“Inés Arrimadas isn’t a good person”

Inés Arrimadas @InesArrimadas is Ciudadanos’ leader in Catalonia and Cris @gallifantes is Cristina de Haro, Twitter influencer. The abuse for Ms. De Haro since saying Ms. Arrimadas ‘wasn’t a person’ has been typically extreme, hysterical and manipulative.

As in ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘less than human’ women

The nationalist tweeter Cristina de Haro reuses Nazi clichés when she describes Inés Arrimadas as a ‘less than human’ woman

The newspaper regards Ms de Haro’s utterances as being reminiscent of Karl Haushofer‘s geopolitik and as betraying her need for lebensraum – settler colonialism – although it is not clear whose lebensraum they are referring to. It is true that many people see in Ciudadanos’ anti-Catalan rhetoric echoes of Nazi lebensraum.

But it is yet another Ciudadanos lie, and this is one of the big ones. As understood by Goebbels, a ‘big lie’  referred to what he saw as a British tendency: if you are going to lie, lie big and stick to it, repeating the lie often, even at the risk of seeming ridiculous. It is a perfect summary of the Ciudadanos’ narrative that Catalan secessionism is akin to ethnic separatism and as such is comparable to German Nazism of the 1930s and 1940s, ergo Puigdemont is Hitler, or even Franco. It is a deductive fallacy: dodgy logic.

What Catalan secessionism does have in common with Goebbels is the complaint that the enemy constantly accuses it of that which the enemy is itself guilty. In the case of Goebbels the accusation was itself a big lie. Catalan secessionists, however, might have a very good point; Spanish ultranationalism is far more redolent of lebensraum than any of Spain’s long-lasting ‘regional’ nationalisms, legitimate tools of cultural defence. Why Spanish unionism is so fond of the analogy is because it is so simple and demonises Catalan secessionists, but the peg is square and the hole is round.

The Spanish nationalist media’s insistence on this line reflects its penchant for propaganda and fascination with Fascism and Nazism. Albert Rivera has similar fixations. He once said ‘(Fascist) dictatorships bring a certain peace and order’ and pointed at at Venezuela as the example of the kind of dictatorship to be avoided: chaotic and Communist. (He’s always pointing, our Albert.) He also once said that ‘there is no person more important than the country, so you have to put the country ahead of the people’. Some would argue that the country is the people, in all its glorious diversity, Mr Rivera. Ciudadanos depend on logical fallacy and the Spanish people’s inability to recognise it, and catalanophobia of course. What about their much vaunted post-nationalist centrism? Ciudadanos employ a most cynical brand of identity politics.

The analogy is offensive to all Catalans, and all victims of Nazism and Fascism. I know that most Germans are also unimpressed by these constant allusions. It is similar to Spanish unionists treating secessionists as terrorists, which is offensive to all the real victims of real terrorist attacks in Spain, whether committed by ETA, any other group formed by Spanish civil society, or the Spanish government come to that. Spanish unionism’s generally negative reaction to ETA’s dissolution is part of the same problem. The Spanish State needs its bogeymen, its ‘threats to democracy’, its ‘reds’, its Basque separatists, its Catalan separatists. For the Spanish unionist, the unity of Spain and democracy are synonyms, and this has turned its democracy into an unsophisticated form of criminal and authoritarian majoritarianism, and its supporters into emboldened enforcers of its wishes.

It is impossible for those not living in Catalonia to understand how depressing it is to be accused of being a hispanophobic ethnic cleanser, an ethnic separatist bent on repatriating xarnegos, and all migrants, of having marginalised them throughout their entire life in Catalonia. The Nazis in Spain are those that tattoo swastikas, or similar, on their skin or glorify the Third Reich. The terrorists in Spain are those who have committed or incited intimidatory violence for their cause. To call a Catalan independentist a Nazi or a terrorist in 2018 is an abomination. All Catalans – secessionist, unionist and other – know that, in terms of ethnic make-up, Catalonia is what it is. Even Alberto Carlos Rivera Díaz would be welcome were he to move back to a newly founded Catalan Republic from his Castilian mansion, despite having pathologically lied about the place he was born and bred, and its people, for as long as anyone can remember.

Rivera in his chalet in the best neighbourhood in Madrid. He still hasn’t told us where he got the more than €1 million it cost from.

* * *

Ms de Haro meant that Ms. Arrimadas is inhumane, and she is:

I said that Inés Arrimadas was not a PERSON. And besides thousands of insults, some rag calls me a Nazi. Well, I wasn’t going to say anything, better not to give the hyenas bait, but, hey, here goes (thread)

No, Inés is not a PERSON when She lies she he has to have a bodyguard because ‘we know what happens in Catalonia’ and a few days later appears in a pic taken in an ‘indepe’ bar with her husband looking totally unflustered and without a bodyguard

No, Inés is not a PERSON when she says ‘It’s time for normal people…’ Branding ‘indepes’ NOT NORMAL, but that’s not supremacist, no, they’re only ‘indepes’ after all. Anything goes

No, Inés is not a PERSON when she asks for the Civil Guards who beat her fellow citizens to be decorated. You don’t decorate the violent, for any reason, let alone for hitting peaceful people

No, no, Inés is not a PERSON when she smears teachers and the Catalan school without any evidence and, as both prosecutor and judge, provokes the media to harass teachers who were just doing their job

No, Inés is not a PERSON when she accuses the Committees for the Defence of the Republic of terrorism for opening motorway tolls. Terrorism is a very serious thing. Trivialising it out of political interest is despicable

No, Inés is not a PERSON when she despises each and every Catalan tradition because, according to her, they ‘divide’. She has decided that the traditions of all Catalans divide.

And no, Inés is not a PERSON when she dissociates herself from the feminist demonstration and then jumps back on the bandwagon when she senses that it will be a success. Anything for a vote. Believing in nothing. Sign up for whatever might bring electoral gain

NO, not a person when she mocks the victims of her persecution

And above all, NOT a person when as a politician she is dedicated to fuelling hatred. The thousands of insults I’ve suffered these past two days are yours … the result of your policies and those of your party

Being a PERSON (in capital letters) in my world involves having ethics. Being honest. Seeking the truth. Not using lies to create confrontation. If this makes me a supremacist and a Nazi … you have a huge problem … and it’s not ME. THE END

Ms de Haro is simply saying that Ms Arrimadas is a nasty piece of work, that Ciudadanos is a cynical catalanophobic party full of mendacious carpetbaggers and that their supporters on social media, in the press and on the streets are, at best, abusive Spanish nationalist trolls. Unbearably true.

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