Today’s letters address a wide array of subjects. The first is by our correspondent Cll Paul Foyster, on Catalonia:
The Catalan independence battle continues. Protests against the actions of Madrid continue and the Basques have joined in to show solidarity, as have the Northern Catalans, with demonstrations in Perpignon by those who also wish to be part of a Catalan state rather than the French one. This issue remains as live as it was when I first visited the province, when Franco and his fascist Government were in power well over 50 years ago.
It’s not going to go away, however much Spain and France would like it to. I will not dwell on the appalling sights of Police violence during the referendum, uncondemned by the EU but it was fortunate the Mossos, local police, did not physically resist the takeover, thus avoiding a shooting conflict. At least one side showed some restraint.
Madrid could not resist a hard and fast over reaction but if the December elections return a majority for independence MPs in the Generalitat ( Catalan parliament), which now seems likely, then Madrid will be in an even worse place than they are now. They have also created political prisoners, “martyrs”. Who would have thought we would see that so close to home ?
For the EU all this is as bad or worse than Brexit, independence movements throughout Europe will be encouraged, It’s been demonstrated that they approve of the use of Police to suppress peaceful political protest and they are uninterested in democracy if it threatens their aims. This organisation is ruthless.
I fear for Catalonia. The Iberians are decent people, wherever they live, and I hope the issue is resolved without violence, both sides should compromise rather than allowing entrenched positions to further polarise. My main contempt is reserved for the EU, who have demonstrated so clearly just how far they are prepared to go to maintain their dream of a united single state Europe, irrespective of whatever huge proportions of the continent’s population actually want or need.
We made the right decision in our own referendum. It was not just about money and needs implementing quickly and without further compromise. Get out first. Negotiate later.
Respectfully, Cllr Paul Foyster
The next letter comes from our correspondent and specialist on Brexit and the EU, Septimus Octavius:
This was one of the most interesting comments over the last few days:
“Jean-Claude Juncker declared that ‘no dealers’ had no friends in Brussels.”
Well, who would have thought that? Of course the EU are terrified out of their skulls that the clock might strike midnight in Brussels on 28 March 2019 without a deal having been concluded (i.e., by ratification by the European Parliament)!
Why? For two principal generic reasons. Firstly it would mean that the UK would not have to pay anything at all by way of a “divorce bill”. Secondly, EU exporters to the UK, particularly German car manufacturers, would suddenly find WTO tariffs slapped on their sales.
The only person I can think of in continental Europe who might possibly want such a result is President Macron…
With only that possible exception, all of Europe desperately wants a deal, but naturally they want to delay it as long as possible so as to continue getting the £161 million net contribution that the UK pays to the EU every week!
It is essential that our negotiating team have these points to the forefront of their minds during the talks.
Respectfully, Septimus Octavius
Next, we re-publish a comment post from David Allen which may not have been seen by everyone. David describes what is going on inside UKIP:
I’m doing my best by outlining, article by article, my suggested approach to the portfolio I’ve been trusted to move forward. However, I can’t do much more until we have some form of functionality that enables me to communicate with the membership and an administrative base within the party and begin planning the campaign. That must also apply to everyone else. We don’t have a final version of the new logo as yet (The Premier League issue being a classic legacy from past incompetence) so have no letter heading. We cannot even write to anyone until that is resolved.
We were left with a completely dysfunctional organisation which is being re-built as we speak. Strategy papers are being produced, technology platforms are being created, donors are being reassured by good solid planning proposals, something which has been missing.
UKIP had to change from the piecemeal operation it was to a robust, functional organisation that uses resources efficiently and in a targeted way. UKIP was broken, and our national standing reflects that. Humpty Dumpty is, indeed, capable of re-assembly but no longer will it be a fragile egg, but an organisation that manages its resources properly that will enable us to work much more effectively than before.
I understand the impatience being expressed as it comes from several quarters, but certain priorities must be addressed immediately, such as getting back into and remaining in the black. The re-construction will take time, though members will shortly begin to see the manifestation of the changes Henry Bolton (and other candidates to varying degrees) promised to do.
Currently, we represent an enthusiastic piece of rolling stock, ready to go, but with no wheels. Re-fitting those is a task currently underway.
Respectfully, David Allen
And finally, here’s a video clip I’m sure many will enjoy (I did!), showing Liz Jones at the anti-BBC rally: