Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

Catalonia

ballot-box

Yesterday I got back from a holiday – the only time of the year where I switch off from the world.  I turned on my phone to see with horror what was happening in #Catalonia.

The actions of the Spanish authorities were shocking. Images beamed around the world of police violence against young and old alike who simply wanted to cast a democratic vote.  I’m in awe of the voters who remained peaceful and dignified throughout. The image of a Catalan policeman in tears as he protected their rights will stay with me for a long time.

This isn’t about party politics. It isn’t about independence or nationalism in any form. It’s about democracy. Under the UN Charter, all peoples have the right to self-determination – the right to determine their own destiny. The right to vote should be something anyone who believes in democracy stands up for and defends.

But I am angry at the response from the UK Foreign Office:

“The referendum is a matter for the Spanish government and people. We want to see Spanish law and the Spanish constitution respected and the rule of law upheld. Spain is a close ally and a good friend, whose strength and unity matters to us.”

Really? No condemnation of the brutality and violence?  Simply you’re our pal so we support you. As Nicola Sturgeon responded last night - A true friend of Spain would tell them their actions are wrong.

And the EU has been worryingly silent. Given it is a union founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, surely there must now be a question mark over whether Spain is fulfilling its EU treaty obligations.

Ultimately these actions will only fuel the desire for autonomy in Catalonia. Today the Catalonian Government has declared that the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic. This isn’t over.

Scotland Bans Fracking
TSB Still Closed on Niddrie Mains Road
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
20 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
Articles
In 2016, Nicola Sturgeon announced that there would be a Growth Commission to explore Scotland’s economy and the potential that might occur after Independence. Andrew Wilson chaired the commission and in May this year they published their final report – you can read it in full here.There have been many commentaries on the report, from different political persuasions. Below is my contribution – wri...
Tommy Sheppard
20 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
This month in parliament we celebrated the 90th anniversary of all women being allowed the vote with the passing of the 1928 Equal Franchise Act. This built on the Act a decade before which gave some women – those over 30 and either married or property owners – the vote. Every time we mark these historical landmarks I am struck not by how long ago they were, but by how recent.The 1920s were an age...
Tommy Sheppard
11 July 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media

We need to talk about democracy. The UK government recently hosted its first ever “National Democracy Week” – with no sense of irony.

We absolutely should be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the equalisation of voting ages for men and women. Nobody would argue with that.

Tommy Sheppard
21 June 2018
Tommy's Blog
Media
Brexit rumbles on. Last week the SNP walked out of parliament in protest at not being allowed to discuss House of Lords amendments that will seriously affect how we are governed. If we can’t have our say inside the chamber we’ll make our arguments outside.Meanwhile the UK government say we’re scaremongering. What power grab say the Tories? They claim that the Scottish government will get more powe...
Tommy Sheppard
15 June 2018
Tommy's Blog
Buckle up folks – here comes a bumper blog as this week saw the return of the EU Withdrawal Bill after its time in the Lords. Or, more accurately, we were back voting on the EU Withdrawal Bill given there was precious little time for any actual debate. Over two days we were supposed to debate and vote on 20 different changes to the Bill that the Lords had put forward.You’ll likely have seen and he...