Thursday, 29 March 2007

And thus the cultural genocide goes on

So there we have it. TV3 is being banned from the Valencia region. It was inevitable. It was far too normal to be allowed. Far too European and modern. A TV network broadcasting in Catalan in Valencia? No. No chance.

The regional government of the PP has finally decided to close down the transmissions of TV3 in the Valencian area. More proof, if it was needed, of the neo-fascist attitudes of the PP. But that is not the end of it. The PSOE government in Madrid could resolve this ‘crisis’ in 2 minutes: the digital frequencies used by TV3 and the Valencian cultural associations that maintain the transmitters are owned and managed by the Spanish government, not the Valencian government. It would be that simple. But “our friends” of the PSOE will do nothing to prevent this injustice, this exercise of fascist prohibition, this expression, another one, of the ongoing cultural genocide against the Catalan language.

Because this is what is going on. Spain, regardless who is in power, PP or PSOE, has one objective and they pursue it restlessly: they want to ensure that Catalan dies as an everyday language. They have already achieved that in Alacant (Alicante) and in most of the Valencia region (País Valencià), they are on their way to achieve their objective in the Balearics and they are making good progress in the area around Barcelona.

Thus, little by little, by overt action (PP) or wilful inaction (PSOE) Catalan language and culture is being eroded, obliterated from its natural and historical heartlands.

What is most disheartening is that this is happening while the party that thousands of people voted so that we would not back down against Spain, (ERC) the party I have supported for many years, is in power in Catalonia. That is what saddens me, and many other fair-minded Catalans the most. When we thought we had finally a political party ready to defend our interests, it turns out that they cling to power, they befriend our Spanish oppressors, and they back down at every single opportunity, very much like the 23 years we endured of CiU and President Pujol.

It makes you wonder how long our agony will last, how long until the language disappears from public life, how long until Catalonia is just like Occitaine, another historical folkloric anecdote from the past.

13 comments:

Neil said...

Rab, you yourself have stated several times that you would love to be able to ban various media e.g. COPE, El Mundo etc. but do not "unfortunately" have the power to do so. Yet here we have the Valencians actually putting your ideals and methodologies into practice but you call it "cultural genocide" because it is against your beloved state sponsored purveyor of propaganda, TV3.

How come Rab? I'd love to hear why you think it is OK for you to ban media, but not Valenica.

Rab said...

Neil,

Your comparison is spurious and it shows your twisted logic and prejudices: to compare COPE with TV3 is an insult to everyone’s intelligence that I am not even going to waste much time on.

COPE is a radio station that would not be allowed in a normal democratic country. They propagate an extremist agenda against Catalonia, their objective is to promulgate hatred against Catalan and Basques, and even Spanish socialists, at whatever cost, either in terms of deteriorating social coexistence within Spain or by undermining Spanish democracy.

El Mundo must be the only ‘newspaper’ (I use the term loosely…) in the world to support the conspiracy theories of the 11-M. Their Balearics edition has gained some reputation for being a comical newspaper: any resemblance with reality is pure coincidence.

Your description of TV3 as a “purveyor f propaganda” shows how out of touch you are with Spanish/Catalan politics and media. TV3 and the whole Catalan Broadcasting Corporation (CCRTV) since the PSC-PSOE gained power in Catalonia is a clone of El Periodico and COM Radio, and the only propaganda is in favour of Montilla, and of the assimilation of Catalonia into the Spanish political, economic and cultural framework. TV3 is now known as TVE3.

I am not supporting the indiscriminate banning of ‘media’ as you tendentiously suggest. I do support however the banning of media outlets (I am talking specifically about COPE) that propagate a xenophobic, racist and hate-filled agenda. I do support a code of practice for media outlets that will make it an offence to insult, discriminate, denigrate and abuse anyone group of people because of their language, culture, religion or national adherence, as it happens with the COPE radio network. Such codes of practice work in the most advanced plurinational democracies: UK, Canada, Belgium, etc. Yet, it seems near impossible to implement such good practice in Spain. Get this in your head: there is no chance of a radio station like COPE being allowed to operate in the UK. But it is allowed in Spain.

