‘Catalan unionism and the colonel Nicholson syndrome’

Catalan MonitorArticles

Clues for understanding anti-Process Catalans who applaud the constant violation of Catalan rights and overlook the dirty war against Catalonia

Toni Strubell

60 years after the premiere of the epic movie “The Bridge over the River Kwai“, Catalonia lives a curious re-enactment of its storyline. The film features the austere figure of Colonel Nicholson -magnificently portrayed by Alec Guiness- who becomes obsessed by a deformed sense of military duty with the job that the Japanese  commission him with: the construction of a giant railway bridge over the Kwai River that he will sacrifice his life to try and save.

Today there are Catalan unionists who are true clones of Colonel Nicholson. Now it is not a fetish-bridge that enthuses them but a moth-eaten constitutional regime, midwifed by Francoists, which they cling to as if it were Saint Teresa’s uncorrupt arm. Now it is no longer mock military honour that fuels them up but rather a warped sense of “rule of law” that would not survive one minute in any modern court of law. And I say “warped” because, when necessary, the constitution (which was compiled, remember, by one who promised to invade Catalonia whenever necessary and only blessed after Franco’s High Command curtailed it) is fully ignored by unionists when it is convenient to do so, especially when Montesquieu’s separation of powers comes to be a nuisance.

Catalan anti-Referendum unionists, like Nicholson, will do everything that is in their power (that is, Madrid’s power) to try and prevent the 1978 regime from crumbling, despite its bankruptcy, its dogged refusal to condemn Franco and its ill-treatment of the Catalan people and Government. But democracy is a stubborn cause and the Catalans have lost much of the fear that has gripped them over the years. Parallel to this, good-willed European calls for compromise are seen to whither on observing a) the cross-the-board Spanish refusal to give Catalonia the right to decide and b) the general Catalan-bashing attitude adopted by almost all major Spanish media.

As things stand, the Spanish version of the bridge over the Kwai River is deemed to fall as did the law preventing Rosa Parks from sitting on an Alabama bus. And Colonel Nicholson’s Catalan clones -Iceta, Millo or Jordi Cañas, to name but three- will have to admit that there is little chance that their blind allegiance to the authoritarian and supremacist line marked by Madrid will ever be a solution. It will much more likely be the reason for their undoing and public discredit as Catalonia goes its way.

Basat en l’article:  https://www.racocatala.cat/opinio/article/42079/lunionisme-catala-sindrome-nicholson-pont-sobre-riu-kwai-revisitat

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