How far has democracy taken root in Europe? Retired Spanish generals advocate shooting 26 million.

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
Reading this initially caused me to reach for the Outrage Bus work ticket, but then I started to reflect on a greater question which this raised. 'How far has democracy really taken hold in certain European countries?' By this I mean those countries which are young democracies, Spain certainly is newly democratic and has very little history of real democracy. But looking at countries such as Poland and Hungary which appear to be showing autocratic tendencies, I wonder how far people actually understand what democracy truly entails. Please bear with me as it is a fairly long post. BTW for those who don't know I live in Catalonia.

So last week a few generals on the retired list sent a letter to the King saying that they consider that the Unity of Spain is in serious danger. This has come about because Spanish politics has changed in recent years from having two major political parties that shared power often supported by one or two minor parties in coalition, to a scene where there are some four or five parties that share most of the vote. The rest is divided up by local parties such as Catalan or Basque parties and even tiny parties such as a Canary Islands party.
The upshot is that to get legislation passed the parties have to negotiate, which they have tended not to have needed to do before and which they are not that good at, the mentality being "we are calling the shots you must do as we say".
In a covid environment it was very necessary to have the budget passed through parliament and to enable this the PM actually accepted the votes of a Catalan and a Basque pro-independence parties who understood the need for a working budget, unlike the major opposition parties.

This horrified a certain segment of society including the aforementioned generals who wrote to the King in protest that Spain is in danger of breaking up. But worse is to come, on a chat between themselves they expressed the idea that it was now necessary to shoot 26 million 'sons of whores'. This reflects Franco's thought who was prepared during the civil War to shoot half of Spain if they didn't agree with him or submit to his idea of Spain.

Now I know they were on a chat but I can't imagine Arrsers genuinely advocating shooting millions.* After this received publicity a further 217 retired officers of all ranks signed a further letter to the King protesting that the Unity of Spain is in danger, and all because a nominally socialist PM accepted the votes of pro-independence parties on a single matter of national urgency.

This to me shows a rigid intolerant mindset who consider that if you disagree with their concept of what Spain should be then you should not form part of Spain or you should submit. Furthermore shows that the democratic idea has simply not fully taken root here and a certain segment of society has maintained outmoded 19th Century concepts of how to run a country.

I would be interested in other arrsers experiences in other countries, especially those of the eastern part of Europe which also don't have democratic traditions.


*With the possible exception of Higgs Bosun whose extensive lists include Brexiteers, religious people of all persuasions, anyone who doen't play golf, and anyone else who doesn't agree with him.
 

Bardeyai

Old-Salt
In response to mild tutting about an outbreak of coup, a senior Thai interlocutor told us “The trouble with you British is you don’t understand democracy”. We scratched our heads for a bit so he could see we were thinking hard about that one.
 
Reading this initially caused me to reach for the Outrage Bus work ticket, but then I started to reflect on a greater question which this raised. 'How far has democracy really taken hold in certain European countries?' By this I mean those countries which are young democracies, Spain certainly is newly democratic and has very little history of real democracy. But looking at countries such as Poland and Hungary which appear to be showing autocratic tendencies, I wonder how far people actually understand what democracy truly entails. Please bear with me as it is a fairly long post. BTW for those who don't know I live in Catalonia.

So last week a few generals on the retired list sent a letter to the King saying that they consider that the Unity of Spain is in serious danger. This has come about because Spanish politics has changed in recent years from having two major political parties that shared power often supported by one or two minor parties in coalition, to a scene where there are some four or five parties that share most of the vote. The rest is divided up by local parties such as Catalan or Basque parties and even tiny parties such as a Canary Islands party.
The upshot is that to get legislation passed the parties have to negotiate, which they have tended not to have needed to do before and which they are not that good at, the mentality being "we are calling the shots you must do as we say".
In a covid environment it was very necessary to have the budget passed through parliament and to enable this the PM actually accepted the votes of a Catalan and a Basque pro-independence parties who understood the need for a working budget, unlike the major opposition parties.