To ban TV3 from Valencia is nothing more that another step in the crusade of the Spanish nationalists of the PP (with the acquiescence of the PSOE) against anything that may delay the inevitable obliteration of the Valencian/Catalan language from Valencia. For your information, ALL Valencian universities and even the Academy of Valencian Language (AVL), set up by the PP government, are against the ban.

Who do you support Neil?
A)The universities and academic institutions in Valencia; or
B)the right-wing Spanish nationalists intent that the Catalan language disappears without a trace?

alex said...

The Partido Popular is clearly a "neo-franquista" party. They have demonstrated at many times that they were extremely keen to turn the anti-Catalan and anti-Basque rhetoric that they inherited from the Franco years into actions. This is yet another example of their incapacity to accept the fact that Spain has more than one language. The PP does NOT speak for citizens whose mother tongue is not castellano; in facts, it most likely seeks to make such people disappear through cultural assimilation.

Neil: describing TV3 as a purveyor of propaganda is laughable. TV3 is a respectable broadcaster.

Alex (Québec)

Xavier Solano said...

Rab,

Gràcies pels missatges al meu bloc. Em prenguntava si et vindria de gust que ens coneguèssim. Ara per ara estic una mica atabalat però d'aquí a deu dies espero tenir alguns moments lliures. Diguem el que. Merci.

Neil said...

Rab

Please explain to me the first sentence in your reply. What are my predjudices? You clearly believe you know and I'd love to hear the conclusions that you are going to jump to. Really Rab I want you to tell me so please answer. I have a feeling your response will reveal more about you, than it will me.

Why am I also out of touch with Spanish/Catalan politics/media when I watch the news every day on at least 3 locally available channels (usually including TV3)? Do you do that Rab with your catalan TV reception in Scotland? Trying to discredit me by making unsubstantiated claims is an incredibley weak response on your part Rab and smacks of desperation. I live here. I take in a wide variety of media covering catalan news and politics. You do not live here (correct?) and appear to be happy living alongside censorship. Who is "out of touch" Rab? It's pointing more towards you than me isn't it? Note: These are rhetorical questions and I do not care if you reply to them or not - save your energy and put it into the other questions that I would like you to answer.

Here is a massive hint at what I was getting at with regards to the content on TV3. See if you can follow... Get yourself a copy of the "the generalitats agenda" (they are quite open about what they want, it isn't dificult to find out) - an example of one thing on the list is "we need to control the railway tracks in catalonia, not anyone else!" (ie: wrestle control of the railways away from the Spanish RENFE and slide it into our catalan hands). When it is time for an official debate surrounding the subject, see if you can spot the hilarious and propaganda laden news "articles" appearing on TV3. Can you see them? Or are you blind? Can you see that for some really strange reason, TV3 now appear to be telling us regularly (every news bulletin, every day!) that there are huge problems with the railways, where as last year they did not report on it at all. Also why hasn't channel 5 been devoting 10 minutes every bulletin to such amazing "news" coverage? Or any other credible non-state sponsored media? Why is that? Rab, can you please answer me. I really want to hear your reply so please answer in a direct fashion, without making up completely incorrect crap about me. Address the question, not what you believe you know about me.

Alex, please educate me as to why terming the above as propaganda is "laughable". I really am interested and am willing to be educated by you upon the real meaning of propaganda and why it is laughable to apply it in this case. I like to keep an open mind on such things and thus, I am all ears!!!

Also Rab, try to stick to the topic and spare me any forthcoming rant about how the railways should be controlled by Catalonia - that is not what we are discussing here and I'd rather you didn't jump to yet more incorrect conclusions about what I believe in just because I have sighted the railways in my response.

As for your somewhat pathetic finishing question Rab, please do try harder. If you merely open your eyes a teeny wee bit you may just see that I am against almost all forms of censorship. Just maybe you can work out the answer for youself, although, having seen your previous abilities in this area I do not hold out much hope.

PS: I'm impressed that you have now taken back your view that El Mundo should be banned. Well done. Maybe one day you will become a bastion of free speech ;-)

Have a good weekend.

Rab said...

