Photo by Matteo Catanese on Unsplash

Originally published in Spanish. ‘Derrota’ Fernando Savater. El País.

2nd June 2018

Every anti-separatist (not ‘unionist’, as it’s not about uniting what’s separate but about keeping what’s united from separating) is in debt with Quim Torra: he is the ideal adversary, because he expresses his ideology so obscenely that even those who partake in it are outraged. And he crudely reveals what it is that underpins the more sophisticated and affable language which separatist filth often comes wrapped in. It’s the same clarity and idiocy Sabino Arana once revealed, making his current political heirs venerate his name while never daring to quote him. Occasionally they’ll make excuses for him saying these were just ‘ideas of the time’, as if all his contemporaries had felt the same way or as if we should all now share in the mental excrement of our coetaneous Torra. It’s worth noting that the reasons for separatism can be disguised, but not improved. And that they are and always have been deeply reactionary, whether they are treacherously perverting democratic institutions as they have in Catalonia or trying to turn the umpteenth Carlist uprising into a freedom-fighting guerrilla, like ETA.

Now some are proclaiming the defeat of the ETA military group –which is real– while trying to hide the fact that political ETA is alive and well, getting the royal treatment from democratic institutions and taking advantage of the blood-stained advantages they’ve earned in civic space, political language and propaganda. No, this was not the only possible ending, nor the best imaginable one. Before joining the smug choir, read Rogelio Alonso’s devastating La derrota del vencedor (The victor’s defeat – TN). And pay careful attention to the new Basque statute being drawn up by nationalists (and its collateral effects in Navarre): that’s where we’ll get the chance to find out the price we have yet to pay for a ‘victory’ which has already cost us so dearly. On reflection, it may be less costly to fight a little more, until we can win better…