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2017 Oct 05 - Theresa May's Speech & Catalonia

20171005

The big story of the week was supposed to be Theresa May’s Conservative Party Conference speech which, let’s say “didn’t go according to plan” unless that plan was “let’s make a pilot for a political comedy show in the style of Frank Spencer” There was a coughing fit, a prankster, the sign behind her literally fell apart and by the end I was looking around the stage to see if anyone had put a bucket of wallpaper paste at the top of a strategically placed ladder.

On the other hand, it’s been a busy week elsewhere: there was the massacre in Las Vegas followed by the ongoing political situation in Catalonia, which (depending on who you speak to) is either “a constitutional disaster” or “a damn good distraction from events at home!” Personally I’m just looking forward to when Spain vetoes Catelonia from being allowed into the EU and Brussels is forced to decide whether it wants to A) side with the Catelans and therefore support the implicit concept of nationalism or B) support Madrid but in the process let the world see that Catalonia didn’t crumble without the benevolent overreach of Brussels.

As someone from Scotland though it’s pretty incredible seeing how things are playing out in Barcelona. I suppose a Scottish equivalent would have been for David Cameron to have sent the the army into Glasgow 2 years ago with Union Jacks flying, and of course hope that Celtic fans didn’t mistake it for an overzealous troop of Rangers fans. The British army has some of the best troops in the world but I’d question their chances against 500 east-end football fans who’ve spent all lunchtime getting lager’d up and singing support for the IRA. Certainly on the topic of football I do find it amazing that Nicola Sturgeon is so keen to support Catalan independence, it’s hard enough for Scotland to qualify for a major tournament these days without there essentially being a 2nd Spanish team to contend with.

It’s going to happen though, it’s more a question of how long it will take, what the rest of Europe will do to suppress similar secessionist movements and of course how Texas will react. It required someone like Abraham Lincoln to hold the US together last time anyone left the union, but Donald Trump turning out in the end to be remembered as a unifying figure, a new Lincoln or George Washington? It seems about as likely as Theresa May doing something really brilliantly well, whether it be winning an election or just giving a well delivered popular speech.
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