Neil,

You are the typical person who tries (unsuccessfully) to claim the moral high ground and some sort of bias-free objectivity while failing to acknowledge your own personal prejudices and phobias. Your self-righteousness is amusing but nobody is fooled by your self-declared “neutrality” on these issues.

For a start, I don’t know for sure if you live in Catalonia, your IP always seems to point to a Germany router. Yes I do live in Scotland and I do receive TVEi and TVCi. However, I also have a broadband connection that allows me to watch and listen to the news broadcast from other media. If anything, being able to compare the broadcast output from Spain to the output from the UK gives me a decent perspective about how media reflects current issues in the two countries, don’t you agree?

Again, as you have done so many times in BR, you blatantly manipulate what I have not written:
“appear to be living happy alongside censorship”.
No, Neil. I am not happy living in censorship but I would be very unhappy living alongside hate-filled broadcast output from the COPE radio network. But I suppose that since their vile is directed mostly at Catalans that does not really bother you.

It is funny that you don’t have anything to say about the censorship of the Spanish state, but somehow it does not surprise me.

With regards to your question about the shambolic train service, I think you can answer yourself: Tele5 does not report on it because it does not affect Madrid, it affects Catalans only. It is an issue that affects Catalan people and it is reported by Catalan media. What is your point exactly? Or are you saying that a broadcast from a Madrid-based media somehow has more "kudos" than if it is from a media outlet based in Barcelona?

By the way, have you noticed that the RENFE Cercanias in Madrid is about 15-25% cheaper (EUR/km) than RENFE Rodalies Barcelona? Don’t you think that such a pricing structure is discriminatory? What is your view on that?

TV3 (and other media outlets based in Catalonia) report on this issue because it is happening Neil. If the trains were on time and without constant delays it would not be news. If RENFE prices in Barcelona were similar to those in Madrid, it would not be an issue. If the Spanish state invested in infrastructure in Catalonia as it does in Madrid, it would not be an issue. If Catalonia was not being screwed up in higher taxes and lower per capita investment, this and many other things would not be an issue. If Catalonia was able to raise, manage and spend its own taxes as it does the Basque Country and Navarra, this and many other things would not be an issue.
And besides, what’s the problem of the Generalitat taking control of Rodalies RENFE? The FGC (managed by the Generalitat) service seems to work pretty well, don’t you think?

Finally, I am not at all surprised that you have not answered my “pathetic” last question. That says everything we need to know about yourself and what you actually stand for.
You ask me questions (which I have tried to answer) but you skip those that make you uncomfortable as they reveal your real agenda.

I only asked if you supported the universities and academic institutions and you failed to answer. Cheers Neil, that clarifies things a lot.

Neil: you portray yourself as someone with no axe to grind and with no prejudices, but the opposite is the truth: you have a profound dislike of all things connected with the ongoing struggle to keep Catalan culture, language and nationhood alive.
You are profoundly anti-Catalan, especially against institutions and political parties that are in favour of Catalan independence or are just trying to keep our culture alive, and this is a trait that is revealed in your smirk comments in BR and in this blog.

I don’t know if you are Spanish or British or whatever, but I don’t care really: you have a pathological fixation with anything that will help to advance the Catalan cause and that’s all we need to be aware of when you write about this issue and try to portray yourself as some sort of libertarian, bias-free saviour. You are not.

Rab said...

Xavier,
quan vulguis, t'he deixat un missatge al teu correu electronic.

Salut,
Robert

Roger said...

#Neil: the thing is that Rab does not need to try harder.
You skip the most simple question (last one) and that clearly shows where you stand.

Roger

Neil said...

I have never claimed the moral high ground, I have only ever pointed out your own prejudice and double standards which has proven to be incredibly easy to do.

Rab said:
"It is funny that you don’t have anything to say about the censorship of the Spanish state, but somehow it does not surprise me."
You haven't asked me Rab, thus you just made that up to try and force me into one of your stereo types you love to fling around. Pathetic.

Amazingly enough, even though I asked you to keep to the topic in-hand (ie that of your tremendous double standards and your hypocrisy), you carry on and blurt a load of irrelevant crap about railways and yet again ask me pathetic questions. I will humour you by saying that I'd support anyone who can provide an efficient service, regardless of where they are from. Because of that you may now try and force me into your "anti-catalan" pigeon hole again ("anyone" here could mean Spanish, thus I am anti-catalan right?)