This horrified a certain segment of society including the aforementioned generals who wrote to the King in protest that Spain is in danger of breaking up. But worse is to come, on a chat between themselves they expressed the idea that it was now necessary to shoot 26 million 'sons of whores'. This reflects Franco's thought who was prepared during the civil War to shoot half of Spain if they didn't agree with him or submit to his idea of Spain.

Now I know they were on a chat but I can't imagine Arrsers genuinely advocating shooting millions.* After this received publicity a further 217 retired officers of all ranks signed a further letter to the King protesting that the Unity of Spain is in danger, and all because a nominally socialist PM accepted the votes of pro-independence parties on a single matter of national urgency.

This to me shows a rigid intolerant mindset who consider that if you disagree with their concept of what Spain should be then you should not form part of Spain or you should submit. Furthermore shows that the democratic idea has simply not fully taken root here and a certain segment of society has maintained outmoded 19th Century concepts of how to run a country.

I would be interested in other arrsers experiences in other countries, especially those of the eastern part of Europe which also don't have democratic traditions.


*With the possible exception of Higgs Bosun whose extensive lists include Brexiteers, religious people of all persuasions, anyone who doen't play golf, and anyone else who doesn't agree with him.
Maybe
 
The Spanish Socialists keep on confronting the Franquists head on.

They should just let the last supporters of el Tio Paco die and do what needs doing peacefully rather than orchestrate divisive events like the removal of Franco's remains from the Valle de los Caidos.

I have yet to meet a Spanish officer who is not an admirer of Franco and a partisan of moral order.

Military speaking, the man was a genuine hero, having won most of Spain's gallantry awards before he was a Colonel. He was known to have zero consideration for his own safety when operating.

Michel del Castillo, the son of a Franco opponent, wrote a very balanced account of Franco's life which was unfortunately not translated in English I think.

 
Last edited:
El Presidente
1607546202803.png
 
In the 1980s spanish SF conducted a COIN exercise in Spain. A village which was considered enemy was raided by an SF element.

The Cdr of the element organised the mock execution of the village mayor with blanks as retaliation for enemy action....this was not planned in the MEL-MIL !

This was not a career ending move for the said officer. He finished as a Major General.....
 

Fat POM

War Hero
Was this not refuted by senior serving officers who alleged the original authors were well past their sell by date and it was all a storm in a tea cup. Item in The Times this week I believe (behind paywall)
 
I can't see any issue ? I'd happily shoot 26 million Spanish,
We can start with their fishermen, which will save a lot of bother re Brexit negotiations.
 
Just goes to show how so called civilised countries have a veneer of tolerance and compassion but scratch the surface and the genocide is there for all to see.

We only need to slaughter 10 million in the UK to make things right. The traffic alone.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
I can't see any issue ? I'd happily shoot 26 million Spanish,


I used to moan about weapon cleaning after an APWT, bollocks to putting that many rounds down range
 
The Greeks - they don't understand the meaning of democracy.
 

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
Was this not refuted by senior serving officers who alleged the original authors were well past their sell by date and it was all a storm in a tea cup. Item in The Times this week I believe (behind paywall)
Yes but no. The head of the Jemad (Joint Services) was straight onto the press to say in effect just that.
However the point isn't that it was a few retired crusties, especially when a follow up letter from 217 other officers expressed sentiments of the unity of Spain being in danger. In reality it's just a budget vote in Parliament in a special situation not secession.
It does show that there is an underlying sense of intolerance to those who don't subscribe to a certain mindset and demanding conformity.
An American lady I know who has spent a long time in various countries told me that she was horrified by the underlying current of fascism in Spain.
Look at the reaction to the Catalan referendum. I've speculated more than once if the police had been given the order to use firearms if they would have.

Spain does have an intolerant streak, I'm interested in where else it can be found.
 

Latest Threads

Top