Ruthie and other Scottish Tories in order to plot how to undermine the case for Scottish independence at a European level. The rotten fruits of this campaign were borne out all throughout the campaign as we witnessed a series of European politicians associated with the Partido Popular’s grouping in the European Parliament making statements against Scottish independence which were plastered all over a grateful British media as independent and objective contributions to the debate, when in fact they were worm filled poisoned apples that had been arranged in advance.
What González Pons just said in Valencia is that this isn’t going to happen the next time. There will be no pan-European alliance of anti-independence parties to campaign for the Union and against independence in Scotland’s indyref2. There will be no assistance to the Tories from the Spanish right. The British Government is now on its own as far as its difficulties with Scotland are concerned.
González Pons went on to say that the British decision had been traumatic and had caused a lot of damage to the EU, but that it had left Britain “broken in two” politically and economically. He said that he wanted the process of Article 50 to proceed as quickly as possible in order to minimise the damage to the EU, and laid the blame for the entire debacle very firmly at the door of English nationalists, saying, “Basically, what we are facing is not a decision of Great Britain to leave the EU, but rather we’re facing a decision taken by English nationalists to drag the United Kingdom out of the EU.” The EU is facing one of the worst crises it’s ever had to deal with, and in the view of the Spanish ruling party it’s entirely the fault of English nationalists, not the Scottish independence movement which had previously been in their sights.
Spain is not about to do the British Government any favours at all, and the next time there’s a Scottish independence referendum, which looks more and more likely with every passing day, Spain will not intervene to prop up the United Kingdom. There will be no assistance from EU politicians organised by the Partido Popular to help out their Tory pals. Ruth and the Tories will be on their own. There was a blow for someone’s referendum hopes coming from Spain this week, it’s just that it was a blow for the Tories.
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