I have to say that the level of intelligence here is at an outstandingly low level. In reply to Rabs "question" I wrote:

"I am against almost all forms of censorship"

and you guys can't understand that concept. Ummm I am waisting my time aren't I. I really do not know how to make this any simpler for you lot to understand. I can but try. Maybe you can all try reading this v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and see if you can understand it. I do not support either option A or B. I support freedom of speech. Understand? No? I'll try another way. I dislike almost all censorship (I have already said this but I'll elborate and say that the censorship I approve of is that for the well being of children). Understand? No? Then sorry, your level of education is so low I am surprised that you can read this. For those that can grasp what I have just said, read on and I will elaborate a little further...

Rab, you like to force people into your "if you are not with me, you are against me" mentality that you display so readily in all of your replies, thus you gave me option A or B. I confused you (and others) by merely stating in very clear terms that I was against censorship. The fact that you gave me a loaded question that says I am right wing regardless (option A: PP universities or B: right-wing Spanish nationalists) is fantastic. You Rab, would have been one of Francos top men with such skills. Then the fact that I didn't give the A or B answer as neither of them fit well (or make a great deal of sense) means that Rab and other narrow minded people force me into the "evil" pigeon hole. Pathetic in the extreme. I don't expect you Rab, to understand why your question with two very narrow choice options was pathetic as that would not be in keeping with your belief surrounding freedom of speech would it?

Here is what you have proven Rab and it makes for some very depressing reading:

Because I like freedom of speech and dislike censorship you tell me that I am anti-catalan. Now that really does speak volumes about you, your ideals and your nationalistic view of the future.

Rab said...

(…) I have only ever pointed out your own prejudice and double standards which has proven to be incredibly easy to do.
I think that you are being rather generous to yourself here.
Can you explain again my ‘double standards’ and how it was so easy?

Rab said:
"It is funny that you don’t have anything to say about the censorship of the Spanish state, but somehow it does not surprise me."
You haven't asked me Rab, thus you just made that up to try and force me into one of your stereo types you love to fling around. Pathetic.

I did ask you Neil and you did not answer.
The Spanish state is going to ban TVC from Valencia but the universities are against it.
I will ask again: are you in favour of this form of censorship, yes or no?
Why you don’t want to answer such a simple question with a simple answer?

you carry on and blurt a load of irrelevant crap about railways and yet again ask me pathetic questions.
Neil, you are the one who first raised the issue of the train network in your previous reply as being an example of media propaganda. I provided an explanation of what happens in the real world. You don’t like it and therefore you describe it as ‘irrelevant crap’ but offer no counterargument.

What is becoming rather pathetic is your failure to address the issue at hand and answer any questions put to you. You asked me to answer your questions and provide explanations. I have tried to do that. You instead keep moving the goalposts and failing to address the topic being discussed. You can keep writing as much waffle as you like but your failure to answer any questions put to you is becoming tiresome.

I have to say that the level of intelligence here is at an outstandingly low level. In reply to Rabs "question" I wrote:

"I am against almost all forms of censorship"
… etc


The rant at the end of your post is yet more evidence of what I wrote in my earlier reply. First you question the intelligence of those who politely disagree with you. That is pretty poor tactics and rather patronising; I was not expecting such a lowering of standards.
Then you try to make your point again about “being almost against all forms of censorship”.
Well, my original post is about a pretty clear example of censorship but you seem to be unable to express a clear opinion about the matter of TVC being banned from Valencia. You keep postulating and speculating in theoretical terms about censorship without committing to anything in the real world. That comes across as self-righteous, patronizing and condescending and that’s why I keep my earlier description of “trying to portray yourself as some sort of libertarian, bias-free saviour”. It certainly comes across that way.

You describe me as of having double standards with regards to censorship but in my earlier reply I countered your manipulative accusation by explaining about media Codes of Practice, something that seems to operate in most of the advanced democracies in the West. I repeat again because you seem to be having problems understanding what I write: I want a Code of Practice for the media in Spain so that xenophobia, racism and the promulgation of hatred against anyone because of their nationality, culture, religion or political views becomes a punishable offence, as it happens in other European countries.
In a country like the UK, most of the output of the COPE radio network would be banned under the above. Freedom of speech, yes. Freedom to instigate ethnic and cultural hatred, no.

