As you may know, this is the title of the first volume of Churchill’s history of the Second World War. He saw, long before most others, what was going to happen. As it happens, there are storms forecast for today here in La Cerdanya. At least, we can all see them coming. I chose this title because of the political and social storms that are gathering on several fronts, and about to break.
Here in Catalunya, people are waiting for the court in Madrid to pass sentences this week on the nine Catalan politicians who have been held in prison for two years. Their crimes? To keep their promise to the people who elected them to hold a referendum on independence, and carry out the result of that referendum. Madrid calls this “sedition” and rebellion”, and condemns the violence. In fact, the only violence came from the Spanish police, who beat up people while they were trying to vote. As you can imagine, things are tense here.
Another storm about to break is Brexit. An unelected Prime Minister, who is a notorious liar, is trying to manipulate the European Union to reject his overtures. He will then tell the people that the EU is the culprit, and that he should be therefore elected in the election that is likely to come very soon.
Meanwhile, in my other home country, Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has a dilemma. She wants another independence referendum soon, not least because of Brexit, but she wants it to be legal…in other words, with the consent of Westminster, as before. She knows that is very unlikely, but she wants to avoid a Catalan situation. Quo vadis?
As for the other gathering storms – climate change, Trump’s madness, China, and the Middle East – the less said, the better. I do not think that it is a curse to live in interesting times. On the contrary, it is very interesting!