And finally, if you are so more intelligent than us, please try to build a coherent argument using your own views and your own thoughts, with your own examples and rhetorical points, but please stop trying to blatantly manipulate and second-guess about what I (not) write, think or want to do and what my views are. In this regard, your last paragraph is truly embarrassing and “pathetic”.

Garret said...

Living in Barcelona, I really think you have little to fear about the Catalan language dying out. Except of course, I forgot, everything in Spain, sorry, "the Spanish State", is a vast conspiracy against Catalonia and the Catalans.

It's this kind of tiresome, navel-gazing, self-pitying, chip-on-the-shoulder rhetoric that alienates the kind of people, like me, who would normally be sympathetic to minority opinion. Is Catalan culture dependent of the existence of the Catalan language? Valencia doesn't even call the language spoken there "Catalan"... so isn't it a form of cultural imperialism to refer to it as such? Maybe they just thought the programmes weren't very good.

As a long-term resident in Barcelona, it often seems that a certain strand of Catalan culture goes out of its way to harp on and on about how hard done by it is, how awful Madrid is, the terrible things that Spain, oops, sorry, "the Spanish state" does to Catalonia, and if you don't believe that 100% then you're an evil, Franco-loving neo-fascist. You really are your own worst enemies sometimes. How do you expect to convince or appeal to anyone with the relentless litany of small, perceived or imagined slights? I feel very sad that a great culture with strong traditions chooses to wallow in petty victimhood instead of being proud of itself. It smacks of a terrible lack of self confidence.

You're living in Scotland and you can't extract yourself from the poisonous minutiae of petty partisan politics. There's a whole world out there, why don't you try opening your perspective and thinking about something else for a change? Presumably you went abroad to get a different perspective on things, find new ways of looking at the world, open your mind.

Neil said...

Well done Rab. I have finally got through to you. I think. Even though you dare not admit it and you try (rather badly) to dismiss it as "embarrassing and pathetic", you have shown that you have actually taken in what I said by changing your pathetic question to a much less pathetic question. Bravo! Lesson here Rab is ask open, unbiased questions and stop trying to force-fit people into your second-guessed pigeon hole you've created for them (and just simply dissing my paragraph without countering anything within it is fantastically hypocritical of you Rab. You really are special). Alas, you are also still confused though. You said:

I will ask again: are you in favour of this form of censorship, yes or no?

Rab, you have NEVER asked me that question. Please stop lying in front of the whole world. It's for your own good as people might get the idea that you talk complete bollocks all of the time.

Maybe you have now realised that you cannot force me into saying something that does not represent what I stand for. Or maybe not. I don't care. But I'm an optimist and by actually allowing me to answer the question truthfully rather than trying to force me to say I that support one of the previously mentioned right-wing movements does give me hope (and shows that you did take in my "embarrassing and pathetic" paragraph). Here is my answer, see if you can understand it:

No.

I realise that I will probably have to explain that answer in many many different and even more explicit ways, so I'll get a headstart by reiterating and expanding on exactly what I have been saying in my posts and what the above answer means. I also realise that by doing this, I'm taking another risk of being accused and branded again by you Rab, of being "profoundly anti-Catalan" but I will not let you and your unsubstantiated bullshit labeling of me prevent me from saying what I believe in. I am 100% against this form of censorship. I always have been and I always will be. It was patently obvious in my previous replies that I am against censorship, but you don't appear to posses the ability to process an open-minded sentence such as this (which I wrote before):

"I dislike almost all censorship (I have already said this but I'll elborate and say that the censorship I approve of is that for the well being of children)"

Intelligence. Lacking. Nevermind...

So far what has been achieved here? You have told the world (with pathetic fallacy as your reasoning) that I am profoundly anti-catalan. Why? Because I dislike censorship and because I have picked you up on your splendidly hypocritical values on censorship i.e. you scream about how someonelse doing the censoring is cultural genocide but have previously written that it's a shame that you can't do some banning of your own. We have also seen how you've been furiously backtracking on your censorship position. Saying that it's now only COPE that you want to ban and that all you want is actually some sort of media code of practice. Hmmm. Wanting to ban El Mundo (or anything!) is not the same as implementing a Media Code of Practice. Just thought it was worth pointing that out as you appear to confuse the two. And finally we've seen that your method of asking a single question and allowing only two one-sided and biased options as possible answers leads you to think that you know exactly, and to what extent, someone's prejudices are. True as it is, I don't have to tell you how stupid the previous sentence makes you sound do I?

Funnily enough I have stated many times what Garret has just said and usually the response back is to slot me into the right-wing anti-catalan group without knowing where I live, who my friends are, what my thoughts of Catalonia are or my political position. Maybe the fact that Rab knows that you (Garret) live in Catalonia, he may spare you one of his self-fullfilling prophecies, or maybe not. I have stated the "If you are not with me, you are against me" mentality that is popular with some people (often nationalists - and it simply sucks) many times and the response is usually the same - the anti-catalan label gets thrust at me. Rab is a living proof that this ancient and primitive idea still sadly exists today.

Rab said...

Well done Rab. I have finally got through to you. I think.
I somehow doubt it but I will keep an open mind…

…you have shown that you have actually taken in what I said by changing your pathetic question to a much less pathetic question.
Again, you are rather gracious to yourself.

Rab, you have NEVER asked me that question. Please stop lying in front of the whole world. It's for your own good as people might get the idea that you talk complete bollocks all of the time.
Check my first reply to you again. I asked you the same question with different words. You chose not to answer the question the first time it was put to you and instead pontificated in a rather theoretical manner. I am glad you finally managed to answer such a simple question.
Again, you keep your patronising, condescending tone. Perhaps it is you who are talking complete bollocks?

Maybe you have now realised that you cannot force me into saying something that does not represent what I stand for. Or maybe not. I don't care.
I only asked you a question and I did not try to force you into anything other than answering a question about a practical, real-world example of censorship. I don’t care either.
Here is my answer, see if you can understand it: No.
Glad to hear that. It was not that difficult, was it?

I'm taking another risk of being accused and branded again by you Rab, of being "profoundly anti-Catalan" but I will not let you and your unsubstantiated bullshit labeling of me prevent me from saying what I believe in. I am 100% against this form of censorship.
Again, I and many others have read enough of your posts in BR to know where you stand on this issue. You may claim to be against censorship (good for you, at least something we can agree on) but your sneering, smirk posts in BR reveal your political agenda –in the same way as this blog reveals mine. Nothing wrong with that.

We have also seen how you've been furiously backtracking on your censorship position. Saying that it's now only COPE that you want to ban and that all you want is actually some sort of media code of practice. Hmmm. Wanting to ban El Mundo (or anything!) is not the same as implementing a Media Code of Practice. Just thought it was worth pointing that out as you appear to confuse the two.
Again, a rather imaginative statement from you. “Furiously backtracking”? Perhaps in your febrile imagination. I would ban, fine and warn El Mundo (and any other media) if and when they breach a hypothetical Code of Practice, something they (El Mundo and Libertad Digital) seem adept at doing. COPE is just a radio station that would have its license revoked right away in any normal democracy. It seems to me that you appear to be confused about what I write and what you want to understand, as you did so often in BR. Your problem, not mine.
Also, you seem to be using more abusive and derogatory terms in each of your posts. You think what you write about me makes me look stupid? I think your blatant manipulation, your patronising and pontificating ways, your self-righteous, condescending theoretical posturing looks pretty pathetic and stupid too. Probably we will have to agree to disagree on this one.

… Rab is a living proof that this ancient and primitive idea still sadly exists today.
One only has to read what you have written in Barcelona Reporter to know where you stand on the issue of Catalonia/Spain. Trying to portray yourself as some sort of neutral, objective and bias-free observer does not fool anyone. We all have an opinion and we all have a political bias, nothing wrong with that. What is irritating about your posturing is your trying to masquerade your political views on this issue with theoretical and self-righteous waffle while avoiding to commit yourself to things that happen in the real world.